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Grain Free Dry & Health?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'd like to discuss grain free dry cat foods and it's effect on our kitties health.

I've compiled a list of the grain frees I can think of (I looked at the grain free dry thread, but didn't have time to create a complete list from that yet):

Go! Natural
*Chicken, Turkey, & Duck
*Freshwater Trout

Natural Balance
*Green Pea & Duck

Nature’s Variety
*Instinct Rabbit
*Instinct Chicken

Orijen

Innova EVO

Taste of the Wild

Wellness
*CORE

Solid Gold
*Indigo Moon (I myself was shocked at this, even though I was told they had a grain free )

Serengeti

All right....now my basic knowledge is that NO grain free is UTI friendly. Then I come across think link:

http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/cathealth.htm

Quote:
What is ash? Should I be concerned about the ash content in pet food?

First of all, ash is the inorganic mineral portion of any substance. When referring to dog and cat food, "ash content" is the mineral matter, including magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and copper. The ash analysis does not reveal the percentage of each mineral, therefore it does not tell much about the food.It also does not tell much about the food's contribution to urinary tract infections, such as Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS). The latest findings show that urinary tract trouble occurs when the urine becomes too alkaline. So, some commercial foods now add extra acid or reduce magnesium. There are side effects from use of these acid formulations or from insufficient magnesium, and all they do is cover up the problem instead of curing it.

If ash isn't the problem, then what is? How do I prevent urinary tract problems?

There is much proof that feeding an obligate carnivore primarily a grain-based dry diet can contribute more to a urinary stone problem than any other single factor. The long-term dehydration that occurs causes concentrated urine and places considerable strain on the kidneys. Feeding poor-quality food to pets (including those containing corn as a protein instead of meat) results in toxicity and an excessive elimination load on the lining of the urinary system.
By contrast, a diet of meat, bones, and organs contains a mineral content - or ash content - that is not synthetic or artificial. When a whole food substance is ingested, the animal has a very slim chance of developing a mineral imbalance. Taking in nutrients as they occur in their natural state or as a whole food source will prevent the animal from concentrating minerals or vitamins, thus causing health issues.
(Obviously, I can't trust everything I read, but it does make one wonder)

Anyone else wondered what impact grain frees has on our kitties....good & bad? Grain free feeders, what good/bad things have you noticed in your kitties....if anything?

Ophelia has had a few UTIs, stress caused....so I've avoided grain frees. Damita had urine pH off the charts, no UTI though.... So I generally stay away from the grain frees for that reason.

I generally see only pros to grain frees....but the whole UTI thing irks me. I want to feed grain frees, but won't risk urinary issues if it can cause them.
post #2 of 13
Mitties was a bit of a puzzle. Finally, her constipation issues led me to Orijen, and she is doing wonderfully on it. BUT, I can't tell if the Orijen caused three UTI's with two months OR if it was an end result of a bunch of enemas after a horrible bout of severe constipation. Either way, she is now on supplemental urinary acidifier tablets (DL Methionine). She has not had a UTI since, nor is she constipated. We have found our happy medium!
post #3 of 13
I wonder too.. Can anyone lead us to some good articles on grain
free dry food? Has there been studies done long enough(kitten fed
it,grows up, gets pregnant, her kittens born normal,etc)? I realize
that Purina isn't the best of foods, but they do have "long enough"
testing to know a cat will grow okay. This whole UTI thing..I'm just
starting to learn.
post #4 of 13
I'm very interested in this thread, as we have had UTI troubles in the past.

That being said, we ARE feeding grain free..currently Serengeti in the morning and Wellness canned grain free in the evening with an acidifier mixed in.

All of the changes that I have noticed have been good ones...less shedding, very shiny coat, less poops in the litter box (we have 5), just to name a few.

Reason we went grain free was because of all the recalls. I know that there can be recall in just about anything, but that's what scared me the most.

ETA: Since starting this regimin, we have not had any troubles.
post #5 of 13
Grain free drys are in theroy GREAT... IN practice at least for the vets I talk too the results are mixed.... NO grain free DRY at this pt is recommended for UTI health ... MANY Grain free wets ARE UTI FRIENDLY..

IMHO opinion I recommend grain frees for HEALTHY animal 1-8 yrs .... I know the vets I use use grain frees for diabetes control , constipation and loose stools ...

Personal Zoey has issues with the richness of most grain frees but Taste of the wild is working VERY well for her ... NO vomitting , loose stool s

I dont think well have much "RESEARCH" for a few more yrs when the first full generation of grain free fed kitties gets into the senior yrs
post #6 of 13
I even tried the raw patties, since raw is supposed to be good for UTI, but NO ONE and I mean NO One would touch those, so I have a bag sitting in my freezer....
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazkitty View Post
I even tried the raw patties, since raw is supposed to be good for UTI, but NO ONE and I mean NO One would touch those, so I have a bag sitting in my freezer....
lol.. one BIG raw brand my girls wouldnt touch ... www.barfdirect.com has lots of different ones ... mine like the stuff that resembles mush in my book
post #8 of 13
I feed EVO dry in the AM and EVO 95% meat chicken, beef, and cal natural canned at night. I've been feeding them this mix for about 4 months now.

So far:
Pros- Shiny coats and less poo
Cons- Some stinky gass at times (but not horrendous) possibly increased water consumption (but they also have a fountain which increased their water consumption too)

no UTIs or other food-related health issues yet.

BTW feeding to two 8 month old kittens and a 4 year old cat

Art
post #9 of 13
I feed Felidae which I believe is grain free, and not only do my girls love it, but they've never had a UTI (knock on wood), are lean, have lots of energy, and people always comment on their soft, shiny coats. Toilet habits are normal as well.

All 3 of my cats were strays and unhealthy looking when I got them, but now they look like spoilt housecats
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I feed Felidae which I believe is grain free, and not only do my girls love it, but they've never had a UTI (knock on wood), are lean, have lots of energy, and people always comment on their soft, shiny coats. Toilet habits are normal as well.

All 3 of my cats were strays and unhealthy looking when I got them, but now they look like spoilt housecats
FELIDAE is far from grain free.. the chn and rice has rice

the reg has rice and amaranth
post #11 of 13
Oh I was looking for wheat and corn and that kinda stuff, not rice....

They're healthy anyway....
post #12 of 13
some of the correlation with grain free and UTI's has to do with a higher protein content. Protein is used in the body for STRUCTURE meaning you are "pumping iron" exercising alot, pretending you are a puma, you are going to need extra protein to rebuild your muscles that are contantly breaking down from work.
Now if your kittay prefers to look at the birds, rather than go and chase them, that high of protein is going to have negative effects. Why? the body has to do something with all that excess protein, and that job is done by the kidneys.
so if you are feeding a high protein low carb (ie grain free) diet and your cat is not using all the protein it's given, you are just straining the kidneys and giving hard to use calories.

Why canned hi pro doesnt necessarily have the same effect is because they are mostly water (diluting the protein for the kidneys), and if you look at the protein content, it's actually quite low.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Oh I was looking for wheat and corn and that kinda stuff, not rice....

They're healthy anyway....
That is what is important
I was JUST FYI ing ya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
some of the correlation with grain free and UTI's has to do with a higher protein content. Protein is used in the body for STRUCTURE meaning you are "pumping iron" exercising alot, pretending you are a puma, you are going to need extra protein to rebuild your muscles that are contantly breaking down from work.
Now if your kittay prefers to look at the birds, rather than go and chase them, that high of protein is going to have negative effects. Why? the body has to do something with all that excess protein, and that job is done by the kidneys.
so if you are feeding a high protein low carb (ie grain free) diet and your cat is not using all the protein it's given, you are just straining the kidneys and giving hard to use calories.

Why canned hi pro doesnt necessarily have the same effect is because they are mostly water (diluting the protein for the kidneys), and if you look at the protein content, it's actually quite low.
YOU are actually quite a bit off on wet food ... MOST in fact have more protein in a dry matter analysis than there dry counterpart...

Yes the kidney strain is a viable arguement but NOT related to UTI.. the mineral content on grain frees is HIGHER than other premiums ....

Contrary to some MOST kitties are not COUCH potatoes ( kinda of a pun there).... and many dry foods have lowered the protein and fat to the pt the foods resemble a RX kidney diet ..
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