Bladder Stones and Kidney Stones


Male middle-aged cats and certain breeds, such as Persian, are more likely to develop kidney stones

  • Publication date: April 4, 2014

He cat often goes to the sandbox and stays longer than usual, meow or emits a groan of pain and is decayed and unappetizing. This is the portrait of a feline with kidney stones that prevent him from urinating. However, it is common for their owners to downplay these signs and confuse them with those of constipation, with the fatal consequence that can have on the animal. The following describes the cat symptoms with kidney stones, as well as their treatment and prevention.

Kidney stones in cats: alarm signals

A cat that cannot urinate because it has kidney stones can die without proper treatment in time

A feline that has kidney stones has difficulty and discomfort when you urinate and evacuate little fluid when he goes to his sand tray. Kidney stones are formed by grit or tiny solidified remains that accumulate in the kidney and that by passing through the cat's urinary tract obstruct it, prevent the passage of urine and cause pain.

The fact that the owners soon perceive that their pet is sick, and go to the veterinarian, is essential to avoid more serious health problems, such as a renal failure or the dangerous rupture of the bladder. "Cat owners tend to confuse their cat's difficulty in urinating with a change in the animal's punctual behavior or constipation, and there is a risk that he will die if he does not receive treatment of his kidney stones in time," says Imanol Sagarzazu, veterinarian. The animal's bladder may burst if it cannot urinate: Your ureter is clogged due to the accumulated sand.

Cats tend to camouflage their pain because they are solitary predators that would endanger their survival if they show their weaknesses. In general, the cat is an animal that maintains a linear behavior at home or that usually repeats its daily routine. Therefore, an alarm reason must be a change of customs.

In the case of feline that has kidney stones, signs which indicate it are:

  • The cat goes to the sand tray more times than usual and stays longer in it, despite which he fails to evacuate.
  • He is restless, unable to sleep or be relaxed.
  • Emit some maull>

Kidney diseases in cats are common, especially if they drink little water and are stressed

Renal conditions in cats, such as stone formation or FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome) are common, says Sagarzazu, who figures them in a 40% of feline cases treated in a medium veterinary clinic.

The cats of certain races, such as Persian, middle-aged (around six years old) and they are males suffer kidney stones more commonly.

The treatment varies according to each case, but the first thing is to perform a diagnosis through a urine test that verifies the cause of the kidney problem, such as an infection. According to Sagarzazu, "the most common is that the cat's urinary difficulty is caused by the accumulation of struvite, a mineral, also called magnesium ammonium phosphate, which is formed due to the increase in urine alkalinization due to an infection in the urinary tract ".

He treatment The feline with kidney stones may consist of antibiotics to stop kidney infection, spasmolytics or medications that alleviate pain when urinating. A change in diet is also appropriate, for about two months. Veterinarians usually prescribe specific cat food against kidney stones, which acidifies the urine, to prevent the formation of sand or sediments in the animal's kidney.

Prevent kidney diseases in the cat

The cat that is most likely to suffer from kidney stones, depending on their lifestyle, is the one that lives in an urban flat and is subject to causes that can cause stress. This includes the usual changes, removals or transfer of people at home that cause you no appetite, both with food and water. So avoiding stress at home reduces the chances of the animal suffering from kidney disease.

The correct hydration of the feline is key to avoid kidney and urological problems. Cats that drink fluid often, such as those that live on the street and feed on rodents or birds, have a lower incidence of kidney conditions than domestic ones, which usually drink little water.

"It is convenient alternate dry and wet feed, in order to ensure proper hydration, "advises Raquel Sierro of the Spanish Feline Association (ASFE).

Keep in mind that cats are very selective with the water they drink, it must be clean and fresh. The usual amount of fluid you need to drink a day to be well hydrated is between 50 and 100 milliliters per kilo of weight. In this way, the chances of developing kidney stones, crystals and sediments that can cause urological conditions are considerably reduced.

The special supervision with cats that have suffered kidney stones or FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome) is the way to detect new urological health problems and treat them as soon as possible. In this sense, the veterinarian will be the best guide to follow preventive guidelines and, if necessary, perform periodic checks with urine tests.


  • Bladder Stones and Kidney Stones
  • What are bladder stones and kidney stones?
  • What causes these stones?
  • What are the signs caused by bladder and kidney stones?
  • How are urinary stones diagnosed?
  • How are bladder and kidney stones treated?

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What are kidney stones?

Also called uroliths, and popularly known as "kidney stones," it is the excessive accumulation of certain minerals in the urinary tract of cats, affecting your ability to urinate.

In cats, there are two types of minerals that affect the feline most frequently:

  • Struvite-type stones, caused by magnesium.
  • Calcium type stones, caused by high levels of acid in the urine.

When your cat tries to urinate, the stones accumulate in its ducts, preventing the expulsion of urine, even if the animal strives to do so, causing severe pain. The presence of kidney stones not only causes urinary infections and infections, but a late diagnosis or lack of medical attention it can cause the death of the animal in a very short time, when renal failure occurs. The condition can get worse in just two weeks.

What factors cause its appearance?

Some elements can make your cat prone to developing kidney stones:

  • Genetic predisposition: Himalayas, Persians and Burmese people often suffer from this disease more often than other races.
  • Gender: It is more common in males than in females.
  • Age: from the age of five its appearance is more likely.
  • Medicines: the prologue use of some drugs, such as cortisone or tetracycline among others, can bring renal and urinary failures.
  • Dehydration: Lack of water causes kidney failure and mineral accumulation.
  • Diet: When your cat's food is high in carbohydrates, magnesium, phosphorus or calcium.
  • Infections: Some urinary infections can lead to stone formation in the kidneys of the cat.

What are the symptoms of kidney stones in cats?

When it comes to kidney stones, the most important thing is detect the condition on time, so you should be aware of any changes in your cat's habits, such as:

  • Trouble urinating, reflected in an effort during urination, which sometimes does not work.
  • Painful urination
  • Restlessness and nervousness.
  • Samples ofblood in the urine.
  • Urine in small cant>

How is the diagnosis made?

The veterinarian will need you to describe all the unusual signs that you have observed in your cat, and he will use this and some tests to determine whether or not it is kidney stones in your cat:

  • Palpate the abdomen of the animal to detect pain and lumps or swelling in the area.
  • Make a bone scan to analyze the kidneys, bladder and the entire urinary system for mineral deposits.
  • Urine analysis that allow to detect possible infections.
  • Laboratory analysis to carry out a study with the sample of a calculation collected.

All these studies will serve to discover urinary obstruction and at the same time determine what type of stone it is.

How is the treatment performed for kidney stones in cats?

The treatment indicated by the veterinarian will depend on the type of mineral accumulation that is affecting the feline and the level of severity of the disease. The options are varied:

  • Diet change: There are dry foods for cats specially formulated to treat kidney conditions, but it is best to opt for wet foods, since a greater amount of water helps dilute the minerals accumulated in the urine.
  • Cystotomy: This is a surgical operation applied to extract the stones.
  • Elimination of mineral deposits: A catheter will be used to clean the bladder area stones. It is a somewhat uncomfortable procedure for the animal, but it is routine in these cases.
  • Ureterotomy: tiny microscopes are used to assess the state of the urinary system and remove the stones, widening the urethra.

Any of these procedures is usually accompanied by treatments with drugs applicable at home:

  • Use of anti-inflammatory, to reduce swelling and relieve pain, improving the mood of the cat.
  • Use of antibiotics, necessary in case of a urinary infection.
  • Increase in fresh water consumption, both to counteract the desh>

Is it possible to prevent?

After reviewing the symptoms of kidney stones in cats and their treatment, you should know that you can help your cat prevent its appearance with a few very easy habits to get:

  • Offer it abundant fresh and clean water.
  • Give it one dry and wet food based diet, in addition to low salt.
  • Avoid stressful situations.
  • Make semiannual checks to detect any disease in time.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Kidney stones in cats - Symptoms and treatment, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.

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Concept:Nephrolithiasis is the presence of kidney or urinary stones.

Urinary stones In male and middle-aged cats, they are more likely to have these stones, although they can affect cats of any age and both sexes. If your cat struggles to urinate, there is blood in his urine or he has vomiting, you should take him to the vet. Kidney stones are fairly easy to cure when treated immediately.

Kidney stones in the cat

The symptom is easy to distinguish. Your cat goes to the litter box several times a day, tries to urinate but without success. It is time to take it to the vet. Even if you don't know what he is suffering from, you know that it is not a normal situation. The cat may be suffering from a lower urinary tract infection, as it may also be suffering from nephrolithiasis, commonly known as kidney stones or kidney stones. As the symptoms tend to confuse, you need a professional diagnosis to know the treatment to follow. Kidney stones are deposits located in the bladder caused by high concentrations of minerals in the urine. There are different kinds of calculations but the most common in the feline world are:

  • Calcic: Result of acid in the urine.
  • Struvite: Created by high concentrations of magnesium in the urine.

The veterinarian has to distinguish the specific kind of calculation to then proceed with the indicated treatment. Each kind of kidney stone has a different treatment. But everyone has something in common: they block the urinary system and, if not treated, facilitates the development of renal failure, one of the leading causes of death in the cat population. DO NOT waste time, take it to your doctor immediately. symptom

  • The cat frequently goes to the litter box but cannot urinate
  • Discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Cat suffers from frequent urinary tract infections

  • Lack of WATER: The cat does not consume the amount of water necessary to keep its urinary tract in optimal conditions. Dehydration in the cat is lethal.
  • Diet: The cat, like many animals, is not a lover of drinking water from a dish, preferring to satisfy its need for liquids from the prey it consumes. But today the cat does not hunt to live so it is up to you as the owner to provide you with adequate food to keep it hydrated. Here canned food has its biggest point in favor. Having a large percentage of water in your mixture helps hydrate the cat.
  • Dry food: Dry food has many advantages, but the reality is that its ingredients are high in carbohydrates and contain no water. If you prefer dry food for your pussy, you MUST provide fresh water so that it does not become dehydrated.

Treatment: It depends on the kind of calculation. The veterinarian will indicate the appropriate one.

  • Some dissolve with medication and diet: The cat can be treated at home. The process can take weeks and even months in which the body removes stones. To know if the cat is already free of them, X-rays are diagnosed from time to time.
  • On other occasions the cat has to undergo surgery: This treatment is more invasive but achieves better results.

  • A change of diet is indicated to prevent the calculus from re-forming.
  • Lots, lots of fresh and clean water available always
  • The pussycat will need to visit the veterinarian more frequently to prevent the condition from returning.

Calcium oxalate calculation in cats

Cats with urinary stones usually show the typical signs of idiopathic cystitis: difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, urination / marking in inappropriate places and licking the genitals. The diagnostic protocol of cats with these clinical signs includes performing abdominal radiographs to detect the presence of urinary tract stones. On other occasions, cats do not show any symptoms and stones are discovered when there is a urinary infection that does not resolve when treated with antibiotics. Other times the calculation is discovered accidentally when abdominal x-rays are performed for another cause. It is impossible to know the type of stone present in the urinary tract by taking x-rays, to identify what type of stone is causing the problem, we must: Remove the stones by surgery and send them for analysis. Sometimes cats (especially females) can evacuate stones during urination, if this occurs, one of the stones can be collected and sent for analysis. Take a calculation by cystoscopy (a small camera that is inserted into the bladder) and send it for analysis (this is usually only possible in female cats) Perform a urine test to find clues about the type of calculation the cat has (usually pay attention to the pH of urine, crystals, presence of infection, etc.) Unlike struvite stones, oxalate stones cannot be dissolved with specific diets, in these cases, surgery is the only method of ridding Cat calculations that cannot be eliminated during urination.

Why do cats develop calcium oxalate stones?

About 25 years ago, cats almost never developed oxalate stones. Each time a cat with urinary stones presented to the clinic, it could be assumed that they were struvite (composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate). At that time, the number of cats with urinary tract problems was very high and in most cases, the problem was due to the presence of struvite crystals. As a result, there was a response from the cat food manufacturing companies, they began to acidify the diets for cats to prevent the formation of struvite crystals. In a way, we must say that this initiative was successful, since the number of cats with urinary signs was reduced, the number of male cats with urinary obstructions caused by struvite decreased markedly. The cross of this initiative is that with the acidification of diets, cats began to develop oxalate stones. The acidification of diets that results in the formation of more acidic urine and an increase in the concentration of calcium in the urine, both factors play an important role in the formation of calcium oxalate stones. Currently, the majority of urinary stones found in cats are calcium oxalate stones.