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Blue Buffalo and crystals?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

This is a little bit health and little bit nutrition, so I hope I'm posting in the right place. Seamus was diagnosed with his first UTI in early July. Things seemed to clear up after a couple rounds of antibiotics, but yesterday I received the results of his follow-up urinanalysis (he's been off the antibiotics now for about 3 weeks) and his ph was high at 7.5 and they detected struvite crystals. He wasn't having symptoms yet, but the doctor put him on Royal Canin Urinary SO temporarily to head off a possible blockage. He will be on this food for at least the next 3 to 4 weeks and then they will retest his urine. The thing is, when he had his first urinanalysis when he was diagnosed with the UTI, his ph was within the normal range at 6.5 and they did not detect any crystals, but he had signs of infection such as white blood cells in the urine (they also did a culture, but it came back negative). Anyway, at the time of the first test, he was eating Wellness dry, but a week before the follow up test I had bought a bag of Blue Buffalo dry (I tend to rotate between these two brands) and mixed it in with the Wellness. That was the only change. I also feed wet food and that rotation has been constant, so I'm suspecting that adding Blue to his diet may have caused the altered ph and crystals. I was also told to replace his wet food with the RC urinary wet food but I honestly think this issue is related to the dry and the introduction of the Blue Buffalo. Do you think my suspicions are valid or is simply a coincidence? Anyway, I'd be interested to hear any thoughts on this.

In any event, I don't want to keep him on the prescription food if I can help it and would like to get him back on the Wellness once he's stabilized. Since both my cats graze on the dry during the day my other cat has to also eat the prescription food even though she doesn't need it. The vet said that's okay, but I know it's not ideal, and I still would rather have them both on a good quality maintenance food.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 33
IMHO talk with the vet about what %ages of magnesium , calcium and phos are sugggested for your cat..

some OTC uti foods are Purina one and pro plan and Nutro max.. both have a couple formulas ... YES both have corn or corn gluten , IMHO a nessessary evil in a dry food for a uti or crystal prone cat as it aids in balancing chicken %ages ... IMHO AVOID fish

Wellness did work for one multi cat family I know of though its % ages are not in the uti freindly zone...

WET food is FAR FAR easier to find meeting the guidelines
post #3 of 33
Sharky,

Do you think I could switch to the Max Cat (am assuming there is a special UTI formula) on the dry for Charlie and still continue with feeding them the canned/raw foods.

Everyone is on the RC for Urinary (expensive) and canned foods in Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, Max Cat and Iams. If I can switch them to the Max Cat, then I can afford more of the canned foods
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Sharky,

Do you think I could switch to the Max Cat (am assuming there is a special UTI formula) on the dry for Charlie and still continue with feeding them the canned/raw foods.

Everyone is on the RC for Urinary (expensive) and canned foods in Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, Max Cat and Iams. If I can switch them to the Max Cat, then I can afford more of the canned foods
talk with the vet... since the formula change 50% of cats do great 50% went to other foods ... the %ages to me look the same
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your feedback. I know that the Max Cat might be a good compromise and I may consider switching. Nutrition is very confusing especially when it comes to UTIs! It's interesting that you say Wellness isn't UTI friendly...as I mentioned, his ph was normal when he was on the Wellness, but the change came after adding Blue to the mix and that's what I was wondering about. I guess I'll have to compare the two bags and see if Blue's percentages are much different from Wellness. I know Wellness's website claims that their food is formulated for a target ph of 6.1-6.8, but I realize they aren't UTI certified. Anyway, I guess I have a few more weeks to research since he's on the RC for the moment. When we retest him I'll talk to the vet about food options as well.
post #6 of 33
A person can go crazy trying to find a good dry cat food. I did notice that the percentage of magnesium is not listed on the bag of Blue Buffalo. I looked today. I am on social security and can't afford the real premium dry foods. I am trying Authority now, since it claims to cut down on litter box smell. It also claims to cut down on shedding and hairballs. We will see. Lucky loves his wet food and he would eat it all day if I let him. Has anyone used Avoderm? When I buy dry food I always look to see the percentage of magnesium, regardless of the brand.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoe2009 View Post
Has anyone used Avoderm?
I tried it with my two. The ingredients didn't look bad, but Cotton wouldn't touch it and Freya loved it, but it gave her awful gas...so it's a definate no-go in our house.
post #8 of 33

Considering Blue Buffalo dry caused urine crystals in both my dog and my cat, I would say "Yes!" avoid it.

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcircle View Post

Considering Blue Buffalo dry caused urine crystals in both my dog and my cat, I would say "Yes!" avoid it.

 

Once again, Welcome to TCS, we are always happy to see new folks who care about their Kitties!

 

However, the Blue Buffalo itself was not "The Cause" of your Kitty's crystals,

anymore than McDonalds "causes" people to become morbidly obese.

 

There is plenty of factual information on this site relating to the causes of crystals,

and how to avoid them. Please feel free to browse or search and pick up lots of

information that will help you to help your Kitties to have healthier, happier lives!   rub.gif

 

My Kitties did great on Blue Buffalo Spa and Wilderness for 5+ years,

but I made sure that they had plenty of water (fountains and a dripping sink.)

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetseamus View Post

Thanks for your feedback. I know that the Max Cat might be a good compromise and I may consider switching. Nutrition is very confusing especially when it comes to UTIs! It's interesting that you say Wellness isn't UTI friendly...as I mentioned, his ph was normal when he was on the Wellness, but the change came after adding Blue to the mix and that's what I was wondering about. I guess I'll have to compare the two bags and see if Blue's percentages are much different from Wellness. I know Wellness's website claims that their food is formulated for a target ph of 6.1-6.8, but I realize they aren't UTI certified. Anyway, I guess I have a few more weeks to research since he's on the RC for the moment. When we retest him I'll talk to the vet about food options as well.

Talk to your vet about this one. Nutro Max Cat may be a reasonable compromise and will enable you to feed more wet but I would for sure work with my vet on this to ensure good health for all of them.
post #11 of 33
Just a note that the original post in this thread is from 2009.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post

Just a note that the original post in this thread is from 2009.

 

I noticed that, but I'd hate for new visitors to the site to read the thread and switch from Blue to something potentially worse based on an uninformed theory.    catman.gif

post #13 of 33

Hi All,

I've joined the site simply to reaffirm that Blue Buffalo dry formula caused crystals in both our cats. One cat (the male) had a full blockage and required emergency treatment from our local vet. At the time, the vet told us that she had seen at least 3 other cats in the past few months with blockages that were on Blue Buffalo.

 

Our cats are 5 years old and have had no health problems prior to switching to this brand.

I'm sure there are all kinds of reasons why your cat might develop crystals, but I would recommend avoiding Blue Buffalo. Sure, some cats may have no issue with it, but it's seems that this problem is common enough that it's not worth the risk.

post #14 of 33

I had bought a 15lbs bag of Blue, th?id=H.5065369591549203&pid=1.7&w=102&h=185&c=7&rs=1(Salmon flavor), for my 3 year old neutered male.  Although, he eats half a can of wet a day of Wellness Turkey or Natural Balance variety can food with  some dry on the top, reading here about BB causing crystals, I exchanged it for Wellness Chicken.  th?id=H.4580038331926608&pid=1.7&w=165&h=172&c=7&rs=1I also read on Amazon reviews that some cats did develop UTI from Blue. I don't know if it's BB or some cats are just prone to it. 

post #15 of 33

Even though BB has had problems recently, a factor not to forget is feeding the cat dry food, which is a known culprit in UTIs. It is more likely crystals came from dry food and not BB specifically.

post #16 of 33

Ok...I just joined to discuss this blue buffalo crystals issue. I found this thread because I Googled "Blue Buffalo causing crystals in cats"  here's my story.  Long but necessary....

 

I currently have 8 cats ranging in age from 5 to 1. I fed Science diet ONLY for all of their adult lives plus 4 or 5 previous cats who have passed from old age. (1 died at 12, 1 at 13 and 1 at 15 last summer) With the recent controversy over Science diet being a "bad for cats" food because it's lack of real meat and being mostly fillers, I switched to Blue Buffalo about the middle of July.

 

By August 10, my 2 year old Sissy was at the vet for a UTI. NEVER had ANY issues before with this not only for her but also for any other cat I've ever had. Got sent home with antibiotics and the Hills prescription food for UTI's. (the name escapes me.) I proceeded to continue feeding my other cats the Blue but fed her the prescription for the entire bag which took till about second week of September. UTI seems completely cleared up and she improved almost immediately with the food and the antibiotics. When the the bag was done, I started her back on the Blue Buffalo because Vet said the BB was a good quality and couldn't imagine it being the culprit during our visit because I questioned the change in food at her appointment. 

 

By September 21st (this past Saturday) I had to bring my Sissy to our local immediate care hospital because she was right back to where she was before with constant licking, constant straining, and little to no pee coming out. I had to take her to the new place because A. I didn't want to wait for my vet to be open Monday morning and B. I had to work both Monday and Tuesday and Saturday was the only day I could get her somewhere to get her on Antibiotics again and there was no way I was gonna let her suffer until today (Wednesday)  So yes...she had another UTI and vet did urinalysis and she has crystals. Got sent home with more antibiotics, expensive prescription Purina food (which i just read the label and it's crap. First ingredient is "corn gluten meal") She also recommended I feed all my cats the prescription diet for a few months if not permanently just to be sure Sissy doesn't sneak or get into any non prescription food. I been feeding them all the Purina prescription since Saturday and I notice a HUGE difference on how HUNGRY they are compared to the Blue Buffalo real meat food. So I think on Friday (my cat food buying day) I'm gonna try a bag of Wellness and see how she does. If she comes down with one again....I'm either gonna try to go back to Science Diet, or cave and believe she must be on this so called "prescription" food for life.

 

So with that all being said, at this point, YES I believe the Blue Buffalo is the culprit and I'm not feeding anyone that anymore. Now before we go any further, Yes I see now that a pure canned or raw food diet is beneficial but it's also not always practical. A couple of my cats won't even eat wet food right now. I'm gonna at least try to transition them to at least half wet food diet for now and again, I'm considering trying the Wellness Brand. And also all my cats have access to fresh water along with I always keep my bathroom sink trickling because they love jumping up there and getting a sinky drink so I DON"T believe it was a lack of water with her. I'm also kinda pissed that Vet recommended the Purina with the crap in it. The other choice she gave me was Royal Canin which I looked up the ingredients on that as well and it too is crap and fillers. 

 

I know everyone has different experiences but that is mine and right now I support the Blue Buffalo causes crystals theory. At least for my cat and in a month or so when I have tried different options for her I may find she may just be one of those cats prone to UTI's

 

Thanks for listening and I look forward to discussing this more.

 

Linda 

post #17 of 33
The dynamics of crystals: without the constant flushing of water, crystals can cause bladder inflammation and blockages due to accumulation.

Carbohydrates raise urine pH. Struvite crystals form in an alkaline urine (7.0 or higher). The prescription urinary foods have urine acidifiers in them to offset the carb content, and work to prevent crystals because they target an appropriate urine pH.

It seems to me with the number of cats that have developed problems with crystals on Blue Buffalo is indicative that the carb content is high and creates an alkaline urine pH.

If someone is going to feed dry food as the sole food, to offset this, the cat MUST be drinking enough water. How much water is enough?

Kibble has a moisture content of 10%. Most canned food has a moisture content of approximately 75%. Adjusted for the water, 1.5 ounces of kibble is the equivalent of about one 5.5 ounce can of canned food. That means that a cat eating dry food - at a minimum - needs to drink 4 ounces of water a day for every 1.5 ounces of food to have the equivalent water intake of a cat eating canned cat food.

For anyone else that stumbles on this thread and IS interested in transitioning their kibble addicted cats to wet food, here are some helpful links:

http://www.catinfo.org/docs/TipsForTransitioning1-14-11.pdf

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/264675/transitioning-free-fed-kibble-kitties-to-timed-meals-and-new-food
post #18 of 33

I too had a cat form a UTI while eating BB dry.  She is 5 years old and had had trouble with urinary tract issues for weeks.  She received antibiotice, and pain meds, the vet recommended a food called  "Calm" which is supposed to reduce stress.. But I opted instead for changing her diet to entirely wet. She is very stubborn, and is not 100% there yet, but at least I am making some progress. I had to buy many dirrerent brands, and threw out alot of food.

 

Her UT issue is starting to show signs of clearing.  I asked the vet last time I was in if I could get fluids to give her sub Q  every other day, and he said,, oh shes probably getting plenty of water :( .  Thats not the problem, and was pushing the  "Calm" cat food. or pehermones to de-stress..  Anyone use pheremone spray?

post #19 of 33

Well i have 3 siamese cats 2 male one female,  10yrs, 8yrs. 7yrs, feeding blue cat food because they are healthy and maintain a good weight. if your cat is prone to illness you can't always blame the manufacturer of the food.. i have no problem with my cats  or  UTI infection or crystals

post #20 of 33

My cats are on both wet and dry Blue. This is the only food they have been on since I adopted them as kittens about four years ago.  One cat has been diagnosed with urinary crystals and I fear my other cat is on her way as well. The poor little girl doesn't feel well. She has been at the Vet many times to diagnose and treat her problem. She was initially on an antibiotic and has received sub-cutaneous fluid. Her bladder looks like a snowglobe on Ultrasound. I personally understand what she is feeling, as I have had kidney stones. Think of those crystals (some are sharp) bumping into her bladder. In the bladder and passing them causes scraping of the walls which leads to discomfort and bleeding. What is worse is they can't speak, they can only change their behavior to let you know something is wrong.

 

I have spent several days researching. There are quite a few postings of cats on Blue diagnosed with Urinary Crystals. There are enough postings to indicate this is not a coincidence. I suspect there are many that have not posted. Based on this information I would hope that the manufacturer will look into this. They should do the right thing and make changes to their product.

 

I am transitioning them off of Blue to a different wet food and taking them off of dry food. After some research I have selected Pro Plan FOCUS - Urinary Tract Health Formula. I did try food provided by my Vet. Unfortunately, my cat is picky and would not eat any of them. I first tried to mix with her current food for the transition. She smelled it, pushed the bowl over and walked away. I spoke to my Vet and she agreed to give the Pro Plan it a try. So far the transition to the Pro Plan FOCUS is working - in that she is eating it. She has another Vet appointment in a few weeks to determine if she is getting better. I really appreciate the care my Vet provides. She is a Cat only Vet with a wonderful bedside manner with the cats and their family.

 

In the past I recommended Blue to a number of friends who have cats and dogs. I have contacted them with what I learned and suggested that they do research, talk with their Vet and move their pets to a different food.

 

I appreciate all the posings related to this topic.

post #21 of 33

Hello 

I have two siamese cats male 51/2 yrs and female 3 yrs. I changed their diet to BLU about a year ago after speaking with a sales person for the product at a pets store. I thought i was doing the right thing considering the health benefit from all natural ingredient.

 

Well my male cat developed severe urinary blockage not crystals  but urinary tract disease. He almost died was in the hospital for 3 nights 4 days.

He was upon release put on a prescription diet food and no problems since.  My vet said you rarely see this in female cats but he did say to check with your vet if changing food so they can look at the ingredients. 

 

It does seem odd to me that for 4 years my male did great with science diet then I changed his food..

post #22 of 33

An addition to this thread i recommended Blu cat food to my daughter with two cats. Her male cat 7 yrs developed a blockage and was overnight int the hospital. Her female cat seems fine.

Her vet put the cat on prescription food so far doing fine.  Sent a letter to Blu Buffalo but we'll see what other people have to say

post #23 of 33
My 2 year old cat had an urinary blockage. And I do suspect of Blue Buffalo as well. I start using this food a year ago because one of my cats is very sensitive to grains and had diarreah for a long period of time and even the vet was clueless about what was going on with the cat. I switch him to Blue Buffalo Basics and it worked like magic, the diarreah stopped. I was very thankful at the food brand. Since it seem like a good food for every cat I started giving it to my other two cats. Well, well now my other male cat has de developed crystals and painful urine blockage. I was reading one of the ingredients that causes crystals and stones in cats is Magnesium. Blue Buffalo Basics contain 0.08% while the crappy but useful Royal Canin contains 0.05% and the DL- methionine which adds acidity to cat's pee. I would love to continue using a holistic real food and not the crappy royal canin full of fillers and grains but I can't find one that is holistic but low in Magnesium and that contains something to afd acidity to their pee to prevent crystals and stones in the bladder
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by grozni View Post

My 2 year old cat had an urinary blockage. And I do suspect of Blue Buffalo as well. I start using this food a year ago because one of my cats is very sensitive to grains and had diarreah for a long period of time and even the vet was clueless about what was going on with the cat. I switch him to Blue Buffalo Basics and it worked like magic, the diarreah stopped. I was very thankful at the food brand. Since it seem like a good food for every cat I started giving it to my other two cats. Well, well now my other male cat has de developed crystals and painful urine blockage. I was reading one of the ingredients that causes crystals and stones in cats is Magnesium. Blue Buffalo Basics contain 0.08% while the crappy but useful Royal Canin contains 0.05% and the DL- methionine which adds acidity to cat's pee. I would love to continue using a holistic real food and not the crappy royal canin full of fillers and grains but I can't find one that is holistic but low in Magnesium and that contains something to afd acidity to their pee to prevent crystals and stones in the bladder

 

Newer theories say that magnesium isn't as much as concern as once thought. What is more important is that kitty is hydrated, so that means WET food. Meat has methionine in it, so the higher the animal protein content of your food, the more likely your kitty's urine pH will be in an appropriate range. If you are concerned about magnesium, non-fish flavors of Weruva and Fussie Cat are good.

post #25 of 33

Blue Buffalo will not release (at least when I tried) info on the actual mag. cone tent...I believe the number you gave is an minimum or average which keeps the max a mystery? Anyway, don't use Wellness either...my cat got  crystals almost immediately on that food too..I avoid Blue because when I called them they were not forthcoming with their analysis info.  I switched to Acana for dry...it's expensive but very high quality and low mag and CA. However, if you have a male cat prone to crystals , the best diet is wet food...some cats with this problem can never eat dry food. My male cat now eats mostly wet and gets a small amount of Acana dry as well. he has been doing well for over a year now with no repeat crystals.

post #26 of 33

Any dry food can trigger UTI issues. I've heard reports of practically ALL dry foods doing this - not just Blue, not just Wellness, etc. Feed wet-only or majority wet food if you want to avoid crystals, stones, or whatever. I have 7 cats. All eat Blue dry and Friskies wet. One got crystals. The others didn't and this was years ago. And the other six STILL don't.

 

It was probably genetics on part of that one cat, and likely why we found him in a shelter in the first place because people don't understand how crappy diets can affect health.

post #27 of 33

YES!!!  Stay away from Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness!

 

Bladder stones galore.

 

I switched to Royal Canon digestive and my poor kitty has been fine ever since.  Thank goodness we caught them early (by pure chance) and were able to reverse some of the damage before we had to have them surgically removed.

post #28 of 33

Baxter, aka Mr. Black, has been blocked twice.

 

After the first time, after much research, I switched the cats over to Innova. Innova has DL Methionine and has worked great.

He got the crystals the second time after I switched them to Wellness in an effort to save a few bucks.

 

Now, years later, they are still eating Innova, but I have switched them to an all wet food diet. They are slowly dropping their

excess weight, getting back some of their energy, and raising heck again. It's a blast to watch 3 10 year old plus cats raising heck!

 

Sending positive vibes in your direction.

post #29 of 33

Not sure if it's got a connection but I have ferrets and there's been a huge increase in ferrets with struvite bladder stones recently that have been linked to grain free kibbles with high amounts of pea protein.   I wonder if something similar is happening here? 

post #30 of 33

We have 2 cats, both with bladder crystals. Both never had Blue Buffalo, not dry, nor wet food.

We got our persian cat, Felix,  from a friend of mine, he was the last one in the litter, and all the cats in my friend's household (7 at that time) were fed real food - meat, poultry, fish. So I had to continue feeding my new kitten what he was used to. At the age of 6 months he got into a hospital with crystal blockage. 3 weeks of hospitals, tests, etc., and 6K later my local vet prescribed RC urinary SO in hopes it helps to avoid a surgery. So it did. Felix is 8 yo now, though he's very small and everyone thinks he's still a kitten, and he hates being pet (childhood memories of being poked with needles and catheters, shavings, etc.)

The other cat is an 18-lb american tabby Orange. He is the sweetest cat on Earth! I adopted him from my local vet while treating Felix. This humongous orange furball of sweetness was left with my vet for euthanization by his owner due to not being able to cover the cost of needed surgery to widen his urinary channels to let the crystals flow out. I would never understand how can anyone do such thing, neither could my vet; he performed the surgery and was looking for appropriate new owners for Orange. As far as I know, previous owner fed Orange with some generic brand cat food.

Currently both of my cats are on prescription diets - Felix is still on canned RC urinary SO, Orange had developed some kind of allergy and is on Hill's i/d sensitive stomach dry and wet food. In addition to i/d food, Orange has a life-long prescription of prednisone, which I've stopped giving him in fear of side effects. 

I feel like I need to make changes in my cats diets. My tabby is vomiting up to several times a week, so after re-reading i/d ingredients and talking to Petco workers, I got him BB Wilderness duck dry food and will try to take him off of his prescribed food since it doesn't seem to work for him. As for Felix, I would love to replace his food, too, even though it's been working for him. 

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