Product Type: Royal Canin cat food
Newest Review: ... that changing brands can actually cause the crystals to return, which obviously we need to prevent. The Royal Canin Urinary S/O is a veter... more
Caring for my cat
Royal Canin Urinary S/O
Member Name: eilidhcatriona
Royal Canin Urinary S/O
Date: 04/10/11, updated on 05/10/11 (65 review reads)
Advantages: Dissolves urinary crystals, Snoopy likes it
Disadvantages: Lack of variety in wet food
***This is a review of both the wet and dry varieties of Royal Canin Urinary S/O Feline - the heading for this entry in the catalogue is very general, although the picture is for the dry food, and I don't want to review them separately***
In August this year my cat Snoopy was taken seriously ill. He had a blocked bladder, and had to have an emergency procedure to relieve it. This is a not uncommon condition in male neutered cats, and is potentially life-threatening. Fortunately, the procedure was a success - although I was a gibbering wreck until I knew he was fine. He had to stay at the vets for a couple of days, and then came home. (I have written a fuller account of the experience in a review of the insurance which I have yet to post)
Snoopy's bladder was blocked due to struvite crystals which had formed in his urine. In order to help prevent a recurrence of the condition, we had to change his diet immediately, to a special food designed to prevent this condition which he will be on for life. There are various brands available, but the one the vet gave me to use initially is Royal Canin Urinary S/O Feline, which dissolves the crystals.
As it is important to ensure Snoopy gets plenty of liquid/moisture, I chose to feed him 50/50 dry and wet food. Until now he has been on a mainly dry diet, but dry foods can contribute to the formation of crystals. As the Urinary S/O is designed to dissolve crystals, this was not a concern when we started on this food, but I did want to make sure he was getting plenty of moisture, although he has always been a good drinker.
The dry food is available in different sized bags, up to 6kg. I purchased a 1.5kg bag from the vet, but it can be purchased online at sites such as Medic Animal and VetUK. The online price for 1.5kg is around £11. The bag is rather plain, as are the biscuits - they are all identical, small round kibbles. I feed Snoopy around 30g a day of the dry food (I am trying to be particular about how much he gets as he is also supposed to lose a bit of weight - again this can help prevention). He enjoys the biscuits but doesn't scoff them quickly like he did with his old Hills food, rather he will eat a few and then come back later. The only time he eats them all in one go is if he eats them from my hand or off the sofa or bed - odd wee lad. He seems to like the biscuits, but I get the feeling they are maybe a bit dull for him.
The wet food is available in two flavours, chicken or beef. Unfortunately each twelve pouch pack only comes in one flavour. It is also available in foil trays but I haven't bought that version. The best value I have found for the pouches is on Medic Animal, where you can buy a 48 pack for £29.80 (working out at £7.45 for twelve instead of £8.66 at Vet UK, or over £10 at my vet!!). BUT the 48 pouches will all be the same flavour. As Snoopy had tried both chicken and beef at the vet and for the first week he was home, I ordered a 48 pack of the beef - which had seemed to be his preference.
Snoopy has a pouch and a half of the Urinary S/O each day. The meat is small chunks in gravy, and the gravy is a bit more liquid than your average cat food gravy. The food doesn't smell as much as other wet cat foods I've come across. He really enjoys the wet food, and eats it all up happily as soon I feed it to him - even for the first few days when he came home from the vet, when I was putting his anti-inflammatories on the food. I've ordered the chicken flavour for his next batch for a change, but it would definitely be more interesting for him if the twelve packs had mixed flavours - even just six each of beef and chicken would be an improvement.
Prior to his six week check up last week, I think I was seeing a change in Snoopy. Obviously I couldn't tell if the food was effective without a urine test which has now been done, but I think he was peeing more than he used to. This could of course be due to me watching his litter tray like a hawk, or a physical change after he spent two days with a catheter in, but whatever the reason it is certainly reassuring to see that he has had no problems peeing.
The result of the urine test six weeks after the initial blocked bladder was encouraging. There are still some fragments of crystals present, but the vet is not concerned about this - as they are only fragments, not whole crystals, the food is clearly working. As such we are not going to change him onto a different brand: he enjoys the Royal Canin, and it's working. The vet also advised that changing brands can actually cause the crystals to return, which obviously we need to prevent.
The Royal Canin Urinary S/O is a veterinary diet, meaning it will be recommended to you by your vet. It is freely available online, but generally you would be unlikely to purchase it without a medical reason. It can be used for prevention though - if we had had any other male cats the vet would have suggested we move them all onto this diet, but our other two cats are female and at considerably less risk of crystals and a blocked bladder.
All in all, Snoopy enjoys this food and it has given me peace of mind knowing that I am doing the best I can to keep him healthy. If you ever see your cat having trouble peeing, or growling at their back end after trying to pee, make sure you get them to the vet without delay.
Summary: An essential for Snoopy after his illness, but fortunately one he enjoys
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