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Very confused about food...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just a bit of background on me so you can understand the situation I am in to help me decide on what path to go.
First and for most, my best friend that I have known for over 19 years (we were basically raised like sisters!!) her father has been my vet since I can remember. He has taken care of all of my families animals. He is absolutely amazing and very loved in the area we live in. I trust him because he has no reason to "lie" so to speak, to me like he would a "normal" client. He is like a second father to me.
Second, my cat Zena that past away last year (he was only 10!) died due to lack of proper foods. When we got him my mother and I didn't know all these different kinds of foods that are out there and just simply fed him, Iams, and the so called "low end foods". Well about 2 years ago he was severerly sick. Couldn't pee or anything. It was due to blockage in his system. Our vet told us this was due to the improper food we were feeding him and said that the food he received had too much "grit & dirt". That low end food companies pack in sand and garbage scraps to make the food. He immediately put all the cats in the house (we had 5 at the time) on Science diet r/d. He performed several surgies on Zena, even though Zena was in bad shape. The vet told us he saved him for now, but that he doesn't expect him to live for another year. Well luckily he did, we had one more beautiful year with him till it went downhill again. He was blocked one more time and finally he was in such pain you just knew he wanted to go.
After that terrible experience I don't want to make the same mistake again. At my mother's home she still feeds the cats science diet r/d. And since I have had my two kittens I have been feeding them science diet kitten dry & wet. They get wet in the morning and a half a cup of dry each for the day. The vet said that for an entire year they have to eat the kitten food to receive proper nutrition to grow healthy. I have read on here how everyone feels like science diet is not up to par with other foods. But my vet swears by it. I know this because I walk into his home and he feeds it to his dogs and cats. I feel like I am in such a rut because I feel like I am not feeding the best to my cats. What is everyones opinion in complete honesty about science diet? I don't want to watch this story unfold again and I want to be a well informed mommy to my kittens.
post #2 of 11
Vets swear by it because its engrained in their heads. 90% of vet offices I've been to sell it--assumingly anybody who hears over and over that something is so great is going to think that is so great. For instance I grew up in a house where my mom swears by Cheer detergent--thats all that gets used, nothing is as good as Cheer detergent. Why does she think that? Her mother uses Cheer detergent--its what's been engrained in her head for years. Does that mean Cheer detergent is the best? NO!

If you look at the label of science diet: adult dry

Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Brewers Rice, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Where is the meat? Do cats eat corn in naturally?

Then look at the label of Wellness: adult dry

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice, Chicken Fat(preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Meal, Chicken Liver, Cranberries, Tomato Pomace, Olive Oil, Chicory Root Extract, Cranberry Extract Powder, Cranberry Fiber, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine, Hydrochloride, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Taurine, Rosemary Extract.

Which first three ingredients look better to you?

Leslie
post #3 of 11
I am so sorry for all that you went through with Zena. It shows that you loved and cared for him very much. You are doing the right thing by looking into the nutrition of your cats.

I had my dogs on r/d for years and they were always hungry and never lost weight. But I was not familiar with nutrition and doing as I was told by the vet I respected. One of my dogs died at age 8 and that's when I changed the diet.

My present vet's response when I asked her about nutrition was (recent graduate) that Science Diet taught what little nutrition class she had. Hmm.

Just keep reading and educating yourself. Then do what you feel is right for you and your cats. There are vets that doing more studies on nutrition. Look at this vet's opinion http://www.catinfo.org/

For my own cats, I feed mostly canned and dry out for the night. The canned I use is several premium brands, mostly grain free. Dry at night is California Natural Chicken and Rice or Orijen (grain free).

Jack31 is right from my own experience. The canine r/d I used at the time had no meat protein and contained pork fat and peanut hulls.
post #4 of 11
No one can tell you what food will be best for your kitties, as every kitty is different. Yes, vets marked Science Diet a lot, & I disagree with my vet on it a lot, too! I won't feed it as it isn't a very good food.

As for types/brands of dry food....most stuff you find in grocery stores/Wal Mart/etc isn't that great. Wal Mart's brand Maxximum isn't half bad. I feed Taste of the Wild Grain free, Wellness (which is overpriced for the quality), Purina ONE (for UTI health), & Nutro MAX (senior cats).

There are tons of options out there for you - it's just a matter of picking one out.
post #5 of 11
Other foods that are worth looking at are EVO, Innova, California Natural, Wellness and Wellness core....also if you have males wet food will help with the blockage problem, I can't see your post while Im replying but I beleive you said you are alreasy feeding some wet. There are lots of other good foods out there, just do a little internet search and that should narrow your choices.


....I forgot to tell you that if you are feeding a good quality food, like the ones mentioned above, they are all life stages food so you can feed them throughout your cats life.
post #6 of 11
First off, I'm sorry to hear that you lost your cat from a blockage... This is how we lost one of ours, years ago. She was on purina cat chow (dry) all her life...other than table scraps.

I think that it's important to remember that most vets don't know much about nutrition...Like others have mentioned, my vet also pulled out a science diet nutrition book to help me determine how much EVO to feed my cat ... She didn't even know that a gran free dry food was available...

I'd suggest a couple of things in your situation...

1. Get your bag of science diet and cut off / copy the ingredients and guarenteed analysis.

Next time you go out to buy food, check the ingredients / analysis of other brands...also check the PRICE of the other brands compared to SD. SD is much pricier than brands with similar ingredients. I believe (not sure) that IAMS is about the same as SD.

If you feed him wet SD, a good place to start might be to buy some different brands of wet food and see if he likes them. Try even friskies (similar ingredients to SD, but a lot cheaper), also authority, if you have a petco, and nutro / nutro Max.

For dry foods, I'm currently feeding Nutro Max, because it is supposed to be better for urinary health...it's ingredients are better than the science diet s/d I was feeding (perscription) and it is a lot cheaper. nutro natural choice is their slightly higher-end brand and it is a good food too. The only food I'd feed from wal-mart is their "maxximum nutrition", which has better ingredients than science diet.

2. Integrate more wet food into their diet... I believe that feeding all dry was what caused the urinary problems in my cats as a kid and I'm now feeding about 50/50 wet and dry. It isn't that much more expensive than feeding all dry, if you include a mix of the better and cheaper brands. Most important thing is to avoid fish, as it can cause more UTI / blockage problems.


Also, if you do decide to switch foods....Don't be shy about telling you vet... It may be that he was taught in school that science diet is the only good food... It may also be that, like my vet, he doesn't know that there are really great foods out there. He may also have somewhat of an interest in selling SD as they get a kickback from the company, as well as a portion of the sales price. If it was me, I'd bring in a copy of the ingredients / analysis of the food you decide to go with, just so he can see how much better than SD it is... BUT above all, do all the research that you can, yourself...so that when he asks you why you would want to feed more wet food or food other than SD, you can say that you found some sources that said it was much better, etc.

Good luck with your cat and your food decisions... I know it can be a hard thing to choose.. I have switched between maybe 5 different brands of dry lately (due to allergies, uti, etc.). The most important thing is to find one that they will all eat and do well on.

HTH,
Art
post #7 of 11
Hi:

I'm sorry about what happened to your kitties, I've been very confused about food too. My cat Lucas has feline acne and I've been reserching about foods and I have to say it has been scary. I have 5 kitties now and I've been feeding them dry food (Friskies, Proplan, Purina and others) and now I know I have to change things.

Reading everyone's post here have opened my eyes and now I decided it is important to choose the right food to protect our kitties.

I have to admit I had never read the ingredients before, but now I know it is important. I was spending lots of money in Science Diet Sensitive skin for Lucas only to see how his acne got even worse than with the Friskies. Then I read hte ingredients and I was shocked, Science Diet is no good. I started doing a research on food and I decided that Purina One is way better than Science Diet and I decided to give it to all my kitties. I know there are lots of other great foods, but here in Puerto Rico we can't get them. I would have to order online.

I also decided to include wet food on my kitties diet, Lucas doesn't like it, but the other do and I know now that it is important fro the diet and I didn't know that before.

I think you should try and see what food is better for your kitties and sometimes vets don't know everything, we have to do a reasearch ourselves.
post #8 of 11
I hope you take on board some of the advice on here, the main thing I would do is integrate some wet into their diet. I can't understand why a vet would want you to have all the cats on r/d, unless they were all overweight, as r/d is the weight reduction food, and has even worse ingredients than normal SD and also looks and smells awful and produces nasty stools in my experience.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post

Where is the meat? Do cats eat corn in naturally?

Then look at the label of Wellness: adult dry

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice, Chicken Fat(preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Meal, Chicken Liver, Cranberries, Tomato Pomace, Olive Oil, Chicory Root Extract, Cranberry Extract Powder, Cranberry Fiber, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine, Hydrochloride, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Taurine, Rosemary Extract.

Which first three ingredients look better to you?

Leslie
Just to be fair and honest, we need to apply your own logic to the second list of ingredients. Do cats normally eat cranberries, chicory root extract, or, for that matter, salmon meal? I wonder why all those extraneous items are in that food, personally. Yes, I know the first three ingredients are better; I just can't help wondering why they went to the (alleged) expense of adding everything else.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
I hope you take on board some of the advice on here, the main thing I would do is integrate some wet into their diet. I can't understand why a vet would want you to have all the cats on r/d, unless they were all overweight, as r/d is the weight reduction food, and has even worse ingredients than normal SD and also looks and smells awful and produces nasty stools in my experience.
Yeah all 3 of the cats at my mother's house are unfortunately overweight, one of them extremely. That's the only reason why they are on that food. She is trying to just get them to eat wet food twice a day but she works from 8am to 9pm 5 times a week so its hard on her
post #11 of 11
RX are made for a reason.. they have alot of science behind them even if you and I ??? ingrediants ...
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