The 7 Best Cat Food for Urinary Tract Health

Reviews September 7, 2019
Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

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The 7 Best Cat Food for Urinary Tract Health

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Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which is an inflammation of the lining of the bladder and urethra, is a common problem in cats. 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 7 Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Pre-portioned sealed meals
  • Moisture-rich
  • No fillers, grains or artificial flavors
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  • Maintains urinary tract
  • Made with real chicken protein
  • Inexpensive wet food
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  • High Protein
  • Healthy carbohydrates
  • Highly palatable
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  • No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • No by-product meal
  • Easy to digest
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  • Helps produce low levels of struvite urine
  • Increases urine volume
  • Low calorie
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  • Chicken is #1 Ingredient
  • Contains no fillers
  • Reduces urinary PH
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  • High Protein recipe
  • Moisture rich
  • Reduce food allergy risk
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Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

#1 NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2-3$/ Per Meal
  • Food Type: Fresh
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 18%
  • Fat: 6%

The Good

  • Pre-portioned sealed meals
  • Moisture-rich
  • No fillers, grains or artificial flavors

The Bad

  • Price on the high side

NomNomNow is a subscription cat food delivery service that delivers customized meals to your door. They guarantee to provide restaurant quality ingredients that are considered human grade, in every meal.

The food contains no fillers or grains, no preservatives or artificial flavors, and they only use the highest-quality, responsibly sourced meats.

NomNomNow recipes are prepared in a human-grade kitchen that is 100% designed and dedicated to making fresh pet food.

Flavorful Fish Feast and it is packed with tilapia and salmon to guarantee a softer and shinier fur coat for your cat. This recipe is more than a moisture-rich, low-ash, meat-heavy food and low ash cat food (requirements for urinary tract health).

#2 Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Urinary Tract Formula

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$0.25/ Oz
  • Food Type: Wet
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 12%
  • Fat: 3.5%

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.

The Good

  • Maintains urinary tract
  • Made with real chicken protein
  • Inexpensive wet food

The Bad

  • Small cans
  • Does contain by products

#3 Wysong Uretic Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2.8/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 42%
  • Fat: 15%

Wysong has been a leader in pet nutrition since 1979. Uretic cat food has achieved extraordinary results in tens of thousands of felines through multiple generations for over thirty years. It was created by Dr. Wysong and owes its popularity solely to veterinary recommendation and word of mouth.

Uretic now contains higher levels of fresh and frozen and dried meats, organs, protein, fat, and a comprehensive spectrum and higher levels of micronutrients and nutraceuticals including prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, omega-3s, antioxidants and more. .

The Good

  • High Protein
  • Healthy carbohydrates
  • Highly palatable

The Bad

  • Price on the high side
  • Contains meal

#4 Hills Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2.7/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 29.5%
  • Fat: 16%

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.

The Good

  • No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • No by-product meal
  • Easy to digest

The Bad

  • Contains wheat
  • Some cats refuse to eat
  • Large size kibble

#5 ROYAL CANIN Feline Urinary SO Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$3.8/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 32.5%
  • Fat: 13.5%

ROYAL CANIN Veterinary Diet feline URINARY SO is designed specifically for cats. The URINARY SO formula will ensure that the production of a urine under-saturated 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.

The Good

  • Helps produce low levels of struvite urine
  • Increases urine volume
  • Low calorie

The Bad

  • Very pricey
  • Some cats refuse to eat

#6 IAMS Proactive Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$1.5/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 15%

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.

The Good

  • Chicken is #1 Ingredient
  • Contains no fillers
  • Reduces urinary PH

The Bad

  • Contains grains
  • Contains by products

#7 Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient Recipe

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$0.4/ OZ
  • Food Type: Wet
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 11.5%
  • Fat: 7%

The Good

  • High Protein recipe
  • Moisture rich
  • Reduce food allergy risk

The Bad

  • Price on the high side
  • Some complain cats refuse to eat

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Real Turkey Recipe provides a moisture-rich recipe for healthy digestion and essential antioxidants. Since it has a limited number of ingredients, this recipe is a good choice for sensitive cats.

This cat food is made with just one animal protein and one vegetable. All Instinct by Nature’s Variety cat food is made with Non-GMO ingredients and has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

What Causes Urinary Tract Disease?

There is no single cause of feline urinary tract disease. Veterinarians have determined that there are components that may contribute to the prevalence of the disease. For more information or diagnosis, you should contact your veterinarian.
Causes may include the following:

  • Cats more than 1 year of age are most susceptible.
  • Overweight cats
  • Lack of exercise
  • History of chronic kidney disease or urinary tract procedures
  • Both male and females cats suffer from the disease equally, but neutered male cats have a greater risk of life-threatening urethral obstruction from the crystals or stones

Home Environment Risks:

  • Inside-only cat
  • Multiple pet households
  • Stress: This could include house guests, conflict with other pets, or a lack of places to rest or hide
  • Not drinking enough water can increase the risk of urinary tract disease in cats
  • Cats can internalize stress in their urinary tract, which can lead to painful inflammation
  • Cats can associate painful urination with the litter box and stop using it

Nutritional Risks:

Feeding the wrong food can contribute to the development of a urinary tract disease (FLUTD). With FLUTD, crystals or stones form within the urinary tract and cause irritation, pain and possibly blockage. In severe cases, this can lead to kidney damage or may even be fatal if not properly treated.

  • An abundance of certain minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Read on to learn more about this in the next section.
  • Food influences the pH, or acidity, of urine. Urine should be moderately acidic for a healthy urinary tract because it’s harder for struvite crystals to grow in an acidic environment

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 the best cat food to help prevent future FLUTD occurrences in your kitty, consider the following:

1. Provide High Protein Meat Based Food

Most dry cat food are high in grain proteins, which are alkalizing. Meat based foods are better than grain-based foods! Raw meat diets are best at preventing FLUTD, then followed by wet or canned foods, which contain more meat and fewer grains than dry food.

The first and most common ingredient that should be listed is meat protein. Read the label carefully. Here are variations you could see:

Canned cat food:

  • Beef
    Chicken Liver
    Deboned Chicken
    Beef Broth

Dry cat food:

  • Chicken
    Organic Chicken
    Herring Meal
    Chicken Meal

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. Avoid 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
  • Soybean meal
  • Beef By-Products
  • Meat By-Products

Dry cat food:

  • Ground Yellow Corn
  • Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Wheat flour
  • Corn Meal
  • Soy flour

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 Ash and Magnesium Does the Cat Food Contain?

Ash refers to the total mineral content in a food. It gets its name from the laboratory procedure used to measure mineral content which involves 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 “ashless” cat food is not desirable. The right amount and balance of minerals are necessary.

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. In dry foods look for less than 7% ash and 1% magnesium. In wet foods (containing 78% water) look for less than 1.5% ash and 0.02% magnesium.

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.

6. Add Supplements for Good Urinary Health

Vitamin C is a natural urinary aid, and cranberry extract can prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall to cause infection. These ingredients are combined with highly active digestive enzymes in Cranberry D-Mannose Urinary Tract Support Tablets, a supplement for cats prone to urinary infections. Also, Animal Essentials Tinkle Tonic is an herbal formula that can reduce inflammation and fight infection in the urinary tract.

7. Make Sure Your Cat Drinks Enough Water

Dilution of the urine is a frequently overlooked factor in urinary problems. Cats who only eat dry food may be chronically dehydrated, due to lack of sufficient fluids in their systems to flush the kidneys. In the wild, cats get most of their fluids from their prey and do not have an instinct for water drinking. The easiest solution in preventing dehydration is to feed a wet food diet or provide a water fountain that encourages cats to drink.

Inappropriate urination is the number one behavior problem in cats. The good news is that often, this problem is caused by a feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) and it is a treatable medical condition.

Prevention

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.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a life long cat lover. She also writes for various other pet related websites. She is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy and happy lifestyle for their fur-babies.
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