Everything I Know About Cats and Urinary Tract Infections

She's not sick, she's just very hot.

She’s not sick, she’s just very hot.

A few years ago one of my cats came down with a urinary tract infection. The first sign of this unpleasant feline problem is an excessive amount of litter tracked around the house from the constant in and out of the litter box. Then you start to notice the poor cat actually going in and out of the box. And then, and this is the weird part, you’ll find them trying to pee in sinks and tubs (or at least my cat did) and wonder, “How does a cat know what a drain is?” And eventually you get to the vet and they tell you that, in the case of male cats, UTI’s can be extremely dangerous if they develop crystals in their urine–the crystals can lead to a blockage.

It’s been a long time but I recently went through the experience again, and over the years I’ve learned a lot about the problems so I thought I’d share my extensive knowledge. This is one of the more frustrating (and annoying) health issues to deal with and I know I wish I’d had all this information 4 years ago.

Originally my cat was put on a prescription food, which was super expensive and had pretty crappy ingredients. So after a few years I decided to do some homework and found out that giving your cat the crappiest wet food is better than giving them the most expensive dry food, at least when it comes to UTI’s. It’s all about the moisture content.

So I switched both of my cats to a mostly wet food diet, but because my female cat is the kind of animal who will wake you up at 5 a.m. if she gets so much as a rumble in her tummy I find it difficult to completely eliminate dry food. I decided to give them Innova dry food because it was known to have a good formula for cats with urinary problems. For almost two years this has worked. Then Innova had a couple of recalls, and I found myself staring at an empty shelf in the pet store.

Without thinking too much about it I bought Blue Buffalo. It costs an arm and a leg so it must be good, right? Not so much for cats with urinary issues.

I dragged my poor cat down to the vet after seeing him attempt to pee in my potted plant, the tub, and just about everything else that seemed suitable to him. There they squeezed some urine from him, found some crystals, and told me the expensive food the cat was eating wasn’t doing him any favors. I would have to put him back on prescription food for a while and switch him to a completely wet food diet. And give him some pills to relax his urethra so it didn’t develop a blockage.

I explained about my other cat and how annoying she can be if she doesn’t get the dry food and asked for some recommendations of non-prescription dry food that I could give her (she’s had some issues in the past as well). Apparently, Wellness and Natural Balance have a fairly good record. So, I’ll have to head out and buy a bag of one of those because believe me, $50 a bag is a small price to pay not to have to deal with a cat who has decided your tub is a toilet.

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