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Purina NF - So Disappointed!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My CRF girl, Cleo, was diagnosed with renal failure 9 years ago this month. She had an elevated creatinine and BUN when my vet did pre-op blood work for her spay surgery. Since her diagnosis, I have been able to keep very strict control over her disease process by feeding Purina NF canned renal food. Actually, all three of my girls (Maggie is also early stage renal insufficiency) love it, and have positively thrived on it. Imagine my dismay when I opened a can out of the new case, only to discover that they have changed their formulation. None of my girls will eat it. I opened a can this morning at 6 am, and there is still more than 3/4 of the can drying on the plate. I paid nearly $80 for two cases. I hope my vet will let me return the unopened cans for a credit.

My girls will eat the Hills k/d minced chicken canned, but their favorite was always the NF. I'm so disappointed because they have done so well on it, and now I'm going to have to start researching all of the other canned renal food options again (believe me when I say I spent weeks, studying protein and phosphorus contents, DMA values, caloric content, ingredients.....I'm SO not looking forward to doing again!) But I will...because I love my girls, and I'm going to do EVERYTHING in my power to learn and be their health advocate.

Someone please tell my why a company who has a well accepted, palatable food, that provides effective treatment and nutrition to renal failure cats (who are among some of the finickiest cats due to the very nature of the disease we are trying to treat) would try to "fix" something that "ain't broke?"

Next week, during business hours, I plan to call Purina Veterinary Products, and find out why they changed. I guess I'll let them know that I won't be spending $160/month on their cat food any more, since the girls refuse to eat it. If anyone is interested, I'll post their response.
post #2 of 23
My Coco will not touch it either anymore.
You are right they changed something in the wet food.
I have to feed N/F dry now.
post #3 of 23
Many reformulate so they can say new and improved ... some do it to keep a patent ... some do it because customers ask///
post #4 of 23
not sure about the food industry, but in manufacturing many do to save $$$ - once you have a strong brand, you have the "luxury" of being able of eventually changing ingredients for cheaper ones and still selling because of the recognizable brand. I have a strong suspicion this is the case. Yes, they will lose some customers, but many will still be prescribed, and the food will still work... They might change back eventually, they might not... The brand is so strong, it might not dent their reputation at all.
post #5 of 23
I would definately contact Purina. Same kind of thing happened with Iams. My Cornish Rex were raised on the stuff. They did very well - were healthy and never had any kind of problems. My one would not eat anything other then Iams. The two oldest rexes were 15 1/2 and 18 yrs old and fed that their entire lives.

But somewhere along the line when Iams decided to go more commercial and sell it in places like grocery stores and Walmart, then changed the formula to a cheaper version. Many breeders (including me) stopped buying it cause it was causing more problems and the cats didn't like it any more.

Many switched over to Royal Canin instead. When companies choose to reduce their quality of the food to sell more in a wider market, they wind up harming the cats in the long run.

Maybe Spooky would have lived a few years longer eating Iams the way it used to be - I don't know and we'll never know. He probably started having some problems when they changed or it could have been old age - we'll never really know.

I won't buy Iams dry any more because they made it cheap and put more grains in it then meat. The canned is a lot better and I'll add that in with my other canned foods.

I hope you will find a food that works well with your babies. I know it can be frustrating to go back to square one again.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I called Purina today, and talked to "Tim" in customer service. He said that they have changed production sites, as well as a change in formulation. He acknowledged that there has been quite a few people who have called to complain that their kitties will not eat the new product. The company stands behind their products, and offers a 100% guarantee. All I have to do is send them my receipt, and they will refund my purchase price. He said that I do not have to return the product. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my unused case and a half of food, since none of my girls will touch it. I will check with the local rescue, to see if they need any renal food...I'd be happy to donate it to them.

On another note, my vet has ordered a case of Royal Canin renal food for me. We'll see how well the girls like it.
post #7 of 23
Coco likes the Royal Canin LP.
It comes in pouches.
post #8 of 23
We are having the same problem with "Thermal," our CRF cat, who used to love the canned Purina NF. Since they switched the formula, he leaves most of it (the rice) on the plate. Other times he simply leaves the whole thing.

I called Purina today and the customer service person was very nice and seemed concerned. She said they had heard from a number of unhappy customers and Purina was "looking into a possible solution." She said the main change was to improve the nutrition by using whole rice kernels.

She suggested we simply add water to the Purina NF crunchies, but that is not the answer. She took my address and is mailing coupons for a discount on the dry food.

I got the feeling they are sensitive to customer input and suggest that others give them a call. Their phone number in the US is 800-879-1266.
post #9 of 23
Coco will not touch the food at all now.
Maybe we will complain.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsbmjk View Post
We are having the same problem with "Thermal," our CRF cat, who used to love the canned Purina NF. Since they switched the formula, he leaves most of it (the rice) on the plate. Other times he simply leaves the whole thing.

I called Purina today and the customer service person was very nice and seemed concerned. She said they had heard from a number of unhappy customers and Purina was "looking into a possible solution." She said the main change was to improve the nutrition by using whole rice kernels.

She suggested we simply add water to the Purina NF crunchies, but that is not the answer. She took my address and is mailing coupons for a discount on the dry food.

I got the feeling they are sensitive to customer input and suggest that others give them a call. Their phone number in the US is 800-879-1266.
You might want to see if your vet will order the Royal Canin Low Protein canned food. All three of my girls are eating it with the same gusto that they used to have for Purina NF! I also tried the Iams/Eukanuba Multi Stage Renal canned...they will eat it, but aren't as enthusiastic about it (and it looks kind of yucky to me, lol!)

My girls will eat the NF dry, but I only give it occasionally as a treat, since I don't like to feed dry to my CRF'ers. Needless to say, the 8 pound bag lasts forever!
post #11 of 23
Medi-cal/Royal Canin makes the Reduced Protein for kidney disease. Ingredient-wise, it is the best of Hill's k/d, purina NF and Reduced Protein, in my opinion. But you also have to consider the phosphorus levels your cat needs. i would ask your vet first but consider the reduced protein. I mix it with my cat's regular food. You could also add egg white to maintain the protein without adding extra phosphorus.

Google "janet and binky's cat food list" and you'll get a list of foods with their sodium, phosphorus and protein levels. k/d and reduced protein had the best but there are other vet diets listed that your vet may be able to order but just doesn't keep on hand.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
Coco will not touch the food at all now.
Maybe we will complain.
Oh definitely do!

I am very sorry for those of you who have been feeding this to your cats, that this has happened. I just hate it when they have to fix something that works. And the cats are the ones who suffer, because now what are you going to feed them? Argh!

I'm glad the customer service was so good though, that's something at least. I've had less pleasant experiences with other pet food companies when making complaints.

Those of you who have to switch, please update and let us know how the other prescription foods work for your cats.
post #13 of 23
I knew that there had to be more cat "parents" out there who were unhappy with Purina's reformulation. Since we began feeding the feline NF canned to Spooky a few years ago, I have always pureed each can with additional water because he likes smooth food (and you just can't get enough additional water into a CRF cat). We couldn't do much with KD because it contained a lot of rice and would never reach that smoothness which the King of our Household preferred.

I was shocked when I bought a case from our vet recently and 6 of the cans were the new formulation. I mean, this is Purina! They are "supposed" to know all about pets and cats are finicky. Cats hate change. What were these people thinking???

The new formulation has a different texture, color, and taste. Where the old contained, as its first five ingredients (after the usual "water sufficient for processing"):
liver, beef, poultry by-products, trout, rice

The new:
poultry by-products, beef, rice, meat by-products, chicken

Not even close. Wanna bet that they moved up the amount of rice not for nutrition but for cost?

And Hills KD:
pork liver, chicken, pork by-products, brewers rice, oat fiber

Spooky hates it. I am so glad that I discovered this before I used all of his old formulation food. This week I pureed a can of the old with a half can of KD and he seems to like it. I have 6 cans of the old reformulation remaining, and I will slowly increase the amount of KD and hope that does it.

He does like the NF dry, and I will not change that (I keep the bowl down for him during the day, and feed him the canned in the morning and afternoon), but I will not be inclined to buy Purina products again.

I also noticed that, since he was diagnosed with kidney problems 5 years ago, the price of a can of NF had increased from 83 cents to $1.43. Quite the jump, but as much as I will complain about it, if he eats the food, I will pay the price.

Thanks to all of you for convincing me that I'm not the only one unhappy about this, and I will be sending Purina the receipt to be reimbursed for the cans which I tried to get him to eat but he would not touch.
post #14 of 23
My cat was diagnosed with CRF this past Tues. a week ago. The vet put him on K/D which he started out eating and then stopped. Yesterday I gave him the Purina N/F. He won't touch it. It doesn't even look like cat food. Yuck.
post #15 of 23
They are talking about the Purina N/F wet food.
My cat will not touch that either anymore.
post #16 of 23
I received a long message on my answering machine from someone at Purina, replying to my e-mail about the reformulation.

What it comes down to is that they built a new cannery and the reformulation was a result of the old formula of NF was not able to be produced in the new cannery. I can't imagine why that would be, but

He also mentioned that they changed the type of rice used as well. The old (brewers rice,) broke down during the canning process and the new (long-grain rice) does not. I have to puree Spooky's food because he doesn't like bits of stuff in it, so that particular change was not good.

He went on about Purina being committed to pet health, and the change in formulations was not one which they took lightly and the Purina veterinarians took a lot of time in developing this new food. He said that they do not have plans to change the formulation of the dry NF at this time.

Not much of an answer, in my opinion. But I thought I'd post this.

By the way, I finally got Spooky to accept the KD diet. But now, I'm reading about different ingredients and I really don't like pork liver being the first ingredient. Do I try to find another brand, or slog through with the KD since Spooky is finally eating it regularly? Any advice would be appreciated!
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
My girls are now happily eating the Royal Canin Low Protein canned food. They seem to like it as well as they liked the old formulation Purina NF. They also eat the Hills k/d minced chicken canned. My vet has to order the Royal Canin for me, but carries the Hills k/d in the office. The prices are getting obscene though....yesterday I paid $78 for two cases of Royal Canin.
post #18 of 23
Thank you for updating!
post #19 of 23
I use the Royal Canin L/P Wet and Purina N/F dry.
Coco will not touch the wet N/F so i took it back to the vet.
post #20 of 23
My cat doesn't have renal disease. He has a problem with his liver digesting proteins. He keeps making urate crystals that turn into bladder stones. In order to try to prevent this he needs a low protein diet. We need to switch from Hill's c/d to any other food. He HATES l/d and k/d. He is seeming to be interested in Purina's n/f. This is a huge step as he loves the c/d. Finicky doesn't describe it! This morning he enthusiastically at half a can of n/f. After reading everyone's comments about phosphorous I am a bit concerned and will have to consult with his vet.
Yikes!
post #21 of 23

Oh My Goodness I cant believe all of your posts ! I truely thought I was going out of my mind. I'm in Italy and EVEN HERE the NF is since about 4-5 months "different" and i hate it. Sammy and Doda loved the old version and now despite having the very same label it is like another food. I tried to expalin it to the shop AND to Purina on the phone but to no avail. I'm so dissappointed. At least I know now I'm not going nutty. The version I have here is pinker, more patè looking in texture, different smell and doesnt have all of the rice in it which helped with Sammy's bad constipation. I stopped giving it to him about 2 months ago and then reorded it from another shop and it is just the same. I'm really upset.

jo jo.

post #22 of 23

urate crystals grow in acidic urine, cd is used to treat struvite crystals that grow in alkaline urine by changing the urine ph to slightly acidic. why is your cat being offered cd in the 1st place???

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Tomsett View Post

urate crystals grow in acidic urine, cd is used to treat struvite crystals that grow in alkaline urine by changing the urine ph to slightly acidic. why is your cat being offered cd in the 1st place???

Hi, welcome to TCS! The c/d doesn't "treat" the crystals, c/d is not medicine, it is food, and not very good quality food at that. While it can keep the urine acidic, the dry is very bad for cats, of course dry food in general is bad for cats and it is counter-productive to feed a cat with urinary tract problems a dry diet.

Meat is naturally acidifying and a cat fed a wet diet high in meat proteins will most always keep an acidic urine. Some may need a little help, and a urine acidfier can help but should not be used without vet supervision, because the urine may become too acidic, which will cause the cat to form oxalate crystals.
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