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Old December 29th, 2012, 06:36 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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First, gotta say your cats are absolutely scrumptious!!!

Originally Posted by MissPurryJess View Post
Okay! So! I've done some research - my head is about to explode (again).
No head-exploding allowed! Although what I'm about to say may increase the possibility:

Originally Posted by MissPurryJess View Post
there has to be a reason why they lower the pH of the urine and prevent the formation of struvite crystals.
There is, and it's due to the addition of DL-methionine, a synthetic sulphur-containing amino acid. The natural version, L-methionine, occurs sufficiently in meat that it wouldn't normally need to be added to a cat's diet if they were eating enough meat in the first place. The problem is that a large majority of commercial cat foods are too high in plant matter (because it's cheap), not high enough in meat (more expensive, cuts into the pet food company's profits), and therefore there has been a tendency for cats to develop alkaline urine (and thus, struvite crystal formation). So the magic fairy dust that gets added to crappy plant-based prescription foods to increase urine acidity is DL-methionine. When really, the cats should just eat more meat, less plants.

Originally Posted by MissPurryJess View Post
She said that Hills has potassium citrate, that's one of the things about it that's special that lowers pH in urine.
Ugh. Not feeling very confident about this vet's nutrition "expertise". Potassium citrate actually *increases* urine pH (so it makes it more alkaline). The reason this is now added to prescription urinary tract diets is because pet food companies, in all their infinite wisdom and total short-sightedness, caused something worse than struvite crystals with all the DL-methionine they were adding: calcium oxalate crystals. They had succeeded in acidifying the urine so much that the problem now swung in the opposite direction. Enter potassium citrate (or sodium citrate). It's like my 86 yr old grandpa, who is on a gazzillion different meds, each to counteract the side effects of the drug before it. Here's a genius idea: why not go back to the basics, and feed cats the food they were meant to eat - MEAT!! But that wouldn't line the pockets of Big Pet Food enough, so instead we have so-called "prescription" foods for every ailment you can think of (now even anxiety, if you can believe it), all of which contain basically the same horrid ingredients in various reincarnations. There is no "science" behind any of it, just marketing.

Originally Posted by MissPurryJess View Post
5. re-test urine with an in-house test at the vet's office (to prevent the formation of struvite crystals in the urine in the time between when the urine is obtained via cystocentisis and when it's tested) in 2-3 weeks
Good plan. You can also try periodically testing the pH of your kitties' urine at home with test strips if possible. If they consistently show a level above 7 even with the changes you've made, you can add L-methionine powder (found at a health food store) to whatever food you choose. I can give you the amounts if needed. I would only add methionine if you can monitor their urine pH though, because there is a risk that it becomes too acidic.

Hope your head didn't explode just yet!!! I wanna see more pics of your cutie-pies.
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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