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How much canned food daily is normal?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
One of my cats, Purdy, has been put on a special diet food, K/D for his kidney problem. The vet said it was more important that he DID eat than WHAT he ate, so I'd like an idea if he is eating an adequate amount. I've never tried to feed canned food only and in recent years have fed only dried food as the cats seemed to waste so much canned. So about how much canned food would you expect a 13.4 pound cat to eat in a day? One can? More than one can? Less than one can? I don't want to wait until he loses weight before deciding that this isn't working.
post #2 of 18
According to the Daily Feeding Guide at Hill's site, Purdy will probably need around two 5.5-ounce cans of the k/d a day:
15 lb (6,8 kg)\t1 2/3 - 2 1/4 can
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks, jcat. That's what I was afraid of. I don't think I can get him to eat nearly that much. I don't think he averaged more than about half a can a day the first couple of days. Plus, I let him supplement that with some of his previous dried food, since it's best to shift them over gradually I guess. But I doubt that he ate nearly enough dried food to make up the difference.

He and the other cats have always dug right into canned food for the first part of the can. But they don't like the food refrigerated and they don't like it microwaved. So most of what they don't eat the first time may get thrown away. It isn't so bad if I can split one can between the three of them, but that doesn't work with one cat on a special diet.

I think I'll mosy around the website and see what others have been feeding their CRF kitties
post #4 of 18
You can try warming it more gently by floating the can or the bowl of food in another bowl filled with warm to hot water. That should help heat the food more evenly and gently.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion, but it may not be practical in my circumstances. The cat with CRF eats only small amounts at a time, so eats maybe six or eight times a day. Perhaps over time I can learn how much I dare leave out (covered and away from my #1 fat cat, who would be happy to help polish it off) and expect he'll finish it within a safe number of hours. Even covered and at room temperature, the food dries out some though, and he's less likely to eat it the second time. And adding a bit of water and stirring it in doesn't restore the kitty's initial interest in the food, though he will eat a bit of it. But I can't afford to waste food, either.

What I really need to find is some canned food that he'll at least eat a can a day. I have a powdered kidney-disease supplement for Purdy that I'm supposed to mix into canned food twice a day. I really want that method to work, as giving pills instead is too much stress on both me and Purdy.
post #6 of 18
Hill's also has a dry k/d, and Royal Canin offers Renal LP in a 3 oz. pouch. Perhaps you could ask your vet about them.
post #7 of 18
Since you have the powder (aluminum hydroxide, I'm guessing), just try buying small cans of supermarket food. Try pate first since there are more options and you'll probably have more luck at getting him to eat the food, but you can try gravy-type foods as well (though some will just lick the gravy and leave the chunks behind). Your vet is right on that some food is better than no food, and there are a lot of cats that don't really like the k/d but will gladly eat other foods instead. Good luck! With my mom's senior cat, we found that she will consistently eat chicken pate-style Fancy Feast, but it took a lot of trial and error to find something she would eat every time.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
The powder prescription he was given is Epakitin, which is a nutritional supplement containing Lactose, Calcium carbonate, Chitosan, and Hydrolyzed soy protein. So is that a phosphate binder? I'm trying to read about it on the web, but I've had health problems this week myself and right now just can't focus on anything at all technical. The ol' brain just doesn't feel like it is functioning.

In spite of the fact that Purdy is back to having a medical problem, he is truly my miracle kitty. Two years ago his liver and kidney enzymes were both up so high that he was put on oral meds for both and had regular sub-q fluids. Still he deteriorated. He got down to 8.75 pounds from a high a few years previously of over 14 pounds. He had no energy and I thought I'd be having to put him down in a matter of a few months. He fought the meds and sub-q so bad that I gradually began skipping them more and more, basically giving up. And he seemed to get better, not worse. Then he ran off and stayed away for 8.5 days. He came back hungry but didn't really seem to suffer from being totally off his meds. I left him off his meds a few months longer, then took him for another blood test. And both his liver and kidney enzymes were MUCH better.

I asked my new vet for an explanation. She looked over his past blood test records and she, too, could not explain it. Even she thinks Purdy is a little miracle kitty.

Purdy continued to improve and he gained weight without being on meds or special diet, coming in at 13.4 pounds at the vet this week. He's so active it is like he thinks he is a kitten again, wrestling and playing tag with Sheba, chasing his tail and generally enjoying life.

So I'm sad to see that his liver and kidney enzymes are back up, though they aren't as bad as they were two years ago. It hasn't affected his behavior yet, so I'm hoping to find a system that will work for him.
post #9 of 18
Here is some information about phosphorus binders, including Epakitin:
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those links, Cloud Shade.

I got some Fancy Feast at the local store last night and Purdy ate enough of that to get his medicine down in it. They didn't have a pate, but I got the Chicken Feast, which is like a pate and pieces mixed. Purdy didn't eat the pieces, but since the medicine wouldn't be mixed in with that, I'm not concerned right now. I let him finish off later with some of his previous dried food (a mixture of Solid Gold and Pro Plan Hairball Management) so I think he's eating an adequate amount. So the immediate problem of finding a food to serve as a carrier for his medicine is solved. This will give me time to study the charts on other canned foods, and see if I can come up with a list of better foods to try. There is nothing but a limited number of the cheap grocery store brands available here, but next week I'll be going into a larger town where there is a feed store with a little larger variety.

I may also try the dried K/D for part of his diet, but will have to go back over the vet records. I think I may have tried that two years ago and he rejected it, but my memory is so bad I can't say for sure.
post #11 of 18
I run a little bit of really hot water in my cat's leftover fridge food, she loves that more than when it's fresh out of the can, the adult does,
post #12 of 18
On that Tanya's CRF web site, there is a list of "normal" soft foods and their phosphorous etc. - there are some flavours of Fancy Feast that aren't so bad in this regard at all if you research it.

Also, I suggest buying a baby scale if you have the money to do so. I have one. That way you can keep a super tight eye on kitty's weight right at home! My baby scale has been godsend when my cats are ill etc.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
cococalypso - I tried adding some hot tap water to the leftover canned food and offered it to Purdy tonight and he refused to touch it. When I offered it to my #1 fat cat, Red Cat, though, he consumed it all even though it had Purdy's medicine in it. (I read in the literature as well as was told by my vet that the other cats consuming small amounts of the medicine is not of any real concern. And I'll just feed less of his regular dry food to Red Cat.)

Scarlett - I do have a baby scale which I purchased for the cats a number of years ago. I think it will be important to keep track of how Purdy is doing.

Purdy has so far today eaten less than one 5.5 ounce can of the grocery store brands food. As far as I know he didn't sneak into either of the other cats' dried food at all. That doesn't seem like an adequate amount of food, so I'll offer him some of the dried food and keep a close eye on what he eats and doesn't eat over the next several days. Hopefully we can come up with something he likes enough that he doesn't go back into a downward spiral like he did two years ago. I may have to stick to using the little 3 ounce cans so I can give him freshly opened food most of the time.

He's been a clingy little mama's boy these last few days, wanting to sit on my lap whenever I sit down or lie on my abdomen when I'm in bed. So I'm guessing he isn't feeling up to par.
post #14 of 18
I have absolutely no expertise with renal issues (knock on wood), but going off of your comment that the vet said it was more important to eat wet food than what kind, I'll chime in with this: I tried feeding my cats a couple of different mainstream brands - eg. Fancy Feast, Iams, Science Diet - and couldn't get most of them to eat much of it -- just a little when the can was freshly opened, but after that nothing. Then I tried Wellness and the plates have been licked clean immediately almost every single day. A couple of my friends had similar experiences with Wellness after I mentioned our experience and they tried it. You may just want to try some different brands - maybe the really premium brands if you've not tried them, to see if something will strike his fancy. Good luck.
post #15 of 18
here are some wysong products you might be unaware of
ask the vet
unfortunately no wet food

post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
According to the Daily Feeding Guide at Hill's site, Purdy will probably need around two 5.5-ounce cans of the k/d a day:
Every cat is different and a lot depends on their level of exercise. 1 12 ounce can of Wellness a day is enough for all 4 of my cats. That's for about 48 pounds of housecat, so each cat gets ~ 3 ounces per cat per day or about 1/4 ounce per pound on average. Two of my guys are on a weight loss plan, so the amount may go up once they reach a weight I'm happy with. They're also pretty sedentary indoor cats, so I would expect that if they spent all day running around the neighborhood that they would require a lot more food every day. Definitely use that baby scale and weigh Purdy several times a week. If he's not getting enough food, his weight will drop rapidly and you'll see it quickly.
post #17 of 18

This is a good feeding guide to check out also.
post #18 of 18
I wouldn't worry too much about getting him to eat the "recommended" amount. For one thing, manufacturer guidelines tend to be on the high side. My cats (and dogs) have always eaten significantly less than the amount that was listed on the package, yet maintain healthy weights and energy levels just fine.

Another thing to consider is that if he's feeling sick he probably isn't very active right now, so he may not need as many calories as usual.

I would offer food often, let him eat what he wants, and weigh him every few days to make sure he isn't losing.
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