Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
Lower urinary tract disease is one of the main reasons that a cat visits the vet’s office. They are often caused because a cat does not have enough moisture in their diet. Learn how a species-appropriate diet, like a raw food diet, and adequate water consumption can help prevent many urinary tract disorders in cats.
Lower urinary tract diseases consistently top the list of reasons for veterinary visits in cats. The good news is that a species-appropriate diet and adequate water consumption can help prevent many urinary tract disorders.
My two cats have had issues with urine crystals for years (with inappropriate urination due to pain) have not had any issues since switching to Darwin’s. The dog no longer has room clearing farts 😉 – Susan B., Washington
What Causes Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
Urinary issues in cats can be caused by several different reasons, such as:
- A clogged Urethra
- Bladder infections
- Incontinence from excessive water drinking
- Injury to the urinary tract
One of the main causes of urinary tract diseases in cats is urine crystals. Crystals can form in the bladder when a cat’s urine pH falls outside their normal range, meaning their urine is more acidic or alkaline than normal.
A cat’s optimum diet is slightly acidic, yet most cat foods are more alkaline. While cats will naturally have small quantities of urine crystals, if a diet is too high in acidic or alkaline foods, respective crystals can form, and over time, potentially create a painful and dangerous blockage.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
If you’ve noticed that your cat is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should see your vet immediately:
- Straining to urinate (with or without urine producing urine)
- Crying while urinating
- Licking his or her genital area excessively
- Experiencing blood in the urine
These signs could indicate one of a few urinary tract issues, from a bacterial infection to crystals, to a urethral blockage. They are quite painful, and depending on the condition, can be fatal if left untreated.
Preventing Urinary Tract Disease with a Raw Diet
Cats thrive best when their urine pH is slightly acidic and a species-appropriate raw diet of animal protein and fat will keep it in this ideal range.
Cats are meant to consume water in their food since they have a low-thirst drive and do not make up the shortage from their water dish when eating a kibble-based diet. Additionally, most commercial cat foods do not have adequate amounts of animal protein and contain grains or plants that alkalize urine, which unfavorable for feline urinary tract health.
An expert in cat health, Dr. Lisa A. Pierson, DVM agrees:
“If we fed cats a species-appropriate diet – i.e. one that has a water content that mimics a cat’s normal prey (70%) and one that is based on meat, not grains – instead of trying to artificially manipulate a species-inappropriate diet of grains by adding acidifiers, the vast majority of urinary tract problems would be solved.”