You are what you eat! My cat’s are like children to me, and I insist they maintain a healthy diet. I could talk about the best wet cat foods all day. In particular the best wet cat food for urinary health.
It is my passion to educate kitty parents on the good, the bad, and the yummy when it comes to cat food that promotes overall cat health.
My baby boy Silvio aka Uncle Sil’s top pick for the best cat food for urinary health is Weruva cat food. I stand behind this brand of cat food as it has proven to keep Uncle Sil’s urinary health flowing and going strong!
Don’t Believe the Hype
Uncle Sil has suffered two urinary blockages and he just turned four in June. The second blockage landed him in emergency surgery, which was expensive and traumatizing for me, kitty, and the opening staff at the vet after Sil’s wild night tearing the cone off his head…poor guy, he doesn’t like to be confined. What cat does, really!?
After looking into what the ingredients were in the prescription urinary food, I was appalled that the vet would recommend this to my cat. Some main ingredients are: Wheat Gluten, Rice, Corn Starch, Chicken Liver Flavor, Chicken Fat, Potassium Alginate, Fish Oil, Soybean Oil… I had to stop there, I truly had read enough.
The first vet I was seeing at the time of Silvio’s first urinary issue told me the dreaded 15 words that I just didn’t want to hear, “He’s going to half to be on prescription food for the rest of his life.” Mind you Silvio was only two at the time of this prognosis.
I said to the vet, “my last cat Mr. Grey hated the prescription food you pushed on him, what if Uncle Sil won’t eat it. His rigid response was, “well, he’s going to have to learn to like it, eventually he’ll get hungry enough at have to eat it”
*Record Scratch*!! He had to be joking? He has to be paid by the prescription pet food company to push this stuff? Every ailment I brought both my Grey boys in for ended with the vet saying that the solution was prescription cat food. But was that the ONLY solution?
I left that vet appointment discouraged, and feeling uneasy about this vet’s persistent “recommendation” for a life sentence to the prescription cat food they sell at their clinic.
I heard what he said, but I was not ready or willing to accept it. There just had to be another option besides expensive prescription cat food, which I felt pushed upon me like a big medical Pharma company would push drugs on human’s.
I was bound and determined to gain as much knowledge on the best wet cat food for urinary health I possibly could. Mostly for the health and wellness of Uncle Sil and there may have been a slight twinge of proving Mr. Prescription Pants wrong!
The Acid Test
The vet I mentioned above is no longer the vet I take my son Silvio to, although they are well-established and popular in town, Mr. Push Prescription Pants rubbed me a little too hard the wrong way once and for all.
Let’s call this rigid vet Larry. Larry not only insisted Silvio was going to have to be on prescription food for the rest of his life, he was also pushing DRY prescription food, AND food where fish was the main protein source. Two double whammy NO’s for a cat who has suffered from urinary issues.
A urinary blockage is considered a medical emergency and you must take your cat to the vet right away if this occurs. Urinary blockages tend to happen more so in male cat’s, and they occur when there is an obstruction in the urethra, which is tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When there is an obstruction it becomes difficult or impossible for a cat to empty their bladder, which in turn makes it a life-threatening emergency.
In the 1970s and 1980s it was thought that ash and magnesium played a large part in crystal formation in a cat’s urine. The crystal build up is what causes a blockage, and the blockage can be life threatening if not treated right away.
Fast forward to present day – It is now said that ash plays little to no part in affecting a cat’s urinary health, and magnesium plays a small part. I believe that if it was once considered a factor I am one to air on the side of caution and feed my cat with urinary issues food that is lower in ash and magnesium.
Better to be safe than sorry, and out a few grand with an emergency surgery and a sick cat!
What exactly is ash and magnesium in cat food?
- Ash – This is an inorganic mineral content that is left over when the organic portion of the food has been burned off. The mineral content is composed of various combinations of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, potassium, sodium, silicon and other remnant minerals. The inorganic residue that is heated at 550 to 600 degrees – the remains of that is the “ash content”.
- Magnesium – A necessary mineral that serves our kitties well as it provides heart health, energy production, proper muscle function, bone growth and dental health. However, magnesium alone can play a role in crystallized urine.It has been said that supplementing straight magnesium in your cat’s diet with magnesium chloride did not cause urinary crystals to form in the urine provided the acidic urine was sustained. When your kitties urine is at a pH of 7.5 or more, struvite crystals will occur even if the diet is low in magnesium.
Essentially it is the pH balance of the urine that is the key factor in crystals being formed in your cat’s urine. For a healthy urinary tract in your cat it is important that they maintain an acidic urine, drink lots of water, and have a lot of moisture in their diet. The range on the high end may vary under certain circumstances, the overall agreement seems to be that a healthy average of your cat’s pH level in their urine should be from 6.0 to 6.5
Struvite vs. Calcium Oxalate
The two most common crystals that form in your cat’s urine are struvite and calcium oxalate.
- Struvite – A common association of a UTI in cat’s is a result of struvite uroliths, even more so when caused by bacteria. If this is the case the increase of ammonium concentration in urine, results in an increase in urine pH and a change in the ionization state of phosphorus. It is said that a cat’s diet that is high in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, chloride, and fiber, with a mild to moderate protein content have been associated with increased risk of struvite crystals. I can’t stress how important a high good quality protein diet is for our kitties!
- Calcium Oxalate – This is sort of misunderstood factor which causes an imbalance to your cat’s pH level in their urine. Like the struvite uroliths, diet can play a big part in the development of calcium oxalate uroliths if it is a low-sodium low potassium diet.
I suggest sticking to low ash, low magnesium, high good quality protein, and higher sodium and potassium diet for your kitties overall urinary tract health. Oh, and Lots of fresh water preferably from a cat water fountain. I highly recommend the Cat Mate Water Fountain or the Catit Fresh & Clear Stainless Steel Top Drinking Fountain.
If your cat does need medication or a certain food please take the advice from your trusted vet. I can only speak from my own personal experience, however every cat has its own make-up.
Bye Bye Dry, Buy Buy Wet
In Uncle Sil’s case diet was the #1 factor for both his urinary blockages. At the time of urinary block #1 Silvio was on a straight dry kibble diet. Although it was very high quality kibble, his make up is not one that can maintain a dry kibble diet.
Wet cat food contains a more substantial amount of water content than dry food. Cats in the wild don’t tend to drink a lot of water, as they obtain it from their prey. A wet food diet is more on track for what cat’s would typically eat as it contains more moisture than dry foods. Long term dehydration can irritate your cat’s urinary tract and possibly lead to kidney disease. A lose lose.
Uncle Sil MUST stick to wet canned cat food in order to keep things flowing freely in his urinary tract. After some extensive research on all the various types of wet canned cat food, I would like to share my top three picks for best wet cat food for urinary health.
Weruva B.F.F. Take a Chance is My #1 Pick
“Don’t Bogart that can…man”, name that movie?
When it comes to cat food, I have read up on it, studied it, and tried a wide variety of brands. I strictly feed Uncle Sil Weruva B.F.F. wet canned cat food. It has proven to prevent him from suffering from crystals in his urine, blockages, or emergency vet visits. Hallelujah!
I mentioned in the beginning of this article that dry cat food was a no-no for cat’s with urinary issues, but also steer clear of fish. Fish cat foods are high in phosphorus and magnesium and can cause problems for cat’s, especially cat’s with kidney or urinary tract disease.
Uncle Sil LOVES duck, chicken and turkey. I highly recommend Weruva canned wet cat food flavors:
- Weruva B.F.F. Take a Chance
- Weruva B.F.F. Tip Toe Pouches
- Weruva B.F.F. Chicken Checkmate
Cat tested, mother approved!
There you have it! I hope this article finds your cat happy, healthy and crystal free. If your cat has urinary issues, this is common, don’t panic. Diet is a huge part of your cat maintaining a healthy urinary tract.
If your cat is currently eating dry kibble, I recommend switching to a high quality wet food immediately. Couple that with a cat water fountain, and experience the difference.
Yours in Kitty Health,
The Cat Chronicles