A common problem in cats is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which is an inflammation of the lining of the bladder and urethra. It is caused by the formation of struvite mineral deposits in the urinary tract. If you notice your cat having an increased frequency of urination or shows signs of discomfort and strain during urination, he may have a partial blockage of the urethra. Other signs maybe blood in the urine, urinating outside the litter box or crying while in the litter box. Your cat’s diet plays a important role in the prevention of urinary tract issues. If you’re interested in keeping your cats urinary health on track or need to prevent a recurrence of urinary tract disease, then you will want to take a closer look at the best cat food for urinary health.
Top 3 Best Cat Food for Urinary Health
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Preventing urinary health problems begins with diet and most issues are dietary in nature. Listed are recommendations on how to keep your cat’s diet healthy while keeping urinary issues at bay.
High Protein – Real meat helps maintain an acidic pH in the urinary tract, keeping the minerals dissolved in the urine so they can be excreted out. Most dry foods are high in grain proteins, which are alkalizing meaning high protein cat foods are better than grain-based foods. Raw meat diets are best at preventing FLUTD, followed by canned foods, which contain more meat and fewer grains than dry food.
Water – Dilution of the urine is a frequently overlooked factor with urinary issues. Cats who only eat dry food may be chronically dehydrated, without sufficient fluids in their systems to flush the kidneys. In nature, cats get most of their fluids from their juicy prey and don’t have an instinct for water drinking. The easiest way correcting dehydration is to feed a wet food diet, or provide a water fountain that encourages cats to drink.
Supplements – Digestive enzyme supplements like Pet Health Solutions, begin working in the stomach, just like enzymes in raw food. Usually they encourage growth of friendly gut bacteria and improve immune function. Cranberry and Vitamin C support urinary health. The pills can be crushed up and added to food if your cat won’t chew them.
Low Ash and Magnesium – Ash refers to the total mineral content of a food. It gets its name from the laboratory procedure used to measure mineral content which is burning a sample at high heat until nothing is left but the mineral ash. The major minerals calcium, phosphorus and magnesium are all necessary for life, so ash is positive but with the right balance. Excessive minerals, especially magnesium are thought to be underlying factors in FLUTD. In dry foods look for less than 7% ash and 1% magnesium. In wet foods look for less than 1.5% ash and 0.02% magnesium.
Best Cat Food for Urinary Health
Pro Plan Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula Chicken Entree Canned Cat Food is made with real chicken. It is specially formulated to help support the feline urinary tract system, and bolster your cat’s key protective systems – the immune system, digestive system and skin & coat systems. All while it meets all the energy and nutritional needs of a healthy cat. Each serving provides 25 essential vitamins and minerals plus taurine, an amino acid, to help support overall health and wellness.
- Maintains urinary tract
- Made with real chicken protein
- Inexpensive wet food
- Small cans
- Does contain by products
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control natural cat food provides precisely balanced nutrition to help support the health of the whole urinary system with optimal level of magnesium. Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control dry cat food is made with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Hill’s uses only high-quality ingredients including real chicken, lamb or salmon protein. Hill’s dry pet foods have quality protein as the first ingredient and provide clinically proven antioxidant benefits.
- No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
- No by-product meal
- Easy to digest
- Contains wheat
- Some cats refuse to eat
- Large size kibble
ROYAL CANIN Veterinary Diet feline URINARY SO is designed specifically for cats. The URINARY SO formula will ensure that the production of a urine undersaturated with struvite and with a level of calcium oxalate saturation at which spontaneous homogeneous crystallization will not occur. ROYAL CANIN Veterinary Diet feline URINARY SO is for cats with or at risk of developing feline lower urinary tract disease.
- Helps produce low levels of struvite urine
- Increases urine volume
- Low calorie
- Very pricey
- Some cats refuse to eat
For cat owners who want to feed your cat high protein without grains, there’s few other choices than BLUE Freedom. Free from the grains and gluten’s and there is food for all ages of cats. Made with natural ingredients and a precise blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-rich kibble. It contains no by-product meals, no corn, wheat or soy and nothing artificial. It is also made with high-quality protein and natural fiber sources, meaning the BLUE Freedom recipe is made to support weight control in cats. With the addition of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this cat food formula is made to support your cat’s healthy immune system no matter the age or breed.
- High Protein
- Healthy carbohydrates
- 100% grain free
- Price on the high side
- Pieces maybe very hard to chew
IAMS Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Kibble for adult cats is designed to support a healthy urinary tract. For outdoor or indoor cats, this formula helps reduce the pH in cat urine to promote urinary tract health. Made with high-quality protein (chicken is the #1 ingredient) to help support strong muscles. Includes vitamin E to maintain a healthy immune system and essential nutrients, like calcium and potassium, for a healthy heart. The crunchy kibble has an optimal omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio for a soft, shiny coat. Keep your cat happy and healthy with IAMS Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food.
- Chicken is #1 Ingredient
- Contains no fillers
- Reduces urinary PH
- Contains grains
- Contains by products
Wet or Dry Food
Water is the most important thing for your cats urinary tract health. As for the benefits of wet food, many cats do seem to find it more palatable and this can be especially important if you have a cat with a finicky appetite. Wet food also has a much higher water content and this is helpful in preventing urinary issues. More water means more diluted urine, so anything potentially problematic will be less concentrated. Cats consume double the amount of water when fed a water-rich diet versus dry food. Wet cat food mostly consists of high protein meat which is as close as you can get to a cats natural diet without raw feeding.
Some cat owners find dry kibble to be more convenient and many vets feel that dry food is better for lowing a cats PH balance. Studies on acid in urine found that lowering the PH can consistently reduce the change of a struvite blockage. Dry food could be helpful for that reason alone.
If you have concerns about your cats urinary health, consult your veterinarian for advice on the best diet for your cat based on his health.
Your cat’s urinary health is important and so is feeding him a high quality cat food. If your cat displays symptoms of FLUTD or any health issue, he should be seen right away by a veterinarian, who can assess the problem.