Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
I have a 4-year-old cat who had a bladder blockage a few days ago. I got to take him home from the vet today. What can I do to prvent this problem from happening again?
Siouxsie: Wow, you’re lucky that you realized what was going on and got your cat to the vet right away. Blockages can be fatal within just a few days because toxins build up in the body and damage the organs.
Thomas: We don’t know how much your vet told you about urinary tract blockages, so we’re going to give you a very quick overview of how cats get blocked.
Siouxsie: First of all, blockages are a lot more common in male cats because they have longer, narrower urethras (the tube that sends pee from the bladder out through the penis) than female cats.
Thomas: Blockages are caused by a buildup of little tiny stones made of either struvite or calcium oxalate crystals. Blockages can also be caused by a plug made of mucus, which can result when the bladder gets inflamed.
Siouxsie: A lot of vets have noticed that cats that eat a dry-food diet tend to be more at risk for bladder stones or other urinary problems.
Thomas: You see, cats as a species originated in the desert, and we have a very low thirst drive. We’re designed to get the moisture we need from the food we eat — so if we eat an exclusively dry diet, we may not get enough water to flush any crystals or sediment out of our bladders.
Siouxsie: My sister Sinéad got a couple of urinary tract infections, and here’s what the vet told Mama to do in order to keep her from having any more UTIs.
Thomas: First of all, always provide lots of pure water! If you have hard water or you get your tap water from a municipal water supply, run your water through a purifier. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is to invest in a pitcher filter or a filter you attach to your faucet
Siouxsie: Getting rid of the chlorine or other minerals that cause hard water can make that water’s acid-alkaline balance more neutral and eliminate nasty tastes that keep cats from drinking.
Thomas: The vet also said Mama shouldn’t feed us seafood-flavored cat food, ever. Tuna and other seafoods can irritate some cats’ bladders and may contribute to the development of stones or crystals.
Siouxsie: Make sure your cat’s litterbox is clean, and use unscented litter. Dirty boxes and chemical scents can cause a cat to be reluctant to use the box.
Thomas: Feed your cat a grain-free canned food. Grains can irritate some cats’ bladders and cause inflammation.
Siouxsie: Canned cat food will also help your cat get enough water in his diet. As we said, cats are designed to get the water they need from the food they eat.
Thomas: Try to minimize your cat’s stress by keeping his environment as stable as possible.
Siouxsie: If your cat gets more than three bladder blockages, your vet may recommend a surgery called a perineal urethrostomy, which involves shortening the urinary tract by removing the penis and making the urethra drain directly out the cat’s backside, just like a girl cat does.
Thomas: Jeez, just thinking about that makes me want to clench my back legs and curl my tail around me VERY tightly!
Siouxsie: But if you’re able to prevent urinary tract blockages by feeding your cat good-quality grain-free canned food and providing filtered water for him to drink, the odds are good that your kitty won’t have to go through this.
Thomas: For more information about urinary obstructions, including diagnosis, symptoms and treatment, we recommend this Petplace article — it has lots of information and it’s written in language that ordinary people can understand.
I have heard too that giving cats only distilled water will prevent blockages too.. and warm washclothes on our tummy when kitty lays down is good too
My spayed female cat has constant problem with pee-ing tiny drops and keep going to
the litter box. She kept licking her urinary opening. My vet recommended this herbal
capsule ” Rowatinex” a tiny yellow ball. It helps to dissolve any crystals along the tract and also good for bladder too. There is also another option is giving your cat Methigel which is
effective too. But this need to be given on a daily basis. Hope this info will help.
What are some of the early warning signs that my cats has or is starting to get a blockage?
Love the web site.
Foods either wet or dry should NOT have fruit, veggies, herbs, or plant oils. These help cause UTI’s or blockages.. Food should be animal protien based. Read the labels, some of the most expensive foods are loaded with inappropriate cat ingredients. Supplement your cats diet with fish oil, Vit E and cooked meats like chicken, turkey, sardines, mackerel. Feeding fish once or twice a week is good for your cat but be sure to add taurine and Vit E when you feed fish.
Your vet may also recommed changing the cat’s food to Science Diet c/D or another presctiption dry AND wet food. Though I don’t like the ingredients it has kept my 9 y/o male cat pretty much UTI and blockage free for 5 years. I changed him once to another brand of Rx food for crystals adn he got them with 2 weeks of being onthe food. Prior to thatt he had crystals 3 times , one total blockage and several uti’s. If he gets one more blockage or incident of crystals I will be getting the surgery for him because I work and if not home when a blockage occurs, it can be fatal. THey will avoid the litterbox, urinate outside teh litterbox, meow when tyring to go or tryign to find antoher palce to go, lick thier genitals or if blocked, stop eating, moan and be in severe pain.THIS MEANS AN EMERGENCY!
My older Cat Maggie had these infections and I couldn’t figure out why, I took her to the vet
and the anitbiatice worked then three week later she got it again- I watch her carefully
pampeedr her and it got better but she still had blood, and then just out of the clear blue
ski I was reading about cast that can’t drink water from a faucet, it might even have been
this web site or Dr Jones( really good blog. so I started her on bottle water about two
months ago all gone she’s happy and naughty just the way she used to be. Gabi
My cat Abby gets constipated from kibble, didn’t bother her when she was younger, but the older they get, the more intolerant to carbs. So I give wet food mixed with water, and only 1 &1/2 tsp of kibble a day. I cured my other cats constipation from adding 1 tsp of cooked oatmeal in his wet food a few times a week. Worked for him, not for her. And he had the WORST constipation. I noticed when she gets constipated, she also starts spritzing urine, like it bothers her bladder. OF COURSE IT DOES! The pressure alone makes bladder feel worse. After switching her to NO kibble, and using half spring water, half distilled water (we have really hard water) so far, so good. I give her Petromalt a few times a week. Knock wood, she is her old self again.
From Gabi again I also give my kittie Vets +Best urinary tract support half pill in the morning
and half at night, and they like the tast.
I had a problem with my cat Butterball . When is was three years old he began to have many urinary problems he almost died . It comes on sudden and than i had to rush him to the hospital or my vet .
He can not eat can food and he never liked can food. He has to eat just one food it is dry food because he has other issues . He has the Royal Canin with the duck and peas the hypoalergenic for adults.
I also have to give him a quarter of vitamin C .
He is eight years old now and doing fine but i always worry that it will come back .
What if i am not home and when i do get home he did not make it or what if i can not afford to pay if he needs to be rushed to the hospital .
It is been a issue in the past and i hope not anymore.
I hate that he can not eat anything else but that one food it is pure protein and he has done well with it .
His weight is good and his teeth are like he brushes them perfect the doctor said.
Just may not be good to eat the same thing everyday for years.
What king of dry cat foof is pure protein? The closest I have found is Epigen.
I used to feed Cosmo (neutered male) grain free kibbles with free access to fresh filtered water. Unfortunately, he had 2 blockages by the time he was 2 years old. His sister, Ling was also on the same diet and had no issues. I believe Cosmo’s main problem was that he doesn’t drink much water.
I wasn’t happy with the ingredients in the prescription diet I was told he had to be on for the rest of his life, so I opted to cook for all my pets and he’s been doing really well since.
The prescription diet made him drink copious amount of water (not normal for cats) and made him pee as much. With the home cook, he drinks like what a normal cat would with healthy litter box habits.
Blockage is an emergency and delays in getting the cat to the vet (there’s really no other option) can cause irreversible damage or even death.
I had two kitties block with struvite crystals while on a “premium” dry food diet. I also had one cat become diabetic. I did a lot of reading on feline nutrition, and while you hit a lot of the key issues when it comes to feline urinary health, you forgot one major one. Keeping the cat’s urine acidic. Proper urinary PH is between 6.0 and 6.5 (7.0 being neutral)
What keeps the urine acidic naturally? meat. What causes it to become alkaline? plants. There is a huge movement in human health to alkalize the body, and how it is healthy for humans, but it is absolutely not a good idea for cats. Most cat foods that have a lot of plant matter get around the fact by adding an acidifying agent methionine. It is an amino acid you can buy at most major health food stores. C/D and other urinary tract foods contain a lot of it, and the one problem with supplementing with methionine is that the urine can become too acidic and cause oxolate stones, which are much more difficult to treat.
Cats were designed or evolved depending on your belief system to be desert creatures and get everything they needed from their prey – small rodents. A species appropriate diet for cats would be one that would be as close to that as possible.
My Max had a few bladder infections and my veterinarian put him on the
food, Science Diet CD. It worked wonders.
Have checked the grocery stores and didn’t find any whole grain canned cat food. The nearest pet store is a good distance from my home, but I may have to go there.
I had a male cat 12 years old that had oxalate crystals, he had surgery
and they removed over 65 stones. He was put on a SD-XD diet, and the
water I was giving him had a high mineral content (well water). Then science
diet changed the formula and he refused to eat it. I then switched to a Purina
medical diet, and he steadily got worse. The blockages were never ending,
and I could not stand to see him in so much pain, so with a heavy heart I
had him put down.
My cat kept getting UTIs until we changed his food. Meowmy we tried that food and it did not help prevention for us. I did some research and found some grain-free cat food with cranberries in it by Natural Balance, which really seemed to help in prevention, as he has not gotten once since we switched a year ago. His dry food is called Alpha and the wet food we mix in is from their L.I.D. line, both grain-free and both have cranberries and other superfoods and no fillers that promote immunity from sickness.
How many times do you see a cat in the wild eat cranberries? I don’t mean to criticize, but cranberries is a bunch of hype, for humans and cats. They put this stuff (blueberries ive even seen) in cat food to please us.
As a person who has taken concentrated cranberry in pill form, that irritates my bladder even more. Distilled water mixed with spring water worked for my puss. And no kibble at all, just wet food mixed with same water.
I’ve worried about this since I got my cat, so I try to give him a mix of wet and dry food. He’s still a kitten though and I find that giving him multiple drinking options encourages him to drink. I usually leave 2 bowls and a glass out for him. Drinking water is probably the most important thing for them.
Hill’s CD. It is expensive, but it is also good as a regular maintenance diet. The kitties I have now have never had grocery store food. CD will also make your kitties’ coats beautiful and shiny, and I think, extend their lives. Several years ago, I took my boy kitty to Gainesville Vet College for persistent blood in his urine. The doctor and the student were both amazed that he was 16. They said he looked much younger. I told them: it is the food. He finally left me at the age of 19. His brother left me at 18 and my first kitty, a Maine Coon, was 20. All Hill’s CD kitties. And no, Idon’t work for them. I just keep them in business. ;) I am a fan.
Lin Hiril…where do you live and the actual name of the cat food is Hill’s CD. I live in WV and am really interested in buying the food you are talking bout maybe I will google it ;)
I don’t think you or the person above realize that Hills pays stipends to vets at college in return they expect them to sell their dog food. On the dogfoodadvisor.com, hills foods are rated a 3 star which is not really that good. I’d find another grain free that is rated better and cost a lot less. I’d never use Hills. It’s a rip off.
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