7 Best Cat Foods for Urinary Tract Health
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The best cat food for urinary tract health has the moisture, pH levels, and mineral content to keep your cat’s urinary tract working smoothly. Foods that meet these requirements are easier to find than you might expect. They’re on grocery shelves and pet store aisles, available with or without a prescription, and sold at almost every price point you can imagine.
We recommend Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme as the overall best cat food for urinary tract health. It provides carnivore-appropriate nutrition in the juicy, low-ash format that cats love and their urinary tracts need.
But this Tiki Cat recipe is far from the only product that supports urinary tract health. Whether you’re on a tight budget or feeding a cat with food intolerances, there’s a great option available for you.
At a Glance: Best Cat Food for Urinary Tract Health To Buy
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What’s The Best Cat Food For Urinary Tract Health?
A food’s appropriateness for urinary tract health involves three factors—moisture, acidity, and mineral management. Let’s go into a little more detail.
The best cat food for urinary tract health is rich in moisture.
Moisture is the single most important dietary factor in FLUTD defense. High-moisture food keeps water flowing through your cat’s system, flushing out mineral deposits and helping to prevent infection. Several studies have demonstrated the importance of high-moisture food, showing that it can help to reduce FLUTD recurrence and may prevent it altogether.
Why high-moisture food, though? If hydration is key, why not just give your cat a bowl of clean water?
Cats evolved as desert animals, adapted to life without water bowls. Instead of getting thirsty and drinking like dogs and people do, cats get most of their hydration from their prey. A mouse is 65-80% water. The best cat food for urinary tract health is equally juicy, effortlessly providing all the moisture your cat needs.
The best cat food for urinary tract health has the right acidity to promote a healthy urinary pH.
Diet influences the urinary pH and affects the way that crystals form in the urinary tract. An overly alkaline diet increases the likelihood of urinary tract infection and struvite crystal formation. An overly acidic diet increases your cat’s chances of developing calcium oxalate crystals.
Your cat’s specific needs will depend on which types of urinary tract problems he’s most prone to. In general, however, cats do best when eating a slightly acidic diet. Plant-based foods tend towards alkalinity while meat-rich, prey-inspired foods are in the optimal range for most cats.
Cats consuming a species-appropriate, minimally-processed diet rich in muscle meat, bones, and organs will have a urinary pH of about 6.- 6.5.
The best cat food for urinary tract health has the right mineral balance.
The concentration of phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium contribute to the likelihood that your cat will develop urinary tract crystals. Cats who tend to form stones should consume a diet that’s less than 1.0% – 1.2% phosphorus on a dry matter basis. These diets are usually lower in calcium and magnesium, other minerals with an impact on crystal formation.
An easy way to identify foods low in these minerals is by avoiding those with meat, fish, and animal by-product meals. These meals are usually ground with bones and connective tissue intact, increasing the food’s mineral content.
Best Cat Food For Urinary Tract Health Reviewed: Our Top Picks
Water is everything when you’re feeding a cat prone to urinary tract disease. This food oozes moisture. It’s a consommé-style food that’s 80% moisture. Soft, succulent chicken is set in chicken broth with sunflower seed oil.
Because it’s made from chicken meat without a lot of bone or connective tissue, the food is relatively low in ash and shouldn’t increase your cat’s risk of developing urinary tract crystals. Its species-appropriate, meat-centric ingredient list keeps its pH within a carnivore-appropriate range.
With all the qualities we look for in a urinary diet, a generally carnivore-worthy ingredient list, and a history of deliciousness, this food is a good option whether your cat is prone to urinary tract issues or not.
Though you could pay less for dry food, it would fail to satisfy the biggest requirement of food for urinary tract health—moisture content.
This food meets all of our requirements for the best cat food for urinary tract health while boasting one of the lowest prices in the industry. It’s almost identical to the Tiki Cat food in our first place position with a few key differences. Aside from being significantly cheaper than the Tiki Cat food, it contains xanthan gum as a thickener and tuna oil instead of sunflower seed oil. The food is species-appropriate, moisture-rich, and a crowd pleaser. With highly-digestible chicken taking center stage, this appears to be a highly-digestible, low-ash food that can help to keep your cat healthy.
Though they’re not necessary for every cat, veterinary diets can help to resolve persistent recurrences of urinary tract disease.
According to the company, this Hill’s Prescription Diet food can lower the recurrence of “most common urinary signs by 89%”.
Its pH balance and controlled levels of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus help to reduce the risk of both struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. If your cat already has struvite crystals, the food can help to dissolve them in, on average, 27 days.
Though hundreds of customers agree that the food can help, you’ll need to check with your veterinarian to determine if Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d is the right choice for your cat.
High-moisture food is essential for cats prone to urinary tract issues, but your options go beyond canned and pouched formulas. Freeze-dried food, once it’s rehydrated, can be an equally good option. Because of their tendency to have high phosphorus content, raw and freeze-dried foods can be questionable for cats with urinary issues. This recipe from Feline Natural is a happy exception to that tendency.
It’s a meat-rich, species-appropriate food that features chicken meat, lamb heart, kidney, liver, and blood as primary ingredients. Other ingredients include flaxseed as a source of fiber, New Zealand green mussel as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, and supplements that make each meal nutritionally complete.
Though the food comes out of the bag dry, you can use warm water to give it a consistency that works for both you and your cat.
Urinary tract health issues are most common among younger and middle-aged cats, but if you want to support your senior’s kidney health while helping to keep his urinary tract healthy, consider this food from Weruva.
It’s not a prescription food and isn’t necessarily a solution for cats with kidney disease, but it manages to deliver a combination of high protein and low phosphorus content. For senior cats at risk of developing kidney disease, that’s invaluable.
As a meat-based food with relatively little plant matter, this food should help to maintain an appropriate urinary pH.
If your cat is prone to urinary tract issues and needs to lose weight, a high-moisture diet like this food from Weruva’s Classic Cat line could be an all-purpose solution.
Weruva’s Nine Liver with Chicken & Chicken Liver helps to keep urinary issues at bay with a combination of high moisture content, carnivore-appropriate acidity, and relatively low ash content.
With just under 20 calories per ounce, this food is significantly less calorie-dense than any dry food on the market and a bit leaner than many top canned foods. With its satisfying consistency and low calorie content, this food promises to help your cat feel his best while dropping any excess weight.
At just over 10% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis, this food is relatively low-carb and appears to be a species-appropriate choice.
Digestive issues are just as common as urinary tract health problems. Fortunately, there are a wealth of foods that address both. This recipe from Hound & Gatos is one of them. It’s a moisture-rich food made from top-quality ingredients and should help to control urinary tract health. It’s also a limited-ingredient food made from rabbit, a novel protein for many cats.
Like other Hound & Gatos foods, it’s popular among cats with food sensitivities and digestive issues. Many reviewers say this food is among the only products their cats can eat without digestive upset.
What if your cat is sensitive to rabbit? Consider any of the other recipes on our list of the best limited ingredient cat food.