Influence of nutrition on feline calcium oxalate urolithiasis with emphasis on endogenous oxalate synthesis

J.C. Dijcker, E.A. Plantinga, J. van Baal, W.H. Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) uroliths detected in cats with lower urinary tract disease has shown a sharp increase over the last decades with a concomitant reciprocal decrease in the occurrence of struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) uroliths. CaOx stone-preventative diets are available nowadays, but seem to be marginally effective, as CaOx urolith recurrence occurs in patients fed these diets. In order to improve the preventative measures against CaOx urolithiasis, it is important to understand its aetiopathogenesis. The main research focus in CaOx formation in cats has been on the role of Ca, whereas little research effort has been directed towards the role and origin of urinary oxalates. As in man, the exogenous origin of urinary oxalates in cats is thought to be of minor importance, although the precise contribution of dietary oxalates remains unclear. The generally accepted dietary risk factors for CaOx urolithiasis in cats are discussed and a model for the biosynthetic pathways of oxalate in feline liver is provided. Alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT1) in endogenous oxalate metabolism is a liver-specific enzyme targeted in the mitochondria in cats, and allows for efficient conversion of glyoxylate to glycine when fed a carnivorous diet. The low peroxisomal activity of AGT1 in cat liver is compatible with the view that felids utilised a low-carbohydrate diet throughout evolution. Future research should focus on understanding de novo biosynthesis of oxalate in cats and their adaptation(s) in oxalate metabolism, and on dietary oxalate intake and absorption by cats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-110
JournalNutrition Research Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • alanine-glyoxylate aminotransferase
  • l-glyceric aciduria
  • urinary relative supersaturation
  • ammonium phosphate urolithiasis
  • primary hyperoxaluria type-2
  • clinically normal cats
  • high-protein diet
  • stone-formers
  • oxalobacter-formigenes
  • healthy dogs


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of nutrition on feline calcium oxalate urolithiasis with emphasis on endogenous oxalate synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this