Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:18 AM

Prevention of Feline Urological Syndrome

Preventing Feline Urological Syndrome is preferable to treating the condition once it occurs. If you have a male cat, you will want to set the stage for a healthy urinary tract ASAP. Come to think of it, these tips will help females, too--although females don't get "plugged" nearly as often as males, they are just as prone to cystitis, which is usually the precursor of FUS.

Diet is the most important factor in urinary health. If you feed your cat a commercially prepared diet, switch to homemade. If this isn't possible, feed a premium canned product and supplement with food you cook yourself. Do not feed dry food at all, and don't leave uneaten food around between feedings. Supplement daily with one-tenth of a natural adult multi vitamin (no iron) mixed with approximately one-eighth teaspoon of calcium carbonate or ground eggshell powder (phosphorus is better balanced than with other calcium sources).

Egg yolk and gizzards are high in l-methionine, an amino acid that acidifies urine. Do not supplement l-methionine as a prophylactic measure, though, as it has been associated with tumor generation. Don't feed your cats fish, except salmon and sardines as an occasional treat. Fish is not a natural food for cats anyway, and consumption of fish products is a factor in urine crystal production.

Do not let your cat become overweight. If you follow the above diet recommendations, this will most likely not occur. Commercial diets, particularly dry cat food, are loaded with carbohydrates, which cause weight gain with little commensurate nutritional value. Overweight cats tend to be lazy, while cats of normal weight are much more apt to be active.

Make sure kitty drinks enough water. Like their desert ancestors, cats aren't big water drinkers, so you must be creative. In addition to having clean water available at all times, add a bit of warm water or chicken broth to his meals. Dilute urine is much less likely to harbor crystals than concentrated urine. Some people have had success with pet water fountains, which recirculates the water and encourages drinking.

Since feeding a homemade diet, I have been able to cut the Bear's l-methionine supplement from two tablets a day to two-thirds of a tab per day. If you follow these tips, chances are excellent that you will never have to deal with this serious health condition. Good for kitty, and good for you!
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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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