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Canned Fancy Feast for cat with urinary problems - water intake vs. mineral load

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, all.

 

This is my first time posting on the forum.

 

I have a male cat with past urinary-crystal blockage/sterile idiopathic cystitis problems who was on Hills c/d dry for the past two years. I joined the forum to ask for thoughts on his eating Fancy Feast canned to get more water intake. He was a dry food addict until about three weeks ago, when I read Dr. Lisa Pierson's catinfo.org and decided to switch my two cats to canned.

 

My problem comes because my male has continually turned his nose up at the canned c/d. Meanwhile, I switched my female to mostly canned (she was much more agreeable to the change), and she likes Fancy Feast. I'm feeding that until I can get her to eat something better. My male has noticed the delicious stuff and has shown great interest, and eats it freely in the quantities that I want (1/2 can or more a sitting). The c/d, he licks some of the moisture off the top, but won't actually eat it. Tried FortiFlora for several days and nothing. I put treats in with the canned and make him eat his dry food out of the same bowl, but he still wants the Fancy Feast. I'm reticent to try different prescription canned foods because of the expense of wasting them, and most of the ingredients are similar to c/d (they're all pretty high carb).

 

I want to let him have the FF because I want him to get the water intake, but I'm worried that the high mineral load could cause a relapse of his crystals. I don't know if the increased water intake will be enough to offset that risk. My vet was fairly adamant that he stay on a prescription canned - or, if he wouldn't eat that, then the prescription dry only, which I don't agree with.

 

Further, neither of the cats will eat anything with chunks in it, and Fancy Feast has a nice pate line. So far they've rejected the higher quality pates I've offered (Merrick Before Grain - I'll be trying regular Merrick & Soulistic soon). They've also eaten Sheba, but the company provides no nutritional information.

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

- M.

post #2 of 13
This is a hard one isn't it. I guess it depends on whether you think increased water intake to keep him more hydrated and flushed out is more important than the acidifier in the Rx food. You could add the l-methionine to any wet food and cover both bases. Personally, I wouldn't feed any dry to a FLUTD cat.

I just read recently that magnesium/ash content does not have an impact on crystals as was thought and fluid intake is the most important thing. This was written by a vet and is up on the halopets site, but I have not been able to track down the study that was mentioned.

So, to answer your original question, if I were in your shoes, I would rather feed the FF pate (no fish flavors) over the dry as I transitioned him to better canned. Have you considered raw feeding?
post #3 of 13

Fancy Feast classics are certainly ok for him. The dry is the problem. ANY dry. If he likes the Fancy Feast, let him have it. As vball91 stated, just avoid the fish flavors. Once completely good with all wet diet, you can use this to mix into new foods to entice him to the higher quality. Can even add a bit of water to the wet, that will help his hydration. Cats also have been found to drink more water with the use of fountains, or water circulating bowels. Cats even on wet tend not to drink as much as we'd like, so we use as many tricks as we can to get more water into them. Good luck and keep us posted. Welcome to TCS!
 

post #4 of 13

Maude22, if you're interested, Friskies makes a line of canned food for urinary issues called Special Diet.  It's very low-carb, low phosphorus and magnesium.  All but one are pates.  No, the ingredients aren't great, but neither are the high dollar prescription foods, and I don't think it's any worse than Fancy Feast.  I give it to my guys in rotation with other higher quality canned and raw, and they love it.  Dr. Pierson actually speaks pretty well of Friskies on her site, and if you look at her composition chart, the Special Diet is one of the lowest carb foods out there. Just thought I'd mention it, if you wanted to see if they like it, it's inexpensive, and you could even mix in a dab of the fancy feast if need be.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you all. Your opinions are reassuring. I've been watching his urine lately because he had an episode a few weeks ago (probably when I started switching his food over - I think it stressed him out - vet basically diagnosed him with sterile cystitis and said there was no cause), and he seems to be doing all right. His urine does not smell as bad and appears less concentrated than when he's on dry only.

 

Re: raw feeding, I just don't have the time or knowledge for it now. Given the struggle I'm having just getting them to eat canned, I'm betting they wouldn't be receptive to eating raw for months. They refuse whole cooked chicken. My male even refuses tuna.

 

Re: Friskies Special, I did consider it. I don't particularly like that the mechanism it works by is added salt (it's one of the first few ingredients). My vet advised that I probably should not mix foods like c/d that work by one mechanism with foods like Friskies/Purina UR that work by another. But maybe I will try it anyway and see if he'll make a meal out of it.
 

post #6 of 13
Honestly, I'm not exactly sure how the Special Diet works...it says it reduces Ph, but the ingredients do not list an acidifier. And the salt is not any higher up the list than their regular pates (of course, it depends on which individual flavors you compare, but generally the salt is somewhere around the 9th or 10th on any of them, which is about the same as the fancy feast I looked at). So I'm not really sure.....
post #7 of 13
Hmm, here are the ingredients for Turkey and Giblets Special Diet:
Meat by-products, water sufficient for processing, turkey, poultry by-products, poultry giblets, brewers rice, salt, guar gum, potassium chloride, added color, carrageenan, calcium phosphate, taurine, zinc sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide

and regular Turkey and Giblets:
Meat by-products, water sufficient for processing, poultry by-products, turkey, poultry giblets, fish, rice, artificial and natural flavors, salt, guar gum, calcium phosphate, added color, potassium chloride, carrageenan, magnesium sulfate, taurine, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide

So, hmm, Special Diet has: no fish, no "flavors", more zinc, no choline or magnesium added, and turkey is higher in the ingredient list; turkey does have a urine acidifier in it naturally. I don't know what really makes it "Special" but I've heard it does work for people who can't/won't get the prescription stuff.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

"And the salt is not any higher up the list than their regular pates": Ahh, I see that now. It completely escaped my attention that the regular foods contain salt, as well. This must just be a standard mineral.

 

On a different note, I was comparing the ingredients in the Special Diet to the Purina UR prescription that my vet wanted to give me and it looks nearly the same. That doesn't surprise me, since they're made by the same company. Why one of them costs 4 times as much for the same crap by-product ingredients, I will never understand.

 

Just bought some of the Special Diet today and will see how receptive the kits are. They've been getting the Fancy Feast Turkey for their main meals because it was the lowest in phosphorus of the FF pates, so hopefully they'll eat the Friskies without a problem.

post #9 of 13
Quote:

Originally Posted by Maude22 View Post


 My vet was fairly adamant that he stay on a prescription canned - or, if he wouldn't eat that, then the prescription dry only, which I don't agree with.

 

clap.giffor you to not agreeing with your vet regarding the prescription dry.

 

That a vet would still push for a cat with past urinary-crystal blockage or sterile idiopathic cystitis problems, to eat ANY dry amazes me. When there is so much updated information that dry of any kind (prescription or otherwise) is NOT the kind of food you should keep such a cat on. sigh.gif

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krysta View Post

Honestly, I'm not exactly sure how the Special Diet works...it says it reduces Ph, but the ingredients do not list an acidifier. And the salt is not any higher up the list than their regular pates (of course, it depends on which individual flavors you compare, but generally the salt is somewhere around the 9th or 10th on any of them, which is about the same as the fancy feast I looked at). So I'm not really sure.....

 

The Purina UR doesn't list an acidifier either:

 

Meat by-products, liver, chicken, water sufficient for processing, poultry by-products, brewers rice, calcium gluconate, oat fiber, guar gum, sodium bisulfate, potassium chloride, caramel color, carrageenan, salt, taurine, Vitamin E supplement, calcium phosphate, zinc sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper sulfate, niacin, Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium pantothenate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Vitamin D-3 supplement, folic acid, potassium iodide, biotin.

 

The Purina web page calls it "Purina Veterinary Diets UR St/Ox URinary Feline Formula".    The "St/Ox" part would seem to indicate it is appropriate for preventing both struvite and oxalate crystals so it wouldn't have an acidifier:

 

http://Purina Veterinary Diets UR St/Ox URinary Feline Formula

post #11 of 13

My older cats have similar problems, they are both females. They were on just basic dry food all their lives, then the vet put them on science diet c/d. But they don't seem to like it much, and one of them is starting to look like she is losing weight. The other one found out I feed my younger cats a grain free dry food separately and now she will only eat that, she wont even look at the c/d.

 

I think I'm going to switch mine to fancy feast classics, because there are no grains/gluten listed that I can tell, and I'm going to add extra water as well. I add about 2 to 3 oz extra water to each meal, and my cats love it. Except the one who refuses to eat wet food or c/d at all.
 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by maude22:
 
They've also eaten Sheba, but the company provides no nutritional information.

  

Mine also really like Sheba.  On catinfo.org, on her chart, she mentions that they would not provide the typical analysis because they're "afraid the chart won't be kept up-to-date".  So I don't know if they would provide it to us as individual consumers if we were to call.  I like the fact that the pates have named meat listed as their first ingredients, no carageenan, and JackeyBender, I don't think they have grains or glutens either. They seem on par with the Fancy Feast classics, if not better. 

post #13 of 13
I'll have to look into those, especially since one of my cat refuses all wet food so far, and won't even eat her dry if its on the same plate with just the tiniest bit of wet food, but I haven't tried Sheba, so maybe that will be a win.
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