Kitten on a person's hand

Feline Bladder Stones
– What to Know

Make caring for your cat’s health a little easier. With PrettyLitter, you’ll be the first to know about their bladder stones and other health issues.

Don’t Let Bladder Stones
Weigh Your Cat Down

Grey tabby cat being examined by a vet

What are Bladder Stones in Cats?

Bladder stones can be a heavy burden on your cat’s health. These rock-like mineral deposits form in your feline friend’s bladder and can be quite painful.

They vary in size—just like real stones and rocks that you’d find in a park or beach. Your kitty may have one large stone that irritates the bladder walls, causes inflammation, and blocks the opening to the urethra. Your cat may also have several tiny stones, like pebbles or grains of sand, which may be carried into the urethra during urination, creating an emergency blockage. Oftentimes, your kitty will have a combination of both.

How to Identify
Bladder Stones in Cats

Grey and white cat lying on its side

Cats can sometimes be very vocal-but it's not always easy to understand what they're trying to say. The human-feline communication barrier can make it difficult to identify urinary issues in cats like struvite uroliths (or bladder stones).

But there are two primary tell-tale signs of bladder stones in cats:

Hematuria – Otherwise known as blood in the cat's urine. Larger stones scrape against the bladder’s lining, causing bleeding.

Dysuria – Dysuria is trouble or pain when urinating. Stones obstruct the urethra’s passage, which causes discomfort during urination. In serious cases of total blockage, your kitty won’t be able to pass any urine and the pressure on their bladder can be quite painful

Other ways of identifying urinary stones include:

  • Frequent urination attempts, with very little urine released.
  • Excessive genital grooming.
  • Cats urine spraying or urinating outside the litter box.

However, some cats with urinary stones exhibit no, or very few, observable symptoms.

What Causes Bladder
Stones in Cats?

Woman lying on bed with two cats

The minerals that lead to urinary stones are completely harmless in small doses—they only become these painful rock-like structures under certain conditions like decreased water intake, urine pH, certain dietary supplements or drugs, an imbalanced diet, or even just kitty genetics.

But the cause of bladder stones in cats boil down to this:

When certain natural and normal minerals—typically struvite crystal or calcium oxalate — build up in excess in your cat’s bladder, they begin to crystallize. These small structures can irritate the bladder walls, which initiates mucus production.

The struvite crystals and mucus fuse together to form hardened clusters that continue to grow. This process can take weeks, even months, to complete.

But with vigilant care and intervention, you may be able to interrupt it along the way and prevent your cat from getting urinary tract infection.

How to Prevent Bladder
Stones in Cats

Two kittens eating from a dish with a can of PrettyPlease cat food

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And that’s especially true for this weighty condition.

There are two main preventative routes that both rely on simple adjustments to your everyday pet parenting:


Drinking more water will dilute your cat’s urine and decrease the likelihood of mineral build-up. Refill water bowls regularly, use canned wet food only, or add water or bone broth to regular dry meals.


Reducing the amount of certain dietary minerals and adjusting the acidity levels will prevent urinary crystal and struvite stone formation—you can find specialized bladder stone prevention foods on the market like PrettyPlease to prevent acidic urine.

These help prevent bladder infection and urinary tract stones to build up.

Frequently Asked

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PrettyLitter Can Help Detect Bladder Stones

As a pet parent, you want to always keep an eye out for potential health problems in your cat. PrettyLitter can take some of that weight off your shoulders. Our color-changing litter technology alerts you to your feline’s potential health issues so you can give your cat the love and care it deserves.

— PrettyLitter can help with that.