Cat Urinary Tract Infection and The Role of Diet

If a Cat Urinary Tract Infection has affected your cat, you are not alone. It is a common occurrence. Read this informative question and answer about the role of diet in feline urinary tract infections.


I have an 8-year-old female cat. She has had UTI problems off and on for about 2 years. My vet put her on Royal Canin Urinary SO. She has been on this for about a year. Recently, however, she suffered another UTI. I have left a message with my vet that I have checked into trying her on some different prescription diets. I found Wysong prescription food which seems to have much better ingredients. However, there are two different ones for urinary problems. I would like to know which one to get and which one might be comparable. All I need to know, out of the two from Wysong, Struvatrol and Uratrar, which one do I need? Thanks so much..


Dear Angie:

Diet choices for cats is one of the most confusing issues facing pet owners today. Not only are there so many to choose from, but of course, each company proclaims their diet to be the best. In addition, there is much not known to the general public about methods of processing, additives, preservatives, ingredients, and more.

If that is not enough to make your head spin, there is also a lot of controversy over labeling. We have a problem at the moment with inadequate labeling requirements in this country. For example, a food can be labeled "natural" without any requirements whatsoever to prove it. Likewise, "organic" does not have stiff requirements when it comes to pet foods. Even the ingredients can be a bit tricky to figure out due to relaxed labeling requirements.

Therefore, it is fairly impossible to say at the moment that any one food is extremely superior to any other. I have had great success using SO to treat cats with urinary issues. What I have liked about it the most is that it is used regardless of the type of crystals found in a cat's urine. It maintains a more balanced pH, rather than one that is very alkaline or very acidic. That is important because struvite crystals form more readily in an alkaline urine while oxylate crystals form more readily in an acidic urine.

While Wysong indeed seems to be a food that is superior to many in terms of its ingredients and preparation, neither of their diets are equivalent to SO in terms of acidity or alkalinity and therefore the crystals that may or may not be formed.

Struvatrolâ„¢ is a prescription pet food for dogs and cats that aids with struvite crystals, bladders stones, FLUTD, and urolithiasis.

Uratrarâ„¢ is a prescription pet food for dogs and cats for UTI, FUS, oxalate, urate, and cystine crystals.

Only an analysis of your cat's urine will tell the type of crystals found, if any, and which diet might be more appropriate.

Also, keep in mind that many cases of feline urinary disorders are the result of bacterial infections, not crystaluria. SO may have been perfect for your kitty in terms of keep the crystals under control, but a cat can still get a bacterial infection that has nothing to do with crystals.

Therefore, the only answer will be found in a urinalysis performed by your vet. If that hasn't been done, it should be. Then, only your vet, relying on the results of the testing, will be able to tell you the best diet to feed.

I'd like to add, not because of anything you said, but due to several comments I have seen lately in forums about these topics, that vets do not recommend certain diets just to make a profit from them. Vets can just as easily sell you Wysong or Purina or anything else as they can Hill's, etc. We generally are able to purchase any prescription diet wholesale and sell it to our clients. We choose the ones we believe in and the profit margins, which are not our primary consideration, are about the same regardless of which food we carry and recommend.

Again you are not in a position and neither am I to recommend either version of Wysong's urinary diets until we know the results of a urinalysis. Otherwise, we could be doing great harm. This is one of the greatest reasons these diets are most often by prescription, rather than just over the counter.

Thank you for your question. It brings up several very important topics. I hope your kitty is feeling better and you can work with your veterinarian to find the diet that is best suited for your particular situation.

Dr. Neely