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Cystitis - how to treat?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My cat, Belle, was diagnosed with this a month ago. As from Friday he's had his 3rd course of antibiotics prescribed. He's been given dry prescription food to break up the crystals. But there are 3 problems with this A - he's just not a cat that likes dry food. He has always had some but much prefers his wet food, the vet is adamant he has to be on this dry food but all the information I can find online tells me an all-dry diet is the worst thing for this condition. I know the vet is a vet and I'm not, but through past experiences with vets I don't take their word as gospel.

B, I have 3 other cats, feeding them separately is a total nightmare. (Vet advised me to feed all of them this prescription food even though it says on the package not to feed it to cats that don't have the condition). Belle wants what the others have and vice-versa. I put them in separate rooms and have 3 cats meowing on one side of the door, and 1 on the other with no food being eaten by anyone.

And C, the price of the prescription food is extortionate! I can manage it short-term but don't know how I'll afford to feed him this forever. He's insured so all treatment is covered, but a prescription diet isn't.

So what I wanted to know is that if anyone has had any success treating this condition with something other than the prescription food? I've been reading lots about apple cider vinegar and D-mannose. Has anyone got experience using these? I've already changed the other cats onto high-meat/no grain wet food.

He was diagnosed by being sedated and catheterised, even that took ages cos he had too much blood in his urine to get a decent sample. He also had an ultrasound, he has no stones but has struvite crystals.

He's been given Royal Canin S/O, I've read the ingredients and it seems very low quality for the price, and has calcium sulfate listed as the acidifying ingredient.

Any information any of you could give me would be very helpful. I'm trying to do my best for Belle as I love him to pieces, but just can't afford this food forever. There must be something I can give him alongside his regular food to do the same job as the prescription food.

I'm sorry for the length of this post!
post #2 of 9
What type of crystals did he have? Struvite or oxalate?

My Jeta had a bout with struvite crystals and I choose to fed her a raw diet which naturally acidifies the urine to prevent struvite crystal formation rather than fed a prescription diet. She has been crystal free for a year now.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I did say that his crystals are struvite

My cats have had raw food, not regularly but they have had minced beef and chicken wings
post #4 of 9
I have a kitty with chronic cystitis, started at 6 months and she is now 14. She sometimes has crystals, sometimes not. Being a female though, the crystals are not as worrisome. Boys can get in serious, even deadly situations with blockages.

Do you know Belle's urine pH? Most cystitis diets acidify the urine. For my kitty my vet prefers that I feed her the homemade diets I feed all of them and use Vitamin C as an acidifier for her. Its safe, it works and she gets to eat her regular, species appropriate diet.

We also give her Cosquin sprinkle caps. Although this was designed for joint health, the GAGs in it help the mucus lining of the bladder. It has helped my kitty a great deal. There are scientific studies on this product for idiopathic cystitis. You should be able to find them doing an internet search

Personally, I refused to feed the prescription food as I think it is full of really bad things that cats should not eat, like corn! If your gut is telling you not to go this route, then maybe you need to search out another vet who is willing to help you treat Belle without using the prescription dry food.

In the mean time keeping him on the diet is important until you find another that can help. You don't want him getting a blockage.

I hope you are able to get Belle's cystitis under control. I know there are quite a few others on this board with chronic cystitis kitties, male ones, so hopefully they will comment here for you soon.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I would love to have a vet that I could talk to about these things but to be honest all the vets round here seem to care about is money.

Yeah kittymonster the ingredients in the Royal Canin aren't good at all imo. It's 4% meat bulked out with maize.

I don't know the ph of Belle's urine. I have some pearl litter here that I have to use to get a urine sample from him, I have to take it in for analysis this week.

What kind of vitamin C do you use? Like what form does it come in?

I've been reading more this morning, and found there's a product called Cystaid which is a urine acidifier for cats. If I gave Belle this would that allow me to feed him non-prescription food?
post #6 of 9
I had a big argument on this issue with my vet when Welington had cystitis. And the Head of the practice weighte in on my side eventually, to give him a combo of wet and dry, with of course loads of water. AS you are in N Ireland I think you could get Sanabelle Urinary deliverd from Zooplus online. It is cheaper that way, in large sacks. All mine eat it now and we rarely have a problem. I also give my cats low calcium bottled water.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I made an appointment this morning just to talk to the vet, she was very helpful. I just said I was finding it a nightmare to feed him separately to the other cats. So now I've got a bottle of Cystease to give him twice daily for a week, then once a day for a fortnight, one every other day thereafter. He's also to stick with the high meat content food. I'm praying this helps him as my life will be so much easier to be able to feed him with the other puddies. Also the vet said the stress of feeding times could counteract some of the good the prescription food would be doing anyway. So we'll see how we get on with this.

I've to phone over later to see what the results of his urine sample are.
post #8 of 9
So sorry it has taken me this long to respond. The vitamin C I use is just plain powedered ascorbic acid. I get it at the health food store.

It sounds like you have a great plan in place now. I am so glad for you and Belle.

that the urine test results are improved.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that's good to know.

The vet rang me yesterday and said there is protein and white blood cells in his urine so the infection isn't clear yet. But she said the sample was left under the microscope and when she came back to it these strange crystals had formed, she had no idea what they were, got the other vets to look and they didn't know either. She looked at his sample again and the same thing happened. So now it's been sent off to the lab for further analysis. She told me not to worry but I don't see how I can't when she doesn't even know what it is!

I suppose it's a good thing that these crystals are only forming when his urine's exposed to the air though. And at first there were no struvite crystals so they seem to have cleared up. If we could just shift this infection now.
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