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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cat Urinary Health

Cat Food Information for Urinary Health

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) can be considered a catch-all phrase which describes several conditions affecting the lower urinary tract of cats. These conditions can be uncomfortable and in severe cases, life-threatening. Find out more about FLUTD and why nutrition is an important factor in treating and preventing conditions related to urinary crystals or stones.
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Understanding FLUTD: Conditions & Symptoms

The three most common conditions are:
  • Feline idiopathic cystitis
  • Bladder stones
  • Blockages of the urethra caused by the accumulation of urinary crystals (urethral plugs)
These conditions may cause a variety of symptoms:
  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Unproductive attempts at urination
  • Inappropriate urination (outside of the litter box)
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Causes of FLUTD

The exact cause of these diseases is unknown. However, it can occur when crystals accumulate and form stones that prevent urine from passing. Crystals can also form smaller pieces, called plugs, which may block the urethra, particularly in male cats.
The two most common types of crystals associated with FLUTD are:
  • Struvite crystals that form when the urine pH is higher or alkaline
  • Calcium oxalate crystals that form in more acidic urine with a lower pH
Because urinary obstructions related to FLUTD can be life threatening, consult a veterinarian if your cat is showing any urinary symptoms.
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How Urinary Health Cat Food Can Help

A balance of nutrients helps maintain proper urine pH levels so it does not become too acidic or too alkaline and produce crystals.
If your cat is susceptible to struvite crystals, look for urinary health foods that:
  • Are specially formulated and have been tested extensively
  • Have the proper mix of nutrients which aids in the production of acidic urine to prevent struvite formation
  • Are low in dietary magnesium (less than 0.14%)
Managing your cat's feeding schedule is also important in maintaining the proper urine pH. Feeding multiple, small meals throughout the day helps minimize pH fluctuations.
Decreased water intake and obesity can be risk factors for FLUTD, so ensure your cat is drinking plenty of water.
While surgery is sometimes needed to treat FLUTD, many cases of struvite crystals or stones can be treated with specially formulated or prescription foods for struvite dissolution and feline urinary tract health.
If you suspect your cat has urinary stones or crystals, consult with a veterinarian before attempting to treat your cat with a targeted diet. Diets designed to dissolve and prevent struvite crystals may not be effective against calcium oxalate stones and may worsen that condition.

Posted by PetSmart

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