Hypercalcemia in cats: a retrospective study of 71 cases (1991-1997)

J Vet Intern Med. Mar-Apr 2000;14(2):184-9. doi: 10.1892/0891-6640(2000)014<0184:hicars>2.3.co;2.


A retrospective study was conducted to characterize the diseases, clinical findings, and clinicopathologic and ultrasonographic findings associated with hypercalcemia (serum calcium concentration >11 mg/dL) in 71 cats presented to North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The 3 most common diagnoses were neoplasia (n = 21), renal failure (n = 18), and urolithiasis (n = 11). Primary hyperparathyroidism was diagnosed in 4 cats. Lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma were the most frequently diagnosed tumors. Calcium oxalate uroliths were diagnosed in 8 of 11 cats with urolithiasis. Cats with neoplasia had a higher serum calcium concentration (13.5 +/- 2.5 mg/dL) than cats with renal failure or urolithiasis and renal failure (11.5 +/- 0.4 mg/dL; P < .03). Serum phosphorus concentration was higher in cats with renal failure than in cats with neoplasia (P < .004). Despite the fact that the majority of cats with uroliths were azotemic, their serum urea nitrogen and creatinine concentrations and urine specific gravity differed from that of cats with renal failure. Additional studies are warranted to determine the underlying disease mechanism in the cats we identified with hypercalcemia and urolithiasis. We also identified a small number of cats with diseases that are not commonly reported with hypercalcemia. Further studies are needed to determine whether an association exists between these diseases and hypercalcemia, as well as to characterize the underlying pathophysiologic mechanism for each disease process.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / etiology*
  • Cat Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Hypercalcemia / etiology
  • Hypercalcemia / physiopathology
  • Hypercalcemia / veterinary*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / complications
  • Hyperparathyroidism / veterinary
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Renal Insufficiency / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Calculi / etiology
  • Urinary Calculi / veterinary