Urinary crystals in cats are a common condition that can lead to serious health problems. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent and treat urinary crystals in your cat.
The first step is to understand what urinary crystals are. Crystals form when the urine becomes too concentrated. This can happen for several reasons, including dehydration, poor diet, and certain medical conditions.
Some types of crystals are more likely to cause problems than others. The most common type of crystal in cats is struvite. Struvite crystals can grow large and block the urinary tract. This can lead to infection and even kidney failure.
The best way to prevent urinary crystals is to feed your cat a balanced diet and ensure they stay hydrated. If your cat develops crystals, treatments are available to dissolve them and prevent further problems.
Talk to your veterinarian if you think your cat may have urinary crystals. They can help you identify the problem and create a cat urine crystals treatment plan to keep your cat healthy and happy.
10 Best Selling Medicines for Urinary Crystals in Cats
Best Seller #1
BestLife4Pets Cat UTI Urinary Tract Infection & Kidney Support Treatment – All Natural Medicine to Stop Frequent Urination – Cats Renal Health and Bladder Control – Easy to Use Natural Pills
- PUT A STOP TO INCONTINENCE AND INVOLUNTARY LEAKAGE: Unlike Milk Thistle treats or Cranberry chews that only treat the symptoms of kidney failure and disease, our superior all natural supplement provides long lasting relief with no side-effects and without harming your cat’s other healthy organs.
- STOP FREQUENT URINATION: Especially designed for pets, our renal care homeopathic medicine has been proven to strengthen the renal system and remove deterrents, waste and toxins from your pet’s body. Keep this critical filtration system healthy to optimize lungs, heart, and liver health.
- EASY TO GIVE CATS OF ANY AGE OR BREED: These tiny pills have NO ODOR, NO CHEMICALS and leave NO BAD TASTE! This treatment is especially formulated to help flush out kidney stones, strengthen the immune system, prevent kidney failure, and relieve inflammation associated with urinary tract infections.
- OVERALL UTI SUPPORT: Our ingredients target different areas: Berberis (sharp stitching pains & kidney stones), Cantharis (bladder irritation & urine burning), Epigeae (chronic inflammation & uric acid crystals), Hydrangea (bladder, urethra & prostate), Pareira Brava (frequent urination), Rubia Tinc (supporting organs) & Sarsparilla (kidney disease).
- WE BELIEVE PETS DESERVE THE BEST: Just as we strive to put natural “GOOD FOR YOU” ingredients in our bodies to stay healthy, BestLife4Pets believe that we should be giving the same to our beloved feline friends. If you are ever not happy, we will make it right with our 100% HAPPINESS PROMISE.
Best Seller #2
Vet’s Best Cat Urinary Tract Support Chewables | Supports A Healthy Urinary Tract in Cats | 60 Chewable Tablets
- URINARY TRACT HEALTH – Vet’s Best Urinary Tract Support for Cats helps to support healthy urinary tract function.
- VET FORMULATED – Offers a powerful and healthy balance of effective, vet-approved solutions made with natural, plant-based ingredients.
- MADE WITH CRANBERRY – Soothing mix of Cranberry and Parsley Leaf help support normal urine pH and promote urinary tract health.
- CHEWABLE TABLETS – Tasty, chewable tablets appeal to even the pickiest of cats and can be fed daily as a treat or given with meals.
- QUALITY YOU CAN TRUST – Each bottle carries the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) Seal of Approval.
Best Seller #3
UroMAXX Urinary Tract, Kidney & Bladder Formula for Cats and Dogs, 6 oz Bottle
- UroMAXX liquid is a powerful urinary, bladder and kidney support supplement for cats and dogs of all ages and breeds
- Contains cranberry extract, cornsilk, dandelion, nettle leaf, uva ursi extracts, glucosamine and vitamin C
- Naturally potent antioxidants help to acidify your pet’s urine to reduce harmful bacteria inside the bladder wall
- Unique cold processed powerful liquid formula ensures full potency and provides urinary tract relief for your pet
- Glucosamine and Herbal Extracts in UroMAXX helps to lower pH levels, nourish the urinary tract lining layer maintain urinary tract health as a preventative and maintenance
Best Seller #4
Pet Wellbeing – Urinary Gold for Cats – Natural Support for Feline Urinary Tract Health – Bladder Infections in Cats UTI 2oz (59ml)
- Helps naturally support a healthy urinary tract
- Maintains a comfortable flow of urine and frequency of urination
- Supports normal immune response to bacteria in the bladder
- Prepared from organically grown and selectively imported herbs from trusted growers
Best Seller #5
Get Naked Urinary Health Crunchy Treats For Cats, Cranberries, (1 Pouch), 2.5 Oz
- Cranberries Support Healthy Urinary Tract
- Grain Free, Natural With Added Taurine
- Under 2 Calories Per Treat
- Wheat, Corn And Soy Free. Made With Real Chicken
Best Seller #6
VetriScience Laboratories- UT Strength Feline, Urinary Tract Support, 60 Bite Sized Soft Chews
- Formula to support urinary tract health
- D-Mannose is a natural occurring simple sugar that removes “bad” bacteria by attachment and voiding
- Cranberry Extract helps to acidify urine
- Packaging May Vary
Best Seller #7
HomeoPet UTI Plus Urinary Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Support for Cats, 15 Milliliters
- UTI MEDICINE FOR CATS: Help support your feline friend’s urinary health with our UTI Plus natural urinary tract medicine for cats. This product can gently and naturally support upper and lower urinary tract health for cats of all ages.
- SAFE INGREDIENTS: Safe and gentle, this UTI treatment is made from natural ingredients and may help relieve issues within the urinary tract. Some issues may be indicated by frequent urination, change in urine color, straining, and strong urine odor.
- EASY TO USE: Dose our cat UTI medicine directly into your cat’s mouth 3 times a day. Decrease dosing once improvements are seen, and stop once improvements are maintained. The formula is well-tolerated and can help maintain urinary tract health.
- APPROVED FOR YOUR PETS: Our UTI Plus medicine for cats is safe to use with adult cats, young cats, kittens, and senior cats. It has no known side effects and delivers safe, gentle, and natural support for your cat and their urinary tract system.
- SIMPLE, SAFE & PURE: Daniel H. Farrington and his veterinarian brother Thomas Farrington created HomeoPet to bring high-quality, safe, natural, and affordable treatments and supplements to pets and pet parents worldwide.
Best Seller #8
Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food, Veterinary Diet, 4 lb. Bag (Packaging May Vary)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food is specially formulated by Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians to support a cat’s urinary health
- Clinically tested to lower the recurrence rate of most common urinary signs by 89%
- Dissolves struvite stones in as little as 7 days (Average 27 days) and promotes desirable urine pH levels
- Formulated to promote a urinary environment that reduces the risk of developing struvite and calcium oxalate crystals
- Recommended for lifelong feeding of adult cats
Best Seller #9
Licks – Cat Urinary Tract Care – Omega 3 Fish Oil – LiquiPaks – 10 Use
- Help promote and maintain urinary tract health
- Supports normal bladder function, reducing frequent urination
- Great taste cats love Just add to food for a prescription urinary tract food diet
- 100Mg Of Cranberry Extract And 200Mg Of D-Mannose per packet
- 100 percent Human Grade Ingredients
Best Seller #10
Animal Essentials Tinkle Tonic Herbal Formula for Healthy Urinary Tract in Dogs & Cats, 1 fl oz – Made in the USA, Alcohol Free
- PROPRIETARY BLEND: Contains extracts of Couchgrass Root, Dandelion Root and Leaf, Echinacea Root and Herb, Horsetail Herb, Marshmallow Root.
- MADE IN THE USA: Organic Herbal Formula is gentle on your pet’s stomach.
- SUITABLE for DOGS and CATS of all ages. Maintains normal function of the urinary tract; Enhances bladder function.
- DIRECTIONS: Squirt directly into your pet’s mouth or add to food or water, 2 to 3 times daily.
- Recommended by holistic veterinarians around the globe; for use in cats with compromised urinary function.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Disease
If your cat has been displaying symptoms of crystals in cat urinary tract disease and has been diagnosed with crystals, you are likely very keen to know what treatment options are available. Well, the treatment will depend on which type of crystal is involved, as the options are really quite different for each crystal type.
It is important to know if we are dealing with crystals alone, or if the crystals have developed into stones. In some cats, the stones that form are so big that they can actually be felt when the bladder is pressed on, though this is quite rare and most stones will be smaller than this. To determine if they are present or not, the vet will need to run a few more tests.
Typically, an ultrasound of the entire urinary tract (including kidneys, ureters and bladder) will be carried out. Most (though not all!) cats are tolerant enough for this to be done while they are awake, though they do need to have a large portion of their belly fur clipped. An ultrasound is a painless and simple procedure that rarely takes longer than ten minutes and can be performed in most general vet clinics.
Certain stones will show up better on an X-ray than an ultrasound and many cats will also have abdominal X-rays performed. Most kitties are too jumpy and nervous to have X-rays performed conscious so will either be given a sedation or an anaesthetic. X-rays are particularly good at showing up ‘radiopaque’ stones and the vet will get a good idea of how many stones are present and how large they are.
Type of Stone
Finding out what type of stone is present can be a real challenge. Though it would be reasonable to think that if the cat was proven to have struvite crystals on their urine exam that any stones present would also be struvite, this is not always the case. Depending on the crystals present and other factors, such as the urinary pH, we can make an educated guess as to which types of stone are present. In reality, the only way to know for sure is to remove a stone and have it examined by a laboratory.
Struvite crystals and stones are typically treated conservatively. Any underlying infection would need to be treated with a course of antibiotics (which have been based on culture and sensitivity) and the urine should be re-analysed when the course is finished to ensure the infection has been eliminated and is not grumbling on.
As soon as struvite crystals have been diagnosed, a prescription diet should be started. It is critical that this diet be the only source of food, as supplementing it with a different brand of kibble or some yummy treats will only negate the benefits. This can mean that cats who normally have access to the outdoors need to be kept in for a while as if they were to find something to munch on outside, they could delay the effects of the treatment. Similarly, if there are other pets in the household, they will need to be fed separately. This may mean the use of ‘microchip feeders’ in multi-cat households.
While urinary diets are available in wet and dry forms, most vets will recommend feeding the wet form if the cat will accept it. This is to encourage further dilution of the urine, ensuring more crystals do not form. Luckily, most cats prefer the taste of wet food.
Owners are also advised to encourage as much water drinking as possible, which may mean the purchase of water fountains. Water can be mixed in to the diet, even if it is already a wet diet.
One of the best-known diets used for eliminating struvite stones and crystals is called Hill’s C/D. This food is the preferred treatment choice of many vets and is nutritionally balanced but limited in the ingredients that can cause crystal formation, such as Magnesium, Phosphorous and Calcium. It is designed to keep urinary pH at optimal levels, preventing it from becoming too acidic or too alkaline. Many vets will monitor this over time, ensuring the urinary pH is staying where it should. You can read more on catcareadvices.com
Once the diet has been started, struvite crystals may dissolve in as little as a few weeks, though often it will take several months for them to completely disappear. The general consensus is that the diet should continue for at least one month after the stones no longer show up on X-ray, and many recommend feeding it life-long.
Calcium Oxalate Crystals
Dealing with Calcium Oxalate crystals and stones can be a little more of a challenge. Interestingly, these crystals used to be extremely rare but now account for roughly half of feline urinary crystals. Many believe that this is due to cats eating commercial foods that acidify the urine. If the crystals form in to stones, diets are not effective at dissolving them and they require more drastic intervention.
If the stones have formed within the bladder, the surgery is relatively straight forward and consists of making an incision and removing the offensive material. However, sometimes the stones can be sitting in the kidney or ureter, which can be a real issue. In these situations, cats may be referred to specialist surgeons with more experience in complicated cases.
Crystals in Cats Are Dangerous
In some patients, stones will lodge in the urethra and cause a dangerous blockage. Cats will be unable to produce urine or will only produce it in very small amounts. Some of these stones that have lodged may be small enough that they can be guided back into the bladder safely, relieving the blockage and allowing the cat to urinate once again.
Vets can perform a technique called ‘retro hydropulsion’, whereby the stones are encouraged to move back into the bladder via pressure and the use of saline under high-power. As this can be quite uncomfortable, it is either performed under a heavy sedation or general anaesthetic. Once the stones have been moved from the riskier place to the bladder and the cat can pass urine again, the stones can then be dealt with. So, if the stones are calcium oxalate, a surgery will still be on the cards. Surgery to remove stones from the bladder is far safer than one which involves making an incision in the small urethra. If the stones are struvite, this procedure can mean that a surgery to remove the blockage is unnecessary and we have now bought some time for the diet to work.
More recently in the veterinary world, there has been a lot of interest in ‘Lithotripsy’, a method that is used a lot in human medicine. Sound waves are applied externally in order to break up the stones. Sometimes, laser lights and electricity are also involved. Most GP vets will not have access to this treatment, though several specialist centres are now able to provide it. This may be a useful option in cats that are not good surgical candidates.
Another technique that may be available in some specialist centres or universities is stone retrieval via cystoscopy. This is a sterile procedure that requires a general anaesthetic and is usually performed by a vet with special training. No incision is required, so the recovery time is very quick and the risks involved are minimal. A long instrument called a cystoscope is passed into the urethra and up into the bladder, collecting the small stones and removing them, without the need for an invasive surgery. During this procedure, vets also have the ability to visually assess the inside of the urinary tract, which can provide some useful information. Sometimes, anatomical defects, strictures or masses are found, so this can also be a useful diagnostic procedure. Vets have the option of taking a biopsy of any unusual tissue, which can be a very useful way of telling the difference between chronic inflammation and neoplasia.
In male cats in particular, this procedure is particularly tricky as they have such narrow tubes, but it is possible with very small instruments. Sometimes, a laser will be used at the same time as this procedure so that the stones can be broken up, allowing for easier removal.
It is well-known that cats who have formed crystals and stones in the past are likely to form them again. Due to this, owners are encouraged to be pro-active in their prevention at all times. Our next (and final) article in this series focuses on how to keep crystals and stones away for good.
Cat Urinary Crystals Home Remedy
If your cat has been diagnosed with urinary crystals, some home remedies may help to dissolve them and relieve your pet’s discomfort. One popular remedy is to feed your cat cranberry juice. Some owners also report success feeding their cats canned pumpkins or giving them a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water daily. If you decide to try any of these home remedies, speak with your veterinarian first to ensure they are appropriate for your cat’s individual health needs.
Cat Urine Crystals Natural Treatment
If your cat has problems with crystals in their urine, there are some cat urine crystals natural treatment you can try at home. Apple cider vinegar, for example, can help to break down the crystals and make them easier to pass. You can also add more moisture to your cat’s diet by feeding them wet food or adding water to their dry food. Finally, ensure your cat is getting plenty of exercises to help keep their urine flowing. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, talk to your veterinarian about other options.
Apple cider vinegar can also help with the symptoms of crystals in the urine. Soak a cotton ball in the vinegar and apply it to the affected area. This will help to soothe the pain and inflammation. You can also give your cat a few drops of apple cider vinegar in their water bowl each day.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to treat crystals in your cat’s urine, consider adding more moisture to their diet. Feed them wet food or add water to their dry food. You can also give them plenty of freshwaters to drink.
Finally, make sure your cat is getting plenty of exercises. This will help to keep their urine flowing and prevent the crystals from forming in the first place. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, talk to your veterinarian about other options.
Crystals in the Urine in Cats | PetMD
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What Causes Crystals In Cat Urine? | Purina
What Causes Crystals In Cat Urine? | Purina – A buildup of crystals in your cat’s urine is likely diet related and may be attributed to dehydration. Visit Purina.com for more info on feline urinary tract health.
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Urinary crystals in cats – Dr. Justine Lee
Originally a dentist, Anna Strout has written for three years for pet and animal publications. Anna is also a historian who studies dog breed progression throughout the world, dabbles in animal law issues, and collects dog tales while traveling across the country with her husband and German Shepherd Dog, Luna. Anna kicks dust up dancing with Luna at home in Houston, Texas, where she teaches her obedience and tricks.