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If Your Cat Can’t Pee, it’s an Emergency. Feline Bladder Stones: an article by Troy Animal Hospital

February 28, 2014

Cats are generally very healthy animals. There are some issues though that you need to be aware of to keep your feline friend healthy. One of those is uroliths or as they’re more commonly known, bladder stones.

Bladder stones form, just as you would think, in your cat’s bladder. There are two main types of these stones, struvite and calcium oxalate. It’s not known for certain why some cats develop bladder stones and others do not. There are different factors involved though, including: your cat’s diet, too little water intake, bladder infections and possible genetic predispositions to name a few. It’s possible for your cat to have bladder stones and for you to be unaware of it, but there are symptoms that may indicate stones.

Possible signs of bladder stones are

·        Blood in the urine

·        Acting painful when urinating

·        Frequent trips to the litter box

·        Urinating outside of the litter box

·        Chronic urinary infections

·        Straining to urinate, with little or no urine being produced. It may also look like your cat is constipated, due to its straining.

The last symptom is the most serious one. It is possible for stones to lodge in your cat’s urethra, making it unable for him to urinate at all. This is especially likely in male cats, although it can happen in females as well. If you see your cat straining to urinate you need to get him to Troy Animal Hospital as soon as possible. If the blockage is not removed it can lead to kidney failure and death. If your cat is blocked, you may also see it vomiting, or acting listless. He may also cry in pain when picked up, as the pressure on his overly full bladder is painful.

If your feline friend is blocked, he will be sedated and a catheter will be inserted into the urethra to remove the blockage. Your cat will be hospitalized for several days while his blockage is treated. The doctor may wish to send a urine sample and culture in for analysis, along with any stones removed to find out what type they are. This way we can insure your cat receives the appropriate treatment. He may require blood work to check his kidney function as well and will most likely be sent home on antibiotics and a special diet to help prevent the development of further stones. It is important that your cat stay on this diet long term.

While having a cat become obstructed can be a scary situation for you and your pet, with long term dietary changes and awareness on your part, feline bladder stones can be treated and your cat can continue to live a happy life.


Here at Troy Animal Hospital we work hard to provide the highest quality veterinary care for your beloved pets. You can reach us at


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