If you're like me, you probably haven't thought too much about urinary crystals in cats. But if you have a cat who's prone to cat urinary problems, you need to know more about cat bladder crystals.
Why Are Feline Urinary Crystals Important?
Even though these crystals are hard to see without a microscope, they have sharp edges which rub against the bladder walls, causing your cat's bladder to become inflamed and irritated. This inflammation causes your kitty to show signs of a feline bladder infection.
Because a male cat has a long narrow urethra, it can easily become plugged if large numbers of feline urinary crystals are present. This is a veterinary emergency, as a cat that can't pass urine will fall victim to a fatal case of uremic poisoning within a couple of days. Since it's hard for an owner to tell if the cat is blocked or not, it's important to have your cat examined by the vet if he has a feline urinary tract infection.
There are two main types of urinary crystals, struvite and calcium oxalate.
Struvite Crystals In Cats
Struvite crystals, which contain magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate, used to be very common in cats. This problem was thought to be a result of a diet with high levels of magnesium. Cat food manufacturers responded by producing diets lower in magnesium. Cats eating this food also produce more acidic urine. This helps to prevent the formation of struvite crystals, which are still the most common type of crystal that causes feline urinary blockage.
Although this dietary change helped to lower the incidence of struvite crystals in cats, now vets are seeing calcium oxalate crystals more often.
Why Do Some Cats Get Calcium Oxalate Crystals Instead?
Certain breeds of cats seem to have a genetic predisposition to developing calcium oxalate crystals if they're fed a diet low in magnesium. This problem is often seen in Himalayans. It's ironic that if you feed these cats a diet to prevent struvite stones, you'll encourage the formation of calcium oxalate crystals instead.
This is why it's so important to have a urinalysis done to find out what kind of crystals are present. You don't want to feed your cat a diet that will encourage his body to form feline urinary crystals.
Can Urinary Crystals In Cats Be Prevented?
Cat owners can do several things to prevent their felines from developing cat urinary problems. The first is to feed your cat a high-quality canned food. People don't realize that cats are meant to get most of their water from their food, which is why cats don't seem to drink much water.
Canned food has a moisture level that's much closer to what your cat would eat in the wild. You can also add a little water to the canned food to increase the moisture even more. Be sure your cat always has plenty of fresh, clean water available, too.
You may want to give your cat one of the many natural remedies for pets that are available now. These remedies support bladder health, along with lowering the risk of him developing a feline bladder infection. You'll want to be sure to buy one that's especially formulated for pets, and that's safe enough to give your cat every day.
Make no mistake about it, if your cat has already had a feline urinary tract infection, you can't afford to be ignorant about urinary crystals in cats. Take steps now to protect your cat's health.
Darlene Norris has combined her long-time interest in natural healing with her experience working at a vet clinic to bring you her new website, Natural Pet Urinary Health. Learn how to prevent feline urinary crystals, and find the best place to buy herbal pet remedies at http://naturalpeturinaryhealth.com