Any cat health experts? - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Smiley on 14 June 2019 - 21:06

I haven't posted in awhile but thought if there was any place where people would have vet experience with animal issues it was this forum. My male, indoor cat was just diagnosed with crystals in his urine and feline lower urinary tract Disease. He has always been on a grain free, kibble diet. The vet said I need to put him on Science Diet or Hills prescription diet. Now, maybe I am ignorant but those diets always seemed like such scams. It will cost $60 for the food (8lb bag and recommended canned food). Am I wrong about these diets? If so, any suggestions on what might work instead? Thank you, in advance, for your help.

by Rik on 15 June 2019 - 00:06

Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pea Protein, Pork Fat, Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp.......

this is the first ingredients listed for Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin (dog). I do not consider any one of them belong in a true "premium" food.

sorry no experience with your cat's medical issue but I think your initial impression of Science Diet is spot on.



by Smiley on 15 June 2019 - 01:06

Thank you, Rik. I appreciate that you took the time to respond and confirm my initial impressions. When I asked my vet what exactly was in the prescription food that "changed the ph" of the urine, she could not say. I think I might just try grain free canned and add water and see if that helps unless anyone else has a better idea or experience with a different approach.

by ZweiGSD on 15 June 2019 - 18:06

When my cat started to have some urinary issues my vet wanted me to feed him that crap prescription diet stuff too. I switched him to a raw food containing no fruits or vegetables. Vet could not believe the results of his tests after being on the raw. Told me that I did the opposite of what they were taught in school and it worked wonders.

Some raw frozen brands I have used:
Titan (sold by Ross Wells in Wisconsin, only available through them or a co-op so probably hard for most to purchase)
Small Batch
Quest (by Steve's)
Vital Essentials

Cats are obligate carnivores and require a high meat diet.


by Sunsilver on 15 June 2019 - 20:06

I have my own opinion of what causes crystals in the urine. I don't have a shred of scientific evidence to back it up, but here it is. This is a very common problem in domestic cats, so I figure it HAS to be diet-related.

Many cat foods contain fish. And that includes the bones of the fish, which are high in calcium and magnesium. Calcium is basic - it's an ingredient in antacids. I figure it may be one of the things causing the crystals to form.

Now, some cats do catch fish in the wild. But most cats HATE water. They are NOT natural fish eaters. So when my male cat got urinary crystals, I eliminated all fish from his diet.

I also found the crystals were stress-related. EVERY SINGLE TIME I moved, he'd block up within about a week or so. Has your cat experienced any changes lately that might have caused stress?


by Smiley on 16 June 2019 - 00:06

Zweigsd- yes, that was my first thought. But, I have 2 male cats and I want to keep them on the same food. Unfortunately, a raw diet is not in my budget. I wish......I would switch my GSDs too if I could afford it. So, instead, I focused on a high quality grain free, high protein canned food. Not as good as raw but as close as I can get right now.

Sunsilver- I hope you are well. I have always respected your opinion and experience with animals and this case is no different. I will give your theory a try and eliminate the fish. Also, there have been zero changes in his life and he lives a life of leisure!! haha

Thank you both for chiming in. I really appreciate it!


by Sunsilver on 16 June 2019 - 03:06

Thanks, Smiley, I'm doing fine, and I appreciate the compliment!

Funny how we sometimes don't follow our own advice - my current cat - a little 10 lb. black male that keeps both my GSD's in line, is on Natural Balance Salmon and Chicken formula kibble. But he's never had any urinary issues. I'd change his food pretty darn quick if he ever did!

Most canned cat food smells like something died and is waiting to be buried. Guess that's one of the reasons I feed kibble. One of our cats was fed a mix of kibble and commercial wet food, and lived to be 17.

I guess there is one piece of scientific evidence to back up my theory, but it's not species specific, and doesn't relate just to fish. With humans, vegetarians get kidney stones far more often than non-vegetarians. So, at least that's proof that the stones are diet related, though I think the type of stones cats get may be different from the ones humans get. At least this is proof you're going in the right direction with getting him on a diet that has as much high quality protein in it as possible.


by Koots on 16 June 2019 - 13:06

Low ash cat food.


by Smiley on 16 June 2019 - 13:06

Sunsilver- I had been feeding a grain free kibble but the vet said that cats are not natural water drinkers. So, some cats don’t take in the needed fluid when they are fed dry. I researched after I left office and that does seem to be the consensus. I despise feeding canned food and do agree with you! It smells horrible and is a total pain. I guess some people add water to kibble so I may try that down the line once I get everything under control.

I’m glad that nobody is telling me to go on the prescription food. I do think that is a scam. So, I’m looking for other ways to manage the problem.

Koots- that’s what I thought too but I guess that has been disproven by the latest scientific studies. I remember the campaign for low ash years ago and cat food companies were marketing it. They even had Urinary Tract formulas based on the low Ash theory. But, I guess latest studies found that there was no relation between ash levels and urinary tract issues. Surprised me too!! I wish the medical/science community would make up their minds.


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