Crystals are microscopic precipitants that can develop in your cats urine. Theyre usually discovered when you bring your feline to the veterinarian because of common urinary issues, such as urinating too frequently, not enough, or having accidents outside the litter box. Your veterinarian will run a urinalysis to check for sediment or crystals in your cats urine.
Feeding a proven therapeutic diet for urinary tract care may help reduce crystals in cats who are prone to developing them. After your cats initial treatment, your veterinarian will analyze her urine again to see if crystals are still present, since chronic formations can lead to kidney stones in the future.
Can cat food cause crystals in urine?
An underlying cause for the development of struvite crystals is that many cats are reluctant to drink water from bowls. They’ve evolved over millennia to get most of their moisture from prey. This, partnered with a diet of dry cat food, can lead to crystal development in the cat’s urine.
What ingredient in cat food causes urinary problems?
An abundance of certain minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium — often found in grocery store brand cat food — can cause crystals to form in the urine, which sometimes leads to urinary stones.
What cat food helps with crystals in urine?
Evanger’s EVx Restricted Diet’s Urinary Tract Recipe is a great option for cats prone to urinary struvite crystals and urinary pH imbalance. Formulated with nutritionists and experts, they ingredients are simple, recognizable and formulated in compliance with AAFCO standards for all life stages.
What causes cats to have crystals in their urine?
Different types of crystals may develop if your cat isn’t eating a proper, complete and balanced diet. Also, any condition that changes your cat’s urine pH, such as kidney disease or long-term medication use, can cause crystals.
For most cat owners, cat urine is one of the least desirable features of the human/cat arrangement. Yet for your cats health and well-being as well as your peace of mind, its imperative you understand how to provide the diet and care to keep your cats urinary system functioning optimally.
This is probably the underlying cause of a wide range of chronic inflammatory and metabolic diseases in cats, besides urinary stones. [ii] To prevent struvite crystals, cat food companies developed commercial diets formulated to produce more acidic urine as early as the 1980s.
Commercial food changes, unfortunately, have led to more surgeries to remove calcium oxalate stones , for this type of urolith requires surgical intervention. The most serious struvite uroliths are urethral plugs , which if not caught in time can block all passing of urine and lead to a cats death within 24-48 hours. Dry food diets with a moderate protein content that are high in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, chloride, and fiber are associated with increased risk of developing struvite uroliths.
Crystals can form in urine outside the body within 20 to 30 minutes, so home samples are unreliable as are tests for pH levels. Above all, feeding diets high in moisture is one of the cornerstones of urolith prevention. [xvii] Here are things you can do immediately to prevent FLUTD: [i] M. T. Tion, J. Dvorska, and S. A. Saganuwan, A Review on Urolithiasis in Dogs and Cats, Bulgarian Journal of Veterinary Medicine Vol.
Brown, VMD, PhD, DACVIM, Josiah Meigs, Urolithiasis in Small Animals, Calcium Oxalate Stones, Merck Veterinary Manual, Online Edition . Accessed December 17, 2017. http://www.vetfolio.com/diagnostics/diagnosis-of-urolithiasis [vii] Urinary Tract Stones (Struvite) in Cats, PetMD , Accessed December 16, 2017. https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/urinary/c_ct_urolithiasis_struvite?page=2 [viii] It should be noted that in 2010, sterile struvite uroliths, which result largely from diet, comprised about 90% of urethral plugs submitted to the Minnesota Urolith Center. Osborne, J.P. Lulich, et al., Association between dietary factors and calcium oxalate and magnesium ammonium phosphate urolithiasis in cats, JAVMA (2001) 219: 1228-1237, cited in Gregory F. Grauer, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM, Feline Struvite and Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis, Todays Veterinary Practice (September/October 2015): Vol.
Accessed December 16, 2017. http://todaysveterinarypractice.navc.com/feline-struvite-calcium-oxalate-urolithiasis/ [xi] Gregory F. Grauer, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM, Feline Struvite and Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis, Todays Veterinary Practice (September/October 2015): Vol. Accessed December 14, 2017. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/veterinary-science-and-veterinary-medicine/calcium-oxalate [xiv] Grauer, Feline Struvite and Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis. [xv] Ibid. al., ACVIM Small Animal Consensus Recommendations on the Treatment and Prevention of Uroliths in Dogs and Cats. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2016): Vol.
Struvite bladder stones are one of the most common bladder stones in cats. These stones are composed of a mineral called struvite, which is a combination of ammonium, phosphate, and magnesium.
There are two basic categories of treatment for struvite bladder stones: medical dissolution and surgical removal. These diets are intended to alter the pH and chemical composition of the urine in a way that causes the stone to gradually dissolve.
Radiographs are repeated every few weeks during this process, to monitor progress and ensure that the stones are shrinking in response to the diet. “Radiographs are repeated every few weeks during this process, to monitor progress and ensure that the stones are shrinking in response to the diet.” Some cats are unable to eat a prescription diet, due to either a medical conditions or factors in the home.
This involves inserting a small camera into the bladder, with a basket or other retrieval device that can be used to remove the stones. These diets are specially formulated to create a urine environment that is less favorable for the formation of struvite bladder stones.
The solution to pollution is dilution is the phrase we veterinarians now use to explain how to prevent urinary crystal and stone formation. Time, observation, and studies have shown us that there are no magical diets for solving this problem and that water consumption is key.
This has been the major reason that special dry diets have such variable results with preventing urinary crystals and stones in cats. Experience with my homemade diets in dogs has shown great success for those suffering from struvite and oxalate crystal formation.
What Causes Crystals?
There are many types of crystals and many reasons your cat might develop them.Different types of crystals may develop if your cat isn’t eating a proper, complete and balanced diet. Also, any condition that changes your cat’s urine pH, such as kidney disease or long-term medication use, can cause crystals.Younger cats can develop crystals in their urine just as easily as older cats, so age isn’t really a factor. An individual feline’s unique physiology and disease history will most likely predict the development of crystals in their urine above anything else.Crystals may indicate bladder stones or uroliths, rock-like mineral formations that develop in the bladder. Not all pets diagnosed with crystals have bladder stones. A radiograph or ultrasound may be needed to determine if there are stones.
Can My Cat’s Food Cause Crystals?
There are multiple factors causing the formation of urinary crystals, so it’s important to feed your cat a complete and balanced diet for his or her appropriate life stage. Check with the manufacturer of your cat’s food to make sure it is formulated to produce optimal urine pH levels.
Can Wet Cat Food Treat Crystals?
Veterinarians will usually use a multipronged approach for treating crystals. First they’ll eliminate the underlying cause whenever possible. Many vets will recommend high-quality wet foods because they’ve seen canned food reduce crystals in their practices. Regardless, adequate hydration is imperative for felines who tend not to drink enough water.
Types of Feline Urinary Crystals
Dr. Judkins’ second point on urine pH is critical to a broader understanding of how feline uroliths have changed. Struvite crystals form in alkaline urine (high pH). To prevent struvite crystals, cat food companies developed commercial diets formulated to produce more acidic urine as early as the 1980s. Those food changes precipitated a noticeable increase in what were once rare oxalate uroliths. Oxalate uroliths went from being 1.5% of recovered uroliths in 1984 to 24% by 1992.
What are struvite bladder stones?
Struvite and struvite crystals are a normal finding in urine, at low levels. In some pets, however, these struvite crystals come together to form an actual stone within the urinary tract. These stones can irritate the urinary tract and have the potential to cause a urinary obstruction.
What causes struvite bladder stones?
In some cats, struvite bladder stones form as a result of a urinary tract infection. Certain species of urinary bacteria produce a chemical called urease, which leads to changes in urine acidity. Urease-producing bacteria can contribute to the formation of struvite stones.In most cases however, cats develop struvite stones in the absence of an infection. In these cases, the exact cause is unknown. A number of different factors have been found to contribute to these stones, including the formation of concentrated urine, increased urine pH (alkaline urine), and increased levels of magnesium and phosphorus within the urine.Struvite stones have been shown to be more common in Siamese cats. This suggests that genetic factors may also play a role.