Food for Cat prone to UTI

Fluffyfatty

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My cat has a history of UTI and recently the vet thinks he has Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) as his urine contained some struvite crystals which caused a blockage. I’m afraid he would be predisposed to UTIs and future blockages so I’m very determined to change his diet holistically.

The vet started him on Hills c/d for urinary but he doesn’t quite like it! I’ve tried mixing it with some of his usual canned tuna and he smartly only picks those up to eat. I can’t let this go on because he will not be eating enough.

Is this prescription diet really that important? I’ve seen some controversy about it. My cat‘s original diet was petstore-bought tuna cans with gravy (Brand: Fish4Cats). That brand isn’t cheap and it looks just like human grade tuna cans. I’m wondering if I can just let him eat that forever? I’ll of course also be completely eliminating dry food, encouraging him to drink water and adding supplements into his wet food (Nutramax Cosequin and UroMAXX uti drops).

Main Question is can I feed him his regular tuna cans with gravy? I’ve seen people talking about how tuna/fish is bad for cats? The ingredients list of those cans are as follows:

(Composition)
Tuna 54%
Fish Broth 38%
Crab/Salmon/Prawn etc depending on flavour : 4%
Rice 4%
(Analytical Components)
Crude Protein 12%
Crude Fat 0.1%
Crude Fibres 0.9%
Crude Ash 2%
Moisture 85%

Anyone with experience and suggestions please leave them here!
 

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SpecterOhPossum

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Before more advanced and skilled users chime in, I'll share my 4 braincells to help out too.
Cat's REALLY shouldn't be eating a fish heavy diet, especially tuna.
[source]

Now, in my humble opinion.. That food isn't required. However, take me with a grain of salt.
I don't think any commercial pet foods are the answer here, I think the healthiest choice is home cooked or homemade raw.
I personally am trying out home cooked and have been using the premix U-stew, you could also use one like balenceIT, ezcomplete, etc. This is the easiest way to get TONS of moisture and healthy benefits into your cat as you control everything that goes in it. For example; you can jam pack more water content than average canned foods. I boil tons of chicken in the same broth; then add that cooled broth back to my mix personally and it's very moisture heavy and very flavorful. Then, when serving portions, you can also add additional spoonfuls or so of water to the portion itself and it won't kill the flavor.
 

Azazel

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The tuna cans aren’t going to be an appropriate diet to feed forever. Tuna, in general, shouldn’t be fed every day since it is potentially high in toxins. It’s the same for humans. Tuna only occasionally is fine. Also, human tuna cans are not nutritionally complete for cats. Your cat will suffer from malnutrition if that’s all you feed.

As for the UTI, I wouldn’t feed Hills prescription food for prevention. It’s completely unnecessary. Instead I would find a few different flavors and brands of wet canned food that your cat likes and rotate those. Cats need lots of moisture in their food. Cut out the dry food. Water is key.

More info can be found here: Cat Urinary Tract Diseases: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary Tract Infection
 

cheeser

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Some cats really do seem to need prescription foods. In our case, it just didn't work out for our cat with urinary tract issues, and he kept having relapses until we finally stumbled across catinfo.org, including the article that Azazel Azazel mentioned.

Once we got Buddy started on a wet food only, low carb, no fish diet, he hasn't had a single relapse since, which IIRC, has been about 4-5 years. The protein/fat/carb/phosphorus chart was extremely helpful for finding low carb wet foods, but we had to be really careful at first until we got the hang of reading all of the labels to make absolutely sure it didn't contain any fish, as that was one of the things that kept triggering his relapses.

Also, sometimes vets forget to mention this, but stress can be a factor for this sort of thing. So in addition to making any dietary changes that best meet your cat's needs, it can also be helpful to invest in some Feliway diffusers, or whatever else helps your kitty to relax and unwind. :)
 
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Fluffyfatty

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Some cats really do seem to need prescription foods. In our case, it just didn't work out for our cat with urinary tract issues, and he kept having relapses until we finally stumbled across catinfo.org, including the article that Azazel Azazel mentioned.

Once we got Buddy started on a wet food only, low carb, no fish diet, he hasn't had a single relapse since, which IIRC, has been about 4-5 years. The protein/fat/carb/phosphorus chart was extremely helpful for finding low carb wet foods, but we had to be really careful at first until we got the hang of reading all of the labels to make absolutely sure it didn't contain any fish, as that was one of the things that kept triggering his relapses.

Also, sometimes vets forget to mention this, but stress can be a factor for this sort of thing. So in addition to making any dietary changes that best meet your cat's needs, it can also be helpful to invest in some Feliway diffusers, or whatever else helps your kitty to relax and unwind. :)
Hey thank you this was so informative! I do, however, have some questions. You mentioned wet food but no fish, could you give me an example? I’m going to the cat store tomorrow and reading all the labels inside. Most wet canned food for cats are tuna based so making it no fish sounds tricky!
 

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Fluffyfatty

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Perfect! Thank you! Seems like chicken it is. What do you think of boiling chicken breast for my cat on some days? Can cats prone to UTI and crystals take chicken breast with broth?

This is all so new to me I would never in a million years imagine tuna and fish can be bad for cats! All 4 of my cats have been eating tuna and fish for 2 years and all of them are healthy except this one. If not for his recent UTI and blockage scare, I wouldn’t even have known...
 

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SpecterOhPossum

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Perfect! Thank you! Seems like chicken it is. What do you think of boiling chicken breast for my cat on some days? Can cats prone to UTI and crystals take chicken breast with broth?

This is all so new to me I would never in a million years imagine tuna and fish can be bad for cats! All 4 of my cats have been eating tuna and fish for 2 years and all of them are healthy except this one. If not for his recent UTI and blockage scare, I wouldn’t even have known...
You're welcome, glad I can help!!
Boiled chicken and the boiled chicken itselves broth (not store bought broth) should be fine, however, I wouldn't do that for a whole day. It's fine in between meals or as a snack, but it won't be nutritionally adequate and could do harm over time.
You could use a balanced premix for chicken days, like U-Stew for Cats to which you just add to cooked chicken meat & broth in batches!
 

cheeser

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Hey thank you this was so informative! I do, however, have some questions. You mentioned wet food but no fish, could you give me an example? I’m going to the cat store tomorrow and reading all the labels inside. Most wet canned food for cats are tuna based so making it no fish sounds tricky!
Actually, there are lots of options that don't include fish, such as chicken, turkey, duck, guineafowl, beef, lamb, pork, rabbit, kangaroo, etc! And if price is a concern, chicken based wet foods can be pretty budget friendly.

Just FYI, some cats with urinary tract problems can tolerate fish oils and shellfish just fine. It's the fish "meat" that seems to be a problem for Buddy. For example, many of his foods contain salmon oil or green lipped mussel, and until he developed an allergy to it, we used to give him Pure Bites shrimp treats.

Also, be careful about foods with gravy. Sometimes they can be higher in carbs, which can be an issue for kitties with urinary tract issues. That's where Dr. Pierson's chart at catinfo.org can really come in handy! :)
 

LTS3

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Most wet canned food for cats are tuna based so making it no fish sounds tricky!

Where do you live where all the canned cat food is tuna based? Any good pet store will have a variety of non-seafood canned cat food. Most grocery stores and big box stores, too. Double check the ingredient list, though. Sometimes even if if the label says "chicken dinner" there's a bit of seafood in the food. Ordering cat food online is always an option unless you literally live in the middle of nowhere or in an area with limited package delivery options.

Stick with meat based foods: any kind of poultry (chicken, duck, etc), beef, rabbit, lamb, etc.

If you're in the US, you can use this handy chart to find seafood-free foods:

 
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