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One thing after another... need food advice for itchy cat

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by KittyBimble, Jan 22, 2019.


  1. KittyBimble

    KittyBimble PetForums Member

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    My cat has had a urinary blockage due to struvite crystals in his urine, he was catherised, put on antibiotics, loxicom and hypovase. Prescribed RC Urinary S/O with Cystaid Plus. He has had catheter out now for two weeks, still has cystitus, and is off the antibiotics now, but is still taking the hypovase and loxicom.

    About two weeks after he first started eating this RC food, he started to vomit up hairballs daily, and I've noticed he keeps shaking his ears like they are itching, and he rubs his eyes frantically. He's starting to get very thin in his 'eyebrow' area. It seems like to me he is grooming 5 times as much as my other healthy cat. Hes also scratching his neck (where vet shaved him during catheter procedure), keeps chewing one of his back paws and has a lot of dandruff, the skin in his ears are slightly red looking. I'm pretty sure he has an allergic reaction due to the food, that's what it seems like to me.

    Problem is last time i went to the vet, he just said the vomiting was most likely stress related, but at the time I hadn't noticed the odd grooming/itching behaviour so didn't mention it, as at the time the vomiting hairballs had just started.

    Surely this RC food isn't the only thing to stop struvite crystals from forming? From what I can find online, a high meat wet diet should keep his urine PH acidic naturally. I'm looking at Natures Menu, avoiding any fish flavours, as I read that's no good for a cat with urinary issues. Can anyone offer me any advice? Has anyone encountered urinary issues with their cats but cant use the RC urinary food due to food sensitivities.

    I mean I looked at the ingredients, its meat, meat deriatives (5% chicken), the next ingredient is cereals! Followed by vegetable deriatives and various sugars?! So I don't understand, is it just laboratory altered to address the urine PH issue so they can avoid using high grade meat? (which i presume is not profit effective for them). I honestly just don't know what to do, seeing my cat suffer, and then being scared to death about the struvite crystal issue.
     
  2. I think your cat, and all cats, just need a good quality wet cat food with no 'meat derivatives' or 'various sugars' or cereals/grains. Your cat is probably vomiting up hairballs because of the constant grooming he is doing to try to relieve his itching. Vets nearly always recommend one of two varieties of not-ideal cat food, including DRY food, which they happen to sell in their surgeries, and it's little wonder people lose faith in them. If he is itching, change his food. I rate Lily's Kitchen wet. There are many other good foods available online, but I don't want or need to order online with only one cat to care for. I would also invest in a Furminator and use it gently every other day. It should stop hairballs going forward, but I would wait until any soreness has healed.
     
    #2 Deleted member 1482176, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2019
  3. KittyBimble

    KittyBimble PetForums Member

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    @shingigz i agree with you, its just the vet put the fear of god in me, and literally said that unless he eats this RC urinary food (its wet food pouches), his struvite crystal issue will keep forming and cause him to block again. So im like is that true? I mean im obviously no cat nutrition expert.

    I have no problem bulk ordering cat food online, lilys is a great brand that ive used before but my cat isnt such a fan of pate style foods.
     
  4. Was he on dry before getting the crystals? It is always said that male cats are more prone to developing them, and therefore it makes sense that toms in particular should not be on dry food. The dry is too dehydrating and the problem inside accumulates unseen until it reveals itself further down the line.

    My female cat used to have one small meal of dry food in addition to her wet food, and when I changed her to all wet her urine production increased hugely (in amount rather than frequency, but maybe both), which tells me that her kidneys are flushing better. The clumps in her litter tray used to be like dumplings - now they are like giant scones!

    My cat never was keen on pate foods either, nor LK, but lately she has taken to the LK organic ones. I have been putting a quarter of a tray out whenever she is hungry so it is not too overfacing.
     
    #4 Deleted member 1482176, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2019
  5. KittyBimble

    KittyBimble PetForums Member

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    @shingigz he was on a dry food diet mainly. The Applaws brand. Plus he ate a lot of dry treats like Dreamies. Also those meat stick things. Stupidly i thought applaws was good because it was grain free, just potatoes were used to make the product dry. But a carb is a carb.

    Ive been comparing the ingredients between natures menu complete cat food pouches and the RC and it seems better. Only the Ash content is 2.5 on natures menu compared to 1.2 on RC. But there is no magnesium added to natures menu which is a big contributer to struvite crystals from what ive been reading. I just dont see why the vet would recommend RC urinary pouches as like the only thing that would stop formation of crystals... just doesnt seem right to me.
     
  6. It doesn't to me, either. There are people on here who are far more knowledgeable than me on the subject. Hopefully somebody will explain.

    But if RC is making him itch, he needs to come off it.
     
  7. You were not thinking stupidly. It is thought by most people to be a good food. It's not stupid to think that dry food is good for cats with the amount of vets recommending it. Then there's all the TV advertising - programming everyone to believe the popular foods like Felix and Whiskers etc must be good for cats. And that we must give our cats 'treats' if we love them. Nobody should beat themselves up about it. We learn, unfortunately at our cats' expense (and ours).

     
    #7 Deleted member 1482176, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2019
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    If you now have him on 100% wet food diet that is a huge step forward in protecting him from further issues with struvite crystals. A wet food diet will give him plenty of moisture in his diet making his urine more dilute so he wants to pass urine more often. Peeing more often means his bladder is well flushed through so crystals get less chance to form.

    If he is an indoor cat, ensure he has plenty of litter trays spread around the house (say 3 trays) so he is encouraged to empty his bladder often, rather than "holding on" and concentrating his urine (as cats are biologically able to do, due to their heritage as desert cats). If he is an outdoor cat either allow him access to the outdoors all the time or if he is shut indoors at night make sure he has a litter tray provided, or a couple of trays.

    Ensure you provide an attractive litter for him that he likes to use, e.g. a fine granular litter, and keep the trays scooped several times a day.

    If you feed him a good quality high meat diet (with no legumes, and low in carbs) it will keep his urine acidic, which will make it hostile for bacteria as well as reducing the risk of crystals.

    Cat foods available on the high street such as Natures Menu, Country Hunter, Meowing Heads, Wellness Core Tender Cuts, Hi Life The Chicken One or Chicken Dinner, Wainwrights tins, and Little Big Paw, are all good foods.

    Also you may want to add a supplement to his food if you take him off the urinary diet. e.g Cystease or Cystaid Plus. Either of these can be given permanently, and mixed in the cat's food.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Feliway-D7...&qid=1548198078&sr=8-1&keywords=cystease+cats

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cystaid-Pl...8198111&sr=8-1&keywords=cystaid+plus+for+cats

    If you don't have a pet fountain it may be worth getting one to encourage him to drink more water. However on a wet food diet it is possible he may not need to drink water (none of my cats drink water unless they are ill and off their food). So if you decide to buy one I'd get a reasonably priced one, just in case he doesn't use it.

    If he is a short haired cat he shouldn't need much brushing or combing at this time of year. In the moulting season (Spring) and possibly through the summer, you may need to comb him. I wouldn't use something like a furminator on him, those things strip out all the fur.

    If he is longhaired, you may still only need a comb in the winter, that is all I use for my LH cat. I do comb him every day to keep his coat clear of knots and matts. Not much fur comes out of course at this time of year. In the summer I use a pin brush made by Ferplast. It is quite gentle and doesn't strip out the fur.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-G...98849&sr=8-3&keywords=ferplast+brush+for+cats
     
    #8 chillminx, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  9. I was on the hunt for some Meowing Heads a couple of weeks ago. Called in Morrisons as it was on their website... they had none. Called in Sainsburys as it was on theirs... they had none. Called in Pets at Home as it was on their website... they had none. Where can it be found..?
     
  10. Thanks for doing all that, chillminx! You are so helpful. But I just wanted to buy one sachet of each to try. I will try Jolleys as it is on their website...
     
    chillminx likes this.
  11. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    If you are near Lidl, pop in for a look. They've had a few , on n off, for the last few months. Not in the pet section, but in the "occasional" goods section. One flavour each, meat n fish
     
  12. I will do, thanks. Good ol' Lidl.
     
  13. KittyBimble

    KittyBimble PetForums Member

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    So he started to vomit hairballs twice a day, so I gave him Natures menu pouches last night and this morning. I didn’t realise the natures menu was a pate consistency and smelled quite strongly, so of course he was not impressed with that. I’m under pressure to make sure he eats his medications and cystaid plus with his meals so I mixed it with half a pouch of the RC urinary last night, he ate most of it (took 2 hours of repeatedly offering it to him, mind), vomited at 2am. This morning I mixed natures menu with a quarter of the RC, again he was not too impressed but with a couple of hours coaxing he ate most of that. Hasn’t been sick yet, he usually will vomit around 2pm so I’m cautiously optimistic.

    I was inspecting his bald patches above his eyes closer in the sun (he is a fully black cat) and I noticed a bunch of tiny scabs where he’s been itching and grooming. So I’m due to take him to the vet on Saturday so if he continues to not vomit, and stop grooming and scratching so much. Then I will be 100% convinced it was the RC urinary food that has been keeping him ill.

    @chillminx I bought a cat fountain for him last week which he loves, I also have two other water bowls that I change twice a day. He has three litter trays, one covered downstairs, one uncovered upstairs and another uncovered downstairs. I use Oko plus or Greenwood’s clumping wood litter. He has cystaid plus sprinkled on every meal, I have feliway plugged in upstairs because that’s where he likes to spend most of his time (when he first started vomiting I bought this as vet was convinced it was just stress related, he isn’t a stressy cat), he’s got a cat tree, and two scratch posts, plus a cardboard scratcher. I have the flying frenzy cat toy with various attachments, plus a huge amount of general cat toys everywhere. I’m just crossing my fingers that the vet is mistaken about RC urinary being the only food that will stop crystals forming. I can’t deal with seeing my cat lethargic and vomiting twice a day, plus overgrooming and scratching constantly.

    @shingigz I know is shouldn’t blame myself for being misinformed but I do! The guilt is terrible. What also made me complacent is the fact that my family has had male cats who lived on Iams dry food and they never had an issue ever. I had never heard of young male cats having urinary blockages before it happened to me. It was such a shock! I left him at the vets the day they admitted him for a catheter and just cried all the way home.

    I’m hoping eventually he will love the new food and I won’t have to mix it with RC to get him to eat it. At least I know now, it isn’t possible to die of stress, because I certainly would have by now.
     
  14. I didn't realise he was a youngster. As long as you are still mixing in the RC, he may still be itching / vomiting. I suppose you can only be sure if that's the problem once he is completely off the suspect food, as it's all or nothing with allergies. Keep the ingredient-list for the RC, because one ingredient in it may solely be the culprit, and it may be in future foods that you give to him. If he has scabs, it may be the raw patches that are healing, or have healed, over. Hoping so...

    Don't be so hard on yourself. Don't feel any guilt at all!! You weren't to know, and still don't really know (although there's a strong chance), if his diet is to blame. And you gave him what you thought was good for him and are doing all you can to make him better.
     
    #15 Deleted member 1482176, Jan 23, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2019
    Gallifreyangirl likes this.
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