Ruptured bladder in cats

Ruptured Bladder in Cats



A ruptured bladder occurs when the urinary bladder tears, releasing urine into the abdomen. The most common causes of a ruptured bladder are trauma, such as being hit by a car, a fall from a height, gunshot wound or a urinary blockage caused by calculi or mucous plugs, bladder cancer or during catheterisation. Once the bladder ruptures, urine leaks into the abdomen (uroabdomen) resulting in uremic poisoning, a life-threatening condition due to a dangerous build-up nitrogenous of toxins in the bloodstream.


Any cat who has had a serious trauma should be evaluated for a ruptured bladder, especially where a pelvic fracture has occurred. Obviously, a traumatic injury will cause a bladder that ruptures quickly, however, if a urinary blockage is a cause, there may have been symptoms of a urinary prior to the bladder rupturing. These would include:

Presenting symptoms relate to uremic poisoning and may include:


Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination of your cat and obtain a medical history from you. If he has been involved in a trauma, they will assess him for a broken pelvis and a ruptured bladder, both of which are common injuries.

  • Abdominal x-rays and ultrasound will be taken to evaluate the pelvis and bladder.
  • Bloodwork to evaluate for elevated BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine and potassium levels.
  • Urinalysis to evaluate for blood in the urine (hematuria).


It will be necessary to stabilise the cat to prepare him for surgery. This will include:

  • Intravenous fluids to correct electrolyte imbalances, azotemia (high levels of nitrogen-containing compounds in the blood), and cardiac arrhythmias due to high blood potassium levels.

Repairing the bladder:

  • Drain any urine remaining in the bladder or abdomen.
  • Surgical repair of the bladder.

Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care.Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time.Full author bio Contact Julia