Natural Cystitis Remedies for Cats: Q&A
Last Modified on Sep 06, 2008
01/09/2009: Michael from Jersey City, NJ replies: "My cat was diagnosed with the same problem and my vet prescribed the same food. He refused to eat it, so in desperation I did research onling. It turns out that the best treatment for this problem is high quality, grain free, canned or raw frozen food. They are vastly superior to the prescription diets and are actually lower in the key "reduced" minerals then the prescription diets. This does not harm the cat, but provides those minerals in a natural way that does not oversaturate the system. Also, because it is not prescription food, I have my other three cats on the same diet. All four look like show cats, and the one with crystals is fine now. I feed them a combination of Ziwipeak Canned cat cuisine (One can split four ways in the morning), Evo canned cat food (One 5.5 ounce can split four ways in the afternoon), and Nature's Variety Instinct (One 5.5 ounce can split four ways in the evening). Another key is no dry food, NO FISH, and add even more water to the canned food until it is almost like soup to increase water intake. You could also add Wyson Biotic Ph- to the Ziwipeak to help further control the problem."
11/25/2009: Lynn from San Antonio, Texas replies: "Hi:
Please give a reason why cats can not have fish. I've also heard that fish is bad for their kidneys. My 2 female cats have crystals in their urine. We are using just for a short period of time a special prescription diet of dry cat food that is supposed to dissolve the crystals. We bought this naturalistic canned cat food that has fish, meat, lamb and poultry in it and added more water to help them to get their fluid intake. Our vet told us if we did not use this prescription diet then they would end up with crystals and need to operated on to get rid of them. They also stated that canned cat food alone will not dissolve these crystals. Could I have more explanation of this problem.
If you don't recommend the apple cider vinegar for long term urine acidity problems, what do you recommend? It sounded like the sea salt was for curing an infection. I need something to stabilize the urine pH.
05/19/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn. replies: "Not knowing what struvite crystals are I googled struvite, which immedicately gave me several choices to choose from. I now know that struvite crystals are made up of magmesium, ammonium, and phosphate which form the struvite stone, which is the most common stone found in cats, the next highest is composed of calcium oxalate stones. The remedy is to acidify the urine. It also says that high or low magnesium can precipitate the struvite stone & days not to get a food low in magnesium or use a magnesium supplement. Duh! What they didn't say is how to hit a level of magnesium that wouldn't cause struvite crystals. It did say that the recommended pH for the cat's urome is 6 to 6.5. Have fun trying to catch your cat urinating so you can hold a pH strip under it for saturation and measure it! Now since it says to acidify the urine, apple cider vinegar is 4- to 5% acid, so it should acidify the urine without grossly acidifying it. Is the water supply such that you can add the vinegar after it is filtered through the charcoal? I think it would be more effective and nothing in it should harm your cat. If you think it still needs more acidifying, add vinegar to the point where the cat won't drink it and back up to where hit will. If you need more acidifying after that I suggest dissolving l00 to 250 mgms. of vitamin C in the water.
Another suggestion you might consider is that old remedy that EC responders are praising Juice of l lemon with 2 tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil, but unless you have a huge, fat cat, I would reduce that to juice from 1/6th of a lemon and l tsp. of EV olive oil. I wouldn't do this any more often than once per week and one way I can think of to get it down without a "cat fight" is to mix it in a can of sardines, since I have yet to meet a dog or a cat who didn't love sardines and I have never seen one harmed by the sardines (but they might not like the ones packed in hot sauce or tomato sauce). Our dog loves the ones in hot sauce, she also loves hot salsa, and foods we cook with cayenne! Your cat probably won't. If you are giving your cat milk, you might consider stopping this as they can also form calcium stones. Hope this is helpful, and let EC know how well it works, so others with cats might try the same. Joyce"
06/04/2008: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "In 1985 the incidence in cats of sturvite crystals is 75%, while calcium oxalate crystals were 2%. When changes in dietary factors by lowering protein and magnesium, and lowering the pH to make the urine more acid, the incidence in cats in 1995, became sturvite crystals 48% and a sudden increase in oxalate stones jumped to 40%.
Obviously the changes in the diets lacked the basic understanding that the cause the problem. For my own cats I never had any problems because I fed the cat with simply fish and a water that has small amount of sea salt and a baking soda.
My approach has been non mainstream, but there's a reason why I did that. Sturvites tones are formed by ammonium, phosphates and magnesium. This is the basic component of it. Most of the foods was done to lower the protein levels which lowers the ammonium level, lower the magnesium levels, and increase the acidity in the urine. Now this is a real problem. If the blood acidity of the cats were apparent with acid forming food, the calcium in the cats get leeched out forming calcium oxalates. Oxalates are often found in spinach and vegetables too.
Now the reason why feeding a cat with fish help was that the rich source of phosphates came from meats and milk. I don't feed my cats with milk so obviously the phosphate levels will be low too. However, when you feed the cat with low protein diets, sometimes you add more vegetables, which are high in oxalic acid, especially spinach. I never feed my cats with vegetables and legumes.
Now why is it baking soda reduces the cat's ammonium phosphate level is that, when the digesting proteins, the cat will need bicarbonates to digest them into urea. If there is insufficient bicarbonates, then the protein degrades into an ammonium compounds such as ammonium phosphates which forms sturvite stones. On the other hand if i feed the cat with acid forming food, then it causes the blood of the cat to be more acidic, causing the leeching of calcium from the bones of the cat to form calcium oxalate crystals.
So obviously, cats with very alkaline urine will have low levels of urea content in their urine. Now urea is a complete digestion of protein where there is sufficient levels of bicarbonate, such as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. The bicarbonates are reacted with the protein to be digested to form urea. A urea is a diuretic, lowering the concentration of the urine, causing less stones from greater dilution of the mineral contents. However, if protein digestion is impaired and improper amount of bicarbonates is in the blood of the cat, the cat cannot digest the protein so it is converted into ammonium compound with lowered urea. If urea is lowered, the mineral concentration of urine will be higher as less urea causes the cat to urinate less often. This causes stones formation regardless of whatever is done to manipulate magnesium, acidity or ammonium content of the urine.
Hence my own remedy for a cat is just to give the cat fishes, and a small amount of baking soda and sea salt. So the remedy that I used was 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
Interestingly in certain sick people, the protein levels of their urine is high, indicating improper digestion, but their urine pH to be very alkaline. Now sick people have high pathogens which causes large amounts of protein from dead materials resulting in urine pH of high in ammonia or ammonium compounds as protein breaks down, and hence the extreme alkalinity, which in the long term may resulted in sturvite crystals. The remedy that I have found to work in a very alkaline urine, with high ammonium compounds and high protein urine, but low urea is the same as for my cats. As a result the body will use the bicarbonates to digest the protein to form urea, increasing the urea content, lowering the ammonium from proper protein digestin, causing the urine pH to be more acidic, just by neutralizing the ammonium compounds but also assist in protein digestion and raising the level of urea. Sick cats or sick humans one simple test is the level of urea. If the level of urea is
low, then sturvite is a possibility, but in humans low urea level is linked to cancer and other immunity and autoimmunity disorders too. that is because the protein was not properly digested from lack of bicarbonates so the body becomes alkaline in a toxic way by protein digestion to create ammonium compounds.
Since phosphate of high levels were the cause of sturvite, I would not give the cats meats or milk, but just fish. The sea salt is 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in one liter of drinking water is a mild remedy I used in preventing things.
So there are different approaches, but I don't like to use acid forming foods on cat, this will raise the oxalate crystals in cat, with a small but modest decrease in sturvite, which I think the current understanding is counter intuitive, at least for me.
08/10/2008: Connie from Tarpon Springs, FL replies: "Ted, thank you so much for your reply. Do you feed your cats raw fish or cooked? What kind of fishes do you give them?"
11/03/2008: Connie from Tarpon Springs, FL replies: "I wrote in a while ago to ask Ted about what kind of fishes he feeds his cats, but there has been no response.
I'm also very confused about the ACV, Sea Salt and Baking Soda issue. The vet told me that the reason that my cat had crystals in his urine was because the urine was not acid enough. His urine pH was 7.something and it should be 6.0. Won't sea salt and baking soda increase the urine pH?
Also, what's the scoop on the ACV and the deterioration of the tooth enamel?
I'm just really confused because there is not real consistency in the information that I'm reading."
09/03/2009: Diane from Muskegon, Mi, USA replies: "CALCIUM ASCORBATE POWDER (VITAMIN C) will help to acidify cat's urine in cases of UTI."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "UTI in cats exist because the drinking water that cats drink doesn't have any sea salt. A cat by their evolutionary nature, eat fish and since most of the ocean's water is salty, it is why I also added some sea salt to the drinking water to stop UTI. A low dose sea salt that should not turn off the cat is to mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt in the one liter of cat's drinking water until it's gone, and whereupon is lowered to 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per liter of drinking water once the UTIs are gone. I don't use salted fish because they use table salt not sea salt in preparing them, and hence are acid forming, while sea salt are alkaline forming and has stronger antibiotic potentials since these bacteria of UTI don' t survive well in an alkaline environment.
I don't agree the use of apple cider vinegar in UTIs because I have found that in humans drinking 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon of sea salt of 1 full glass ONE dose only stopped the condition of UTIs. The other reason is apple cider vinegar will INITIALLY resulted in acid urine before becoming alkaline, and this often exacerbate the condition. However, for some people who are determined to use the apple cider vinegar anyway, the remedy that help the UTIs is as follows:
2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt in 1 glass of water and put in the drinking vessel for the cat. Cat's are squeamish so I won't know they will drink it or not. However, I can always add them to the fish or meals if they refuses to drink the water. It's a gentle remedy and may take a couple of days to go away."