Prevent Cat UTI

By Tess Thompson

The incidence of urinary tract infection in cat and dogs is a cause for worry for all cat owners as well as veterinarians. Cats are less prone to infection of their lower urinary tract but that does not mean that cat owners can rest easy with the belief that their loving pet is safe from UTI.

Some of the causes of cat UTI are:

  • Diet
  • Environment
  • Stress
  • Gender
  • Age

A small change in the cat’s diet and environment can be instrumental in developing infection of the lower urinary tract. Whereas some factors like age and gender are beyond anyone’s control, some simple preventive measures can go a long way in preventing UTI in cats.

Minimizing stress and ensuring fresh and clean water at all times are some of the preventive measures that will go a long way to keep your cat safe from UTI. In fact, what ever you can do to make life comfortable for your pet will restrict the incidence of urinary tract infection in cats and dogs.

The best way to prevent occurrence of UTI in cats, however, is by maintaining a diet that has low dietary levels of magnesium, less than 0.12% on a dry matter basis.

The most common cause of cat UTI is urolithiasis, the formation of stones in the urinary tract. The most common stone seen in feline urinary tract, struvite, is made up of minerals like magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. The acidic and alkaline properties of these minerals disturb the pH level in cat’s urine, which in turn results in formation of struvite stones.

Urine pH is also influenced by the proteins present in diet and excessive intake of fish and meat can increase acidity. Cat foods that contain rich plant protein such as soybean meal can make urine more alkaline than required. If your cat’s diet contains more than the required quantity of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate, it can lead to formation of urinary stones, or uroliths. When the diet contains more magnesium than is required to maintain body functions, the extra magnesium is passed on to the urine.

As cat diet is naturally rich in proteins, the frequency with which you feed your cat can have a direct impact on his developing UTI. Urine pH becomes alkaline after meals. If the cat has access to food all the time, he will keep on nibbling that does not let the urine pH become as alkaline as required.

A urine pH level of less than 6.8 means that it is less alkaline and requires a large amount of magnesium for formation of stones. If the urine pH level is more than 6.8, it will require a lower amount of magnesium for stones to form.

To minimize risk of struvite stones a cat’s diet should produce acidic urine with a pH level of less than 6.8.

Some timely prevention methods will help in keeping your pet away from the risk of UTI because if not attended to in time, UTI can lead to more severe conditions like that of infection of the kidneys and /or complete blockage of urine, ultimately leading to the death of your pet.
On the first signs of UTI,, proper care should be taken to avoid further complications. There are a number of options available for treating cat UTI. Veterinarians usually resort to strong antibiotics that have serious side effects accompanying them. You can choose natural, herbal or homeopathic bladder infection treatment for canines and cats.

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