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Checking kitty's PH

post #1 of 2
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I have a problem where my cat had first been diagnosed with Struvite stones and the vet had me give her a prescription diet (Hill's s/d) plus an extra additive called DL-Methionone to further acidify her urine. The result was her PH went down to 5 and she ended up with Calcium Oxalate stones that got stuck in her bladder and she had to have surgery to remove them. She almost died during surgery because she is very sensitive to anesthesia so I want to avoid surgery again. Her surgery was two years ago and she has been OK. She had one urinary tract infection last month but there were no crystals of any kind in her urine, just a lot of bacteria. But this was a month after her brother died unextectedly so I'm hoping that UTI was only a result of the stress and the disruption in her life from the grieving.

Her urine PH was 7.5 when she had the infection and the vet said that's a little too high. She eats Fancy Feast for canned food and was eating Hills Prescription X/D for dry. X/D is supposed to create a more alkaline urine to keep the Calcium Oxalate stones away. But Misty vomits the X/D so she really doesn't feel well on it so I don't know how good that is doing her.

Anyway, yesterday I got a sample of Purina Naturals dry food and she LOVES it. The ingredients look to be really good but I'm no expert. My vet admitted that he really doesn't know much about nutrition and cats and he gave her the X/D because it's the one used for Calcium Oxalate stones. But my thinking is if she eats prodominently Fancy Feast and vomits the X/D, then the X/D hasn't done anything for her and her PH is what it is from eating regular cat food (Fancy Feast). And since 7.5 PH has not caused any crystals then I don't see why she would be in any danger right now if I ditch the X/D which is basically just causing her to vomit it right back up. So I'm basically buy expensive food and throwing it away 10 minutes after she swallows it. Now price is really not the issue, I would pay whatever I have to for my Misty but it doesn't make sense to spend the money just to throw it away and have a miserable cat on top of that.

So I have two questions:

#1 - does anyone know about Purina Naturals and how good this food is?

#2 - how do I check Misty's PH at home so I can keep an eye on it myself so I don't have to keep getting a urinalysis done by the vet. I can check it at home more often than taking it to the vet. Then if I see a problem at home, I can take care of it before it becomes something worse.

OK, one more question. Does anyone know what the ideal urine ph is?

So sorry this is so long. I'm just at my wits end with this. I love Misty and I want her to be healthy and also happy and feeding her food that makes her vomit and then cries because she's hungry just isn't a happy fulfilling life for her.

Thank you all.

post #2 of 2
How long was she on the science diet S/D food?

How long was she on the DL-Methionine?

Combining those 2 for any great length of time is asking for a calcium stone, from what I know. It's not your fault - I just question your vet's logic on that.

You probably know this but at 7.5, that's definitely struvite territory. But we might blame that on the effect of X/D.

Ideal, AFAIK is 6.0-6.5.

There is a Rx food made by Waltham's - Urinary SO. It's supposed to prevent both calcium oxalate and struvite...which seems impossible but a lot of members here are very happy with the results. I haven't tried it myself. There is some info here:


I would suggest avoiding any fish ingredients in Misty's food.

Is the X/D she eats wet or dry?

If she likes canned food, I would lean on that - some high quality food with no fish and no "meat by products". Of course discuss this with a vet - I'm not an expert...just a crazy cat lady with a UTI/crystal prone cat. LOL

It sounds to me like she's not necessarily "pre disposed" to producing either very alkaline or very acidic urine. I think the extremes in her diet (acidifier + s/d) then all the way to X/D ...have played a part. The science diet C/D is maintenance food for struvite - S/D is usually only used for a very short time to dissolve struvite crystals.

I don't have any experience with Purina Naturals...but my general experience with Purina in a crystal prone kitty is bad. If you're ready to make changes to her diet, I would lean heavily on the high quality canned like I said above. There are many choices in that department. Fish bothers some UTI prone cats...so that eliminates a lot of choices, but still there's some good stuff that fits the bill.

On checking the pH, I don't have much experience. There's special non-absorbent litter that makes getting a sample easier. I think the crystal type litter is slow to absorb urine, so that might work too - if you're quick. I think test strips are available at pharmacies.

On vomiting the X/D, I'm not sure - there could be one ingredient that doesn't agree with her.
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