This is a urine crystal and to be more precise is a struvite crystal. They may or may not be associated with a urinary tract infection, these crystals become to be like sand and this irritates the bladder. In males cats this sand like substance can then go on to obstruct the urethra (the tubing that carries the urine from the bladder through the penis and outside)leading to a life threatening condition as the cat in unable to urinate.
Long term this can lead to large stones to form, these can be found in the kidneys, bladder and ureters. It is also possible for your cat to have stones and show no clinical signs.
Cats with bladder stones or crystals can be seen trying to pass urine frequently and only passing small amounts and may contain blood. You may notice them urinating in unusual places and straining for long periods.
If you notice your cat showing the above signs it is always best to contact the vet. If your cat does have a blockage then they will need to be admitted for us to unblock it and place a urinary catheter to allow drainage of the bladder. This catheter stays in for a couple of days and your cat will come home once they are urinating normally again. When your cat goes home he or she will be a on a special prescription diet which helps to dissolve the crystals and corrects the urines pH levels. If you pet has stones in the bladder surgery will be required to remove them.
Remember, if you are concerned, or would like to discuss how best to prevent struvite crystals from forming, please give us a call.