What are struvite crystals? How to dissolve struvite crystals in cats? No matter if you are a new cat parent or an experienced one, you must have heard the term ‘cat crystals’. This is the easy term for ‘Struvite crystals’.
The struvite stone or crystal is quite common in cats. When your cat is suffering from this condition, he will be unable to urinate. This occurs because the struvite crystal blocks the urinary tract of the kitty.
Though the condition is curable, ignoring it can be life-threatening for the cat. So, it is important to know more about the condition, and how to dissolve the struvite crystal. In this article, you will get all the information you need on cat crystal. So, do not forget to read.
What are struvite stones or crystals?
The struvite stones are composed of mineral crystals called struvite. The struvite mineral crystals are microscopic in size and found in the urine of a feline. These crystals are a combination of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate.
Grinding struvite crystals in the cat’s urine is not uncommon. But if the crystals get together and form a stone, then it becomes a big problem. Depending on the size of the crystal stone, you can decide the severity of the condition.
In most cases, the stones can be dissolved. But if the stone size is big, the cat may need surgery.
Why do struvite crystals form in cats?
Well, the accurate answer is still unknown. But experts suggest low water intake, urinary tract infection, and a high pH environment are mainly responsible for struvite crystals in cat urine. The scientists used to believe that diet is the main reason why a cat has a bladder stone. But over the years, the experts have discovered the more probable reasons.
Still, food does play a part in the struvite crystal. If you feed your feline dry foods every day, there is a high chance that it will suffer from bladder stone condition. Also, overweight cats are at the risk of having struvite stones.
Symptoms of struvite crystals in cats
Cat crystal condition causes kitty pain, irritation, and infection. Here are symptoms that will help you notice if your feline is suffering from struvite stones or not.
- Appetite loss
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination
- Urinating around the home except in the litter box
- Straining to urination
- Making cry sound while urinating
Treatment of bladder stones in cats
There are two types of treatment available for the struvite crystals in cats. You can either dissolve the stone or the feline needs to undergo surgery.
How To Dissolve Struvite Crystals in Cats
Struvite crystals are not as dangerous as long as you are treating the cat. Ignoring this condition can be life-threatening for the feline. Dissolving the crystals is indeed a smart option to save the kitty’s life.
You can also call this dissolution process ‘Dietary dissolution’ or ‘Medical dissolution’. The main purpose of this treatment is to feed the cat prescribed foods. Those food items will create more acidic and dilute rune, which will eventually dissolve the crystals. In simple words, the foods alter the pH and chemical composition of the urine. This causes the stones to dissolve gradually.
Many brands offer perfect dietary, especially for this bladder condition. Those diets create a bladder environment in cats that dissolve the struvite crystal back into the urine. Do not buy any commercial food from the pet shop. Take the vet’s advice and feed the feline, only prescribed foods.
When you are trying to dissolve the kitty’s struvite stone with a controlled diet, make sure the prescribed items are his only food. You can not give him any other food items except these. Feeding any treat will ruin all the efforts.
If your cat is already suffering from a second disease, maintaining this diet will be difficult. Consult with a vet in that case. Sometimes, the feline does not like one urinary diet. You can try feeding him other selected items.
These urinary diet items are available in canned, wet, or dry. You can also mix two types to prepare a more beneficial diet for the feline. If there is any sign of infection, you must continue providing antibiotics along with these foods.
The medical dissolution involves radiography of the feline every 3 to 4 weeks. Some cats dissolve the crystals in just seven days. The result of the radiography shows if the stone is dissolving or not. In other words, it indicates the condition of the struvite crystals.
In some cases, the struvite stones do not dissolve. For example, if the stone is entirely composed of struvite or calcium oxalate, it will not dissolve with the diet. However, if your cat is not eating properly, the size of the stone will be the same as before.
Usually, it takes a maxim of 6 weeks to dissolve struvite crystals. If there is no progress or the stone is not dissolving, the cat may require surgery.
Now you know how to dissolve struvite crystals in cats. But if the medical dissolution does not work, surgery is the only option left. Some owners prefer surgery over the diet dissolution option.
The bladder stone removal surgery is called a cystotomy. The vet will simply cut, open the bladder, and remove the stone. Do not freak out. This surgery is completely safe as long as the vet knows what he is doing.
However, the cat can go home after a few days of the surgery. Soon, the kitty will get back his normal appetite. You may notice blood in the cat’s urine, or the feline may find it painful to pee for several days. But within a week, everything will be back to normal. If the cat is feeling much pain or discomfort, give him some pain medication with the permission of the vet.
Struvite crystals are common in cats, and with proper treatment, the condition is curable. I hope the terms have become easier for you with this article on how to dissolve struvite crystals in cats. To prevent this condition, make sure your cat drinks a lot of water and urinate in the right place.