When it comes to behavioral problems in cats, inappropriate urination1 is one of the main reasons many older cats are given to animal shelters because they’re not using the litter box to pee. If your cat is suddenly not urinating in the litter box, or if he seems to be in pain when urinating, he may have a problem with his urinary tract health. You may also notice blood showing up in your cat’s urine, which is another sign something’s amiss2 with his urinary tract health.
The good news is that there are many cat foods on the market that support good urinary tract health. These foods contain restricted amounts of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium which are linked to the formation of urinary crystals3 and stones. We’ve put together these reviews of the best cat foods for urinary tract health to help you choose the right food for your feline friend.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023)
|Best Overall||Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food||
||Click to Save 40%|
|Best Value||Royal Canin Vet Diet Urinary Wet Cat Food||
|Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Dry Cat Food||
|Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Canned Cat Food||
|Iams Proactive Health Urinary Tract Dry Cat Food||
The 11 Best Cat Foods for Urinary Tract Health
1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken, turkey, beef, or cod & salmon|
Cats can develop many urinary tract problems throughout their lives, including infections (UTIs), stones, and idiopathic irritation.
If you decide to change your kitty’s diet, we think the best cat food for urinary tract health is Smalls. Two feline lovers started the company in 2017 to meet the need for high-protein, USDA-certified cat food. Fresh ingredients like sustainably harvested meats, green beans, and kale are packed into each serving. Cats with certain meat allergies can still have their dietary needs met with a variety of single-protein flavors. Smalls cat food is free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Plus, you can supplement the fresh cat food with the familiar crunch of Smalls’ freeze-dried food.
Smalls is only available online. After you answer a few questions, the company will build a trial box tailored to your kitty’s preferences and needs. Smalls asks that you slowly transition your cat to their food and offers a money-back guarantee if your kitty doesn’t care for the meals after a two-week trial. While most cats think this food is excellent, a higher protein diet is not suitable for every kitty. Smalls’ attentive customer service department can contact your veterinarian to discuss your cat’s health and dietary needs.
2. Royal Canin Vet Diet Urinary SO Wet Cat Food – Best Value
|Main ingredient(s)||Pork by-products, pork liver, chicken, chicken liver|
Formulated to provide nutritional support for the adult cat’s urinary tract and bladder health, Royal Canin Urinary SO is a wet cat food consisting of pork and chicken by-products. This cat food has been developed to lower the risk of crystal formation in the bladder and to help prevent struvite stones from recurring. This food works to increase urine levels to help dilute excess minerals that can cause crystals and stones.
In our opinion, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO is the best cat food for urinary tract health for the money. This canned food is priced reasonably, and cats enjoy the pork and chicken flavors of this food. More importantly, it does a good job at addressing the crystal and stone formation that occurs often in cats, and especially cats that are a bit older.
There are a couple of downsides to this Royal Canin food including the crust-like brown layer on the bottom of the can that many cats refuse to eat. Another negative thing about this food is that the can size has recently been reduced from 5.8 ounces to 5.1 ounces which means consumers now have to pay more to get less cat food.
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Urinary Care Cat Food
Hill’s Prescription diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care with Chicken was developed by veterinarians and nutritional experts to help support cats’ urinary tract health. This dry cat food contains the perfect balance of important nutrients to improve most urinary tract problems cats face.
This chicken-flavored food contains controlled levels of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus among other ingredients cats need to stay healthy including Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and potassium. Many veterinarians recommend this Hill’s product for cats suffering from recurring urinary infections because it’s proven to work. One thing we didn’t like about this cat food for urinary tract health is the price as it’s expensive.
Although it’s pricey, we consider this Hill’s product a great cat food for urinary tract health because cats love the chicken flavor, the food contains 30% protein, and this vet-approved food has all the right ingredients to support good urinary tract health.
4. Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Chicken Can Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken and poultry|
Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health Chicken Formula Canned Cat Food is formulated to maintain good urinary health by reducing urinary pH while providing low dietary magnesium. The reduction in urinary pH and the addition of magnesium to a cat’s diet can help prevent the formation of crystals and stones in the bladder.
Most cats enjoy this gravy-covered soft food that’s made with real chicken.
This low-calorie food has been fortified with many important vitamins and minerals to support cats’ immune systems. Made in the USA, this canned cat food can be fed as it is or used as a topper over dry cat food. This is a great option if your cat isn’t used to eating canned food or if you’d rather continue feeding your cat kibble to help maintain good oral health.
While this Purina wet cat food works well at supporting urinary tract health, the food does smell unpleasant. Some people report that this food gives their cats terrible gas, which is something that can be a bit off-putting, especially if you spend a lot of time cuddling with your feline friend.
5. Iams Proactive Health Urinary Tract Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken and chicken by-products|
This specialty dry cat food from Iams has been developed to reduce urinary pH to encourage a healthy urinary tract. Iams Proactive Health Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food contains real chicken and chicken by-products, along with whole-grain corn and other natural ingredients.
We like the fact that real animal protein is the main ingredient in Proactive Health Adult Urinary Tract Health. This food also has a relatively high protein content of 25% that’s beneficial for cats’ overall health. Most cats enjoy eating this kibble although it seems to be a bit of a hit or miss as far as flavor goes. Some cat owners find that their cats refuse to eat this food so you never know for sure if your cat will enjoy the taste or not.
Some people report that this food makes their cats have gas and results in very smelly poop. Others say that their cats poop more frequently when eating this food. Many people complaining about these issues think the culprit could be the whole grain corn.
6. Hill’s Prescription Diet Multi-Benefit w/d Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, brewers rice|
Hill’s Prescription Diet Multi-Benefit w/d Dry Cat Food is one of the more expensive cat foods in our reviews, but it’s got some good things going for it. This chicken-flavored cat food is made with all-natural ingredients which we like. This dry food has been formulated by Hill’s veterinarians and nutritionists to do many things like support glucose and weight, improve digestion, and reduce magnesium and sodium to promote a healthy urinary tract.
We find it odd that Hill’s doesn’t list the protein content of this kibble on the package. We’re guessing that’s due to the first two ingredients in this food being rice and corn and not protein-rich meat. It’s safe to assume that even though this food is all-natural, it’s not a food high in protein. otherwise, the protein content would have been listed on the package.
While it’s clear that this food is formulated to reduce sodium and magnesium to keep a cat’s urinary tract healthy, it’s unclear if the food will help a cat that has crystals or stones in its bladder. All in all, this food is well-liked by cats and by owners who want to feed their cats high-quality, all-natural cat food.
7. Forza10 Active Urinary Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Rice, anchovy meal, hydrolyzed potato protein, hydrolyzed fish protein|
Forza10 Active Urinary Dry Cat Food is designed to support cats’ urinary health. This food is enriched with anchovies caught in the wild in the waters off Iceland. Most cats love the flavor of the wild-caught anchovies, so if your cat is a picky eater, he may not turn his nose up to this fish-flavored food.
In addition to anchovies, this dry cat food is enriched with a mix of natural and therapeutic plants that promote good urinary tract health. This is a non-GMO food containing no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
This Omega-3 rich cat food is formulated to support good urinary tract health and to dissolve bladder stones. The makers of Forza10 claim cat owners will see results in just seven days, even though it’s not stated what type of results to expect. It’s safe to assume the makers meant people should see less peeing outside the litter box or a lack of blood in their cats’ urine. On the flipside, some cat owners said this food makes their cat’s poop smell like strong fish.
This is one of the more affordable cat foods in our reviews that many cat owners swear by. Some people who had problems with their cats peeing outside the litter box report that they saw improvement after a week or two once switching over to Forza10. This may be good food for you if your cat loves fish and you want to feed him an all-natural diet.
8. Orijen Six-Fish Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Mackerel, herring, flounder, Acadian redfish, monkfish|
While Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is not specifically marketed as cat food for urinary tract health, it is food veterinarians recommend for maintaining good urinary health. Why? Because this food contains a high amount of fish protein, Omega 3, and low concentrations of crystal-causing magnesium. calcium, and phosphorus.
This Orijen cat food is made with 90% fish ingredients to provide cats with high-quality protein, plenty of beneficial Omega 3, and the essential vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. This food contains no added soy, corn, or wheat and it’s freeze-dried coated to provide it with a burst of wild fish raw flavor cats love.
Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free is a good choice if you want to feed your cat a wholesome fish-based diet. However, if your cat is showing some outward signs of urinary tract problems like urine in the blood, it’s best to ask your veterinarian if this is the right cat food for you. Just beware that some cat owners say this food gives their cats terrible gas and smelly poop.
9. Farmina N&D Functional Quinoa Urinary Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Duck, pea starch, chicken fat, quinoa seed, dehydrated whole eggs, dehydrated herring|
This Italian-made Farmina N&D Functional Quinoa Urinary Dry Cat Food is one of the most expensive products in our reviews but it’s a tried-and-true favorite among cat owners. This cat food supports good urinary tract health by providing cats with a balanced diet of essential amino acids, minerals, and natural antioxidants.
This duck-flavored cat food contains a low amount of magnesium and is specially formulated to restore the wellbeing of the urinary tract and prevent struvite stones. Even cats that are picky eaters enjoy the natural duck flavor of this kibble. This is a grain-free, gluten-free specialty cat food many veterinarians recommend for supporting good urinary tract health.
Compared to some of the other cat foods in our reviews, this food does contain nearly 400 calories per cup, which isn’t good if your cat is already on the chunky side. Otherwise, you can feel confident feeding this food to your cat if he’s not overweight or suffering from a serious urinary tract issue like an infection. In that case, contact your vet immediately for advice.
10. Blue Buffalo Natural Vet Diet Urinary Care Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein|
If you’ve got an overweight cat with a urinary tract issue, the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Urinary Care Grain-Free Dry Cat Food could be just what you’re looking for! It is made with the ideal levels of fat and calories to help your cat drop those unwanted pounds while making him feel fuller longer.
This dry cat food contains limited amounts of minerals like magnesium and sodium to maintain good urinary tract health. This wholesome kibble contains real chicken and no corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, or flavors. Like all Blue Buffalo pet foods, Weight Management + Urinary Care Cat Food has been developed by veterinarians, animal nutritionists, and food scientists to ensure your feline friend gets nothing but the best.
A downside to this cat food is that you need authorization from your veterinarian to purchase it. This is done at an online store by simply uploading a scan or photo of a copy of your vet’s authorization so you can continue through the checkout process. This is a big negative if you’re on a limited budget and can’t afford a trip to the vet just to get an authorization form.
11. Wysong Uretic Natural Dry Food For Cats
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, potato protein, brown rice|
The Wysong Uretic Natural Dry Food For Cats is a uretic cat food which means it has a higher meat protein content that naturally acidifies the urine pH. In other words, this kibble is made to lower the urine pH that causes bladder crystals and stones. Cat owners report that their cats love this chicken-flavored food which is good to know if your cat is a picky eater.
This dry cat food is not grain-free as it does contain brown rice so if grains are a no-go for you, this isn’t the right food to get your cat! Some people report that this food causes their cats to have loose stools and smelly poop. This isn’t the best cat food if your cat is overweight as just one cup contains 447 calories. You could, however, mix this food with your cat’s regular food to lessen the calorie count a bit. The makers even suggest that on their website so it’s fine to do!
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Cat Food for Urinary Health
As you can see, you have many options when it comes to cat foods for urinary tract health. For example, there are both wet foods and dry foods made for urinary tract health as well as all-natural foods, and grain-free choices, just to mention a few. A good rule of thumb to follow when choosing the right food for your cat is to think about his habits. Does your cat only like crunchy cat food that’s dry or does he prefer soft and wet food?
The flavor is another big consideration. Some cats love fish and others hate it. Think about your cat’s favorite flavors and the type of food he eats so you can narrow down your choices. Cost is another factor to consider, and especially if you’re on a tight budget. Some of the cat foods in our reviews are on the pricey side while others are more affordable.
If you’d rather not pay a high vet fee just to get a veterinarian authorization to buy food, skip over any special cat foods that require it. There are plenty of choices that don’t require veterinarian authorization. In a nutshell, the most important factors to consider when buying cat food for urinary tract health include:
Everybody knows that cats can display some insane behavior because cats are strange by nature but lots of fun! However, if your cat starts peeing everywhere in your house except in his litter box or acts unwell, he may have a urinary tract problem. Many cats, and especially older cats have urinary issues that can often be cleared up through diet.
The first order of business is to speak to your vet to rule out anything serious. If the issue is something that can be treated by changing your cat’s diet, you’ll need to look for food that supports good urinary tract health. Read through these reviews to find a food that best meets your needs. We strongly recommend both Smalls Cat Food and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO. Both are top-notch specialty cat foods that have been developed by experts to support cats’ urinary tract health.
Featured Image Credit: EleniaPhoto, Shutterstock