Best Cat Food For Urinary Health
Many pet owners are unaware of this, but urinary issues and infections in cats are very, very common. There are a few causes of these problems – from stress to bacterial infections – and they all come with an unpleasant set of symptoms. In some extreme cases, they could prove to be deadly and put your cat’s life at risk.
As your cat gets older, the risk of urinary infections increases. But, don’t fret, because there is a lot you can do to prevent the problem arising.
A big part of whether or not a cat will get a urinary infection comes down to his or her diet. By changing your cat’s diet to suit his or her urinary health, you can stop these problems ever arising.
- 1 What are the Symptoms of a Cat with a UTI?
- 2 Countdown of the Top UTI Kitty Foods
- 2.1 1. Royal Canin Urinary SO Food
- 2.2 2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Urinary Tract Health
- 2.3 3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control
- 2.4 4. Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula Dry Cat Food
- 2.5 5. Hill’s C/D Multicare Bladder Health Cat Food
- 2.6 Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
- 2.7 Crystals in Cats
- 2.8 Helping Cats with Urinary Problems
What are the Symptoms of a Cat with a UTI?
- Urinating outside of the litterbox.
- Loss of bladder control.
- A reduced appetite.
- Straining when urinating.
- A painful cry when urinating.
These symptoms are the extreme ones and will show when the issue is at its most prevalent.
Earlier signs of Stress Related Urinary Problems
- Your cat is less affectionate.
- Your cat is changing his or her eating habits.
- Your cat is only urinating or defecating in the litterbox, not both.
As soon as a cat shows any sign of urinary stress, it is very important to call your veterinarian and determine whether or not you need to pay a visit to the clinic.
Huge changes in a cats life can cause a lot of temporary stress – such as a new pet or moving home – and although most cats adjust, some remain stressed for a longer period which can lead to urinary problems.
Long-term stress situations can cause serious problems for your cat’s urinary issues, and these may not have easy fixes. For example, a classic cause of stress-related urinary problems in cats is having another cat or pet in the house which he or she doesn’t get along with.
How to Help a Cat with Urinary Problems
- Visit a vet, who may adjust his or her diet or prescribe some medication.
- Improve your home environment to calm down the cats in your household.
- Spend a bit more time with your cat and give him or her positive attention.
- Keep the litterbox clean at all times.
- Ensure your cat is well hydrated and always has access to water.
- Provide consistency: if you know there is a big routine change coming up, try to prepare your cat by being a little more attentive, pamper him or her more and try to distract him or her from the change.
Countdown of the Top UTI Kitty Foods
Royan Canin Feline Urinary SO Morsels in Gravy is a food which is specifically designed for cats with urinary issues. It is designed to treat crystals and helps manage returning urethral issues. It also helps to dissolve crystals and remove them from your cat’s urine.
With a high percentage of water – 64% in fact – it will reduce the concentration of minerals in your cat’s urine and can combat cystisis, and prevent crystalluria. Also, with compounds to balance your cat’s urine pH between 6-6.3, it will make your cat’s urine slightly acidic, which helps dissolve crystals. It is one of the best cat foods for urinary health.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula has a high-water content, reduces urine magnesium content and makes urine more acidic. It is in-line with veterinary advice, and is highly recommended by veterinarians nationwide.
Helps maintain urinary tract health by reducing urinary pH and providing low dietary magnesium. Protein and fat levels are optimized to promote the ideal condition of the cat’s body who is suffering from urinary issues.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control provides a quantity of magnesium optimized for urinary health.
The optimized magnesium supports the overall health of your cat’s whole urinary system. The food is made with natural ingredients, containing no artificial flavours, colors or preservatives. It also contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids which takes care of your cat’s health overall; nothing has been sacrificed for the sake of urinary health here.
Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula Dry Cat Food is an adult cat blend made with real chicken and is made to be easily digestible.
It maintains urinary tract health by lowering urine pH and providing a low magnesium content. Unlike other foods, this one contains lots of Omega-6 which promotes a healthy skin and gives your kitty a very shiny coat.
As it helps to lower the pH of urine and make your cat’s urine more acidic, it lowers the risk of a blockage and could be helpful where blockages are a specific risk.
Hill’s C/D Multicare Bladder Health Cat Food is a dry blend which is designed to be part of a cat’s regular diet, even where urinary issues are not present. Prevention is better than the cure and, although this food can be used for a cat who is currently suffering from a urinary issue, it is very effective for healthy cats too.
Levels of magnesium, calcium and phosphorus are controlled to help limit the formation of crystals in the bladder and urine. It is high in fish oil – Omega-3 – to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
There is added potassium citrate which helps disrupt bladder stone formation. Added vitamin B6 decreases oxalate formation and lower sodium levels keep your kitty’s blood pressure in check.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Another major cause of urinary problems in cats is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It is a problem which stops the bladder from emptying correctly and can cause a deadly blockage of your cat’s urethra. The classic symptoms of FLUTD are –
- Frequent and painful urination.
- Bloody or cloudy urine.
- Frequent licking of the urinary opening.
- Prolonged squatting in the litterbox.
- Fear and avoidance of the litterbox.
- Lethargy and loss of appetite.
- Increased water consumption.
- Strong smell of ammonia in the urine.
- Inability to urinate, or only passing a small amount of urine.
These lower urinary tract problems can be very scary for cat owners, and they need urgent attention from a veterinarian, as there is a long list of potential causes, such as –
- Crystals or stones accumulated in the bladder
- A urethral plug (blockage) caused by an accumulation of debris.
- Bladder infection.
- Injury to the urinary tract.
If your cat has another disease such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism, this can lead to lower urinary tract problems, too.
Bad news for the boys, too, because male cats are more prone to these urinary problems due to their narrower urethras.
Untreated urinary problems can cause a complete obstruction of the urethra, which can lead to kidney failure or a ruptured bladder, both of which are fatal. You should see a veterinarian right away if you believe your cat is suffering from FLUTD.
Crystals in Cats
If you have noticed crystals in your cat’s urine recently, you will understandably be alarmed. But, it is not always a bad thing. Cats can suffer from a medical condition known as Crystalluria where crystals are present in the cat’s urine. Crystals can be an indication of kidney stones, but crystals are typically present in cats whose urine has recently been saturated with crystallogenic substances.
Crystalluria in cats who are functioning normally and have no urinary tract problems are harmless, because the crystals are being passed out before they grow large enough to be a problem. The only symptom of crystalluria is the presence of detectable crystals in fresh urine.
However, crystals in urine still represent a risk factor for kidney stones and, although it does not require immediate medical attention if your cat seems fine, you should make your veterinarian aware on your next visit, so he can give your cat a thorough check-up.
Helping Cats with Urinary Problems
You can do a lot to help your cat who is suffering from urinary problems. As with most things, the earlier you help the better; be vigilant and always looking to detect urinary problems at an early stage. This way, treatment is more likely to be successful.
Your kitty’s diet plays a big factor here, but, as you know, a cat’s diet is entirely circumstantial, and each cat has different needs.
- Cats with diabetes will require diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Cats who develop stones will need a diet which helps control urine pH.
- Cats with arthritis will require a diet which contains glucosamine.
Your vet can help you determine the best diet for your cat.
Cats need plenty of water in their diets, however, many cats don’t drink water very much on their own and require some encouragement. Therefore, wet foods are often recommended, due to the increased moisture content. You can also add water to your cat’s food or use a water fountain, which a curious kitty will be more than happy to drink from.
The bottom line in helping your cat deal with his or her urinary problems is a finding the best cat food for urinary health and an increased water intake.
Why Wet Food?
The clear benefit of wet cat food is that it is full of water and moisture, and water is good for a cat’s urinary health. The more water a cat takes in, the more dilute the cat’s urine will be.
Also, cats with urinary problems tend to drink less and so the more water you can get into your cat’s diet through other means is beneficial.
Your cat having access to water is essential, as we have already discussed, and you should encourage him or her to drink as much as you can.
In general, wet cat food is the best option for older cats and cats suffering from urinary problems because:
- It consists of more meats which are high in protein. Protein encourages cats to take on more water.
- Some specialised urinary wet foods contain ingredients which will lower the pH of your cat’s urine (make it more acidic.)
- A more acidic urine can help dissolve minerals and crystals which form in your cats urine, and can develop into a blockage.
These considerations lead to a healthier urinary tract due to more diluted urine and, for these reasons, the best cat food for urinary health is wet food.
Urinary problems are common issues in cats, but they don’t have to be! There are many proactive steps you can do to prevent urinary issues from occurring, such as choosing the best cat food for urinary health and adding it as part of your cat’s regular diet.
If you do notice a urinary issue, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian who is best placed to take a look at the problem and solve it, because urinary issues are a serious matter.