Cats can develop stones in their bladders that are irritating and, occasionally, life threatening. For the most part, male cats are the ones who can be in life and death situations when the stones block the urethra. When that happens, a cat cannot urinate. While cat bladder stones are not uncommon, there is a way to control their formation through diet and that’s the subject of this blog post.
How are Bladder Stones Formed?
Bladder stones start from tiny crystals that are formed in the urine of a cat that are often as small as grains of sand. Sometimes it’s associated with a urinary tract infection but not always. These crystals can aggravate the walls of the bladder and form into larger stones.
While many cats exhibit no symptoms of bladder stones, one sign is seeing blood in your cat’s urine. She may strain while trying to urinate and produce very little liquid. Also, if you notice she is licking her genital area excessively, this may also be symptomatic of bladder stones.
If you see that your cat is straining without much production and he’s male, get him to a vet immediately. This could turn into an extreme emergency.
Treatment and Management
One possibility for the development of bladder stones could be the amount of pH in your cat’s food. PH measures acidity and alkalinity. A vet-prescribed diet may be necessary to help reduce minerals, reduce the possibility of stone formation and decrease pH.
One of the procedures your vet may choose to try is something that flushes the bladder and starts urination. This is sort of like rinsing a bag. It will help get rid of any particles and stones that have built up in your cat’s bladder. Something else that’s very important for the management of a cat who has experienced bladder stones is greater water intake. This may also be achieved through the vet prescribed diet.
There are certain breeds that veterinarians believe may be genetically predisposed to having bladder stones. They are all neutered males including those in the Burmese, Persian and Himalayan breeds. It doesn’t mean that all cats in those breeds will have developed bladder stones but it’s just food for thought if you have that breed of cat.
Should you notice any urination problems in your cat, be sure to have her checked out by your vet. If you have a male cat and he is straining to urinate, this should be dealt with immediately.
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