Feline Kidney Stones – Know What to Look For

March 18, 2018 in Articles

I Love My Home

Why would a cat develop a problem with its kidneys? The most common cause of feline kidney stones is the dietary supplementation of isolated and synthetic nutrients, in particular, calcium and vitamin C. 

All living beings, including cats, were created to derive their nutrients from food.  Vitamins and minerals cannot be isolated, as they are co-dependent on many others for full and efficient absorption by the body.  Kidney stones, in fact, any problems related to the kidneys, are common in cats.

At best, these synthetic nutrients are excreted.  At worst, they cause internal problems, such as kidney stones.  All processed cat food will be supplemented by the manufacturer with additional nutrients, and most are very poor quality. The cheapest nutrients are the synthetic ones.  By feeding your cat a processed cat food, you are not only starving her of vital nutrients but may also be contributing to kidney stones and other kidney problems. Apart from the poor quality and the synthetic nutrients, the majority of processed cat foods contain harmful preservatives and additives despite the claims on the label.  So your cat is also probably experiencing a toxic overload, to add to her existing burden.

What Causes Feline Kidney Stones to Occur?

Feline kidney or urinary stones are formed when the urine becomes overly saturated with certain types of minerals. There are a number of different factors that can cause the oversaturation to occur. For example, your cat may experience changes in his pH level and certain minerals may become more concentrated in the urine, or certain stimulators and inhibitors may become present in the urine.

Some things that can cause these factors to develop include:

  • Genetics
  • Changes in diet
  • Changes in water intake
  • Certain metabolic diseases
  • Congenital problems
  • Bacterial infections

 

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Symptoms of kidney stones in cats include frequent urination, often in small amounts, and often in unusual places. Your cat may begin to urinate outside of the litter box. Other symptoms include dribbling urine, and blood in the urine. Other symptoms include weakness, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, your cat may not be able to eat at all. If your cat has kidney stones symptoms, you need to take your feline to the vet.  Kidney stones in cats is a serious medical condition that requires prompt medical treatment.

Diagnosis

If feline kidney stones are suspected, your vet will take x-rays. The stones will be white on the x-ray. Some stones don’t show up on x-rays and can only be seen by ultrasound. Your vet will look for stones elsewhere in the urinary tract as well. Your veterinarian will also examine your cat’s urine to determine if there is cystitis. Cystitis is a very common condition in pets with kidney stones.

My Personal Story:

About 10 years ago, one of my cats had developed kidney stones but I was not aware until the symptoms surfaced.  I did notice that he was very lethargic (at the time), had a loss of appetite, his ears were cold, and he would also cry, on and off. This went on for 2 days. Sylvester did not seem his usual self. So, I kept a close watch the entire day. (I was able to do this since I worked from home.)

When the second day passed and he still would not eat, I knew I had to get him checked right away. I also took note that he would go in and out of the litter box, often, but I saw that no urine was coming out, or maybe just a few drops.

When we arrived at our veterinarian’s office, he took an x-ray of our cat. It was confirmed that our cat had kidney stones. Sylvester stayed at the vet’s office for three (3) days, with an intravenous drip (24/7) and, thank God, his stones had passed when he urinated.  This was a huge expense, but we love our pets!  And, at the time, I was not aware of natural remedies that could have helped.

My cat needed that continuous IV fluid going through his body in order for his stones to pass. Sometimes, it is not as simple as this and they do not pass through the urinary tract.  Had I not brought my cat, Sylvester, to the vet, he would have died within a few days because he could not urinate due to the stones causing a blockage, as we were advised by the vet. This was causing a toxic overload in his body.

When we took him home, we put Sylvester on a special raw-food diet (organic meats only), made sure he always had fresh water available and kept an eye on him … just to make sure everything was okay. He lived a full life of 18 years and did not experience this problem again because I decided that I would never give my cat commercially-made cat food ever.

Preventing This Problem From Occurring 

Cats are such resilient pets that they do not always show tell-tale signs when they experience internal pain. For this reason, it is important to prevent your cat from facing the potential dangers and pain from kidney stones.

Have Clean Water Readily Available At All Times

      • Give your cat plenty of clean drinking water daily.

The cats should drink about 30 ml of water per kilo of body weight per day to maintain good hydration. Giving your cat plenty of clean water, daily, to drink is one of the most important preventive measures against the formation of feline kidney stones.

      • Feed your cat with a healthy diet.

It is important to know what to look for in food for your precious cat if you choose not to give a raw-food diet.  For example, cat food labeled “for urinary tract health” can be misleading, as this type of food is developed to make the urine of a cat more acidic which, in turn, increases the formation of kidney stones and places them at a high risk to develop this problem.

Sometimes it is Imperative to Visit the Vet

      • Always watch your feline closely

Watch your kitten when he or she goes to the litter box. After they exit the littler box, check his urine for signs of kidney stones. If you see blood or if you notice that your cat is trying to urinate but nothing comes out and they repeatedly go into the littler box, this is a sign and it may be due to his kidney stones blocking his urinary tract. This can be very serious! In this case, you should get your feline to the vet as soon as possible.

      • Go to the Vet for Advice

Follow your veterinarian’s advice for kidney-stone-prevention or treatment, if your cat already has stones. In most cases, you should make sure that your kitten receives monthly x-rays until his kidneys are found to be free of stones.

 

What Should You Do If Your Cat Has Kidney Stones?

The first thing to do is make a change in your cat’s diet. Give your cat a diet of raw food (organic is the safest and best!)  This is urgent, given the nature of the problem, but no easy task with cats being addicted to their “fast food” equivalent. Perseverance on your part will eventually convince her. 

Some homeopathic remedies can be useful to dissolve the salts that produce kidney stones. It is also helpful in relieving the toxin overload in the cat’s system.  It has been shown that cats are very responsive to homeopathy which is known to be a very gentle healing modality. These remedies are extremely diluted substances.  They are derived from the animal, plant or mineral kingdoms. 

If you wish, you can locate a veterinary homeopath through the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (theavh.org).  Homeopathic formulas treat the entire cat (physical, mental and emotional symptoms), not just masking the symptoms as with allopathic medications.  If their immune system has been suppressed with drugs such as cortisone, this simply adds to your cat’s already-overloaded toxic burden.

There are herbal remedies as well, which work very well in ridding your cat of these stones or crystals and there are really no side effects.  I have done an extensive search and found this natural, herbal product that helps your cat’s urine to flow freely, relieves pain from kidney stones, support for a healthy bladder and it’s a remedy for NO more stones or crystals.  Click this link to get all the information on this effective product.  Bladder Stones/Crystals: Urinary Free the Flow: Basic Formula – Herbal Liquid Herbs for Cats – 2 fl oz (59 ml)

You can also look for a natural supplement in liquid or granule form that contains cranberry. Cranberry has been proven to work wonders.  The way this works is that cranberry makes the cat’s urine more acidic, which then stops stones from ever developing. In addition to improving health relating to stones, cranberry also works great for the prevention of urinary tract infections, another common feline (and canine) problem.

More and more, cat owners are turning to herbal remedies to sustain health because they are effective.  Supplements to include barberry and uva ursi are ideal choices that work as a preventative measure. You can talk to a homeopathic veterinarian about such supplements.  Again, make sure the product you are purchasing is 100% natural. Making these changes will stop the kidney stones so he or she feels great and you will be able to enjoy spending quality time with your loving pet! 

Conclusion

The best way to prevent feline kidney stones from forming is to feed them correctly —  it’s the best kind of love! This is why it is important to stop these stones from starting in the first place. Don’t give them any food (processed, with lots of chemicals) just because they like it as it may cause compromise the health of your cat and cause problems down the road.  Try herbal remedies that are specifically made for the prevention of — or — removal of their stones or crystals. 

Give all medications and return for a follow-up visit, as directed by your veterinarian. The expected course and prognosis is highly variable, depending on the type, location, and size of the stone, and the presence of possible secondary complications.  If your pet is being treated for nephrolithiasis and she suddenly appears ill, be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately.

I’m One Happy Kitty!

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