Anuria (Lack of Urination) in Cats

Anuria is a medical term used to describe a body’s inability to produce urine or no production of urine in the body or a complete stop or suppression of urine production by the kidneys.

Anuria or Lack of urination has to be treated as a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If you suspect your pet not urinating or producing urine, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Any delay in treatment can prove fatal.

In normal and healthy conditions, a cats body produces between 1 to 2 ml per kilo of body weight per hour. So if the cat is weighing 8 kgs, its urine production should be anywhere between 8 to 16 ml every hour. In-case the urine production drops to under 1 ml per kilo of body weight per hour, this is called Oliguria, also described as very little urine production.

Diseases which are known to alter the normal functionality of organs, such as kidney failure, bladder stones, urinary obstruction, affected kidney tissues can lead to Anuria.

Other known causes include poisoning or toxicity, reaction to known drugs and medicines, infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic) and dehydration.
Affected cats will exhibit extreme weakness, weight loss, ataxia, sudden collapse.

Anuria is seen in terminally ill cats suffering from known kidney ailments, disorders and organ failures.


There are various causes which can lead to a complete stop to urine production. They are:
› Addison’s Disease
› Reactions to known drugs
› Acute Kidney Failure
› Urinary Obstruction
› High Blood Calcium
› Antifreeze poisoning
› Dehydration
› Bleeding disorders
› Congestive Heart Failure
› Infections
› Blood Clots
› Low blood pressure
› Multiple organ failures
› Trauma, injury and/or accidents

Clinical Signs & Symptoms

Common symptoms include:
› Lack of urination
› Dehydration
› Weakness
› Anorexia (Loss of Appetite)
› Vomiting
› Sudden collapse


Veterinarians will require a complete history of your cat which includes medical history, vaccination records, existing health concerns, current and previous medications, onset of symptoms, diet and exercise routine and any information which can help in establishing a correct diagnosis. Diagnosis is done with a combination of tests. These include routine lab examinations and special tests which can detect the cause and underlying diseases. They are:

› Physical Examination – abdominal palpation, any signs of dehydration, depression
› Complete Blood Count (CBC)
› Biochemical Profile
› Chest Radiograph (X-ray)
› Abdominal Radiograph (X-rays)
› Abdominal Ultrasound
› Urethrocystoscopy – a special diagnostic tool is inserted into the urinary tract to check for any internal wounds, obstructions
› Urinalysis (UA)
› Echocardiography (Ultrasound of the Heart / ECG)


Anuria is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. It requires professional help. Treatments need to start immediately. Any delay can lead to irreversible conditions and even death within a few hours. Prompt diagnosis needs to be done in order to find he underlying cause of anuria.

Veterinarians will start the following treatment procedures:

› IV Fluids – This needs to be carefully monitored, if the cat is unable to produce urine, IV fluids can start accumulating in other parts of the body.
› Prescription medications – used to stimulate kidney functions and trigger urine production
› Medications for treating underlying cause
› Medications for treating Kidney failure

After administering drugs and IV fluids for a period of up-to 6 hours, if there is still no urine production, there are very faint chances of recovery. Prognosis is generally not good and it will lead to death.


There is no prevention for Anuria. This is a progression from Oliguria. Early detection and prompt treatment of kidney diseases can prevent this condition.

Home Care

Prognosis is generally poor.

› As a general rule, always monitor your pets eating, defecating and urinary habits. If you observe and changes, or suspect a possible infection, disease, emergency, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
› Keep your pets away from possible sources of poisoning, such as chemicals, motor oils, antifreeze, repellents, insecticide, pesticidesis necessary. Ingesting these in any form can result in rapid and irreversible damage to internal organs which can cause secondary conditions and even death.

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