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Five Cat Food Factors That Discourage Feline UTD

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One of the most common causes of feline urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is what your cat eats. A cat diet that is too high in carbohydrates and magnesium and low in protein can lead to FLUTD. When their cat is diagnosed with FLUTD, cat owners usually first try to get their cat to eat the prescription food recommended by their veterinarian.

But what if the cat declines their offer? As an alternative, there are special non-prescription cat foods to keep the pH of your cat’s urine around 6.6. A high urine pH indicates the formation of struvite crystals in your cat’s urinary tract. The challenge is finding the right cat food that appeals to the cat, has the right amount of protein and magnesium, and has few or no by-products.

If you’re one of those owners who needs to find an alternative cat food, there are five things you should consider when choosing cat food to help prevent future FLUTD occurrences in your kitten:

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1. What is the most common ingredient?

The first and most common ingredient to list is protein – meat or fish. Read the label carefully – here are some variations you might see:

Canned cat food:


chicken liver

Boned Chicken

beef broth

Dry cat food:


organic chicken

herring meal

chicken meal

Some other good ingredients that will help your kitten maintain good urinary tract health are blueberries and cranberries. Vegetables like carrots are good and rice is a good grain

for your cat to consume.

2. Are there by-products?

Are by-products listed as one of the ingredients? If so, put the food back on the shelf and keep looking. By-products are bulking agents and have limited nutritional value for you

Kitten. By-products are usually carbohydrates, and since cats are carnivores, they need protein, not carbohydrates, to thrive on a proper diet.

Here are some examples of by-products:

Canned cat food:

Corn Gluten Meal

Ground Yellow Corn

soybean meal

beef by-products

meat by-products

Dry cat food:

Ground Yellow Corn

Chicken by-product meal

Corn Gluten Meal

wheat flour

meal with cereals

soy flour

3. How much moisture is in cat food?

What is the moisture content of the cat food you are evaluating? The higher the number, the better for your kitty. More moisture means your cat will urinate more. Elevated

Urinating flushes out any crystals that may be trying to form in your cat’s urinary tract. Canned cat food has a higher moisture content than dry cat food.

4. How much magnesium does the cat food contain?

An excess of magnesium contributes to the formation of struvite crystals (FLUTD). Some magnesium is necessary, but in general look for cat food that contains a maximum of 0.025% magnesium

Prevent struvite crystals.

5. Does the cat food contain DL-Methionine?

DL-Methionine is an amino acid with sulfur that helps regulate urinary ammonia formation. This amino acid helps maintain the pH of your cat’s urine at around 6.6, which is normal and does not encourage crystal formation.

And…since cats are cats (which means they call the shots!), be aware that what you choose for them may not be what they want to eat if they don’t like the taste . When this happens, you’ll have to start over until you find a healthy, nutritious cat food that deserves two paws from your cat!

Consider these five factors when shopping for cat food to maintain your kitten’s urinary tract and prevent FLUTD.

And remember, if you’re considering changing your cat’s diet, consult your veterinarian. She or he will provide you with expert guidance and information to ease the transition for you and your kitten.

Thanks to Nancy Wigal

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