Hills Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control Chicken Entree Runner Up
The next food to earn a spot on our list is this Hills Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control Chicken Entree Cat Food. Formulated especially for adult cats with urinary tract problems, this food is tasty and is one of the top recommendations by vets for preventing bladder stones. You will also like it because it comes with the added benefit of tackling fur balls.
Prepared with controlled levels of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, the food is pretty good in keeping the urinary crystals at bay. Furthermore, the food contains high moisture content that helps to keep the cat hydrated, dissolving excess minerals, and flushing them out before they can form urinary crystals.
Because it is formulated using real meat from chicken, turkey, and pork, this foods flavor is awesome. It will satisfy your felines craving and supply all the amino acids it needs for better health. Furthermore, it contains vitamins, Omega fatty acids, and Taurine that help to strengthen the immune system for whole-body health.
What Types Of Urinary Crystals Develop In Cats
There are two types of urinary crystals that typically develop in cats: struvite and calcium oxalate.
Struvite crystals. Struvite crystals have a characteristic coffin box shape when examined under a microscope. Typically, struvite crystals develop in alkaline urine, which is urine that has a high pH. They generally develop without a urinary tract infection, making them sterile uroliths. Struvite uroliths that are due to a UTI are rare but tend to occur in kittens and older cats. Struvite crystals can also be present in the urine of healthy cats.
Cats between 2 and 10 years old have the greatest risk of struvite urolith formation. Struvites are common in the bladder but rare in the kidneys. Therapeutic diets that reduce urinary phosphorus, magnesium, and pH are very effective at dissolving and preventing struvites in cats.
Calcium oxalate crystals. Calcium oxalate crystals develop in urine thats too acidic. In general, these crystals look like a square with an X through the middle when viewed under a microscope. Since struvite crystals develop so commonly in cats, most cat foods incorporate magnesium into their formulas, helping to make cats urine more acidic. This change has now led to an increase in the number of cats with calcium oxalate crystals. Burmese, Himalayan, Tonkinese, Devon Rex, Persian, and Siamese cats appear to be genetically predisposed to developing calcium oxalate stones.
Runner Up: Weruva Canned Classic Recipes
While it may surprise you to see another cat food on this list that isnt labeled or heavily marketed as a urinary-specific dietdont let that fool you.
Not only is there a wide range of cat food that meets our criteria but foods like Weruva still have urinary health in mind without slapping it on their main label. Weruva explains on their website that the high moisture content combined with high-quality meats and low magnesium is very urinary tract friendly.
They specifically explain that As obligate carnivores, cats must eat meat, and quality meat helps promote healthy urinary pH levels. The proper urinary pH for cats skews slightly acidic which, along with appropriate hydration, may help prevent crystal formation.
To be clear, thats far from a clinical trial that youd expect from a prescription diet but it does line up with what we know about urinary tract issues.
But what really makes Weruva stand out is the variety of flavors you and your cat can pick from- including some ingredients and varieties that youre not likely to see anywhere else which is why this brand also shows up on our list of the best cat foods for picky cats.
For example, the Marbella Paella flavor features seafood ingredients such as calamari, shrimp, and mussel. While variety certainly isnt a requirement, and the goal here is to find the best urinary food, its a nice bonus in this case.
2. Water Sufficient For Processing
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Whats The Difference Between Urinary Crystals And Stones In Cats
Urinary crystals and urinary stones are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are different. A few crystals in your cats urine likely wont cause a problem, but even one stone can lead to surgery.
Bladder stones form due to a buildup of crystals in a cats bladder. The presence of urinary crystals increases mucus production. Together, the crystals and mucus ball up to form mucus plugs or bladder stones. Stones can form in as little as a few weeks or take months to develop.
What Are The Clinical Signs Of Struvite Bladder Stones
Struvite stones, like other bladder stones, cause significant inflammation and irritation of the bladder wall. Therefore, they cause signs similar to those of a urinary tract infection or other inflammatory bladder disease.
Signs of bladder stones typically include frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, and urinating outside of the litterbox. Some cats show nonspecific signs of discomfort, such as lethargy and decreased appetite.
In some cats, bladder stones do not produce any symptoms at all. These stones may be detected as part of the workup of another condition.
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Enrich Your Cats Environment
A lack of stimulation from indoor environments may result in boredom, frustration, and stress for cats, which could be triggers for FLUTD. Enriching your cats environment is important for their mental and physical well-being and can help reduce stress. Enrichment can include adding more perches, scratching posts, and interactive feeding toys to your home.
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A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites
|Calorie content||3841 kcal/kg|
Cats can develop many urinary tract problems throughout their lives, including infections , stones, and idiopathic irritation.
If you decide to change your kittys diet, we think the best cat food for urinary tract health is Smalls. Two feline lovers started the company in 2017 to meet the need for high-protein, USDA-certified cat food. Fresh ingredients like sustainably harvested meats, green beans, and kale are packed into each serving. Cats with certain meat allergies can still have their dietary needs met with a variety of single-protein flavors. Smalls cat food is free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. If wet food doesnt tempt your cat, the familiar crunch of Smalls freeze-dried food may.
Smalls is only available online. After you answer a few questions, the company will build a trial box tailored to your kittys preferences and needs. Smalls asks that you slowly transition your cat to their food and offers a money-back guarantee if your kitty doesnt care for the meals after a two-week trial. While most cats think this food is excellent, a higher protein diet is not suitable for every kitty. Smalls attentive customer service department can contact your veterinarian to discuss your cats health and dietary needs.
Most cats enjoy this gravy-covered soft food thats made with real chicken.
Read Also: How Long To Feed Kitten Food
Purina Pro Plan Adult
Purina Pro Plan Adult is one of our top picks as Purina is a well-known and trusted brand.This product comes in a wide selection of delicious flavors with similar urinary health benefits. Hence, you can be sure that your kitty wont turn her/his nose up at this.Purina Pro Plan FOCUS is specially designed to relieve sickness symptoms and prevent the cause of urinary tract infections. Furthermore, its price is fairly reasonable, so you wont be bankrupt when curing your cats disease.According to the Purinas guideline, you should feed your cat 1.1 oz per pound of body weight daily and divide the food into 2 or 3 meals.Like other Urinary foods, dont feed these foods for pregnant cats or kittens.
How Do Struvite Crystals Form In Cats
Before designing the struvite prevention diet for cats, you should understand the core cause of the condition.
Struvite is essentially a mineral accumulation of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate hexahydrate found in a cats urine. Even a healthy cat will have struvite of microscopic sizes in their urine. The problem occurs when their kidneys dont get enough fluid to flush out the struvite, which leads to a gradual mineral deposit. It eventually hardens and turns into tiny stones, causing a blockage in the urinary tract and making it hard for your cat to pee.
Struvite formation in felines is triggered by several factors, including the following:
Your cat’s diet should be carefully planned to prevent the formation of struvite crystals.
Also Check: How Many Cats Per Litter Box
Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Urinary Cat Food
If you suspect that your cat is suffering from urinary crystals or the vet has confirmed the issue, one of the to-do things is changing its diet.
So, here are the things to look for when looking for the best cat food for urinary crystals:
High Moisture Content
As we have already mentioned, the main cause of urinary crystals is dehydration. So, you should consider going for food with high moisture content. However, there are some dry foods that are specially formulated for cats with urinary tract infections and crystals.
Low Magnesium Content
One of the minerals that accelerates the development of urinary crystals is magnesium. Therefore, you should reduce magnesium intake for your cat to keep the problem low.
If the urinary crystals are small or the problem has not advanced, lowering the potential of hydrogen in the urinary tract can help to dissolve them and prevent the formation of new ones.
Ingredients To Avoid In Dry Cat Food
You need to avoid food with a long list of fillers, by-products, or artificial flavors. Basically anything that isn’t natural, and this is often given away by a hard to pronounce scientific sounding name.
Its generally wise to avoid artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, since these are known to cause or increase inflammation or damage your cats overall health over time. It’s best to look for natural dry cat foods that are made from animal proteins and natural preservatives.
Make sure you look for a complete and balanced food according to the AAFCO guidelines. When examining the quality of the food, pay close attention to danger words like:
- Cornmeal filler
- Carbohydrate fillers
As you would expect, and as we’ve highlighted above, you should be looking to avoid dry cats foods that list artficial colors, artificial flavors and artificial preservatives in their ingredients.
As a general rule all artifical enhancements are going to be a negative, whereas the more natural and unprocessed ingredients you identify will be a positive. Much like what you’d exepct with human food, the best cat food is free from artificial ingredients.
Recommended Reading: Hills Metabolic And Urinary Wet Cat Food
Ingredient In Cat Food That Causes Crystals In The Urine
If your cat is suffering from crystals in its urine, you will need to change what ingredients are included in their food. And the same care is required for prevention as well. To avoid this problem you need to know what ingredient in cat food causes crystals in urine?
Minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium can contribute to urinary crystal and stone formation. Therefore, cat foods with a restricted amount of minerals help deal with this health issue and act as prevention.
If your cat is suffering from any related health issue, she can also benefit from a food specifically made to deal with urine crystals. They are formulated to make cats urine less acidic and discourage crystals formation.
When your cat is suffering from a health problem, she becomes so sensitive, so changing the food so suddenly may affect adversely. So consulting with the veterinarian is the best option for a change.
If you are changing on your own, then do it gradually. Cats are creatures of habit and may not do well with a sudden switch. Foods rich in cranberry extract or pumpkin puree are better to promote bladder health.
We recently added a new resource to address the dental problems in cats, you can address such a problem with the best cat food for dental problems, it can be a solution as well as prevention.
How Much Does Hills Cat Food Cost
Of course, this is one of the most important questions about the Hills Cat Food brand. This pet food brands cost ranges from moderately priced to expensive. The total costs you would incur to feed your pet daily will also depend on their weight. For instance, if your feline weighs 10lbs, it will cost roughly $3.00 to feed them per day using the Hills Prescription Diet c/d canned food.
It will cost more if it is the Hills Ideal Balance canned food as the bill will rise to $3.63 daily. However, as with most cat food brands, dry food products from Hills are less expensive. For instance, feeding your cat with a prescription food kibble will cost around $0.50 per day.
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Some Cats Should Not Eat Urinary Food
As shown in the table above, prescription urinary formula cat food is not safe for certain cats.
- Cats under a year of age are still growing. Urinary cat food might not have enough protein, fat and minerals for them.
- Pregnant or nursing cats have increased nutritional needs. The controlled nutrients in urinary food may not be enough to support them during this physiologically stressful time.
- Cats who are already taking urinary acidifying medications like ammonium chloride may not do well with additional acidification of urine from food. Consult your vet before using both.
- Avoid feedingcats who form oxalate crystals an acidifying diet since a lower urine pH favors the formation of calcium oxalate crystals.
- Cats who form struvite crystals should avoid eating prescription urinary foods that aim to increase urine pH.
- Cats with kidney disease or heart disease might have unwanted side effects from eating urinary formula food due to increased salt present in some formulas.
A Convenient Litter Box Position
Place the litter box of your cat at a quiet and convenient place. Your cat should feel comfortable when relieving itself. So, if you have a high traffic of people and pets in your house, provide a safe refuge for your cat to enjoy its private time.
You should never change the brand of the litter box. Cats are sometimes picky on litter boxes. So, any change of brand of a litter box can make your cat relieve itself on the floor.
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What Makes A Best Cat Food For Urinary Crystals
As I mentioned earlier, food plays an important role in your cats urinary health. High-quality cat food with the right ingredients can prevent such issues and might even help in treating urinary problems by pairing along with the treatment prescribed by the vet.
Here is a quick lay down on the ingredients that make cat food good for urinary health:
Wet v Dry Urinary Cat Foods
Both wet and dry best urinary cat food options are designed specifically for urinary health contain nutrients and minerals necessary to combat infections and inflammations. However, there is one important factor we cannot ignore- moisture.
If your cat drinks adequate water, there is no reason why dry food wouldnt work. But in case your cat doesnt have the natural drive to drink water often, wet food might be a good option.
Common Barberry, or Berberis Vulgaris, is known to promote healthy bladder and urinary tract. It has an immunity-boosting effect on humans as well as feline health.
This is a homeopathic strain obtained from beetles and is considered useful for acute cystitis attacks. Cantharis provides quick relief from urinary crystals.
This is another natures gift that helps provide comfort to cats suffering from urinary infections and soothes the urinary tract.
Best Supplement: Under The Weather Urinary Support Soft Chews For Cats
Courtesy of Amazon
Key Ingredients: N-Acetyl Glucosamine from shrimp and crab, D-mannose, cranberry extract | Calories per Serving: Not listed| Balance: Not listed | Life Stage: Adult | Texture: Soft chews
Incorporates D-mannose ingredient known to decrease urinary tract infections
Several inactive ingredients
Although most urinary health cat foods are designed to offer your cat complete nutrition without supplements, an additional supplement could be used in combination with non-prescription foods to give your cats health an extra boost in the right direction.
Under the Weather Urinary Support Soft Chews for Cats is just one of many supplements made by this brand. The ingredients include N-acetyl glucosamine that supports a normal pH balance in the urinary tract as well as D-mannose and cranberry extract that promote normal urinary tract health.
Research in humans and animals has shown that D-mannose, a common sugar, helps prevent bacteria from sticking to bladder and urinary tract, reducing and preventing the reoccurrence of bacterial urinary tract infections.
Made in Vermont, this supplement is veterinarian formulated and free of corn, artificial flavors and dyes. A bonus is that a portion of ever sale is donated to the Ruffy Rescue Fund that supports spay and neutering of pets in overpopulated areas of the U.S. and transportation to Vermont for adoption.
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