September 28, 2007 7:15 AM   Subscribe

How do I prevent future urinary tract infections in my male (neutered, indoor) cat?

About a year ago I took Damon to the vet because he was urinating all over the house. The vet said he had an infection, gave me antibiotics and switched his food.

In the year since then, we've gotten a (male, neutered, indoor) kitten and moved to a larger house. Damon got along with Ninja at the old place; they fight a lot at this place. Then Damon started urinating in the new place - almost entirely on clothing or blankets we'd left laying out. I thought this was behavioral because of all the recent stress, so I gave him more attention and play. (The kitten had been getting a lot, so I thought he might be jealous.)

Turns out he has another UTI. The new vet has recommended I switch his food from Science Diet C/D (old vet's recommendation) to Royal Canin Urinary SO. (He also says I can give kitten the leftover C/D food - does this sound right?) He gave me antibiotics. Hopefully this will clear up this infection - but how do I prevent it in the future?
posted by desjardins to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try adding a few more water dishes around your place. An added bonus, according to my vet, is that it can help prevent (far too common) kidney issues and potentially add 2+ years to your kitty's life.
posted by at 7:24 AM on September 28, 2007

Of course, IANAV, but I can second your vet's recommendation for Royal Canin Urinary SO. My vet switched my guy Pip over to that food after some serious urinary blockages earlier this wear. So far, he's done really well with it and no problems since.

A couple things - this food will often make them produce a little more urine that usual, so my cats have become pretty demanding of a constant source of good fresh water (they've done well with one of those "Fresh Flow" water bowls).

Also, please be on the lookout if he is trying to urinate but can't (or only a few drops). It could be a sign he has a urinary blockage which can be life-threatening if not treated soon.

From my research, sometimes male cats can be more pre-disposed to urinary issues - sometimes its stress induced and sometimes genetic (among other causes). FWIW.
posted by dicaxpuella at 7:46 AM on September 28, 2007

Males are more predisposed to urinary issues simply because they have tiny urethras, so they are far more likely to get blocked than females. Neutered male and indoor is the classic trifecta for FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease). The food suggested is good for this (although there is a Prescription Diet which will also work). There's no problem feeding the kitten the leftover C/D, it's just fine as a maintenance diet for any cat at all (indeed, most people who have multiple cat households with one urinary issue cat just feed C/D to the gang).

Increasing your cat's water intake is one of the goals to keep his urinary system well-flushed (SO accomplishes this by increased sodium content if I recall correctly).
posted by biscotti at 8:44 AM on September 28, 2007

to help increase water intake (and therefore output), get one of the water bowls that recirculate the water. Before i got one, my cats hardly ever drank out of just a regular bowl, and preferred either toilet water, or drips out of faucets. the recirculation helps keep the water oxygenated (keeps it from going stale). I have one of these, and they go through the entire resivoir (the clear part on the left) in 2 days. It requires a little maintenance, to clear hair from the pump, but it only needs to be done maybe once a week. The pump is really quiet too.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2007

If Damon doesn't drink more water on his own, you can try adding broth to his wet food to increase the moisture content. My vet recommended about a tablespoon or two of broth mixed into the food each time he's fed. My cat had a blockage and we didn't like feeding him the C/D food (concerns over the recent recalls) and wanted something more natural. We give him Felidae now.
posted by blueskiesinside at 10:07 AM on September 28, 2007

Oh, also, our vet told us to cut out dry food altogether as it tends to exacerbate urinary issues in male cats.
posted by blueskiesinside at 10:08 AM on September 28, 2007

How clean is the litterbox? What kind of litter are you using?

Seconding the idea of getting off of dry food and coaxing him into drinking more water with one of those fountain things.
posted by BrandonAbell at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2007

Response by poster: Hm, the vet gave me dry food for him - as did the previous vet.
posted by desjardins at 11:04 AM on September 28, 2007

Wet food, definitely. My vet is a huge proponent of wet food for male cats with urinary issues because cats typically don't drink enough water as it is and because there are no real benefits to their teeth with the dry food anyhow. The wet food provides extra moisture.

Also, change his water constantly or get one of those fountain things.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 3:07 PM on September 28, 2007

Actually, it's been shown in at least one study that cats eating wet food take in LESS water in total than cats eating a dry diet formulated for urinary issues.
posted by biscotti at 4:02 PM on September 28, 2007

I had a kitty with this problem. Eventually he quit having the big emergencies and issues. Vet said sometimes they age out of it. We had him on special food. Got him a fountain (he loved it and drank more). Ate wet food. And a very clean litterbox. He lived a great life to 15 (still miss him, he was the best guy). Good luck.
(They do have what amounts to a sex change operation(my vets said) for recurrent blockages, but you want to avoid that if you can).
posted by pywacket at 12:27 AM on September 30, 2007

« Older looking for a Korean song   |   How to make vegetarian tomato sauce from scratch? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.