What Ingredient in Cat Food Causes Crystals in Urine?

What ingredient in cat food causes crystals in urine_

To much of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in cat foods can lead to crystals in the urine, which can lead to urinary stones. To avoid this make sure your cat drinks plenty.

Struvite crystals are dreaded by both pet owners and their pets. These crystals can eventually form stones, which block or irritate a cat’s urinary tract. When struvite crystals develop, it becomes difficult for cats to urinate, despite their persistent urge to do so. This can make your cat unhappy and eventually lead to a more serious health concern. 

What Are Struvite Crystals?

These are microscopic crystals that can be found in a cat’s urine. Specifically, struvite is a material that’s composed of phosphate, ammonium, and magnesium.

The crystals themselves can be normal but can turn out problematic when combined to form grit and/or stones. Sometimes, stones can be dissolved or flushed out but in other cases, it should be surgically removed.

What Causes Cat Crystals?

There are various types of cat crystals and many reasons why your cat may develop them. Calcium oxalate and struvite are the most common types of crystals. However, their formation could not often be traced to one cause. 

Furthermore, different types of cat crystals might develop if your feline friend is not eating a balanced, complete, and proper diet. Also, certain conditions that change the urine pH level of your cats like long-term medication use or kidney disease can also cause cat crystals.

Why Do Struvite Crystals Form?

Struvite crystals are very tiny crystals which can form in your cat’s urine and might cause him significant pain, irritation, and even possible infection. The cause of struvite crystals isn’t well understood, however, the following can potentially be some of the reasons:

  • Low water intake
  • An alkaline environment (a high pH)
  • A lower urinary tract inflammation

Can My Cat’s Food Be the Cause of His Urine Crystals?

There are actually several factors that can cause the development of struvite crystals, which is why it is important to feed your kitty a balanced and complete diet for his appropriate life stage.

You should check with your cat food’s manufacturer to ensure it’s formulated to produce an optimal pH level in a cat’s urine.

Can Wet Food Treat Struvite Crystals?

Vets will often use a multipronged method for treating struvite crystals in cats. First, they will eliminate the underlying cause if possible. Many veterinarians will also recommend high-quality wet canned foods since they have seen wet foods to reduce struvite crystals in their practices in this field. Regardless, adequate hydration is very important for cats who are not drinking enough water. 

So, What Food Should I Give My Cat Now?

Below, you can find some easy tips on how to help your cat feel better again, and also to prevent cat crystals from recurring.

  • Make sure to feed your cat a variety of wet canned food, which will help a lot in hydrating and promoting the urine’s formation with an acidic or low pH level.
  • Feed small meals frequently as this will cause lesser fluctuation in the pH level of your cat’s urine.
  • Provide adequate litter boxes and make sure to keep them in a safe, quiet place.
  • Provide fresh, clean water all the time and consider having a kitty fountain or multiple water bowls. You can also try using a delicious chicken broth in order to encourage your feline friend to drink more.
  • Minimize some major changes in your cat’s routine.


Common Questions About Struvite Crystals in Your Cat’s Urine

What Dissolves Struvite Crystals in Cats?

Struvite stones and crystals can, fortunately, be dissolved through feeding your cat special diets. If your cat doesn’t like one certain diet, then another one can be selected – both canned and dry selections can also be mixed even though there’s some thinking that the canned food’s extra water is more beneficial for the dissolution of stones and crystals in cat’s urine.

What Can I Give My Cat for Urinary Crystals?

Struvite crystals and stones can usually be dissolved easily. The key is to create more dilute and acidic urine. Canned prescription foods that can acidify the cat’s urine are highly ideal, however, dry formulations are also available for kitties who do not like to eat wet canned food. Certain medications that can help acidify the urine can also be utilized when your cat should be put on a special type of diet.

 Does Dry Cat Food Cause Urinary Problems?

Cats who only prefer to eat dry food like kibbles (which is low in both moisture and mean) potentially have more alkaline, concentrated urine that leads to the formation of cat crystals. The best foods for cats that can help in preventing urinary issues are canned and raw foods since these contain more moisture and meat compared to dry cat foods.


There are many possible causes of struvite stones and crystals in cats and these causes aren’t clearly understood. Because of that, it’s best to consult with your trusted vet regarding the most helpful food choices and medication for your cat. Your vet may modify your cat’s diet and prescribe medications to undergo the right therapeutic plan.

What ingredient in cat food causes crystals in urine_

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