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dove2wings
October 21st 05, 05:16 AM
Yes, There Possibly IS a Holistic Feline Struvite Diet Out There:
Innova Cat Lite Canned

I am sharing a personal "success story" that I hope will help
others with similar issues.

Following bladder surgery for removal of sterile (non-infected)
struvites last year, my then-almost 16-year-old cat was retested about
a month later and found to still be producing a "heavy" quantity of
crystals in her urine with an alkaline pH of 6.5 or 7.

With the goal of decreasing her magnesium and phosphorus consumption
(which she apparently can't metabolize properly) and increasing her
acidity (to dissolve those unmetabolized mineral crystals/stones) to
ultimately spare her from suffering a recurrence of painful, bloody
urination and the risk of infection or blockage, as well as to prevent
the necessity for any further surgery, a diet change was advised.

If possible, however, I desperately didn't want to place her on the
standard recommended, commercial, prescription veterinary diet (either
Science Diet or Eukanuba) - only to worry we might have been saving
her in some ways while killing her in others - if we could find a
viable holistic alternative (and ideally, one that I didn't have the
time, knowledge or confidence to have to prepare for her...although I
would have if need be).

After launching an intense, frustrating search over the phone, in
stores and over the Internet for the next couple of weeks, I didn't
find any reliable holistic feline struvite diet options - whether
already prepared or to prepare. A couple of holistic vets I contacted
told me that - unfortunately - they knew of no viable holistic diet
currently available for cats with this medical condition, while I got
the lame, vague advice from a couple of holistic pet suppliers to just
"feed fresh" or "feed raw." It discouragingly looked like
there was no alternative but to soon start my poor cat on a veterinary
prescription diet.

Finally, on a trial basis...thanks to the open-minded and compassionate
suggestion of a nonholistic veterinary nutritionist at Cornell
University ("this is uncharted territory...let me know how this works
out") who my own nonholistic vet had open-mindedly and
compassionately suggested I contact, my cat was ultimately tapered off
her old diet (a rotation of some half dozen holistic canned brands of
PetGuard, Wellness, and regular Innova Cat, all containing too much
potassium and magnesium) and switched to a diet of exclusively Innova
Cat Lite Canned Food.

This product was not developed nor marketed as a feline struvite diet
(and bear in mind many that are advertised as such, aren't adequate),
but the veterinary nutritionist's trial recommendation was based on a
simple comparison of each manufacturer's web site listings (for
example, eukanuba.com and naturapet.com), which revealed that Innova
Cat Lite promised to be a compellingly better choice in several key
ways: (i) beside wholesome ingredients I felt my cat and I could
comfortably live with, it does not have the meat byproducts nor
carcinogenic pesticide/preservative ethoxyquin astonishingly contained
in the veterinary prescription struvite diet everyone is typically told
to feed their cats; (ii) its listed magnesium level is even lower
(e.g., Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Low pH/S: 0.024% vs. Innova Cat Lite:
only 0.013%); and (iii) its listed phosphorus level is also even lower
(e.g., Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Low pH/S: 0.22% vs. Innova Cat Lite:
only 0.14%). Innova Cat Lite's magnesium and phosphorus levels are
also far lower than a host of other commercial and holistic brands that
purport to be appropriate for FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract
disease) (formerly called FUS (feline urologic syndrome)) patients.
The calories between Eukanuba's veterinary prescription diet and
Innova Cat Lite are about the same (Eukanuba Veterinary Diet: 33
kcal/oz. vs. Innova Cat Lite: 33.3 kcal/oz.).

At the veterinary nutritionist's suggestion, I also stopped
periodically giving her as a treat organic aduki beans (beans tend to
be alkaline and high in magnesium), as well as stopped a daily
vitamin/mineral supplement (not to take any chances). We continued
with free access to fresh water, of course, and a daily fish oil
supplement.

No supplements such as urine acidifiers (whether medical or holistic)
were ever used (which I've read can sometimes compromise health in
other ways such as kidney damage), although I was aware that might have
been an option my vet would recommend if a diet change alone did not
work out for my cat. (Fortunately, it turned out we never needed to
try them.)

The diet change was made in stages over a couple of weeks. Still, by
the time my cat was being fed nothing but Innova Cat Lite, for a while
she missed the variety she was accustomed to. To create the illusion
of variety, I started routinely using different presentations of the
one brand: twice a day, when she was hungriest and least finicky
(i.e., when I first woke up and again as soon as I came home from
work), I offered her anything leftover from the fridge in her
bowl...but when she requested second or third helpings, I opened a more
tempting new, room-temperature can (sometimes letting her "select"
the can to open when she walked over to the cabinet), and then hand-fed
her by spoon. The little bit of extra time and attention was obviously
good for her psychologically, as well. Within a couple of more weeks,
she adjusted to being satisfied with eating just one brand.

In subsequent months, as her sense of smell has apparently diminished
with her aging, I now usually offer her just room-temperature, freshly
opened cans (to decrease waste and expense, I mainly use the tiny 3 oz.
size cans these days, but continue the "varied presentations"
(first offering part of a can in her bowl, then hand-feeding by spoon).
This overall approach seems to be working for her...and I just read
that recent studies suggest several smaller meals (rather than a couple
of larger meals) tend to promote desirably higher acidity in cats (and
therefore also promote a lower risk of developing struvites).

She most relishes the shinier/moister outer edges of a freshly-opened
can (again, I suspect related to her diminished sense of smell). But
sometimes, she'll also enjoy the novelty of the 13 oz. size cans -
beside her knowing the food comes from a different type of can, the
larger cans seem to have more chunks of potato than the 3 oz. size.
Perhaps I should also try the 5.5 oz. cans to further increase the
"variety" she's offered.

While I suspect she's on to my tricks, my dear furball indulgently
humors me, and - while I wish I had another holistic brand or two
available to offer her now that she's on a restricted diet - I'm
grateful we have at least this one. Also, mercifully and thankfully,
she likes this brand.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After almost 6 weeks exclusively on Innova Cat Lite
Canned, my cat returned to the vet as instructed to be retested (just
as she would have if she'd been on one of the prescription
diets)...this time with DRAMATICALLY gratifying results: her urine pH
dropped from a more alkaline 6.5 or 7 to a healthy, acidic pH of 6.0,
and her urine crystal production had changed from "heavy" to
virtually "clear/none." Even both of our vets were impressed.

All from a simple change in diet - and my cat was able to remain on a
holistic diet (simply an alternative with sufficiently low levels of
phosphorus and magnesium) without having to switch to a prescription
veterinary diet - to get where she needs to be medically.

Over a year later, now at age 17, she's continued on this diet and
regular veterinary monitoring shows no recurrence of struvite
cystitis...and I'm pleased to have finally undertaken to share our
success story here for anyone else seeking a possibly effective,
holistic feline struvite diet.

While this brand wasn't specifically developed nor marketed for use
as a feline struvite diet - and while this is merely one anecdotal
story - it seems to be working at least for us...and our experience
is herein offered for whatever it's worth. Of course, whatever is
tried to address a medical condition (a new
commercial/prescription/holistic diet, supplement, medication
type/dose/combination, anything) should be regularly monitored by your
veterinarian.

Best of luck to you and yours, too.

(posted October 2005)

Phil P.
October 21st 05, 06:39 AM
"dove2wings" > wrote in message
ups.com...

Innova Cat Lite:
> only 0.013%); and (iii) its listed phosphorus level is also even lower
> (e.g., Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Low pH/S: 0.22% vs. Innova Cat Lite:
> only 0.14%).

I think you might want to recheck your data- it might be a tad outdated.
Innova Lite's phosphorus content currently weighs in at a glowing 1.61%
(DMB).

Steve Crane
October 22nd 05, 02:16 AM
dove2wings wrote:
> Cat Lite promised to be a compellingly better choice in several key
> ways: (i) beside wholesome ingredients I felt my cat and I could
> comfortably live with, it does not have the meat byproducts nor
> carcinogenic pesticide/preservative ethoxyquin astonishingly contained
> in the veterinary prescription struvite diet everyone is typically told
> to feed their cats;

Not to start a war, but it's important to have a few facts once in
awhile. Would you recommend swallowing 660 aspirin at one time, even if
you normally take a couple aspirin now and then for headache? would you
recommend someone ingest 660,000 IU's of vitamin E at one time?

Probably not I would guess. You comments about ethoxyquin are simply
nonsense. Not a single cat or dog anywhere in the world has ever been
harmed by the levels of artifical antioxidants in pet foods. What you
need to understand is that the vast majority of toxicity studies done
on BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin were done at 1.0% of the diet. That works
out to 10,000 parts per million. Most pet foods run ethoxyquin levels
at 20-30 ppm. You cannot equate what happens at 10,000 parts per
million and expect the same results at 20 parts per million. It's
simply nonsense.

Natural preservatives in pet foods are not as good at preserving fats
as artifical antioxidants. They simply cannot do as good a job as the
artificial ones. When it come to a therapeutic diet you must consider
that you are dealing with a medically compromised animal - one which
cannot take the risk of exposure to ANY levels of rancidity. Creating a
therapeutic diet requires dispensing with internet nonsense and Madison
Ave marketing hype that in favor of hard science. The hard science is
very clear - no animal anywhere in the medical literature has ever been
affected in a negative way by an artifical antioxidant.

Steve Crane
October 22nd 05, 02:21 AM
dove2wings wrote:
> diets)...this time with DRAMATICALLY gratifying results: her urine pH
> dropped from a more alkaline 6.5 or 7 to a healthy, acidic pH of 6.0,

For the age of this cat a urine pH of 6.0 is NOT healthy but rather
dangerous. Older cats are much more prone to developing Calcium Oxalate
stones - which happen to love a urine pH this acidic. Unfortunately
there is no way to dissolve a CaOx stone and surgery is the only
alternative.