Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

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

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.

Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Urinary Tract Formula

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

Hills Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control Cat Food

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

ROYAL CANIN Feline Urinary SO Dry Cat Food

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

Wysong Uretic Dry Cat Food

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

IAMS Proactive Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food

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

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.

 

Prevent Urinary Tract Problems in Cats

 

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) describes a variety of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra in cats. FLUTD is the name for a group of problems including stones, infection and urinary tract blockages. This results in painful irritation of the bladder wall and lower urinary tract. It occurs in about 1% of all cats, but recurrence rates are as high as 67% especially if your cats is less than 4 years of age.

Causes

Veterinarians once thought that FLUTD was directly related to crystals formed in the urine caused from high mineral content (ash) in food. We now know that although crystals play a role, they are probably not the direct cause. Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) in cats are caused by microorganisms that enter the urinary tract, travel through the urethra and typically settle in the bladder. The urethra is the tube that connects the urinary bladder to the outside world. Infection of the bladder caused by bacteria is called “bacterial cystitis.” Occasionally, other organisms are the culprit, including mycoplasma, viruses, algae and fungi. Sometimes, the infected organisms migrate from the bladder through the ureters, lodging in the kidneys. Bacterial infection of the kidneys is called “pyelonephritis”. The primary bacteria involved in feline UTI’s are E. coli, Staphylococcus, Proteus, Chlamydia, Enterococcus, Klebsiella, Streptococcus, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas.

Most feline UTIs are associated with some underlying medical problem or anatomical defect, such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), polyps, bladder or kidney stones, and so on. Rising bacteria levels, without any predisposing condition, is not common in cats, but it can happen. Elevated urine pH from any cause creates a bladder environment that is primed for bacterial overgrowth. Cats with diabetes mellitus often have persistent or recurrent UTIs, because elevated levels of glucose in their blood and urine also creates a ripe environment for bacterial proliferation.

Signs

The most common signs of FLUTD are:

  • Urinating in unusual places, usually the amounts will be small and/or bloody
  • Straining to urinate
  • Crying during urination
  • Frequent, small urination with or without blood
  • Inability to urinate
  • Licking the urinary tract opening

Prevention

One of the easiest ways a cat owner can help to both treat urinary tract episodes, as well as prevent future issues, is to get your cat to drink more water. The extra water intake dilutes the urine and expands the bladder, helping to flush out all the painful inflammatory byproducts. It also helps neutralize the pH of the urine so it is less painful on the irritated bladder wall. Also, if there are crystals present, it will help flush those out, further reducing irritation.

Your cat maybe finicky about her water but luckily there are ways to persuade her. Switching your cat to an entirely canned food diet will help greatly because canned food is up to 80% water. The second way is encouraging your cat to drink more on their own. Veterinarians strongly recommend buying your cat water fountain.

Not all cats like water fountains but most cats are naturally attracted to the flowing water of a fountain. In the wild, many cats will only drink from running water sources and fountains mimic a cat’s natural environment. Many cats like to play with the moving water, dipping their paws in and then licking the water from their toes. The constantly moving flow keeps the water fresh and oxygenated which is very important for these smell oriented creatures. The pool of water allows cats to lap water without whiskers touching the sides and the waterfall feature is fantastic for those cats that love to drink from a tap.

Since environmental stress plays a large role in the development of urinary tract disorders, it is important that the water source be in a quiet area where your cat can relax and focus on drinking. This area should be away from other pets, have an easy escape route and be free of loud or startling noises. Some studies have shown that cats will drink immediately after eating so the recommendation is to keep the water and food bowls close together. Some cats are finicky about having food and water too close together and these cats would prefer them separate. You may need to experiment to see what works best for your cats.

If you have multiple cats, the pecking order in your home may prevent some cats from using the provided food and water. In this case, multiple water and food sources scattered around the house will help ensure there are enough for every cat. If you have multiple cats, placing two or more drinking fountains around the house will help ensure every cat gets the amount of water they need.

Because urinary tract problems are less common in males, any UTI in a male cat is considered serious.

In conclusion, urinary tract problems are very complex, painful for your cat and can rack up veterinarian bills. Drinking more water may help cats at risks by preventing or at least reducing the severity and frequency of episodes. A water fountain is a great tool to help your cat have a healthy urinary tract.