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Wet cat food is the best choice for urinary health in cats.
This helps dilute urine and keep the risk of stones low.
To take things even further, limit the use of high oxalate foods (e.g. legumes) and vitamin C rich foods. These dietary factors can also increase urinary blockages.
In this guide, I’ve hand-picked the best cat foods for urinary health to help your cats stay healthy.
My recommended pick is below…
My Top Pick: Wellness Core Tiny Tasters
Wellness Core Tiny Tasters is my best pick for urinary health. As a wet food, it will help keep the pee flowing to lower risk of blockage.
It doesn’t use oxalate or vitamin C rich foods to help reduce stone formation. Plus it’s rich in animal protein, that may help acidify urine and keep the risk of urinary blockage low.
In the rest of this article I’ll run through my top picks and a buying guide on choosing cat food for urinary health.
Then I’ll go through frequently asked questions on this topic.
If you want to find what is absolutely the best for your cat, then read on…
Why trust this article?
As a dietitian, I am experienced in health and nutrition research. I’ve got the tools and know-how to tease apart the science. The foods I’ve recommended are heavily scrutinised down to the ingredient list and where possible, tested.
I’ve made sure to look at the research before writing this content. This article takes the advice from expert reviews and links them to suitable products.
>> Learn More on our About Page
3 Best Cat Foods for Urinary Health
The following choices are from my own product database, where I’ve entered nutrition, ingredient and pricing data.
The database also includes results from personal testing with my own cats and kittens. Where possible, I prefer recommending products I’ve personally tested to know what the quality is like.
However, if I notice something that is favourable I’ll suggest that in place (but will let you know that I haven’t tested it).
Best Non-Prescription Cat Food for Urinary Health
Wellness Core Tiny Tasters
Wellness Core Tiny Tasters is my best pick for urinary health.
This option doesn’t use any stone forming vegetables or cranberries in the pouch. It’s also meat rich, which helps with urine dilution.
They also offer a PDF to go through the nutrition info. Magnesium lines up with expert recommendations (0.08%), as does the calcium and phosphate (positive ratio).
The sodium might be a tad higher than what’s best though. Aside from the price and difficult to open packaging, this is worth a try.
>> Our review of Wellness Core
Wellness Core Tiny Tasters Ingredients
Duck, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Natural Flavors, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Locust Bean Gum, Potassium Chloride, Guar Gum, Salt, Sodium Carbonate, Taurine, Xanthan Gum, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Magnesium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide
|Cost per ounce* (market ave)||$1.00 ($0.48)|
Best Non-Prescription Dry Cat Food for Urinary Health
Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein
Dr. Elsey’s is formulated without grains, legumes and vegetables.
This limits the oxalate in your cats diet and helps with urinary care. It’s also high in animal protein, which experts suggest as well.
Whilst I haven’t personally tested it, there’s not much better to choose from (another option is Ziwi Peak).
Since it’s dry cat food, I still recommend adding water to dilute your cats urine.
Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Ingredients
Chicken, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharide, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Potassium Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Taurine, Salt, Rosemary Extract
|Cost per ounce* (market ave)||$0.40 ($0.48)|
Best Cheapest Wet Cat Food for Urinary Health
After scouring the cheaper cat food range, only one really stood out for urinary health – Nulo Freestyle.
It’s high in animal protein and moisture rich, which both help with diluting urine and stopping stones. USA made too for peace of mind.
My main gripe is the added cranberry, which isn’t optimal for urinary health. Haven’t tried it though, so not sure on flavor
Nulo Freestyle Ingredients
Duck, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Duck Broth, Tuna, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Agar Agar, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract
|Cost per ounce* (market ave)||$0.28 ($0.48)|
Why Use a Urinary Tract Cat Food?
Urinary tract cat foods help reduce the risk of stones.
About 1% of cats in the US and UK have urinary tract disease. The obvious sign of urinary disorder is your cat having problems urinating.
Risk factors for stones include:
- Being male
- Being neutered
- Low dietary calcium
- Low protein diet
- Excess vitamin C
- Dietary oxalate
- Purebred (e.g. Persians)
- Litter use problems
- Dry cat food only diet
- Senior age (10-15 years)
Signs of urinary tract disease include vomiting and anorexia. Vets diagnose problems with imaging and blood work.
If your cat has the signs of stones or a previous diagnosis, a urinary tract food can help reduce future risk. 40-50% of cats with urinary tract disease have a recurrence within a year of prior diagnosis.
What Is the Best Food for Cats With Urinary Tract Issues?
Wet canned cat food is best for urinary health.
Here’s a few other things to look for when choosing cat food for urinary health:
Here’s what nutrients to look for and avoid for urinary health.
Vitamin C is not required in a cats diet. It increases risk of calcium oxalate so avoid food (e.g. cranberry) or supplemental sources (e.g. ascorbic acid) in cat food.
Balancing nutrients so that their not too low or high seems best for urinary health. A low magnesium diet can help acifidy urine, which can help prevent certain types of stones forming.
Here’s what experts suggest for targets:
- 0.3-0.5% sodium (dry matter basis)
- 0.08%-0.1% magnesium (dry matter basis)
Avoid low phosphate diets, unless your cat has kidney disease.
Restrict dietary oxalate. Food sources include green vegetables and legumes – so steer clear of those in cat food.
Cats fed a vegan diet are at increased risk, even at a young age. This could relate to the lack of sulfur amino acids, which help acidify urine and reduce stone risk.
Dietary acidifiers decrease the risk of struvite uroliths, but increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones (possibly by stripping calcium from bones).
Whilst acidying the urine (e.g. low magnesium diet) can help, you don’t want to go too far.
Obesity is a risk factor for urinary stones.
It’s important to maintain your cat at a healthy weight. Do this by taking a look at a body condition score (BCS) chart and seeing if your cat is at a health range.
If your cat is overweight, decrease dietary calories. Wet cat food is less calorically dense than dry food which helps (it’s also portion controlled).
Use a calorie calculator for cats to fine tune your dietary provision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wet cat food is best for urinary health.
Avoiding oxalate rich foods and vitamin C help according to expert advice. Balancing pH in the urine by avoiding high or low mineral intake also helps.
This is one area it’s best to discuss options with your vet. Although prescription is generally recommended, some options on the market might help.