When it comes to your cat, you know she’s more than just flesh and fur. She’s mind, body, spirit, and pure spunk! We’re sure you want to keep her healthy and spunky for years to come. That’s why I wanted to devote this article to holistic health treatments to keep your cat’s urinary system in optimal shape. In other words, I’m here to help you mind your cat’s pees and Qs. Get it?
Lower urinary tract disease and other urinary problems in cats are extremely common and can cause your kitty discomfort and distress. Preventative holistic care can provide your cat the support he needs to stay healthy.
Why do cats seem more prone than dogs to urinary problems? Cats have a low thirst drive. This means they don’t feel the natural urge to drink a lot. Your cat’s wild ancestors received most of their hydration from the prey they consumed. This is likely because stopping to drink from a pond or river would make them vulnerable to attack from a larger predator. Who can blame them, right?
Some urinary health conditions, like bladder stones, can become life-threatening and most cats require surgery to remove the sharp stones.
No, we’re not exaggerating. Bladder stones can become lodged in your cat’s urethra. You’ll often see this problem referred to as a urethral plug (ew!) or urethral obstruction. These bladder stones prevent urine from passing and make it impossible for your cat to empty his bladder.
Not to scare you, but cats can develop bladder stones in a matter of weeks which makes it vital for cat parents to pay attention to their kitty’s bathroom habits.
Feline urinary health is more than just the bladder or urethra. Your cat’s urinary health is actually tied in with her mental health and diet. So, a healthy cat really is head-to-toe or what I like to refer to as “whiskers to tail.” Holistic medicine treats your whole cat: mind, body, spirit. And while you shouldn’t skip those vet visits, there are a meow-tain of things you can do to prevent urinary health issues, support vet-approved treatment, and aid in recovery.
Urinary tract issues can lead to expensive veterinary bills along with pain and discomfort in your cat. If you suspect your cat is developing or suffering from a urinary issue, don’t delay...bring him into the vet.
FLUTD is really just a collection of symptoms that point to an unhealthy urinary tract. FLUTD can be any combination of the symptoms above. The root cause of FLUTD can be difficult to pinpoint but it’s essential to figure out for the treatment protocol.
Cats can develop infections from bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses. Bacteria is the most common culprit, though. Cats with diabetes or uroliths (i.e. urinary stones) experience more urinary infections.
As we’ve mentioned already, urethral obstructions prevent your cat from urinating properly. Blockages can stop a cat from relieving her bladder or make the process extremely painful and difficult.
Obstructions prevent the kidneys from doing their job: removing harmful toxins from your cat’s bloodstream and balancing electrolytes and fluids. If your cat can’t get rid of those toxins and their electrolytes get out of whack, then their heart can stop. Heart failure from a blockage can occur within 24 to 48 hours, which is why this is always considered an emergency.
Because males and female cats are built differently down there, they present different concerns.
Because a male cat’s urethra is more narrow, a urinary obstruction is more dangerous for male kitties. Urethral blockages are also more common in male cats.
While it’s less common, female cats can experience urinary blockages.
FIC still manages to baffle the veterinary world. This urinary tract disease mostly affects cats under ten years old. Often, if your vet has ruled out other urinary issues, FIC is the culprit. FIC is linked to diet and stress. And 40-50% of cats that experience FIC will see a recurrence of the problem within one year.
One of the easiest ways to help encourage strong urinary health is to get your kitty to drink water. Water intake helps your cat to flush out her system. It also dilutes the concentration of her urine which can make it more pH balanced.
While most vets will suggest a prescription diet, some cat parents don’t love the byproducts and price that comes along with them. Dry food prescription diets encourage your cat to feel more thirsty, but can also pull moisture from your cat’s body for digestion.
While a prescription diet works for some, many require a prescription from your vet. So, what if you just want to support your cat’s urinary health before a problem presents itself? There are some things to do:
If your cat is on a dry food diet, switch him to wet food ASAP. Remember that cats in the wild get most of their moisture from what the eat? Canned food does a better job of replicating this.
When it comes to ingredients, you want your cat’s diet to be as high in protein as possible. Look for foods made with chicken and pork rather than fish.
When it comes to home remedies, remember moderation and ramping up dosages can help your cat’s body adjust. So what holistic remedies will help your kitty get over a UTI? Plants! You may be thinking, “Is it normal to give cats plants?”. The answer is a resounding, yes! Cats in the wild will naturally munch on grass and plants, so it comes as no surprise that plants and plant supplements will help your indoor kitty! Now, the question is...which ones?
Holistic support can go a long way to improve your cat’s urinary health. When used hand-in-hand with veterinary care, you can encourage your cat to be a model for urinary health. Maintaining your cat’s health is less costly and better for her than letting problems snowball.
We also like to think that keeping cats healthy is a superpower. Urinary issues are the leading cause for cats to be surrendered and euthanized. Let’s change that!
So, stop by your holistic veterinarian, find a few more cat water bowls, and check that ingredient list on your cat’s food. Urine a good spot to make your cat’s life better.