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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. 

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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
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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)
  • 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)
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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 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.  

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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. 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. 

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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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Shorty Maguire

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DOMESTIC

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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

Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

White Fluid At Penis Opening

Very small bead of white fluid seen at penis opening. Wiped off and no smell noticed. Cat is acting normal. He is fixed and a few years old. Watching but worried!

July 24, 2018

Shorty Maguire's Owner

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1 Recommendations

A small amount of white discharge may occur due to normal sloughing of cells, however it may also be due to an infection; without examining Shorty Maguire I cannot be certain of a cause. Keep an eye on it and see if any more is seen and if any other symptoms (itching, irritation etc…) are seen; bring it up with your Veterinarian if there is no improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 25, 2018

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Hugo

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dsh

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Mild severity

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2 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Brown Discharge

I had noticed some blood on the back end of my cat about a month ago. His PH was a little high and I think it said there was some protein in the urine but the urine collected directly from his bladder didn't have blood or any major signs of infection. he was on antibiotics for one week just in case but has been having this little bit of brown discharge since then. All this time he has been eating/drinking/using the box, acting fine. He lets me clean the area and doesn't seem bothered by it. It doesn't look swollen or anything, just a small amount of discharge that ranges from light brown to kind of waxy looking and brown. What could it be and is it serious? Should we go back to the vet? I ordered some chlorhexadine wipes for the genital area to see if that would help. I have not seen any actual red/fresh bloody discharge since the first day i discovered it and for a while i've been cleaning it daily.

July 13, 2018

Hugo's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Male cats are more prone to serious urinary problems if there is anything going on than female cats are. It would be a good idea to figure out what this discharge is and how to resolve it, and he may benefit from a prescription urinary diet if he pH was high. Sometimes changing to a urinary diet helps if there is no infection or other problem. You can call your veterinarian and ask if that is something that would work for Hugo.

July 13, 2018

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Preputial Discharge Average Cost

From 210 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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