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Cat renal diet and bladder problems


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Our aging cat, nearly 16 castrated male house cat, has been having bladder problems of late. Twice now he has had a total blockage and needed to go in for a "sonde" to be put in place for a day or two. Analysis has shown some microscopic crystals but the vet thinks the plug has been formed of either protein or other tissue associated with cystitis. He has had antibiotics both times and has come home peeing well. I think they also injected fluid under the skin to wash him out.

From what I have read this could keep happening and I wonder if anyone can advise anything to put in his diet to reduce the chance of this problem coming back. He has been on a Royal Canin Renal diet for over a year and his blood figures are currently good for his age and the state of his kidneys. He has been off dry food for some time and has only had the renal diet, which he does not like, and the odd bit of fish or chicken once in a long while. He has had a few Friskies in a bottle with a hole in it to chase round the room and half a Canaillou stick at night but these have been stopped for the time being as well.

Since this last episode we have withdrawn everything but the renal diet but this is pretty rotten for the old chap as he liked the odd treat and does not go out so cannot eat anything else! Any suggestions folks?................J

PS Ben is the large black and white in the photo. We sadly lost his pal Luke last year due to kidney disease but he had this problem just before Luke died so I don't think stress is the cause. He also has gum disease and the antibioics help this but again it returns and gives him a cough. The vet will not operate on his teeth as he says the risk is too great at his age. He drinks Jolival as do we following a case of tap water contamination in the area but I don't know if the ph of the bottled water is higher or lower than that of the tap water. Several sites recommend Cranberry Juice but don't indicate dilution or, if capsules, the strength.
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Sorry to hear about poor Ben's problems and hope that he is still peeing well.  There are a few sites which have some useful info on urinary problems in cats which may be worth a look if you haven't already seen them.  They are




Regarding the cranberry extracts, there are a couple of products specifically for cats on

http://www.petvetcare.co.uk/acatalog/Feline Cystitis.html

One of them is actually in the form of a treat so Ben might even enjoy them!  The same company also has ph testing strips and easy ways to collect urine samples if that helps - though the ph testing strips are much cheaper on e-bay.

I know that cats with any kind of kidney problem should drink a lot and it can be a problem to encourage them to consume enough.  One of our cats was very poorly a couple of years back and wouldn't eat or drink: the vet suggested giving him the liquid from a tin of tuna (the kind in spring water, not brine) which was quite successful. He still likes that better than anything if he is a bit off-colour.

I do hope that you can find something to help keep Ben fit and to jazz up his diet safely so he looks forward to his food again.

Good luck!


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  • 2 weeks later...
Good luck with it! You could pick up a dropper from the vet and give your cat water this way. Our elderly cat lost the ability to lap and I did not want her to die of thirst. So we gave her regular top ups and she did not object as she seemed to know we were trying our best for her. He looks a most beautiful pussycat from the picture.

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