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Possible Food Problem

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is just a heads up and warning to those who own cats, particularly males. It is about the possible problems with Purina Cat Chow. This is what actually happened to our cat, Overgaard, and what I have learned from my veterinarian and the internet.

On March 4, 2008, Overgaard became very listless and would cry when petted. This was in the afternoon so I figured we would wait until the following morning to see how he was doing. He was no better so I took him to our veterinarian.

He checked his abdomen and said his bladder was huge. Obviously it was not emptying. The first thing the vet asked was what kind of food I was feeding him. I had been feeding him Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula since he turned one. He was now about two years old.

Without hesitation, the vet said the food was the problem. He told me that male cats have a susceptibility to produce crystals in their bladders which can clog the urethra. He said the high “ash†content in Purina was the problem and contributes to that susceptibility.

I did some research, as I had never heard of this, and found it to be a controversial subject. The conclusion I’ve come to is that my vet is correct. He also says he does not personally know of any other vets who don’t also believe this to be a problem. Overgaard spent three days in the hospital. Although much better now, he is still not 100%. This is June 10.

I was outraged about this. Not only because of paying over six hundred dollars, but, more important that Purina does not see fit to include some kind of warning on the packaging. Perhaps urging owners of male cats to discuss this with their vets first.

I ended up filing a claim with Purina which was handed over to Sedgwick CMS who handles their claims. After going around in circles for several weeks with them, leaving messages and not getting any response, I finally got an offer in the mail. They, in essence, said that the food has no problems and that my, and all the other vets, are wrong. What I found particularly interesting was that they said in the letter to me how important diet is. Well duh. That’s what I and my vet is saying. They went on to offer me $250 to basically shut up about it. I would have had to sign, and have notarized a release form taking all my rights away, including even speaking of it anymore. Naturally I turned it down.

So, that’s the story in a nut shell. All I ask is for anyone reading this to be cautious. Ask your vets advice on what to feed your cats. Make an informed decision. As to store bought brands, my vet says AIMS is a very good brand. Once Overgaard is off the prescription food he is on now, I will be switching him to that. I certainly will never feed him Purina again and urge others to do the same.

If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact me at phoneman@hollar.com .
post #2 of 6
Thanks for the heads up. How much ash is too much? What percentage should we look for?
post #3 of 6
Thanks for posting. It's awful that you and Overgaard had to experience that. Lots of people on this forum have experience with FLUTD, urinary crystals, blockage, UTI, etc. If you do a search on any of those terms, you'll find loads of information. It sounds like Overgaard is predisposed to getting crystals and may need more wet food and water in his diet. I hope he feels better. Welcome to TCS!
post #4 of 6
ASH in todays foods is not usually the issue in UTI s it is magnesium , calcium and phosporus content,... your vet has a bit of OUTDATED info ... about 20 yrs ago ASH in foods was quite high and unregulated NOT the case today .. ASH is the mineral content of a food

Iams IMHO and most on here is a so so to not so good food ... it has esentially the same ingrediants as the Purina you were feeding... Vets get 1 credit hour of nutritional education and that is usually from a pet food company rep ... For perpective I went for human nutritional science and in my FIRST semester I finished 6 hours of nutritional science

I would listen to your vet BUT RESEARCH on YOUR OWN and then take it in... IMHO wet food is FAR BETTER than any dry avail for UTI issues

I would SUGGEST you take off your email as spammers are known to troll on sites and send spam to open emails ...

DO you know how to do a search on this site ??
post #5 of 6
That is what Frisky and Bogart were eating when they blocked and died.
post #6 of 6
My boyfriend's cat blocked using a higher quality food. At the time we were told and believed it was a premium food; while now I don't consider it as such, it is still a higher quality food. Some cats (mostly male cats) are suseptible to blocking. Feeding only dry food of any kind seems to increase the likelihood of a blockage. My boyfriend now refuses to feed anything other than Science Diet c/d (no matter how many times I tell him his cat would be better off on canned food, he won't listen to me). With my own cats, the only urinary issue I've had was with my female who refused to eat most canned food and ate a dry diet. With my boys, I have always insisted that they eat at least some canned, and that has kept them from having any urinary issues.

Sharky, I saw on the Purina site that the original studies on magnesium were done with a different form of magnesium and that when the form found in cat food was used for later studies, they didn't have problems with cats blocking. Do you have any research about that?
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