Experts are now seeing a connection between feline urinary tract disease and the long term diet of your cat.
I have had three cats that have had Feline Urinary Tract disease known as FLUTD. Diet is most frequently sited as a cause for this problem. Foods that are too low in protein and two high in magnesium and carbohydrates are usually the cause. A lot of owners who have had cats diagnosis with FLUTD try the very expensive prescription cat foods. I have a multiple cat house so even with cats that have had these problems I cannot afford the expense of prescription cat food.
There are things you should look for when trying to find a food that discourages feline UTD in commercial canned and dry cat food. You are trying to have your cat maintain a ph of 6.6. Given there is no easy way to monitor your cat’s urine ph (and would you really want to) the best you can do is looking for the right diet.
The first ingredient, you are looking for is the protein. The main ingredient in both dry and canned cat food should be fish or meat. Ingredients that we would normally not expect to find in cat food are good for cats urinary tract are cranberries and blueberries. I have seen a cranberry as an ingredient in some Fancy Feast formulas but never blueberry. I am sure these are beneficial things but my cats have never been inclined to eat fruit.
The next things you want to look for on the label are by-products. By-products such as gluten and other starches are ideally down near the end of the list of ingredients. These are the sources of the excess crabs and magnesium that you want less of in your cat’s diet.
Meat and fish by-products are the gross things that we as humans would not eat but are ok for your cat because they are sources of protein. Fish by-products may be of some concern because of mercury content so I would only feed wet food with fish by-products occasionally. The problems is that many times the fish by-products are from the fatty part of the fish and these are the part of the fish that may contain the excess mercury.
Other ingredients to pay attention to are the magnesium. Most cat foods will list the amount in percentages and the less the better as magnesium encourages unwanted urinary crystals. Also make sure that the cat food has a significant amount of DL-Methionine which is a sulfur derivative, that maintains urinary pH.
The wet verses dry food argument is ongoing. I feed occasionally wet food but feeding it for moisture content to me seems silly if your cats have, access to clean water. I have noticed cats that have been feed exclusively wet diets have more issues with their teeth and weight than cats that have eaten mostly a dry diet. I feed wet food as a treat or, when a cat is old and keeping on the weight is a bigger issue.
My cats eat Alley Cat and it solved a lot of the hairball issues and vomiting issues I had before the more expensive cat food. I mix it with the nine lives urinary tract formula in hopes it makes up for feeding a cat food that has so many by-products. So far no one has had a UTD while on this diet.
I have a cat who is 21 and he because of the status of age helps himself to whatever we are eating for dinner. He really likes pasta and French fries. I know it is not good for him, but he is mostly toothless and despite the crabs he is healthy and pretty happy. I would not suggest you feed your cat spaghetti nevertheless it seems to be keeping my older cat alive and relatively healthy. I have not tried feeding him cranberries or blueberries I would imagine if I cooked them he would eat them. Off to make the silly round-headed old Manx a blueberry pie.