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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2004
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    147

    Default Feeding a Cat prone to UTI's

    I know there are a ton of topics about feeding cats, but I'm specifically looking at feeding a cat who is prone to getting UTI's.

    A little history:
    My cat is 3 yrs old and got his first UTI in January of this year (he was still 2 y/o then). It took almost two months to clear up because none of the medication they put him on seemed to work. When we finally got the infection cleared up, the vet recommened putting him on Science Diet S/D for two months, then switching to Science Diet C/D. I can't remember the exact reasons.. something about the pH of the food keeping crystals from forming or something like that. Well, he recently developed another UTI (about two weeks ago). I took him to a different vet, got a different medication and it cleared up in less than a week. This vet also recommended the Science Diet - she said it was the only food that was actually proven to help cats with UTI's.

    Anyways, I keep reading everywhere that Science Diet is an awful food. I don't want to feed my cat something that isn't good for him. So I guess my question is, does it really matter what you feed the UTI-prone cat? I mean, does the food actually help prevent infections? If so, is there anything else besides Science Diet that can be fed? I've learned a lot about what to feed my dog, but I feel completely lost with the what to feed the cat.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
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    5,049

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    The ONLY thing that I can feed my UTI prone boy kitty is California Natural Chicken and Rice. If anything has the slightest fish ingredient, it will set the UTI off.

    Wellness Deboned Chicken did not set it off...but they wouldn't eat it.

    I tried Aramis..which they loved, but he got an UTI. That's when the pet store owner told me that I had to stay away from all fish ingredients.....it is very hard to find any cat food without fish meal added. California Natural is one of the very, very few who offer a cat food without it.

    You also need to make sure that what you feed is "LOW ASH" Yes, diet is VERY important with a cat prone to UTI's. If it is a boy cat, he can form crystals, block and die....it's a serious matter.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2007
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    585

    Default

    There are other more nutritious and equally low ash options than Science Diet - whatever you feed it should mostly be WET - dry food is one of the biggest causes of UTI and blockages. Cats are meant to get moisture from their food, they don't drink enough to compensate for eating mostly dry food and the dry food sucks the moisture out of their systems.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
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    9,226

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    I hope you guys are talking about urinary tract infections/cystitis or this will be an absurd post.

    With tom cats, since the urethra narrows when it gets to the penis, if you have a male cat whose "sand"/kidney stones/crystals cannot be resolved with drugs and diet, you can have "the operation" done where the urethra is pulled down and the penis is removed. Years ago, 2 of my toms had to have this operation since they did not want to give up the shrimp and crabs and other "sand" causing foods that the other cats ate all the time (we live on a salt water river right off the atlantic.) Both toms lived to be old,, 12 and 15, and they were still tomcats, fighting when necessary and even spraying when they got mad. . The "sand" passed thru the urinary trac, only problem was it did finally take a toll on Davis' bladder when he died after surgery for bladder cancer at 15 yoa. Drugs did not work on Davis and Sproat and I didn't want them to not be able to eat seafood.
    They had no NO blockages after surgery. I forget the drug that didn't stop it then, but it is the same one used now for cystitis.
    Then 19 quiet years with no cystitis, and now my 17 yoa queen and my 6 yoa tom have cystitis, and now I'm using apple cider vinegar, which clears it up in a few days, and which, if given before seafood, prevents cystitis.
    Wish I had known about apple cider vinegar years ago.
    Just a thought, many years ago vets thought that cystitis can be contagious. Of my 8 cats, only 2 have it now. Years ago, 2 out of, more than 8, had it.

    ETA: By "having it" I mean having pain or blockages. I assume the "sand" is flowing thru the cats when they don't get their apple cider vinegar, a dropper a day. Not as happy to take theirs as the horses are.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
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    passepartout
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    10,180

    Default

    IME, cats have individual 'best' foods.

    My current male cat eats Eagle Pack Holistic Duck and Oatmeal. An old version of Iams Eukanuba worked for him as well and I fed it to him because it worked -- I really didn't care what brand it was.

    However, I always keep CranActin syrup on hand in case he starts acting uncomfortable. I give him a few drops twice a day for 4-5 days and the problem goes away. This has worked for him for about 8 years now.

    (Once, when he had a very uncomfortable UTI, the vet did some acupuncture on him to 'relax' his bladder. This cat is normally near-comatose, that's how relaxed he is, so I didn't think acupuncture would make a difference. Oh -- but it did. The fat beast was stretched out on the exam room floor, completely immobilized with acupunctural bliss. I hauled him home and he promptly passed out on the kitchen floor for another four hours. Not even my heeler could get him to move. His bladder was fine after that.)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2002
    Location
    The horse country of VA
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    Default

    What kind of water supply do you have? Well water? If your water contains minerals, that can cause certain types of UTIs. I found this out from my vet many years ago after one of my male cats became partially blocked.

    Vet said it was most likely due to the minerals in my well water and recommended I give him only distilled water. In fact, she said she recommends all pets get only distilled water.

    A couple of years ago, one of my other cats developed cystitis. After nearly $1K in diagnostics, including blood tests, several urinalyses, x-rays, etc., my vet could find nothing wrong. Her final diagnosis was "idiopathic cystitis" and she had no clue what we could do about it.

    We had tried steroid injections, which worked for a couple of days each time, then Cosequin, but that didn't work either. So, then left to my own devices, I started my online search for another possible cure. I found it with a homeopathic remedy from Petalive. Had my kitty feeling better literally within hours.

    If you're interested in giving it a try (it's relatively inexpensive since you only use a tiny amount each time you give it), here's the link:
    http://www.nativeremedies.com/petali...ct-health.html

    Good luck!
    Equus Keepus Brokus



  7. #7
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    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Whooo boy, cats and UTIs....

    First off, you need to try to determine the cause of the UTIs. Is it crystals in the urine causing a cystitis? Has bacteria been cultured from a sterile sample of the urine? What kind of antibiotics have been tried? Have you gotten a "negative" culture after finishing antibiotic therapy in each case?
    It is NOT normal for a 3 yr old male cat to get recurrent UTIs.

    My cat got recurrent UTIs and it's related to his inability to fully empty his bladder, a side effect from his previous spinal injury (hit by car...rescued him from the ER I worked at).

    Your cat could have an abnormal anatomic configuration that prevents him from emptying his bladder all the way, he could have large stones in the bladder. He may have a lot of things. He even may have FLUTD: Here is an excerpt from VIN (Veterinary Information Network).

    Feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD describes the following group of clinical signs:

    bloody urine
    straining to urinate (can easily be mistaken for straining to defecate)
    urinating in unusual places
    urinary blockage (almost exclusively a male cat problem)
    licking the urinary opening (usually due to pain)
    A cat with lower urinary tract disease may have some or even all of these signs.

    It makes sense that effective treatment requires knowing the cause of the symptoms. The problem is that just about any inflammatory condition in the feline lower urinary tract creates the same signs. Tumor, infection, bladder stone, etc. all form the same clinical picture.

    What are the Possible Causes?

    It turns out that the age of the cat is tremendously relevant regarding which underlying causes are most likely. If we look at all cats with lower urinary tract symptoms, here is what we find:

    50% will not have a cause that can be determined despite extensive testing (meaning they have what is called idiopathic cystitis).
    20% will have bladder stones (females have a slightly higher incidence).
    20% will have a urethral blockage.
    1-5% will have a true urinary tract infection.
    1-5% will have a urinary tract cancer.
    1-5% will have had trauma to the urinary tract (have been hit by a car, etc.)
    1-5% will have both a bladder stone and an infection.
    The average age for symptoms is 4 years.
    If we separate out the cats that are 10 years of age or older and only look at their cases, a different statistical picture emerges:

    50% will have true urinary tract infections.
    10% will have bladder stones.
    17% will have both infection and bladder stones.
    7% will have urethral blockage.
    3% will have urinary tract cancer.
    5% will not have a cause that can be determined despite extensive testing.
    66% will be in some stage of kidney failure.
    5% will have urinary incontinence.
    Sorting out Causes

    Testing is used to help sort patients into the correct group. A urinalysis is commonly performed. With a 50% incidence of infection in older cats, a urine culture would be extremely important for a cat age 10 or more but not as important for a younger cat. Radiographs to rule out bladder stones might be performed. Often testing is omitted for younger cats unless the symptoms become a recurring problem.


    The point is that you can try to manage this with diet alone, but until you know the true cause, or eliminate all other causes, you can't know for sure that it won't come back. Radiographs can rule out stones (in most cases), and an ultrasound can help as well in that area. Ultrasounds can also look for abnormalities in the lining of the bladder like cancer, polyps, etc. If it's just stones however, that can be managed with diet.

    The posters on this post have some good suggestions. I know many vets who recommend Royal Canin brands for urinary problems and I like their brand. However, the most important thing is to make sure your cat gets enough water-- through moist food or water. Fresh, distilled water, perhaps through a fountain feeder, is a good way to get them to drink. Having a big bowl (cats don't like when their whiskers touch the bowl sometimes) of fresh water works too. Some chicken broth or tuna water (like from the cans) added to their food helps too. I wouldn't jump to the penile urethrostomy surgery (what cloudyandcallie described) before needing it -- it's kind of extreme and definitely not without risks.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
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    24,724

    Default

    Poor kitties...cats sure are prone to kidney issues and stones and UTIs.
    My cat is on the CD and SO diet right now...she was on the KD diet for kidney issues but then developed stones. The KD was for kidneys, the newer foods are for stones. Luckily her kidney values have stayed great since the food swap.
    But with anything like kidney or stones I prefer to go with the vet prescribed foods for safety. Cats can go downhill *fast* with these issues and we rarely know how far downhill they've gone until it's almost too late.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,709

    Default

    I am not going to recommend any specific type of food, but the big issue with UTIs in cats is the ash content. You want the absolute LOWEST ash content possible. It will be listed as a percentage on the ingredients. Dry or canned makes no difference, just go for the lowest ash percentage you can find.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
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    2,108

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    O.M.G. I haven't read through the other posts, but I'm anxious to. My male is about 1 1/2 years now. He's been to the vet (ER vet at night most of the time) about SIX times. I'm at my wits end. He's held off for quite a while now ::knock on wood::. What i'm doing now seems to be working. He gets Wellness (the blue bag) in the morning and night and a pouch of wellness wet food in between. I add an absolute shit-ton of water to his pouch food and he gobbles it all up thinking it's the greatest treat on earth. To the wet food I add 2 capsules of cosequin. It functions on the lining of the bladder the same way it does joints. At night with his dry food he also gets a dose of Uro-eze, a urine acidifier. Treatment-wise when it occurs, the quickest he recovers is IMMEDIATE prednisone before we leave for the vet, they give him pain killers there and something else- normally I would remember but I just worked 2 back to back 12 hour shifts. Then the key seems to be prazosin. It relaxes the urethra and that seems to work the best of all of it. He's never been blocked and crystals are minimal now, but he gets terribly inflamed and that's what restricts his urine output and causes blood in the urine. Poor little Winston.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
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    4,114

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    I have a cat that gets UTIs (with crystals in the bladder). He was put on Science Diet CD years ago. And I know some people hate Science Diet, but we tried this cat on other foods and it took 1-2 days of eating anything else, and he would go off food and start to feel bad again. Back on Science Diet, and he did fine. He's 13 years old now, and although he's showing his age a big in less muscle tone, he seems to be feeling well and being himself. So... we won't be taking him off the CD as that is what works for him.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

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  12. #12
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    Oct. 21, 2008
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    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmalbone View Post
    O.M.G. I haven't read through the other posts, but I'm anxious to. My male is about 1 1/2 years now. He's been to the vet (ER vet at night most of the time) about SIX times. I'm at my wits end. He's held off for quite a while now ::knock on wood::. What i'm doing now seems to be working. He gets Wellness (the blue bag) in the morning and night and a pouch of wellness wet food in between. I add an absolute shit-ton of water to his pouch food and he gobbles it all up thinking it's the greatest treat on earth. To the wet food I add 2 capsules of cosequin. It functions on the lining of the bladder the same way it does joints. At night with his dry food he also gets a dose of Uro-eze, a urine acidifier. Treatment-wise when it occurs, the quickest he recovers is IMMEDIATE prednisone before we leave for the vet, they give him pain killers there and something else- normally I would remember but I just worked 2 back to back 12 hour shifts. Then the key seems to be prazosin. It relaxes the urethra and that seems to work the best of all of it. He's never been blocked and crystals are minimal now, but he gets terribly inflamed and that's what restricts his urine output and causes blood in the urine. Poor little Winston.
    Sounds like you're doing all you can...poor little guy. The inflammation really is the worst part of it all.



  13. #13
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    oh yeah... forgot to add that a few times a week everyone gets a treat of "chicken water". I buy canned chicken in water (no broth or seasoning... not good for them) and drain some of the water from that into their normal water dishes. It's like kitty crack. I've heard it would be the same as boiling chicken and using that water, but I'm a vegetarian so I'm not real familiar with that. We also have SEVEN various shaped water dishes around the house... deep, shallow, round, square, cup sized, ramekin sized, bowl, large bowl, etc. Some filled with tap (well water), some with filtered water, some with bottled water in all different rooms.

    Also, when the vet was adamant about science diet and the like I asked for point blank scientific explanation about what this food accomplished that a balanced quality diet low in ash, mag, and phos, with the addition of urine acidifier and nobody could give me an answer and I like the fact that I'm comfortable with the ingredients in mine.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    you can have "the operation" done where the urethra is pulled down and the penis is removed.
    We're contemplating this. I'm going to try to get into the state vet hospital (Purdue) and talk to someone about it, but I've also been warned that it's not without dangers itself, i.e. scarring interfering with the urethral tract, etc. We'll see... 6 episodes of this cystitis in a year is getting ridiculous.



  15. #15
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    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Western NY
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    My female cat has chronic FLUTD and one of my male cats had a bout of UTI before. The female cat, we've tried everything... various types of food, distilled water, pet fountain, cranberry extract, water added to food, antibiotics, etc., and nothing worked except for the Science Diet prescription. My vet, who is wonderful, didn't want to do it either until everything else was unsuccessful--she also is not a fan of Science Diet, but admits that it does work well in a lot of cats with chronic UTI issues. So, since that works for my girl, we stick with that.

    For my two male cats though, they get Wysong Uretic, which is an excellent dry food. The one who had a UTI before has been fine since, and the other one has never had issues. (Knock on wood.) I do add a little extra water or chicken broth to it generally and a bit of extra wet food (just pure chicken or turkey) to up their water intake too.

    None of the cats would ever drink out of the very expensive water fountain.



  16. #16
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    Jan. 12, 2007
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    My last cat that had this I finally got the - I will spell this wrong I am sure - uristrostomy - where they removed part of his penis and made a urethra. He no longer suffered from blockages. It was a long road to get there - i just wish I had done it way sooner - it would have saved him lots of suffering and emergency vet visits.

    Please ask you vet A.S.A.P.! It could save his life.

    Of course my kitty was on a low ash low magnesium diet the last 8 years of his life - he did very well!
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  17. #17
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    Jul. 15, 2003
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    Tampa, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodland View Post
    My last cat that had this I finally got the - I will spell this wrong I am sure - uristrostomy - where they removed part of his penis and made a urethra. He no longer suffered from blockages.
    My Bob kitty that I wrote about in January had the PU surgery performed in 2006 and still got the UTI that almost killed him earlier this year.

    I agree on no offering well water. Mine get filtered water. I also feed the Purina Urinary Health kibble and the kitties also get wet food. No fish or seafood products.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch



  18. #18
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amwrider View Post
    My Bob kitty that I wrote about in January had the PU surgery performed in 2006 and still got the UTI that almost killed him earlier this year.

    I agree on no offering well water. Mine get filtered water. I also feed the Purina Urinary Health kibble and the kitties also get wet food. No fish or seafood products.
    Aw, I hope he's okay now. The problem with the PU surgery is also that it moves the urethra closer to the anus and that increases the risk of a UTI because of bacteria. My cat, for instance, has never had an actual infection... only inflammation. So it's a horrible chronic problem, but I'm worried that the surgery would create a WHOLE new problem that he doesn't even have now.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmalbone View Post
    Aw, I hope he's okay now. The problem with the PU surgery is also that it moves the urethra closer to the anus and that increases the risk of a UTI because of bacteria. My cat, for instance, has never had an actual infection... only inflammation. So it's a horrible chronic problem, but I'm worried that the surgery would create a WHOLE new problem that he doesn't even have now.
    Agreed. You said what you have been doing has been managing okay, but the surgery should be reserved for cases when there are life-threatening blockages repeatedly, when nothing else can help. You're doing a great job, and doing everything the current research and vets recommend. Good luck to you that it continues to manage your boy.



  20. #20
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    Nov. 22, 2003
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    Virginia
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    What worked for MY cat was clean water. The vet said, "Change the water every day and wash the bowl every week." I tried to convince a woman I worked for that her cat would TOO drink water from somewhere besides the runnung faucet if it were CLEAN. She had her lazy-ass daughter taking "care" of the cats, which meant pouring additional water into the scummy stuff in a never-washed bowl in the heavily-trafficked (hence, lots of dirt and dust flying around) hallway.



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