My apologies for the long delay.
One more question to make sure nothing gets overlooked. Do you have any plants the kitties could be chewing on?
Now......Before we go any further, please remember this: if you indeed have to treat calcium oxalate crystals with diet, the pH you have to achieve by feeding a special diet is much, much higher than the normal pH for a healthy cat, so the urine and the pH will have to be monitored very closely to make sure the diet doesn’t start producing struvites.
You’ll want to take care of the oxalate problem, but you’ll want to stop before you go too far.
The pH you mention in your post is actually a very good pH for a cat, neither too acid nor too alkaline to make conditions ideal for stone formation. So I wonder why there is a problem with oxalates.
As I said, oxalates are worrisome, especially in a young cat, so I urge you to do the necessary diagnostic work to get to the bottom of the situation. In fact, based on what I see in your post, the safest thing would be to start over with a new vet, possibly a feline specialist if you can find one in your area, who will stay with you and regularly monitor your cat to make sure treatment accomplishes its goal but goes no further.
X-RAYS - none - the vet stated that he usually does X-rays only if the inappropriate urination does not stop
I can’t imagine a more uncaring and more unprofessional, more incompetent statement from a vet. Based on this statement alone, you should not continue doing business with this man. Try to find yourself a caring feline specialist and just start over with him or her.
Since you have already made some changes in the diet, the best, safest thing would be to start with a brand new urinalysis and find out what exactly is going on at the time of the testing. Then go from there.
Please also insist on a complete chemistry profile and CBC and ask for an X-ray as well. The diagnostic work should be thorough and complete, with nothing overlooked.
And please do pick up a copy of the bloodwork results for yourself as soon as they are back from the lab. You need to see those results and you also need them for your own files. Also get a copy of the urinalysis results.
(Having copies of test results can be extremely helpful if ever there is an unexpected emergency and the vet who handles the situation has no access to the cat's files.)
This is a very good article for information:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_fe ... tones.html
An important sentence from this article:
If the patient is one of the 35% with an elevated blood calcium then steps to control the calcium level and determine why it is high should be taken
(That’s one of the reasons why you shouldn’t try to deal with this problem without doing bloodwork.)
As for diet, you will need the guidance of a caring and conscientious vet if you don’t want to go with a prescription diet.
Here is a list of oxalate producing foods. You might have to avoid those that can be found in cat foods:
Vegetables: beets, eggplant, leeks, sweet potatoes, okra, pepper
Greens: green beans or peppers, beets, celery, collards, eggplant, parsley, spinach, Swiss chard, chives, endive, kale, leeks, okra, rutabaga, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
Legumes: beans, soy products including tofu
Grains: wheat germ and whole grains in general
Seeds: sesame and tahini
Fruits: berries, currants, concord grapes,
Based on everything we know about how dry food affects the body chemistry, I urge you not to feed dry food any more, not even Evo. Cats that think they prefer dry not only adjust to a canned diet, they learn to love it. So don’t be afraid to be without dry food in the house. It will be the best thing you do for your kitties.
One more thing. Since the pH goes up every time food is consumed, to keep the body from becoming too acid, it would be best to continue with the free-feeding. Also, consuming a number of small, frequent meals is the healthiest, most natural way for a cat to eat.
The fact that water consumption has noticeably gone down is a very good sign, hopefully what this tells us is that the kidneys are functioning normally.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.