How your cat's diet affects its urinary health
Many cats worldwide are affected by lower urinary tract disease, often without any identifiable underlying cause. This can have a significant impact on your cat’s overall health, so it’s crucial to understand how you can support them and help them maintain a healthy, functioning urinary system.
Why is my cat’s urinary health important?Your cat’s urinary system, which includes the kidneys and bladder, works to process and remove waste products from their body. If there are kidney issues, the system can no longer remove these products. Bladder problems may include inflammation, stones, and, in a worst-case scenario, urinary obstruction. These problems can affect your cat’s comfort and overall health.
What urinary problems can cats suffer from?It’s common for cats to suffer from lower urinary tract problems caused by several different things.
Urolithiasis is the process by which crystals or stones can build up in your cat’s urinary system, most often in their bladder. These are caused by a crystallization of minerals, naturally present in your cat’s body, which aren’t being processed properly by their urinary system or which are at higher concentration in the urine than normal. Increased urine concentration can also contribute to this process. These stones can cause inflammation or even block the passage of urine.
Cats may also have inflammation unassociated with a stone or infection. The cause of this inflammation is usually unknown, so it is called “idiopathic”—which means the underlying cause cannot be found.
Cats can also contract bacterial infections that can irritate their urinary system and, more rarely, develop tumors or mucus plugs, which result in urinary issues.