Objective: To evaluate the effect of nutrition on recurrent clinical signs of lower urinary tract (LUT) disease in cats with idiopathic cystitis.
Design: Randomized, controlled, masked clinical trial.
Animals: 31 cats with acute nonobstructive idiopathic cystitis.
Procedures: Cats were assigned to receive 1 of 2 foods (a cystitis prevention or control food) that differed in mineral (calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium), antioxidant, and fatty acid profiles. Owners documented LUT signs daily for up to 1 year. The primary endpoint was the number of recurrent episodes in which a cat had multiple (≥ 2 concurrent) LUT signs within a day (defined as multiple-sign day). Consecutive days in which a cat had multiple LUT signs were considered as a single episode.
Results: 4 cats fed prevention food and 2 cats fed control food were excluded from analysis because of noncompliance, gastrointestinal signs, food refusal, or owner voluntary withdrawal. The proportion of cats fed prevention food that had ≥ 1 recurrent episode of multiple-sign days (4/11) was not significantly lower than that of cats fed control food (9/14). However, cats fed prevention food had significantly lower mean incidence rates for recurrent episodes of multiple-sign days (0.7 episodes/1,000 cat-days) and episodes of hematuria (0.3 episodes/1,000 cat-days), dysuria (0.2 episodes/1,000 cat-days), and stranguria (0.2 episodes/1,000 cat-days) as single LUT signs, compared with cats fed control food (5.4, 3.4, 3.1, and 3.8 episodes/1,000 cat-days, respectively). Significantly fewer cats fed prevention food required analgesics (4/11), compared with cats fed control food (12/14).
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Foods with differing nutritional profiles appeared to impact mean incidence rates of recurrent feline idiopathic cystitis-associated signs.