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Pls Advise: Medi-Cal Gastro Dry PHOS levels for CRF cat? :(

June 23rd, 2008, 06:03 PM
Hello everyone,
I have had to face the shocking horror of having my beloved 9 Year old Siamese Cat Elvis being diagnosed with CRF. He went into crisis right before my birthday near the end of May. After a lot of special care, drugs, dental surgery, Sub-Qs and a rice + venison diet i handmade for him, we were able to get the severe diarrhea and vomiting to subside. Also he is currently no longer on SubQs.

I will try to summarize my trouble. The only thing Elvis can currently eat is Medi-Cal (royal canin) feline GASTRO dry. I wet the food to try to help keep him hydrated. Ideally we would like to try some wellness canned turkey. Or any other low phos, low carb, low sodium, high quality foods you might suggest, but he has had great difficulties with new foods being introduced, even in small quantities over long periods of time.

My concern is that the Gastro may be too high in Phosphorous content.
I am a painter so basically I suck at math (apparently that side of my brain does not function well), and I am still unclear about the guaranteed analysis VS Dry matter basis VS Nutrient composition & the various conversion charts. :((

The "Nutrient Composition" for Medi-cal Feline Dry Gastro on the brochure is as follows:

Dry matter %

Protein 32.0
Fat 22.0
Crude Fiber 5.4
Calcium 1.0
Phosphorous 0.95
Sodium 0.55
Potassium 0.90
Taurine 0.20


The guaranteed analysis on the bag of dry gastro is:

Crude Protein.......min 30.5%
Crude Fat............min 20.5%
Crude Fiber..........max 7.4%
Moisture..............max 9.0%
Ash....................max 9.8%
Calcium...............min 0.9%
Phosphorous........min 0.8 %

Can someone PLEASE lend us their insight on this matter, or tell me if these percentages will be completely detrimental to his health.
I am also concerned about all the grains and fillers added to this food, but finding a premium high quality protein source dry without grains with low phos in canada has been rather daunting so far. He absolutely refuses the reduced protein diets also they seem to be controversial in nature. I have done my best to try and research these matters on my own for countless hours now, I just really need some advice and input from the wonderful pet lovers who post here. (Elvis is a 9 year old polydactyl male Siamese and weighs 14.5 lbs)

Thank you very much for your time.

June 23rd, 2008, 06:41 PM
Aww, so sorry to hear about Elvis' CRF. I hope he keeps improving for you.

According to this link (, the phosphorus content of Medi-Cal Gastro is 242 mg per 100 kcal. Not outrageously high. You want to try to keep it under about 200-240ish, although perhaps you could discuss using a phosphorus binder with Elvis' vet if he needs it lower. I think the high carb content of this food (38%) isn't ideal, but the important thing is that Elvis eat.

Here is another link to charts showing the analysis of various foods that could be helpful if you're looking for other options:

June 23rd, 2008, 09:22 PM
Ok replies weren't working. Switched browser.

Thank you sugarcatmom. <3

Elvis is eating this version of the Gastro:

Despite much effort i have not been able to locate this specific variety on any charts.

To your knowledge have many cats experienced negative side effects with aluminum hydroxide? For some strange reason our vet did not mention this option, even though she knows how desperately hard I try to provide comfort and quality of life, for my precious baby.

June 24th, 2008, 01:16 AM
tell me if these percentages will be completely detrimental to his health.

No the phos percentages are okay, just I personally don't like the brand & would not feed it. I have had toxic recall issues with Royal Canin (which caused my cat to have CRF) plus their ingredients are bad and full of chemical preservatives.

The problem with reduced protein diets is they don't taste good to the cats nor do they smell appetising. If the cat won't eat the food it is no good to them. A diet with a high quality protein is what you need not neccessarily low protein levels. The other thing is to try to limit the fish foods especially tuna because often time they will refuse anything other than fish and tuna is not a balance meal. Again if fish is all they will eat find the best available one, even better if it has chicken, turkey or duck meal in it to provide some varied nutrients.

Honestly :2cents: for a male CRF cat he should be eating a canned food not dry. Not only is canned better for more moisture for the CRF in all cats but also better to prevent crystals in male cats. Having said that - Obviously if he has digestive issues with certain food you need to find what works the best for him. Have you tried any canned with him?

You mention you had him on a homemade rice & vension diet before but are now looking for a grain free, did he have problems with the grains?

I mentioned some canned formulas in your other thread so I will give you some dry formulas here

Wellness ( has a dry formula "Complete Health Chicken, Chicken Meal & Rice" that has a dry matter phos level of 1.12% and a dry formula "Salmon, Salmon Meal and Turkey" that has a dry matter phos level of 1.01% these are both good numbers - ideally you want something that has as close to 1% or less without sacrificing quality. Both these have grains, Wellness does have a grain free formula but the phos content 1.4% is higher than I would like for a CRF cat.

Eagle Pack Holistic Select Duck Meal & Oatmeal ( Chicken Meal & Rice ( and Anchovy, Sardine & Salmon Meal ( all have dry matter phos levels of 1% again all of these are with grains.

Innova Cat & Kitten Formula ( has a dry matter phos level of 1.15% this level not too bad there are lower, also with grains

There is a great Canadian grain-free food called Orijen but the dry matter phos level is 1.6% too high for my liking

June 24th, 2008, 02:32 PM
It was very difficult to tell what exactly was causing the severe vomiting and diarrhea it happened very suddenly. He did have some problems with vomiting over the past two years but nothing like what we experienced in may. One thing i noticed he puked up a very large hard white hairball shaped like a pellet after one of his sessions where he quite literally would stagger and fall over throwing up white foam and clear fluid. Maybe it was blocking him. (The vet said to give him lots of hairball remedy and she gave him a laxative just in case. But later i had to get an x-ray b/c i couldnt live with myself if Elvis had ingested a toy / art supply / or any other foriegn object.)
All i know for certain, is the ONLY thing that really helped him stabilize was the rice and venison. Mind you he became a little constipated after a few days as we did not add fiber due to his condition at that time.

The weird thing is after all the massive antibiotics he was given he showed much improvement the vet did not think his three bad teeth could cause his reactions but i dunno it must have been painful and might have been poisoning him to an extent. Because after those teeth came out he was a different cat entirely.

So i remain unsure. But i am more than willing to try the foods you have mentioned. Quality is very important. I really want to be able to feed him something healthy!
We had tried Medi-cal canned recovery feline / canine
R/C sensitivity RD 30
Medi-cal reduced protein
and finally the GASTRO dry

I had mixed the venison rice with the medical canned recovery. When he became constipated i switched in small doses to the GASTRO and it was very miraculous. So for now i suppose he can eat grains.
In the past the cans had caused his delicate tummy some upset. But they were maybe not high quality and i should have given him smaller servings.

I will try to slowly introduce canned again. But in the meantime dry should at least keep him eating without passing the food instantly.

Elvis and I are extremely greatful for all the advice given.
I am hunting down some wellness Salmon Meal and Turkey as we speak.

Thank you so much.

June 24th, 2008, 02:48 PM
Mindflayer, I don't have any advise but just wanted to wish you good luck with Elvis. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

And, just wanted to add, that Growler and Sugarcatmom have helped lots of people on this forum with their excellent feeding advice. We are very fortunate to have them both here. :thumbs up

June 24th, 2008, 10:01 PM
To your knowledge have many cats experienced negative side effects with aluminum hydroxide? For some strange reason our vet did not mention this option, even though she knows how desperately hard I try to provide comfort and quality of life, for my precious baby.

I don't know any cats on aluminum hydroxide phos binder so I don't have first hand knowledge of it, however vet usually will not start a phos binder until the blood phos levels are high enough to indicate that it is absolutely neccessary usually in the range of 1.93mmol/L and higher plus with a creatinine level above 176 umol/L. Another thing to consider is the Calcium Phosphorus ratio as they must be monitored to ensure they stay around 2:1 basically the calcium levels need to be approx double the phos to be @ a healthy rate. This is one reason vets usually will use the aluminum hydroxide binder instead of a calcium based binder, so if you do speak to the vet about starting a binder be sure it is not calcium based

As for the teeth causing the severe symptoms - did the vet mention aby infection in the teeth/gums when they removed them? I know both the bad teeth, the ulcers & any infection will cause them discomfort & pain that always makes everything seem abit worse. The infection & build up of tarter on the teeth will harbour bacteria which can cause stomach & heart issues and contribute to the kidney failure.

The nausea & vomiting (of food or white foam) is a common symptom of CRF usually as a result of excess stomach acid. One way to help alleiviate this is to raise the food & water dishes up btwn 2-4 inches off the ground. This places the food above the stomach level so the acid will stay in the stomach & not induce vomiting.