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Crystals Need Help!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm new here and was looking for some advice and help. I realize this isn't a forum full of vets, but I just need some advice from experienced cat owners/lovers.
I have 4 house cats and have been finding that someone was using the bathtub as their urination spot. I narrowed it down to Marcel. I took a urine sample to the vet and they called me back saying that he has crystals. They want me to put him on one of Science Diets prescription formulas. I am NOT a fan of that companies products...too many grains and nasty by-products that I do NOT feel comfortable feeding my babies. I currently feed Felidae dry and I am guessing that is a big part of my problem...no wet food. I go back into the vet on Monday and my question is do you think that adding some wet content to his diet would be helpful and that I could continue on with Felidae instead of feeding yucky Science Diet? Or are there other foods with a good pH that I could consider? I have really strong feelings about not feeding Science Diet and I need some suggestions to take to my vet so we can decide on something that will benefit Marcel, but not go against my desire to feed a high quality food with high quality ingredients.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give this newbie!!
post #2 of 9
I don't know enough to help you, but we have a couple really knowledgeable folks here who should be along shortly.
post #3 of 9
Depending on how bad the crystals are, you made need to feed Science Diet S/D (I'm assuming struvite) crystals temporarily--or you could see if your vet carries the Royal Canin SO (http://www.royalcanin.us/vetdiet/felineurinary.html). Both are designed to dissolve the crystals. Science Diet S/D is not intended to be a long-term food; after the crystals have dissolved, cats are usually switched to Science Diet C/D. I completely understand wanting to avoid those foods. I know that a lot of people on here have had their cats do well on Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul as a maintenance food. Adding canned food and/or encouraging the cat to drink more (kitty fountains or more drinking spots can help) is also beneficial. If you choose not to go the vet food route, be sure that you monitor your cat closely and take him back for a repeat urinalysis a month or so after making changes to be sure that the problem is resolving.
post #4 of 9
Cloud shade said most of it

foods for after

max cat ( uti certified formulas )
chicken soup
purina( uti certified but ingrediants are so so)

Will yours eat wet ??? if so add as much as they and your $$ allow
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Marcel will definitely eat wet, I never knew how beneficial that moisture was for them so I always just fed dry. Thanks for the info and I will be looking into some quality canned foods for Marcel. I will most likely go ahead and do the Science Diet at first and then switch him over to something better. Thanks for the help! I appreciate it! And if anyone has more to add please go ahead, I'll take all the advice I can get!
post #6 of 9
My cat had the very same problem, peeing in the sink, and I fed wet food, but it did not help. I had to switch to Waltham's SO (which is the same as Royal Canine SO).
Until I did, cat kept having problems. Vet even told me to put the cat in a big cage and keep him there so he wouldn't pee all over the place. Thankfully I did not need the cage because as soon as I switched the problems had gone away. Right now both my cats eat dry Waltham SO and also wet food from Nutro. Both cats seem to be doing fine on Waltham SO long term.
Not all vets carry it but I think the ingredients are better than in SD and this food can be used as maintance food (at least I use it as maintance food). Recently my vet moved so I had to go to three other vets before I found one who carried Waltham SO food. My cat was really suffering until I switched.
post #7 of 9
I recommend putting your cat on Hill's S/D for 4-6 weeks (or whatever your vet recommends) and then changing kitty to a maintenance diet. A follow-up urinalysis is a definite must. S/D is really the best thing for the initial stages after a struvite episode even if the ingredients are junk. My boy Pico is on Waltham's S/O dry and canned as a maintenance diet, and we've had good success with it.

The jury's out on whether it's advisable to put a FLUTD pre-disposed cat on a regular pet food brand even if it's certified for urinary tract health. Although these foods are wonderful for cats who have never had struvite crystals, IMHO it might not be a "great" idea for a FLUTD pre-disposed cat to be eating regular food after an episode. Genetics and stress levels also play a major role in the development of FLUTD.

I assume that the feeding trials with a cat food like Nutro Max Cat Roasted Chicken for example (certified for UT health) are conducted in healthy cats, so whether these foods are adequate for the control of urinary pH in FLUTD pre-disposed cats is unknown. Perhaps Sharky can comment on this .
I'm a BIG fan of Nutro and feed my healthy boy this type of food. However, I only give my FLUTD boy RX food based on the scientific uncertainty surrounding the etiology/cause of FLUTD.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
What a great community of cat lovers! Thank you for all your advice and help! I go in tomorrow morning to pick up the food and to take my doggie in for a urinalysis as well...I fear she is incontinent .... anyway...made a 2 hr trip today to pick up a variety of canned foods along with a water fountain thingy. The fountain has already proved to be worth it! Cloudy looked at me with an amazed look like "Do you realize you left the faucet on?" It was cute! Thanks again for all the suggestions, I appreciate your helpfulness for a newbie!
post #9 of 9
I have had two cats with crystals in my life. When we switched to c/d science diet, the problem never re-occured. I know you don't like it, but my childhood cat lived many years after the switch so I'm a believer.
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