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2 cats, kidney problems? canned foods??

April 19th, 2008, 10:48 AM
Hi and thanks for taking the time to read this post. I have 2 Ragdolls cats, Ralph & Bruce that are from the same breeder, 2 different litters (they are only 9 days apart) and they will be 9 yrs old this August. I have always fed them medi-cal preventative dry. I took both cats in last year for the most expensive thorough blood tests since they were getting older and we were moving and just as a precaution. They were healthy. In the past I have about 5 cups and bowls throughout our condo that they can drink from. I even bought a very expensive pet water fountation. Bruce doesn't seem as interested in food or water, where Ralph drinks a lot and drinks directly from the bath tub tap. A couple of weeks ago I took Ralph to the vet because he looked like he had gotten thinner. The vet did blood tests and I was able to retreive a urine sample and they said that since the last blood tests, his results showed elevated UREA, elevated CREATININE as well as low PLATELETS and low LYMPHOCYTES. They said they his Kidneys were not preforming properly and the urine they said had a lot of blood so they put him on 100mg tablets of Amoxicillian for 14 days twice a day. The first week the meds did not seem to do well with him. He didnt want to eat and wasn't him normal self and finally last night I took him to the vet and they gave him an injection of an antibiotic and he bounced back and seemed to be ok again. The other cats Bruce, his urine was very dark and they said that they thought he may have stones and he MUST drink more. They also put him on the Amoxicilllian but only for 10 days but he hasnt had a bad reaction and is fine on it. The problem now that I have is that they have always had dry food and I am trying so hard to get them to eat canned food. For the past few days, I only leave a small food of dry out in the evenings and thought that in the mornings they would be hungry but they are so picky and won't eat the wet foods. I have tried several that the vet recommended. I think they would rather starve. I need to know what I canned food to feed them that will hydrate them. Also, over the past couple of days Ralph is drinking even more than he normally does... like he can not get enough water. Can you give me any more advice?
Or recommend canned foods or ways that I can get them to drink more? Thank you!

April 19th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Hi, and welcome to! Sorry that you're having some kidney issues with your cats. You might want to read through this thread ( by growler, it has lots of CRF info and links that could be helpful to your situation.

As for making the switch to wet food (which is the most important thing you can do when the kidneys aren't functioning at full potential), perhaps the tips on this website will help:
Also, you do NOT need to feed the vet food! It's probably a low-protein diet along the lines of Hill's K/D, which is old-school thinking for treating CRF and can actually do more harm than good because cats need protein. Not to mention that it's quite unpalatable for most cats, and your cat has to eat. Soooo, my suggestion is to go to a pet food store (not one of the big box ones like Petsmart, but the smaller "shee-shee" type) and hunt down some cans of Wellness grain-free, preferably Turkey, Chicken, Beef & Chicken, or Kitten (these are lowest in phosphorus, which is something you do want to keep in check).

See if the Wellness goes over better than the vet food, but if not, here are some things that I had to do with my dry food addict:

crush up their favourite kibble and sprinkle it over the top of the canned. Keep reapplying as needed, but very gradually use less and less.

find some freeze-dried meat treats like Real Food Toppers ( or Halo Liv-a-Littles (, pulverize and top-dress the canned with it.

leave the canned out all day and pick up all dry. Resist giving in and feeding dry if they get whiny, just keep showing them the wet and top-dressing if needed. But don't let them go more than 24 hrs without eating! If they're extremely resistant, feed a small amount of dry at a set meal-time, and pick it up again when they're done eating. Then leave the canned down for the rest of the time (yes, it's okay to leave canned out - you can add extra water to prevent it drying out).

Some ways to get extra water into them: juice from a low-sodium can of tuna or salmon (add extra water to make it go further); or plain meat baby food - no onions - diluted 1:1 with warmish water; add an extra tablespoon or two of water to the canned.

Anyway, good luck with your quest and let us know how your boys are doing (I love their names!).

April 20th, 2008, 02:06 AM
Sorry to hear about your boys :grouphug:

Have a read through my thread Sugarcatmom has linked for you there are lots of great sites there incl this one which has more links to CRF information.

Low protein is no longer the preferred food choice, though your vet will still try to push that on you, unfortunately most of the conventional medicine vets are not taught about better nutrition. Plus once you lower the protein level the palatability of the food is also lowered & they refuse to eat, well the vet food won't help them @ all if they won't eat it.

Definately what you want to look for is low phosphorus, high quality protein, grain-free canned. Wellness grain-free canned Turkey, Chicken, Beef & Chicken and the Kitten formulas all have low phos levels and w/low potassium levels - another one you need to keep an eye on.

A supplemental (not a complete meal) canned that can be added to the Wellness is Wysong Chicken Au Jus. This is intended only as a supplement because it is not a full and balanced meal, ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Animal Plasma, Guar Gum. The phosphorus levels in the Wysong Chicken Au Jus canned on a dry matter basis is 0.20% which is fabulously low - you can use this canned to tempt Bruce & Ralph into trying wet food.

Wysong can be found here ( & Wellness can be found @ these ( locations

One of the most important things to remember is they must eat, CRF kitties often don't want to eat usually a result of nausea & excess stomach acid, if you must tempt them to start eating with a little bit of cheese/boiled chicken or Kitty Kaviar ( on/in the canned that's okay.

If you can, raise their food dishes up btwn 2-6 inches (depending on what is comfortable for them) this will help with the potential nausea.

Ways to get them drinking more water: add a tsp or 2 to the canned, add small amout of salmon oil or tuna juice to their water, make sure it is always fresh, if they like drinking from a running tap - leave one on @ low level for them.

:goodvibes::goodvibes: for Bruce & Ralph

April 21st, 2008, 07:28 AM
I can't add anything more than what growler and sugarcatmom have suggested. I do want to emphasize the importance of taking away their kibble. Just like children, cats won't eat a different food (unless it is sweets of course) if they are not hungry.;)