Which Human Foods Are Ok For A Cat With Urinary Crystals
Human foods that would be OK for a cat with urinary crystals include lean meats like chicken breast, turkey breast, or fish. Many vegetables and dairy products have high mineral content and could cause increased urinary crystals.
If your cat is eating prescription urinary food, be careful about adding any additional foods regularly. Its OK to give a small treat a few times a week, but once you approach more than 10% of total food intake, treats can cancel out the good effects of urinary diet food.
Remember that changing food or introducing new treats can be a source of stress for many cats. Stress can set off an episode of FIC, so proceed very cautiously.
What Is A Cat Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection can affect any part of the cats urinary system.
This can include the bladder, the urethra , or even the kidneys.
An important fact to know about cat UTIs is that its not always a bacterial infection. Your cat may have inflammation in their bladder without an infection which is called cat cystitis or sterile urinary tract inflammation.
Treating Utis In Cats
Antibiotics will be prescribed to kill the bacteria in the bladder and symptomatic treatment may also be necessary to ease a cats discomfort. This usually includes pain medications. Probiotics may also be recommended to restore a healthy population of bacteria in the gut after the antibiotics since beneficial bacteria may also be wiped out by a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
The choice of antibiotic should be guided by the culture and sensitivity results, however, ease of administration, such as pills vs. liquid vs. injection, may also play a role in addition to any underlying conditions your cat may have.
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Urinary Tract Infection Recovery
Although dealing with urinary issues or a bacterial infection in kitties can be really scary, the good news is that when treated early and with a proper treatment and recovery plan, the prognosis is good and most cats make a full recovery within a few weeks. Lets look at what to expect after your kitty goes through a UTI, urinary crystals, or FIC.
If your vet prescribed a course of antibiotics to treat a urinary tract disease or other infection, you should expect to see your kitty returning to normal in about 2 days and a full recovery should take 5-7 days, depending on the diagnosis. Its very important to give your cat the full course of antibiotics, even if they start feeling better.
If your cat had to have a more complicated treatment plan, there are a few things to expect. If he had to have a urinary catheter, you will likely see some redness and swelling around the area. Monitor this area to make sure no infections occur. You may also notice that your cat is licking the area as it heals. Also, after a catheter is removed, some cats may dribble urine. This is different than actually urinating, so dont worry! This is normal after a catheter.
You may also notice that your kitty is nervous to use the litter box. This is because they have associated it with the pain and stress they felt when they were facing their earlier condition. Encourage your kitty to use the litter box by keeping it extra clean at all times and removing any distractions .
Signs Of Utis In Cats
- Straining to urinate
- Crying or other vocalization when urinating
- Urinating blood
- Urinating outside of the litter box
- Licking at the urethra
- Increased frequency of urination
Cats that have urinary tract infections are likely to be uncomfortable when they urinate. This discomfort or pain may sometimes cause them to cry or vocalize when they urinate. Straining to urinate and urinating small amounts frequently is also commonly seen.
A cat with a urinary tract infection may also lick at its genitals in an attempt to ease the discomfort and will also often urinate outside of the box. This may occur on the floor right beside the litter box or in other places such as the bathtub or carpet.
Some cats with urinary tract infections will also have blood in their urine and this may be seen in the litter box or on the floor, but can be hard to see in clumping litter.
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Can My Cat Still Get Blocked While Eating Urinary Food
Your cat can still become blocked with a urethral obstruction while eating urinary prescription food or non-prescription wet food. A male cats chances of getting blocked are higher than female cats and it can still happen even if hes eating a vet prescribed food.
A moist food diet is not a cure for every cat with bladder problems. In one study, some cats eating non-prescription wet food still had a recurrence of bladder symptoms .
The bottom line is that you shouldnt rely on prescription food or wet food as the only preventive for bladder inflammation. Environmental enrichment and stress reduction play a very important role in preventing your cat from getting blocked.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Bladder Stones Removed From A Cat
As with all veterinary procedures, the cost of a cystotomy to remove bladder stones in cats can vary from hospital to hospital, and even more from region to region. However, most cystotomies will cost over $1000 US.
This can understandably be a hard swallow for some kitty parents. You may be able to find a veterinary facility within your region that performs lower cost surgical procedures through subsidizing and donations, getting the cost down to a few hundred dollars.
If surgery is not an option at all, a prescription diet to dissolve the stones may work, but only for struvite stones. Struvite stones are still the most common stone type in cats, so it is certainly worth trying.
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Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Though less common than most people assume, urinary tract infections can affect cats. As is the case in humans, female cats are more likely to suffer from UTIs than males due to the length of their urethra. UTIs, as well as other urinary issues, cause a variety of symptoms that cat owners should learn to recognize in order to get their cat the help it needs and prevent complications.
Runner Up: Wholehearted Urinary Support Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food
Designed to balance the pH value of your cats urine, WholeHearted Urinary Support Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food relies on DL-methionine to acidify urine in order to minimize the chance of struvites and calcium oxalates. Rich in protein, this grain-free formula contains no corn, wheat, or grains of any kind and is rich in antioxidants to boost your pets immune system. Omega 3s and 6s give their coat a lustrous shine and the balanced blend of nutrients makes sure that all of your cats dietary needs are met. The savory chicken flavor makes this kibble popular with picky eaters, too- and the fact that this cat food for urinary health is formulated to support their overall well-being certainly doesnt hurt.
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Best For Overweight Cats: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Weight Management + Urinary Care For Cats
Obese cats are at a higher risk for a myriad of health issues, including those connected with urinary health. But in addition to treating their urinary problems, you should also try to help them get the weight off. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Weight Management + Urinary Care for Cats is formulated to do both: this prescription diet promotes healthy weight and optimal pH urine levels. The low-kcal kibble has low levels of fat and is also enriched with L-carnitine which supports weight loss, and at the same time, it has controlled mineral levels and the addition of DL-methionine to acidify your pets urine and prevent crystals and stones from forming. Grain-free and protein-packed it is made with deboned chicken as the first ingredient and has a savory flavor that your chubby kitty will like. The trick is that the formula also has increased fiber levels so your pet will feel fuller for a longer time, which essentially puts a stop to overeating, even though it tastes great.
Some Cats Should Not Eat Urinary Food
As shown in the table above, prescription urinary formula cat food is not safe for certain cats.
- Cats under a year of age are still growing. Urinary cat food might not have enough protein, fat and minerals for them.
- Pregnant or nursing cats have increased nutritional needs. The controlled nutrients in urinary food may not be enough to support them during this physiologically stressful time.
- Cats who are already taking urinary acidifying medications like ammonium chloride may not do well with additional acidification of urine from food. Consult your vet before using both.
- Avoid feedingcats who form oxalate crystals an acidifying diet since a lower urine pH favors the formation of calcium oxalate crystals.
- Cats who form struvite crystals should avoid eating prescription urinary foods that aim to increase urine pH.
- Cats with kidney disease or heart disease might have unwanted side effects from eating urinary formula food due to increased salt present in some formulas.
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What Exactly Are Utis And Flutd
Urinary tract infections also known as Feline Urinary Tract Disease are inflammations of the bladder and urethra in cats.
There are many variations of urinary tract infections, but the most common are:
- Kidney problems
- Unknown triggers
While a vet can diagnose and prescribe medication for parasites, bacterial infestations, fungus, or viruses, cystitis is often a symptom of an underlying issue, such as bladder stones.
In such cases, your vet may need to address several issues at once to restore your kittys health.
Diagnostic Tests To Rule Out Cat Uti
A urinalysis must be done as the first step for ruling out whether your cat has a bacterial infection thats causing the urinary symptoms like commonly peeing outside the litter box.
You should never just put your cat on an antibiotic since stress cystitis is the number one reason for cat urinary problems.
Other diagnostic tests your veterinarian may recommend include bladder ultrasound to rule out sludge and bladder stones, an abdominal radiograph to rule out bladder and kidney stones, and a urine culture.
A urine culture is very helpful to make sure the right antibiotics are used if your cat has bacteria in its urine on the urinalysis. Antibiotic resistance is, unfortunately, becoming a bigger issue and many commonly used antibiotics are not working as well.
Doing this test will speed up treatment and help your cat feel better, usually meaning less vet visits and expenses in the long term.
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Can Wet Cat Food Treat Crystals
Veterinarians will usually use a multipronged approach for treating crystals. First theyll eliminate the underlying cause whenever possible. Many vets will recommend high-quality wet foods because theyve seen canned food reduce crystals in their practices. Regardless, adequate hydration is imperative for felines who tend not to drink enough water.
Clinical Signs Of Bladder Stones In Cats
The signs that cats with bladder stones display differ depending on where the stones are located in the urinary tract. Many times, cats with bladder stones exhibit no signs at all. Other times, the stones may cause bladder irritation or infections, which may present as frequent trips to the litter box, frequent urination, blood in the urine, vocalizing while urinating, urinary accidents and decreased urination.
If a urinary stone becomes stuck, it may cause urinary obstruction also known as a blocked urethra so the cat cannot urinate at all. This is a life-threatening condition that requires prompt intervention. This is most often seen in male cats. If you notice your cat trying to urinate, but doing so unsuccessfully, you should see your veterinarian promptly. Its also important to consider that a cat with urinary obstruction may act like theyre constipated. While the behavior may look similar, the results can be drastic if you notice this behavior, it is likely a good idea to call your local vet to get their recommendation.
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Wet Vs Dry Foodwhat Type Of Food Is Better For Felines With Utis
Adequate hydration is often the most important component in keeping UTIs at bay in cats.
Wet food contains considerably more moisture than cat kibbles and can keep your feline adequately supplied with water without the need for separate drinking. You may find that your feline fed on wet food goes through life without a single incident of FLUTD. This is considerably less likely in cats fed on an exclusively dry diet.
Many commercial cat foods consist of dry biscuits, often rich in grains, cereals, and carbohydrates to reduce production costs. Dry food, with its low moisture content , can lead to cats inadvertently becoming slightly dehydrated. This has the double effect of:
What Can I Do At Home To Prevent Future Occurrences Of Flutd
Depending on the underlying cause for FLUTD, the clinical signs may never, or only occasionally, reoccur. However, recurrence is more common with FIC. To help reduce the chances of recurrence:
- Feed small meals on a frequent basis.
- Consult with your veterinarian about the best diet for your cat. Many commercial diets are acceptable, but some urinary conditions respond better to specialized diets. Canned food may be preferred.
- Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
- Provide an adequate number of litter boxes with the type of litter that the cat prefer
- Keep litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house.
- Keep litter boxes clean they should be scooped twice a day and the litter changed weekly .
- Minimize major changes in routine.
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Best Budget: Iams Proactive Health Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food With Chicken
Courtesy of Amazon
Key ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain corn, corn grits, brewers rice | Calories per Serving: 182 | Balance: Crude Protein min. 32%, Crude Fat min. 15%, Crude Fiber max. 1.7%, Moisture max. 10%, Magnesium max. 0.1% | Life stage: Adult | Texture: Dry small kibble
Chicken is the first ingredient
No prescription needed
Being on a budget doesnt mean your cat has to continue to struggle. Although its not least expensive on the market, IAMSProactive Health Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food is well rated and widely available and so prices are competitive and reasonably affordable.
Chicken is the first ingredient of this food. Thats not the case for many foods that are cheaper. Theres also added vitamin E for a healthy immune system and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for healthy skin. This food appeals to most cats, even those considered picky eaters. When feeding all dry foods, be sure there is plenty of water available to your cat at all times.
Signs Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Under normal circumstances, the urine is formed and stored in the bladder, and in the course of time, the urine flows out of your feline companion through the urethra. But when the bacteria come into the urethra or bladder, the chances are higher that the bacteria will grow or reproduce in the urethra that in turn will result in the development of struvite stones in the bladder.
When your furry friend suffers from urinary tract infections, here are the most common symptoms:
- The cat urinates at short intervals, but the amount of urine decreases to a degree since it can not urinate each time and the toxic waste products arent released through urination.
- The cat urinates here and there. In the majority of the cases they urinate outside the litter box.
- They excrete the urine that is tinged with blood.
- With UTI, your feline friends urine is filled with struvite stones. It may experience pain while urinating and your feline friend may scream and have tearful eyes while urinating.
- When your cat is suffering from urinary tract infections, in most of the cases, the urine is filled with waste products and hence the urine has a strong ammonia odor.
- It licks the genital area over and over.
- Your cats thirst increases by leaps and bounds and in turn, the water intake will step up.
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What Makes A Best Cat Food For Urinary Crystals
As I mentioned earlier, food plays an important role in your cats urinary health. High-quality cat food with the right ingredients can prevent such issues and might even help in treating urinary problems by pairing along with the treatment prescribed by the vet.
Here is a quick lay down on the ingredients that make cat food good for urinary health:
Wet v Dry Urinary Cat Foods
Both wet and dry best urinary cat food options are designed specifically for urinary health contain nutrients and minerals necessary to combat infections and inflammations. However, there is one important factor we cannot ignore- moisture.
If your cat drinks adequate water, there is no reason why dry food wouldnt work. But in case your cat doesnt have the natural drive to drink water often, wet food might be a good option.
Common Barberry, or Berberis Vulgaris, is known to promote healthy bladder and urinary tract. It has an immunity-boosting effect on humans as well as feline health.
This is a homeopathic strain obtained from beetles and is considered useful for acute cystitis attacks. Cantharis provides quick relief from urinary crystals.
This is another natures gift that helps provide comfort to cats suffering from urinary infections and soothes the urinary tract.