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Objective—To evaluate the influence of acidifying or alkalinizing diets on bone mineral density and urine relative supersaturation (URSS) with calcium oxalate and struvite in healthy cats.

Animals—6 castrated male and 6 spayed female cats.

Procedures—3 groups of 4 cats each were fed diets for 12 months that differed only in acidifying or alkalinizing properties (alkalinizing, neutral, and acidifying). Body composition was estimated by use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and 48-hour urine samples were collected for URSS determination.

Results—Urine pH differed significantly among diet groups, with the lowest urine pH values in the acidifying diet group and the highest values in the alkalinizing diet group. Differences were not observed in other variables except urinary ammonia excretion, which was significantly higher in the neutral diet group. Calcium oxalate URSS was highest in the acidifying diet group and lowest in the alkalinizing diet group; struvite URSS was not different among groups. Diet was not significantly associated with bone mineral content or density.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Urinary undersaturation with calcium oxalate was achieved by inducing alkaluria. Feeding an alkalinizing diet was not associated with URSS with struvite. Bone mineral density and calcium content were not adversely affected by diet; therefore, release of calcium from bone caused by feeding an acidifying diet may not occur in healthy cats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research