Why Feral Cats Have a Low Incidence of Cystitis

3D Molecular Model of Methionine

This is about an amino acid called ‘methionine’. This is a chemical that is found in rodents. Apparently they have lots of it in them. It is also contained in chicken and beef for example.

It is an ‘acidifier’. It is slightly acidic. It is the acidifying nature of methionine which we are told provides the perfect urinary pH for bladder health. It is nature’s urinary tract pet food. Modern manufacturers of pet food try and match it. As feral cats eat rodents they benefit from this amino acid.

Cat and mouse. Cruel but healthy for the cat. Photo by Stephen Jones.

As urinary tract problems are one of the most common cat illnesses it begs the question, why don’t manufacturers package mice and rats as cat food? We know that a mouse is the perfect cat food. It is balanced for the cat.

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There are some serious problems with some manufactured cat food, it is said, so why not do something to make is more natural and more healthy while reducing the rodent population at the same time?

Well, the reason (and this sounds like a weak, slightly implausible reason to me) is that if a mouse was put through a manufacturing process to make it acceptable to people, it would destroy the methionine, which helps make it what it is – perfect cat food.

This flies in the face of the fact that it is added as a supplement to dog food sometimes to reduce the pH of their urine which stops grass being damaged when they pee on it!

If you can add it to processed pet food why can’t it be added to a package mouse? Just asking.

I also believe that there may be a bit of a conspiracy going on between the pet food manufacturers and the veterinarians. I know I am very skeptical and cynical but this is possible.

Vets need sick cats for business. It is a bit like cars and petrol. We could have dispensed with petrol (gas in the US) ages ago if the big oil companies had released their stranglehold on the car manufacturing business. They don’t want electric cars and do their best to stop progress.

I would love to see a nicely packaged mouse! 🙂 I know that sounds a bit gross but we have to think like a cat. We have to respect the cat and they don’t see dead mouse as we do. For them it is a perfectly package parcel of fast food paradise.

Associated post: Domestic Cat Hunting.


Jun 13, 2012Fail
by: MichaelI can’t get away from the feeling that we are letting our cats down feeding them processed food that is unnatural and problematic, when rodents are readily available. This must be a commercial decision.

Jun 13, 2012packaged mouse
by: SanemI think seeing dead mice make a lot people sick. But on the other hand if someone established a company and processed mouse meat, like chicken meat and beef for example, it would be more marketable and less nauseating.Imagine small mouse legs nicely wrapped in shrink wrappers, with no hair and feet on them. They would look a bit like chicken drumsticks. Minced mouse meat is another idea.I totally agree with you Michael and try to elaborate on the idea.

Jun 12, 2012Interesting
by: RuthA very interesting article Michael as of course a mouse is natural food to a cat yet if we see our pet cats eating one we think oh yuck! lol
In the natural order of animals and birds in the wild there is a set plan of the food chain to keep them healthy and there’s no way feeding our pets processed food can compete with that.
How sad that progress replaces Nature’s plan.Kattaddorra signature Ruth
Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. September 25, 2020

    […] A typical urinary tract infectious disease would be cystitis. This is brought on by stress in combination with dry cat food or can be. Stress can be brought on by an absent owner. This points to cats in households where the owner is absent for long periods and puts down dry cat food out of convenience because they aren’t there. If my assessment, which is made on the spur of the moment, is correct and the root cause of this human behaviour is an inability of the owner to provide adequate cat care because of the circumstances under which they live which might mean a full-time job or it might mean a lack of funds to buy high quality cat food. P.S. Feral cats have a relatively low incidence of cystitis. Why? […]

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