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Help! Vets wants to switch cat to Hill's C/D

waste of paint
October 19th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Ok, Lennon is finally home and he has a UTI. I couldn't pick him up because I had school, so my dad went and got him for me. I explained to him that I have been feeding Eagle Pack and Wellness, my vet knows and approves of this, and I do not want to switch him to something of lower quality. Well he saw the vet's assistant, and he came home with a bag of Hill's Multicare c/d dry food because he was told that it's high-quality. These are the ingredients:

Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Iodized Salt, Potassium Citrate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with BHT and BHA, Beta-Carotene.


I DO NOT want to feed this to my cats. What other food can I give them that's ok for cats that have a tendency to get UTIs? They have recently switched from all dry food to dry and canned, and I know that canned is better for them. I will cook their food and add supplements if I need to. I'm going to call my vet soon and I want to be armed with information. :mad:

Jim Hall
October 19th, 2007, 11:49 AM
i WOULD REMIND MY VET THAT A FELINE IS A CARNIVORE NOT A BLEEDING RABBITT AND COME UP WITH SOMETHING BETTER. Sheesh so the vets assistant knows more about nutrition than you do. I don't think so.


Sorry for the rant but vets pusning obviously inappropriate food just P*** me off .
:2cents:

waste of paint
October 19th, 2007, 12:00 PM
I just called and got the assistant. I explained my situation and asked that my vet call me back when she's available. He told me that Lennon HAS to eat this food for the rest of his life. No other options. I read the first three ingredients to him, then told him what's in Wellness and explained that canned food is better for cats with UTIs anyway. I told him I would switch to a different HIGH quality brand, homecook and/or supplement if I needed to and he finally said the vet will call me back tomorrow. He probably thinks I'm the biggest bitch now but I don't care.

waste of paint
October 19th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Ok, I feel very spammy but I just want to throw this idea out there to see what you knowledgeable people think. From what I've read, this is what I think I'll do:

- feed only canned food and add water
- stick with Wellness or find another canned food that is grain free, has low ash and magnesium contents, is made with a non-fish single protein and contains berries

or

- make an equivalent food at home

and
- try to find a UTI supplement

I hope my vet can understand this, and point out anything that would be legitimately wrong with that. :/

sugarcatmom
October 19th, 2007, 02:08 PM
Ok, I feel very spammy but I just want to throw this idea out there to see what you knowledgeable people think. From what I've read, this is what I think I'll do:

- feed only canned food and add water
- stick with Wellness or find another canned food that is grain free, has low ash and magnesium contents, is made with a non-fish single protein and contains berries

or

- make an equivalent food at home

and
- try to find a UTI supplement

I hope my vet can understand this, and point out anything that would be legitimately wrong with that. :/

You may not need the supplement (not sure what you have in mind), but otherwise that sounds like a great plan. Here's hoping your vet is on board with it, but if not, I'd go with it anyway. Your cat, your decision. :D

SnowDancer
October 19th, 2007, 02:28 PM
Just to play devil's advocate - the Hill's C/D worked for both my cat and my dog (fortunately the dog did not have to stay on it for his lifetime - just 6 months and then we had more X-Rays taken - food did the trick). Should my current dog develop urinary problems, I will use whichever type of Hill's food applicable to the stone type. So many variables to consider - but heck, it worked.

waste of paint
October 19th, 2007, 04:03 PM
You may not need the supplement (not sure what you have in mind), but otherwise that sounds like a great plan. Here's hoping your vet is on board with it, but if not, I'd go with it anyway. Your cat, your decision. :D


Thanks. :) I don't really know what kind of supplement I'd be looking for, but I'm still doing research. I figure that if my vet tells me that there's something in the Hill's food that isn't in the Wellness, I can add it myself. I'd like to have my vet approve of my decision, but I'm definitely not going to let them bully me into feeding the brand they sell!


SnowDancer: I believe you because my parents' feed a prescription diet to their dogs too, and Cash hasn't had kidney stones since. But what I've read about UTIs in cats is kind of scary. Dehydration is a big issue, yet they want me to feed a grain-based dry food. Also, I've read that levels of magnesium and other minerals can be too low in prescription diets, so that can cause other health problems. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my method is going to work well for my pets. It's really tough to make a decision like this - it makes me scared to have kids!


The other thing I'm doing is switching to Swheat Scoop litter, for a variety of reasons but because it's dust-free it should help with preventing infection. I'm also going to scoop everything out twice a day religiously, because I had been slacking on that a little bit and that's not good for them!

waste of paint
October 19th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Oh, f*** it. I'm going to switch them to a raw diet. The more reading I do, the more things I find wrong with any kind of cooked food. I have a meat grinder and it's not going to cost anymore than the Wellness so I might as well go for it.

I'm definitely waiting until Lennon's finished his antibiotics to start switching him, though. Off to the raw forum I go!

sugarcatmom
October 19th, 2007, 10:36 PM
Oh, f*** it. I'm going to switch them to a raw diet.

Good on ya! Although be prepared to meet resistance from your vet (not all of them are anti-raw, but that would be the exception). I give my dude raw on weekends. He's a nibbler and I don't feel comfortable leaving raw out for him while I'm at work, so he gets mostly canned during the week. I also tend to buy the premade frozen diets like Nature's Variety, rather than make my own, mostly due to being a vegetarian (can't seen to commit to getting my own grinder :yuck:).

Anyway, happy reading. Make sure you check out this website: http://rawfed.com/
and this one:http://www.catnutrition.org/index.php

waste of paint
October 20th, 2007, 12:10 AM
Thank you for the links! I'm going to read more tomorrow as I have a killer headache from all the research I've done today. :p

I know what you mean about handling the meat - I'm a recovering vegan (:laughing:) so I still find raw meat kind of icky! The grinder is actually my dad's, but I think I'm just going to use it to transition them to RMBs and organ meats. I have 6 huge cans of Wellness left so I guess I have about two weeks to make friends with a butcher. ;)

As for the vet, I actually hope she doesn't call me tomorrow. I know she won't approve but I don't feel bad not taking her advice when she'd let my cats eat corn gluten filled crap.

growler~GateKeeper
October 20th, 2007, 01:42 AM
Not sure if you are aware so I just wanted to mention that Wellness has cranberries & blueberries added in to promote urinary tract health & potentional infection prevention :)

And on the litter issue - I use Feline Fresh which is pine pellets - no dust & the pellets breakdown from the urine, then it's just dense (not light & fluffy) pine sawdust. My girl refused to use the sWheat Scoop but she loves the Feline Fresh, an option if yours doesn't like it either.

want4rain
October 20th, 2007, 10:01 AM
thats fantastic!! raw totally changed all 3 cats in my house. Frances doesnt count because ANY nutrition would have changed her. :)

i would seriously think about skipping the grinder. one of the biggest bestest benefits of raw is the teeth cleaning by having to chew and rend the food.

if i could go back and do it all over again, i would have saved myself some bad habits and some long hours of coaxing!!

i would have offered all of the things i planned on feeding together. such as cooked chicken and cooked liver, all cooked a little less at each feeding until it was raw. they dont like chicken liver much... but i think its a texture thing. kind of like if you could picture the transition of totally cooked cubed chicken muscle and liver and heart turning slowly into raw chicken and guts cubed.

from there, keep chicken the main staple while you introduce other things. add a pinch (VERY SMALL) of other foods and gradually work up from there. im having to do that right now. i have 2 cats who puke up everything but chicken and now im adding a pinch of turkey to all of their meals to build up a tolerance to how rich the meat is. my next step is going to be corning game hen. id really like ot have 3 inexpensive sources of protein.

next thing is concerning the ratio-
10% offal with 5% of that being liver
10% bone
80% meat

dogs give more calcium
cats take away some calcium

Shadow ended up with crystals because i had too much calcium in there, it bound him up and he stopped eating.

so cut back a little of the calcium.

clam AND oyster have tons or taurine if you need a cat yummy substitute for the heart.

all raw meat contains taurine although its cooked out. the more use the muscle gets, the more taurine. the heart typically contains more taurine. i suspect muscle meat alone contains enough taurine for cats but the heart more so.

eggs are really good too. make sure you contain as much of the egg as you can crush up into it. loosing one shell in 5 is ok though. i know MY cats dont like the shell but are starting to accept the egg.

acidic foods such as cranberry and things with tons of vitamin c (my cats go gaga over mandarin oranges) are good to acidify the urine.

also, frequent meals do the same thing. right after eating, their urine acidifies. i feed 2 meals a day.

you will be shocked at how much they pee while eating raw and how little they poo. i watch my cats pack away up to a pound of food each and then only a few rabbit turds come out. :)

a typical chickeney meal is this-

chicken breast cut up into 1" thick pieces (they dont chew through things thicker but get good gum work with 1" thick)
sliced chicken heart and gizzards (always afraid one of those gizzards is gonna choke one since its so tough)
cubed liver cooked lightly (ON TOP!! cause they have to go through it to get to the good stuff)

all of that has had HOT HOT water added to it, it sets until its an even temp (usually while i clean up all of the mess between the sink and the fridge with vinegar) and then they bombard me with their meows till they have food in their face!

i make sure that the one who got the boniest part of the chicken breast gets the least boniest part next feeding. the breast bones are easier to feed because they chop well and they have no trouble biting the bones.

i use to feed leg bones and still do on occasion. make sure that you crush the bones to give them an edge. they cant bite open the leg bones but they can chew them if you break it a little first.

the bones they eat look alarming but i can promise you, they put them away just fine. :)

fat is good!! not only does it keep skin and coat pretty, it also keeps things moving through their system.

expect a quick weight loss down to a less fattier version of your cats. mine are sleek, their muscle tone is amazing, they are ACTIVE!! (ive thought about going back to kibble LOL!!) they went from sleeping 20 hours a day to probably closer to 16, if not less. :)

oh and keep some chicken backs handy. they are more bone than meat and come in handy when you are feeding other more meaty pieces and you are concerned they arent getting enough calcium.

when yo have been doing this for abotu 6 m onths, go get some lab work done on one of them to make sure everythng looks good. if not, adjust where you need to. see if yo ucant find a vet who is willing to work through this with you.

one of my vets did NOT support raw at all. she was positive that they would choke and die on a chicken bone, die of e.coli.... another vet received my labs back from the whole crystals issue... he wanted to know 'what the hell' we are feeding out cats because he should have been in BAD shape, instead he was in GREAT shape after not eating for 4 days....

we have switched the dog back from raw to Canidae/raw combo but the cats?? never. i could never go back from raw with them.

lemme know if you ever try tripe with them. i dont have a local source. :)

good luck with it!! maybe blog your experience??? that would be nice for future raw feeders. :)

-ash

Stacer
October 20th, 2007, 10:24 AM
waste of paint, this sounds exactly like my situation a few weeks ago. http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=44931&highlight=defending+food+choice

Since my situation, I've done some research, bought a book and have also come to the conclusion that feeding raw is probably the best way to go to avoid future problems. But until I can get my act together to do it, I'm feeding my cat a grain-free kibble (Orijen), as well as grain-free wet food supplemented with Solid Gold Berry Balance (http://www.solidgoldnorthwest.com/products/pro_sup/pro_berry.html). I'm also testing his urinary pH with pH paper I got at my local health food/supplement store.

Keep us updated on your switch to raw, I'd like to know how you're doing.

beckiandthetrio
October 20th, 2007, 10:34 AM
Im by no means an expert on the whole food/raw thing but Ive decided to go all wet with my 3 cats and picked up some Wellness at the store to try out, well while I was there a girl there(very knowledgeable) told me about another brand also that had cranberries for urinary tract health!

I havent had problems with that yet(knock on wood) but thought Id give you the link. http://www.canidae.com/ to check it out. I think its a higher quality food?? worth a look at!

Good luck

Becki

sugarcatmom
October 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Im by no means an expert on the whole food/raw thing but Ive decided to go all wet with my 3 cats and picked up some Wellness at the store to try out, well while I was there a girl there(very knowledgeable) told me about another brand also that had cranberries for urinary tract health!

I havent had problems with that yet(knock on wood) but thought Id give you the link. http://www.canidae.com/ to check it out. I think its a higher quality food?? worth a look at!

Good luck

Becki

Hi Becki,

The Felidae (from Canidae) that you mention is very good quality, but it does contain grains (brown rice), which I thought I should mention in case anyone is specifically looking for grain-free. It appears to be a fairly small amount as the percent of calories from carbohydrates is only 6%. Definitely a good option for those looking for some variety. Let us know how your guys do with the diet switch. :)

waste of paint
October 21st, 2007, 04:36 PM
Wow, a big thank you to everyone for all of the info!


I'm still a little confused, especially since there are so many different philosophies when it comes to feeding raw, but I'm still digging through all the info.


want4rain: My dad said there's no way that I'm putting bones through his grinder, so that's settled. ;) Do you think it's ok to start offering raw chicken to them instead of cooked to see if they'll accept it right away (maybe a bit of leg or breast meat)? Also, how do you feed the eggs - raw or cooked, alone or with meat? Do you leave the water in with the meat when you feed it? Do you leave the skin on the chicken?

Thank you for the ratios, that makes things a lot easier to understand. And I think the mandarin orange idea is really good, Lennon likes to beg for fruit anyway! I'm a little scared to give them bones, but I'm glad to hear that they seem to get through them easily. :) I read something about tripe not being great for cats, but I can't remember whether it was a reliable source or not. If I find it again I'll post it so you guys can tell me what you think.

I think I will look into starting a little blog about it, it might even help some of my friends get over their own fear of going raw with their kitties!

Stacer: Wow, sounds like our problems are very similar. Good on you for making your vet think twice about the Hill's! The pH strips sound like a good idea (I really want to make sure I'm not making his urine *too* acidic) but how on earth do you manage to use them? Do they go in the litterbox or something? I'll keep you updated on the switch and let me know how your kitties are doing. :)

No one in particular: I have a bunch more raw questions, but I'm going to do some more research then ask them in the raw food forum. My boys are gobbling up the watered-down Wellness without complaint, so that's good for now. I'm thinking of giving Lennon a little bit of pro-biotic yogurt to help his system recover after the anti-biotics. This is what I do for myself, but do you guys think it's a good idea for a cat?

sugarcatmom
October 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM
My dad said there's no way that I'm putting bones through his grinder, so that's settled. ;)

Make sure, if you do feed raw without bones as the main diet, that you add some bonemeal to cover the calcium deficit. I don't actually how much you'd need to use, but the info is probably somewhere.


Do you think it's ok to start offering raw chicken to them instead of cooked to see if they'll accept it right away (maybe a bit of leg or breast meat)?

That's what I did. Or, you could lightly broil/boil l a chunk of chicken or turkey so that just the outside is cooked and it's still pink and bloody on the inside. I usually cut up the meat into smaller pieces and then freeze it for treats later on. As long as just plain muscle meat doesn't make up more than 20% of a cat's diet, you shouldn't have to worry about the calcium/phosphorus ratio.


Also, how do you feed the eggs - raw or cooked, alone or with meat? Do you leave the water in with the meat when you feed it? Do you leave the skin on the chicken?

As long as you feed the whole egg, it can be raw. If just egg white (good source of low-phosphorus protein), then it must be cooked or you'll end up with a biotin deficiency. A lot of cats don't actually like just plain cooked egg white, so that would be one to mix with something else. Otherwise, you can experiment with how your cats like their eggs - cooked, raw, plain, mixed.


I'm a little scared to give them bones, but I'm glad to hear that they seem to get through them easily.

Not all cats will chow down on big pieces of bone (mine won't, has to be ground fairly fine or he spits them out). I would advise some caution initially if you're cat does it bigger pieces, just to make sure things pass through "smoothly".


I read something about tripe not being great for cats, but I can't remember whether it was a reliable source or not. If I find it again I'll post it so you guys can tell me what you think.

Haven't heard that myself, but I can't say I've met a cat yet that actually likes tripe.

I'm thinking of giving Lennon a little bit of pro-biotic yogurt to help his system recover after the anti-biotics. This is what I do for myself, but do you guys think it's a good idea for a cat?

Cats love yogurt, but start with small amounts to make sure they don't have digestive issues with it.

want4rain
October 21st, 2007, 06:10 PM
im only flying through real quick... so i will have to make this short.... thankfully its a nice short few answers!!!

go get yourself some breast on the bone. chop it up so that you are getting bone with most of it. start up your frying pan. HOLD the bones, fry up the other side while you are holding it, be careful not to burn yourself. that way you cook the meat, not the bones.

those bones are so thin its pretty easy to get through them.

i feed my eggs with fish so they eat it. they are starting to eat it on their own though. i dont mind mixing it with meats, they dont seem to mind. Mister has had his eggs mixed with several different things without apparent problem.

-ash

Stacer
October 21st, 2007, 07:33 PM
The pH strips sound like a good idea (I really want to make sure I'm not making his urine *too* acidic) but how on earth do you manage to use them? Do they go in the litterbox or something?

So far I've been lucky, I follow him to the litterbox, tear off a long strip of pH paper and dip it in the puddle that forms on the top of the litter before he has a chance to cover it. As long as you dip it immediately, you get an accurate reading. I want to rig up some sort of long stick with a clamp on it for holding the paper, it's too expensive to keep tearing off long strips. I'm also keeping a chart of his pH progress :D This may sound weird but it's kinda fun to keep track of this stuff. :rolleyes:

sugarcatmom
October 21st, 2007, 07:54 PM
Some urine catching tips: if your cat isn't too shy about it, you can use a shallow jar lid and just slide it under his butt once he starts to go (cats usually don't stop peeing in mid-stream unless they get very startled). Only need to keep the lid there for a couple of seconds to get enough pee for testing. You can also use a ladle, but if your cat sits very low while going, a jar lid will probably work better.

If you have an extremely shy pee-er or difficulty catching him in the act, some people have success putting a layer of Saran wrap over the litter to trap puddles of pee.

And finally, there's the aquarium gravel technique. Swap the regular litter box with one that has a bit of clean gravel in the bottom, which obviously won't absorb the urine, making it testable at your leisure (but before it dries up, hopefully).

want4rain
October 21st, 2007, 09:50 PM
want4rain: My dad said there's no way that I'm putting bones through his grinder, so that's settled. Do you think it's ok to start offering raw chicken to them instead of cooked to see if they'll accept it right away (maybe a bit of leg or breast meat)? Also, how do you feed the eggs - raw or cooked, alone or with meat? Do you leave the water in with the meat when you feed it? Do you leave the skin on the chicken?

i have some unexpected time!! i feed my eggs whole in with something to the shells dont float to the bottom. id even suggest dropping an egg in just about anythign you feed. its quite healthy... although it makes Frances fart nasty. :)

when i go shopping for the furry butts, i get a whole bunch of breast, rinse them off. then i cut them up into the 1" strips with the bones and leave the skin although i will pull some of the skin off if it 'looks like too much' whatever that means. :) you know, if more than half of the nonbone part is fat. i bag them up in daily meals. i always have 3 days of meat in the fridge thawed. our freezer is set at -5f, the fridge is set at 34f so it takes a few days to really thaw completely.

when i feed them, i get one baggie, set it in the sink and run some hot hot hot water into it, dump it, more hot hot hot water... this one i leave in the bowls. some of the chicken has leaked into the water so im sure its tasty. none of this actually COOKS it but it makes it body temp.

if i feed leg, i would get the 'chicken quarters' and pop the two long bones, cut them up into 4 pieces (got 4 cats!!!) and then feed as above. they can chew the leg bones IF they are popped open first. if i feed the quarters, i may feed an egg shell-less or feed liver with it. i sometimes feed liver alone or with fish (if they decide that day they dont LIKE liver....)

my cats eat the breast bones just fine but i have to pop open the other bones and neck bones are just too thick. i dont think a hammer would help that. i have a thread somewhere about my bone smashing anger management...


Thank you for the ratios, that makes things a lot easier to understand. And I think the mandarin orange idea is really good, Lennon likes to beg for fruit anyway! I'm a little scared to give them bones, but I'm glad to hear that they seem to get through them easily. I read something about tripe not being great for cats, but I can't remember whether it was a reliable source or not. If I find it again I'll post it so you guys can tell me what you think.

i didnt think mine would ever TRY let alone succeed in eating bone. lets just say they breezed right through it!!

do a bunch of research on the different needs from each of the different organs. see if you cant find some turkey hunters in your area to get the rest of the organs for your guy, minus the intestine. :) make sure you include taurine somewhere. there are loads of raw feeding sites, raw feeding message lists... you can probably even find a raw feeding emailing list for your area. reading through some of this other informaiton will educate you to what do to if your cat doesnt take to it... and even in just knowing that stuff, you can model your introduction after things like that. save yourself some of the hassle.

-ashley

Love4himies
October 22nd, 2007, 08:50 AM
acidic foods such as cranberry and things with tons of vitamin c (my cats go gaga over mandarin oranges) are good to acidify the urine.

also, frequent meals do the same thing. right after eating, their urine acidifies. i feed 2 meals a day.

-ash

Be careful of feeding your cat too high of an acidic diet. New research is showing that too high of acidic diet is causing leaching of calcium into the blood, kidney stones, and build up of calcium in the kidneys causing blockages and kidney failure.
Just over halfway down on this article it talks about calcium oxalate stones and urine ph. The Winn Foundation is currently doing a research study in higher acidic foods trying to prove that high ph diets are creating this stone problem.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1402&articleid=2729

waste of paint
October 22nd, 2007, 10:36 AM
sugarcatmom: Oh no, I meant that I'm going to skip the grinder, not the bones! Sorry, that wasn't very clear. If they have trouble with the bones, then I'll look into getting my own grinder or finding a butcher who will grind them. Thanks for all of the tips on urine catching, too. :)

want4rain: Thank you again for all of the advice! I've got at least another two weeks to go before I even attempt to start this, so I'm going to read everything I can until then. I'll probably be pestering you with more questions then so I apologize in advance. ;)

stacer: Haha, the stick idea sounds good, let me know if you manage to design something. :D I think I'll keep a chart too, actually. That's a great way to keep track (anything that's organized is fun to me too lol).

Love4himies: I read that somewhere else, but thank you for posting the link. That's one of the big reasons I want to test his urine regularly, to make sure it doesn't go to far one way or the other.


Now, this will all be easier when Lennon starts using the litterbox again. He's still peeing on my stuff (thank heavens for apple cider vinegar), but he has another 9 days of medication left so he's probably still in pain. Poor guy. :( We got in some quality cuddling time this morning since I have the flu and I'm home sick, and he seems to be really happy that I'm hanging out on the couch all day! ;)

Oh and the blog will go up as soon as I start switching them so I'll keep you guys posted on that!