Urinary Tract Disease in Cats
You already know that the food you feed your cat is extremely important to her overall health. But feeding the wrong food can contribute to the development of a urinary tract disease - called feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). With FLUTD, crystals or stones form within the urinary tract and cause irritation, pain and possibly blockage. Cats may also suffer from an inflammatory condition of the bladder known as feline idiopathic cystitis in which stress is a major factor
If your cat exhibits these symptoms, she may have FLUTD:
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating frequently
- Blood in the urine
- Reduced appetite
- Lack of energy or interest in normal activities
Though there is no single cause of FLUTD, veterinarians recognize there are components that may contribute to the prevalence of the disease.
- Cats more than 1 year of age are most susceptible.
- Both males and females get the disease with equal frequency, but males have a greater risk of life-threatening urethral obstruction from the crystals or stones.
Other contributing factors can be lack of exercise or reduced water intake.
Foods high in magnesium, phosphorus, protein and calcium have been linked to stone formation. Veterinarians believe feeding your cat a product with restricted amounts of these minerals can assist in the dissolution of some types of stones that have formed in her urinary tract.
Any cat that has been treated for urinary tract disease runs the risk of contracting it again. Therefore, it's important to continue with the nutritional management of the disease and watch closely for recurring symptoms.
For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian.