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Male cat with urinary crystals

September 15th, 2007, 03:32 PM
:ca:Our male cats are on Royal Canin SO30 because one of the has crystal problems. There has been recalls of several pet foods within the last year. Is it possible for us to provide our cats home made cat food that would not endanger them to urinary crystals, such as fresh cooked chicken or turkey. Regards, mlc

September 15th, 2007, 03:42 PM
mcusolle,I don't know about homecooking,but with cats and crystal-problems,I would feed no more dry food.
Buy good quality canned instead,but if you can get a proper recipy for homecooked,that's good too.
I am sure someone here knows..
Dry food only is an absolute no-no to me,especially with neutered males,I have 3.

September 15th, 2007, 03:45 PM
I feed grain free canned to my cats to ensure they get enough liquid, this ensures proper flushing of the kidneys and bladder to help eliminate crystal issues.

September 15th, 2007, 10:06 PM
Ditto to what chico2 and Love4himies said, a wet food diet is your best bet. Whether that's canned or homemade is up to you, but if you do go with homemade, do lots of research first. You can't just cook up some chicken breast and leave it at that, it would be terribly unbalanced (you need the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio, as well as taurine from organ meats, and lots of other nitt-picky details). I would also say that if you're going to go through the trouble of making your own, keep it raw, otherwise you may as well just get a good grain-free canned food. Here's some further reading on raw diets, if your interested:

And here's an excerpt from this website ( on the role of diet as it pertains to kidney/bladder/urininary-tract health:

Cystitis (bladder inflammation) and Bladder/Kidney Stones: Cystitis and stones are extremely common in the cat and can be very painful and life-threatening. Cystitis can lead to inappropriate urination (urinating outside of the litter box) and stones can cause a fatal rupture of the bladder. (Any cat that is repeatedly entering the litter box but not voiding any urine is in need of IMMEDIATE medical attention!)

It is important to note, however, that "crystals" are not the same thing as stones. Crystals are often a normal finding in a cat's urine and it is not necessarily appropriate to put the cat on a "special urinary tract" formula when these are found in the urine.

Important: I often see too much clinical significance placed on the identification of crystals in the urine without regard to how the urine sample was handled. It is very important to understand that crystals will often form once outside of the body within a very short (one hour) period of time. If the veterinarian does not examine the urine right away and either sends it to an outside laboratory or uses a free-catch sample that the owner brought from home, an erroneous diagnosis of crystals may be made. This is called a "false positive" report and results in unnecessary worry on the part of the owner and often leads to the cat being placed on an inappropriate diet.

With regard to overall kidney and bladder health, I cannot stress strongly enough how important WATER, WATER, WATER is in both the prevention and treatment of diseases involving this organ system.

When a cat is on a diet of water-depleted dry food, they produce a more highly concentrated urine (higher specific gravity) and they produce a lower volume of urine which means that a higher concentration of crystals will be present in the urine. This increases the chance of these crystals forming life-threatening stones. The concentrated urine and the lack of volume production is also very irritating to the lining of the bladder wall predisposing them to painful cystitis.

Please keep in mind that a cat has a very low thirst drive and is designed to get water with their food. A diet of canned food will keep a proper amount of water flowing through the urinary tract system and help maintain its health.

Urine pH is also often considered when discussing urinary tract problems but the proper amount of water in the diet is a far more important point to focus on than pH.

There are many factors which determine the pH of urine and only one of them is diet. Unfortunately, a highly acidifying diet is often prescribed which may result in trading one problem for another. Generally speaking, a basic (non-prescription) low carbohydrate, meat-based canned food helps normalize the urine pH and provides the proper amount of dietary water.

With regard to dry food and urinary tract health, aside from the lack of water in this type of diet, please also note that there is a correlation between the consumption of a high carbohydrate diet and the formation of struvite crystals as shown by this study (