Acidic urine is very important for urinary tract health in cats. The desired Urine pH in cats seems to be 6.0 to 6.5 although at times the higher range may vary. You must remember that the lower the pH the more acidic urine is produces. If the pH level is not in this range then it can lead to the growth of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals. If the pH is lower than 6.0 the calcium oxalate crystals are formed. So high urine acidity lowers the chances of struvite crystal formation where as lower urine acidity means lower the chance of calcium oxalate crystals.
One of the main reasons why cats are taken to the vet is urinary tract problems. The urine pH is related to the urinary tract health of the cat. The Urine pH can affect the cats’ health significantly as crystals can form in the urethra or bladder. These crystals can cause irritation, infection, bleeding and blockage. If this is not treated in time it can prove to be fatal.
The cats’ diet has a significant impact on the urinary tract health. A lot of the premium cat food manufactures have the target urinary pH range published on most of their formulas. If a company that manufactures cat food does not publish this information it is important that you contact them to get it. If they refuse to disclose the information you should consider switching to another. Foods that are highly acidic which are found in Science diet products can be one of the main causes of bladder stones. A disorder called hypercalcemia is responsible for the formation of crystals which gather into a large stone. It could also look like a lot of small pea gravel size stones. These tiny stones can get lodged in the ureters which are the tubes from the kidney to the bladder or even in the urethera which is the tube from the bladder. It is important to switch to a low acid diet for cats in order to help and prevent such stones from recurring after treatment.
When treating cats that have developed certain urinary tract infection such as Feline Urologie Syndrome (FUS), urinary acidifiers are often included in the treatment. Producing this acid urine is also an effective method to dissolve and prevent struvite uroliths also known as bladder stones. If acidic urine is produced for a prolonged time it could create a problem in acid-base balance and mineral metabolism.