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Looking for food/feeding suggestions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I've been reading through this forum and I'd like to try and feed my cats better. I have 4 adult cats: Promise, Tiny, Thufir, and Tre. Promise (4 yrs) is the picture of health, but the others all have some sort of health concern. Tiny is 10 and very overweight. Tre is 13+, has high blood pressure, is going blind, and showed a slightly elevated liver value on the last blood panel, but the vet didn't think prescription food was warranted at this time. Thufir is 9 and he had struvite crystals in his urine and got completely blocked up 3 years ago and he's been on the prescription urinary tract formula (Hill's CD) ever since.

After Thufir got put on the prescription food, I had to stop free-feeding them. Now I feed them 3 times a day and then take the food up. Thufir gets locked in the bathroom to eat and the others eat in the kitchen. I feed them before work, once I get home from work, and before bed. Until recently, it was almost all dry food with the occasional can of CD split between the 4 as a snack. Because of Tiny's weight, the 3 in the kitchen have been getting some sort of weight control formula, such as the Purina One brand.

So, I'd like to try and do a little better with the feeding. I'd like to change at least one meal a day to wet food, and possibly two if I can work out the logistics. I'd also like to find a better quality dry to feed. Right now, that high liver value from Tre's blood test is my biggest concern and I'd like to try and keep him healthy for as long as possible. Tiny's weight is also a concern to me because it puts her at a high risk for diabetes and other complications.

I did go shopping for some healthier food at the PetSmart this weekend and, based on the first 5 ingredients I brought home a couple cans each of Blue Buffalo Spa Select Tender Turkey and Chicken, Nutro MaxCat Turkey and Giblets Formula, and Nutro Natural Choice Chicken and Turkey Platter to see if the kitties will eat them. None of the dry food there really impressed me so I settled on a bag of Authority Senior Formula (not sure if this is OK with Promise who is only 4-1/2 though.) So far, the kitties seem to like these choices, and with the exception of the Blue Buffalo ($1.20/can) they seem pretty reasonably priced. Do these seem like decent choices? My options on stores are basically Wal-Marts, pet stores (PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus), or grocery stores and my budget is pretty flexible.

I'd also like any input / suggestions on the feeding schedule. Right now it's not uncommon for me to be gone to work for 12-14 hours, and in the next 8 months as I get really serious on my dissertation that may become 16-18 hours. This effectively pushes the two evening meals together and means I'm only feeding them twice a day. I'm concerned that may be too long between feedings, but I don't have a good way of leaving food out since my cats are on different foods.
post #2 of 11
A great read for cat nutrition is Your cat: simple new secrets to a longer stronger life I think this would be agreat book for you to read because of the array of health problems your cats have and direct you to proper nutrition.

But my two cents. Research and get the cat on RX diet off--feed exclusively wet food

Weight control foods do not help cats lose weight, don't buy them--wet food is the way to a leaner cat, less carbs. cats thrive on high protein high fat diets

I now feed 80% raw, working on full raw. I feed Taste of the Wild grainfree kibble and Nutro Max Cat and Authority wet foods

Leslie
post #3 of 11
I agree with the above

If you are looking for food for all ... discuss the getting off the C/D with the vet ( it can be possible in some cases as there are UTI friendly OTC foods) ... IMHO would NOT feed an RX to a cat not prescribed it ...

Senior food is fine but realize in a dry food most seniors are LOWER in protein and fat ( which if you are needing to feed an older cat dry that is a good thing) than an adult or all stage food ... Cats naturally would eat foods HIGH in protein and fat as well as moisture ( the why many of us suggest wet food, it is closer to a natural diet )

I feed Nutro canned in my rotation... I have found with 4 wet eater s 13oz cans more affordable ... Ie my wellness cans run 2.27 for 13 oz or 1.09 for 5.5 ... eagle pack is 1.92 for 13 oz or 1.09 for 5.5 ... nutro only make one flavor in 13 oz is 1.39 vs 89 for the 5.5
post #4 of 11
I have five cats ranging in age from 7 months to 2 years. I know what you mean about the logistics of feeding only wet food. I'm gone for 14-15 hours at a time when I'm working and don't want to leave them without food for that long. They get one or two wet meals a day, depending on my schedule, and I leave a measured amount of dry food out for free feeding while I'm gone. Their dry food is Taste of the Wild, grain-free all stages. I keep switching the wet food, haven't found one that I really like that's readily available.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. A few more questions / clarifications.

On the senior vs. adult food: realizing that there isn't a perfect solution, would it be better to feed the 4-1/2 year old senior food, feed the two older kitties adult food, or rotate it around?

Feeding wet morning and night with kibble in between is something I could live with, but obviously finding a dry all 4 could eat is challenging. I did discuss the feeding of the CD to the others with my vet once and she told me it shouldn't hurt unless one of them is already predisposed to oxylate (instead of struvite) crystals in the urine, which is much less common. I go out of town a couple of weeks a year and I've had to do that so that my cat sitter didn't have to come over 3 times a day. I wouldn't want to feed CD to everyone long term though.

When you talk about UTI-friendly foods, are we talking about ones labeled 'urinary tract health formula', or just a certain balance of minerals in the food? Also, does this apply to both wet and dry, or just dry?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogs View Post
Thanks for the replies. A few more questions / clarifications.

On the senior vs. adult food: realizing that there isn't a perfect solution, would it be better to feed the 4-1/2 year old senior food, feed the two older kitties adult food, or rotate it around?

Feeding wet morning and night with kibble in between is something I could live with, but obviously finding a dry all 4 could eat is challenging. I did discuss the feeding of the CD to the others with my vet once and she told me it shouldn't hurt unless one of them is already predisposed to oxylate (instead of struvite) crystals in the urine, which is much less common. I go out of town a couple of weeks a year and I've had to do that so that my cat sitter didn't have to come over 3 times a day. I wouldn't want to feed CD to everyone long term though.

When you talk about UTI-friendly foods, are we talking about ones labeled 'urinary tract health formula', or just a certain balance of minerals in the food? Also, does this apply to both wet and dry, or just dry?
IMHO ... unless you have uti, kidney or liver issues try the adult for all .... Yes it is fine to feed the senior to a younger cat just not optimal

I recommend researching the RX and giving your finding s to the vet ... as of the last few studies I read both crystals show up equally as often ...

UTI friendly comes in both wet and dry ... the foods that specify it are thoroughly tested and have passed ( ie you get a little more comfort in knowing this food is proven not to cause)... there are ways to go by % anges also which opens up a whole group of both wet and dry foods ( this is one to sit down with the vet after researching)
post #7 of 11
We have one cat that was prescribed the Royal Canin Urinary SO.

Am I understanding the previous posts are saying:

(1) that any RX prescription diet should not be fed to the our other cats?

(2) an RX diet isn't something I'd want to keep him on?

I believe that the Hills Brand and Royal Canin are different companies, but they are still "prescriptions".

My understanding about the Royal Canin Urinary SO is that it was formulated to keep both forms of crystals from forming.

I really am not excited about the ingredients, but so far, I haven't had to take him back to the vet for urinary problems, and my other cats are eating the dry as "cookies". ?

We try to do the best we can for our cats with the knowledge that we gain, but sometimes the information gets confusing, and when the information is from sources that we respect, and those sources conflict, it gets frustrating. It doesn't help that we are all in different situations with cats that have their own individual requirements - so we try to sift through all the information and make the best decisions that we can.
post #8 of 11
Am I understanding the previous posts are saying:

(1) that any RX prescription diet should not be fed to the our other cats?
Generally speaking giving a RX to a cat not needing it is like a human taking someone else RX pills
(2) an RX diet isn't something I'd want to keep him on?
This is completely something to discuss with your vet... Many RX foods have other options( ie OTC food for after the "major
illness passes" , homemade or raw foods that = the %ages in the RX


I believe that the Hills Brand and Royal Canin are different companies, but they are still "prescriptions".
They are... and also both make OTC foods

My understanding about the Royal Canin Urinary SO is that it was formulated to keep both forms of crystals from forming.
Yes this is what the company claims.... I can see it just not sure if that is ideal

I really am not excited about the ingredients, but so far, I haven't had to take him back to the vet for urinary problems, and my other cats are eating the dry as "cookies". ?
I would continue with him as it is working and find some other cookies for the others
We try to do the best we can for our cats with the knowledge that we gain, but sometimes the information gets confusing, and when the information is from sources that we respect, and those sources conflict, it gets frustrating. It doesn't help that we are all in different situations with cats that have their own individual requirements - so we try to sift through all the information and make the best decisions that we can.[/quote]

That is what we are all here for
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
(quoting GloriaJH) ]Am I understanding the previous posts are saying:

(1) that any RX prescription diet should not be fed to the our other cats?
Generally speaking giving a RX to a cat not needing it is like a human taking someone else RX pills
(2) an RX diet isn't something I'd want to keep him on?
This is completely something to discuss with your vet... Many RX foods have other options( ie OTC food for after the "major
illness passes" , homemade or raw foods that = the %ages in the RX


I believe that the Hills Brand and Royal Canin are different companies, but they are still "prescriptions".
They are... and also both make OTC foods

My understanding about the Royal Canin Urinary SO is that it was formulated to keep both forms of crystals from forming.
Yes this is what the company claims.... I can see it just not sure if that is ideal

I really am not excited about the ingredients, but so far, I haven't had to take him back to the vet for urinary problems, and my other cats are eating the dry as "cookies". ?
I would continue with him as it is working and find some other cookies for the others
We try to do the best we can for our cats with the knowledge that we gain, but sometimes the information gets confusing, and when the information is from sources that we respect, and those sources conflict, it gets frustrating. It doesn't help that we are all in different situations with cats that have their own individual requirements - so we try to sift through all the information and make the best decisions that we can.

That is what we are all here for


Just saying Thank You doesn't seem enough - I really am grateful for the clarity of your answers!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I bought 2 cases of canned food Saturday night. It was some of the same food I mentioned above and also some of the Authority food. Well, cats being cats, two of my kitties (Promise and Tre) wouldn't eat any (even though they wolfed it down a few days ago) so I ended up having to set some dry out for those two. I tried again tonight with a couple of different varieties and they seemed amenable. I'm going to try and take the transition fairly slow - 1 wet meal a day for the next 2-3 weeks, then (once I've found some food everyone is happy with) up to 2 wet meals a day.

I didn't have any luck finding a decent UTI-friendly kibble though. Hard to believe that in a pet store the size of a small Wal-Mart there were only 2 brands of cat food (both dry) for urinary tract health. And the two brands were Science Diet and Iams. I think I have a better selection of UTI food on that one shelf of cat food in my grocery store. Do they actually make OTC wet UTI formulas? I'm not sure I've seen one at any pet store.

I'm going to pick up a copy of that book that Jack31 suggested so that I can make a more educated assessment while browsing the labels on the pet food aisle.
post #11 of 11
Purina Pro plan

Nutro max is likely certified again but not sure
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