At what age can a child start to cath themselves?

This is a popular question with families. The answer is not clearly defined however. Each child is different and unique in their own way. Several factors impact a child’s ability and “readiness” to catheterize. Their level of development is very important as not all children are developmentally in line with their age and may simply not understand the task of intermittent self-catheterization, also known as “cathing”. Hand dexterity, pincer grasp, range of motion, body size, wheel chair use, and level of sensation play a large role as well. In my experience, the youngest child that I was able to teach to catheterize, independently, but with supervision was only 4 years old. The majority of children that possess all the needed qualities and also motivation to complete the task are usually ready to start self cathing by school age.

Adjusting to cathing can be tough. You might find yourself dealing with a range of practical, physical and emotional challenges. You don’t have to figure it out alone. Call and talk to a member of the me+ support team today. Call 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).


Request Free Product Samples

GentleCath™ users should feel confident knowing they are cathing with products designed for safety and ease of use. Only GentleCath™ Glide catheters feature FeelClean™ Technology, which is designed to provide greater comfort and less mess during cathing. Does your catheter have the latest technology? Learn more and request free product samples now.  

Request Catheter Product Samples


after age appropriate avoid bag bent best big bleeding blood cath cathing CH child children closed-system collection common connector contain contents correct coude curved DEHP DHP diameter discreet discretion dispose don't drink drinking end find fluid forever FR french frequency funnel happens holiday home hydrophilic if infection infections insert inserted introducer issues keep latex length liquid long low friction lubricated material materials measure normal nothing often once one time output prevent problems public restroom reusable right set sick side effects single size slippery stop store symptoms throw tiemann time tip toilet trash travel trip uncomfortable urethra urine use UTI water weekend wet why young