Bladder Stones In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Sick cat being examined by a vet doctor in a veterinarian clinic

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Bladder Stones in cats are hardened mineral formations that are found in the urinary tract. This can result in problems with urinating.

If a cat suffers from bladder stones, they might show symptoms like blood in their urine or looking like they are straining while trying to urinate in the litter box.

The size of the stones can vary, and larger stones can actually cause a total blocking of the bladder and require emergency veterinary help. Male cats are usually more likely to suffer from larger bladder stones than female cats.

If you see signs that your cat might have a problem with bladder stones, consult with your regular veterinarian straight away so they can treat it. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for bladder stones in cats.

Symptoms Of Bladder Stones In Cats

Symptoms of bladder stones in cats can be seen when the cat is attempting to urinate. A cat may show blood in their urine, which is known as hematuria, or they may look like they’re straining while attempting to pee, which is known as dysuria).

In the case of a particularly large stone, the cat might not be able to urinate at all. So look out for signs that your cat has not peed in the litter box for a couple of days.

Here are some of the symptoms that might appear in cats who suffer from bladder stones:

  • Blood in urine
  • Straining while urinating
  • Not being able to urinate at all

Causes Of Bladder Stones In Cats

The main cause of bladder stones in cats is known as the Precipitation-Crystallization Theory. In this case, crystalline compounds that are found in the urine take form as stones.

Here are several possible causes of bladder stones in cats:

  • Improper diet
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Drinking less water than usual
  • Taking prescribed drugs
  • Urine containing higher than usual levels of the minerals ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate

Treatments For Bladder Stones In Cats

There are a number of ways to treat bladder stones in cats, with the exact treatment dependent on the size of the bladder stones. In extreme cases, surgical removal might be an option.

Other common treatments include switching to a new diet prescribed by your vet that will modify the pH levels in the urine to dissolve the stones, ensuring your cat consumes more water, and inducing urination.

In some cases, the stones will naturally pass during the urination process.

Has your cat ever suffered from bladder stones? How did you treat the condition? Let us know in the comments below.