We all know that a pet’s diet can have a significant impact on their overall health and wellbeing. By providing your feline friend with a healthy, balanced diet, you can help them stave off a whole host of medical conditions. Among cats, bladder stones are one of the most common issues. These small, rock-like deposits form in the bladder, causing painful inflammation and blockages.
Nasty as these little stones are, there’s plenty that owners can do to keep them at bay. Feeding your pet a urinary tract cat food can help keep things flowing smoothly, by limiting the presence of certain minerals in your cat’s diet, and maintaining an appropriate urinary pH. When it comes to selecting a urinary care cat food, you’ll find yourself faced with myriad options. That’s where we come in – to help you choose the purrfect solution for your cat, we’ve compiled this handy buying guide. Below, we run through the top 10 options on the market right now, before answering some common questions about urinary issues in cats.
Best Cat Food For Urinary Tract Health Buying Guide & FAQ
If your cat is struggling with urinary tract issues, one of these 10 foods could be the perfect solution. With so many options to choose from, we’re confident that there’s something on our list to meet the needs of any feline friend.
We’ve also answered some common questions about urinary tract issues in cats, so you can work out whether your kitty needs help, and how you can best support them.
What to Look for in a Cat Food For Urinary Tract Health
When choosing food with urinary tract health in mind, it’s important to consider the following:
- Urinary Tract Benefits
When it comes to choosing a urinary tract health food, you’ll need to know that it’s effective. Look out for the following indicators:
- High moisture content
- Low in magnesium
- Lowers urine pH
We’ll discuss how each of these factors contribute to better urinary health later on.
- Wet or Dry
Generally speaking, wet foods are best for cats with urinary tract issues. This is because they have a much higher moisture content, helping to dilute the urine, which reduces the risk of UTIs and urinary crystals. If you and your cat prefer dry food, there shouldn’t be an issue provided you moisten it before serving, and ensure that fresh water is always available.
- Allergies and Sensitivities
Any allergies or sensitivities your cat has should always be taken into account when choosing a food for them. Luckily, limited ingredient and grain-free foods can also possess urinary tract health benefits. Check the ingredients list carefully before making your final decision.
You don’t want to treat your cat’s urinary tract issues, only to see another area of their health deteriorate. For this reason, it’s important to choose a balanced food made with quality ingredients. Look for a food featuring real meat as its first ingredient, and avoid artificial additives and fillers.
How to Spot if Your Cat Has a Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs can be harder to spot in our pets than in ourselves, since cats can’t just tell us their symptoms.
However, we can look out for the following signs:
- Using the litter box more frequently than usual
- Urinating in places other than the litter box
- Straining to urinate, or making distressed sounds while doing so
- Licking the urethral area excessively during grooming
- The appearance of blood in the urine
- Loss of appetite
- General lethargy or depression
If your cat exhibits one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. The symptoms may have been triggered by an infection, but can also be the result of inflammation, or urinary crystals.
Receiving a professional diagnosis will arm you with the knowledge you need to treat your cat’s condition.
How Can Changing Your Cat’s Diet Help with Urinary Problems?
The following dietary features can prevent and control urinary tract issues:
- High Moisture Content
As mentioned earlier, foods with a high moisture content can help your kitty to stave off urinary tract problems. This is because eating moisture-rich foods increases their overall hydration, and dilutes the urine. Without high concentrations of minerals such as magnesium, painful urinary crystals are unlikely to form. Dilute urine also promotes regular litter tray visits, flushing out any bacteria that could trigger a UTI.
- Low Magnesium Content
When cats develop urinary crystals, magnesium is the main culprit. By reducing your kitty’s magnesium intake, you can significantly reduce the risk of these crystals forming. High concentrations of magnesium are often found in whole grains, so feeding your cat a grain-free diet could be an easy way to reduce their intake.
- Low pH
Some foods work to reduce the pH of your cat’s urine, making it a little bit acidic. This acidic urine can often dissolve small urinary crystals, and helps to prevent new ones from forming in the future.
Why Are Cats Prone to Urine Crystals and Bladder Stones?
Cats can develop crystals and stones in their urinary tract for two main reasons:
- Commercial Foods
Unfortunately, many commercial cat foods can increase the likelihood of urinary crystals forming. This tends to be due to their low moisture content, which causes a cat’s urine to become more concentrated than it naturally should be. When a cat’s urine contains high concentrations of certain minerals, deposits can form as crystals or stones.
- Kidney Disease
Urinary crystals can also be a manifestation of broader health issues – most commonly, kidney disease. This condition changes the pH of your cat’s urine, making it slightly alkaline. Without an acidic environment, crystals and stones cannot be dissolved, and are more likely to form.
More Tips on How to Maintain Your Cat’s Urinary Health
Improving your cat’s urinary tract health is a careful balancing act. As well feeding them the right kind of diet, you can also promote urinary health with these tips:
- Ensure that clean, fresh water is available to your cat at all times
- Consider purchasing a drinking fountain for your cat, since many find running water more appealing
- Stress can trigger some urinary problems, so try to combat it by:
- Ensuring your cat has a safe resting spot of their own
- Keeping your cat’s routine as consistent as possible
- Ensure your cat has access to toys and entertainment while you’re away
Our Top Pick
In our opinion, the best cat food for urinary health has to be Purina’s Pro Plan Focus. This tasty food gives cats the rich protein they need to thrive, while keeping bladder stones and other urinary issues at bay. Its low magnesium content helps to prevent urinary crystals from forming, and it also acts to lower the pH of your cat’s urine, supporting overall urinary tract health.
On top of these benefits, it’s a tasty, wholesome food. Rich in vitamin E, the blend promotes healthy skin and hair. It also contains a range of B vitamins, supporting your cat’s metabolism, and antioxidants for a properly functioning immune system. Owners say that even famously fussy felines love the taste, and noticed a marked difference in their cat’s urinary health.