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  • Author or Editor: Jane M. Merrills x
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Objective—To evaluate the effect of nutrition on recurrent clinical signs of lower urinary tract (LUT) disease in cats with idiopathic cystitis.

Design—Randomized, controlled, masked clinical trial.

Animals—31 cats with acute nonobstructive idiopathic cystitis.

Procedures—Cats were assigned to receive 1 of 2 foods (a cystitis prevention or control food) that differed in mineral (calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium), antioxidant, and fatty acid profiles. Owners documented LUT signs daily for up to 1 year. The primary endpoint was the number of recurrent episodes in which a cat had multiple (≥ 2 concurrent) LUT signs within a day (defined as multiple-sign day). Consecutive days in which a cat had multiple LUT signs were considered as a single episode.

Results—4 cats fed prevention food and 2 cats fed control food were excluded from analysis because of noncompliance, gastrointestinal signs, food refusal, or owner voluntary withdrawal. The proportion of cats fed prevention food that had ≥ 1 recurrent episode of multiple-sign days (4/11) was not significantly lower than that of cats fed control food (9/14). However, cats fed prevention food had significantly lower mean incidence rates for recurrent episodes of multiple-sign days (0.7 episodes/1,000 cat-days) and episodes of hematuria (0.3 episodes/1,000 cat-days), dysuria (0.2 episodes/1,000 cat-days), and stranguria (0.2 episodes/1,000 cat-days) as single LUT signs, compared with cats fed control food (5.4, 3.4, 3.1, and 3.8 episodes/1,000 cat-days, respectively). Significantly fewer cats fed prevention food required analgesics (4/11), compared with cats fed control food (12/14).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Foods with differing nutritional profiles appeared to impact mean incidence rates of recurrent feline idiopathic cystitis-associated signs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare the efficacy and safety of using 2 commercially available, low-magnesium, urine-acidifying dry foods to dissolve sterile struvite uroliths in cats.

Design—Prospective, multicenter, randomized clinical trial

Sample—37 cats with presumed struvite uroliths.

Procedures—Cats were randomly assigned to be fed 1 of 2 low-magnesium, urine-acidifying dry foods (food A or B). For each cat, physical examination, urinalysis, and abdominal radiography were performed weekly to assess treatment response.

Results—32 cats had complete urolith dissolution. Mean ± SD times for a 50% reduction in urolith size (0.69 ± 0.1 weeks) and complete urolith dissolution (13.0 ± 2.6 days) were significantly shorter for cats fed food A, compared with those (1.75 ± 0.27 weeks and 27.0 ± 2.6 days, respectively) for cats fed food B. At study termination, mean ± SD urine pH (6.083 ± 0.105) for cats fed food A was lower than that (6.431 ± 0.109) for cats fed food B. In 5 cats, uroliths did not dissolve and were subsequently determined to be composed of 100% ammonium urate (n = 4) or 100% calcium oxalate (1). Adverse events associated with diet were not observed in any of the cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that dietary dissolution is safe and effective for eradication of sterile struvite uroliths in cats. Cats fed food A had faster urolith dissolution than did cats fed food B. Lack of a reduction in urolith size at 2 weeks after diet initiation was indicative of misdiagnosis or noncompliance.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association