Preputial Discharge in Cats

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Preputial Discharge in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Preputial Discharge in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Preputial Discharge?

Disorders of the prepuce and accompanying reproductive organs, including infection, trauma, or disease could all be underlying conditions causing a 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 localised 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 is 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. 

Youtube Play

Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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 norma. 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 or inflammation (straining to urinate, fever, vocalizing upon urination) 
  • Pain 
  • Restlessness 
  • Lethargy 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Decreased physical activity
arrow-up-icon

Top

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)
  • Foreign body entrapment e.g. a grass awn
  • 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 poison, affecting a cat's blood clotting ability) 
  • Snake bite 
  • Insect 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)
arrow-up-icon

Top

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 under anaesthetic 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.  

arrow-up-icon

Top

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. If the results from the bacterial culture came back positive for a non commensal pathogen, the veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic either, in the form of a pill or ointment. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Worried about the cost of Preputial Discharge treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Preputial Discharge Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

cat

dog-age-icon

Eight Months

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic short hair cat

dog-age-icon

Five Years

thumbs-up-icon

7 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

7 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Clear Discharge

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

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

7 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

Was this experience helpful?

Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Need pet insurance?
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.