experience a recurrence of FLUTD when they return to their
former food. To prevent recurrence, your veterinarian may suggest feeding your
cat a prescription diet, such as Hill’s Feline c/d(s) for struvite uroliths or
c/d(o) for calcium oxalate uroliths, for six to nine months. Switch to the
prevention diet when your veterinarian has determined that your cat is free of
symptoms and the urine is free of crystals. The procedure for introducing a new
diet is to gradually mix it in with old food over the course of about ten days,
adding more and more of the new food and less and less of the old until the
switch is complete.
If the cat remains free of symptoms and urinary crystals for six to nine
months, your veterinarian may suggest a moderately restricted magnesium diet,
or some combination of prescription diets that produce an acidic or
alkaline urine, depending on your cat’s situation. High-acid diets are not
recommended for elderly cats. Cranberry capsules may be a safe long-term
additive to encourage bladder health.
As they age, cats often suffer a decline in functioning, including their cognitive functioning. It’s estimated that cognitive decline-referred to as feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD-affects more than 55% of cats aged 11 to 15 years and more than 80% of cats aged 16 to 20 years. Memory, ability to learn, awareness, and sight and hearing perception can all deteriorate in cats affected with FCD. This deterioration can cause disturbances in sleeping patterns, disorientation or reduced activity...
The cat’s urine should be checked every six months. If the cat develops new
signs of illness while on a maintenance diet, your veterinarian may advise you
to switch back to one of the prescription diets already mentioned.
There are also other steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of the cat
developing excessive urinary sediment or infection.
Keep the litter box clean. It should be scooped at least twice a day and
the litter changed whenever it smells. Some cats refuse to use a dirty litter
box. This can result in voluntary retention of urine.
Encourage water consumption by keeping clean, fresh water available at all
times. Feeding canned foods will also provide your cat with more liquid in her
diet. Some cats can be induced to drink more by providing a small water
fountain or leaving a faucet dripping.
Prevent obesity. Maintain normal body
weight by restricting food intake, as discussed in chapter 18. Encourage your
cat to exercise by engaging in regular interactive play sessions.
Minimize stress as much as possible.
Glucosamine supplements may be beneficial in preventing a recurrence, as
these substances are thought to protect the lining of the bladder.
Occasionally, a cat will not consume a prescription diet. Your veterinarian
should be able to recommend other diets, supplements, or recipes for
Cats with repeated attacks of FLUTD that don’t respond to the preventive
measures listed here should have complete veterinary evaluation, searching for
uroliths and other abnormalities in the urinary tract
The question arises about whether all adult cats should be placed on a
special diet as a prophylactic measure to prevent FLUTD. Considering that 99
percent of cats are not affected by FLUTD, regardless of diet, and that other
factors besides diet are important in the etiology of this syndrome, feeding a
severely restricted diet to all cats probably is not justified. However,
feeding canned food is desirable for this and many other reasons.
Most cat food manufacturers have
reduced the levels of magnesium in their products and added L-methionine, a
urinary acidifier. This should provide some protection against FLUTD when it
involves struvite crystals or uroliths. Remember that while most dietary
information for cats with urinary problems relates to
struvite uroliths, many cats suffer from calcium oxalate uroliths and need a
different therapy plan.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"