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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My female cat approx. 3yrs old. short hair domestic had surgery

Customer Question

My female cat approx. 3yrs old. short hair domestic had surgery yesterday to remove stone in bladde. Vet is suggesting food be Royal cannin SO for urinary Cats. Way too costly!! Any alternatives??? Non-script maybe? I would like the cheapest but effective catfood wet and dry brand names to choose from available at pet stores or maybe on line.
Thank you so much
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
I wish I had great news for you but there are no over-the-counter (or cheaper) equivalent diets to either the Royal Canin Urinary SO or the Hill's c/d diets. They are both excellent but they are specifically formulated to prevent urinary crystals while keeping the urine pH in the center (7.0).
You can, however, purchase these online and can search to see if there is perhaps another place you can purchase for slightly less. It will still be prescription, which means wherever you try to order will ask your vet if it is okay if they sell you the diet, but I have quite a few owners that go this route.
Many people ask me about the over-the-counter Purina Urinary diet and the answer is NO, this diet has no effective property to prevent stones or, in fact, even help the urinary system. I am not entirely sure why they call it the "urinary" diet.
If this is a struvite stone, then I have had some people find success with Fancy Feast (any varieties, you can even rotate), I use them a lot and they are from a good company, and they acidify. If she is mostly a dry eater, this switch might be enough to get the urine specific gravity down. In addition you still need to focus on increasing water intake with use of a pet water fountain, add more water to food and add more water stations in the house, etc. Multiple feedings a day would help keep the urine dilute for longer.
If you do this then you may have to anticipate the need to also add a supplement to the food to control urine pH. Depending on the type of stone found there are different supplements. However, this means you must ensure we get that supplement into her. As well you must anticipate that we will need to do at least 3 urine rechecks in the first 6-9 weeks to ensure we are not seeing any crystals and we are regulating the pH appropriately. If you went this route, then feeding a canned food is ideal to promote increased water consumption.
If this is an oxalate stone, then you really must feed a prescription diet and/or do a supplement.
Bot***** *****ne is it depends on the type of stone present but while waiting you could shift to the Fancy feast diet.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It was a struvite stone that was found and you have not completely answered my question. You mentioned In the event I choose dry fancy feast because my cats do not like wet food you mentioned there may be a supplement necessary with fancy feast but you do not tell me what kind, how much, or manufacturers to research for best price?? Why is a supplement recommended with a struvite stone and a dry fancy feast diet?