Cat Urinary Tract Health – Maintenance

Feline urinary infection occurs much more frequently than cat owners would like to believe. Most of the time, the condition is idiopathic in nature, meaning that the infection has no known cause. And therefore symptoms like urinating out of the litter pan are usually assigned to behavioral causes like stress.

In fact, urinary tract infection in cats is more likely to be physiological in nature. It is part of a number of urinary problems including obstruction in the urinary passage and bladder inflammation commonly known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It can be extremely painful to the cat as it strains to urinate but is unable to. Cat owners can be of great help if they know the reasons behind the condition and make sure that they follow some basic rules of caring for the pet.

To understand your pet better, you must understand that there is a natural reason why cats do not consume a lot of water. The evolution factor plays an important role in how animals meet their needs for maintaining life. Cats originated in desert areas and derived most of their requirement of water from food. The prey they hunted gave them enough water to sustain life. And this is the manner in which cats developed a natural aversion to drinking water separately on their own. Lack of water intake is, therefore, one of the major reasons behind the increased incidence of feline urinary tract infection.

While specific treatment depends upon the lab reports of urinalysis and other imaging investigations, you can try to prevent the condition by keeping the health of your cat’s urinary tract in proper condition.

  1. Water is of utmost importance
    • Mix extra water if you are feeding your cat with dry cat food.
    • You may want to add other fluids like chicken broth.
    • Keep more water bowls around the house.
    • Use bigger water bowls so that the cat’s whiskers do not touch the sides.
    • If you can, try a free flowing water drinking fountain. Cats find this attractive and curiosity may
      encourage them to drink water.
    • Wash water bowls with clean water daily./li>
    • If you are using detergents make sure there is no residue as the chemical in it can be harmful.
  2. Avoid feeding foods that have high magnesium content like pork, beef, heart and oily fish .
  3. Prefer natural foods over prescription diets. Consult your veterinarian as to what you should feed so that the urine that is produced has the correct pH level.
  4. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to water daily. Vinegar will keep the urine pH slightly acidic and prevent formation of bladder stones, which often lead to urinary infections.

Courtesy of Tess Thompson,