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cat with blocked urethra - what should he be eating?

Kristin7
March 17th, 2008, 12:24 PM
My parent's cat is at the vet's right now, apparently he has a blocked urethra. They have been feeding him Felidae kibble, not sure which specific kind. My mom said the vet recommended another brand, but I haven't found out which one yet. She said there were only 2 brands the vet would recommend. I really hope they are not low quality foods and I'm hoping to find out more here about what cat's who have had blockages should be eating. I thought wet food was best, but not sure I'll be able to convince my parent's to feed this type of food. Perhaps if there is a good website to refer them to - does anyone here know of a good site to do some reading about this? They probably want to stay away from foods low in magnesium? One other thing, this cat is VERY overweight, could this have something do to with the blockage?

Love4himies
March 17th, 2008, 12:33 PM
The best way to prevent blockages in cats is to ensure the cat is getting lots of water which means the cat should be eating high quality CANNED or raw, never, never, never kibble, supplemented with even more water. I don't have my links to websites here at home, they're on my work computer.

Sugarcatmom and Growler will be along shortly I am sure to give some expert advice. These two are the absolute cat nutrition gurus and I would follow their recommendations over a regular vet's any day.

Good luck in convincing your parents. Perhaps after they have had time to read over some links you will get here it will change thier minds on canned.

Kristin7
March 17th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Yes, I hope to convince them, I think this cat really needs to be eating wet food, for lots of reasons. I think they were probably feeding a diet formulated for weight loss, if Felidae makes a food like that.

sugarcatmom
March 17th, 2008, 02:50 PM
Love4himies nailed it, the cat should absolutely be eating wet food. Tell your parents his life depends on it. I'm going to quote my favourite vet-tech again (thanks Jojo!), who says: "female cats shouldn't be within 5 feet of dry food, male cats shouldn't be within 50 feet of dry food, and a male cat that's been blocked before shouldn't be in the same time zone as dry food!".

Being overweight and having urinary tract problems are just symptoms of a bigger issue, which is that the cat is not eating a species-appropriate diet. The vet is probably going to recommend either Hill's C/D or X/D, neither of which is going to address the fact that cats shouldn't be eating such carbohydrate heavy, DRY, food. Feeding a quality canned food like Wellness or Nature's Variety or Innova Evo 95% meat or By Nature Organics would be my recommendation (and thanks Love4himies for the kudos!). Maybe you can forward these links to your folks and hopefully they will "see the light" before their cat ends up needing a Perineal Urethrostomy:
http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm

Hazmat
March 17th, 2008, 06:43 PM
The best way to prevent blockages in cats is to ensure the cat is getting lots of water which means the cat should be eating high quality CANNED or raw, never, never, never kibble, supplemented with even more water. I don't have my links to websites here at home, they're on my work computer.

Sugarcatmom and Growler will be along shortly I am sure to give some expert advice. These two are the absolute cat nutrition gurus and I would follow their recommendations over a regular vet's any day.

Good luck in convincing your parents. Perhaps after they have had time to read over some links you will get here it will change thier minds on canned.


I disagree with the above.

My male, about 7 years ago had urinary tract problems . My vet at the time recommended Waltham S/O. Since I liked feeding a dry food. This stuff worked great. It made him drink almost 2 cups of water a day and was good for my other cat too.

My Vet sold it. So I bought it from him. Trouble was that it sometimes cost me betweetn $13 and $20 dollars a bag. It depended on who was on duty at the front desk. One day about 4 years later I got pissed and went in. ( vet was only 4 doors down). At that time someone tried to charge me $24 for the bag! I FREACKED OUT! THOSE POOR POOR HIGHT SCHOOL STUDENTS THAT HE HIRED FOR THE FRONT DESK! After that I payed only $10 dollars for a bag of it:)

Guess my point is that there is some good brands of dry food that will work. Some dry will work.

Hazmat did die at around age 18 but from a heart attack and not urinary tract problems .

sugarcatmom
March 17th, 2008, 08:38 PM
My vet at the time recommended Waltham S/O. Since I liked feeding a dry food. This stuff worked great. It made him drink almost 2 cups of water a day and was good for my other cat too.

These are the main ingredients of the Urinary S/O formula:

INGREDIENTS:
CHICKEN MEAL, RICE, CORN GLUTEN MEAL, GROUND CORN, CHICKEN FAT, NATURAL FLAVORS, CELLULOSE POWDER, SODIUM CHLORIDE, DRIED BREWERS YEAST, DRIED EGG POWDER,....

That's a heckuva lot of grain to be paying big bucks for (28-30% of calories are carbohydrate content, when cats would naturally be eating less than 3%). And the reason your cat drank so much on it is because of the high amount of salt (which, by the way, isn't so great for the heart). It may indeed prevent crystals from forming by acidifying the urine (with more added chemicals), but you can accomplish both an increased water intake and lower urine PH by feeding a meat-based WET food.

Guess my point is that there is some good brands of dry food that will work. Some dry will work.

No such thing as a "good" dry food when we're talking about cats. Sure, the big pet food companies may make formulas to try to fix the various problems that they caused in the first place with their highly inappropriate diets, and those products may indeed resolve that specific issue, but at what cost? What other health problems might arise from continuing to feed these foods? The cat may survive, but I dare say it's not going to thrive.

Here is a vet paper on Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease from the WSAVA Congress in 2006:
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2006&PID=15805&Category=2673&O=Generic

Dietary change is the only form of therapy that has consistently been shown to be of real benefit in cases of iFLUTD. Based on our current knowledge, this forms the most important part of long-term management. Several studies have now confirmed the results of an earlier investigation that showed cats fed a wet (tinned) diet had a much lower rate of recurrent signs of idiopathic cystitis than those fed a dry diet. The urine concentration produced in response to feeding the wet diet was much lower than that of the cats fed the dry diet, and it is thought that producing more dilute urine (and presumably thus also encouraging more frequent urination) are major mechanisms of the observed benefit. Feeding a wet (tinned/sachet) diet rather than a dry diet is thus always recommended for iFLUTD, and the feeding of a 'pH neutral' diet (a urine pH in the region of 6.3 is typically found in cats on a 'natural' diet of rodents) that will avoid extremes of urinary pH is also likely to be of benefit. The use of a relatively low solute-load diet helps in the production low urine concentration, and this is preferable to trying to encourage greater urine production through the addition of salt to the diet. The latter could be associated with a number of potential adverse effects such as volume expansion and contributing to hypertension, and exacerbating any renal compromise present. Encouraging water intake without salt supplementation is thus preferred and the use of 'pet fountains', flavoured waters and other methods of enhancing water intake (beyond just the use of wet diets) also has a good role to play. In cases of recurrent iFLUTD, a primary aim should be to reduce the urine SG to 1.035 or less, and avoid abnormal acidification or alkalinisation.

growler~GateKeeper
March 18th, 2008, 01:50 AM
It made him drink almost 2 cups of water a day and was good for my other cat too.

Yes the dry food makes them drink water because not only is it full of carbohydrates it often has far higher than acceptable levels of salt to make them feel the need to drink.


Kristen7 have your parents add a teaspoon or 2 of warm water to the canned food this will provide additional water as well as warming it up & making the food smell good to the cats who have always only had dry.

Thanks for the glowing recommendation L4H :o

SCM is dead on with her food suggestions, I would also add Eagle Pack Holistic Select & Merricks, both canned of course, to the ones she has mentioned :D

Here are some more sites on feline nutrition:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=whycatsneedcannedfood

http://www.felinediabetes.com/hodgkinsarticle.htm this also covers obesity

http://www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

You can check out all the other nutrition links here http://www.felineoutreach.org/links.html#Nutrition

Kristin7
March 18th, 2008, 08:31 AM
Thanks all for the info, those are some great links! I'll forward them along and bookmark them myself.

Hazmat, thanks for the laugh, funny about going off at the vet's about the expensive food. :laughing: I imagine they still were making some $ even when only charging you $10/bag.

My parent's aren't thrilled about Rx food, because they can only get it at the vet's. I've still not heard which brands were recommended to them, but one was a Rx food and the other was a store brand...

Love4himies
March 18th, 2008, 09:51 AM
I disagree with the above.

My male, about 7 years ago had urinary tract problems . My vet at the time recommended Waltham S/O. Since I liked feeding a dry food. This stuff worked great. It made him drink almost 2 cups of water a day and was good for my other cat too.

Guess my point is that there is some good brands of dry food that will work. Some dry will work.

Hazmat did die at around age 18 but from a heart attack and not urinary tract problems .

I used to feed my cats a poor quality canned food along with a corn filled kibble until I started research on cat food and read Sugarcatmom's and Growlers advice to posters. All their nutritional food recommendations were right on the mark! So I asked for their advice to change my very picky cats food to a quality one. My kitty was senior and was on the same food all her life. I followed it and after a few very frusterating months Puddles was eating quality canned (Wellness is her main food), I CAN'T BELEIVE THE DIFFERENCE IN MY CAT!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the yell, but I wanted to make sure you saw ;). Her fur is now like it was when she was much younger, she is much more active and happier. My point being, that you don't know if quality, high protein food will change your cat unless you try it!

By the way, the acidifing of cat food eliminates one type of crystals and stones (struvite), but it is now believed it can cause Calcium Oxalate stones which can only be removed by surgery.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1402&articleid=2729
Check out the last line in this article: By the way the Winn Feline ogranization distributes grant money for research into cat health:
http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/Pages/Bladder_Stones_Obstruct_Web.pdf

About 2/3 of the way down under "Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis" on this link talks about acidifying diets (which is what vets use to decrease the the possibility of struvite crystals/stones, but may create another stone issue:

http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00123.htm

Deda Brada
March 18th, 2008, 01:50 PM
I'll feel free to tell you, preachers who sermonize exclusive use of wet food, that I am a little bit tired of this frenzy. Wet, wet, wet! If you want to control urolithiasis, then think about the structure of the food you give. If you divide food in only two categories, dry and wet, then you will never be on the right track when talking about urethral blockages. The main material which makes blockages is struvite, consisting of magnesium and ammonia. Food must not contain more than 0.1% of magnesium. Never mind if it is dry or wet! Wet food with excess magnesium leads to urethral blockage, trust me, I experienced it and almost lost one male. If you want truth about urethral blockages and other urinary disorders, then read:
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2006&PID=15805&Category=2673&O=Generic
We can discuss wet and dry food as long as you wish, but no one can convince me that wet cat food is sent to us by God. If someone wants natural nutrition for his/her cats, why don't he/she raise mice and small birds and use them as food? This is the only natural cat food!

Remember, low magnesium, that means brand-name food! Forget division on wet and dry, consuming plenty of water or not, and so on... I've got a male who drinks little more 3 fl. oz. of water daily! He is 7.5 years old, eats exclusively dry food and until now never got blockage or any other form of FLUTD.
Veterinary diets are important only for short period of time, until blockage ceases.

sugarcatmom
March 18th, 2008, 03:11 PM
I'll feel free to tell you, preachers who sermonize exclusive use of wet food, that I am a little bit tired of this frenzy. Wet, wet, wet!

Sorry Deda, I tells it like it is, and cats need wet food. The fact that we've been feeding them dry for 20 or 30 years does not mean it's okay, and is in fact responsible for numerous health issues (bladder and urinary tract issues only being part of the problem). We're just now starting to realize the damage we've done, but there's a growing voice (even in the veterinary community!) that we need to change the way we feed our cats. There are lots of links in this and various other posts that you really should check out. I understand if you don't have a lot of canned food options where you live and maybe you have to feed some dry (although I'd vote for a home-made diet in that case), but I guarantee you, dry is not an ideal choice for any cat. That goes for ALL dry. If you really really want me to get into it, I can, but I'd prefer if you read some of the links.

Kristin7
March 18th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Yay, they are going to be feeding him canned! He has some gum inflammation too, so my mom has been wetting down his dry food, but after this she is going to switch over to wet. He can't really eat dry kibble anyway. The vet recommended Purina One brand and Hills C/D as options, or, any wet food. I still don't know what the blockage consisted of, so not sure if it was those type of crystals or not (struvite). On a can of food, how much is 0.1% magnesium? is that on a dry weight basis or wet?

Funny, I would love to feed my cats mice... I had a cat growing up who lived part of her life outside, so quite a large percentage of her diet was mice and other small rodents. She was very healthy, and had great teeth, until she developed kidney disease at the age of 15. Otherwise, she was eating poor quality kibble, so i'm sure the mice made up for that. I don't think I want to release mice in my house for my cats to hunt, though. i'm sure they wouldn't know what to do if they actually caught one :laughing: but I have to admit, i've thought of the mice diet for awhile now, which is why raw intrigues me. Someday i hope to feed raw, but will need to research it more before starting. Thanks all for the tips/links, the cat is doing well and if he can pee on his own, will be coming home tonight! :fingerscr

sugarcatmom
March 18th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Yay, they are going to be feeding him canned!

Awesome!!! They won't regret it. If they're worried about his dental health, there's always teeth brushing (ha ha!! says the girl who hasn't been able to master that yet): http://www.felinevideos.vet.cornell.edu/brushing_teeth/index.shtml
Some dental treats (like Enzadent) might help some cats, but again, chewing chunks of raw meat or meat with bone is the best.

On a can of food, how much is 0.1% magnesium? is that on a dry weight basis or wet?

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the magnesium at this point (but Wellness would be a good choice in this regard, as it has no magnesium oxide - the culprit in FLUTD). If it's struvite crystals (more likely) it's urine acidity and urine concentration that are most important. If the urine still remains too alkaline on a quality low-carb canned food, acidifiers like L-methionine or ammonium chloride can be added (as long as the ph is monitored at home with dipsticks to make sure it doesn't then become too acidic - which could cause calcium oxalate uroliths as Love4himies pointed out).

Funny, I would love to feed my cats mice...
I've thought of buying frozen pinkies and fuzzies from Rodent Pro (http://rodentpro.com/), but my husband is way too squeemish to not have a hizzy-fit if I did that.


the cat is doing well and if he can pee on his own, will be coming home tonight! :fingerscr

Fantastic! Fingers crossed that he's cozy at home as soon as possible.

Kristin7
March 18th, 2008, 05:27 PM
Rodent Pro, omg! I wonder if they would eat these mice... my childhood cat ate so many, sometimes I'd get to watch her. Ok, it was gross, she ate them head first, just swallowed them down pretty much, but left the tail. :yuck:

Poor kitty, he's not coming home tonight... he did pee on his own, which is good, but he was not eating. He is probably terrified, he's a very nervous cat to begin with.

sugarcatmom
March 18th, 2008, 06:11 PM
Poor kitty, he's not coming home tonight... he did pee on his own, which is good, but he was not eating. He is probably terrified, he's a very nervous cat to begin with.

Awww, can your parents go visit him and bring him something extra tasty? I know my guy won't eat at the vets either, no way no how. In the past I would take plain meat chicken baby food (no onions) and he'd eat it off my finger, but that was it.

Since he's peeing on his own, I'm actually wondering what the benefit of keeping him there longer would be. Your parents might have better luck getting him to eat in the comforts of his own home, even if they have to use an appetite stimulant for a jumpstart. If that doesn't work, they could also syringe feed him (I've got lots of links for doing that if they need them). I think too many vets make the mistake of thinking a cat has to eat while in such a stressful environment. I mean, come on, we're talking about CATS here, not dogs!