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Feline struvite crystalluria: a comparison of some commercially available dry cat diets in New Zealand

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Thirteen adult cats were each fed consecutively five test diets: firstly a complete canned diet, and then four commercially available dry cat diets (New Formula Biscats, Cat Chow, Go-Cat and Whiskettes) for 7,13, 5, 4 and 4 weeks respectively. Urine samples were tested for pH and presence of struvite crystals. Body weight was recorded weekly. Urine pH was ranked from acid to alkaline as follows: Whiskettes (pH 5.8), canned diet (pH 5.9), Biscats (pH 6.1), Cat Chow (pH 6.45) and Go-Cat (pH 6.5). The pH of urine when cats were fed Whiskettes, Biscats and canned diet was not significantly different. Biscats produced a urine pH significantly higher than Whiskettes but, in each case, these three diets produced a significantly lower urine pH than Cat Chow and Go-Cat. Struvite crystals occurred spontaneously in 9% of urine samples from cats when fed Whiskettes and Biscats, 71% when fed Cat Chow and 38% when fed Go-Cat: spontaneous struvite was not seen in any cat fed CX9. Haematuria was seen in 2.9% (2/69) urine samples from cats fed Cat Chow. One tom cat had a blocked urethra after 24 days on Go-Cat. No abnormalities were observed in any cat when fed canned diet, Biscats or Whiskettes. It was concluded that of the four dry cat diets tested only Biscats and Whiskettes produce urine with an acceptably low rate of spontaneous struvite crystalluria.

Keywords: Cat; Nutrition; Urinary system

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1988-09-01

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