Urinary Crystals in Cats Symptoms: What Causes and How to Prevent
Cats can experience urinary problems. More often than not, urinary problems are one of the top reasons why cats are brought to shelters and adoption centers because owners cannot understand the cat’s change in behavior or the cat’s improper urination.
Urinary Crystals in Cats:
- One type of urinary problem experienced by cats is the formation of urine crystals.
- Urine crystals can be described as fine sand that can be seen in the cat’s urine.
- Urine crystals can also grow to as big as 1 inch and cause blockage.
- Urine crystals can form in any part within the cat’s urinary system including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
- Urine crystals can cause painful urination or urine blockage in cats.
Symptoms of Urinary Crystals in Cats:
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination
- Passing of small amounts of urine
- Straining during urination.
- The cat can be found in its urinary position for a longer time
- Licking of the genital area more frequently
- Palpation of the stone during physical examination
- Stone seen through X-ray or ultrasound
What Causes Urinary Crystals in Cats:
- Food or diet is one of the top causes of urinary crystals in cats.
- Lack of water or less fluid intake also accounts for crystal formation.
Preventing Urinary Crystals in Cats:
Urinary crystals can be prevented. Even when the crystals or stone is eliminated, chances are the cat will develop it again.
- Feed the cat with high-quality food.
- The food should have optimal moisture because cats get most of their water from food.
- Add a little water to cat’s food.
- Keep plenty of fresh water around for the cat to drink.
Male Cat Urinary Blockage
- The ailment is more common in male, neutered cats. Often, the cat feels pain during urination. At the start of the problem, the cat may still be able to pass urine but as the ailment progresses, there could a complete blockage of the urethra.
- The ailment is usually caused by a crystals forming at the urethra.
- As the disease progresses, the male cat might cry out as he tries to urinate.
- At its most advanced stages, the cat won’t be able to pass urine. When this happens, the bladder becomes dangerously full and the cat will have a swollen belly. He might even vomit. Worse, the cat may become immobile and go into shock.
- When this happens, the cat could die in a matter of minutes or some days but can rarely survive after the third day if left untreated. Read urinary blockage in cats symptoms
Female Cat Urinary Blockage
- Although it rarely happens in female cats, female feline urinary blockage could still occur.
- Like in males, the ailment could be very painful.
- Also read natural home remedies of cat urinary problems
Male Cat Urinary Blockage Symptoms
- Trying to urinate frequently but very little or no resulting urine;
- Urinating outside the litter box as the cat associates the litter box with pain;
- Constant licking of the genitalia;
- Lack of appetite;
- Frequent meowing, especially while urinating
- Swollen belly.
Surgery and Treatment
- Surgery is one of the best ways to remove the crystals that block the urethra. Surgery entails the removal of the penis, slitting of the urethra to remove the crystals, and reconstruction of the penis.
- Sometimes, surgery is not necessary. The vet will insert a catheter into the urethra and flush out the crystals. However, this will not solve the problem entirely because there is always a possibility that the crystals will form again.
Decreased water intake or fluid can lead to the formation of urine stones in cats. These stones can eventually cause blockage or form plugs anywhere in the cat’s urine system and can cause extreme discomfort for the cat.
Urinary Blockage in Cats
- Urinary blockage refers to a blockage anywhere in the urine system caused by accumulated crystals or stones.
- Male cats often suffer from urine blockage and experience more discomfort due to the anatomy of their urethra.
- This condition falls under the Feline Urinary Syndrome or FUS. Also read urinary crystals in cats symptoms
- If the condition is not treated immediately, this can be life-threatening for the cat.
Symptoms of Urinary Blockage in Cats
- Frequent urination
- Passing of little or no urine
- Painful wailing during urination
- Inability to stand from the discomfort
- Swollen belly as a result of a full bladder
How to Prevent Urinary Tract Blockage in Cats
- Make sure the cat takes in a lot of water either from the water bowl or from its food.
- Feed the cat high-quality food.
- The food should have enough moisture as cats get most of their water from food.
- Maintain a prescription diet if ordered by the veterinarian.
- Re-blockage is common but can be prevented.
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