Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Hello - UTI is a term that we used to think described what we now call idiopathic cystitis. Since I became a vet 20 years ago, the profession has found out a lot more about this disease and we now know that over 90% of the time, it is not caused by an infection, hence the change of name (and we no longer give out antibiotics for it, which we used to think was the right treatment!) Special diets have been shown to reduce crystal formation in the urine, but it has never been so clear cut as 'you feed this food and your cat will never get cystitis.' If your cat is less interested in the food than they used to be, I woud be interested to understand why; is it that they are getting on in years and their appetite is waning? (Teenage cats sonetimes eat and use more energy than middle aged cats). Are they getting dental disease? Are their bones or pancreas beginning to hurt? If a cat's appetite reduces, you could indeed persuade them to eat more by giving them something tastier / highly palatable, but this is missing the point - why are they eating less? What is wrong? We would reccommend feeding the same food and keeping track of their weight. If they are eating enough to maintain their weight, thats great - its just their metabolism that has changed. If they are losing weight (most vets weigh cats at every examination / booster for reference and will keep a record), your vet may want to look for an underlying cause. Its quite common for owners to say 'my cat's getting fed up of this food' but generally, if a cat's been eating the same thing for ages and starts to go off it to the extent that they lose weight, there is an underlying medical reason for that and this early warning sign should not be ignored by giving the cat a more palatable (and often less healthy) food. Remember: If I had a tummy ache and didnt want to eat, I wouldnt eat my normal food, but if you offered me something with more fat in it, like chocolate ice- cream, I might be tempted!