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For cats prone to urinary tract issues, the right food can mean the difference between painful symptoms and steady recovery. But, is high protein cat food good for urinary health? While the verdict is still out on just how effective high protein cat food is for urinary health, there are signs that it does benefit some cats.
In this deep dive into high protein cat food for urinary health, we’ll cover:
- Is a high protein diet food for cats with kidney disease?
- What is high protein cat food good for?
- How do you prevent crystals in cat urine and your cat’s bladder?
- What to feed a cat with urinary problems
- And more!
What is high protein cat food good for?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need to eat meat.
Even domesticated cats are inclined to seek out small prey animals like mice, rats, and birds. These animals are “made up” of about 50 – 60% protein.
This means eating high protein is hardwired into your cat’s instincts.
The protein your cat gets from eating meat is their number one energy source. It’s key to getting the amino acids and 11 essential nutrients they need.
According to veterinarians, animal nutritionists, and many studies, high protein diets centered around animal protein like chicken fat and pork liver rather than carb-heavy dry cat food loaded with corn gluten meal is good for many things.
Eating high protein helps your cat maintain their lean muscle mass, strengthens their immune system, supports their heart health, contributes to healthy skin, hair, and nails, and supports other organs and neurological and bodily functions.
Cats who are overweight or obese, and cats with diabetes, can benefit from a high protein diet which can help them lose weight safely and maintain lean muscle mass.
Some new findings have also indicated that high protein diets may reduce your cat’s chances of developing phosphate crystals and urinary tract inflammation.
Is a high protein diet good for cats with kidney disease?
Studies on high protein cat food and kidney disease have shown alarming findings.
When cats with conditions like Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), especially senior cats, exclusively eat high protein foods, they may be at risk for worsening their health.
Because of their poorly functioning kidneys, cats with CKD have lower amounts of protein in their bodies and bloodstream. They tend to lose proteins in their urine as well.
Adding high amounts of protein into their diet puts a strain on their failing kidneys, causing their bodies to decline even further and at a faster rate.
The best diet for most cats with kidney disease is prescription canned cat food formulated explicitly with reduced protein, sodium, and phosphorus.
How do you prevent crystals in cat urine?
Your cat’s urine is highly concentrated, making them prone to developing urinary issues, including chronic bladder inflammation, urinary crystals and stones, and urethral blockages.
The best way to promote urinary health and prevent bladder stones and crystal formation in your cat’s pee is to make sure your cat is getting enough water.
Some cats love water and get plenty of liquid through drinking out of their bowls or automatic water fountains. But many cats need to have moisture supplemented into their diet with canned wet food. (This is another reason why some feline nutrition experts advocate against feeding your cat dry food.)
Water dilutes their urine and reduces the minerals, toxins, and irritants that often cause stones and calcium oxalate crystals.
There’s also some evidence that bumping up the protein in your cat’s diet in some cases may also reduce urinary tract crystals.
The logic behind this is that as your cat eats more protein, they excrete less magnesium, one of the minerals that make up hard and painful urinary crystals, in their pee.
High protein pet food also may impact urinary ph by reducing urinary ph.
However, more studies and research need to be done to support this.
What to feed a cat with urinary problems
When it comes to feeding adult cats, veterinarians say that ideally, 50 percent of their diet should include wet foods. This is especially vital for cats with a history of urinary tract health issues.
Working with your vet is the best way to find the right foods to support good urinary tract health and improve existing issues like frequent bladder stones, bacterial infections, and inflammation.
Are male cats more likely to get a urinary tract infection?
One condition that falls under Feline Lower Urinary Disease (FLUTD) is urethral obstruction.
While male cats aren’t necessarily more likely than female cats to develop urinary tract infections, they are more likely to develop obstructions in their urethra.
Urethral blockages can be fatal.
One of the best ways to keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy and symptom-free is to avoid giving them dry foods and to put them on urinary care cat food prescription diets.
Does urinary tract cat food really work?
Yes, prescription urinary tract cat food, especially ones that your veterinarian recommends based on your individual cat’s needs, works.
This is because the formula and ingredients in cat foods for urinary health contain a carefully calibrated amount of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Over-the-counter urinary health cat foods that aren’t prescription cat food have less of a guaranteed success rate if you choose it without any guidance from your vet.
Being open and straightforward about what you’re feeding your cat is the best way to determine which urinary food will keep them healthy.
Key takeaways on high protein and urinary health in cats
The link between high protein cat food and your cat’s urinary tract health needs to be researched and examined more. While there are some findings that increasing the protein in your cat’s diet can lead to low dietary magnesium, a key component in bladder crystals and stones, more studies need to be done.
The best cat food for your cat’s urinary health, especially if they suffer from chronic bladder inflammation, urinary blockage, and frequent crystals and stones, is a prescription diet of urinary tract health formula wet cat food.
Along with providing ample fresh water at all times, serving your kitty veterinarian-approved urinary health cat food is the best way to fight the formation of stones and crystals and to support a healthy urinary tract system.