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Crystals in urine

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
On occasion y cat has been going back to the litterbox after urinating.His urine output is very good all the time but at times (not all the time ) he will go back into the box and try to go more. He doesnt do this everytime. I took a sample to my vet and the vet said he has crystals in his urine and put him on a urinary diet dry food.She said his PH was 7 and this was borderline.She said the diet with drinking alot should do the job. My question is how do you make a cat drink more water? At times I felt he was drinking to much! My next question is what canned foods are good.He loves canned foods and has been eating Pro Plan canned foods. The vet also advised me to get AZO STANDARD pills in a drug store, when i asked what this is for she said it mask pain he feels , I do not feel comfortable about giving him this, after all its for humans and he does not seem to be in pain, this morning he was normal , playing and jumping and being a bad kitty ! the only signs of anything he shows was like i said AT TIMES he will go back to the box and try to pee more after he has had a normal quanity of urine passed.
post #2 of 11
I can't advise you about which foods are best, but I do agree that getting him to drink more is important.

You could try a pet fountain - something like the Drinkwell or similar - they are really good for encouraging cats to drink more water, many don't really like drinking out of bowls and will be much more attracted to flowing or dripping water.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
So these fountains work pretty good in getting a cat to drink more? Do you leave them on all the time ?My vet also suggested getting one as well. Will they really make a cat drink that much more water?
post #4 of 11
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't --- obviously different cats respond to things in different ways. Relatively speaking, they seem to have a high success rate, but you won't know for sure unless you buy it and set it up.

There are a whole slew of articles in this forum about recommended premium canned foods. Just do a search. And keep in mind that, just like with the fountain, your cat may not like the first X brands/flavors of "good" canned food that you buy. It can often be a case of trial and error if you have a picky eater. I don't get the impression that Pro Plan is much better than decent, but if in the most extreme scenario it turns out that your cat will only eat Pro Plan, then that's fine. Better to feed mediocre canned food than none at all.

And given the circumstances I agree with you completely about not giving him those pills.
post #5 of 11
I have heard that cats with crystallization should eat low ash food...I could be wrong though, I am by no means an expert
post #6 of 11
It depends upon what type of crystals they are.

There are two types of crystals: struvite and calcium oxalate.

You need to ask what type they are. I assume they're struvite, because a diet that helps lower the pH can prevent their occurance. I would call the vet to find out if this, in fact, is the case.

Here is an excellent article describing the issues with crystals:

Diets for struvite crystals, I don't know. Any "urinary tract health" food would work, and almost everyone makes one. Royal Canine would be a pretty good high quality food.

We have male cats - one has a problem with Struvite crystals, 2 have a problem with Calcium Oxalate crystals.

To get them to drink more water, we bought a Petmate fountain. Those made no difference to our cats (the water pours down a ramp). Then we bought a Drinkwell fountain. It pours out a spout, like a waterfall. They all started drinking more (you can tell by the amount of pee you have to scoop! ). We bought another one so we've got one on each floor.

We also mix a little warm water into any wet food we feed them.

The issue with calcium oxalate crystals is the way they metabolise magnesium and calcium (magnesium affects the metabolism of calcium). We had to put our cats on a prescription diet, and NO MORE SEAFOOD OF ANY KIND as a treat. Our kitties loved shrimp, so this was a bummer. Seafood tends to be high in magnesium. Also, NO MORE GRASS OR FRESH GREENS. These are high in calcium - or some ingredient that affects the calcium. This was a bummer, because they loved cat grass.

I do know that a diet that is high protein and low on grains is best for urinary tract health.

Also, I hope the vet explained to you that you MUST keep an eye on your kitty. Male cats have very thin urethras, and they can become blocked. Switching your cat's diet will obviously help, and may prevent the problem from recurring. However, if you ever see your cat straining to pee and nothing except a couple of drops is coming out, and this happens more than once in a day, get your cat to a vet ASAP. When a male cat becomes blocked, the urine will back up into his system, and in a little over 24 hours can cause him to die from toxicity. A blocked urethra will not kill your cat. Not getting him to a vet in time to fix the problem could. Don't mean to scare you - just don't want you to learn the hard way.

post #7 of 11
Oh - if it was a bad case of struvite crystals, the vet probably would have prescribed something to lower the pH. Our vet prescribes Albeta for this - it helps acidify the urine and that helps dissolve the crystals.

There is no pill, however, to help kitty's sytem correct the problem of calcium oxalate crystals. These can only be flushed, and the diet changed to prevent their creation.

post #8 of 11
My male cat also had crystals in his urine. He had a very diffucult time unrinating. He was on antibiotics for about 3 weeks, and the special urinary tract diet, which he is still on to this day. I used to mix water in with the food. It does take time to clear up though!
post #9 of 11
About whether your cat will like a drinking fountain - it really depends. There are several types on the market, to suit several preferences of drinking. You can do a little experimentation to help determine which your cat may prefer!

Run the tap for him - if he prefers drinking running or dripping water as it flows from a tap, then get the type like the Drinkwell where water falls out of a spout. If he prefers licking running water off the bottom of the sink, try something like the CatIt where the water flows over a solid surface or ramp. I hope that helps
post #10 of 11
We found a few crystals in Forest's urine a year or so ago, so my vet recommended that we switch him to the Pro Plan Urinary Formula. He's on a wet diet, so he gets the canned, which I mix with a little extra water for good measure. It's not really the best quality food (way more byproducts and grains than I'd like), but he seems to like it, he doesn't throw it up (which he does with richer foods), and it seems to have gotten rid of the crystals. His latest urinalysis was clear.
post #11 of 11
A little advice on the AZO, it dies the pee bright orange, and stains everything!! Its really crazy stuff! I know how the crystals go, so I hope you get them under control, I heard good things about the fountains too!!

Maybe you could check with the vet about the pyridium (azo) to see if there's a vet form or something, it numbs the bladder to help things pass comfortably! But it is also a dye! It stains everything! If it works though..... it could very well be worth it...Id check with the vet to be sure though
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