Kidney stones or uroliths affect a large part of domestic cats, generating numerous clinical symptoms. Cats of any age or race can develop this pathology so it is necessary to know their characteristics, in order to know how to act if they arise.
If your cat has difficulty urinating, vomiting or has blood in the urine, you may have kidney stones. Next, we tell you what to do in these cases.

¿What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are a kind of small hardened deposits, located in the urinary tract of the animal, and which are formed from the remains of solidified minerals. These stones accumulate in the kidney and block the cat’s urine, hindering the passage of urine and causing severe pain.
If not treated in time, kidney stones can irritate the urinary tract of the cat, generate bleeding or block the passage of urine completely. In the most complicated cases, irreversible damage to the kidneys can be generated, as well as the death of the pet.

Symptoms of kidney stones in cats

Inappetence is probably the first symptom that can indicate that something is not right in the feline. Many of the cats with kidney problems show a lack of appetite, so it is necessary to identify if the pet has stopped eating at any moment. If it is the case, it is advisable to take it immediately to the veterinarian to do the corresponding studies.
The lack of food intake can cause serious damage to the animal.
Another of the characteristic symptoms of kidney stones is the difficulty to urinate. The owner should observe the number of times the cat goes to its litter box and if it shows complications when trying to urinate. In case you can not or only urinate a small amount, uroliths may be preventing the normal flow of urine.
Cats suffering from kidney stones show excessive pain and externalize meowing, especially at the time they are trying to urinate. Also, they usually meow at the time of sleep or resist being picked up.

¿How to act before these symptoms?

Before the appearance of the first symptoms in the cat, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian to carry out the relevant analyzes. Even if these signs do not show up, the pet should be taken regularly to the veterinarian, especially if he is castrated or shows mood swings. The specialist will perform the necessary tests to identify if there is a urinary infection or kidney stones are present.
The timely detection of the problem is crucial to carry out the appropriate treatment that solves the problem. That way, we can avoid bladder rupture or kidney failure.
In parallel, it is essential to keep the pet hydrated to avoid any kidney or urological problems. A cat accustomed to drinking liquid daily has a lower incidence of kidney problems than those that take little water during the day. To ensure adequate hydration, it is advisable to give clean, fresh water and alternating dry and wet feed.
The ideal amount of water that the cat needs to be well hydrated ranges between 50ml and 100ml for each kilogram of weight.

Treatment of kidney stones in cats

As we have already indicated, detecting the problem in time is essential to safeguard the life of the cat. There are many cases in which, in a few days, pets are at risk of suffering a bladder rupture, so if the urinary tract blockage can not be identified in time, irreversible kidney damage could be generated.
Now, once the diagnosis is made by the veterinarian and depending on the state of seriousness, the specialist will determine the convenience of performing a surgical procedure called cystostomy, which consists of making an opening in the bladder to extract the stones directly.
If the problem does not seem more serious, the veterinarian can establish a special diet aimed at dissolving mineral deposits. This diet significantly increases the consumption of fluids by the animal.
Also, it is possible that the specialist determines the use of a catheter to wash the cat’s bladder, in order to eliminate mineral deposits and residual grit that may have accumulated.
In extreme cases the veterinarian can order a perineal urethrostomy, in order to expand or widen the diameter of the urethra.

Cats diet care

Kidney stones are usually of different sizes and shapes, depending on the mineral they are composed of. That is why the specialists carry out studies of the extracted deposit to determine its composition and establish the care in the diet that should be taken to avoid new training.
Thus, in the case of calculations of struvite crystals, also called triple phosphate calculations, a diet high in water is usually recommended, while in the case of calcium oxalate calculations a non-acid diet with low calcium levels is recommended. magnesium and citrate, in order to decrease the level of calcium in the urine.
Domestic cats usually take very little water so it is recommended to alternate dry and wet foods. A food with a high water content will help prevent the accumulation of minerals in the cat’s urine.
Finally, it is essential to keep the liquid container full of fresh, clean water, renewing it every day; only then will we be able to dissolve the accumulated calculations and prevent the formation of new sediments.
Although the calculations can occur in cats of any age or sex, male and middle-aged cats are the most likely to present this problem; Going to the veterinarian when the pet presents the first symptoms is the obligation of every responsible owner.