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Crystals & Weight Loss

Dallassummer

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Simba's had a long journey of health issues lately, he had a mass of struvite crystals and he was a hefty 14.8 lbs.
All the vets reccommended the prescription food, with numerous amounts of meds such as prednisone- an anabolic steroid, and dasaquin- a glucosamine supplement, & salt. The main problem with crystals is when the bladder is not flushed with water often enough to rid the bladder of the toxins and wastes it's desgined to elminate from the body. They add salt to these prescription foods to encourage more water intake, but salt ultimately will just dehydrate a cat that is having decreased water consumption in the first place.

I felt defeated and listened to the vet. I put him on Royal Canin Urinary S/O and eventually Hill's C/D. He was put him a high dose of steroids and glucosamine. I watched my baby have diarrhea from his meds, gain more weight, and wimper in pain from his bladder. I cringed when I read the ingredients on the prescription foods, It is suppose to be healthy and help him. But how is corn gluten and by products helping Simba? All it did was give him bloody diarrhea.

So I was at the end of my rope. I feed a high quality diet, and this food was more expensive than the food I had him on with quality ingredients. I took to my own research, I couldn't stand seeing him like this anymore. He was gaining more weights and had two accidents in the house from the urgency his bladder felt.

I went online and researched these prescriptions foods, looking for anything to validate them. Clincial studies? No. Accreditation? No. High Quality ingredients? No. The main cause of crystals is urine Ph and the over abundance of minerals, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. Some people and cats cannot handle these minerals or digest them properly, therefore they are excreted to the bladder for disposal and create blockages. I dug alittle further and found the dry matter percentages of these mineral levels in the prescription foods. These foods are suppose to help rid crystals by having a low concentration of these minerals per 5.5 oz. I used catinfo.org mostly and found the levels of mineral content in a 5.5 oz can is .70%. The food Simba had been previously on was 2.36%! That percentage of mineral content was way too high for his body to handle. It is also important to never give dry food. Dry food is very bad for cats with crystals since it has a lack of water content. They even make those urinary foods in dry, it seemed very ironic to me.

So I did more research into foods that are not advertised as "urinary foods" but have the same percentage or lower of mineral content per 5.5 oz as these fancy prescription foods. This is the only thing I found special about these foods to set them apart from any regular cat food. There is many lists online, but the one I found helpful was on catinfo.org.

I also had a second set of perimeters in mind, weight loss. I came to contact with some surprising facts. Cat's bodies do not digest carbohydrates into energy like humans. Carbs are stored directly as fat on a cat and fat is actually used as an energy source somewhat. Protein is their main energy source. The food I had Simba on (Halo) was only 32% protein, 55% fat and 13% carbs. This is seriously unhealthy. I was feeding him pounds basically. My conclusion was to feed a diet at least 50% protein, no more than 40% fat and no more than 5% carbs. These were recommended by the vet and my own conclusion.

The excess carbs come from all the uneeded veggies & potatoes added into cat food, cats don't naturally eat that many veggies. The excess fat came from cheaper trimmings of meat. So I concluded to find a food that was high in protein, low in fat, and minimal to no carbs with a mineral percentage of .70% of lower based on urinary prescription foods.

I did my research and came back with two foods: Weruva Truluxe Steak Frites at .54% mineral content, & Weruva Cat's In the Kitchen Chick Magnet at .64% mineral content. Both of these foods have less than 5% carbs and minimal fat.

Simba is doing so well over the past three months that he has lost 5 pounds and is at 10.2 pounds. He has doubled his energy, and is much more playful. He has zero crystals, or stones. He has had no accidents around the house at all.

I wanted to share this with you all to know that you never have to settle for what doesn't seem like the best solution for your baby. I was not satisfied with Simba's progress so I did hours of research and came back with amazing results. I shocked my vet who was against me at first. Simba is much happier and so am I! He is lively, happy and amazing. I know someone might be in a similar boat as me, so I wanted to share my results, in case the research overwhelms you. It was hard but so worth it. Simba will be on these foods for life, but he has zero issues! No meds either! Never settle until you know you're doing the best you can. I knew Simba deserved better than what was prescribed. I hope maybe this helps someone, then it was worth typing. :)
 

MollysMom

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Good for you and Simba!! Don't get me wrong - I totally love our vet. But I don't think they know everything when it comes to nutrition.

1.5 years ago Leo has issues with his kidneys and was on IV fluids. The vet recommended a Rx diet - dry and wet food. I was like, why in the heck would we feed him dry food that dehydrates him more???

Love the catinfo.org site. It is super informative, especially for cats with urinary issues. Glad to hear that he is doing so well now!
 

Dallassummer

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I love that website, It really helped us. Simba's a much happier cat. It felt weird, but I had to go against my vet. I thought they are suppose to know whats best, but turns out not always. I got so angry when I saw they make dry food for renal and urinary issues, it's so wrong. It's all for $$$.
 

Ickushouse

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Thank you for your story which will undoubtedly help other sphynx parents. Yay healthy boy Simba!!! Pee freely!
Sometimes I think doctors swallow the same marketing bs that companies sell to consumers. I'm also so cynical to suspect that some products sold to alleviate a certain condition are actually designed to contribute to that condition, thus causing the consumer to buy even more of the product.
 

Dallassummer

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If you read the ingredients of the prescription foods, it is equivalent so Meow Mix. That's an insult to my wallet and my kitties. Weruva is top of the line, and great for them!
 

Yoda mom

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@Dallassummer , thank you Soo much for sharing all your research- I especially appreciate it since we have chatted about my Yoda's case of struvite crystals. He was On nutro indoor dry when I adopted him.

M vet looked at me funny when I said the prescription dry food had the same first 4 out of 5 ingredients as some cat treat brand... A call to the prescription food maker cold not tell me what magic crystal dissolving ingredient is in the food-" it's a combination of ingredients " reply..
There is nothing in those prescription foods that require a real prescription..just creative marketing and supply monopoly IMHO. My understanding vets get pad from selling these foods.

**I also learned that cheap pool /spa test strips I have at home are good to test / monitor urine PH at home...
I didn't order the kitty version since I had these spa strips already.. PH is PH

I actually Brought the strip to the vet and got the same PH test results as the follow up cystiocentesis..
My vet said it was fine to use these strips to monitor PH at home.
I just put it under him when he squats in the box- or as soon as his out of the box dip it on the clump-
Good only if only a clean no other kitties clumps in the box:)

Yoda is free of crystals too on his follow up cystiocentesis- ironically he refused to eat the prescription food-

I gave him lifes abundance dry food and canned food of lifes abundance instinctive choice
Unfortunately my cats are not crazy for lifes abundance canned food.. Much goes to waste .. Still trying to use up the case.

**Not a teaspoon of prescription food and he is free of crystals on his follow up.

Vet still suggested he have prescription for maintenance so I got a few cases of c/d stew.. I got home and discovered I was sold accidentally the c/d urinary stress stew recipe instead of the regular c/d stew..
It is he only canned food he will eat! Arghhh.... 3 out of 5 will eat this all up with l-lysine powder mixed in for maintenance..
I have tried them all with my 4 Sphynx and a bengal... I try to find made in the USA products and use the food % charts of low phosphate, carbs and fat.
I did try the made in Thailand Weruva and their petco version soulistic but they went wasted too.

I am at wits end- they say any canned food over dry- well, if that's the case, and for the same money or less, I am giving
The darn hills c/d urinary stress stew canned thru chewy.com for $25 a case after manufacture coupon they accept and free shipping over $49. Only 3 out of 5 will eat it -- I have two dry food addicts- and all extremely wet food picky.

I switched to Dr Tims Chase dry cat food made in USA at same plant as lifes abundance. I get at chewy.com too.
It is formulated by a vet who feeds to his cats too and no crystals..
You can call his vet practice or email any questions to Dr Hunt who also has a FB page with ask he vet sessions.
Customer service amazing too.

I learned Annamaet , Dr Tims and lifes abundance brands are all made at ohio pet foods and have not had any recalls. Dr tims also has a buyers program on chewy. It is made with low ash chicken.

We are crystal clear on Dr Tims Chase dry cat food as well as the 3 sphynx will share a 3 oz can in the morning and another at night-

We are still searching for a canned all 5 will eat.. :)
That is low in phosphorus etc..

I am happy with the Chase cat food for a dry and will explore some more options for canned :)
Their skin is doing great on Chase! Even the dogs are on Dr Tims Kenesis and their coats are amazing!
I spoke to Dr Tim Hunt who formulated the foods and he answered all my questions and provided ingredients % levels.

I researched foods and keep the food charts on my phone to shop with.. :)

I am Soo happy Simba is doing great!
I may have to have them try those Weruva flavors! Thanks
 

Dallassummer

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Those flavors are all I'll give him and he's doing wonderful. He's at a healthy weight, lively, active. I'm so happy for him. If anything, try to get them on a wet food only diet, I cannot stress that enough.
 

Hairless Blessing

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This is great info, I am sure it will help many people. I see this a lot here people talking about their boys
with the crystals. The right info, sometimes, can save lives. Money can not. Good for you.
I am so glad your baby boy is doing so good.
 

Xandria

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Thank you for sharing. Simba has a special place in my heart so I'm so happy to hear that you took such effort to correct his health. So happy. You are amazing!!!! I'd love to see some new photos of Simba ;-)
 

Calicocious

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I use the Weruva and BFF brands too. Great find. I keep some some on hand as a back up to their raw diet. I know the frustration with dealing with nutrition and vets. I wish it was an area they were more knowledgeable about! Or at least more willing to think outside of the norms. Why do they see anything other than dry food as not an option? So glad you found something that worked for Simba and he's doing better. Thanks for sharing!
 

Dallassummer

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So many male cats have problems because their urethra is half the width of a female's. Thanks for all the support, seriously many people on this forum helped me. This forum introduced me to weruva in the first place!
 

deanna

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Thank you for sharing! I will deff keep this in mind if this happens to my dobby.
 
Last edited:

deanna

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Today on the forum was the first time I heard of the brand! Do I have to order it online or do local pet stores have them?
 

deanna

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@Dallassummer , thank you Soo much for sharing all your research- I especially appreciate it since we have chatted about my Yoda's case of struvite crystals. He was On nutro indoor dry when I adopted him.

M vet looked at me funny when I said the prescription dry food had the same first 4 out of 5 ingredients as some cat treat brand... A call to the prescription food maker cold not tell me what magic crystal dissolving ingredient is in the food-" it's a combination of ingredients " reply..
There is nothing in those prescription foods that require a real prescription..just creative marketing and supply monopoly IMHO. My understanding vets get pad from selling these foods.

**I also learned that cheap pool /spa test strips I have at home are good to test / monitor urine PH at home...
I didn't order the kitty version since I had these spa strips already.. PH is PH

I actually Brought the strip to the vet and got the same PH test results as the follow up cystiocentesis..
My vet said it was fine to use these strips to monitor PH at home.
I just put it under him when he squats in the box- or as soon as his out of the box dip it on the clump-
Good only if only a clean no other kitties clumps in the box:)

Yoda is free of crystals too on his follow up cystiocentesis- ironically he refused to eat the prescription food-

I gave him lifes abundance dry food and canned food of lifes abundance instinctive choice
Unfortunately my cats are not crazy for lifes abundance canned food.. Much goes to waste .. Still trying to use up the case.

**Not a teaspoon of prescription food and he is free of crystals on his follow up.

Vet still suggested he have prescription for maintenance so I got a few cases of c/d stew.. I got home and discovered I was sold accidentally the c/d urinary stress stew recipe instead of the regular c/d stew..
It is he only canned food he will eat! Arghhh.... 3 out of 5 will eat this all up with l-lysine powder mixed in for maintenance..
I have tried them all with my 4 Sphynx and a bengal... I try to find made in the USA products and use the food % charts of low phosphate, carbs and fat.
I did try the made in Thailand Weruva and their petco version soulistic but they went wasted too.

I am at wits end- they say any canned food over dry- well, if that's the case, and for the same money or less, I am giving
The darn hills c/d urinary stress stew canned thru chewy.com for $25 a case after manufacture coupon they accept and free shipping over $49. Only 3 out of 5 will eat it -- I have two dry food addicts- and all extremely wet food picky.

I switched to Dr Tims Chase dry cat food made in USA at same plant as lifes abundance. I get at chewy.com too.
It is formulated by a vet who feeds to his cats too and no crystals..
You can call his vet practice or email any questions to Dr Hunt who also has a FB page with ask he vet sessions.
Customer service amazing too.

I learned Annamaet , Dr Tims and lifes abundance brands are all made at ohio pet foods and have not had any recalls. Dr tims also has a buyers program on chewy. It is made with low ash chicken.

We are crystal clear on Dr Tims Chase dry cat food as well as the 3 sphynx will share a 3 oz can in the morning and another at night-

We are still searching for a canned all 5 will eat.. :)
That is low in phosphorus etc..

I am happy with the Chase cat food for a dry and will explore some more options for canned :)
Their skin is doing great on Chase! Even the dogs are on Dr Tims Kenesis and their coats are amazing!
I spoke to Dr Tim Hunt who formulated the foods and he answered all my questions and provided ingredients % levels.

I researched foods and keep the food charts on my phone to shop with.. :)

I am Soo happy Simba is doing great!
I may have to have them try those Weruva flavors! Thanks
have you tried the brand halo? Sorry to take over this post but today I was in petco talking to an employee whom has expirence with sphynxs suggested that if I had a picky eater to try halo. She swears by ever customer who has tried it all cat breeds and ages love it. http://m.petco.com/product/104975/Halo-Spots-Stew-Canned-Cat-Food.aspx
 

Hairless Blessing

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Today on the forum was the first time I heard of the brand! Do I have to order it online or do local pet stores have them?
If your talking about Dr. Tim's chase dry. That she mentioned?
She said she got it at chewy.com
 

cfc

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on BFF and Cats in the Kitchen, it is made in Thailand, also there is not too much difference btw the two when broken down to there raw values, both BFF and CITK have the same protein level accross the board main difference is CITK has a higher moisture content and is grain free.

For sourcing meat, BFF is mainly fish and is all wild caught, how're for both CITK & BFF, they don't identify the source for there non-fish meat.

I believe that in the US it is exclusive in boutique pet stores and not the larger ones
 

Yoda mom

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@deanna, yes we did try Halo..
My 5 would not touch any of the canned Halo- :(

The Halo company customer service is great! They will give you all the canned food and dry phosphate % dry matter basis with just one phone call-ask any % levels and you get answers immediately-

Earthborne was recommended but customer service told me to just read the bag when I asked for dry matter phosphate. % - I told her this is not the number on the bag which usually says "min" as fed.
Local small pet shop gave samples- it is very very small round pin head like kibble that looked more like crumbs I sweep up and feed to the pond fish.
Cats would not touch it-
Earthborne primitive dog food was recommended for our dogs too but the ash level is a whopping 12%
After waiting a week to here back to get the %.

We liked that Halo and Earthborne had no recalls. But it just didn't work for us.
Ash % too high in the dog food and kitties refused the dry food that was soooo tiny kibble pieces.

We tried the Halo HEARTY chicken -small round kibble- which is.57 % phosphate but my bengal barfed it up and the Sphynx won't touch it :(

They ate Dr Tims chase food right away which is similar to Lifes Abndance they were eating and made at the same plant and no Recalls. We were only switching off lifes abundance because of principles..it is a MLM company that I recently found out I could have been getting a discount for the past 4 years on my $300 plus a month order!(dog&cat food). If my vet told me to sign up for $29 as a basic rep.. I am not happy about this.
Apparently my vet who first sold it to me is a rep... I learned she gets a kick back for each order I did for the last 4 yrs! And she no longer carries it and told me I can autoship directly- she still gets the same kick back check each month and I have to pay shipping now too! And no buyer loyalty program.. I called the LA company which does have excellent customer service and expressed I was not happy. They wouldn't even waive the $29 sign up fee- after spending nearly 3-4 k $ a for 4 years that could have been discounted.. The food was fine but getting pricier to ship all the time too..
(Sorry for the soap box but if anyone else auto ships Lifes Abundance- find out details about rep discounts on your own orders- I wish I was informed 4 years ago)

So I went searching and discovered Dr Tims Chase cat food (3 point shaped kibble) with very very same ingredients ...hmmm... made at the same plant! It is not a MLM, I can buy online with free shipping, has a buyer loyality program and never recalled either.
Excellent customer service. So here we are with Dr Tims food for kitties and dogs- great so far, easy transition all around and excellent direct to vet formulator Dr Tim Hunt customer service on the phone! Yes, the voice matches his online video voices :)


I do get a bit Leary of over seas made foods.. My local small shop recommended Almo nature she said was made in US-it is not- and kitties would touch it either-- (a pattern of pickiness)
The Almo pouches in small print state made in Thailand . It is distributed by a US company- they had a hiccup years ago with too much% of an ingredient put in a food . I worry about language Barrier and measurements possible mix ups with overseas plant foods and unnamed sources and how the natural disasters effect food processing and sourcing there. How long and where is it stored from manufacturing to distribution finally in the US?

There is no perfect food out there- I feed what works for the herd and what is the best I can afford all around.
So funny that the neighborhood cat won't eat the "better" food. She eats 9 lives and kit n kbolde sbd has no issues-
The TNR cats eat a variety of stuff too and are not getting so many of the food issues we see in our sphynx.

Even my dog ate regular pro plan for 13 years and outlived by double for his breed.

I think a lot is genetics.
 

Dallassummer

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@deanna , I buy Weruva from a local pet shop called Royal Pet Palace. On weruva.com is a store locator tab you can use. It's great food, top of the line. I buy Truluxe and Cats in the Kitchen. I have tried Halo but it made Simba gain a lot of weight with the high fat and carb content. It is however a good quality food.
@cfc is right on point about weruva.

It is made in Thailand but I've had zero issues and I trust it. Tiki Cat is also made in Thailand and very good quality. Fish is naturally high in magnesium, so I stay away from Tiki for that reason only. They make seafood primarily.
 

ZiggyStardust

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Thank you for the info! After Starsky's close brush with a sex change operation, I've been thinking there has to be something better than the prescription stuff.
 

Yoda mom

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@Dallassummer , please let me know how much and how often you are feeding Weruva to Simba-

Are you you using the two Weruva truluxe steak frites and Cats in the kitchen Magnet exclusively?
Others Weruva flavors you recommend from your research?

Thank you! :)
 
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