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Q: Alternative to vet diet-struvite crystals

December 28, 2009 | By ILoveLilo | 7 answers | Expired: 1695 days ago

ILoveLilo

My cat was crying in the litter box so I took him to the ER. I found out he had a small trace of struvite crystals.

Since then, he's been on the hill's c/d. He refuses to eat the canned. I have tried mixing it in with the dry. He will eat a little. However, this is becoming expensive for such waste.

Does anyone know of any alternatives to a vet diet for struvite crystals?

I don't want to give him up and I don't want him to die. Any advice is appreciated.

Readers' Answers (7)
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Kelly
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Jan 11, 2010

One of my cat's had bladder surgery when she was barely 3yo to remove three very large stones from her bladder caused by struvite crystals. She's been on Science Diet c/d ever since. She loves the dry food but she won't touch the canned. My vet said that as long as the food has low or no magnesium she could eat it. So, although I still feed her the dry c/d, I look for no or very low magnesium canned foods she likes. She doesn't eat a lot of canned food anyway...maybe 2 tablespoons a day.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Jan 09, 2010

I had a cat that lived to the age of 18. He had several blockages in his urinary tract. I bought the prescription diet for him but had to feed the same thing to my other 2 cats and it was very expensive, not to mention a pain going to the vet to get their dry food. One day one of the vets suggested I just feed him a commercial cat food for urinary tract problems that I could just buy in the grocery store. I ended up putting all of them on Purina Urinary Tract Formula dry cat food and gave them regular canned cat food. He never had an issue as long as he was fed that dry cat food. It's the dry food that causes the problems, not the canned food. None of them would eat the canned Hill's food. I guess it tastes as bad as it looks. If I used any other dry cat food, he would end up with a blockage. Good luck!

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Lisa B.
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Jan 01, 2010

I use bottled water because the drinking water tastes like chlorine sometimes so I started adding drops of minerals to my bottled water. I was in a hurry one morning and poured the bottled water with the added minerals into the cat´s water dish and she drank it all quickly. So now that is what she gets. I bought the little bottle of minerals at a health food store and just follow the directions on the back.

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Ladysiam
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Dec 29, 2009

My 20 yr old cat was recently diagnosed with CRF & I went on a hunt for the perfect food to help her. I found that the perscription diets were expensive, she wouldn't eat them & they were not healthy for her. Same with the holistic foods- which I really wanted to switch her to. Anyway- I ended up softening her favorite dry food with unflavored Pedialite & It has worked wonders for keeping her hydrated. My vet can not believe the transformation she has gone through since adding Pedialyte to her food. So if your kitty needs to keep hydrated try adding a little to her food & see what happens.

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Amber
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Dec 28, 2009

Hill's Science Diet seems to be the "default" prescription food for most vets, but it is by no means the only one out there. whether prescription or non-prescription, many vets really push Science Diet, and for the life of me i can't understand why given that it's full of fillers and by-products. anyway, the point: you might want to ask your vet about trying a prescription food made by a different brand. Royal Canin is, in my experience, at least, the second most readily available brand of prescription pet food out there. petfooddirect.com also mentions a Purina Veterinary and Iams Veterinary diet. one of these may work better for your cat.

it is also my understanding that getting more moisture into your cat's diet can help reduce urinary tract problems in general. you can do this in a number of ways. moist food helps, even if you don't feed moist food exclusively. if you have just one water bowl, you might consider placing many small water bowls throughout your home so that your kitty has lots of opportunities to drink. drinking fountains can help keep water clean and cool, though some cats don't like them (mine didn't). an alternative can be to leave a faucet on at a very slow trickle, if your cats prefer that, or simply to refresh their water as frequently as possible to keep it fresh. i've even heard of people putting a little juice from a can of tuna into the water to make it more appealing (might want to go for low-sodium tuna). the tastier the water, the more likely they are to drink, and the less likely they'll be to experience urinary tract problems. some supplements can be helpful. just like with humans, cranberry is good for urinary tract health in cats. i've used this product:

www.zootoo.com/cats_supplements3/cranberryandpapayadigestivesup_digestivesupplementforcatsandk

...mixed into moist food with my kitties, and they didn't seem to mind it at all. and of course, as Jessica said, a good quality food can go a long way towards improving your cat's health overall, including their urinary health. one of the best kitty kibbles available is Wellness Core, but other good, grain-free brands include Taste of the Wild, Evo, and Instinct, with this list by no means being exhaustive. Wellness Core isn't cheap, but if you're already paying for Science Diet, the price probably won't seem too bad, especially when you compare Core's ingredients to those in your typical bag of Science Diet. also, if you sign up for their email newsletter, they do sometimes send out coupons for $5 off a bag of kibble.

and if you're going to tinker with your kitty's diet, given his medical history, i would *strongly* suggest that you pick up a bag of Health Meter Early Detection System Cat Litter:

www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2811445

...so that you can stay on top of things and nip any problems in the bud. good luck!

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Jessica P.
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Dec 28, 2009

I agree try an organix holistic food...I found this on the internet "These diets were low in magnesium and cats eating them produced an acidic (low pH) urine. As more cats were fed these diets, both for treatment and prevention of struvite, the percentage of cats with struvite stones decreased, but the incidence of calcium oxalate crystals and stones increased. Struvite is still, by far, the most common component of urethral plugs." So you may need to try different things, though WHOLE foods (turkey, chicken, fish are good) also I think a big key is WATER, try adding chicken broth or other flavors to your cat's water, adding water in with foods, and/or using a water filtering fountain to encourage your cat to drink more. I am not a fan of any prescription diets, especially science diet ones as they are PURE chemical, nature I am sure as something and since it does not seem like this is a true metabolic condition changing diet to a simpler food and increasing water consumption may work wonders.

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Mary C.
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Dec 28, 2009

Canine Caviar's Chicken and Salmon dry cat food is the holistic alternative to the Science Diet prescription food. They have canned food as well, the turkey canned food is just turkey, no other ingredient. You can look up their website to read about the food. Good Luck with your cat.

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