SPOT THE SIGNS OF BLADDER ISSUES IN YOUR CAT
NO CAT acts out inappropriately in any circumstance without there being a cause which creates the effect. Anyone who notices odd or unwanted behavior in their cat should take them to their vet right away, as many issues are medically based and easily medically fixed.
Know what to look for, and do not proceed on your own without a very quick and cheap urinalysis by your vet, you can't definitively diagnose UTIs or crystals yourself and trying to treat symptoms without knowing the underlying cause can be lethal to the cat.
How to Help Cats With Bladder Troubles
Keep a close eye on your cat's behavior if you spot signs of bladder problems.
Bladder and urinary tract problems in cats---also known as FLUTD or FUS, feline urologic syndrome---are not common occurrences, but they can be fatal if not treated. The condition occurs in both sexes, though male cats are at a higher risk due to a possible blockage of the urethra, and it is usually seen in cats between the ages 2 and 7 who are fed only DRY, commerically bought food. While older cats may struggle to recover, there is a good chance that the bladder problem will subside if caught at an early stage. Knowing the symptoms will greatly improve your cat's chances.
1) Watch for symptoms and behavioral change. Felines with bladder problems will struggle to urinate and may spend more time in the litter tray. Observing cats in an open-top tray may be easier. A sick cat will stay in a fixed position for a longer period of time than normal.
2) Confirm that your cat is urinating. If a cat is unable to urinate, chances are that it may be avoiding it because of pain. If they show any discomfort while using the litter tray, this is a clear sign that medical attention is needed.
3) Contact professional help if blood is present in the urine, or if your cat cries in pain when urinating, or if your cat performs excessive grooming of the genitals. When the early signs are serious, professional help is imperative and medication will be needed. If the condition is not treatable with medication, surgery may be required to remove bladder stones or correct congenital abnormality.
4) Change your cat's food. Wet and Raw foods are best and a more natural choice for your pets. **Dry Pet Food was designed in the 1970s for owner convenience and NOT tailored for proper pet nutrition or pet health.** If symptoms are minor, talk to your vet, and special diets can be designed to decrease the chances of bladder problems and dissolve stones in the system. Meals low in protein are recommended, like a high quality, no-grain wet food and/or raw food. Add pure cranberry powder to your pets' food. There is a great product called Cranimals sold at pet food stores. Cranberry helps keep a healthy bladder environment.
5) Increase water consumption. Make sure there is always a water bowl on display for the cat. Try using less dry food or not at all, add wet or raw to your cats diet. Adding a little water to your cats food is great too. This will make it easier to pass through the cat.
Tips & Warnings
If you change your cat's diet, be sure to check with a professional or take time to research the condition. The wrong diet may increase the possibility of stone and crystal formation, making the condition worse. A diet of ONLY dry, commerically bought food is dangerous and unhealthy for your pet. **Dry Pet Food was designed in the 1970s for owner convenience and NOT tailored for proper pet nutrition or pet health.**
**Thank you to http://www.knowbetterpetfood.com/feline_struvite_crystals for the following information:
Struvite crystals are also referred to as triple phosphate (magnesium ammonium phosphate), and when several crystals join together to form stones, they can become life-threatening to the cat. These stones can range in shape and size, and when they block the urinary tract, they can quickly lead to kidney failure.
The incidence of struvite crystals in cats coincides exactly with the advent and widespread use of dry commercial cat foods. These diets became popular in the 1970’s, and since that time, cats have been subjected to this very painful and unnecessary condition. (These ‘foods’ were not developed for the optimal health of cats, but rather for the convenience of the owner, and for the profits of the commercial pet food manufacturers.)
The cause of struvite crystals in cats is dry commercial pet foods. Due to the lack of moisture in the diet, the urine becomes too concentrated, and due to the use of plant-based ingredients in dry kibble, the urine becomes too alkaline. An alkaline environment in very concentrated urine predisposes struvite formation. Struvite crystals do not tend to appear in a more acidic environment and where the urine is more dilute. The cat is not a natural water drinker, as it has evolved over millions of years, in a very arid part of the planet, and derived most of its moisture from its prey.
Consequently, the domestic cat which is fed a diet of dry foods is chronically dehydrated.
Acidifying the diet with veterinary prescription diets does not work. There has been little or no progress in the treatment of struvite crystals in the traditional veterinary community, more interested in selling you cat food than in caring for the health of your animal.
Best way to avoid this is to feed the cat correctly. When the cat consumes a balanced, natural diet of raw meat, the urine can maintain a more natural pH. The water content of the food (typically 75 – 80% moisture) creates a more dilute urine, and struvite formation, does not occur.**
How to feed your dog and cat correctly:
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Here is a great blog on preventing urinary crystals in your pets:
THE COMMERCIAL PET FOOD INDUSTRY
Many of us would be shocked to learn what goes into our pets' food. The commercial pet food industry is designed for profit and not for optimal pet health.
A great source of information for pet owners is the book by Ann M. Martin titled, Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Foods. In her book, Ann M. Martin explains how pet foods are made from meats "not suitable for human consumption" and the origins of this meat which, to pet owners, may sound like something out of a horror movie.
If you want a quick read and to learn more, here is a very informative blog by Dr. Jeff Feinman, Certified Veterinary Homeopath at http://www.homevet.com/index.php/diet-discussion/item/315-an-excerpt-from-the-book-food-pets-die-for