Cat Urinary Infection: Cat Urinary Tract Food
Cats urinary tract infections are similar to humans in that they are painful, unpleasant, and can even be potentially lethal if untreated. The feline’s discomfort in urinating — or even the inability to urinate, despite the need to — will be familiar to anyone who has suffered a UTI. But just because cats and humans, both being mammals, can share similar diseases, the course they take and the preventions and cures for them are not always identical.
It is incorrect to assume that what is beneficial for humans is equally beneficial for cats. The requirements cats have for optimal nutrition have been determined by evolutionary processes and cannot be ignored in favor of convenience or cost savings to their owners.
Research has shown that diet can have an adverse effect on the pH of urine, which in turn leads to poor feline urinary health and creates a susceptibility to issues with the kidneys and bladder. Medical disorders such as feline urinary tract infection are on the increase in our pets, which can be a frustrating condition for cat owners to manage, not least because it can frequently reoccur. This disturbing development is now being attributed to the inferior quality of many commercial cat foods.
Cats are what’s known as obligate carnivores, which means that their genetic makeup requires that they eat the tissue of other animals in order to thrive. They may eat other foods, such as vegetables, grains, or fruit, but meat is necessary as the primary source of their nutrients. They evolved to the point that they are able to derive most of their fluid needs from the moisture content of their prey, which can be as much as 75% water. A cat’s natural diet is very low in carbohydrates, as the main source of these are stored in the liver and other organs of their prey, which comprise a very insignificant percentage of the overall weight. But when you read the label of many of the commercial dry cat foods available at your local store, you’ll find that carbohydrates often make up to 45% of their total nutritional value.
The feline liver is not very efficient when it comes to metabolizing carbs; it is much better at processing fats and proteins. An excessive consumption of carbohydrates often leads to obesity and other clinical disorders. Unfortunately, dry cat food manufacturers frequently turn to cheap sources of calories, such as corn, rice and wheat, to provide a semblance of structure — and cereals such as these are a chief source of carbohydrates, completely unsuitable to the constitution of your cat.
Of course, it’s always possible to mitigate the lack of moisture in these dry cat foods by mixing them with fluids like water or chicken broth, but they can still interfere with the proper levels of pH in urine, which is one of the primary instigators of feline urinary infection. Obviously, all brands of commercial cat foods claim that their product meets the necessary nutritional needs of a cat; however, they fail to realize that even a slight deficiency will have a detrimental effect on the cat’s fundamental health, especially if the food is being ingested regularly. As if this weren’t enough, the preservatives used to improve shelf life interferes in the cat’s metabolic processes and is damaging to their ability to properly eliminate waste. The free flow of urine is vital in order to avoid feline urinary infection and the formation of bladder stones.
Whether wet, moist or dry, the makers of commercial cat foods are motivated to compromise on quality so that they can increase convenience, lower costs, and drive up profits. Your cat’s nutritional needs can be easily met if you provide them with food that is as close to its original state as possible — food that has a significantly larger percentage of fat and animal protein when compared to cereals and grains. You can cook this food yourself, if you’re so inclined, or there are several high quality foods available that are formulated specifically to address the prevention of cats urinary infection issues. The essential thing to keep in mind is that you must provide enough fluid content in your cat’s diet to optimize your cat’s urinary tract health.