Best Cat Food for Urinary Crystals




To know what kinds of foods help prevent urinary crystals, it is helpful to know what causes them. We are referring to urinary crystals in relation to food and nutrition. Crystals form when the pH in the urine is too alkaline. This is the opposite of acidic. The reason why the urine would become too alkaline is when the urine is too concentrated. This means that the cat is not getting enough water to dilute the urine. Crystals don’t normally form when the urine is more acidic.

Therefore, water intake is very important. What a cat eats out in the wilderness, which is small animals, is made up of about 75% water. That is a big percentage that is water. Canned cat food, on average, is about 70% water. This is very close in moisture content to the small animals they eat in the wilderness.

Also, it is important to note that cats by nature don’t drink a lot of water. I know it seems weird because if you have a cat, and provide it with a bowl of water, you may have seen him/her drink from it. But most of the moisture content comes from the animals they eat, so there is no need to drink from a bowl.thirsty-cat

The reason a domesticated cat drinks water is because they do not get the moisture content that is needed. The main culprit of this is dry food. Compared to the 70% water canned food is, dry food is only around 10%. That is a huge difference. This difference can be life threatening if you don’t supply water.

So to sum this up: the main culprit of urinary crystals is dry food.

If you aren’t going to budge and you like to feed your cat dry food, it is extremely important that the cat has water available at all times. As mentioned, they don’t normally drink water, but will if they are thirsty. Even then, a cat may not drink enough and can still be dehydrated.

So then what is the best cat food for urinary crystals?

The best cat food for urinary crystals really is canned cat food. Honesty, even mediocre quality canned cat food is better than dry food. At least they are getting the moisture content with the canned. A lot of people get tricked into thinking vet prescribed dry food is the best cat food for crystals, meanwhile it is not. Canned cat food is the way to go to help prevent urinary crystals.

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  1. This information was very helpful. I adopted a five year old male cat recently from a family that I know.He is sleek and heathy. They told me that their vet told them to feed Nutro Hair Ball Formula to prevent urine crystals, which the cat has a history of. He seems to be drinking well. He is an indoor cat.Maybe I will introduce some wet food.

  2. What about the phosphorous levels? With minerals building up on the urinary walls, doesn’t it make sense to have lower mineral levels?

    1. The phosphorus levels should be in balance with the calcium levels. It should be about 1.2 to 1 calcium to phosphorus. Phosphorus is one of the nasty building blocks in the formation of crystals so you are right in thinking it makes sense to have lower mineral levels, absolutely. However, no minerals whatsoever isn’t a good thing either. The mineral levels in the cat food are low to begin with, as cats don’t need that much for their smaller bodies (as compared to us). The phosphorus level should be about 0.5% min. on a dry matter basis. If you’re picking a solid healthy wet food, the mineral levels shouldn’t be too concerning.
      Dry food is where problems may occur as the food makes the urine too concentrated and the mineral levels can become elevated. This is why it is important to feed wet if you can, or have water present so the cat isn’t dehydrated and can dilute the urine.

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