Guidelines for Cat Urinary Tract Health

There are several ways to maintain cat urinary tract health. A healthy diet with specific components is key. Multimodal Environmental Modification or MEMO is a very effective approach to healing and preventing urinary tract diseases.

A Healthy Diet

What a cat eats is directly correlated to his urinary tract health. The best diet for a cat is rich in protein and fairly low in fat and mineral content. Starting a young cat on a raw food diet gives him the best health and nutrition. A raw food diet most closely mimics what a cat would eat in the wild. If you’d prefer not to go the raw food route, wet food is the next best choice. Some kibble in a cat’s diet is fine if it’s a high quality kibble.

High Quality Cat Food

Cats who eat high quality cat food have the best chance for good urinary tract health. Fillers, artificial colors, grains and minerals can cause urinary tract problems. The cat food needs to be low in mineral content and low in grains such as corn and wheat. Soy and by-products should also be avoided.

The Importance of Hydration

One of the key components for urinary tract health in cats involves keeping the urine diluted so that it doesn’t thicken or form crystals. This can lead to infection and blockage which is a serious condition. Cats ingest water through the intestine so the moisture needs to be directly infused with food. This is one of the reasons why a raw food diet formulated specifically for cats is a good idea.

Multimodal Environmental Modification (MEMO)

Stress is another primary reason that cats develop urinary tract problems. A cat can become stressed if he is bored or has to live with other cats when he prefers to only be amongst humans. A cat may get stressed if his litter box isn’t clean enough. In MEMO, any issue that could cause stress for a cat is addressed. The cat owner may need to offer more kinds of play or cat entertainment while away at work in particular. The litter box may need to be kept meticulously clean or another litter box may need to be added in a multi-cat house. In a multi-cat house, issues of territory can cause tremendous stress for the sensitive cat. Setting up a special place protected from other cats can help decrease stress. Sometimes using a crate or carrier works for this purpose.

Knowing When to Go to the Vet

Sometimes cats still develop urinary tract infections or obstruction despite preventative measures. Keep an eye on your cat’s urinary habits so that you know if something has changed. If you notice more trips to the litter box but less output and straining in the litter box, these are causes for concern. If your cat is yowling or hiding under furniture, consult a vet immediately.