Feline Kidney Stones – Know What to Look For

March 18, 2018 in Articles


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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.


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! 

According to Pet MD, there are some breeds of cats that are more likely to develop kidney stones than others.  And this condition can develop in both cats and dogs alike.


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!

Feline Kidney Stones – Know What to Look For


    1. Taylor says:

      Thank you for this informative article! I just got a cat about 3 months ago, so this is goo to know. She is a very picky eater, so I have been trying out different foods. I am always careful to read the ingredients and I try to stick with organic and natural. It’s really helpful to know that the foods labeled “for urinary tract health” can actually be harmful because that’s exactly what I would go for if my cat ever did get stones. Now I know what I should and shouldn’t do to keep my cat happy and healthy!

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Taylor,

        Oh, that is so great that you have a new, furry family member!  : )  I have 2 young ones, a year old now.  We adopted them when they were just 9 weeks old; they were born outside, on my property.  That is how we adopted just about every one of our kitties.  : )

        So glad to hear that you try to stick with organic and natural food for your cat!  That is vital to keep the cat healthy and hopefully, live a much longer, high-quality life!

        Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will visit again soon!


    2. Tiffany Domena says:

      Hi Cath! I had no idea cats could get kidney stones. I guess I should expect that most problems that can happen to humans can also happen to cats. This article was extremely informative. It seems that cats behave very similar to a human with kidney stones. It’s also interesting that there is homeopathic doctors to help treat cats the natural way. Very interesting!

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Tiffany,

        Thank you very much for visiting and commenting.  Yes, how true that some conditions that humans develop can also happen to cat as well.

        I’m glad that you have found the article to be informative.  I am so thankful for the natural products available for our pets because I avoid medications (as much as possible) because of the ill side effects they cause.

        I hope you will visit again and perhaps find another article of interest!  : )


    3. Kelly says:

      Wow! I guess I didn’t consider cats having kidney stones at all. Or dogs! Or other animals for that matter.
      It’s good to know that you are letting us know about the natural food for animals. It seems everywhere you go anymore, they ask you not to feed your animal natural foods – around here anyway – and to feed them the processed foods. I wasn’t sure how healthy that was, but since I don’t have an animal at home, I didn’t really concern myself with it.

      But, now that I know that they, too, can get kidney stones, as well as many other ailments that we humans get, you know if I do get an animal eventually, I’ll be better educated as to how to take care of them 🙂
      Thank you for this post!

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Kelly,

        I am SO glad that you stopped by and read this article because it can certainly help your pets to live a healthier, longer life! And, now you have the information to help prevent feline kidney stones.

        Wow, I do not know why the folks by you are telling you to feed the commercially-made cat foods! It may just be that they are not educated on the subject and are unaware.

        It is great that you will use this information for the wellbeing of your pet/s! : ) That makes me happy!

        Yes, the “unnatural pet foods” can cause a myriad of disease and sickness (early on in life, as well). I know from years back when I was not well versed on this subject. But I wanted to learn why my pets were getting sick (even when they were young) and learned that it was the food they were consuming.

        Please write back anytime! And, I hope you will visit again and read more articles I’ve written about pets.


    4. James says:

      Making sure your cat has proper nutrition and water is definitely the best way to make sure they don’t get kidney stones.  We have a always used one of those pet fountains to make them more interested in drinking plenty of water. Luckily my 16 year old Mancoon doensn’t suffer from stones.

      I think too that too often people give their cats too many treats.  I try keep his to a minimum.  Just like people, my cat always wants treats, but too many can lead to health issues.  Usually I just give him a good chinny scratch, instead of some food treat.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi James,

        It sounds like you’re doing a great job with your kitty!  : )  I agree that too many snacks are not good for our pets.  They also pack on those extra pounds, just like they do with us.

        Yes, it is imperative to keep water readily available at all times so that they can drink whenever they desire!

        That “chinny scratch” is, most likely, much appreciated.  I know how much my cats love it when I pet them (chinny scratch included!)  : )

        Thank you for the comment and hope you will visit soon!


    5. kaeyoes says:

      Great information!  I had never known about kidney stones in animals and it’s so good to find out about them now.  I don’t have an animal at home, but I’ll hopefully be better prepared when and if I ever get one.  I don’t like to see anything suffer, so knowing about this and how to prevent it is very important.

      Thank you for sharing this topic 🙂

      • Cathy says:

        Hi there, Kaeyoes!

        Thank you for visiting my site and reading this article!  Yes, you’re right — it is good to know (and be prepared) in the event that you decide on getting a cat in the near future!

        It sounds like you will be a wonderful pet parent when — and if — if welcome a pet into your family!  : )  I love my pets with all my heart — they are just so special to me.  You will know the feeling I’m talking about if you bring one into your home!

        Hope you visit again, and take care!

        Cathy  : )

    6. Alenka says:

      Oh, poor Sylvester! What an ordeal. Very glad he pulled through and lived a long life. 

      I had no idea cats were so prone to having kidney stones. Our cat never displayed such symptoms (thank goodnes!), but this information is gold in spotting the tell tale signs on time. 

      I am going to rethink his diet now, but not sure how to convince him to give up his favorite (commercially made) food. Maybe small steps at first.

      Thank you for sharing your story. 

      • Cathy says:

        Hi there, Alenka!

        Yes, it was very scary when my cat, Sylvester, had that happen to him.  I was so worried he would die.  But, thank God, his stone passed and then he lived some more years after this terrible ordeal.

        I’m glad that your cat never showed signs of this.  It would be a great  idea to switch his food (from the commercially made one you’re now giving your cat).  Just wean him off a little at a time.  I believe he will adjust to his new, more healthy diet!  I really hope he will love his new food.  : )

        Thanks, again, for visiting and commenting!


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Feline Kidney Stones – Know What to Look For

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