What to Do If a Cat's Urine Has Crystals

Published: 07th January 2010
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Diet can have a tremendous affect on the health of pet's urinary tract. In the recent past, crystals in cat urine were diagnosed at a much higher rate than they are today. These stones or crystals were made up of struvite, which also goes by the name magnesium ammonium phosphate.

To combat this mini-epidemic, veterinarians and cat owners developed special diets for cats that were lower in magnesium, causing them to produce a low pH-level, or acidic, urine and reducing the instances of struvite crystals.

The other less common type of crystals that can form in a cat is called oxalate crystals. There is also cat food for urinary crystals specially made to combat these oxalate crystals. Diets containing moderate calcium, phosphorus and magnesium levels should be fed to these cats to reduce the risk of crystals in cat urine from forming.

If it is determined that the owner's cat urine has crystals, he or she will first need to have a veterinarian diagnose the type of crystals present prior to recommending a treatment.

Natural remedies are easy to implement and can also aid the pet owner in preventing some of the symptoms of crystals in cat urine. These include providing the cat with plenty of fluids, mainly fresh water, but also pure cranberry juice can stop bacteria from sticking to the bladder. Also be sure to feed your cat a AAFCO approved diet, which ensures that it meets the criteria set by the regulatory body of the pet food manufacturers. Consider a canned food over dry as cats get most of their moisture from food. Incrased water intake will cause increased urination, which will help to flush crystals from the body.

Some homeopathic remedies available through a veterinarian or some online pet suppliers are berberis vulg, which is widely used for its positive effect on the urinary tract and its benefits to a pet's immune system; cantharis, which has the ability to bring about and maintain a healthy flow of urine; and staphysagris, which is also recommended for urogenital health and as a well known prostate tonic.

It's important for a pet owner to realize that crystals in cat urine are a very serious matter. They can lead to urinary tract infections and much larger bladder stones. Also, there is a chance that if male cat develops these crystals, his urethra could become plugged. This condition is critical and considered life-threatening because the cat would not to be able to pass his urine.

Some ways to know if cat urine has crystals or bladder stones might be that it is urinating frequently with only a minute amount coming out each time. The owner might also notice that his or her cat will show signs of straining excessively and/or display symptoms of experiencing pain. Blood in the cat's urine, increased licking of itself in the genital area, vomiting and depression are also signs and symptoms of crystals or stone.

If the pet does indeed have crystals but is not showing any of the aforementioned signs or symptoms, it is most likely that they will be uncovered through abdominal X-rays or a routine palpating of the pet's abdomen during a physical exam.

By controlling mineral levels, changing the urine pH, increasing water intake, and adjusting feeding schedules, the risk of crystals in cat urine developing can be decreased.

Jeff Grill is an editor of the Cat Health Guide, which contains additional information on crystals in cat urine. The author also suggests this site on natural preventative approaches when and has written on many canine health problems. See this site for more information on cat urine has crystals.

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