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Urinary SO diet - forever?

Aniela LupienAniela Lupien WoburnMember Posts: 30
edited 19 March, 2010 in Food & Nutrition
We just found out that Zoe has crystals in her urine, and the vet recommends Royal Canin Urinary SO diet. My question is, will she need to be on this diet for life (she just turned 1 last week)? I don't have too much of a problem with her being on the diet, but my other cat Cosmo has a grain allergy, so this diet will not work for him. Any suggestions? Both cats currently free-feed on Natural Balance dry food, and get Science Diet wet food twice a week - I had just started changing the cats to Blue Buffalo wet after I learned of Cosmo's allergy last month...

Comments

  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 16 March, 2010
    There's a similar post on here about Science Diet prescription food you can take a look at. But Bamcat in the other thread had the right idea. You're better off with a good quality canned food, all the time. No kibble, even if it's grain free. Most urinary problems can be solved by keeping everything flushed out and the only way to do that is with plenty of fluids, i.e. canned food. The prescription diets are unfortunately filled with a lot of inappropriate ingredients.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 16 March, 2010
    Hi Zoe, alot of vets will tell you that you have to be on this food for life, this happened to us. Thank goodness I had educated myself a little before I went into the vet, that was well over 3 yrs ago. I took both my cats off the dry food I was feeding, and put them on an all wet grain free diet, no more crystals. Science diet, and other so called "prescription foods" are filled with ingredients that just are not appropriate for an obligate carnivore. They need meat period, not powdered cellulose (sawdust), or salt to make them drink. They need to get the water from the food they eat (canned or raw), as cats are not high water drinkers, so when they are on a dry kibble diet, they get so dehydtrated, and no amount of water can help that. Also being on this "prescription food" will cause other problems in the long run, like obesity, because your cat may eat so much of the prescription food because they are not getting their nutritional requirements met, and are not satisfied, and it will make for one grumpy cat. Crystals, and urinary problems can also occur for other reasons aswell like dirty litterboxes, and stress, so you want to keep stress at a minimum, and keep litter boxes picked, and hair trimmed down in that area. The best thing to do is put both your cats on an all wet diet, there a quite a few grain free varities out now. We feed Wellness grain free, Evo cat and kitten, Evo 95%, Felidae grain free, and premade raw. A really good site to read is catinfo.org and also this one click here Also a really good book to read is "Your cat, secrets to a longer stronger life", by Elizabeth Hodgkins.D.V.M. esq. Let us know how it goes :)
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 17 March, 2010
    Mommy hates computers sometimes. She had a nice long post going and mozilla froze when she tried to open a PDf and it blew up! Anyways we are dealing with urinary issues in 3 of our cats right now because mommy was stupid and quit giving us canned food about a month ago or longer...we were all doing so well on canned too. I would suggest you go and read this thread (we posted and got lots of good information) Urinary Lesson Learned the key points are: 1- All Canned Food (no more dry food), preferably a grain free canned food, but any is better than dry 2- Filtered or Bottled Water (tap water has too many minerals) 3- Increase water intake, by encouraging drinking..fountains help with this, mixing a little water with the canned food (don't mix water with dry as the digest they spray on the dry when mixed with water can cause a bacteria problem), or giving the baby food Beech Nut (listed in that thread) mixed with water so it's soupy. 4- Clean Litterboxes, scoop at least 2xday and change out when needed but at least 1x a week. 5- Limit stressful situations for the cats Urinary SO actually has increased salt in the diet to increase the cats thirst therefore making them drink more water/pee more so the crystals don't have time to form. Good thought, but not so healthy in the long run. Why do that when you can increase the water intake etc by giving canned foods? Mom read an interesting article today while searching for some info for someone on dogster, it basically says that grain heavy diets (which is what Urinary SO is) can contribute to crystal formation because grains cause an alkaline urine therefore the crystals can form. Here is the article mommy read. Urinary Disorders Article Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • Catherine MarinoCatherine Marino UrbannaMember Posts: 180
    edited 17 March, 2010
    My April was diagnosed with Chrystals when she about 5 years old. We put her on the Royal Canin SO and she did very well on it. I ended up feeding all of my cats the same diet because at that point none of them had issues. I am sure there are probably better food out there but April did extremely well on it. Every so often she would have a minor flare up but nothing to worry about. We tried other diets even ones that were supposed to be better and April did not do as well on them. She was on the SO until she got sick, 2 years ago, and stopped eating (she was 12 by this point). It had nothing to do with the diet, however, she had Intestinal Lymphoma. Getting them on a good diet is important but finding the right one that works for them is also important. When you find the diet that works best for your baby, I would keep her on that one so that you don\'t rock the boat to much.
  • Jondy JohnsonJondy Johnson BptMember Posts: 1
    edited 17 March, 2010
    My cat has the crystals and well as my sisters cat. They bothe live in the same house and we use the So dry food and the wellness wet food. They shouldn't eat Friskies or Nine Lives as that will make it worse.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 18 March, 2010
    Side Note* Cats that do not have these urinary issues should never be on this food, that even came from the vet that was trying to sell me this prescription food.
  • Catherine MarinoCatherine Marino UrbannaMember Posts: 180
    edited 19 March, 2010
    I was told by my vet and the company that makes the food that So was fine to give the other cats in the house hold. It may not be good for all cats but it worked in my home with no problems.
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 19 March, 2010
    April....of course the company is going to tell you it's okay....the more cats eat it the more money they make! In actual reality the prescription diets are not nutritionally balanced for long term usage, I know the companies would have you believe that but they are for short term use only. These foods are low in magnesium, can promote building Oxylate crystals and can lead to hypokalemia (low potassium) which can cause or make kidney disease worse. Urinary crystals are actually a somewhat 'normal' part of cat urine, it's just when they get excessive or inflammatory that they cause problems basically when the cat isn't getting enough moisture in their diet which the dry food doesn't have at 10%, they need more like 70% moisture in their diet (canned food is 78%) Besides being too high in carbohydrates which studies have shown can cause crystals Study on Carbohydrates & Crystal formation For more information read this site: Urinary Tract Health Even my vet who has been in practice for over 40 years is now seeing the correlation, and making the changed recommendations of feeding low carb, canned foods to cats with bladder issues, and increasing the water intake. We are performing a Perineal Urethrostomy next week on a kitty who has blocked on all 3 of the Urinary Prescription Diets (he has blocked 2 times since 2007, and blocked twice before that, he went the longest without a blockage on the canned Royal Canin, but still is blocking....poor kitty!
  • Aniela LupienAniela Lupien WoburnMember Posts: 30
    edited 19 March, 2010
    Thank you all so much for the helpful feedback! I've decided to keep Zoe on the Urinary SO diet for a few days so that her crystals clear up, but I also let her feed on her brother's canned Blue Buffalo. Neither one of my cats will eat all of their wet food in one sitting, and this seems to be working. Zoe seems to be having no issues in the litter box, so I'm hoping this will work for her. She just seems too young to develop such a life-long problem!
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 19 March, 2010
    Good luck Zoe! We know how the crystals go, as we are battling them ourselves right now. Hope you get feeling better.
  • Katie DillnerKatie Dillner Member Posts: 175
    edited 19 March, 2010
    I would recommend not feeding Natural Balance Dry food. I had my cats on the Duck Green Pea formula and both developed problems. My female had a UTI and my male had crystals. I emailed the company to get percentages of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus and they were a bit high. Calcium-1.5%, Magnesium-.14%, and Phosphorus-.92%. It\'s best if these minerals are 1% or lower. The magnesium should be under .12%. The Chicken Green Pea is pretty much the same too. My cats were put on the Purina Prescription wet food and Purina One Urinary Health dry. They hated the wet so now Mason is on Weruva wet and Neva is on Wellness Pouches. The dry food is not great but they get a small amount and things seem fine in the litter box so I\'m not going to mess with anything right now. Stick with Royal Canin or find another food besides the Natural Balance. Good Luck!
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