Pet Wellness Guides > Cat Bladder Stones Surgery Cost in 2024 - Pet Insurance Review

Cat Bladder Stones Surgery Cost in 2024

Posted: 02/22/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Cat , Health problems , Pet care

Cat bladder stones, also called uroliths or cystic calculi, are pebble-like formations of minerals in the bladder. There may be a large, single stone, or a collection of stones. Larger stones sometimes cause a blockage in male cats, whose urethra is narrow and tapered. This can become a life-threatening condition where the bladder can overfill and burst. Cats with large bladder stones typically require surgery. But just what does cat bladder stones surgery cost and will pet insurance help pay for it?

How Do Cats Develop Bladder Stones?

Your cat’s body contains many minerals. The food they eat also contains minerals. When these minerals are not properly processed by your cat’s urinary system, or when the mineral levels are above the normal range, they crystallize, creating rock-like formations. The jagged edges of these crystals can irritate the bladder lining, which causes the bladder to produce mucus. Eventually the crystals and mucus stick together, forming larger clusters that get bigger and bigger and harder and harder until they look very much like stones.

There are a few different factors that cause these crystals to form in the first place. One of the biggest is the pH of the urine. This refers basically to the level of acidity of the urine. Second is the presence of certain proteins in the urine. And finally, the water content of the urine. This last one is why it is so important to get your kitty to drink enough each day. Especially if you have a male cat!

Clinical Signs of Cat Bladder Stones

The most common signs of cat bladder stones are blood in the urine and straining to urinate. Blood occurs because the stones rub against the bladder wall, irritating and damaging the lining.

Straining is as result of inflammation and swelling of the bladder walls and/or the urethra, which makes it hard to pass urine. Straining can also be a result of muscle spasms. 

Treating Cat Bladder Stones

There are two main treatments for cats with bladder stones. The first is to attempt to dissolve the stones using a special diet. While this option can work well for some cats, it does have its disadvantages.

To start, not all types of stones respond to diet therapy. 

Second, this treatment can take several weeks or even a few months to dissolve a large stone that is causing issues. So your pure cat may continue to have pain strain and have blood in her urine and even develop chronic infections while you wait. Even more concerning is that during this waiting period, your cat is still at risk for developing a blockage.

And finally, cats, being the finicky creatures that they are, won’t eat everything you put in front of them. So your cat may simply not like the special food. And if this special food is not consumed exclusively, the treatment simply will not work.

Cat Bladder Stone Surgery

By far the fastest solution is bladder stone surgery, called a cystotomy. This is where a veterinary surgeon opens the bladder and removes the stones. Cats usually make a speedy recovery. It goes without saying that those cats with a complete urethral obstruction caused by a large bladder stone require immediate surgery.

Cost of Cat Bladder Stone Surgery

According to Lemonade Pet Insurance, the average cost of cat bladder stone surgery can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. This cost reflects the surgery itself as well as anesthesia, hospitalization, medications, bloodwork, the initial consultation and more.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Bladder Stone Surgery?

Most pet parents don’t have thousands of dollars lying around in case of a pet emergency. That’s why so many are now signing their fur baby up for pet insurance. But will pet insurance help with cat bladder stone surgery cost?

Yes, most pet insurance plans will reimburse you for up to 90% of the costs associated with cat bladder stone surgery. Having said that, it’s also important to note that most pet insurance providers will not cover pre-existing conditions. And that is why it is so important to enroll your fur baby while they are still young and healthy – BEFORE any health issues begin to pop up!

If you’re in the market for a comprehensive pet insurance plan, but are confused as to which provider is the right one, here are the top pet insurance providers – in order – based on over 150,000 authentic reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,498
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.3Pet Assure12





The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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