Your cat’s urinary tract health is tied to a lot of its behaviors and its overall health. When a cat has issues with its urinary tract, it becomes a very miserable cat, and suffers a lot of pain. That’s why we want to review some of the risks of poor urinary tract health in cats, as well as what foods you should and should not feed your cat. If you want to keep your cat healthy for many years to come, then this is vital information.
Risk and Causes of Poor Urinary Tract Health
There are a number of urinary tract diseases that cats can have, and you probably won’t be able to identify what yours has. But even though certain conditions may differ from one another, symptoms for urinary tract diseases in cats are all very similar. This is why you can look for those symptoms and then take your cat to the vet when you notice them. Look for signs of urinary tract problems that include frequent or painful urination, increased aggression or irritation, excessive grooming, loss of hair and difficulty in urinating.
Your cat could suffer severe pain and be unable to urinate if these problems persist without being treated. You need to have your cat seen by a veterinarian as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, since this could be life-threatening.
A variety of issues can cause urinary tract problems – bladder stones, physical defects, bacterial infections, tumors and poor dieting can all factor in. Cats that don’t get enough water in their diet are at risk as well, since that is the most likely dieting issue to cause urinary tract issues.
What to Consider Before You Buy Food to Help Treat Urinary Tract Problems
Once you notice that your cat is having urination problems such as bloody urine or general difficulty urinating, you need to be cautious about the kind of food you give it. You can talk to your veterinarian about what kind of diet is best for your cat, but take these following factors into consideration as well:
Wet Canned Food– The best food you can give a cat that is at risk of urinary system disease or that is currently suffering from urinary tract problems is wet canned food. This contains lots of water, which your cat is probably not getting enough of at that point. Your cat may not drink much water from its water dish, but it will absorb all the water from the canned food it eats. Remember that cats have a low thirst drive to begin with, so serving them wet food will help them replenish their water reserves.
Nutritionally Balanced– Another important thing to do for your cat when it comes to its diet is to ensure that it has all the nutrients it needs. If you feed it commercial cat food or the same kind of food all the time, then it may not be getting all the nutrients its body requires. Try to vary the diet to ensure that your cat is getting its fill of vitamins and minerals. Such deficiencies or nutritional imbalances may be causing kidney and urinary tract issues.
Fat/Protein Mix– Your cat needs plenty of protein and a decent amount of fat to stay active and keep mobile. Active cats are less likely to have health problems. Therefore, make sure your cat is getting those essential dietary components in large enough amounts to be happy, healthy and active.
Allergen-Free- Your cat may have food allergies. The most common of these are dairy, soy, wheat and corn, but there are others as well. An allergic reaction may not cause urinary tract problems in the first place, but it can make it worse or more difficult to heal.
What to Avoid
Some foods are just not good for your cat. If you are trying to prevent any urinary problems or are treating one, then here are some foods to watch out for:
Dry Food– The worst food you can give a cat that is suffering from urinary problems is dry food. It contains very little water, and your cat needs lots of water in its diet if it has to deal with urinary issues. Any health problem your cat has can benefit from some extra water in its diet, but this one in particular needs to be treated with additional water.
Artificial Flavoring– You need to avoid all artificial content in your cat’s food as much as possible. That stuff is not only bad for your cat, but it can lead to a variety of health problems, or aggravate any existing health issues. The more natural you go with your cat food, the better. Your cat may not love the food you feed it if you switch from processed to raw foods, but it will be healthier.
Carbs– One of the common causes of cat urinary problems is diabetes, and cats most often get that disease when they become overweight. The fastest way for a cat to gain excess weight is to eat a lot of carbs. What we’re saying is that you need to limit the carbs your cat ingests if you want to prevent urinary tract problems.
Human Food– Your cat may like to eat from your table scraps, but that food is generally not good for it. Your food usually lacks protein and has too much fat, sugar and carbs for cats to get much benefit out of it. In fact, you can actually hurt you cat’s health and make any urinary tract problems it has even worse by feeding it from your table. Stick to cat food to be safe.
Foods with excessive mineral content- Some common cat food products often contain high concentrations of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium or phosphorus. These minerals may build up over time to form kidney and bladder stones, which will cause urinary tract issues. Even though these minerals are necessary for your cat in certain quantities, very high concentrations will cause problems on the long run. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if you are not sure whether the mineral content in the food you’re getting is too high.
After listing factors to consider about the food you give your cat, it’s time to look at a few of the best choices for cat food that help alleviate and prevent urinary tract issues.
After listing factors you should watch out for when shopping for food for your kitty, you are now better equipped to make an informed decision, in case your cat suffers from urinary tract issues. Remember that urinary tract issues can be life-threatening and should be dealt with straight away. These problems tend to deteriorate quite fast, so preventive measures are always recommended. Make sure you get your cat the best food possible, so that it can live a healthy and happy life, free from any urinary tract issues.