Cats: Preventing Urinary Tract Problems

A guide for cats previously diagnosed with lower urinary tract disease

24 July 2018


Many cats are diagnosed with lower urinary tract disease each year. These diseases include, bladder infections, cystitis, bladder stones and blockages. For their owners, it's a problem which they would rather not see repeated.
There are a number of things you can do which may help prevent further urinary tract problems in your cat.

The first is to change your cat's diet. Your veterinarian may prescribe a special diet that is formulated to reduce the risk of urinary tract disease. But for many owners, changing to a new diet is not always easy or convenient. To help you and your pet make the important transition, try the following suggestions:

  1. Before changing diet, be sure your pet is feeling better and has recovered from their illness by following the treatment plans and by giving any medications prescribed by your vet.
  2. Plan ahead where you will buy your pet's food so that you never run out.
  3. Start a feeding schedule. If your pet has food available all the time, start leaving their food out for only one hour twice a day.
  4. Once the new feeding schedule is established, introduce the new diet. Start by replacing 25% of your pet's regular food with the new food mixed in. As your pet begins to eat the new food, reduce the amount of the other diet as much as possible, whilst increasing the proportion of the new diet. Complete the change over one to two weeks.
  5. Try to incoorporate wet foods wherever possible. If wet food is not acceptable to you or your cat, adding one to two cups of hot water per cup of dry food may work instead.
  6. There are many products on the market to help control urinary problems. Do not hesitate to seek advice and be willing to change to a different brand of food if your cat doesn't adapt to any particular one.
  7. Small quantities of flavouring agents can help, such as meat drippings, tuna or salmon juice. These can be mixed with the new diet to make it more appealing.
  8. Feed your cat in a quiet envrionment in which it won't be distracted.

Be sure to browse the Mammoth Pet Supplies store, or ask one of our friendly staff about the veterinary specific prescription diets we stock to help in reducing the risk of urinary tract disease.

The second thing you can do to lower the risk of urinary tract disease and urinary stones in your cat is to increase their water consumption. Increasing water intake helps to dilute the urine and has three benefits for you and your pet. First, it reduces the concentration of stone-forming minerals in the urine. Second, it will make your pet urinate more often, thereby reducing the time available for a stone to form. Finally, since increased water intake reduces the risk of stone formation, you may not have to start feeding your cat a special veterinary diet or giving medication that prevents stone formation.

A number of ways to increase your cat's water intake include:

  1. Adding water to the food, wether it's dry or canned. Start slowly and add more water as your cat's taste permits.
  2. If your cat tends to ignore the bowl of water by its food dish, experiment with the shape of the bowl. Some animals prefer a full, shallow dish. Others seem to like reaching down into a container.
  3. Cats are oppurtunistic drinkers, meaning they tend to drink water as they come across it. Make the most of this by placing multiple water bowls around the house or yard.
  4. Add wet foods to your pet's food, such as water packed tuna, or low salt gravy mixes.
  5. Offer distilled or bottled water instead of tap water - some felines are just extra fussy!
  6. Try a pet fountain such as the very popular Drinkwell fountains. Most cat's absolutely love running water, and these fountains which were developed by veterinarians, are perfect.
  7. Leave some water in the bottom of a sink, bathtub or shower.
  8. Flavour your pet's water by adding ice cubes made out of meat or fish broth. You can also add the broth from a tin of tuna in spring water to your cats drinking water.
  9. Don't salt your pets food because it can actually increase the risk of certain kinds of stones forming.

Drinkwell drinking fountains - a great way to increase water intake!


One way to tell if your cat is drinking enough is to measure their urine concentration. Your veterinarian may show you how to collect a urine sample to bring to the clinic for a urine check.

For more information or if you have any questions about your cat's urinary tract problems, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly vets for advice at:

Last edited: 29 November 2012

* The above is general vet advice and is not to be used exclusively. If your pet is showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please consult your veterinarian without delay.