Ectopic Ureter in Cats: A Urethral Shaft Abnormality How To Manage Ectopic Ureter In Cats

Ectopic Ureter in Cats: A Urethral Shaft Abnormality

Cats who have ectopic ureters, a congenital disorder, have an abnormally placed ureter, which is the duct that delivers urine from the kidney to the bladder. We talk more about this in this article.

Ectopic ureter is a congenital condition that affects cats and is characterized by an abnormal location of the ureter, which is the duct that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. This disorder has a number of potential side effects, including incontinence, repeated UTIs, and potential kidney damage.

This article will go over the causes, signs, and treatments of the feline ectopic ureter, giving pet owners important knowledge about this issue and advice on how to handle it.


Although the precise cause of an ectopic ureter in a cat is unknown, it is thought to be a birth abnormality that affects the development of the urinary system. Ectopic ureters may originate from aberrant ureteral duct growth or differentiation during embryonic development, which can lead the ureter to open improperly into the urethra, vagina, or bladder neck. Ectopic ureters occasionally coexist with other congenital urinary tract disorders, such as duplex (double) ureters or urethral abnormalities in female cats. The condition is more common in female cats, although male cats can also be affected.

Ectopic Ureter Symptoms

Cats with ectopic ureters frequently exhibit urinary incontinence signs, including frequent or uncontrollable urinating, dribbling pee, and dampness around the urethra. Other symptoms of a urinary tract infection in cats include painful or frequent urination, blood in the urine, and difficulty urinating. With time, the ectopic ureter can cause progressive kidney damage due to repeated urinary tract infections or reflux of urine into the kidneys. 

In severe cases, cats with ectopic urethra may develop chronic renal failure. It's important to note that some cats with ectopic ureters may not show any obvious symptoms, especially in the early stages of the condition. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help to diagnose the condition early and prevent further complications.

Clinical Diagnosis

Physical exams, medical history, and diagnostic testing are commonly used to diagnose ectopic ureters in cats. An Ectopic ureter can be identified using the following tests:

  • Physical examination: A veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination to look for signs of incontinence, urine leakage, and any abnormalities in the urinary tract.

  • Urinalysis: A sample of urine will be collected and examined to check for signs of infection or other problems with the urinary tract.

  • X-rays: X-rays may be taken to check for any abnormalities in the urinary tract and to assess the size and shape of the bladder and ureters.

  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound exam may be performed to examine the internal structure of the urinary tract and to look for any blockages or anomalies.

  • Cystourethrogram: This is a specialized X-ray test in which a contrast dye is injected into the possibly ectopic bladder to highlight the anatomy of the urinary tract.

  • Ureteral scintigraphy: This is a specialized test that uses radioactive isotopes to help visualize the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

The veterinarian will collaborate with the pet owner to create a management strategy once an ectopic ureter diagnosis has been made.

Treatment, Management, and Recovery Process

Treatment and recovery options for ectopic ureter in female cats include:

Ureter surgery recovery typically takes several weeks, during which time the cat will need to rest and recover. The cat may need to be confined for a period of time and provided with pain relief medication. In most cases, female cats’ ureter surgery recovery takes a couple of weeks, and then they return to normal urinary function.

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