Pyometra in cats: a guide to Pyometra symptoms and treatments
Last Updated: 06/11/2023
Pyometra is a serious infection that affects unneutered female cats.
In some cases, symptoms are easy to spot; in others, they can be easy to miss.
Let’s take a closer look at Pyometra in cats – what exactly Pyometra is, the symptoms and treatments, as well as how to prevent it.
What is Pyometra and what causes it?
Pyometra is an infection of the cat’s womb (uterus). It causes the uterus to fill with pus and when this happens, the resultant infection can lead to severe illness – and even be fatal.
Pyometra only affects female cats, and is far more common in unneutered cats. When a female cat goes into season, she experiences hormonal changes. One of these changes includes thickening of the lining of the womb.
The thicker the lining of the womb becomes, the higher the cat’s chances of developing an infection.
As most kitty owners will know, it can be tricky to tell when our feline friends aren’t feeling too well.
Symptoms will vary depending on how much time has passed since the cat’s last season but generally speaking, they can include:
- Lethargy or tiredness
- Increased thirst (and reduced appetite)
- Blood-coloured vaginal discharge
These symptoms can belong to other conditions and are not exclusive to Pyometra. Likewise, your cat may be suffering from Pyometra without displaying each and every one of the signs listed above. If you’re concerned about your cat, take them to see your vet right away – they’ll be able to accurately diagnose their condition and provide the right treatment.
Pyometra is usually treated with surgery: the infected uterus and ovaries are removed to prevent the further spread of bacteria.
The cat will receive painkillers and antibiotics; surgical procedures are often successful, especially when Pyometra is in its early stages, so it’s important to bring your cat to the vets as soon as you’re concerned. Don’t wait around!
A successful neutering procedure will remove the uterus and ovaries, effectively eliminating your cat’s risk of infection altogether.
If you don’t plan to breed from your feline friend, it’s advised to get them neutered at an early age. The procedure is simple and drastically lowers their risk of many infections, diseases and of course, unwanted pregnancies.
Read more: Cat neutering: what you need to know.
Need more info?
For more help and advice on Pyometra in cats, the benefits of neutering or any aspect of your cat’s welfare, have a chat with your local vet.