Cat's can develop rock-like mineral substances in their bladder called bladder stones. Today our vets in Cave Creek discuss the signs, causes, and treatments for bladder stones in cats.
Bladder Stones in Cats
Bladder stones also called "uroliths" are a rock-like formation of minerals that cats can develop in their bladder. These stones can range in sizes, there could be anything from one large stone to many stones that are small to medium in size. Often there is a mixture of large, small, and medium-sized stones at a time. Your kitty can develop them at any age and they can develop as a result of disease or inflammation.
These stones can cause friction along the walls of their bladder causing inflammation, pain, and can even block the urethra making it hard or impossible for your cat to urinate. When there is an obstruction of the urinary tract and your cat can't empty its bladder it is an emergency, so if you see your cat trying to urinate unsuccessfully call your vet immediately for urgent care.
Signs and Symptoms of Cat Bladder Stones
There are several signs that your cat has bladder stones including:
- Straining or difficulty urinating
- Blood in their urine
- Frequent urination
- Pain when urinating
- Decreased urination
- Vocalization when urinating
- Urinating outside of the litter box
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in cats call your veterinarian immediately so they can diagnose your cat and start treatment as quickly as possible.
Causes of Bladder Stones in Cats
There are many different reasons why your cat could have developed bladder stones. All cats have certain minerals already circulating in their bodies and if your cat's urinary tract can't process them properly they can crystalize and irritate the lining of the bladder. When the bladder lining becomes irritated it produces mucus that combines with the crystals. When the mucus and crystals combine and harden, bladder stones can develop.
This can happen for various reasons such as:
- An imbalance in the urine pH levels
- Poor diet
- Urinary tract inflammation or infection
- Certain drugs or dietary supplements that impact the urine
- Excess minerals in the urine (magnesium, phosphate, ammonium)
Treating Bladder Stones in Cats
If your cat is showing any signs or symptoms of bladder stones call your veterinarian immediately, they will be able to diagnose your cat, the severity of the condition, and provide you with treatment options. Some of the treatment options your vet may recommend could include a combination of the following:
- Waiting to see if your cat passes the stone
- Bladder flushing
- Increased hydration
- Cystotomy surgery
- A special diet to dissolve the stones