Friday 25 January 2008

Urinary Tract Cat Food

Urinary tract cat food is cat food which helps to keep the urinary tract healthy. I have personal experience in resourcing this sort of food as my cat has suffered from urinary tract infections.

Bladder disease is apparently the most common problem that is caused by nutrition in adult cats after obesity. Bladder disease is called urinary tract inflammation (UTI) or cystitis by the veterinarian profession.

In my cat, cystitis caused her to urinate a lot more than usual and in very small amounts; always with either blood or very concentrated. She would urinate outside the cat litter due to the speed of onset of the urge to go to the toilet. She often got as far as the shower or bath but sometimes in the corner of rooms. She is an excellent litter user so I knew she was ill and I also knew that it was cystitis.

For my cat the cause, I discovered was stress and food. She is a very nervous girl. I am not sure why she was stressed at that time, but I was away all day so that may have been a factor or the sole reason for the stress. Cystitis can also be caused by bacterial infection that is more likely to take hold if the urine is concentrated due to the cat not going to the toilet enough. If the urinary tract is flushed regularly the infection is less likely to develop.

Logically, my cats condition was exacerbated by the food that she was eating at the time. At that time she was on dry food, Hills LD and fish given separately. She is now on much less dry food and a combination of wet canned or sachet food and fish (with added water where necessary) and prawns. I am with her most of the day. She has been free of cystitis for a long time.

According to a vet very experienced in cat food, Elizabeth M. Hodgkins DVM ESQ there has been an increase in UTI in the 1970s and 80s. I refer to her excellent book "Your Cat". I would recommend this book for further reading.

She argues that the major cause for the increase in UTI is the rapid growth in the very convenient dry cat food market. Dry cat food is of course unnaturally dry for a cat and high in carbohydrates. Cats in the wild eat raw meat that is high in protein and water content. Cats are it seems unable to make up the deficit of water intake in eating dry food by simply drinking more water as they are programmed to obtain their water intake from the food itself.

Cat Food manufactures are anxious to produce dry cat food, unnatural though it is because (and this is my opinion) it sells well as it is highly convenient and it is easy to manage in terms of storage and supply chain. In other words dry cat food is good for humans but no so good (or plain bad) for cats.

The manufacturers obviously try to make the dry food as healthy as possible but it can never be as healthy as a natural high protein diet.

Some prescription dry cat food is more acid and contains less magnesium to reduce the levels of UTI. Sometimes this food can cause other urinary tract problems (calcium crystals as opposed to magnesium crystals in the urinary tract).

In conclusion, one answer to improving the health of your cats urinary tract is to provide a "urinary tract cat food diet" meaning a diet as near as possible to a cat's natural high protein wild diet. This is more accurately found in wet cat food but is ideally found in home made raw meat cat food with added supplements (inc. Taurine) and natural fiber (crushed bone - this mimics the bone and fur ingested by wild cats that provides the roughage to improve the digestion of food).

I discuss more on these subjects on the main website, where I discuss a raw meat diet and dry food diet.

Photograph: this is a stray cat taken in Singapore by Aki Jinn under creative commons, copyright Aki Jinn. The picture is just to "decorate" the text. The cat photographed has no connection as far as I know to dry cat food.

From Urinary Tract Cat Food to Cat Facts

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