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dry food for crystal prone cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My cat is prone to crystals and has been on prescription Science Diet CD for several months now. Even with this food he still has crystals and his ph is too high.

I have been looking at other foods for him, and would like to get some opinions about a couple of them.

The prescription Science Diet CD has Ash max 6.5%, Phosphorus min 0.4%, Magnesium max 0.08%.

One of the foods I am looking at is the Science Diet Nature's Best with chicken. It has Ash max 6.5%, Phosphorus min 0.5%, and Magnesium max 0.08%. It also has dl-methionine listed as an ingredient, which I was recommended to give him to get his ph lowered. The CD does not have this listed.

What I don't understand is the numbers on the Nature's Best are so similar to the CD plus it has the dl-methionine, but there is nothing on the bag recommending it for urinary health. Is there something I am missing? Why would it not be recommended as it so closely matches the prescription food given for urinary issues?

The other food I am looking at is Wellness Indoor Health . It has Ash max 6.5%, Phosphorus min 0.78% (I think), and Magnesium max 0.098%. The numbers are higher, but the ingredients are better.

Thanks!
post #2 of 15
they have a royal canin one as well. though if your kitty is picky he/she may not like it.
post #3 of 15
The C/D is effective for a lot of cats. I will say that much. However, It was not the solution for my cat, so I can relate to your frustration.

The C/D is formulated to make the cat drink more and urinate more...so there's a little more to it than the %'s and urine acidifying ingredients. Those things are important, but keeping a good amount of urine going throuh the bladder is very very important. Even still, back to %'s... I think the magnesium on the Wellness dry is too high for a crystal cat.

From my experience, if the C/D is not helping...then I don't think an OTC dry food will be of much benefit. Maybe later on down the road when the problem has stabilized, but not now IMO. There are some OTC foods "certified" for UT health but....in a cat that already has an ongoing problem I don't think that's going to be a lot of help.

The Nature's Best Science diet doesn't list any meat until the 3rd ingredient so it wouldn't be my choice in any case. I believe the corn is supposed to be acidifying....but it's still not my favorite thing to feed a cat.

Before the C/D, was your cat on S/D and/or any addtional urine acidifier (like Methigel, etc)? The C/D is more of a "maintenance" food and isn't much help for existing crystals IMO.

Dry food in general is not the most effective solution for bladder problems. I would recommend considering canned food. It can be hard to switch some kibble addicts, but it has been well worth the trouble in our case.

If the canned food route is not an option, then I would recommend asking your vet about other urinary diets...like the Waltham's (Royal Canin) Urinary SO food that ladycat mentioned. I think it would be worth a try.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. I had looked at the Royal Canin one as well - but I was hoping to maybe get him off a prescription food. I was thinking since the CD wasn't working & it was suggested that I give him the dl-methionine that I could feed him a better dry food & keep his ph down by giving him that.

I do feed him wet food - 3oz can or pouch 2 times a day and I mix a little water in it. I have tried just about every brand of premium wet foods (those without fish anyway) - and he would not eat any of them. He ate Wellness, Merricks, & Felidae at first, but now won't touch them. I can only get him to eat Fancy Feast, Friskies pouches, and occasionally Wysong Chicken & Turkey Au Jus.

When he was first diagnosed with crystals about a year ago he was given the SD canned food - but he would not eat it. Ate it great the first time I gave it to him & then wouldn't touch it. I started him on the CD dry a few months later & he eats that pretty well. He wouldn't eat the CD canned.

I knew that the SD made them drink more (I think because of the increased amount of salt in it - read that somewhere or vet told me, can't remember). I wasn't sure if the CD was supposed to as well. If it is, it does not work with him as he has not increased his water intake. (I measure his water.)

The only difference I can see in the CD & the Nature's Best as far as increasing water intake is the salt. CD (as fed) has 0.34% sodium and Nature's Best (as fed) has 0.28% sodium.

Is there some other difference in the ingredients that I'm not seeing? The target urine ph listed for the two is the same as well - Normal acid (6.2 - 6.4). If someone could give me further insight on this, I would really appreciate it.

I have read & been told by one vet that the main thing in preventing the crystals is to keep the ph low - and that is done with the low magnesium & phosphorus content and/or with the dl-methionine, as well as increasing water intake.

Beandip - what ended up working for you? You are right - this has been very frustrating. Not to mention expensive as I have no pet food stores near me & had to order the canned foods I tried online (and usually in bulk.)
post #5 of 15
You need to have a sit down talk with your vet

Some OTC drys are okay for some and they have on the label UTI health

nutro and purina make two I know of..... BUT CONSULT your VET

An all wet or homeade diet is likely best BUT TALK TO YOUR VET...
post #6 of 15
I have had much success with carpon, hopefully I have attached the correct link.


http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/cl.../article4.html
post #7 of 15
Do you have the option of consulting a holistic veterinarian? It seems like your vet doesn't have much to suggest, since nothing has changed after some time on the C/D... A holistic veterinarian would be able to provide different, more natural (and IMO very effective) options.

The Wellness Indoor health has been formulated for urinary tract health, (triple cranberry yay! lol), and that would be my choice, as the ingredients are *worlds* better than either the c/d or the natures best.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanillasugar View Post
Do you have the option of consulting a holistic veterinarian? It seems like your vet doesn't have much to suggest, since nothing has changed after some time on the C/D... A holistic veterinarian would be able to provide different, more natural (and IMO very effective) options.

The Wellness Indoor health has been formulated for urinary tract health, (triple cranberry yay! lol), and that would be my choice, as the ingredients are *worlds* better than either the c/d or the natures best.
The wellness number s dont jive with the ones that HAVE been tested and thus allowed to STATE Help maintain urinary health ...

A holistic vet would be a great option if you can
post #9 of 15
Mine urinary problem cat eats Royal Canin SO and he had no problems since starting that. Before he would pee everywhere, on the floor, in the sink, on the bed, etc. He also used to get nutro pouches in addition to his dry food every evening and morning but now I don't know what kind of wet food to feed him since nutro has been recalled.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniferd View Post
Mine urinary problem cat eats Royal Canin SO and he had no problems since starting that. Before he would pee everywhere, on the floor, in the sink, on the bed, etc. He also used to get nutro pouches in addition to his dry food every evening and morning but now I don't know what kind of wet food to feed him since nutro has been recalled.
If you are okay with feeding some with wheat .... the groumet classics by Nutro are on the shelvesthey are cuts in gravy (not in recall)... purina pro plan makes cuts in gravey... they also have some new food in pro plan than the cans looked good ... solid gold is good for finicky cats... as is natural balence
post #11 of 15
Sharky is right...talk to your vet, or find one who is willing to listen. I tried going off on my own trying things and it backfired ...then without fessing up to the vet, I was sort of on my own. So I talked to her about it and we came up with what I feel is a good plan that is working for Beandip.

We stuck with the dry C/D for over a year...it wasn't working, even with daily meds to manage the bladder inflammation and anxiety. Now before I go on I'll urge you to speak to a vet. Now Beandip eats a premade raw (Nature's variety) and I give him the methionine daily. Canned would have been fine with me, however Beandip had the choice so raw it is. Getting the dosage right on that methionine can be tricky, and that's one reason that it oftentimes isn't the first choice for management of this problem. Too little won't work, too much can be harmful. Not to mention the only way to dose him at the moment is by spending 10 tedious minutes portioning all of that powder into small gelcaps...that's the hard part. Then the fun part is putting 3 pills down the Bean's throat. He doesn't like Methigel. But Beandip is a different cat now...I can't begin to explain it. But do find a vet to work with.

Honestly, I'm not sure of the exact differences in the C/D vs. the Nature's Best you linked to. I see Rice, Corn Gluten, listed first and I'm just turned off at that point. I do see some similarities, and you pointed that out too. If one thing is not working, I would not switch to something that is so similar.

I would put water intake, with wet food to help in that area...at the top of the priority list. The other things are important, but moisture is first in my book. Management of stress is very high on my list too. The simplest things can stress a cat, and that can cause a flare-up episode. Then manipulating the pH is important too, although moisture and stress both have an effect on pH...one good and one bad...so that's why moisture moisture moisture. I can't say enough about moisture.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Both vets I have talked to have recommended the CD food. Since I couldn't get him to eat a better wet food, I would really like to be able to feed him a better dry food - especially since he is still having the same issue while on the CD.

I had taken him in a few times & took urine samples and they said no crystals. I had noticed on his urine results that the ph was 7 - and I had been testing him at home & consistently coming up with ph of 7 or 7.5, which from all I had read I thought was too high for him with his history. They thought it was a behavioral issue. I kept feeling it wasn't - he was going to the box & peeing a small amount & going back to pee more. He would also pee on plastic bags.

I finally took him to a different vet (farther away). This one immediately told me that his ph was too high (7.5). Further testing was done on his urine and crystals were found. At least I knew I wasn't crazy. He did have a problem & it was what I thought it was.

Gail, do you feed a regular dry food and give the carpon or do you feed a prescription dry food? What exactly is in the carpon? Is it basically cranberry?

I wish there was a holistic vet around here, but there's not.

I was looking at the Wellness because even though the numbers were high, they were still lower than other foods and like vanillasugar I like the cranberry content. As I suffer from urinary problems myself, I know how cranberry can help. I drink at least a glass of cranberry juice a day and it really does help me. So, I was thinking it may help him as well.

Thanks everyone!
post #13 of 15
Many foods have cranberry .. the powder form is more effective..

From what I have heard and read carpon is a component of the cranberry

what type of crystals??

i would try for a third opnion if that comes back use an RX then i would do that
post #14 of 15
Try Waltham's So. When my cat had a problem it was really frustrating but ever since I switched cat is doing fine.
He peed small amounts everywhere and had blood in his urine. It went on for at least a month until I switched.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Gail, do you feed a regular dry food and give the carpon or do you feed a prescription dry food? What exactly is in the carpon? Is it basically cranberry?
The ingredient is vaccinium macrocarpon. It says derived from a naturally occuring botanical fruit that aids in the acidification of feline urine for struvite crystals.

I feed Fang and the others 2/3 a can of wet food divided into two servings. and a small handful of dry twice a day. I will leave a small handful (you can count the kibbles) between. I don't leave much, because they won't eat their wet if I do.

When I saw Fang's crystals and took him to the vet, we got the antibiotic, and the vet recommended using powdered cranberry. I tried that, but wasn't sure of the dosage to put on the food, and he very soon stopped eating it. I did purchase small gell capsules to put the powder in, and filled a few, but then I discovered the Carpon, and I feel more comfortable with that, in a pill form, measured dosage. I still have the cranberry and capsules which I could use in an emergency, I guess.

I was giving Fang two pills a day. He had some bad teeth removed a few weeks ago, so I have decreased to once a day, hoping that a healthier mouth will somehow translate to less crystals. He is doing fine so far, and it has been around ten days. I am watching closely, and his urine pattern and volume are the same. I haven't purchased any ph stips yet, and I really should, to get a better handle on what is going on.

I am amazed when I read postings on crystals and all the rx food, when it is so much easier and reliable to give an acidifier (if struvite). I know without even trying, my cats would turn up their nose at the rx food. My dearly departed Sparky was to eat the low protein food when she got sick, she would rather starve to death.

Check out Belfields website, and this is for struvite crystals only.
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