Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in felines, with urethral obstruction more common in males than females. Having an understanding of what causes these conditions can help you prevent them. And knowing that there are natural remedies available that can help your cat recover will also open up your options, especially if you want to take an integrative approach to your pet’s care.
A urinary tract infection is very painful, so you’ll notice that your cat is uncomfortable. The typical symptoms include having to urinate frequently, licking the genitals excessively, lethargy, reduced appetite, straining or crying out in pain while urinating, avoiding the litter box, blood in the urine, and other signs that your pet is in pain and may have a fever, such as a hunched back.
Urinary tract infections can be caused by bacteria, parasites, or fungi. Diet, however, can also be a cause of stone formation, so it’s important to know how the food you feed can affect your pet’s urinary health.
The first step, however, is to go to the vet immediately in order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A urinary tract infection that’s left unchecked will lead to complications, and urethral obstructions will quickly become lethal.
pH and Diet
Stones, also referred to as crystals, are often found along with inflammation in cats with urinary tract disease. These are formed when the urine pH isn’t what it should be, which is slightly acidic. Many cats develop struvite stones because the urine becomes too alkaline. On the other end of the spectrum, urine that’s too acidic will be prone to the formation of calcium oxalate stones. So it’s all about balance.
Holistic veterinarians believe that health begins with the right nutrition. By simply feeding a species-appropriate diet loaded with high quality proteins, no grains, and plenty of moisture (this means avoiding kibble), your cat’s urine should regulate, and this can help prevent the formation of stones.
In addition to conventional remedies, such as antibiotics, that your vet will prescribe to restore your cat’s urinary health, you can also implement some natural remedies. Always work under the guidance of a vet, however, before giving your pet any of the following remedies.
Parsley acts as a diuretic that helps the body get rid of waste. It also has an antiseptic effect in the urinary tract, helping to kill bacteria. Uva Ursi is an astringent herb that can also attack bacteria and other pathogens that cause infections. It’s also used to reduce inflammation and bleeding associated with UTIs. Marshmallow root has similar effects to Uva Ursi, while Juniper Berry assists kidney function, promotes urine production, and helps eliminate impurities from the body.
Popular homeopathic remedies include Urtica urens, Colocynthus, Apis mellifica, and Thlaspi bursa. And nutritional supplements like CoQ10 and cranberry extract may also help.
Again, you don’t want to waste time when it comes to giving your cat relief from a UTI. As soon as you notice the symptoms, make an appointment with your vet. Head to the emergency vet if you notice your cat is unable to urinate at all as a result of an obstruction.