1

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FLUTD diet for cats, paleo option?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 05, 2011 at 4:54 PM

One of my cats just developed FLUTD - he's straining to urinate, passing blood when he does, and the vet says the urine is extremely high in crystals and they're forming because the pH of his urine is very high. He has a couple of bladder stones, too. Crystals/stones can quickly become fatal, and both vets we've seen in the last couple of days have said he'll probably need the special urinary diet for life.

His diet had been mostly Wellness grain-free wet food 2-3x/day with Natural Balance kibble available around the clock (both of those brands are highly regarded as being closer to a cat's natural diet, especially the wet food). Obviously we've taken away all the kibble and dry treats since they're dehydrating.

His new prescription diet is Royal Canin, which, let's just say, is totally not paleo, and I'd like him on a grain-free diet again someday. I'll wait until after his stones and crystals have passed since Royal Canin is proven to work, and I'll only do grain-free if I'm fully confident that it's healthiest for him (I'm not going to go all, ahem, dead-vegan-baby-mentality on him). The thing is, I don't know nearly enough about cat diet science, and the internet isn't helping. Everyone's either a vet who says "only the special, grainy diet will work, and you can only buy it through us" or "I'm a hippy who only eats all natural and here's what I think is best, without knowing any science to back it up."

Anyone know where I can find some good, solid, scientific information on this? My gut says that the new, grain-filled diet is not in his best interest as an obligate carnivore, but I'm not going to do paleo for the sake of doing paleo. I really need some unbiased information.

And yes, we're increasing his playtime and lovey-time to try to reduce his stress levels, which has been shown to help with crystals.

Also, RAW FEEDING IS NOT AN OPTION for us.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:09 PM

Vitamin C infusions will reduce pH toward acidic environment and it will help cat healing. Cats and dogs produce the lowest amount of all animals and they can easily become scorbutic in stress.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 07, 2011
at 01:43 AM

She loved it too, but she would be yowling in the box about an hour afterward. I realized it was her food pretty quickly because I was alternating flavors and it only happened with salmon. Fish is high in mineral content (I think the culprit is magnesium? But I can't be sure) but one of them is probably either causing or exacerbating his issue. An elimination test is probably your best bet.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Excellent point. I commented above that he absolutely loves seafood, so we generally were trying to get seafood-flavored grain-free wet food (mostly wellness brand). His symptoms have gotten worse in the last couple of months. Looking back, I think that correlates with when we decided to switch from less to more wet food, because our oldest cat is overweight from 10 years of my parents giving her meow mix and fancy feast.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 06, 2011
at 11:00 PM

so yes, if your cat LOVES seafood, this could very well be part of the problem. In general, a vet of mine said it was unfortunate so much seafood based cat food is out there because cats are largely desert/forest animals and fish is not part of their primal diet.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 06, 2011
at 10:53 PM

our cat has been off of fish for a long time now, i would say likely over 2 years. he's much better now in terms of vomitting, night and day, and in general. i make him sound like a bit of a basket case, but for 13 he's pretty fit trim and healthy. I don't think he has a bad case of anything, I was just wondering if he might not have a mild urinary issue (trying to catch it before it became a real problem).

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Also something you might want to consider is what the main meat source was in the food you were feeding. I had a cat who had a horrible FLUTD like reaction whenever she ate salmon, but no issues otherwise with any other type of meat.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Interesting - I know that I picked it because of the triple-cranberry blend because that supposedly helps urinary problems. For the record, he isn't eating the grain free versions. The salmon flavor (red bag) has barley in it, and rice I believe. My cat was not as serious as it sounds like yours is though. I hope you can get it sorted out. Unhappy kitties always make me very sad because I can't tell them it'll be ok and they can't tell me what's wrong :(

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:03 PM

See, the problem is that he WAS eating wellness, both wet and dry, grain-free. His diet was mostly grain-free, except for a little kibble (natural balance) that had a small amount of brown rice in it. He didn't eat a ton of kibble, either. So I'm nervous about giving him wellness grain-free again without more info on how cat diets affect urine pH.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:55 PM

My two male cats like to pick up their wet food with their paws to eat it. They also like to toss it around. The FLUTD cat hates having food sit out and "buries" it with objects he finds around the house. I'm not going to deal with them doing that to raw food, with a newborn in the house. I can just barely stay on top of cleaning as it is.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:49 PM

When I was doing some cursory reading, I saw that seafood is often totally off-limits for cats with this. I don't know why. It's too bad because this cat loves nothing more than seafood, especially shrimp.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:20 PM

One of my cats used to have TERRIBLE reactions to any food with salmon in it. None of my other cats had issues, but this one cat would have bloody urine if I fed her salmon. Finally just eliminated it and she was fine on normal food. It may simply be an allergy your cat has.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Prescription diets are also full of grain, additives, and meat "meal".

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:16 PM

You can mail-order frozen raw food. They come in little pucks that you simply defrost and feed as you would wet food. Amazon sells them: http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Variety-Freeze-Dried-Chicken-Formula/dp/B003EI7V66/ref=sr_1_23?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1302117352&sr=1-23

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Cats need organ meat & bones in their diets. There's several websites out there with raw feeding resources, also a lot of places you can purchase pre-mixed raw food.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Only problem I have with Merrick is that they now get their cans from China. Never know what's in that...

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I'll have a newborn in a couple of months. Raw feeding with my messy cats will be beyond my capabilities as a stressed-out first-time mom with no friends/family in the area to help out. Just being honest with what I can do.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Do you actually know anything about cat diets?

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I've read about people using Orijen successfully. I'll look into that more.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:06 PM

I know that the special diets work, and I'll be using the special diet unless/until I find a better option. I'd just like something without corn. And the special diet kibble actually has wheat gluten, which I think my little guy doesn't need.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:04 PM

This cat is also a fastidious groomer, and the vet thinks it's stress-related, as is FLUTD. You should get him checked out for the meowing when he urinates. My cat had been doing that for months, and the ER vet said that they usually hear that from the owners when a cat comes in for urinary obstruction.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:55 PM

sometimes i wonder if the dry food thing isn't about wanting to clean their teeth. i know the bones should do it too, but still

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 05, 2011
at 05:16 PM

you should contact hyperlipid since he's a vet. My cats won't eat any raw meat or fancy food at all :(

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11 Answers

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1
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on April 06, 2011
at 07:17 PM

My boy cat had SERIOUS issues with this. I switched to Wellness brand dry food, the red bag (he REFUSES to eat wet).

If you read the Science Diet ingredients its CRAP CRAP AND MORE CRAP. At least find a good low-grain or grain-free food for him.

There's several options on Amazon such as Orijen, Blue Buffalo, Wellness - if you don't have a pet store locally that carries it this will be your best bet.

I also feed raw, but its frozen and pre-mixed. I too couldn't deal with griding it myself. http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Variety-Freeze-Dried-Chicken-Formula/dp/B003EI7V66/ref=sr_1_23?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1302117352&sr=1-23

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 07, 2011
at 01:43 AM

She loved it too, but she would be yowling in the box about an hour afterward. I realized it was her food pretty quickly because I was alternating flavors and it only happened with salmon. Fish is high in mineral content (I think the culprit is magnesium? But I can't be sure) but one of them is probably either causing or exacerbating his issue. An elimination test is probably your best bet.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Excellent point. I commented above that he absolutely loves seafood, so we generally were trying to get seafood-flavored grain-free wet food (mostly wellness brand). His symptoms have gotten worse in the last couple of months. Looking back, I think that correlates with when we decided to switch from less to more wet food, because our oldest cat is overweight from 10 years of my parents giving her meow mix and fancy feast.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Interesting - I know that I picked it because of the triple-cranberry blend because that supposedly helps urinary problems. For the record, he isn't eating the grain free versions. The salmon flavor (red bag) has barley in it, and rice I believe. My cat was not as serious as it sounds like yours is though. I hope you can get it sorted out. Unhappy kitties always make me very sad because I can't tell them it'll be ok and they can't tell me what's wrong :(

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:03 PM

See, the problem is that he WAS eating wellness, both wet and dry, grain-free. His diet was mostly grain-free, except for a little kibble (natural balance) that had a small amount of brown rice in it. He didn't eat a ton of kibble, either. So I'm nervous about giving him wellness grain-free again without more info on how cat diets affect urine pH.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Also something you might want to consider is what the main meat source was in the food you were feeding. I had a cat who had a horrible FLUTD like reaction whenever she ate salmon, but no issues otherwise with any other type of meat.

3
46ee2f7d91719ecfe691a0c2a6da7034

(148)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:51 PM

I feed my cat a defrosted (frozen) mouse every day (the high point in his day) as well as a homemade raw meat recipe which is usually chicken, extra beef or chicken hearts, added taurine and a couple of other supplements. The basic recipe is available online by a vet: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood#The_Recipe

Mice and other small feeder animals are available frozen online from RodentPro unless you can find a reasonably priced local source or raise your own.

I do keep Orijen's dry food on hand...he asks for it but usually eats very little of it preferring the homemade food. He is an inside outside cat and I know he has eaten some of regular cat food around the neighborhood...that stuff can be addicting...I think that is why he asks for some dry food: Orijen is a grain-free variety so hopefully better than average. He drinks lots of water and also eats whatever prey he occasionally catches while outside. (Dry food of any sort is far from optimal IMO)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:55 PM

sometimes i wonder if the dry food thing isn't about wanting to clean their teeth. i know the bones should do it too, but still

3
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:35 PM

weird. i was just looking this up last night as my cat is having some behavior i can't quite figure out. he's had some food issues, we used to feed him canned food with fish in it, thinking mistakenly that this was ok for cats. He's been on various things since and we've finally settled on Wellness Core (the chicken turkey stuff) in cans because that's all he will consistently eat. He gets raw meat from me sometimes, which he loves, like a raw chicken or beef heart bits or a raw chicken liver if i'm feeling too lazy to cook up one tiny liver just for us. Feeding him a consistent raw food diet has been a total failure though, so Core it is. No kibble anymore - he's had a LOT of teeth removed/fall out and I just think the wet food is better. He used to have bad vomitting issues though those have largely cleared up. Now the only thing that remains is a bit of unhappy meowing in the morning when he has to go to use his box. Sometimes he insists on being let outside to go to the bathroom. Then he'll eat some grass (which often causes whats left of his occasional vomitting). He's a pretty fastidious groomer but he grooms his lower half quite a bit, sometimes he gets er aroused and spends some time cleaning. So i've been wondering if he doesn't have some mild urinary bacterial thing. Mostly because of the not entirely normal cat box behavior.

Anyways, online I came across several accounts of people who thought adding some apple cider vinegar in minute amounts to the cats water really really helped with any urinary/bacterial problems over time. They were generally saying a few drops to 1/4 teaspoon twice daily. Not sure about it yet. Not even sure my cat would drink the water. Maybe you could ask your vet about it? Anyone here have any experience with apple cider vinegar and cats?

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:20 PM

One of my cats used to have TERRIBLE reactions to any food with salmon in it. None of my other cats had issues, but this one cat would have bloody urine if I fed her salmon. Finally just eliminated it and she was fine on normal food. It may simply be an allergy your cat has.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:49 PM

When I was doing some cursory reading, I saw that seafood is often totally off-limits for cats with this. I don't know why. It's too bad because this cat loves nothing more than seafood, especially shrimp.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 06, 2011
at 11:00 PM

so yes, if your cat LOVES seafood, this could very well be part of the problem. In general, a vet of mine said it was unfortunate so much seafood based cat food is out there because cats are largely desert/forest animals and fish is not part of their primal diet.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 06, 2011
at 10:53 PM

our cat has been off of fish for a long time now, i would say likely over 2 years. he's much better now in terms of vomitting, night and day, and in general. i make him sound like a bit of a basket case, but for 13 he's pretty fit trim and healthy. I don't think he has a bad case of anything, I was just wondering if he might not have a mild urinary issue (trying to catch it before it became a real problem).

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:04 PM

This cat is also a fastidious groomer, and the vet thinks it's stress-related, as is FLUTD. You should get him checked out for the meowing when he urinates. My cat had been doing that for months, and the ER vet said that they usually hear that from the owners when a cat comes in for urinary obstruction.

2
Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on April 05, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Why is raw feeding not an option for you?

One of our cats had the same problem, and it got better when moving to wet food, but resolved itself completely when we moved to a raw diet (Primal brand). We supplement the diet with snacks like sardines, and though the cat prefers canned food, he forgets about it since his only option is Primal. Overall weight, teeth, and general health has become considerably better.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:55 PM

My two male cats like to pick up their wet food with their paws to eat it. They also like to toss it around. The FLUTD cat hates having food sit out and "buries" it with objects he finds around the house. I'm not going to deal with them doing that to raw food, with a newborn in the house. I can just barely stay on top of cleaning as it is.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:16 PM

You can mail-order frozen raw food. They come in little pucks that you simply defrost and feed as you would wet food. Amazon sells them: http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Variety-Freeze-Dried-Chicken-Formula/dp/B003EI7V66/ref=sr_1_23?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1302117352&sr=1-23

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I'll have a newborn in a couple of months. Raw feeding with my messy cats will be beyond my capabilities as a stressed-out first-time mom with no friends/family in the area to help out. Just being honest with what I can do.

2
47e1e207e9cd7df2a5adcf571f17f76f

(288)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Went through the same thing with my cat 5 or 6 years ago. After 2 VERY expensive trips to the emergency vet and a near-death experience (could not pass urine at all and was close to bladder rupture), he went on a prescription diet. (Science Diet CD). We have had no problems since. The formula is wheat-free but does contain rice and corn.

Sorry if this doesn't exactly address your question, but I wanted to get the point across that the prescription diets DO work.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:06 PM

I know that the special diets work, and I'll be using the special diet unless/until I find a better option. I'd just like something without corn. And the special diet kibble actually has wheat gluten, which I think my little guy doesn't need.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Prescription diets are also full of grain, additives, and meat "meal".

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:54 PM

one raw feeding option i found (for those who do want to consider it) was feeding pre made raw frozen patties. I found a company I liked called "stella and chewy's", made in Wisconsin. My cat really liked it too, for 4 days straight he ate it happily, then abruptly stopped eating it. Too bad, cause I did the math and it worked out to about 50 cents per patty for the little guy, as cheap as any Fancy Crack. The ingredients are really good (the beef patty contains ground bone, kidney, heart, and tripe!), and while they're labeled as being for dogs, I called the company and they're fine for cats (taurine levels etc are appropriate for cats). There is a more veg matter than I personally would like to see for my cat, but I still thought it was a good option.

So, not to advertise, but I liked they were made in Wisconsin and, they were convenient for me and cheap. I just thawed a couple patties in a glasslock container in the fridge and fed it like canned food. My cat liked the chicken for a while, and I didn't try the beef, though he might have liked that one, but he had no interest whatsoever in lamb. Had to order it through a local feed/pet store since online vendors insist you ship raw food 2nd day$$$$. They have freeze dried raw food too, which you can reconstitute with water or serve dry, but my cat needs the moisture and won't eat reconstituted anything. For those who still feed kibble, the freeze dried stuff might be great for you.

1
2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on April 05, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Have you tried giving your kitty cat grass? You'd be surprised how many cats LOVE their greens and do much better with them in their diet. You might also consult http://feline-nutrition.org/ and Google "wholistic veterinarin" in your area for a better consult.

Not all cats will tolerate a complete raw food diet, just like not all humans can. It may be experimentation for you, but first step is to understand WHY your kitty is suffering.

1
A5cdf3bce5e042cf359b7793a821319c

on April 05, 2011
at 05:45 PM

My cat had the same thing and after months of no luck i found a cat food that works. It is called Merrick and is a canned food that is all natural and has vegetable and real fish, chicken etc. It has been 8 yrs and have never had a problem!!!

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I've read about people using Orijen successfully. I'll look into that more.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Only problem I have with Merrick is that they now get their cans from China. Never know what's in that...

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Cats are carnivores. Feed the cat real meat and fat...beef liver or chicken liver, beef, pork chicken. Forget the canned crap and the feline will do just fine.

The cat has diseases of civilization foisted upon him by the crap you have been feeding it.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 06, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Cats need organ meat & bones in their diets. There's several websites out there with raw feeding resources, also a lot of places you can purchase pre-mixed raw food.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on April 06, 2011
at 03:11 PM

Do you actually know anything about cat diets?

0
60347820829f7145d2901dcd948d0d8a

on October 25, 2011
at 01:04 PM

I found this site: http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/cystitis.html, that talks about the powers of apple cider vinegar. I have been putting it (1/2 to 1 tsp) into tuna water twice a day and my cat eats it up with no problem! I also put it into their water (I have a dog and two cats that share the water bowl) and everyone drinks it. It definitely seems to be helping. I do not notice my cat trying to pee constantly.

0
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 05, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I second the holistic vet- If you can't find one in your area, you could still call and talk to one over the phone from somewhere else. I understand that you said a raw diet is not possible but supplimenting could come suprisingly easy and affordable, if not, free. Wysong is the best commercial pet food option in our area even though it still has rice. I noticed a huge difference in the health and overall vitality of my DOGS when I switched to it.... I hope you find the answers you're looking for. I'm looking forward to more responses and finding out what you find out- if you could share with me that'd be awesome. We'll be adopting some cats from a shelter soon and I KNOW that they could be in better health than they are.

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