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 Post subject: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:58 pm 
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My kitty's (10 months old) urinalysis came back with level 8 pH. According to the vet, it should be around 6. His solution was to feed her an "analyzed" food like Science Diet or Purina. Yeah, no.

I've been feeding her Taste of the Wild grain-free dry food, and she loves it, but from my internet research it seems like wet food may be the answer? I really don't know anything about this, though. I'm just relying on Dr. Google.

We experimented with Wellness canned food last night ($3 per 12oz can... yikes) and she was initially interested and ate a few bites, and then went back and finished the remaining dry food in her bowl.

Has anyone had any experience with high pH? How did you fix it?


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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:14 pm 
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Just so you know, the $3/can of wellness isn't really too bad since it'll last a few days, and generally if you buy a case they'll give you 10% off. We get 5-6 meals out of a can (one cat gets 2.5 oz twice a day, and the other 2 oz twice a day), so depending on the needs of your cat (younger/more active will need more) a can should last you 2-3 days. Wellness is actually cheaper for us in the long run than feeding Fancy Feast.

Anyway, we only feed our cats wet because it's the lowest carb diet we can give them (high carb cat diets are linked to diabetes, kidney issues, stones, ect.), and for the extra moisture (most cats aren't great about drinking water). Plus, one of my cats did develop diabetes and had to have insulin and a special vet diet for about a year that did absolutely nothing to help with her blood glucose, but within a month of switching to all low-carb wet and closely monitoring glucose levels and giving insulin as needed was in remission and has been for three years.

Even if you end up just feeding one meal of wet, and one of dry vs. all well, it'll definitely be helpful for your cat.

Sorry, this wasn't too helpful about urine pH, but I am a big supported of all wet (or as much as possible) diets for cats.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:42 pm 
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Thanks, that's very helpful actually! This is my first cat, so I'm learning as I go.

I was thinking she'd go through a can a day, which would add up, but maybe I'm overestimating. She is pretty young and active, though. I ultimately don't really care what it costs... I just want it to be healthy and for her to actually want to eat it.

I'm considering buying her a fountain also to entice her to drink more water.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:09 pm 
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If you're looking for grain-free wet food that's more affordable than Wellness, By Nature is pretty similar and cheaper--around $1.25 a can, I believe.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:14 am 
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ashley wrote:
Thanks, that's very helpful actually! This is my first cat, so I'm learning as I go.

I was thinking she'd go through a can a day, which would add up, but maybe I'm overestimating. She is pretty young and active, though. I ultimately don't really care what it costs... I just want it to be healthy and for her to actually want to eat it.

I'm considering buying her a fountain also to entice her to drink more water.


Oops, just noticed she is only 10 months! Yep, she'd probably need most of a can each day to meet her caloric needs. Maybe just try to work her up to one meal a day of wet and One of dry? That should be enough to make a difference, and hopefully not be too costly.

I don't really know when a cat is considered an adult, but from what I recall the range of calories to feed an adult cat is 200-300 (she'd be on the upper end obviously) for indoor kitties, give or take. Just something to keep in mind when you're trying to figure out how much she needs :)

I've heard mixed reviews about fountains (it seems either cats use them or think they're the best toy ever), so I'd try to get one from a place with a good return policy in case she falls into the later category (I know my cats would haha).


Oh! And if she is seeming snobby about wet food, Fancy Feast is basically car crack. It's by Purina (ick), but it got my girls totally onto wet, and from there is was really easy to get them onto other brands of wet food.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:04 am 
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FWIW ashley, they told me at the animal shelter to do half wet, half dry. 1/2 cup dry, 1/2 of the larger can wet (or 1 whole small can). I usually make sure that the dry is always there, and then give a quarter big can wet in the morning and a quarter in the evening. I give her Wellness CORE Kitten formula. I am curious about her urine pH too though because sometimes it gets a little ammonia-y. Did you notice a smell? I also don't know if that's because she has an enclosed litter box and while I'm good about scooping, it'd been a while since I scrubbed out the box.

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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:52 pm 
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I didn't notice a smell, no. She peed in the sink twice, so I thought it might be a UTI, so I took her in to get tested. That came back negative, fortunately.

She officially won't eat Wellness. I tried again this morning and she is having none of that. Maybe I'll try the Fancy Feast trick. My only fear is that she'll get hooked on that and refuse to eat anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:50 am 
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Pam Johnson-Bennett, a cat beahviorist, has a page for switching kitties from dry to wet - maybe it will help!

http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/transitioning-your-cat-from-dry-food-to-wet-food/

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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:39 pm 
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I've used Addiction cat food. I think it might be expensive.

https://www.addictionfoods.com/

Though I can't want until I can feed my cats lab grown meat.


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 Post subject: Re: Talk to me about cat urine (pH question)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:20 pm 
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The most important thing to make sure that alkaline urine doesn't turn into stones is to keep the urine dilute. So water, water, water! Personally, my cats love their water fountain. One does play with it and splash all the time and I have to clean her fur out of the filter regularly but she drinks from it well. Wet food can make a huge difference and it is worth the effort to make the transition, which may take many months. It can also help to add water to her food, whether its dry or wet to begin with.
High protein diets will be acidifying so you can generally go through the store and see what she likes! I basically went through a time period where I bought one or two cans of every canned diet in the store and eat day they got to taste them until I found one they liked. They ate Merrick's food pretty well (the ones that have the funny names like grannies pot pie and turducken and the before grain ones) http://www.merrickpetcare.com. BFF puts out a tuna based food that they have never gotten sick of but I worry about given them all fish based food with unknown mercury levels are their small size, and the fish might not be as high protein and acidifying i'd guess. http://www.bestfriendsfoods.com/
most importantly, just work on getting her on any wet food she will eat! If she likes it, maybe you could offer her low-sodium chicken broth to drink to help dilute her urine as well...that works for dogs.
As a vet student, I'd recommend rechecking her urine in a few months to see if whatever you are doing is helping and force the vet to take the time to guide you more than just telling you to use Purina/Hills. From health and quality control stand point, I would agree with her recommendation but I understand not everyone likes the big companies and your vet should be able to offer you alternatives. It's his job to help you prevent illness and you can't do it if he doesn't give you the info you need!
Also, good on you for trying to fix kitty's problem before it becomes a medical issue. I love preventative care :)


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