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What is Preputial Discharge?

Disorders of the prepuce and accompanying reproductive organs, infection, trauma, or disease could all be underlying conditions causing the preputial discharge. The feline may lick himself excessively, which moves bacteria from the mouth to the inside of the penis, placing the cat at high risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Apart from excessive licking, preputial discharge can be accompanied by a great deal of swelling and inflammation, which is rather painful for the feline. Cat owners may notice inactivity, a decrease in appetite, and an overall discomfort in their feline’s behavior. In many cases, the preputial discharge resolves itself and is not a health issue. However, preputial discharge can be linked to an underlying health condition and is often reoccurring, which requires the aid of a veterinarian. 

Preputial discharge in cats is the presence of any flowing substance from the prepuce. In male felines, especially intact males, a small amount of yellow to white smegma visible at the preputial opening in normal. The prepuce, which is the skin cover surrounding the penis, is naturally cleaning, removing sweat and skins cells entrapped in the skin folds. However, an excessive amount of discharge or discolored discharge indicating the presence of blood, pus or urine, is a clinical sign of a greater problem. 

Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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Symptoms of Preputial Discharge in Cats

Male felines often have a small amount of yellow to white smegma visible at the preputial opening, with no accompanying symptoms. However, excessive licking, pain, and swelling of the prepuce area is not normal, as these are clinical signs of a problem. The discharge may have a variable amount of pus, blood, or urine, which is not normal for a feline to excrete. Symptoms of preputial discharge in cats to watch for include: 

  • An excessive amount of preputial discharge
  • Excessive licking of the prepuce
  • Blood, pus or urine in the preputial discharge
  • Swelling and inflammation of the prepuce
  • Reddened skin surrounding the prepuce
  • Signs of an infection (straining to urinate, fever, vocalizing upon urination) 
  • Pain 
  • Restlessness 
  • Lethargy 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Decreased physical activity
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Causes of Preputial Discharge in Cats

Discharge from the prepuce is often normal in males, as it is the body’s way of naturally self-cleaning. However, abnormally colored discharge and other significant irregularities in the male reproductive area can be caused by a number of underlying conditions such as: 

  • Infection (bladder infection, kidney infection, ureter infection)
  • Foreign body entrapment
  • Urinary incontinence (inability to control urine flow due to abnormality or weakening of the sphincter muscles) 
  • Ectopic ureter (abnormally placed tubes that carry the urine)  
  • Ingestion of a toxin (rat position) 
  • Snake bite 
  • Trauma 
  • Bleeding disorder (thrombocytopenia, coagulopathies) 
  • Prostate disorders (abscess, cyst, hyperplasia, neoplasia, prostatitis) 
  • Urinary bladder disorders (neoplasia, inflammation, calculi, infection) 
  • Urethra disorders (calculi, trauma, neoplasia)
  • Prepuce disorders  (prepuce and/or penis inflammation, trauma, cancer)
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Diagnosis of Preputial Discharge in Cats

The veterinarian will examine the prepuce and penis thoroughly, noting any abnormalities upon physical examination. He or she may cleanse the prepuce with a saline solution in order to examine the reproductive organ more closely through the use of a rigid endoscope (a tool used to view areas of the body more closely). Inflammation, trapped foreign bodies and other visible malformations may be revealed in an endoscope examination. A cytology, or examination of the cells, of the prepuce may prove efficient in identifying underlying possible cellular disease, such as cancer. The veterinarian may request a bacterial culture of the preputial discharge in order to identify the presence of infection, however, the presence of naturally occurring bacteria may compromise the test.  

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Treatment of Preputial Discharge in Cats

The preputial discharge in the feline may resolve without the interference of treatment, but the cat should be kept from licking the prepuce through the use of an Elizabethan collar until the discharge has ceased. The veterinarian may clip away long hair around the reproductive organ, as hair could be irritating the area or trapping bacteria close to the opening of the penis (posing a risk for infection). He or she is likely to flush the preputial cavity with a mild antiseptic or sterile solution to cleanse the area, speeding up the discharge process. If the results from the bacterial culture came back positive, the veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic either in the form of a pill or ointment. 

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Recovery of Preputial Discharge in Cats

Prescribed drug therapies for preputial discharge in cats usually last approximately one to two weeks, resulting in a full recovery. Reoccurrence of preputial discharge, both mild and infectious, in not uncommon. Your veterinarian may suggest the feline be neutered to diminish the amount of discharge eliminated and lessen the frequency in which it occurs.

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Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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Preputial Discharge Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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cat

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bloody

My cat just got nuetered yesterday and I’m a little worried I noticed today his penis was out and a little bloody and he seemed to be in pain and his scrotum is yellow and crusty he got out of his cone in the night and I’m afraid he may have infected it

March 7, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

You wouldn't typically see signs of an infection until a couple of days post surgery as it takes time to manifest. It may be some dried blood or the cleaning fluid the vet used. You can clean the area gently and prevent licking or chewing with a cone. If he seems in pain, it is best to request pain relief from your vet.

March 7, 2021

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Domestic short hair cat

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Clear Discharge

Male cat is neutered, excessively licking penis area, clear discharge

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If this is a new behavior that you are noticing, and the discharge is something not normal for him, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Cats can have trouble with their urine pH and infection, and he may have a condition that needs treatment. I hope that all goes well for him.

Oct. 3, 2020

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Ragdoll

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Dry Nose, Constipation, Watery Blood In Pee And Crying In Pain

What is wrong with my cat He wants to lay in the litter box all day, no appetite for 2 days, no water, other cats hissing ar him. Crying in pain

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Your cat needs to see an ER veterinarian immediately. He likely has a painful urinary blockage, and that will be fatal if not treated. I hope that he is okay.

Oct. 7, 2020

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Ruca

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DOMESTIC

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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2 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy, Fatigue, Moaning

Last night out of the blue my cat started meowing/moaning and hissing and our other two cats almost like he was in pain..we noticed since last night he hasn’t been able to poop and he is licking himself excessively, we just noticed today that it looks like urine is leaking out of his penis..help!

Sept. 16, 2018

Ruca's Owner

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Norman

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Exotic Shorthair Persian

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9 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Trouble Urinating White Discharge.

Male Cat not quite a year old has been having issues urinating. He go to the litter box and will move his head weird and his eyes get really wide and its like he can see through me but not look at me at all. Took him to the vet and he was put on an antibiotic. He seemed to act normal but he wasn't urinating alot. Today, he is having trouble urinating and there is white thickish pliable discharge coming from the tip of his penis. He is walking very slow and weird.

Aug. 1, 2018

Norman's Owner

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0 Recommendations

This is something to visit your Veterinarian about especially since Norman is having trouble urinating; most likely a course of antibiotics would be required and there is nothing you can do at home apart from wiping away any discharge. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 2, 2018

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Luther

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tabby

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3 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Layer Of Fuse Stuck On Penis
Layer Of Fuzz Stuck On&Around Penis

My male cat is not Neutered and he has a purple fuzzy blanket he humps there is a build up around his penis area that is stuck with purple fuzz and I’m worried it will get infected what should I do.

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Sebastian

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Russian Blue

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22 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Dry Heaves
White Discharge

Sebastian hasn't been feeling well for the past couple days. First we noticed he would growl after using the cat box while grooming. Then it seemed like he could pee at all. Now, there is some white discharge - it doesn't smell. I wiped it off with a warm washcloth. I don't have a lot of money as I'm disabled. He was lethargic and threw up a little earlier, but is drinking quite a bit of water. He seems more himself since I got rid of the discharge - it was almost rubbery and pure white. Earlier he seemed to be breathing fast but that is better tonight.

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Maximus

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Russian Blue

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Doesn’T Eat
Can’T Use Bathroom
Licks Himself

My male cat has been fine but today he didn’t pee or poop and he looks like he’s trying in his litter box, for 12 minutes! It’s never happened before. He also hasn’t eaten and he threw up a lot of food. He’s laying down right after trying/ starts licking himself down there.

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Biscuit

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Persian

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Inactive

My cat had amoeba a week ago and it was treated But now I noticed this white dot on the tip of his penis and he hasn't urinated for more than 24 hours now Is the whitish thing normal

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Spottie

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Bengal

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Passed A Bloddy Mucus Through Urine

My 10 year old Neutured Male Bengal cat forcefully passed a bloody mucus spot on top of a box I was packing. He has been acting strange the last couple days taking many trips to his literbox. I have been cleaning it out so I know he is going. What could the bloody mucus be?

Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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