About Crystals In Cat Urine

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy vet told that my cat's urine contained crystals and she recommended a food that can be gotten by prescription only. I find this very unusual as i'm sure there are several foods that address this problems without having to get an actual prescription. Can you recommend cat foods that are used in the prevention of forming crystals in the urine? (Eve Posen - New York)


You are right to want to solve this problem as quickly as possible and you are a responsible pet owner for seeking a change of food. Bacterial infections may soon follow the presence of other lower urinary tract problems such as crystals or bladder stones. Despite what your vet says, it is widely thought that even though some diets may prevent the prevention of some kinds of crystal, they can often in fact encourage formation of other kinds.

Fish flavored foods are said to increase the chances of crystal formation - so avoid them if you can. You should also always make sure there is clean, fresh water available. I would recommend moving slowly towards a wholly canned diet, lots of water and no table scraps. However, watch carefully for any signs of distress, such as straining to urinate.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Added on Sept 3rd, 2008
A few years ago my 23 pound main coon cat had blood in his urine. lost 10 pounds and was near death. Upon being checked by a vet there were no crystals to be found but he did have a blocked urethra tube, crushed actually. After several attempts on different medications we were told he would die if we didn't act promptly. So he had surgery, and is now a female. a week later he had started to gained back his weight he had lost so dramatically and crushed the tube again. So second surgery was performed. the vet wanted us to put him on a diet that was very expensive and told us that was the only way to keep his urinary tract healthy, we were told by a vet assistant friend of mine that a magnesium restricted diet is best. despite being on a lower than normal amount per feeding he is still 23 pounds but we have had no problems since and that was 4 years ago...good luck with your cat