Regarding the letter from D.S. in Marathon, Fla.: I have an account of one of my cats with an episode of urinary tract shutdown that happened years ago in Richmond. It may be of interest to you.Mr. Mew ate a plate filled with shrimp tails, a very special treat. It wasn't long before he had a reaction -- maybe a day or two. He was listless, had no appetite and his fur lost its luster. I took him to his veterinarian, who took one look and identified the problem immediately. He kept him overnight, did medical miracles and, by the next day, he was his usual cheerful, playful, handsome self! Dr. Fore cautioned me to never let him have shrimp tails again -- the calcium is dangerous and could cause calcification, which, in turn, could precipitate another shutdown that might prove fatal.
M.P.M., Kill Devil Hills, NC Jul 18, 2004
Certainly, giving cats leftover shellfish or bony fish trimmings could well cause the rapid formation of urinary crystals because of the high mineral content. These crystals (often called sand) can block the urethra, which, being narrower in male cats than in females, means that male cats are more at risk from diet-related urinary blockage. This is an acute, painful condition that is first recognized when the cat becomes listless and may repeatedly strain in futile attempts to urinate and relieve the painful pressure of a distended bladder.So all things in moderation, and always keep leftover foods out of animals' reach and garbage containers tightly sealed.
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