Preventing Feline Bladder Crystals Through Diet

Crystals form in the feline bladder either when the urine is too thick or the PH of the urine is more acid than alkaline. When crystals form, your pet is at risk for cat cystitis and urinary problems which can lead to a very serious and life-threatening medical condition. Certain dietary habits can help keep the cat bladder healthy.

The Importance Of Water

A cat's urine should be dilute enough so that crystals do not form. Cats absorb water best through their intestines so getting moisture that is soaked into their food is an excellent way to prevent cat urinary problems. While fresh drinking water is always necessary, making wet food 50% of your cat's diet can greatly reduce the risk of cat cystitis and bladder crystals. Choose a high quality wet cat food that has mostly whole ingredients and a high moisture content. On occasion, track your cat urinating and observe if he is straining or urinating less than two to three times a day, all signs of potential cat urinary problems.

The Importance of Unprocessed, Whole Ingredients

Whether providing a homemade cat food or a high quality cat formula from the store, you can give your cat the proper foods to prevent bladder crystals. In homemade cat food, you can be sure that you are providing whole foods free from fillers and artificial colorings. If you choose to make your cat's food yourself, consult your veterinarian about all the ingredients your cat needs and in what proportions. But if you choose store-bought food, check the label to insure that the ingredient list consists of whole ingredients such as "chicken", rather than "chicken by-products". Natural cat foods or raw food products will clearly state that they are free of fillers and colorings.

Ingredients To Prevent Cat Urinary Problems

Several ingredients in cat food can further prevent cat cystitis and bladder crystals. Cranberry juice and herbs such as Cantharis, Uva Ursi and Staphysagris help prevent bacteria from building up in your cat's bladder. In some cats, a deficiency of Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C contributes to the formation of bladder crystals. However, consult your vet before introducing any vitamin supplements to your cat's diet. A high quality canned food, especially one that is formulated for urinary tract health, will have all of the vitamins your cat needs. Foods such as bananas, apples, broccoli, squash, and most fruits and vegetables help to keep the urine alkaline.

Ingredients To Avoid

A cat's diet should have whole animal protein as a key ingredient and should not include rice, wheat, corn or other grains. Cats do not benefit from flaxseed and other oils because the pancreas is not equipped to process such oils. A high quality canned food with a low ash content and less than .5% of magnesium is the best. Avoid feeding your cat ingredients such as sweet potatoes, beets, raw endive, dandelion or beet greens, spinach and rhubarb, as they cause the urine to become more acidic.