Symptoms of Struvite Stones in Cats

Struvite stones may form in the bladder or kidneys of pets. Cats may also have calcium oxalate stones, but these are less frequent than the strvite stones. The stones in cats form due to a high saturation of the urine with crystals, which will be deposited in the bladder or kidneys. The symptoms of struvite stones are similar to the symptoms of calcium oxalate stones. The only way to differentiate the two is by performing an analysis on the expulsed stone.

Symptoms of Struvite Stones

If you cat has stones affecting his kidneys or bladder, he will manifest about the same symptoms regardless if the stones are made up of calcium oxalate or struvite.

However, the symptoms of struvite stones in cats may vary according to the location of the stones.

If the stones are located on the bladder, the cat may present a few symptoms such as:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Avoiding the litter box, which is the area the cat associates with the pain when urinating

If the stones form on the kidneys, the cat may also have blood in the urine and may encounter difficulties when urinating, but may also have additional symptoms such as:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Excessive meowing
  • Spraying around the house, due to pain

Recurrent urinary infections may lead to the formation of bladder or kidney stones, but these infections can also be caused by the presence of these stones. These symptoms appear when the stones are moving or are about to be eliminated. However, the cat may not present any symptoms at all, especially if the bladder or kidney stones are small.

Diagnosing Struvite Stones

The struvite stones can be detected through an x-ray that will indicate the location, the number and approximate size of the stones.

The x-rays may only confirm the presence of stones. The vet can determine the composition of the stones once the stones are eliminated and analyzed.

Treatment for Struvite Stones

The struvite stones in cats may be eliminated through urine in the best case scenario. You will only need to increase the amount of water intake, which should flush out the stones, especially if these are smaller.

The vet will also recommend a change in diet, which will make the urine more acidic and the stones may be dissolved. The diet for felines with struvite stones should include:

  • Increased amounts of sodium, which will make the cat thirstier, so he will drink more water and the urine will be also more diluted
  • More fibers

The cat’s diet should have a lower amount of protein, phosphorus and magnesium, which only facilitate the development of struvite stones.

The stones that may cause urinary tract obstruction should be extracted through surgery. The surgery is necessary to prevent renal failure, hyperkalemia and septicemia, which can develop in a few days if the cat has a urinary blockage.