Several reproductive diseases can affect male cats. Although most of these disorders (other than cryptorchidism) are rare, the most commonly encountered conditions are discussed below.
Cryptorchidism is a failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. It is the most common reproductive disorder in male cats. The condition has a genetic basis and can be inherited from either parent. If only one testicle is affected, the cat will still be fertile. Because this is often an inherited condition, cryptorchid cats should not be used for breeding. The undescended testicle is also more likely to develop cancer, so neutering is recommended.
Inflammation of the Testes and Epididymis
Short-term inflammation of the testes or epididymis may be caused by trauma or infection. Chronic inflammation of the testes and epididymis may follow short-term inflammation of the organs. These conditions are rare in cats, however (see Reproductive Disorders of Dogs: Inflammation of the Testes and Epididymis).
The inability to completely retract the penis into the preputial cavity usually occurs after erection. It is seen most often after semen collection or breeding. The most common cause of paraphimosis in cats is a band of hair that entangles the penis. Paraphimosis is a medical emergency because the exposed penis quickly becomes swollen (due to accumulation of fluid), dry, and painful. If recognized early, before severe swelling and pain develop, paraphimosis is easily treated. Treatment consists of trimming the hair, gentle cleansing, and lubrication of the exposed penis. The penis is replaced inside the prepuce and the swelling resolves once circulation is restored.
Phimosis can be due to an abnormally small preputial opening, resulting in the inability to extrude the penis. It may be hereditary or acquired as a result of trauma, inflammation, or a bacterial infection. The signs are variable. Usually, the problem is unnoticed until the cat attempts to mate and is unable to copulate. Diagnosis is established by physical examination of the prepuce and penis. Treatment depends upon the severity of the phimosis and the intended use of the cat. If the cat is not to be used for breeding, treatment probably is not needed, although neutering should be considered to prevent arousal.
Disorders of the Prostate
Prostatic diseases, including enlarged prostate, prostatitis, and prostate cancer, are not common in cats (see Reproductive Disorders of Dogs: Disorders of the Prostate).
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Cheri A. Johnson, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Small Animal); James A. Flanders, DVM, DACVS; Autumn P. Davidson, DVM, MS, DACVIM; Fabio Del Piero, DVM, DACVP, PhD; Mushtaq A. Memon, BVSc, MS, PhD, DACT; Robert C. Rosenthal, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Small Animal, Oncology), DACVR (Radiation Oncology); Brad E. Seguin, DVM, MS, PhD DACT