At what age can a child start to self-cath on their own?


Knowing when your child is ready to start self-catheterizing on their own, is not necessarily defined by a certain age.  Being that every child is unique in their own way, there are several factors that could impact a child’s ability and “readiness” to self catheterize.

A child’s level of development is very important as not all children develop at the same rate. Developmental milestones are achieved by different children at different ages. Hand dexterity, pincer grasp, range of motion, body size, wheel chair use, and level of sensation play a large role as well. Certain motor skills can help to test if your child is ready, like being able to hold a pencil between the pointer finger and thumb to manipulate the pencil up and down; threading a shoelace; or closing their eyes and trying to place a peg through a hole, just using their sense of touch.

Other factors for determining if your child is ready to self-cath can include their emotional maturity, reliability and responsibility. Are they pro-actively expressing more independence and wanting to learn how to self-cath on their own?

There is no right or wrong age to let a child take on the responsibility of self-cathing on their own. What is most important is their readiness and the support you provide throughout the transition process. Be patient and encouraging and ensure they stick to a routine you’ve practiced together.


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).


catheter support


after age appropriate avoid bag bathroom 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