I have a male cat, neutered - probably about 3-5 years old. He's been happy and healthy these 8 months that I have owned him, but suddenly two weeks ago he started peeing much more frequently and then taking forever at the box. I knew this was a UTI so I took him in.

Vet did urinalysis and determined that there were crystals in the urine. Vet also gave me 10 days of Baytril to administer. Vet provided
24 cans of Royal Canin urine health food. My cat refused to touch thestuff.
As a bit of a back story, cat has been eating holistic food the whole time he's been with me - mainly Eagle Pack chicken dry kibble. I have now switched to Wysong Uretic formula as of 2 weeks ago to hopefully replace the prescribed food he will not eat.
The cat greatly improved with the antibiotics but the administration of them was irregular. I'd come home from work and find that he had spit out the morning pill sometime during the day, so I'm not sure exactly how much of the 20 pills he kept down. I know that the last 3-4 days were 100% though because I got pill pockets.
2 days after the antibiotics are gone, symptoms reoccur and there isblood in the urine. I go to emergency vet who performs blood work and says its clean. They confirm crystals in urine and give him a shot of antibiotics and painkiller. They give me painkillers to be given orally for the next few days. Vet says that he thinks its just the crystals causing issues and the diet change will fix it.

My problem is that I've already spent close to $600 on kitty and I can't afford much more. He won't eat the prescribed food but is the Wysong good for this problem? I don't want to have to go back to the vet, I want this problem to go away without stressing the cat more than he already is. I've heard Apple Cider Vinegar is good to acidify the urine. I'm also giving cranberry powder with wet food once a day. I have a stash of Doxycycline pills left over from a cat who passed away recently - could I safely administer this to prevent further infection?
My regular vet is sort of gung-ho on all sorts of procedures and is extremely expensive. I took my cat in liver failure to him last year and spent $800 for a day of care + euthanasia. You can see why I'm worried about cost.
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Suddenly, without warning, jamina1 exclaimed (3/2/2010 12:10 PM):
I have a male cat, neutered - probably about 3-5 years old. He's been happy and healthy these 8 months ... last year and spent $800 for a day of care + euthanasia. You can see why I'm worried about cost.

Did your vet talk about convincing your cat to drink more water, and to get him off of dry food? You need to do both. I've been fighting Meep's cystitis (crystals) problem for years.
I've posted this many times, but in short this is what I do, and it's been very successful:
1. Add water bowls all over the house. Monitor their use. Keep bowlsin places where he's drinking. Get a pet fountain, that helps a lot.
2. WET FOOD. Doesn't matter at first if it's good quality or bad, justget him eating wet. May be a hard slog - took me FOUR YEARS to get Meep 100% on wet. Now we're working on getting her off the junk food and eating higher quality stuff. Wellness Chicken and Herring is usually acceptable. She's still getting a good bit of Fancy Feast though.
3. Glucosamine supplement - it coats the bladder. Cosequin is fine ifyou can afford it, but with the blessing of my vet, I use a joint supplement from Dr. Fosters and Smith instead. She has arthritis too, so that works.
During times of high stress, like when we move, I've also had her on Amitryptyline (sp) which works well to reduce her anxiety levels.

Get him off the dry food though. Meep continued to have cystitis attacks even on the Royal Canin Urinary. A diet of 100% Fancy Feast cans, and she's been Cystitis free for years now. One time I gave in and tried adding dry - within a month she had another attack.

Good luck. Cystitis is so much more serious in male cats. If you cannot control it, there is an operation that essentially turns him into a girl. There's folks here who've had it done, and are better able to speak to the effectiveness of that treatment.
jmc
agree with all of this except the wet food part, my cat had this in a hidious way, never a symptom until after i started them on dry wellness, now they are all on dry c/d and doing well... but that water bit is most important, Soft
1. Please don't give old medication to this cat. It's not safe.Doxycycline especially is known to cause esophogial erosion. You may end up spending more money in the long run just to save some money now.
2. If you want to prevent further urinary problems, this cat NEEDS tobe on wet food. No other solution. You CAN transition this cat. I did it myself with a former dry addict myself. It will take some patience and a commitment on your part, but it is in the best interest of your cat to do this. Here are some tips: http://www.catinfo.org#Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food

As for brands, there are several good options. Some have mentioned Wellness and that's a great food. Nature's Variety and Innova Evo are other excellent choices. You can also try a commercially made raw diet. Again, lots of good choices there including Nature's Variety and Stella & Chewy's (I have fed/feed both).
No dry food, prescription or otherwise, is going to help. This cat needs more moisture, and cats just can't drink enough to make up what they don't get in their diet.
You asked us here to both (a) help your cat and (b) save money overall. Switching to wet food will do this. No, it's not easy (I've been there), but you CAN do it.
i agree about not using the old pills but i DO NOT agree on the wet only option, if you can switch him and that is what your vet reccommends fine, but my tiger was so bad we thought we would lose him, he has now been crystal/infection free for over five years on a diet of dry c/d and is healtheir than ever. Lee
I have a male cat, neutered - probably about 3-5 years old. He's been happy and healthy these 8 months ... without stressing the cat more than he already is. I've heard Apple Cider Vinegar is good to acidify the urine.

Before you attempt to acidify the urine, make absolutely sure the crystals are struvite. If the crystals are calcium oxalate, acidifying the urine will only promote crystal growth and exacerbate the problem.

Years ago 97% of the crystals found in cats were struvite. So when a cat was found to have crystals in his urine, it wasn't too risky to assume they were struvite and treat them accordingly. Since then, practically all feline diets have been reformulated with lower magnesium and more acidity to prevent struvite. Now, the most common crystal found in cats is calcium oxalate. Struvite can be dissolved medically- but calcium oxalate can't be and usually must be surgically removed.
i agree about not using the old pills but i DO NOT agree on the wet only option, if you ... now been crystal/infection free for over five years on a diet of dry c/d and is healtheir than ever. Lee

There are people who smoke heavily all their lives like my mother who died at 90, and never get lung cancer.

The national consensus is that sterilization is the best defense against all sources of companion animal overpopulation (and against euthanasia of said animals).
~~ =^..^= ~~~
and your point is? if this didn't work for her clients she wouldn't do it, the real point here is that the OP needs to find a good vet that is able to communicate and get the cat better, these claims that only this or that treatment is silly, Lee
i agree about not using the old pills but i ... diet of dry c/d and is healtheir than ever. Lee

There are people who smoke heavily all their lives like my mother who died at 90, and never get lung ... sterilization is the best defense against all sources of companion animal overpopulation (and against euthanasia of said animals). ~~ =[/nq]^..^= ~~~
i meant this or that treatment works... to spew that sort of thing does not allo9w for differences in cats or issues at all and i find cultish at best and stupid at worst, Lee
There are people who smoke heavily all their lives like ... animal overpopulation (and against euthanasia of said animals). ~~ =[/nq]^..^= ~~~
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