Bladder Stones - Is There Any Raw Food That Will Help Prevent Or Dissolve Them?

Prisscilla's Mom

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I'm looking for help for my 15 year old "baby" who has bladder stones. She was originally a stray that I found living with her mom under a shed behind the museum I work for. She and her mom were both feral but with love, patience and food I was able to tame her enough to bring her home.

She has always been tiny with her highest weight at 7.5 pounds. Now that she is older her weight goes up and down around 4 pounds so I give her anything I can get her to eat. When I found her and she was so tiny, I only wanted to make sure she had a regular source of food, so I started feeding her Meow Mix, Kitten Chow. At that time, I never dreamed I would be able to tame her I just wanted to make sure she survived. But within a month, she decided she liked people, came home with me, became the Prissy Princess she always knew she always was, and our entire home started revolving around her.

I don't know if it is because it is the first "cat food" she started eating or what but she has only ever liked wet and dry Meow Mix. I have tried many times to switch her to other brands of food, especially when she started having bladder issues a few years ago. I have tried many kinds of the prescription foods that are supposed to help with bladder issues, but she will not eat any of them. And no, it doesn't matter how many times I try, she will just go hungry. If she doesn't want to eat it, she just won't eat it!

In reading past threads on this website, I saw that others have had the same issue with their cats not eating the prescription food. I would like to know if there is any raw food I could try to feed her that has worked for other cat moms? She is so little that every calorie counts. Right now she is feeling fine, but I know that if one of the stones moves, she might have to have surgery to remove them. With her small size and age, she is not a great candidate for surgery. So, I am torn with feeding her the food she likes and getting her to eat as much as I can so she keeps her weight up versus trying to get her to eat food she doesn't like just because it is supposed to be 'better" for her. She gets wet food twice (or more) a day with supplemental dry food out all the time as well. I have a water fountain that I do think has helped get her to drink more water.

I saw in one of the older threads from 2014 that one person fed their cat chicken and turkey. Does anyone know if those will help and if so, what would be the best way to prepare them? I know she likes turkey as I do give her turkey lunch meat occasionally as a special treat. Should I cook her turkey and if so, should it be light or dark meat? The same with chicken, light or dark? Best way to prepare it?

I also noticed that a few posts mentioned not to feed them fish products. Is that correct? She loves tuna and it is one thing I can get her to eat when she is being particularly picky and not even wanting to eat her regular cat food. She doesn't get it very often but if it is bad for her, I don't want to give it to her.

I will try one of the suggestions to add water to her wet food to make it like a runny broth, that shouldn't effect the flavor, so I can probably get by with it.

I am really worried as she is my "baby" and I will do anything to help her through this without surgery. I would really appreciate any insight from others who might have experienced this same issue or any professionals that can give me more suggestions as well.

Thank You!
Prisscilla's Mom
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!
I'm not a vet, a professional or have a cat with kidney/bladder issues, but my boy did have elevated liver numbers a couple years ago. Due to NO help or guidance from my vet, I did a lot of research.

My whole focus in your case would be to help the liver, kidneys and bladder work as efficiently -->and as easily<-- as possible.

Are probiotics something you would consider to help her digestive system function at top level so she's getting everything out of the food she consumes? There is Tummyworks, also Animal Essentials Plant and Priobiotics. just to name a couple.

If you aren't already, make sure her water is super filtered. If you're stateside, the brand of filter called pur states it removes up to 90% contaminants. That's the kind of thing you're looking for--very clean water. I don't think I'd suggest distilled, or even purified, although it admittedly makes a person really wonder just how those bladder stones developed - could they be mineral deposits from her water?

Regarding preparation, you would want to boil the chicken or turkey and leave out any salt or seasonings. I'd go with alternating the light and dark meats - the dark has more fat in it and different proteins plus a different flavor, --see what she thinks about it.

Have you tried any freeze dried raw? Natures variety Instinct, also Merrick I think has some.

Maybe stop with the lunchmeat if it is made with a lot of salt and seasonings.

Regarding fish - she needs to eat and that is topmost priority. There is a brand of tuna called Safecatch that is low mercury and also they have a no sodium variety. This doesn't have a strong odor, so I ended up mixing it with some "light" tuna for my cat. Canned light tuna made with skipjack is a safer canned tuna.

I'd work to try to find low sodium foods, but sometimes that's tough to know and requires contacting the manufacturer, plus you have a finicky eater...

Take a look at this website below, and also there are a couple foods as possibilities in addition, but I myself haven't checked them. I just pulled them from other TCS threads that were discussing low phosphorus/low sodium foods;

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Canned Food Data USA

Against the Grain
Blue Buffalo
Tender and True
Caru
Weruva

Also, here is a list of toppers/enticements. As well, you could heat the food, or add some warmed water to the food and stir if she's not impressed with room temp water.
  • Chicken or beef flavored baby food such as Gerber Stage 2 - make sure there is no garlic or onions in the ingredients
  • Tuna and/or the juice, a low mercury brand is called SafeCatch
  • Salmon, mackerel
  • Sardines (make sure there are no bones)
  • boiled cut up chicken or turkey with no seasonings
  • canned kitten food any brand - it's usually smelly. See if it's eaten on its own, then maybe mix it in or put on top
  • Try mixing in Kitten Milk Replacer - there are recipes on the internet
  • Fish, tuna or BBQ flavored canned wet food (I personally have never seen BBQ flavors, but...)
  • Lickable cat treats or pouch treat gravy poured over the food
  • kitten glop (recipes are on the internet, look for some with goat milk)
  • Bonito flakes
  • fortiflora
  • goat milk, or no lactose cow milk
  • whole cooked eggs (the white must always be cooked) or raw egg yolk now and then
  • broth with no salt and no garlic or onion or seasonings of any kind
  • There are also commercial toppers, Applaws is a brand that can work well as a topper as is Almo
    you could crumble treats onto the wet food, freeze dried Purebites, Orijen, Meowtinis, Meowables
 
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duckpond

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Some times i think these health issues happen, no matter the diet, lifestyle, they just happen as we, or our cats get older. Cats and people are the same with this i think. a healthy diet, exercise, stress free home, and yearly vet visits can go a long way toward helping our cats live a long healthy live. But sometimes things happen beyond our control.

Diet may help, or she may need the surgery, not all stones can be dissolved. Wet food or raw is a great start, if she will eat those. Eating is very important, even if its not the food you want her to eat. so do make sure she eats enough calories every day if possible.

Keep working with your vet, there may be other prescription foods you can try as well, different brands? wet and dry?

Best of luck with her, and do let us know how she is doing :heartshape:
 

Furballsmom

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Here is some more info - granted again, it's pointed at kidney cats but in my mind it ends up all related. I'm not a vet so I could be wrong in thinking this way and including a cat with bladder stones, but in any case, note the comment about chicken as well as eggs.
I wish the article mentioned that raw egg yolk is fine but the egg white must always be cooked. I've read some people make an egg-y slurry by cooking the white and adding in the raw yolk.
Older Cats and Protein Needs – What Older Cats Need in Their Diet | petMD
 

maggiedemi

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I don't know much about bladder stones. But increasing canned food and decreasing dry food helps my cats when they have urinary problems. I have to keep their dry food under half a cup or the problems start.
 

LTS3

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Raw food won't dissolve any current urinary stones or crystals. Commercial canned food doesn't either. Current urinary issues need to be addressed by the vet. If your cat won't eat the prescription foods for bladder stones, surgery may be necessary. I'm not sure if cranberry supplements for pets work. A holistic vet may be able to give you info on that.

There's a forum here on TCS with more info on raw and home cooked diets: Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food

A commercial brand of raw food is easiest to start with. Many cats won't eat raw food right away, though. Senior cats who have eaten nothing bu dry and canned food their entire lives are especially difficult to transition to raw. Freeze dried raw is sometimes more acceptable than frozen raw because it's similar to kibble but softer in texture.

Some cats prefer cooked meat to raw meat. If you use cooked meat, poach a whole cut of meat (like chicken breast or thigh, no bones or skin) in plain water until just done. Let the meat cool then shred or chop. Because meat is not nutritionally complete to feed on its own, you need to add a premix (vitamin and mineral supplement). EZComplete is one brand Food Fur Life - EZ Homemade raw food for pets! There are others and none are sold in pet stores.
 
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Prisscilla's Mom

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Thank you all so much!!! I knew this would be the place to get some good ideas. I do feel fortunate that we have a wonderful vet and she is always ready to work through new ideas. She is also great about letting us try new kinds of food and taking back the unopened cans when Prisscilla rejects them.

I will print off your suggestions and I want go through them and do a little more research, especially on some of the sites you all have suggested. I will keep track of more posts that come in as well. I will try to post updates along the journey as I am sure all of this will be a marathon, not a sprint.

Again, thank you all so much for your suggestions. You'll never know how much I appreciate them.
 

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duckpond

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Pretty girl! Best of luck, i hope you find foods that will help, that she will eat! Do keep us updated on her!
 

Matt M PA

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This may be of little help...but here goes.

A number of years ago, our Allie developed bladder stones. In her case, they had plugged up her urethra. They had to push the stones back into the bladder, then remove them. I sincerely...sincerely....hope this does not become necessary with your girl.

If memory serves, one type of stone can be caused by infection and can be removed by diet. The other type of stone, cannot.

In our case, the vet recommended taking Allie completely off dry food and only feeding wet food. Of course, the recommended a "prescription" cat food that they sell. According to the vet, cats don't normally drunk much and will get most of what they need from their food. Dry food doesn't have moisture and they think this helps stones form.

Probably going way off topic here....I did as much research as I could at the time to see why it was "prescription" cat food. I understand completely why humans need a prescription for medications and wondered if there was a medicine of some type in the cat food that made it require a prescription. From my research years ago, it wasn't due to a regulation of some sort...but a separate line of cat food only sold by certain retailers.

I do know that some cats need a specially tailored food, but at least in our case...Allie's been fine without the prescription cat food. But...she gets no dry food at all.
 
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