One health problem that your cat may experience is urinary tract issues. Although there are many possible causes of a urinary tract issue, all of them are likely to cause your cat pain. While medication or intervention form a veterinarian is usually necessary, there are some things that you can do to reduce your cat’s suffering. One step you can take is including certain foods in their diet that are proven to help urinary tract issues. The following is an overview of urinary tract issues in cats and the foods that you should include in their diet.
What Are Urinary Tract Issues in Cats?
Urinary tract issues in cats are called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FUTD). According to Catster, this is an umbrella term that is used to describe a range of conditions that affect the bladder or urethra. While some of these issues are either viral or bacterial infections, it is also possible for cats to suffer from blockages of the urethra or for them to have formations of stones in their bladder. Although all cats can suffer from urinary tract infections, it is more common in males than in females. On some occasions, it is not possible for a veterinarian to identify the cause of the urinary tract problem. In these cases, a cat is diagnosed with feline idiopathic cystitis. The term idiopathic simply means that the cause is unknown.
What Are Some of the Common Symptoms of Urinary Tract Issues in Felines?
The symptoms of urinary tract issues in felines can vary depending on the type of problem. However, Fetch by WebMD says that some of the most common symptoms can include:
- Difficulty in urinating with visible straining
- Increased frequency of urination
- Blood in the urine
- Pain when urinating, which may cause the cat to cry
- Dribbling urine
- Strong smell of ammonia in the urine
- Licking the genital area excessively
What Should You Do If Your Cat Suffers from Urinary Tract Issues?
If your cat is suffering from any of these symptoms, then you should seek the advice of your veterinarian immediately. The vet will conduct a full examination to identify the underlying issue. It is possible that they may also conduct some tests, such as a blood test, to determine the cause of your cat’s illness. The course of treatment prescribed by your vet will depend on the cause. In the case of infections, the most common treatment is medication, while surgery is sometimes necessary for stones. If there is inflammation in the urinary tract that is preventing the release of urine, then catheterization is sometimes necessary.
Switching Your Cat’s Diet
It is likely that one measure your veterinarian will suggest is to switch your cat’s diet. They may recommend this even if they are prescribing medication for your cat. This is because some foods support urinary tract health. They may recommend a product for you to buy, a prescribe special cat food that is proven to support urinary tract health due to active ingredients.
The most common cat foods prescribed or recommended by vets include the following:
- Blue Buffalo – Blue Buffalo pet food is available only by prescription from your veterinarian. They have a range of products to support various aspects of feline health. The product aimed at urinary tract health is a dual-purpose food, as it also promotes weight management. It comes in a dry food form and is a good option for older cats with urinary tract issues.
- Royal Canin – This cat food has low levels of magnesium and urine acidifying properties, so it can dissolve struvite stones. There is also evidence that these properties can reduce the recurrence of urinary tract issues in cats. It is available in a dry food, a wet loaf, and wet morsels.
- Hill’s Prescription Diet – There are a variety of products in the Hill’s Prescription Diet range, and each of these focuses on specific aspects of feline health. The one that is specifically for urinary tract health is clinically proven to dissolve struvite stones, and it also reduces the risk of recurring urinary tract issues. Furthermore, it contains ingredients to control stress in cats.
- The Wyesong Uretic Dry Cat Food – While the other cat foods in this list are what your veterinarian may prescribe, it is also possible to buy cat food for urinary issues commercially. One such example is The Wyesong Uretic Dry Cat Food. There are both fresh and frozen foods available in their range. All the foods contain active ingredients to promote urinary tract health, including methionine, probiotics, and omega-3s.
- Dr. Marty’s Premium Freeze-Dried Cat Food – There is an interesting story behind this brand of cat food. It was developed by a holistic veterinarian called Dr. Marty Goldstein. His own cat, Zot, died after developing a urinary blockage. The South Salem-based vet did some research into the effects of improper and biologically inappropriate diets and the impact they could have on forming debris in the urinary tract. This led to him developing a cat food that is biologically appropriate and supports the feline metabolic and immunologic function. Dr. Marty’s Premium Freeze-Dried Formula is raw food that is nutritionally dense.
Two other factors that can impact on the symptoms your cat suffers are water intake and stress. There is evidence to prove that increasing your cat’s water intake will reduce the symptoms of their urinary tract issues. Likewise, reducing the stress your cat experiences can also make a significant difference to their symptoms.
Foods for Cat Urinary Tract Issues – The Final Verdict
If your cat is suffering from urinary tract issues, you should take your cat to the vet immediately. One way they may recommend treating the issue is to change your cat’s diet. They will advise you on the best products to choose, and they may even prescribe pet food that specifically targets urinary health.