Urolithiasis in cats - symptoms and treatment

Urolithiasis, also known as feline urolithiasis (ICD), is a disease characterized by the appearance of sand and / or stones in the bladder cavity. One of the four cats is at risk, so it is important for each owner of a purring pet to know about this ailment. If the disease is not noticed in time, then the animal will die quickly, so at the slightest sign it is important to immediately contact a veterinarian.

What is cat urolithiasis?

The first description of ICD in cats appeared in the 1970s. For some time, it was believed that the source of the disease is a virus. Subsequently, it was suggested that stones are formed due to dry food, but it was not confirmed either. The reason for the disease is considered to be insufficient animal consumption of water and a high pH level, which is associated with a weak feeling of thirst in cats.

Urolithiasis (or urolithiasis) is a systemic disease characterized by the formation of sand and stones in the bladder or kidneys, formations can linger in the urethra, blocking the fluid outlet. A disappointing diagnosis threatens 14% of domestic cats. The disease is accompanied by a number of unpleasant moments, such as pollakiuria (frequent urges), dysuria (painful urination), hematuria (blood in the urine), and urethral obstruction. Urolithiasis in cats often leads to death.

Risk groups

More often cats suffer from the disease, since in males the diameter of the lumen of the urethra is smaller than in females. Castration exacerbates the situation. The risk group includes:

  • cats, if not sterilized;
  • animals that have reached the age of 2-6 years;
  • cats or cats overweight;
  • neutered males;
  • longhair cats.


The minerals entering the body of the animal react with the slags. The resulting crystals, the foci of which are dying cells of the bladder, passing through the urinary canals, injure their mucous membranes. If there are a lot of them, they lead to blockage of the lumen, interfere with the release of urine. Urine, which is constantly produced by the kidneys, begins to accumulate in the lumen, leading to poisoning and severe intoxication. The peak of the ICD disease is spring and autumn. Among the external factors (exogenous) that provoke the disease:

  • climatic conditions (if the room is hot, diuresis increases);
  • fluid quality (if there are a lot of salts, they accumulate in the urine, which leads to the formation of stones);
  • unbalanced nutrition, its calorie content (lack or excess of proteins, protein foods) lead to a higher concentration of urine);
  • lack of vitamins, lack of vitamin A (in the absence of nutrition of the epithelium, its destruction is accelerated).

Factors that act from within the body are called endogenous. Internal causes of urolithiasis in cats:

  • disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract (acid-base balance is lost);
  • hormonal failure (leads to a violation of mineral metabolism);
  • infections, viruses;
  • genetic predisposition (the disease is often inherited);
  • congenital malformations of the genitourinary system;
  • sedentary lifestyle, obesity;
  • genitourinary diseases, including cystitis.

Signs of urolithiasis in cats

If the stones are small (or sand) and do not clog the lumen of the ureter, then the disease can last for a long time without symptoms. The signs of ICD are obvious if the formations in the bladder are already large and interfere with the work of the organ. Symptoms, depending on the intensity of manifestation, are divided into initial, severe and critical:

  • Light degree:
  1. The animal often goes to the toilet, not always to the tray, as it is associated with pain.
  2. Intense posture during urination.
  3. Pinkish urine.
  4. The cat licks itself under the tail for a long time.
  5. When urinating, the pet can meow.
  6. Concerned look.
  • Severe signs:
  1. Urges to urinate become more frequent, they are always painful.
  2. Urinary incontinence.
  3. Pain on palpation in the perineum.
  4. There is blood in the urine.
  5. The discharge has a sharp concentrated odor.
  6. The cat loses weight, does not eat and does not play, becomes lethargic.
  • Critical situation:
  1. The animal stops walking on the small one (when trying to urinate, the liquid does not stand out).
  2. There is a shiver.
  3. The saliva is foamy and viscous.
  4. Vomiting is observed (due to intoxication of the body).
  5. The temperature drops.
  6. Fainting, convulsions are possible, the bladder may burst (followed by peritonitis).


Detect urolithiasis is not difficult. Stones in the urethra can be detected with a catheter (it meets an obstruction in the urethra). Bladder deposits are also easy to diagnose. On palpation in this area, the cat will have painful sensations. The main diagnostic methods:

  • Analysis of urine;
  • palpation;
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray (normal and contrast);
  • surgical intervention.

Treatment of urolithiasis in cats

Therapy is prescribed after a comprehensive examination. Treatment is selected individually, the choice of method depends on the degree of damage, the form of pathology, sex and age of the animal, the presence of concomitant ailments, and general health. The first days, as soon as the outflow of urine is normalized, they carry out infusion therapy (droppers). The procedure allows you to establish water-salt metabolism, eliminates signs of intoxication in cats. With bacterial damage and fever, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics are prescribed.

At the first signs of the disease, you must consult a veterinarian, since the animal can die in three days. As an emergency (to relieve pain) the cat is injected with Papaverine or No-shpa (1-2 mg / kg). The veterinarian first takes measures to empty the bladder. Then painkillers are administered. Given the clinical picture, the doctor is developing a regimen for therapy. Treatment of urolithiasis in cats can last 1-2 weeks, if the cat has to undergo surgery, it can drag on for up to 4 weeks.

Surgery is prescribed according to strict indications when the stones cannot be removed with the help of a catheter or conservative treatment, if there is no access to laser therapy. The simplest method of treating a disease in cats is catheterization. The procedure involves the introduction of a catheter into the urinary canal to force the removal of fluid. The tube is sometimes hemmed, and the animal walks with it a couple of days. The procedure is carried out if the urethra is swollen and stones are found. After removal of the catheter, a patient is given a dropper and anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed.

The treatment lasts a long time, the owner should be patient. Conservative therapy includes: antispasmodics, painkillers, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulants, antibiotics. In addition to narrowly targeted drugs, medications are prescribed that support the work of the heart, blood vessels, and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Droppers help compensate for the lack of fluid and blood. Diet is a key point in complex treatment. With proper nutrition and plenty of drinking, you can achieve a speedy recovery.

Medicinal feed

Animals that are predisposed to the disease need a varied diet. If dry food is given, then it is necessary to add natural products to the menu. Cats are necessarily included in the diet: meat (beef, chicken, lamb), lactic acid products (they normalize microflora), vegetables (zucchini, beets, carrots, cauliflower), cereals, quail eggs. The meat is mixed with cereals and vegetables, chopped in a meat grinder or blender so that the mass is homogeneous.

Before serving, pour over boiling water or boil. It is permissible to add fish to the diet in small portions and only boiled. It is forbidden to give sick cats: pork, oatmeal, wheat porridge, raw fish, milk and legumes. If preference is given to "drying", then you can choose only dietary expensive food. In addition, vitamins must be added. Specialized medicinal food for cats with urolithiasis:

  • Royal Canin Urinary S / O LP34;
  • Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic + Urinary Feline dry;
  • Bosch Sanabelle Urinary;
  • 1st Choice Urinary;
  • Farmina Vet Life Cat Struvite.


When using drug therapy, antibiotics, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs are used that are designed to eliminate the problems with the kidneys and urinary tract of animals. Among them, it is recommended that the following medicines be included in the treatment regimen for cats:

  • Painkillers: No-spa, Baralgin, Papaverine.
  • Preparations for infusion therapy (to relieve intoxication due to stagnation of fluid in the bladder, increase urine output, restore the animal's body against dehydration): glutargin 4% + glucose 5%, glucose 40% + Ringer-Locke solution, Vetavit.
  • Antibiotics (if there are signs of bacterial infection, the temperature has risen): Nitroxoline, Furadonin, Metrogil.
  • Hemostatic drugs (if blood is detected in the urine): Ethamsylate (Dicinon).
  • Anti-inflammatory: Stop-cystitis, Uro-ursi, Urotropin, Cystocur forte, Furinayd, Ipakitine, Kantaren, Kotervin, Nefrokat, Renal-advance, HIMALAYA Cyston, Urolex, Healthy kidneys phytoelitis, Phytomines urological, Uprinolt, Urinthriport, Urin.

Surgical intervention

Extreme measures involving a visit to the surgeon have to be resorted to if all other treatment regimens for the cat have failed. Among the common methods of surgical intervention:

  • Urethrostomy. Used with regular blockage of the urethra. During surgery, the cat's penis, scrotum, testes and part of the urethra are removed. The latter is opened and hemmed to the skin. After surgery, you will have to monitor the cleanliness of the wound to avoid infections. After the procedure, the animal may become depressed, up to loss of appetite.
  • Cystotomy. The surgeon removes large stones from the cat's bladder. The rehabilitation period lasts several weeks.


The goal of preventive measures is to prevent the cat from becoming ill. If there is a predisposition to the ICD or suspicion of the onset of an ailment, then it is important to observe the following rules:

  1. The owner must monitor the weight of the animal (avoid obesity).
  2. The cat should often drink water.
  3. Prevention of urolithiasis in neutered cats includes the selection of diet food.
  4. Monitor the work of the gastrointestinal tract (avoid constipation, in case of failure, try to normalize the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract).
  5. Maintain optimal indoor temperature.

Watch the video: Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats: Top 3 Effective Remedies (April 2020).