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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Special Topics

COMPANION ANIMALS SYMPOSIUM: Dietary management of feline lower urinary tract symptoms12


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2965-2975
    Received: Oct 28, 2012
    Accepted: Jan 11, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. R. Kerr 3
  1. Division of Nutritional Sciences and Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801


Experimental and clinical investigations have confirmed the importance of dietary modifications in medical protocols designed to treat and prevent feline lower urinary tract signs (LUTS). The objective of this review is to discuss common medical conditions contributing to feline LUTS and to present currently used and potential preventative dietary modifications. Feline LUTS are a set of clinical conditions with similar symptoms related to inappropriate urine elimination due to a combination of genetics, stress and frustration reactions, environment, and medical condition or conditions, for example, idiopathic cystitis, urolithiasis, urethral obstruction, and urinary tract infection. The main goals of dietary modifications to prevent LUTS are 1) promote large dilute volumes of urine, 2) decrease the relative supersaturation of urine for specific stone types, and 3) promote healthy bacterial populations in the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. The impact of dietary composition, including dietary moisture, protein concentration and digestibility, mineral concentrations (i.e., Na, Cl, Ca, P, and Mg), inclusion of acidifiers and alkalinizing agents, inclusion of vitamin B6, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and γ-linolenic acid, fiber concentration and characteristics, and oxalate degrading probiotics, on these outcomes is discussed, and dietary guidelines for cats are provided. Because of the complex interaction of diet composition, environment, and animal physiology, there is a need for clinical research linking current recommendations or dietary options for the treatment and prevention of LUTS with physiological outcomes (i.e., decreased relative supersaturation and LUTS recurrence). Additionally, for many recommendations (e.g., probiotic administration, EPA, DHA), extrapolation from other species was necessary. Research is needed in feline patients with LUTS on these dietary components.

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