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Changing cats food

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have four cats and have been "free" feeding them for a long time. Today I took one in for a check up for blood in his stools and the vet put him on Iams Vet Formula Intestinal Low Residue. I usually feed them Blue Buffalo Spa Select Indoor but the vet said they never heard of it and said I need to change the food. So I guess I need some advice on how to change them to a meal plan (feeding them two times a day) I have to so I can feed the special food to my one cat and the other food to the other three, any advice?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bekitty View Post
I have four cats and have been "free" feeding them for a long time. Today I took one in for a check up for blood in his stools and the vet put him on Iams Vet Formula Intestinal Low Residue. I usually feed them Blue Buffalo Spa Select Indoor but the vet said they never heard of it and said I need to change the food. So I guess I need some advice on how to change them to a meal plan (feeding them two times a day) I have to so I can feed the special food to my one cat and the other food to the other three, any advice?
Yes - the advice is : Don't change it, until Sharky, out food expert talks to you.
Vets know little to nothing about cats nutrition, and all they know is very bad, by-products packed, nutrients lacking food,
I guess, the question is: What did he say the problem with your kitty is? Blue Buffalo is actually a pretty good food, while Iams is junk food... Well... please post what the problem with the kitty is, and we go from there - I will be posting the ingredients for Sharky soon...
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
They said blood in the stool is normal for maine coons which the cat has part of. And also the fact that he is a easliy stressed cat. And thats all they told me, he fecal test came back negative.
post #4 of 21
Sharky:
Here you go... What do you think that helps on the Iams, if at all, that is lacking on the Blue Buffalo?

Iams:
Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Chicken, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Chicken Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Mannanoligosaccharides, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate [source of Vitamin B1], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [source of Vitamin B6], Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [source of Vitamin B2], Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Rosemary Extract

Blue Buffalo:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Ground Barley, Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Whole Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg, Dried Cellulose, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Whole Carrots, Cranberries, Blueberries, Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Kelp Meal, Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Salmon Oil (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Black Malted Barley, Dried Chicory Root, , Oil of Rosemary, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin C, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Zinc), Iron Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Iron,) Copper Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Copper), Manganese Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Manganese), Potassium Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Potassium), Cobalt Proteinate (source of Chelated Cobalt), Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Salt, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bekitty View Post
They said blood in the stool is normal for maine coons which the cat has part of. And also the fact that he is a easliy stressed cat. And thats all they told me, he fecal test came back negative.
Wow, I am not sure - I never heard of that; ever... There are other conditions that could give them runny stools, and require specific tests... I am sure you will get tips in here.
Can you instead of changing the food, add a pre-biotic and pro-biotic to it?
I would not change the food from Blue Buffalo to Iams, unless the doctor gave me a definitive reason, and he is not giving to you... I think the best bet for you and this kitty is really find another doctor...
He didn't have a change of food recently did he? Because if he did, and was not transiotioned into it, he can have up to 3-4 weeks of diarrhea because of it...
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
No. He has been on Blue Buffalo for a year. The bloody stools started a month or so ago out of the blue.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bekitty View Post
No. He has been on Blue Buffalo for a year. The bloody stools started a month or so ago out of the blue.
He needs a diagnosis, instead of a food change on the blind... I would go to another vet. The food change is all he told you to do? No Antibiotics, no deworming, nothing else?
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
They gave us Metronidazole (Flagyl) 250mg Said to give hime one half of the pill once a day for a week then as needed after that
post #9 of 21
That's what I would do: I would use the medicine for a week and not change the food - hes has been on the food for the last year, with no problems, so obviously it is something unrelated to the food.
I would also not change the food for another reason: It will mess up his digestive system even worst...
Vets are pretty lousy in food matters and advice - I would disregard his request to change. But this is my opinion only.
If he is not better in a week or so, go back to him, or get another vet.
post #10 of 21
Some vets know about nutrition but most don't. What you are feeding is a good food from what I understand. Having said that, I am not qualified as a nutritionist. Sharky, our resident guru on nutrition, is the one who can best advise you. I would recommend you talk to the vet and ask for more information - again, Sharky can probably tell you what questions to ask. If your vet does not give you answers, then I would seriously think about changing vets or at least getting another opinion.

In the meantime I would not change his diet - time enough for that once you get some answers.
post #11 of 21
The fact that your vet has never heard of Blue Buffalo, which is not an uncommon or obscure brand of pet food (I had heard of it even before I had cats), shows how little he knows about feline nutrition.

While it is true than Iams, Purina, Hills, etc. are usually not great foods when you buy them from the store, some vet formulas are necessary and useful for the animal. This one, however, to me looks like garbage and I wouldn't feed it to my cat unless I had a real medical justification proven to me. I don't think your vet has done this. It really sounds like he was trying to "make a sale."

My advice is to give the medication as advised by the vet. I would not change the food yet. I would see how he does on the same food with the medication. In the meantime, I would look for a new vet....one who is prepared to actually diagnose and medically treat the cat, not just change his food.

I had a vet tech suggest that I change from Performatrin (not good) to Prescription Diet because of blood in the stool of my Zoey. No medical diagnosis, just "the food is not great and might be irritating her stomach." Which would be a little more believable in hindsight if 1) she hadn't suggested regular old grocery store Iams (garbage) or Science Diet (overpriced garbage) as suitable replacements as well. Or 2) If Zoey hadn't wasted away and died from whatever undiagnosed condition a few months later. I had to switch vets before anyone even suggested doing any blood work...
post #12 of 21
<Vets know little to nothing about cats nutrition, and all they know is very bad, by-products packed, nutrients lacking food,>

Personally, I find this a little on the extreme side....to be fair, there are extremely few certified feline nutritionists out there, and vets do see thousands of animals per year, not including their years of schooling (did you know it's harder, by far, to get into vet school in the US than it is to get into med school?)

I've often seen one complaint about major food suppliers is that they, alone, provide nutrition studies, etc., to the vet schools, and so that's what the vets learn (of course, that assumes all vet students and professors completely forget about scientific method and don't even think about analyzing the studies shown them). Does anyone know why the seemingly more 'wholistic, better' food companies don't work more with vet schools? I can almost see why some of the small companies don't run feeding studies, since those are, by nature, long term and fairly expensive to run - but how is it to their benefit not to work with vet schools in any way possible?
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
<Vets know little to nothing about cats nutrition, and all they know is very bad, by-products packed, nutrients lacking food,>

Personally, I find this a little on the extreme side....to be fair, there are extremely few certified feline nutritionists out there, and vets do see thousands of animals per year, not including their years of schooling (did you know it's harder, by far, to get into vet school in the US than it is to get into med school?)

I've often seen one complaint about major food suppliers is that they, alone, provide nutrition studies, etc., to the vet schools, and so that's what the vets learn (of course, that assumes all vet students and professors completely forget about scientific method and don't even think about analyzing the studies shown them). Does anyone know why the seemingly more 'wholistic, better' food companies don't work more with vet schools? I can almost see why some of the small companies don't run feeding studies, since those are, by nature, long term and fairly expensive to run - but how is it to their benefit not to work with vet schools in any way possible?
How difficult it is to get into vet school has nothing to do with nutrition. Vets get a couple hours teaching on nutrition and then that is usually given by Hills. Fortunately some vets actually take extra training in nutrition, but unfortunately not enough of them. One of our local vets has taken the extra training in nutrition. Saying most vets know little to nothing about nutrition is unfortunately all too true.

If you don't believe that, drop in to a number of different vet offices and check out the food they sell - I'll wager it's Hills/Science Diet. The prescription foods do have a place in our cats' lives if the cat has a medical issue, but a healthy cat should not be eating that stuff.
post #14 of 21
<If you don't believe that, drop in to a number of different vet offices and check out the food they sell - I'll wager it's Hills/Science Diet.>

sure, and I've seen the trucks delivering from Hills - basically that tells me that Hills is one manufacturer bright enough to ensure a delivery system that works for busy professional offices and it helps their sales. But, still not quite sure why other manufacturers don't somehow work their way into vet school curriculum, to provide another perspective to Hills, assuming it's needed - or explain that educated health professionals can't evaluate scientific studies when presented to them.

The thing is, as I stated, there are extremely few certified feline nutritionists out there to consult with - making it difficult to evaluate anectodal evidence that we find all too often on the internet. Then again, I'm still a big believer in working with my vet, not against him, in all areas of my cats' health... maybe I'm just lucky that I've apparently stumbled into a practice that seems pretty up to date with protocols? And, I like companies that conduct full feeding studies, but that's just a personal preference.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
<If you don't believe that, drop in to a number of different vet offices and check out the food they sell - I'll wager it's Hills/Science Diet.>

sure, and I've seen the trucks delivering from Hills - basically that tells me that Hills is one manufacturer bright enough to ensure a delivery system that works for busy professional offices and it helps their sales. But, still not quite sure why other manufacturers don't somehow work their way into vet school curriculum, to provide another perspective to Hills, assuming it's needed - or explain that educated health professionals can't evaluate scientific studies when presented to them.

The thing is, as I stated, there are extremely few certified feline nutritionists out there to consult with - making it difficult to evaluate anectodal evidence that we find all too often on the internet. Then again, I'm still a big believer in working with my vet, not against him, in all areas of my cats' health... maybe I'm just lucky that I've apparently stumbled into a practice that seems pretty up to date with protocols? And, I like companies that conduct full feeding studies, but that's just a personal preference.
I am confused why it should be the private food manufacturers' responsibility to teach such an important part of veterinary medicine? Wouldn't that provide biased information, which is what is already happening with Hills?What needs to change is the curriculum - while this doesn't happen, we are pretty much on our own. IMO, it is also sort of naive to assume that other companies haven't tried that route.
Furthermore, you shouldn't need to be a nutritionist to know at least the basics of Feline nutrition... We know in this forum, how come a vet doesn't?
Like it or not, the great majority of vets do not know a thing about feline nutrition. Sure we can work with them - IF there is a medical issue that requires RX food. Otherwise, knowing the facts, we are the only ones who can assure out kitties are getting the best nutrition by research the subject.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
I am confused why it should be the private food manufacturers' responsibility to teach such an important part of veterinary medicine? Wouldn't that provide biased information, which is what is already happening with Hills?What needs to change is the curriculum - while this doesn't happen, we are pretty much on our own. IMO, it is also sort of naive to assume that other companies haven't tried that route.
Furthermore, you shouldn't need to be a nutritionist to know at least the basics of Feline nutrition... We know in this forum, how come a vet doesn't?
Like it or not, the great majority of vets do not know a thing about feline nutrition. Sure we can work with them - IF there is a medical issue that requires RX food. Otherwise, knowing the facts, we are the only ones who can assure out kitties are getting the best nutrition by research the subject.
I couldn't have said it better. We all work with our vets on medical issues but even the best vets can know nothing about nutrition. It's not rocket science - cats are carnivores so read the ingredient labels on food. Hills is full of grains. It's not a good food for healthy cats.

We, as pet owners need to do our own research on food. I don't ask my hairstylist for nutrition information - she didn't study it in her hairdressing course just as my vet did not get nutrition classes.
post #17 of 21
SD had a BRILLIANT idea many years ago , others PF companies have followed but to a far lesser degree.... SD started providing scholarships, books (written by them of course) and incentives to vets to sell their food ... MOST of the nutrition education taught in vet school s is by SD , this is slowly changing ... as example the vet school closest to me has a deal with innova ...

For most vets they got the same 1 course of 1-3 hours in nutrition your dr did ... that is all in 8-12 yrs of schooling that is required and it focuses on disease management and micro %s
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
SD had a BRILLIANT idea many years ago , others PF companies have followed but to a far lesser degree.... SD started providing scholarships, books (written by them of course) and incentives to vets to sell their food ... MOST of the nutrition education taught in vet school s is by SD , this is slowly changing ... as example the vet school closest to me has a deal with innova ...
You'd think if they were brilliant enough to come up with that idea, they'd be brilliant enough to come up with a decent food!
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
You'd think if they were brilliant enough to come up with that idea, they'd be brilliant enough to come up with a decent food!
Apparently they had a limited stock of brilliance!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
You'd think if they were brilliant enough to come up with that idea, they'd be brilliant enough to come up with a decent food!
No, see the true brilliance is making a cheap crap food as sell it as a great expensive food.

=more money!
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forensic View Post
No, see the true brilliance is making a cheap crap food as sell it as a great expensive food.

=more money!



My vet sells Iams Rx foods. When he asked me what Siddha was eating and I told him Solid Gold, he just kinda gave me a weird look and said "okay." I got the sense that he didn't know what it was. I wish I could find a vet that knew better than to sell crap from Iams and SD.
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