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Dry food for cat w/early kidney disease AND 6MO kittens?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what kind of dry food would be okay to feed my 16yo cat Lulu who was diagnosed recently with very early kidney disease (her numbers are just barely above the normal range) and my 6-month-old ragdoll kittens, Maizey and Blue. We are going away for 5 days soon, and I would like to leave some dry food out for them to graze on in between their wet food feedings with the pet-sitter. She will be coming in twice a day to feed them, play with them, etc. I'm currently feeding Merrick's canned to all cats, Core Wellness Dry to the kittens, and SD K/D dry to Lulu, but I obviously don't want to Lulu eating the Core Wellness, nor do I want the kittens eating Lulu's K/D.

Any ideas? Thanks!
post #2 of 13
with those choice s I would leave out the CORE ( thou IMHO NO CRF cat should have any DRY)... Core is HIGHLY digestable meat sources
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Sharky, yes, I realize that Lulu should not have any dry food, and she really doesn't eat that much. I put maybe a 1/4 cup in her bowl overnight, and she doesn't finish it. She gets most of her nutrition from her wet food. I have not seen her eat the Wellness Core.

Is there any food that would fall in between Wellness Core and her kidney food that would be safe for all cats? This is just a temporary situation. I usually feed them 4 or 5 times a day, but they will only be getting food twice a day while we are gone, hence the reason for the dry food to graze on in between feedings.

post #4 of 13
Yes but I wouldnt as it could upset her tummy ... My crf girl needed 21day switches.... if you could find a food labeled all stage with about 30 protein that would work
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I will look for that.
post #6 of 13
Here's a list of dry foods, listed by % protein and % of phosphorus in dry matter analysis.

For a CRF kitty, you need a low phosphorus food (low protein isn't as important.) For kittens, a high protein food is most important, but phosphorus content shouldn't be too low. If you can find a low phosphorus food that your CRF cat would eat, it really wouldn't matter too much for the kittens, as they would be meeting their phosphorus requirements from the wet food that they eat. Hope this helps a little!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Pookie! I looked at that list, but I'm confused as to what is considered low phosphorus. Would that be anything under 1.00? I was thinking of getting Royal Canin Senior Formula, as I can get that at PetSmart and it's in the 30% range for protein, but I'm not sure if it's too low in phosphorus for the kittens (0.652%). I was also looking at California Natural Chicken & Rice (which I can get from my local pet food store), but I think it may be too high in protein for Lulu (40.6%), according to what Sharky suggested.

Any insight would be appreciated.
post #8 of 13
It depends on your cats numbers ... I didnt worry about phos for two yrs with Kandie....

Low phos for a dry is under.9 but most of us wont go over that ... I like .5-.9

I admit the kitten phos is a vet question to me since I am not well versed in kitten...I am going to ask what the CORE protein is ??? I would have you call Wellness and ask the phos if not listed ...
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Sharky, I just looked at Wellness's website, and it has "no more than 1.45%" listed as the phosphorus level and 50% protein for Core -- obviously, too much for Lulu. Actually, Lulu's phos back in April was 4.1, not too bad, but getting to the point that I would need to start watching it. She just had lab work done again a few weeks ago, and her values had improved, but I need to get a copy of those records from the vet. Thanks for the reminder! lol

I appreciate your input!
post #10 of 13
Once a kitten has reached the one year mark, you don't need to worry about feeding a low phosphorus food. Adequate phosphorus content is required for good bone growth and development. If your kittens are eating a good (regular phosphorus content) wet food, then they are getting enough phosphorus for bone development, and a low phosphorus dry to snack on shouldn't make any difference. I had that exact concern when I introduced Lola into my home. She was only 6 months old, but Cleo had already been diagnosed with CRF and was eating low protein/low phosphorus food. Lola actually preferred to eat Cleo's food (I couldn't keep her out of it!) Now Lola is 5 years old, and she is rather petite....she weighs 7.5 pounds. I don't know if it is because she was genetically a petite cat (she was a rescue, so I don't know what her parents looked like) or if she was kept small because of the low protein/low phosphorus food. Either way, she is very healthy, just small.

When I feed my CRF girls, (Cleo & Maggie,) I prefer to stay around .6% DMA phosphorus content. You need to use the chart that I linked you to in my previous post to know the DMA (dry matter analysis.) Most foods list protein and phosphorus content "as fed" or "guaranteed analysis" which includes any water, so it is a highly variable percentage. Dry matter analysis removes any water used in processing and gives you a number that is easily comparable to any other food. It allows you to compare 'apples' to 'apples' instead of 'apples' to 'oranges', so to speak.

There are ways to feed higher phosphorus foods. You can purchase an Aluminum Hydroxide gel powder phosphorus binder to add to foods. This might be something you would want to research and keep in mind when Lulu's serum phosphorus starts to increase. It is a tasteless powder that you add to foods to bind with the phosphorus in the gut to prevent absorbtion. I use it it Cleo's and Maggie's foods. Everything that I've read points to high serum phosphorus levels being the culprit in causing CRF to progress faster, with protein content being less important. Actually, from what I've read, I feel that a higher protein content in food will actually help prevent some of the muscle wasting that occurs later in the disease process. Cleo and Maggie are still in the early stages of the disease, so this isn't something that I have been dealing with yet. Here is a link that discusses phosphorus binders. It might not be a bad idea to bookmark it for future reference.

Hope I didn't confuse you too much!!!

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the informative post, Pookie! Unfortunately, I have already had to deal with another cat who had CRF last year (ended up putting him to sleep only 2-1/2 months after he was diagnosed ), so I know about the phos binders. In fact, I still have some dried aluminum hydroxide left over from last year. I am going to call my vet today and get Lulu's records faxed over to me so I can see what her phos level is. I don't think it changed too much from April, as I believe my vet would have pointed it out at the last visit.

At what point did you start putting the binders in your cats' food? What were their levels? I think my vet said she usually waits until the level gets to 5, but I figure it probably won't hurt her if I start adding a little bit once a day.

I am going to save that link you posted, as I haven't come across that one in my research. Looks like a good one.....thanks again!

ETA: Hey Pookie, I just saw in your profile that you are in Michigan. Where are you located? I'm in Algonac, which is about 45 minutes northeast of Detroit.
post #12 of 13
I'm in Midland! Small world!

Both of my CRF kitties have serum phosphorus levels in the mid 4's and I put binders in all of their food. From all the reading I've done, I firmly believe not allowing the serum phosphorus levels to rise will slow the progression of the disease. I've had far too much experience with CRF too. My Angel soul-mate kitty, Spooky, died of CRF. My parent's kitty, Samson, had CRF for 5+ years and needed to be PTS this past Christmas Eve because he no longer was responding to the Epogen that controlled his critical anemia, which was secondary to the CRF. My sister lost her kitty, Billy, about 5 years ago after battling CRF for several years. Cleo & Maggie both are early CRF, and I've been treating Cleo for about 6 1/2 years now.

Speaking of great, informative links...Here's the main page that the phosphorus binder link is on. It has SO much info that is great for us CRF caregivers. I refer to it all the time!

We shall have to keep in touch. It's nice to meet another Michigander...and a cat lover to boot!

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
We were in Freeland last October for a wedding, which I don't think is too far from Midland.

I'm sorry that you have gone through so many pets with CRF. It is a devastating disease at the end stages. My buddy BT was diagnosed last July, and he was gone by the end of September.... too quick! I think he had had the disease for a while, but I just didn't know it until it was too late. As they say, cats are very good at hiding their illness. Luckily, Lulu's BUN, creatinine, and phos are very low at this point, so that's a good thing. Much easier to control when they are already low. Her phos was 4.1 in April, but I know that it went down at her last visit a few weeks ago. Still, I may start adding some binders to her food, maybe once a day.

Thanks again for that link! I will add it to my other CRF links.
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