Will new food prevent crystals in cat urine?
Just like some humans, says Dr. Mark Johnson of highly-rated Pender Veterinary Centre in Fairfax, Va., some animals are more prone to developing urinary tract problems. Johnson says at the first sign of distress, owners should bring their animals in for care. Signs of trouble include a pet urinating outside of the litter box, making frequent trips to the box, or vocalizing when trying to urinate.
Dr. Patrick Tate of highly-rated Webster Groves Animal Hospital in St. Louis says his doctors see the problem daily. While common, if left untreated, the situation can be deadly. Tate and Johnson say prescription diets can help animals recover from crystals, and both prescribe special formulas of Hill’s, Royal Canin or Purina brands. “I have just looked at information over the years, and I feel like they have the best food,” Tate says.
To prevent further urinary distress, the vets also recommend those same brands’ non-prescription foods, which can be found at most pet stores. Both doctors advise first talking to your vet to ensure all the nutritional needs of the specific animal will be met. Johnson says the cost of the prescription food is more expensive than regular food. It varies by type and size, but he estimates the cost to be roughly 30 to 50 percent higher than regular food. But, Tate adds, “If you have a medical problem that can be helped by a specific prescription diet, it’s more than well worth it.”