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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of a high-protein diet versus dietary supplementation with ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) on struvite crystal formation in the urine of clinically normal cats by measuring the urine concentration of hydrochloric acid (HCl)-insoluble sediment, urine pH, struvite activity product (SAP), number of struvite crystals in urine, and urine volume.

Animals—23 healthy adult cats.

Procedure—Urine was fractionated by centrifugation with subsequent extraction of the sediment with 1 N HCl (study 1). Diets containing either 29% crude protein or 55% crude protein were fed to cats in a crossover trial of 3 weeks/period (study 2). Diets supplemented with either sodium chloride (NaCl) or NH4Cl were fed, by use of a 3 X 3 Latin-square design with 3 wk/period (study 3). In studies 2 and 3, urine samples were collected for the last 7 days of each period.

Results—The HCl-insoluble sediment contained Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THP; study 1). The highprotein diet (study 2) and dietary supplementation with NH4Cl (study 3) resulted in a decrease in urine pH, SAP, and the number of struvite crystals in urine. However, the high-protein diet decreased urine concentrations of HCl-insoluble sediment containing THP (study 2), in contrast to the NH4Cl supplementation that increased urine volume without a significant effect on the urine concentration of the HCl-insoluble sediment (study 3).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Our results indicate that compared with dietary supplementation with NH4Cl, the high-protein diet is preferable as a urine acidifier for the prevention of struvite crystal formation in clinically normal cats. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1059–1064)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research