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Cystine urinary crystals

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience having a cat with “cystine†urinary crystals? They are uncommon and I’m having a hard time finding much info.

Basically the ph of the urine needs to be made more alkaline and not acidic, as you would for the other types of crystals. There is no specific prescription food to treat it. My vet called Hill’s, they said to use l/d or k/d. My online searching confirmed this, but that’s about all the info I can find.

The vet gave us l/d, then k/d but both gave Marco diarrhea. I had tried mixing it in with his usual food over a couple of days, too. He offered dry or wet, and I chose the dry as that what he usually eats. (His normal food is Hill’s Sensitive Stomach, as he was prone to diarrhea as a youngster) Marco is 7 with no problems up until this point. He’s also just had blood work done and that came back OK. I’ve been watching him closely for any signs in case he develops a blockage.

I need to contact the vet again and see what the next move is but any insights/suggestions would be appreciated. There may be a 3rd Hill’s to try but I imagine it will have the same result.
post #2 of 5
If you need to make his system more alkaline, can baking soda be incorporated into his diet, or put into a capsule for him? Not sure what else would make an alkaline urine, but I imagine a search for alkaline foods might help. How alkaline should it be? If you are going to experiment with foods, you xhould get ph sticks so you can monitor.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Not really sure about adding baking soda. I’ve been looking up brands recommended on this forum but having a hard time finding ones that make the urine more alkaline; food is geared toward making it acidic or it doesn’t list ph.

I was just hoping to find someone else whose had a cat with cystine crystals who could make a suggestion of something that could help, or maybe narrow down brands I should try or ask my vet about. With Marco’s sensitive tummy, I’m trying to avoid experimenting too much with foods.
post #4 of 5
STRUVITE or OXALATE crystals??
post #5 of 5
Cystine crystal are very specific and really, really rare in people and are caused by a genetic defect that prevent the reabsorption of cystine by the proximal convoluted tubules in the kidneys. ( I know TMI, but I am a med tech). The more acidic the urine the more the crystals form, but it is a genetic basis for the defect. In people they tend to form kidney stones, I don't know if this is also a problem with cats, but ask your vet to make sure.

Also you can try searching cystinuria, for more information on this condition in people

This is a web page about crystals in human urine, but it will give you good information about types, pH associations, etc.


You are going to have to be careful not to get his urine to alkaline or he could develop struvite crystals which are also know as triple phosphate crystals.

If I can find any more information I will post it here for you. I'll be sending good vibes for you and your kitty

ETA: just found this site, good information that is easy to understand.
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