Feline Idiopathic Hypercalcemia

Hi everyone! We’ve been keeping a secret, well, a few people knew. Sammy has something called Idiopathic Hypercalcemia which caused 4 stones to form in his bladder. He had surgery on Friday to remove them because they could have gotten in his urinary tract and caused a blockage- that is life threatening. I didn’t want to write about it because it seems like every time I write about one of my cats being sick, well, you know what happens and I didn’t want to jinx him.


Poor kitty has to wear a cone of shame for a week. He wanted to look good for the 4th so we added a little patriotic fabric to it.

This has been going on for quite a while, it took many tests to confirm that it is ideopathic (meaning no known cause). There are several causes of hypercalcemia including kidney disease and several types of cancers. When his basic blood work came back with elevated calcium, the next step was an ionized calcium blood test which also came back with high levels. His parathyroid was also tested as that is another cause, but that was fine.

His urine was checked for kidney disease ( even thought the blood work was good). That came back with sugar and protein so I had to get a sample from home. It took me weeks to catch him in the act and get that sample. Luckily, that sample was fine, the original elevation in protein and glucose was from the stress of being at the vets.

The next step was the ultrasound. Thankfully, no cancers were detected, but the 4 stones were. They were not an emergency and may have never blocked, but I wasn’t going to take that chance. There is a board certified surgeon that goes to our vet hospital once a month so I opted for that. I almost canceled because I was so worried of complications, but the surgeon assured me there was onlyΒ  2 % chance of complications which put my mind at ease. I still felt bad about making a cat that is fine have to be sick for a while.

Sammy wants to show everyone his incision so close your eyes if you are squeamish.


He is on a special food now that is low in calcium. When he goes in to get his incision checked, the vet will test his calcium levels. If they are better, then he will only need the food, if not, he may need medication as well.

I can’t wait until he is back to sleeping on my head again. He has been an excellent patient and tolerated being crated and coned. Has anyone ever had a cat with idiopathic hypercalcemia?

And before we go, Stunning Keisha reminded Phoebe that today is Bikini Day!





  1. I hope you feel better soon, Sammy. And I hope your Mom relaxes just a bit. Any incision is painful for the human too – especially when you have a Mom that loves you so much. And the cone sucks, but it won’t be forever. We know. Bear had a tumor 16 months ago that the vet removed. Momma almost lost it when she saw Bear for the first time afterward – the eight inch incision was WAY more than she was expecting. Thankfully, it was benign – but that time was no fun. We’re sending all our love and well wishes to you and Mom. You’ll be back to yourself in no time. Promise. ~Momma and Bear

  2. Oh awnty Ellen and Sammy, we’s just soooooooo glad all is well. We’s sendin’ lots of purrayers fur a speedy recovery.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

  3. Sammy and you are in our prayers. We are so sorry for this to happening. Scary! Please keep us posted.

    What kindof food is he on, now? All of ours eat Chloe Jo’s prescription diet. We decided with the vet that is was a good choice for all of them

    Big hugs, my friend. ❀

    1. He is on Hill’s prescription Urinary CD. It is lower in calcium and comes in wet and dry. I can’t afford to feed it to 13 cats though. XO

  4. Oh, poor Sammy! What a shame you had to go through this!
    We hope you are being pampurred and given plenty of treats to make up for all this!
    The J-Cats

    1. Thank you for your concern. XO No treats, he is on a special diet, but lots of love.

  5. Oh, I am so sorry for your kitty but so happy that all seems to be going very well and that those BAD pebbles are GONE from that adorable little body and frankly, that incision looks really neat and clean and please let us all know what the doc says when the checkup is over. Love from Loulou and familly

    1. Thank you, the surgeon did an excellent job. I will keep you posted. XO and love to you and your family LouLou.

  6. We’re so glad he came through just fine. And he did look really stylish for the 4th too! It’s not every kitteh who could pull that off.

  7. Poor Sammy…so scary indeed and i know that feeling of making a well friend feel unwell..but needs must as with boy kitties in particular those stones are very nasty..we hope tgat the cone of yuck is soon gone and that Sammy can be managed with diet alone…sending all our POTP to you all…and special head bonks for Sammy xxx

    1. Thank you for the POTP. Stones can be very dangerous so this had to be done. XO

  8. Well, it’s wonderful that you had the stones removed so you don’t have to worry about a blockage – AND maybe the calcium level will be down enough he can just do special food with no meds……but at least thank heavens it’s treatable. I’m sure Sam will be happy to get rid of the CONE (!!) but so happy that he is alright…………….

    Hugs, Sammy and Mom Pam

    1. Sammy is sick of the cone, but he needs it for a few more days. He is a good patient. XO

  9. Oh, Sammy, I’m sorry that you’re going through this. But, you are certainly in great hands with your caring mom around! We are sending lots and lots of purrs and prayers your way! (P.S. I think you look downright handsome in that cone.)

    1. Sammy thanks you and is glad you think he looks handsome with his cone- I think he does too πŸ™‚

  10. Sammy bless you little heart. You are a brave boy and we are glad the surgery is over. You look as handsome as ever
    Hugs madi your bfff

  11. prayers for Sammy. He does, however, look great sporting the red white and blue… also that scar! It can be a story for them lady cats in the future! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for the prayers. Maybe the scar will impress the ladies πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, I was so torn over what to do, but you are right, better safe than sorry.

  12. Oh Sammy, you poor fella! We have never heard of this condition. We hope he recovers quickly.

    1. Thank you, he seems to be recovering quickly from the surgery part.

  13. Shucks Sammy. We were sorry to hear about your terrible condition and what you and your Mommy went through. Hope you are healing properly and fast. We are sending hugs to both you and Mommy.
    And Phoebe, you look marvelous in your bikini.pretty girl.
    Angels Normie and Mika, Sasha & Grady Lewis

  14. You know, I really love the word idiopathic until it is being applied to something or someone. It’s just a fun word to say. My dad had an idiopathic condition as well and it is absolutely maddening.

    I hope the new food works to keep things in check. Purrs for a quick and full recovery.

  15. so sorry to hear the news of the illness but I think you made the right decision for surgery! Sammy is a fighter and Frodo, Amarula and Zulu and I are sending out positive vibes!!

  16. dood….we iz troo lee sorree ya had ta wear de cone; purrhapz if ya
    think oh it aza mice creem cone it will help ? we haz all 984 paws
    crossed when ya go bak two de ewe noe wear place; all iz well….

    we R buzzed happee non oh de other nastee stuff showed up ~~~
    troo lee happee for ya buddy β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯

  17. Oh my goodness! I hope he is well enough to come home soon! By any chance, will he eat cherries? I ask this because some people suffering from kidney stones were advised to eat 5-6 cherries per day to neutralize the uric acid. Since this is a calcium situation, I’m not sure if Sammy’s stones are caused by the same problem, but if he is now stone-free, and eating a bit of cherry each day would prevent a future problem, thought it would be worth mentioning.
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Thank you for the tip on the cherries, I don’t think I could get him to eat them. The food should help him. He was home the same day because no one is at the vet hospital at night so he was better off coming home. Hope you have a great week too.

  18. Gosh, Poor Sammy. Sending lots of purrs that everything turns out alright for him. I have never heard of this before. Glad the surgery went well.

  19. Sammy and Mom, Mommy’s Tortie, Admiral, had idiopathic Hypercalcemia as well, on top of the hyperthyroid problem she had for three years, suddenly she developed the hypercalcemia. Her blood was sent to the University of Michigan to be tested. It was quite high. She ultimately passed of it. I know my mom said she feels the Vet did nothing for Admiral. You said Sammy has special food. May I inquire what it is? If I ever get such a thing, mom would want to know
    She and I send love.

    1. I am so sorry to bring back awful memories of Admiral’s sickness. I am going to write to your Mom and tell her about the food. XO

  20. Prayers for Timmy – so gla he had a successful outcome to the surgery !

  21. Oh Sammy – What an incision!! My goodness – I’m glad you are on your way to feeling better!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ He seems to be healing fast. I have to crate him at night because he is already trying to climb poles with the cone.

    1. Thank you, he is sick of the cone, but I am going to leave it on until Friday at least.

  22. Aww I’m sorry that Sammy has been sick. I understand the worry about jinxing him. I’ve been there. We’re praying for him to be all better very soon with no further problems.

    I don’t know that we’ve ever had a kitty with this condition, but our precious Xerxes had Feline Leukemia. πŸ™

    Here’s to Sammy sleeping on your head again very soon! Have a blessed day.

    1. Feline Leukemia is an awful disease, I am sorry your Xerxes had to suffer with that. I can’t wait to have Sammy on my head again.

  23. Mee BEEKEENI GURL!!!!!!!
    Oh Phoebe yur so-o purrty inn yur teeny-weeny polky dot beekeeni!!!!!!!!
    An LadyMum says shee has NEVURR herd of Idiopathic Hypercalcemia…it sounds not nice an mee iss sendin a dubbull dose of POTP to Brofur-Inn-Law Sammy to get better soon….
    ***nose bumpss*** Siddhartha Henry =^,.^= an gentull {{hugs}} LadyMum

    1. My sweet purrince, you always say just the right things to make me feel special. Poor Sammy, he has to eat special food now and no treats for him. nose bumps and paw kisses to you my love. XO

    1. Sammy thanks you and Phoebe thanks you for reminding her of bikini day.

  24. None of mine have had such a thing, but I’m glad Sammy’s was caught before it started wreacking havoc in his urinary tract. It seems that more and more conditions are idiopathic – or are vets just knowing less and less?

    1. Thank you. I think it is the vets knowing less which is odd being that there re more diagnostics.

  25. I’m glad the surgery is over and hope Sammy heals smoothly and quickly. He will be in my prayers. I have not had a cat with that condition. I hope food can control it for him.

  26. That must have been difficult and stressful for everyone to go through! Our Mama gets really upset if there is anything wrong with us and always runs to the worst possible outcome. Like when Wilhelmina had to have two surgeries, the spay and her umbilical hernia fixed, our Mama was certain something would go wrong and she would lose her. Even after the operation our Mama thought there could be complications and internal bleeding that she was unaware of and she kept a close eye on Wilhelmina’s every move! Our Mama is crazy when it comes to all of us being o.k. and we bet your Mama is too! We are happy to hear Sammy is a great patient as that will make his road to recovery quicker πŸ™‚

    the critters in the cottage xo

    1. I am glad Wilhelmina made it through her 2 surgeries too. It is scary when any loved on goes under, human or pet.

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