a healthy food for urine crystals?

lauren axelrodlauren axelrod denverMember Posts: 51
edited 18 November, 2008 in Food & Nutrition
hi there, i just took my 5 year old male cat to the vet - i've had him for 4 months and don't know his medical history. anyway, he went to the vet because he peed on the carpet and had blood in his urine. the vet did a urinalysis in-house but is also going to send it out and said there was a lot of blood in his urine, the presence of bacteria (which he was surprised about) as well as signs of struvite crystals. my cat normally eats 1/4 of a can of wellness (usually chicken or turkey) wet food 2x a day and 1/4 cup of wellness core dry food 1x a day. he always has fresh water available. the vet has suggested that he go on purina u.r. and i took a couple of cans for the next few days but don't want him on it long-term as the ingredients make me cringe. i do trust the vet but like all vets i come across he doesn't seem very well versed in cat nutrition and i want to make my own decisions on that. nimbus has been sent home with antibiotics and pain killers in the meantime - the vet is not just suggesting a food change but is looking to treat the infection. so here's the question. i'm already feeding the cat a high quality grain-free food in both wet and dry and he's already getting a good quantity of wet food. besides stopping feeding him the wellness core dry food (which i plan to at least while he's having these urinary issues), what else can i do nutritionally to help him? i just don't get it - he's not eating fish, he's not eating a bad choice of food and his water consumption through the wet food and drinking from his water bowl seems just fine. and stress? i know that it can cause issues like this but he is the least stressed out cat i know. even the vet commented on how un-stressed he is. should i just stick with the wellness wet food, cut out the dry, and add some sort of supplement? i hear about cranberries and know that he already gets cranberries in his wet food (maybe not enough?) - i'm stumped! help! :( thanks!

Comments

  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 7 November, 2008
    Actually there is fish in the Wellness Core dry. Other than that, I would just take him off the dry alltogether, are you on antibiotics for this, if not you should be for a while. Adding supplements can be dicey, this can make the urine either too alkaline or too acidic. Just feed the Wellness wet, and add a bit of water to make it more mushy. Let us know how that goes.
  • Roxann RobbinsRoxann Robbins Member Posts: 3,268
    edited 7 November, 2008
    I know some people are not crazy about Hills or Purina, so have you tried Hi-Tor Felo? It's non-script and you get it online (I get mine from Petfooddirect.com). ;) Purrrrs, Little Red
  • JessicaJessica Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 November, 2008
    I have FLUTD too and have been blocked twice already :( My human meowmy is weaning me off c/d dry (She bought one of those HUGE bags so she can't just return it) and is feeding me a good quality canned diet instead. Water is really good for us kitties! It's a good idea to have one of those running water fountains, if your cat likes it!
  • lauren axelrodlauren axelrod denverMember Posts: 51
    edited 7 November, 2008
    thanks, everyone! shadow, he is on clavamox to start out with until the cultures come back to know exactly what type of bacteria he has. i didn't realize that the core dry had fish in it - must have not been paying attention to the dry but only the wet. i have now been giving him wet and pouring water into the bowl which he laps up along with the food - good advice and is something i already thought of. i'm so frustrated about giving up on what little dry food he got, one, because he loves it and two, because i *just* got a timed pet feeder so he could get something to eat early without waking up the whole house. argh! something i guess i'll now have to e-bay to get a little bit of money back on. little red, i'll check out the ingredients on the hi-tor felo - never even heard of it. he does so well on the wellness that i'll probably just take him off the dry, stick to the wet, and give him more water (maybe with the money back from the feeder i'll get a fountain). so i guess in the long run i get the sense that he doesn't *need* to change his wet food - that's what instinct was telling me as i felt like i was already giving him a high quality food and doing the purina was going to be much worse. perhaps some cats are just susceptible to flutd even if you give them good food and water? hmmmm...
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 8 November, 2008
    Dont feel frustrated about taking away a food that is probably doing harm, its great that Nimbus likes the wet Wellness. Of course he loves the kibble, all dry food is sprayed with special fats, or things you dont even want to know about, this entices the cat to eat it, if it wasnt sprayed on there, they wouldnt want to eat it. You are doing Nimbus a great service- trust me kitty will love you for it in the long run.
  • lauren axelrodlauren axelrod denverMember Posts: 51
    edited 8 November, 2008
    wow - even a reputable dry food like wellness core is sprayed with bad things? nimbus likes food, period, so getting him to eat healthy food (wet or dry) has never been a problem. he eats like a dog - my dog is pickier than he is! is it possible that because he's on dry food at all that this has led to flutd? or is it more likely that he just got a bacterial infection which irritated the bladder lining and has resulted in increased crystals? i'll ask the vet this as well but i'm curious as to people's thoughts since there's so much knowledge on here!
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 8 November, 2008
    Wellness I respect probably uses animal fats, but some use other things like animal digests, or resteraunt grease, yes some pet food companies buy this to use on the food. Cats can get urinary problems from the litter they use, when it sticks to them this can cause problems. Also cats that have diabetes, or cancer can develop urinary problems. Stress can also bring this on. Dry food is usually the culprit though, and its sad that most vets do not get enough nutritional training in school, and the education they do get is from Hills Science diet. Its sad that most vets dont prevent alot of these problems cats get by recommending a more species appropriate diet, instead of prescribing food that is not, and always trying to fix things with medication. Here is a site that gives some good info on dry food. http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html
  • lauren axelrodlauren axelrod denverMember Posts: 51
    edited 8 November, 2008
    thanks again, shadow. very informative site - i appreciate you sharing it with me. i always thought i was doing ok by my cat by giving both wet and dry and not on-demand feeding the dry (he'd weigh 100 lbs if i let him do that). you mentioned stress being a factor...that is definitely not the case with him. he is the most un-stressed cat ever! he does have a fresh step automatic litter box with the crystals litter and i am good about cleaning it out. i have not heard of that particular litter leading towards a higher incidence of bacterial infection and/or flutd, but if you have heard of anything about this please let me know. in the meantime i'm guessing i'll hear from the vet on monday to find out what the cultures produced. thanks again!
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 9 November, 2008
    Hi again I havent heard anything about the crystals, but will have to research more on that one. If a cat is fed an all wet diet they usually will not overeat if it is a high protein diet, thus they will not become obese. I also never give what the can says I give about 6oz each a day to both my cats. which works out to be the right amount of calories for them, with that particular food. Shadow had struvite crystals a year and a half ago,before I educated myself on feline nutrition, then I switched to an all wet high protein diet and she is all better and she slowly lost some weight which she needed to. Let us know how the results go ok :)
  • Mia McGregorMia McGregor South FloridaMember Posts: 69
    edited 9 November, 2008
    you could try adding extra water to both the kibble and the canned food because they tend not to drink enough even though you are giving some canned. Cats are constantly in a state of dehydration if they eat kibbles (even with some canned) because they should really be able to get enough water from their diet to not need much more from any other sources. I had the same issues but I didn't have crystals. I have been doing great since I eat only canned food with added water (mama brushes my teeth-yuck-so we don't worry about the fact that I don't eat solids and supposedly benefit from the "cleaning teeth ability" of kibble-doubtful fact anyway) and I stopped drinking water altogether. My urine output has been even better and I look and act the healthiest of all mamas kitties-he rest eatt some kibble. The next thing we will all be trying is a raw diet with the added supplement-his may also be something you might wantt to consider....There are a few companies that appear to make some interesting supplements to add to the meat-feline futures.com and feline instincts.com -if you're interested. Mama is going to to try that with us next weekend. The bottom line is -add water to everything because they will never drink enough plain water especially when kibble is involved....I have a renal failure kitty and I refuse to put him on that Hill's k/d stuff (has all these toxic chemicals and by products-how can ailing kidneys process that stuff-yuck!!) so I am going against the conventional thinking and will be starting him on raw with the renal supplement. My new vet is all for the raw diet (she does homeopathic medicine and acupuncture). Let me know how it goes!
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 9 November, 2008
    Maus; Hill's has a 100% guarantee policy, so if you don't want to finish the huge bag, take it back and tell them your cat won't eat it. They HAVE to give you your money back.
  • Lindsay RoweLindsay Rowe ArcticMember Posts: 1,776
    edited 11 November, 2008
    Due to the same problem, I've been on prescription food for the past 5 years. Because of the cost mom will mix it with a food for urinary tract health. Have you spoken to your vet about prescription options?
  • lauren axelrodlauren axelrod denverMember Posts: 51
    edited 11 November, 2008
    thanks, everyone! marcy - i have already started to pour some water in with his food and he laps it all up...no problem. i'm sorry to hear about problems with renal failure - that is no fun at all. lucy - i have yet to find a prescription food that the ingredients don't concern me. this vet definitely doesn't have much in the way of options with food that is prescription. i am even more of the belief now (thanks to everyone's feedback) that if i just stick with wet and keep giving him the grain-free high protein food that i have been that we should be in good shape. hopefully! shadow - thanks for all your input. i will definitely post a final update. it's a little confusing for me right now because the vet called with some data from the urinalysis from when it was sent out that seemed to contradict what was seen in-house. i've yet to get ahold of him to get it clarified. interestingly nimbus' urine ph was normal, which makes me even more hesitant to put him on any food that would change the ph of his urine. just seems strange to me. thanks again and again!
  • Lianne StinsonLianne Stinson OakvilleMember Posts: 182
    edited 12 November, 2008
    Turk is my chronic FLUTD cat, who is very prone to struvite crystals. We've been struggling with this for quite a while and when he first started having problems I didn't know what to do. The only advice my vet gave was feeding Hills S/D until the crystals dissolved and the C/D for the rest of his life. Well I caved and tried the S/D wet. And I must say I totally regretted it. Turk would eat, and lose interest, or eat and then start violently vomitting. It got so bad that Turk lost a great deal of weight. Anyways, its been a battle trying to find something that worked. We tried a few brands of wet (mostly Wellness and Evo 95% meat), Turk still had flare ups of crystals while on these. And we still struggled to maintain a good weight for him. I then tried NV raw medallions. It seemed to help. He still had flare ups but not as regularly. And he started to put back on a little weight. Although he still wasn't what I would call healthy looking. And then we found our way to success! Turk now gets a locally made raw ground food in the am, and whole prey in the pm, in addition to Wysong Biotic ph- (and absolute life saver for struvite issues) on a semi regular basis. He's put on weight and hasn't had a single flare up. He's been much happier since we started this routine. I regularly test his urine at home with pH strips to make sure he's at a good place. And so far so good, he's been maintaining around a pH of 6.25 - 6.5 ;c; There are ways to help your cat with FLUTD, but it does take some extra work. But it it is well worth it in the long run.
  • Goolnar HawGoolnar Haw Member Posts: 2,525
    edited 18 November, 2008
    i know that when a cat has crystals you have to make sure that whatever you are feeding them has a low ash count...hope that helps:?
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