Urinary Tract Infection in Cats

urinary tract disease cats

AUTHOR: DR JOHN ABBASS
DVM M.Phil (Pet diseases & welfare)

URINE CRYSTALS IN CATS (CRYSTALLURIA); AN ULTIMATE GUIDELINE

It is usually considered normal to see crystals in pets urine. But increased amounts of different types of crystal can be alarming and indicate underlying urinary tract conditions.

Here, we will throw some light on the various kinds of urine crystals that can be formed in cats along with their underlying causes.

WHAT IS CRYSTALLURIA?

This is basically the presence of small precipitates in a cat’s urine (crystals). This must be clear that urine crystals are quite different from grits or urinary stones (uroliths). Urine crystal can be an indication of renal stones or can predispose cats to from different kinds of stones.

Sometimes, cat owners confuse urine crystals and stones. These two things are not always associated with each other. Generally, crystal formation is associated with cat’s diet and precipitation of crystallogenic substances in cat’s urine such as magnesium, phosphorus and ammonium minerals.

TYPES OF URINE CRYSTALS

There are two common types of urine crystals which are found in cats.

1) Calcium oxalate crystals

2) Struvite crystals

CALCIUM OXALATE CRYSTALS

Calcium oxalate crystals form when cats excrete high levels of calcium oxalate. These crystals can be an indication of calcium oxalate bladder stones (common in cats) or any infectious condition. All along with that, these crystals can also be a sign of calcium oxalate poisoning in cats.

It is also important to know that these crystals can become lodged in urethra and cause urinary obstruction in cats. Breeds that are prone to calcium oxalate crystals in the urine are Burmese, Himalayan, and Persian cats. Your veterinarian can do a proper diagnosis to reach the exact cause and adopt the effective treatment strategy to deal with this.

STRUVITE CRYSTALS

These crystals are considered normal in cats, if present in less quantity. Struvite is composed of magnesium, ammonium and phosphate. These crystals can aggregate to form Struvite stones, which can expel out of the body on their own or sometimes require surgical intervention.

In worst conditions, these stones can be life threatening, as they block the urinary passage and cats feel difficulty while voiding the bladder.

Note:  These crystals are very much common in both male and female cats. Such crystals mostly occur in alkaline urine. Remember, a normal cat’s urine has acidic pH.

WHAT ARE CAUSES OF CRYSTAL FORMATION IN CATS?

Crystal formation is a multifactorial process in cats that depends upon many conditions. Some important key causes have been summarized here.

  1. Any cat’s feed that changes the pH of urine. Cat’s feed must be balanced and contain safe ingredients. High levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphate levels in diet can predispose to crystal formation as well.
  2. Crystal formation can be a sign of urinary stones or uroliths in cats. Or Lack of solubility of crystallogenic substances in urine.
  3. Long term use of any medication that changes the pH of a cat’s urine  can cause crystal formation in cats.
  4. Congenital liver shunt or any other underlying medical condition of other organs can also become the reasons for crystal formation.
  5. It may occur due to any urinary tract infection, poisoning or less water intake.

WHAT ARE COMMON SIGNS OF URINARY TRACT DISEASES?

cat health issues

It is noteworthy that, because of the small size of urethra, crystals can block the urinary passage in cats.

Mostly, crystal formation in cats is associated with lower urinary tract diseases.

  1. Crystals can be seen in the cat’s urine.
  2. Hematuria (blood in urine)
  3. Difficulty in urination
  4. Urinating less than the usual
  5. Urinating outside the litter box
  6. Poor appetite and dullness

HOW YOU SHOULD DEAL WITH THIS SITUATION?

Being a cat owner, this is your responsibility to timely observe any abnormal signs and symptoms and report them to your vet on emergency grounds. Your veterinarian will make an effective plan to find the exact cause and suggest to you the line of treatment.

DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS:

It is important to know the exact cause of crystals coming in urine. Your vet can use the following tools to reach the root cause.

  • KFT – Kidney function test
  • Urinalysis (macroscopic and microscopic evaluation)
  • X-rays or ultrasound (To detect stones, if any)

Other tests include monitoring of liver functioning and blood profiling to look for extra renal reasons.

HOW URINE CRYSTALS CAN BE TREATED AND PREVENTED?

After getting the complete knowledge of exact etiology, your veterinarian will prescribe you the best treatment. Remember, for crystals that may lead to stone formation or urinary obstruction, dissolving or eliminating them is a higher priority.

Therapeutic diets can be suggested which will be helpful in regulating the pH of cat’s urine. It is noteworthy that nutrition plays an integral role in crystal formation and it is wise to make nutritional adjustments and offer your cat a balanced diet.

urinary tract disease cats

Diuretics (increase the frequency of urination) can be recommended. Other medications can be given to normalize the physiology of urine.

Your veterinarian may treat the other underlying causes. Surgical approaches can be taken, if urinary stones are detected which are unable to flush out normally.

It is necessary to provide the cat fresh and plenty of water to improve its hydration status. Good hydration status will reduce the likelihood of cat’s urine becoming supersaturated with minerals.

Last but not least, always try to select a balanced and nutritious diet for your cat, get recommendations from a pet nutritionist or ask a vet, if possible.

Common Eye Problems in Cats

elderly cat health problems

AUTHOR: DR JOHN ABBASS
DVM M.Phil (Pet diseases & welfare)

It is very important for cat lovers to understand their beloved feline friends when they are in pain. Timely diagnosis can give good outcomes. Eye problems (ophthalmic conditions) are common in cats. There is a need for you to evaluate any abnormal condition of the eye when noticed.

Your cat’s eyes are shiny and bright. If your cat is rubbing their eyes against the sofa or anything else, then this is a clear indication that there is something wrong with their eyes.

Here, we will discuss some common ophthalmological conditions in cats, and a few tips for cat owners in detail.

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best toys for cats

Like all kids and animals, cats love to play with toys. You may feel that they are sleeping most of the day, but once awake, they love to engage themselves in some sort of healthy and practical activity.

That’s where cat toys come into play. Cats love these toys, and they consider them the best activity for their mental and physical activity. So, if you have a cat at home and want to indulge her in some healthy activity, then you need the right toys for your cat.

Let’s discuss how these toys benefit your cat and what toys you should choose and why.

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Funny cats scared of cucumbers | cat vs cucumber compilation | Funny Cat Compilation

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From kittens playing with a man’s beard, kittens climbing on the back of their owner, to kittens playing in a box, these are just a few of the funny kittens that will tickle your funny bone in this funny kitten video. Try not to laugh, we dare ya!

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Original Links:
Cats Play Handmade Game of Whack-a-Mole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtmp0tZL0YY
Cute Kittens Play with Spinning Toy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C3L5XVrWbM
Cute Kitten Falls Off Green Chair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8iF6a1rjBQ
Bengal Kitten Appears from Between Sleeping Labradors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gndHVEvgTVM
Girl Plays with Kittens


Kitten Plays with New Ball Toy


Cat Follows Owner Around https://instagram.com/p/BMHHt5QAqAr/
Kitten Tries to Climb on Owners Head https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd71Eab7PH8
Bengal Kittens Can’t Stop Playing with UPS Box https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONVjz67Gh_c
Cats Climb on Owner Doing Yoga https://instagram.com/p/BSUG95ij4o6/
Kitten Won’t Budge While Sleeping https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXsfh0mH8TU
Kitten Watches Passed Out Brother https://instagram.com/p/BLak2xwhuV4/
Cats Climb on Owner’s Back https://www.facebook.com/1297637652/videos/10206327844417136/
Kitten Plays with Slipper

Kitten Plays With Beard https://instagram.com/p/BOnXSOCDQH3/
Cat Uses Washing Machine Like Hamster Wheel https://instagram.com/p/BVL3OV9Ba01/

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