Treating Struvite Stones And Crystals Naturally In Dogs And Cats
We endeavour to deliver the best information possible on natural health and diets for dogs and cats. Our articles involve contributions from senior veterinarians and are researched thoroughly. They remain the opinion of Vets All Natural however and we always recommend seeking professional advice specific to your pet from a veterinarian.
Generally speaking, struvite stones / crystals will form when the animals urine PH becomes neutral or alkaline and urine is concentrated. Carnivores that eat a fresh red meat based diet naturally produce acidic urine which prevents this crystal formation. The food itself has a natural water content of 60-70%, which assists in preventing dehydration and excessive concentration of urine .
Diets that are too high in cereal and vegetable levels will result in a more alkaline urine, which is typical of many dry foods and tinned foods. Commercial pet foods commonly contain significantly higher levels of non-meat ingredients, as red meat proteins are the most expensive ingredient used, and are generally kept to a minimum level for economic reasons meat by-products, and white meats such as chicken, do not have the same acidifying effect as red meat.
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Provide Enough Water For Your Cat
Most cats and kittens survive on dry foods mostly, and often times, not enough water to keep them hydrated. Thus, if you feed your cat dry foods, ensure that it is accompanied by a bowl of clean water.
Remember, cats natural prey is usually 70% water and thats why canned meals try to make up for this by providing meals up to 90% water.
On the other hand, dry cat foods contain 5% to 10% percent water, which is too low considering cats do not have the thirst drive to compensate for what they lack from food.
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What Ingredient In Cat Food Causes Urinary Problems
The high content of magnesium in your cats diet has been linked to urinary tract problem in cats.
Also, when their urine ph go beyond 6.5, urinary tract infection can occur.
When theres a high mount of calcium, protein, magnesium and phosphorus found in your cats urine, bladder stones and urine crystals form.
Train your cat to drink plenty of water to avoid urinary problems. Always give them fresh and clean water daily.
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% Lower Recurrence Rate Of Urinary Signs In Cats
Hills C/D Multicare cat nutrition is clinically tested and designed to improve urinary health. According to research, a single use of the product reduces the recurrence rate of the most common urinary signs by 89%. Furthermore, the food dissolves struvites in as little as seven days , which reduces the long-term risk of calcium oxalate stones associated with daily consumption. If your cat is only fed dry food, he or she may develop urinary issues, so it is a good idea to feed your cat wet or even raw food to help keep urinary issues at bay.
Hills Pet Food Recall
There are currently stock shortages at Hills due to disruptions at US ports where the majority of their stock is derived, but they are working diligently to resolve these issues. As a result, some foods may be unavailable, but others are likely to be available. Hills has issued only a few recalls, with no dry or cat foods, nor has there been any recall of treats. Please contact Hills if you have any questions about which products are affected by the recalls.
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Best Dry Cat Food For Urinary Health
- First ingredient here is boneless chicken
- Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and natural fiber, this recipe is balanced and holistic for total feline health
- This provides 38% protein, 11% fat, and a good amount of L-Carnitine for healthy metabolism
- With chicken fat and flaxseed, it also offers Omega fats for lustrous coats and
- Gives 352 calories per cup to encourage beneficial weight loss.
- Compared with many other products, we consider this one of the best cat foods for urinary tract health. So no cons!
- Contains limited amounts of magnesium to encourage fewer struvite crystals
- Includes egg for Omega-3, which encourages stronger, more radiant fur
- Formulated to lower urinary tract pH levels and maintain good functioning
- Uses wholesome chicken for a great flavor that your cat will adore and
- Has a unique kibble texture to clean your cats teeth while she eats
- The label suggests it contains zero fillers, however, corn gluten meal and ground corn are less nutritious than real meat.
- Contains corn and by-products from chicken.
Causes Of Cat Urine Crystals
There are several root causes believed to contribute to the buildup of urine crystals and struvite stones in cats. According to Veterinary Centers of America, struvite stones can be caused by the bacteria associated with a urinary tract infection. These bacteria produce a chemical called urease, which can alter the urines acidity, leading to the accumulation of crystals and the formation of struvite stones.
If there is no infection present, as Dr. Goldstein says, veterinarians dont always know why a cat develops urinary crystals or stones. Its thought that can lead to a higher concentration of minerals in urine, causing crystals to form. Cats have evolved as a species to get the majority of their water from live prey, but this is unrealistic for domestic cats, especially if theyre indoor-only and prefer dry food. If a cat is less inclined to drink water alongside their dry food, theres less water present in the body to flush out waste, leading to a buildup of toxins and potential health issues.
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Choosing The Meat For A Homemade Cat Food
Raw or cooked meat is the main ingredient in homemade cat food. Cats are true carnivores and need a protein-based diet. If your cat is new to a raw or cooked meat diet, it may take some time before they will fully accept it. Poultry is generally more accepted by cats at first, you could also try other meats, including beef, lamb, pork, venison, rabbit, ostrich, etc. Meat should be fresh and fit for human consumption. The ideal fat content should be between 8 and 15%. Here is a list of meats to choose from:
Beef: Lean pre-ground stewing meat, heart, boneless steak or roast.Lamb: Pre-ground boneless stewing meat shank, leg, or butt.Poultry: Pre-ground boneless, skinless breast fillet, or thigh.Venison: Pre-ground stewing meat neck, shank, or shoulder.
Is Raw Food Good For Cats With Crystals
There is no one definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual cats health condition and overall diet. Some cats with crystals may do well on a raw food diet, while others may not. It is important to speak with a veterinarian before making any major changes to a cats diet.
A cats diet should consist of a sufficient amount of moisture to allow them to thrive, whereas dry food or kibble does not. In cats, it is critical to have a healthy urinary system as well as a healthy diet. When you eat raw, you will notice a difference in your skin, dander, dull coats, excessive licking, and hairballs. There are numerous cats and many that have their own preferences. A diet high in raw vegetables is best for cats, and you should follow the recipe for the best results. As a result, our minds are preoccupied with fear at the same time. Fear can lead to a dangerous situation because we frequently avoid emotions in the face of a diagnosis.
Cats that allow raw eating of canned food will allow you to eat raw . Those who do not want to eat raw can still take advantage of this option. Whole raw chicken necks and whole organ pieces are a great option for those who require dental health and chewing.
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Question Everything Even If You Trust Your Vet
Asking a lot of questions at my cats numerous vet appointments throughout this process helped me get a more objective view of the situation. But I still double-checked and cross-referenced everything I was told at the emergency vet and his regular vet to arrive at a treatment plan I was comfortable with.
After a call to our regular vet and some more poking around on TheCatSite.com , I came away feeling that I should push back on the surgery if it was offered again, and ride out the medications and lifestyle changes we were introducing to see if we could control his condition on our own. All this to say, you are your pets best advocate, and just because you get a suggestion from one source, that doesnt mean you should blindly follow it without doing your own legwork first.
As a parting message, I dont want this story to scare or shame anyone into thinking theyre a bad cat parent for feeding dry food to their cat. The cat I grew up with ate kibble his entire life, and never had urinary issues until his 18th and final year with us.
Some cats are more prone to these frustrating conditions than others, but as a life-long cat owner dealing with FLUTD for the first time, I want to pass my learnings on to others who may be in the same boat, or those who were oblivious as I was to the possibility of my cat developing a urinary disease.
On behalf of Ziggy and myself, hug your kitties close and keep them healthy!
How Are Prescription Cat Foods Different From Regular Cat Food
Prescription cat food is specifically designed to control symptoms of illness or delay its progression. The best cat food for urinary tract health, for instance, will help lower the chance of crystal development while dissolving struvite to some extent. Also referred to as veterinary diets, they often include more carefully selected ingredients and use specific ratios to address your cats specific health requirements.
In prescription kitty kibbles, you will often find a limited number of ingredients. This is done to control the recipe makeup so that the food is safer for cats with health conditions.
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Brands Making The Best Cat Food For Urinary Health
Dont know which brand to choose? You may have heard of Royal Canin, Purina, IAMS, and other big cat food giants, but what are the specific lines that target health problems like FLUTD? Our top picks include:
- Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet
- Hills Prescription Diet
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet and
Your vet may have given you an initial recommendation, but that doesnt mean your kitty has to stick to one brand or flavor for life. Check with his medical professional first, but usually:
- Most vets will approve other brands, as long as a formula is designed for your cats special urinary requirements, and
- They dont necessarily need to stick to dry food often, the best wet cat food for urinary health is just as good.
Diagnosing Feline Urinary Crystals
If the crystals arent causing a problem for your cat, they may go unnoticed. However, if you notice any of the above signs of a urinary issue in your feline friend, get them to your vet for a diagnosis. Urinary problems can quickly develop into a life-threatening emergency, so dont wait around to see if the issue will improve on its own.
Your pets vet will likely perform a number of diagnostic tests to verify if your cat has urinary tract disease. Tests may include:
- Urinalysis. Your cats urine sample can reveal information about pH, crystal content, and even whether or not your cat has an infection.
- Urine culture. A urine culture will indicate whether your cat has a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria.
- Blood work. Blood tests will check kidney function and electrolyte levels. Occasionally, bacteria from the bladder can travel up to the kidneys and cause a kidney infection, so checking kidney function through blood work is important.
- Advanced imaging. To see if your cat has a stone or bladder mass and to determine its location your vet will likely recommend X-rays or an ultrasound.
Some bladder stones wont show up on X-rays, so your vet may recommend an ultrasound as well. An abdominal ultrasound can detect uroliths of all sizes and compositions, as well as bladder masses.
Shown here, a cat gets an abdominal ultrasound, one method for diagnosing bladder stones.
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Reviewing Your Cats Diet For Fluid And Mineral Imbalance
Cats are natural-born carnivores who need a diet rich in animal proteins for growth and sustenance. Animal meat contains adequate quantities of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins for cats, but most pet food products do not deliver nutrients proportionately, leading to imbalances in the long run.
Refer to the following table to understand how to review your cats diet for potential imbalances that could lead to stony deposits:
While mineral deficiency can cause various diseases in cats, a surplus directly stresses the kidneys. Your goal is to prevent the sedimentation of minerals, not remove them from your cat’s diet entirely
Cats get energy from the oxidation of micronutrientsproteins and fats. A surplus of any micronutrient causes their system to overwork to process the excess amounts. As a cat parent, you should ensure that:
Tips On Choosing The Best Cat Foods
Different cat food brands exist, but not all of them are suitable or healthy for your pet.
There are various factors to consider when choosing the right cat food to improve your pets urinary health.
Its always important to give your pet a nutritionally complete diet to prevent urinary problems.
This means that whatever pet food you give your pet should meet the guidelines recommended by the AAFCO.
If you are a raw feeder or choosing canned cat food, you should buy cat food brands that offer nutritionally complete cat diets.
Similarly, buy cat kibble that is meat-based and nutritionally complete and balanced.
If you do feed dry food, be sure that your cat is drinking enough water.
Ensure that whatever cat food you choose for your cat is low in carbohydrates.
Excess carbs can cause other health conditions like diabetes in felines.
Also, be sure to provide your pet with clean water after every meal.
Lastly, special vet-approved diets that help prevent urinary problems exist.
These are called therapeutic diets, and they usually work for treating bladder stones.
But you should get your vets approval first before administering this diet to your pet.
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Science Diet Urinary Cat Food Review
Science Diet Urinary Cat Food has been a popular food for cats for many years. It is a complete and balanced diet that helps support the health of your cats urinary system. The food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which helps maintain a healthy weight and minimize stress on the kidneys. Many cats enjoy the taste of Science Diet Urinary Cat Food and it is easy to digest.
The health of the urinary tract is an important aspect of a cats diet. It is beneficial to feed them a food with a pH level that is appropriate for their body to reduce the risk of infection and other health issues in the urinary system. IAMS ProactIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food with Chicken provides the protein and nutrients your cat requires to stay healthy and have an active urinary tract.
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Will Struvite Bladder Stones Recur After Treatment
Cats who have developed struvite bladder stones are likely to experience a recurrence later in life, unless the conditions that led to the formation of stones can be corrected.
The most important step to preventing recurrence is to feed a prescription diet. These diets are specially formulated to create a urine environment that is less favorable for the formation of struvite bladder stones. In general, these diets decrease the urine pH and restrict the levels of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphorus in the urine.
“The most important step to preventing recurrence is to feed a prescription diet.”
Additionally, you will need to increase your cats water intake in order to make your cats urine less concentrated. In most cases, using the canned version of your cats prescription diet will keep the urine dilute. In some cases, you may need to take additional steps, such as adding a running water fountain to your home, offering flavored water , or adding additional water to canned food.
Your cat will require long-term, regular rechecks. This will allow your veterinarian to monitor your cats urine, in order to ensure that her urine characteristics remain within desired parameters. Regular monitoring will also allow future recurrence of bladder stones to be detected early, when treatment may be easier and more effective.
|Contributors: Catherine Barnette, DVM|