Feline Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) can be affected by what your cat eats. Feeding your cat the wrong food can contribute to the development of a urinary tract disease (FLUTD) and kidney damage. A diet that is too high in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium can cause crystals to form in the urinary tract. This can cause pain, irritation and and possible blockage in the long run. Veterinarians believe feeding diet based cat food with restricted amounts of the above mentioned minerals can assist in the dissolution of some types of stones that may have formed in a cat’s urinary tract.
The challenge is to find the right cat food that appeals to your kitty, contains the proper amount of protein and magnesium and has few or no by-products. When selecting quality cat food to help prevent future FLUTD occurrences in your kitty consider the following:
1. What’s the Most Common Ingredient?
The first and most common ingredient that should be listed is protein specifically, meat or fish. Read the label carefully. Here are variations you could see:
Canned cat food:
Dry cat food:
Other helpful ingredients, for good urinary tract health, are blueberries and cranberries. Vegetables such as carrots are good and rice is a great grain for your cat to consume.
2. Are There By-Products?
If by-products are listed in the ingredients, put it back. By-products are filler material, and have limited nutritional value for your kitty. By-products are typically carbohydrates and since cats are carnivores, they need protein, not lots of carbs, for proper nutrition.
Here are some examples of by-products:
Canned cat food:
Corn gluten meal
Ground yellow corn
Dry cat food:
Ground Yellow Corn
Chicken By-Product Meal
Corn Gluten Meal
3. How Much Moisture Is In the Cat Food?
What’s the percentage of moisture in the cat food you’re considering? The higher the number, the better for your kitty. More moisture means your cat will urinate more. Increased urination will flush out any crystals that may be trying to form in your cat’s urinary tract. Canned cat food has a higher moisture content than dry.
4. How Much Magnesium Does the Cat Food Contain?
An excess of magnesium will contribute to struvite crystal formation. Some magnesium is necessary, but generally look for cat food that has a maximum of 0.025% magnesium to prevent struvite crystals.
5. Does the Cat Food Contain DL-Methionine?
DL-Methionine is an amino acid with sulfur, which helps regulate ammonia formation in urine. This amino acid helps maintain your cat’s urine pH balance at around 6.6, which is normal and does not encourage crystal formation.
Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy cat lifestyle. If your cat has been diagnosed with a urinary tract problem, it’s important to get her on the right diet. Special diet food can help control mineral levels, maintain a healthy urine pH and reduce inflammation to safely resolve feline urinary issues. Always consult your veterinarian for a detailed diagnosis and ask them to recommend the best food for your cat’s urinary tract health. Many foods, both prescription and over-the-counter, can help prevent and treat feline urinary tract disease. Here are some recommended cat foods for feline urinary tract health: