Diet for Urate Bladder Stones in Cats

Sardines are high in purines, which can form urate stones.

Sardines are high in purines, which can form urate stones.

Just like humans, kitties can suffer from bladder stones. If your vet diagnoses yours with urate bladder stones, he might recommend a special diet for the cat to eat. Prescription bladder-stone diets contain ingredients that help dissolve existing stones and discourage formation of new ones.

Urate Stones

Urate stones form in your kitty's bladder when his urine becomes acidic and highly concentrated. This environment lends itself to the formation of urate bladder stones composed of ammonium urate and uric acid. These stones are found in your furry friend's bladder, kidneys and the tubes leading from the kidneys to the bladder; they can plug up your poor kitty's urethra, leading to problems urinating, according to the petMD website.

Causes

Some of our furry felines are more likely to develop urate bladder stones than others. These kitties have higher amounts of uric-acid-containing chemicals called purine metabolites in their blood and urine than felines who don't develop the stones, according to the Morris Animal Foundation. Kitties with liver disease are particularly prone to issues with urate stones because they don't process protein correctly and develop a buildup of uric acid, according to the Long Beach Animal Hospital. For these reasons, keep proteins to a minimum, especially those that contain high levels of purines, for cats prone to the formation of urate stones.

Protein and Purines

Our feline friends need, primarily, animal proteins in their diet, according to WebMD. While all animal-based protein sources contain purines, some contain more than others. Organ meats like liver or kidneys, and certain types of fish such as sardines and herring, contain the highest amounts of purine, according to the Arthritis Foundation. You want to avoid such ingredients in your kitty's food, instead opting for protein sources lower in purines such as eggs, poultry and meat. Your vet can recommend a prescription cat food that's low in purines and contains just enough protein for your kitty's dietary needs to retard urate crystal in his urine.

Water

To help your kitty avoid urate bladder stones, make sure he drinks plenty of water. Not only does water help dilute acidic urine, it helps wash away stones remaining in the bladder. Switching your kitty to a canned cat food can help increase his water intake, as can providing him with a pet fountain. Canned cat food contains up to 80 percent water, while dry food is between 7 percent and 12 percent water. This makes it a better dietary choice for your kitty to help keep him well-hydrated and stone-free.

Consulting the Vet

Urate stones are rare in kitties, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Due to this rarity, no prescription veterinary diets are available to specifically treat urate stones in felines. Diets formulated to treat kitties with renal disease seem to be beneficial. Such diets are low in protein and contain potassium citrate, which helps to adjust your kitty's urine pH levels, resulting in a more than 90 percent success rate in dissolving and preventing such stones, according to "Compendium: Continuing Education for Veterinarians." Your vet can prescribe one of these diets for your furry friend to keep him stone-free.

 

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

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