UTI? Crystals in his Urine? Won't eat the Prescription Food

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


Member Since
Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 1:42am PST 
About 3 weeks ago I started my Cat on Nutro Adult Formula, trading out from Blue Buffalo. With in a week of feeding him that he began to throw up. I spoke to my vet they suggested elevating his food dish. I did, and he stopped throwing up. Tuesday Afternoon he threw up again and began acting weird. Just kinda of distent and spacy, Thursday morning he became very angry, growling, screaming and attacking everyone from myself, and my mother to my sister's 2 kids. He was obviously in pain and would spend 10 to 20 minutes trying to pee in his litter box. Several times he would seek out soft items around the house to try and pee on with no success. (Note: from right after Christmas he's pee'd several times outside the Litter box, generally on my sisters Items,) but this time it was after everything. Rugs, stuffed animals but he was NOT able to pee. He's 4 years old and never pee'd outside the Litter box until recently. So I called the vet and we went in. The vet kept him overnight and I picked him up the next morning. I was never fully told WHAT exactly was wrong with him, I'm assuming a UTI, I was told he has crytals in his urine which is why he was growling and snarling at us. (Am I right?)

Anyways, The vet who was not even in the office when I came into pick up him up, (he was out to lunch). They refused to give me a prescription for his food, I had to call back later that day for the food. They also prescribed Baytril which I need to look up and see what it is for exactly. But anyways the food prescription was for Hills Prescription C/D. He seems to like the Dry food, but WON'T Touch the moist food, he even gives me this sad how DARE you look when I try to give it to him. If he dosn't get his moist food he becomes very angry and testy, attacking me, my mother and anyone else who goes into the Kitchen. My Vet is turning out to be a NOT so GREAT vet as half the time I can't even talk to a vet when I call with questions. I was hoping for some advice on the food issue as my sister's kids are now terrifed of my cat and they'll be with us for at least another 2-3 weeks. So, do you think I could get away with feeding him what he likes.

Thanks for any adivce,


Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 10:08am PST 
I'm guessing that there is a PH difference between the old Blue Buffalo and the new Nutro foods, and that is what caused the crystals.

Did you switch the foods gradually? Cats digestive systems can get "programmed" to a specific food if fed only one type for a long time.

It's very important to switch foods gradually, usually over 1-2 weeks. Start by mixing in very small amounts (seriously, like 5% to start) of new food with the old and slowly increasing the amount of new food over time.

Personally, I have issues with Hills. Without going into the nitty gritty details (you can read them in my diary and in my forum posts), let's just say I would never ever ever recommend it for anycat.

Just a little thought to toss your way, Mom did some research about cat's diets and decided to put all four of us on raw meat. None of us have had crystals or impacted bowels since.

Here are a few links for you to peruse...

Oh yeah, and there's lots of well informed peeps right here on Catster!
Catster's raw fed cats

Edited by author Fri Feb 27, '09 10:13am PST



Education is the- Key
Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 10:21am PST 
First of all if you are not comfortable with your vet, then find another one, do not feel obligated to stay with the one that you are with. I find it strange that they are not communicating to you very well. You do need to find a vet quickly though, and one that is going to work with you. Is your cat a male or female, a male cat can get blocked if they have crystals and this is a life threatening thing. Basically if you do have a UTI or crystals your cat needs to be on an all wet diet period. I will say that I have read alot of bad things about Nutro food, and I can direct you to those links if you would like.
It does not have to be a prescription diet. Sure you can be on it for a little while to try and dissolve the crystals, but being on a prescription diet can cause a host of other problems down the road, this is what we have found with the research that we have done anyhow. Can you try to put your cat on a grain free wet food like Wellness or Evo? read this link it will give you some info.


Member Since
Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 12:04pm PST 
He is very picky about his wet food, he will only eat certain types, at first I thought it was a texture thing as in he won't eat the Paties, it must be chunked. But when I tried to move him to a better brand he won't eat that. I'm really at a loss of what to do, I'd take him off dry food all together but then again I don't think he acctually eats enough of his wet food to get a balanced diet. I've never tried the two you suggested, I'll check at work tomarrow to see if we have it and give it a try. Hopefully he won't look at me like I'm retarded.

I would change vets but sadly the only option I have right now is this vet or Banfeild and I've never heard a good thing about Banfeild from anyone. So until me and the Fiance move in together it's this vet or no vet. I'm just wondering if I can transfer him back to the Blue Buffalo he was on Dry food wise or should I just cut the dry out all together, I really think he likes and needs the dry food as he does eat it quite a bit. I'm just uncertain this is only the second time he's been sick in his four years of life and well he's my baby and I want the best for him.


Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 12:13pm PST 
My Saki has to be on a special food because of crystals in her urine too. My vet prescribed Royal Canin Urinary SO. It comes in dry (kibble), canned, and pouch form. (The pouch is a chunks in gravy variety.)

I had her on the canned variety for a couple years, but her teeth suffered for it. So now she gets 1 meal of kibble, and 2 meals of canned each day. (She doesn't seem to like the pouch variety.)

So I guess my advice is, if your kitty won't eat the food your vet gave you, talk to your vet. There are others you could try.

Edited by author Fri Feb 27, '09 12:15pm PST



Top 25 Winner- Region 1- 2011-2012
Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 4:00pm PST 
Been thru this twice, and once, was bad enough, so did the research, and
I have a great vet. big grin

All the symptoms you described, sitting in the cat box too long, peeing
outside the cat box, peeing on other things, etc, are all symptoms of
crystals, which you cat has. He is unable to pee. Crystals are about the
size of grains of sands. A male urethera is very very small, and thats why
they get blocked. Instead of getting mad at him, think how you feel, when
you need to pee really bad, and there is no bathroom around, think how
uncomfortable you are, think how uncomfortable he was. big grin

There are many causes of crystals, one of which, is grains in cat food,
and the ingredients start to go south, at the 2nd ingredient, in Nutro.

I highly recommend you take him off Nutro, the show people all know
about Nutro and Royal Cannin and Hills Science Diet, and avoid them
like the plage. big grin

He needs to be on a grain free food, and low in salt. If you don't mind me
asking, why did you take him off the Blue Buffalo? big grin

You also need to increase his water intake, this helps keep him flushed out.
Mix his wet food with water, so it is the consistancy of soup, almost a
broth, once a day. But stay away from the canned foods in the grocery
store, they have grains in them too, and in my opinion are of lesser
quality. Read the catinfo.org link another poster gave you. big grin

Also put bowls of water around the house, not just one. big grin

Since I switched to Blue Wilderness, which was approved by my vet, and
a specialist from UC Davis, I have not had any more crystal issues. big grin

In the future, watch for these signs of crystals, and if he is blocked, you only
have 12 hours, or he could die.

Hope this helps and best of luck. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin


Education is the- Key
Purred: Fri Feb 27, '09 11:42pm PST 
Read catinfo.org and this will explain how to switch your cat to a wet diet. Also the thing about how dry food is good for a cats teeth and wet food is bad for their teeth is a falacy. You need to brush a cats teeth whichever diet you choose, except for raw, as the whole prey diet contains bone, and this cleans their teeth.
I would just have patience, and just keep trying to give any kind of wet food, and have fresh water available 24/7.


Purred: Thu Mar 5, '09 7:31am PST 
When I lived in the uk, our cat had frequent infections and crystals. she had blood and pus, it was terribley painful.

The vet advised us hills scinece diet. She liked it. But we mixed her wet food with water every time. you cannot really give her too much water.

I know my vet tol me to never feed my cat any fish flavored cat food as there was extra calcium and salt- I guess from the bones? I dont know but after we stopped feeding her fish flavored foods it never happened again and she went back to normal cat food.




Named for the- other famous- green tractor
Purred: Thu Mar 5, '09 10:32am PST 
First of all, Baytril is an antibiotic. You may need to keep him on this for life. Yes. FOR LIFE. It is not the end of the world. I had a cat on Baytril for 10 years... he had real issues with UTI's. Every UTi requiring veterinary care will shorten your cat's life. Prevention is the word of the day.

Yes, your cat had/has UTI issues. I would find out which crystals your cat had. Struvite crystals indicate hi Ph urine so you feed food that acidifies the urine and lowers the ph. If he will only eat the dry food, for now, go with it.. and keep on with the Baytril.

Meanwhile, try to find a better food. Evo or Wellness.. and try different things. I have actually heated the food little.. or addded a little warm water.. and I have dripped the water from canned tuna on it or even some oil from sardines (not a lot.. enough to make it interesting). You need to prime the pump so to speak.. get them eating... and the articles and links offered here are very good too.

OTOH if kitty had Calcium Oxalate Crystals you need to treat the UTI differently. Higher Ph is NOT the answer. Baytril is still OK. Calcium Oxalate Crystals can actually be exacerbated by increasing urine Ph.

Spotlessly clean litter boxes are also important. I get in there and clean once or twice a day. Having a few litter boxes around can help too. With cats you cannot have too many bathrooms in the house! The object is to keep things moving on thru.


Humans are evil - except mommy
Purred: Thu Mar 5, '09 5:45pm PST 
Been there, done that, but not the prescription food... MOL

I've had crystals a year ago, but haven't had any since then. I'm not eating any prescription food - yuck! So I get more wet food than dry now. I'm doing fine on it and haven't had any more crystals even with my latest UTI. Mommy found a couple of really nice tasting foods with 80% or more moisture that I get for treats to keep the crystals flushed out and it seems to work for me.

I also have plenty of large water bowls around the house, one in the bedroom where I sleep, one in the kitchen where I eat, one in the basement where I play, and a couple more that I don't really use. Mommy changes the water every day to make sure it always tastes fresh and sometimes puts ice cubes in to make it cooler. If she feels I don't drink enough, she sometimes gives me tuna water or lactose-free milk.

I've just gone through a UTI, and 20 days of antibiotics killed it. I'm doing fine now and the last urine sample came back clean. We're not sure what brought it on - maybe sitting outside in the snow for too long, who knows. But while I had it, I was peeing on pretty much everything including mommy's pillow. She's glad I've stopped doing that.