How can I check that my cat is healthy and a normal weight?
Healthy cats usually have a good appetite and a lively demeanour. If your cat is quieter than normal or not eating as well as usual, it is important to contact your vet. Healthy cats also have clean ears and skin with no itchiness or bald patches, bright clean eyes and a damp nose free from discharge.
It is relatively easy to weigh your cat using household scales. Get your vet to tell you his ideal weight and monitor it regularly. You can also assess your cat’s weight by looking at his body condition score*. A cat with optimal body condition score (i.e. not over or underweight) will have a slim, tucked up tummy when viewed from the side; his ribs will not be visible but will be easy to feel without excessive fat covering them.
Talk to your vet about how best to monitor your cat’s weight. Obesity is common and keeping your cat at his optimal weight is one of the best ways to help keep him healthy.
* Available on FEDIAF, The European Pet Food Industry Federation at
I heard cats are prone to get urinary tract diseases. What can I do to prevent my cat from urinary tract health issues?
Problems that affect a cat’s lower urinary system often prevent the bladder from emptying correctly, and may even cause a fatal blockage of the urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body). Very often the culprit is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) which is not merely one problem, but a collection of clinical symptoms that may have more than one possible cause. Clinical signs of FLUTD include frequent or painful urination, bloody urine and frequent licking of the urinary opening.
In order to treat FLUTD, it is important to determine the root cause, which may include bladder stones, urinary tract blockage, infection or even stress. Some cats are more prone to lower urinary tract conditions than others. Male cats are generally more prone to urethral blockages because of their narrower urethras.
FLUTD is rarely diagnosed in animals younger than one year; the average age is typically four years, with middle aged cats most at risk. Obese, indoor and neutered cats are all also at increased risk, as are those which take little exercise or that live in a multi-cat household.
If your cat has been diagnosed with FLUTD, ask your vet for advice on how best to help your cat. If your cat has been diagnosed with urinary stones then your vet may advise a veterinary-prescribed diet to help reduce the risk of these stones recurring. If your cat has a stress-related FLUTD such as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, your vet may recommend ways to increase your cat’s water intake, such as using a wet diet.
Even if your cat has never been diagnosed with FLUTD, there are ways that you can help reduce the risk of him developing the condition:
• Ensure that he has access to plenty of fresh, clean water to encourage him to drink and produce dilute urine. Using a ceramic bowl is best as plastic bowls can taint the flavour of the water. Use a large bowl so your cat’s whiskers do not touch the sides as he drinks. If possible, position his water bowl away from his litter tray and food bowl. Multiple water bowls around the house will also encourage him to drink more. Increasing your cat’s water intake ensures that he produces dilute urine, which reduces the risk of crystal and stone formation and the likelihood of concentrated urine irritating the bladder.
• Encourage exercise and play with your cat as often as possible.
• Change and clean your cat’s litter tray frequently. Cats are by nature very clean animals. So if his litter tray is dirty, your cat will avoid using it - meaning that urine will stay in his bladder longer, potentially causing irritation and crystal build-up.
• Avoid abrupt dietary changes, especially if transitioning from a wet to a dry diet. Changing his diet too quickly can cause diarrhoea. Water is then lost in the cat’s faeces, resulting in more concentrated urine and other associated problems.
• Use a diet designed to produce a moderately acidic urine to help reduce the risk of certain stones forming. GO-CAT® is ideal. If possible, allow your cat to graze on his kibbles throughout the day rather than feeding a few small meals as this will promote a constant urinary pH during the day.
• Avoid stress to your cat. Stressful situations such as house moves, the arrival of a new baby and even serious weather have all been known to cause bouts of FLUTD in cats. Where possible, make any new transition as easy as possible for your cat to lessen the effect of stress. Talk to your vet about ideas to help your cat cope with any upcoming stressful events.
GO-CAT® recipes are designed to support a healthy urinary tract. All our formulas are complete and balanced foods specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of healthy cats. Our formulas have been developed by expert nutritionists and vets to help cats maintain a healthy urinary pH, and contain balanced minerals to help maintain a healthy urinary system. However, they are
not intended to treat sick animals.