Kitten on a person's hand

What Every Cat-Owner Should Know About Cat Urine Crystals

Cat urinary crystals can be totally harmless or indicative of potential issues in your furry friend. Learn the in's and out's of these crystals and other cat health concerns with PrettyLitter

Keep Your Kitty
in Good Health

Crystals under a microscope

What Are Cat Urine Crystals?

Cat urine (struvite) crystals are microscopic minerals made of ammonium, phosphate, and magnesium. On their own, these three substances are harmless and completely normal to find in your pet’s urine. In high concentrations, however, they’ll bind together to form struvite crystals.

Still, in small amounts, these crystals are nothing to worry about. The real issues arise when they fuse with mucus from the urinary bladder to create a blockage or urinary obstruction. Alternatively, they may merge as larger and larger crystals developing bladder stones —this is where your careful care and attention becomes vital to your pet’s health and safety.

How to Identify
Cat Urine Crystals?

Grey and white kitten on a bed

You know the meaning of your cat's every gesture and every look. But when it comes to telling you that something's wrong, cats may struggle to get the message across. That's why keeping an eye out for your signs and symptoms of cat urine crystals can help you listen to your cat's needs before emergency care is necessary.

Signs of excessive crystal formation include:

  • Difficulty or Pain When Urinating
  • Urinating Outside the Litter Box or Inappropriate Urination
  • Bloody Urine
  • Frequent Urination in Small Amounts
  • Lethargy or Depression

The symptoms of cat urine crystals overlap significantly with signs of lower urinary tract disease. Without more in-depth veterinary testing, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between struvite urinary crystals and other urinary infections or issues—bring your kitty to a doctor as soon as they exhibit these signs.

What Causes Urine
Crystals in a Cat?

Man petting a tabby cat indoors

Senior cats and kittens alike can develop struvite stones and crystals—unfortunately, it has no age limit.

Any pH-altering medical condition can cause crystals, such as cat kidney disease or a urinary tract infection. The infectious bacteria of a UTI produces urease, which alters the pH balance of their urine and can contribute to the crystal and stone formation.

Additionally, dietary and metabolic factors can cause these tiny crystalline structures, including:

  • High Levels of Dietary Magnesium, Phosphorous, Calcium Oxalate, Sodium, and Fiber
  • Highly Concentrated Urine that is Supersaturated with Struvites and an Increased pH Level
  • Dehydration, Which Contributes to Urine Supersaturation

How to Prevent
Urine Crystals in Cats?

Cat drinking water from a bowl

Proper hydration is key to preventing cat urine crystals. Diluted urine is less likely to accumulate the dangerous minerals that eventually form crystals—regardless of the urine's pH balance. Although you can't force your cat to drink, there are a few ways you can lead them to the water (so to speak):

  • Maintain a Full, Clean Water Bowl
  • Purchase a Pet Water Fountain
  • Feed Your Feline a Balanced Diet of Wet Canned
  • Cat food that Creates Properly pH-Balanced Urine

Check your cat's litter box regularly for signs of alkaline urine. Need an even clearer sign of alkaline urine? PrettyLitter turns blue when your cat's urine pH is alkaline.

Frequently Asked

PrettyLitter package and bowl of litter with paw prints and scooper

PrettyLitter Helps Make Urine Issues Crystal Clear

Without PrettyLitter, it can take way too long to discover your cat’s urinary issues. Struvite crystals are no exception. The litter’s color-changing technology can alrt you to your cat’s serious health conditions. Even the best parents need a leg up – PrettyLitter can be yours.