Do cats get kidney stones?
Yes, they do. Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that build up in the kidneys and can cause severe pain and other health problems if left untreated.
Cats are particularly prone to developing kidney stones because of their diet, which often contains high levels of calcium and other minerals that can accumulate in the kidneys. In addition, some cats may have a genetic predisposition or an underlying medical disorder that increases their risk of developing kidney stones.
Unfortunately, diagnosing kidney stones in cats is often difficult due to the lack of obvious symptoms until the disease has progressed. If your cat is showing signs such as decreased appetite, vomiting, lethargy, or difficulty urinating, it’s likely they have a kidney stone.
If your cat has been diagnosed with a kidney stone, it’s important to understand all the treatment options available so you can make an informed decision about how to care for them. Depending on the size and shape of the stone, different treatments may be suggested including dietary changes, pharmaceuticals or even surgical removal of the stone.
With proper diagnosis and treatment most cats with kidney stones will live long healthy lives without further complications from their condition.
- 1 Types of Feline Kidney Stones
- 2 Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Cats
- 3 Causes of Kidney Stones in Cats
- 4 Prevention Strategies for Feline Kidney Stones
- 5 Treating and Dissolving Kidney Stones in Cats
- 6 When to Seek Veterinary Care for Feline Kidney Stones
- 7 Surgery to Remove Kidney Stones in Cats
- 8 Can a Cat Pass a Kidney Stone On Its Own?
- 9 Conclusion
Types of Feline Kidney Stones
Feline kidney stones can be a serious health issue, and it is important to understand the different types that can affect your cat.
The most common type of kidney stone seen in cats is calcium oxalate, which is hard and difficult to break down, making it challenging to treat. Struvite stones are more likely to occur in female cats due to a urinary tract infection, while urate stones are more common in certain breeds such as Dalmatians and are caused by a genetic defect.
In some cases, stones may also be composed of mixed minerals or may be caused by other underlying health conditions such as kidney disease or hypercalcemia. The best way to protect your cat from developing kidney stones is prevention.
Feeding them a high-quality diet, providing them with plenty of fresh water, and encouraging them to drink more with water-rich foods or a pet fountain can help minimize the risk of these painful stones. Regular vet check-ups can also help identify early signs of disease.
Treatment may require dietary changes or medications to dissolve the stone or surgical intervention to remove it.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Cats
It’s heartbreaking to see your beloved cat in pain, but kidney stones can be a real issue for cats.
Unfortunately, cats often don’t show signs of kidney stones until they reach a more advanced age. That’s why it’s so important to take your cat to the veterinarian for regular checkups so that any potential issues can be identified and treated as soon as possible.
Kidney stones can cause inflammation and irritation in the urinary tract, resulting in discomfort for your cat. Common symptoms of kidney stones in cats include difficulty urinating or frequent urination, blood in the urine, excessive licking of the genital area, and urinating outside the litter box.
If you notice any of these signs in your cat, it’s essential to bring them to the veterinarian right away for an examination.
Causes of Kidney Stones in Cats
Kidney stones can cause immense pain and discomfort in cats, but understanding their causes can help you keep your pet healthy.
An imbalance in the pH levels of a cat’s urine is one of the primary causes of kidney stone formation. If the pH level is too low or too high, certain types of crystals and minerals such as calcium oxalate, struvite, and cysteine can form stones.
A lack of adequate water intake can also contribute to stone formation because when a cat’s urine becomes more concentrated, minerals are more likely to crystallize. Additionally, diet plays an important role; if your cat’s diet is high in certain minerals, this may lead to kidney stone formation.
Certain medical conditions such as hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, and urinary tract infections also increase a cat’s risk of developing kidney stones. Furthermore, some breeds of cats are genetically predisposed to forming them.
It’s essential to be aware of these potential causes so that you can take preventive measures such as providing plenty of fresh water, feeding them a balanced diet, and monitoring them for signs of illness.
Prevention Strategies for Feline Kidney Stones
Preventing kidney stones in cats is essential for ensuring their long-term health and wellbeing.
Fortunately, there are several strategies that cat owners can take to reduce the risk of these painful stones forming in their feline’s urine. Firstly, it is important to encourage cats to drink plenty of water each day.
This helps to dilute their urine and prevent the formation of crystals. Secondly, look for cat food products that are specifically designed to help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Low-protein diets are especially helpful as they reduce levels of uric acid in the urine, thus preventing stone formation. It is also critical to manage your cat’s weight.
Regular vet check-ups are also beneficial as they can identify any potential risk factors and enable you to take action before any harm occurs.
Treating and Dissolving Kidney Stones in Cats
As cat owners, we want our furry friends to be safe and healthy.
Kidney stones can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for cats, but luckily there are several ways to treat and dissolve them. Prevention is key – think of it like protecting your house from a storm with a strong umbrella.
Make sure your cats drink plenty of water every day, feed them a low-protein diet specifically designed to avoid kidney stones, and keep them healthy with regular check-ups at the vet. For larger stones or those that cannot be dissolved through diet alone, surgery or other medical interventions may be necessary.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is one option – this uses sound waves to break up the stone into smaller pieces that can be passed or removed with a catheter. Laser lithotripsy is also available; this utilizes a laser to crack up the blockage.
It’s important to monitor cats with kidney stones closely to watch out for any complications such as urinary tract infections or blockages.
When to Seek Veterinary Care for Feline Kidney Stones
Feline kidney stones can cause significant pain and discomfort, so it is essential to know when to seek veterinary care.
If your cat is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, you should take them to the vet immediately: changes in urination habits, loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, or a painful abdomen. Your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic tests such as a physical exam, urinalysis or blood work to confirm the presence of kidney stones.
Surgery to Remove Kidney Stones in Cats
Surgery is a last resort for treating kidney stones in cats, only recommended when other treatments have failed or in the case of larger or more complicated stones.
Surgery involves either a nephrotomy, which is the surgical removal of stones from the kidney through an incision made in the abdomen, or a nephrectomy, which is the complete removal of the affected kidney. Cats can still live with just one kidney and enjoy a good quality of life.
Surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and requires hospitalization. Afterward, it is important to closely monitor your cat for any signs of complications and administer pain medication if needed.
Although there are risks involved with any surgical procedure, such as bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding organs, these can be minimized by ensuring that your cat is healthy enough to undergo surgery and that it is performed by an experienced feline surgeon.
Can a Cat Pass a Kidney Stone On Its Own?
When it comes to kidney stones, cats can often pass them on their own – but it depends on the size and location of the stone.
Small stones can make their way through the urinary tract and be excreted in the cat’s urine, like a pebble rolling down a river. However, larger stones may require medical intervention to dissolve or remove them.
If you think your cat may have a kidney stone, it’s important to monitor their urine for signs of pain or blood. And if they do pass a stone, collect it and bring it to your vet for analysis; this will help determine the type of stone and create a plan for prevention in the future.
Medical intervention may be necessary if your cat is unable to pass a kidney stone on their own. Your vet may recommend medication to help dissolve the stone or surgery to remove it from the body.
If you suspect your feline friend has kidney stones, don’t wait; get them checked right away.
Also Read: Can Cats Drink Orange Juice? – 21Cats.org
To sum up, it’s essential to be aware of the causes and symptoms of kidney stones in cats so you can take steps to prevent them.
Feeding your cat a balanced diet and encouraging them to drink more with water-rich foods or a pet fountain can help reduce the risk of these painful stones forming. Regular vet check-ups are also beneficial for detecting early signs of illness.
These may include dietary changes, medications to dissolve the stone, or even surgical removal.