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Best diet for cat struvite crystals?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Elian, Apr 11, 2019.


  1. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,

    We have a 2 year old female British Shorthair Cat, diagnosed and receiving treatment for struvite crystals. We've always fed her a combination of dry (Acana Wild Prairie / Acana Grasslands) and wet food (home cooked recipe, no store bought).

    However, since we moved country which was about 6 months ago, we didn't have the means and time to cook her wet food ourselves anymore, so after experimenting with various store bought wet food satchels, we settled for Whiskas. As for dry food, we switched her from Acana to Royal Canin's British Shorthair Food as we noticed she liked it better and instantly devours it, unlike the Acana one which lingered in her bowl throughout the day. We also supply enough fresh water daily which she drinks as far as we've noticed.

    The point of this thread I guess is to try and have a better understanding of the connection between cat food and these struvite crystals, because we suspect these crystals started forming after we've moved country and switched her to Royal Canin (dry) + Whiskas (wet). Are there any ingredients in store bought cat food that as far as you know can lead to struvite crystals formation? I've read posts saying that grains and cereals in dry cat food are bad, but I've looked up the ingredient list of the Hill's c/d dry food which the vet prescribed for this ailment and that also has them, so I'm unsure what diet to put her on.

    Anyway, any tips from your personal experience are welcome.
     
  2. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    Our George has suffered with these for a long time. He has had to have several stays in the vets with catheters in to remove complete bladder blockages and has had tons of bouts of cystitis.

    We dont feed him any dry food and never have. I know some people do feed dry but in my opinion any kind of dry food isnt good for cats who suffer with bladder and urinary problems. Some vets suggest it and a vet of mine years ago prescribed a dry 'urinary' food but i didnt give it to him and just continued with wet.

    We feed him good quality food like Hey Diddle Diddle, and we also give him steamed basa fillets soaked in water so he gets a real fluid boost because we fill the bowl half up with water and he has the lot because he's taking it in with the fish as he eats.
    This is a great tip for anyone whose cat needs to drink more because the fish is gentle on tummies and cooked in nothing but water.

    I also read an interesting blog the other day about the alkanitity of tap water and cats. Some tap water is very alkaline and its the alkalinity that can cause and contribute to crystal buildup in cats. I never thought about the water before so now we buy him bottled water to drink rather than filling his bowl from the tap.

    I also give George goats milk to drink as well as water to try and get as much fluid into him as possible. Cats can't tolerate cows milk and it gives him diarrhoea but goats milk is easier to digest and hes been drinking it for years with no problem.

    His episodes of crystals have reduced massively with this diet (and also the fact that we've moved to a house with a garden but that's by the by).

    A lot of supermarket foods are bad and full of rubbish but some of the organic ones (Hey Diddle Diddle) are better.

    :)
     
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  3. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your input, George'sMum! :Happy

    I am also becoming more inclined to believe an exclusive wet food diet is better for cats. Have tried feeding ours regular milk but that really upset her stomach. Will try with goat's milk as you said, see how that goes. I remember we fed her Hey Diddle Diddle once and she liked it but I think we switched to Whiskas because it was more affordable. :Shamefullyembarrased

    As for tap water, we only give ours bottled spring water as we don't drink the tap water ourselves due to all the chlorine and potentially harmful chemicals they add to it.
     
  4. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    It sounds like you're doing a great job with her diet!
    Personally i would cut out the dry food altogether because I find it too risky.
    Obviously I'm not trying to tell you what to do! :)
    We've found that Felix is not too bad out of the cheaper brands, and the Webbox natural wet foods are good too but more difficult to get hold of. Our Tesco has just stopped selling the Webbox and the Hey DD. :-(

    Our Tesco does fresh cat food in a fridge so i want to try that too. If you're in the UK maybe that's an option?
     
  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Feed your cat wet low carb diet. High in meat. Meat is what keeps a cat's urine acidic, to prevent struvite from forming. Carbs (which both those foods are astronomical in) create an alkaline environment where struvite can thrive.

    I'd go back to home cooking, and eliminate all dry food. If you need to use commercial diets, feed canned foods that have no or low carbs (NO SUGAR either) and high meat content. Add a little water to meals to keep the bladder flushed out. NO DRY.

    Read labels
     
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  6. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    Also the foods in Waitrose are good too but obviously a bit pricey, they do a natural one called Country Hunter which we buy sometimes, got about 90% meat content if i remember right, with Duck and Pheasant.
     
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  7. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    Oh no, I'm totally open to suggestions. This is our first cat so not much experience here. :)

    Ah, too bad. They still sell Hey DD at our Tesco here in Ireland I think, but I will double-check. Usually if they stop selling a product they cut it out of the entire chain. Haven't seen the fresh cat food in a fridge though. Is that in the pet food isle or elsewhere in the store?
     
  8. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    I've found by far the best help is to get as much fluid into kitty as possible, because that's ultimately what keeps the bladder flushed and hydrated.
    Having bowls of milk and water is good, and adding water to food too, esp the cooked white fish.
     
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  9. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    The fresh is in a fridge in the pet aisle. It's in big thick sausage shapes in plastic a bit like how they wrap smoked cheese with like an Xmas cracker if you know what i mean? :)
     
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  10. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, lorilu! :)

    We're keto so we don't eat carbs and sugars ourselves. Should've crossed my mind carbs aren't good for cats either. :Inpain

    We'll probably put her back on home cooked food, we'll have to do some digging and see where we could get the meat and offals around here.
     
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  11. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah, I've looked it up on Tesco's UK website, but unfortunately they don't sell that here in Ireland. There's no fridge in the pet isle, just regular dry and canned pet food. :(
     
  12. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    Oh that's a shame! I wonder if there are other alternatives.
     
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  13. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    Elian likes this.
  14. George'sMum

    George'sMum PetForums Junior

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    Elian likes this.
  15. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    hehe, thanks for sharing! Never heard of this brand, but their organic grain-free range indeed looks good judging by the the list of ingredients! :Woot
     
  16. Elian

    Elian PetForums Newbie

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    Felix wet food satchels have added sugars. Went in various pet stores today and checked them out. Whiskas on the other hand, which is what our cat likes, don't add any sugars and they only have meat and vitamins for the 40-pack satchels we normally buy and they only cost around 12€.

    Also, Aldi's cat food brand, Vitacat I think it's called only contains meat and no other additives except the vitamins all cat foods have and they're even less expensive than Whiskas. They also carry a Vitacat Select line which is a bit more expensive and it has added sugars in it.

    Anyway, we've been adding spring water to the Whiskas meat chunks in jelly and she's loving it so far. She's also peeing more often and seems to have eliminated the pesky crystals. :)
     
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