Struvite crystals are also referred to as triple phosphate (magnesium ammonium phosphate), and when several crystals join together to form stones, they can become life-threatening to the cat. These stones can range in shape and size, and when they block the urinary tract, they can quickly lead to kidney failure.
Crystals can form in a cat's bladder and/or urethra, causing irritation, bleeding, infection and/or blockage. These symptoms are lumped together in a condition called FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease). Complete blockage of the urethra can cause death within 72 hours, if not treated.
What To Watch For:
-Very frequent litter box use,
-Licking urethral area excessively,
-Straining to urinate,
-Crying in pain while urinating
-Urinating in various areas of the home,
-Blood in the urine,
-Lack of appetite
It is very interesting to know that struvite crystals started happening exactly with the widespread use of dry commercial cat foods. These cat food diets became popular in the 1970's, and since then, thousands of cats have been subjected to this very painful and unnecessary condition.
It is very important to know that these 'foods' were not developed for the optimal health of cats. They are convenient for the owner and cheaper than meat cat food. In addition, very profitable for commercial pet food manufacturers.
Struvite crystals happen when a lack of moisture is found in a pets diet. The urine becomes too concentrated and too alkaline. An alkaline environment in very concentrated urine predisposes struvite formation. Cats are not natural water drinkers, and derive most of its moisture from its prey. Consequently, the domestic cat which is fed a diet of dry foods is chronically dehydrated.
The best line of defense is making a change in your cats diet now.
When the cat consumes a balanced, natural diet of raw meat, the urine can maintain a more natural pH. The water content of wet meat is typically 75 – 80% moisture, which creates a more dilute urine, and struvite formation, does not occur.
How Can You Test Your Cats PH Level?
They say that if your body is in an alkaline state, that cancer cannot grow. That is quite a statement! Fast food, and processed foods rather than natural vegetables and fruits cause our human bodies acidic, and most of our problems stem from where our PH balance sits. The same with cats. Although the higher range may vary under certain circumstances, the expert consensus seems to be from 6.0 to 6.5. (The lower the pH, the more acidic the urine.) A pH above this range can lead the growth of struvites (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals). A pH lower than 6.0 can cause the formation of calcium oxalate crystals. You can buy 80 strips on Amazon for $12 Simply take a spoon of siliva, and dip the bottom part of the strip in the siliva. Within minutes the test strip changes a color. On the back of the package shows the range of colors which will give you you or your cats PH number.