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The Best Food For Cats With Urinary Tract Infections

What is the best food for cats with urinary tract infections?

Sometimes I can’t pee. I sit in my litter box and nothing comes out. It hurts so bad! Did you know there are many kitties out there like me who have urinary issues? What’s the best food for cats when they’re suffering from urinary tract infections?

Whisker Fabulous cat writer Farley Waddlesworth after eating his wet cat food.
Me after a big meal

How I started eating urinary cat food

I first got an infection when I was about a year old. My mom didn’t notice anything wrong until I peed blood in my litter box. Mom rushed me to the emergency vet where they discovered I had idiopathic cystitis, which causes urinary tract infections. There are no known causes for idiopathic cystitis, but stress and overstimulation are said to be triggers in cats.

I get at least one infection a year. Mom has a prescription from my veterinarian to help me with pain, so we’re pretty used to dealing with it. After my initial diagnosis, the first thing my vet did was put me on cat food for urinary problems.

The best cat food for my urinary tract infection

After my diagnosis, my veterinarian told my mom I had to get as much water as possible into my system. The vet recommended either Royal Canin Urinary SO in Gel canned food or Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet UR St/Ox Urinary Formula. Mom decided to go with Royal Canin for the really stupid reason that she liked the cat on the package. I have been eating that food for the past three years and have had no issues with it.

There are three main companies who have the majority of sales when it comes to prescription cat food for urinary problems: Royal Canin, Purina and Hill’s Science Diet (Hill’s has their c/d Multicare Urinary Care food.) There is no scientific evidence or any conclusive reports that one food is better than the other. The best cat food for urinary tract infections in cats is whatever your kitty likes best.

Royal Canin is a favorite in many cat food reviews, but is also the most expensive. Some say there is too much plant matter as an ingredient in the food. Others point out cats seem to love the taste of this brand best.

Hill’s Science Diet’s Multicare Urinary food also is recommended, but some say it’s too high in carbohydrates. Hill’s food is about 70 to 80 percent water, which is ideal for kitties like me.

Purina gets rave reviews for its non-prescription Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health Formula.  Many cat owners report while it’s not prescription food, it helps support urinary health by boosting moisture intake. It also supports your cat’s immune system for overall health and wellness. Since it is not a prescription food, it is much cheaper. Many say alternating this food with your cat’s urinary prescription food is a good option if you want to save on cat food costs. It’s roughly half the price of prescription food and great for healthy cats too. If you’re pet has officially been diagnosed with urinary tract infections, it’s still best to go with the prescription strength.

Getting more water into your cat’s food

When I eat, I feel like I only eat soup. Because mom wants to limit my urinary problems, she adds in a half cup of water to every bowl of food I eat. I currently eat a third of a can of the Royal Canin S/O at each meal with water. It’s a soupy mess but I love it.

I do get a snack before my human goes to bed each night. She gives me 10 pieces of dry kibble, where she again adds a half a cup of water. She just started doing this to experiment to see if even more water will help me. I have to admit, I probably pee more than most cats. But in my last veterinary exam I looked great, so mom wants to continue the increased water consumption with meals.

Urinary tract wet cat food mixed with water for a soupy meal
This is what I eat: urinary wet cat food mixed with water to the top of the bowl

What if your kitty won’t eat urinary tract food?

If your can’t won’t eat any of the prescription urinary foods, that’s not an unusual issue. Veterinarians say sometimes these prescription foods just don’t taste good as good. What you don’t want to do is force prescription food down your cat so that it stops eating. If that happens, take whatever their favorite food is and add water to it. The most important thing is to get more water into their system, no matter how you do it. (Another option is to get them a cat water fountain, which sometimes encourages kitties to drink more.)

While we haven’t addressed dry urinary prescription foods in this blog post, know that it is a great option if your cat hates wet food. Veterinarians insist, however, that wet food is always better for cats with these issues.

Lots of cat have urinary tract problems

If your cat has a urinary tract infection, you are not alone. Millions of kitties have these issues and most tend to be male cats. Urinary infections rarely happen at a young age. On average, cats tend to be diagnosed with the disease at around four years of age.

No matter how you decide to deal with your cat’s urinary issues, the most important thing is to make sure you follow your veterinarian’s advice. Urinary tract infections are a chronic condition that will never go away and is a life-long illness that will need constant monitoring.

As a victim of this painful illness, I can assure you your cat needs you to help them through the bad spells. While I don’t believe there is a best food for urinary tract infections in cats, the important thing is to feed your cat what it wants. Of course, they will never show you any appreciation for your efforts, but in the long run it will mean many more happy years together for you and your cat.

This post contains affiliate links for which I earn income if you click through and make a purchase.

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