Myth: "Male Cats Are Prone To Bladder Infections" Grain free is not the way to feed your cats
The Truth: Young Cat “LUTD” Is Rarely Bacterial, and... Lower Urinary Tract Disease Affects Both Sexes Equally Straining in the box, urinating frequently, crying while peeing — these are signs of urinary pain. Feline lower urinary tract discomfort is caused most commonly by abnormal and caustic urine chemistry, which results from elements present in most commercial cat foods. Bacterial bladder infections may present with identical symptoms, but are quite rare in non-Senior cats (and pretty unusual even in Seniors!) No gender difference exists. Most feline urinary lower urinary tract disease is a direct result of both the presence and absence of specific cat food ingredients. Plant ingredients in cat food induce an alkaline urine pH. The absence of sufficient moisture creates a highly concentrated urine. Both alkalinity and high concentration are chemically irritating to the tender tissues of the lower urinary tract.
Dry cat foods lack crucially important moisture. Cats as a species are “thirst-impaired, and will not drink enough to make up for that lack. As a result, a dry-fed cat (even without other disease) will produce highly concentrated urine. Plant material in cat food (such as peas, potatoes, cranberries, etc.) induces alkaline urine. Eating meat induces acidic urine, and so, as you might guess, normal cat urine is mildly acidic.
Healthy cat urine is both acidic and relatively dilute. Cats eating either prey or a meat-based prey-model derive plenty of water from their food. A diet containing sufficient fluid naturally results in a normal, relatively dilute urine.
When dry, plant-based foods create concentrated, alkaline urine, irritating crystals may form in the bladder. The alkalinity and high concentration alone are irritating. Crystal formation makes things even more uncomfortable.
Crystal formation is the primary cause of urinary obstructions. Urethral obstructions occur most often in male cats, simply because their long, narrow urethra can block up more easily than the female’s short, wide one. This has led to the myth that male cats are more prone to bladder problems. Male cats are indeed farmore prone to obstructions, but NOT to infections.
Bladder infections in cats become more common with aging. As older cats develop diseases such as kidney failure or diabetes, their urine becomes abnormally dilute and can support bacterial growth better. This occurs equally in both sexes.
Unless your cat is elderly and has other disease processes, signs of urinary tract pain are almost never due to bladder infections. Giving antibiotics in the absence of a bacterial infection inflicts harm without any balancing benefit.