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Mrs. Kitty my CRF Cat only will eat discontinued food

January 25th, 2011, 09:18 PM
Hi Folks,

What an amazing discussion site this is! I am Michael father of Mrs. Kitty, a sweet black and white girl that I found on the side of the road 6 years ago on the shoulder of a local road having a seizure and about to get trounced by traffic. I blocked off the road and found out she had sustained brain damage. It took months but she walked again and has been my little miracle cat with more than 9 lives. She has been diagnosed with CRF and we have managed it for a bit over 2 years with Hi Tor Neo(after trying everything out there), daily fluids and Calictriol. Well recently, the blood levels spiked and we had to take her off the Calcitriol. I added a phosphorous binder (Aluminum Hydroxide powder and Renalzin from the UK) and the results have been AMAZING. Her appetite is back and she is eating regularly.

The main problem now is that Triumph changed their canner and she simply won't eat the new formula. I purchased a huge number of cases of the old formula last summer but I will run out soon. I tried mixing the old with the new formula to no avail. I have tried every prescription diet around and raw food but she would rather starve than eat any of them. The older Hi Tor she eats wonderfully. I realize that this will run out so I welcome new ideas as well as any donations from anyone that has old cans/cases of Hi Tor Neo and would like to help her. I would gladly pay your shipping and for the food. She is in stage 3 so I'm not sure how much time she has left. It has been a gift to have her these two extra years so I count my blessings every day. Please let me know if you can help and thanks!

January 25th, 2011, 09:46 PM
Hi MK'sdad. Welcome to Pets. Thank you for rescuing this special girl. :angel:

I'm afraid I can't be of much help to you as far as the particular food you are looking for but I can lead you to a couple of older threads that may be of some help. Both of the older threads contain tons of information for CRF kitties. Growler's in particular may be of interest to you. I urge you to read them. They may help. :thumbs up Good luck with your girl. :cloud9:

January 25th, 2011, 09:59 PM
Hi Michael, what a gorgeous girl you've got there! Sorry to hear about her renal issues.

When you mix a new food in with her Hi Tor, how much are you adding? I would try again, but with even less. Like 1/2 a tsp. Blend it thoroughly, and after she's been eating that for a few days, go up to a full tsp. Then a tsp and a half, and so on..... It's not unusual for cats to be suspicious of different foods, so the key is to go extremely slowly and allow them plenty of time to get used the smell, taste and texture. Not sure if you've tried this, but if she has a favourite treat or type of kibble, you can pulverize a few pieces and sprinkle it on top of whatever it is you want her to eat. Also, don't limit yourself to prescription foods, which tend to be junk anyway (don't know much about Hi Tor so I can't comment on that). Look for lower phosphorus commercial products from these lists:
Perhaps something on there will be more appealing to Mrs. Kitty. After all, the most important thing is that she eat.

Good luck! :grouphug:

January 30th, 2011, 01:10 AM
Have you tried a pinch of catnip, parmesan cheese, sprinkle of ground Cheerio, dried Bonito flakes, tiny dab of melted butter, or a couple of drops of salmon oil?

Here are some low phosphorus canned foods to try, see if she likes them. Even if you've tried them before sometimes the cat will accept it the 2nd or 3rd time around:

By Nature Organics ( Turkey & Turkey Liver, Chicken & Chicken Liver, Turkey & Chicken, Chicken & Mackerel, Beef & Beef Liver

Innova Flex Beef & Barley Stew (
Evo 95% Chicken & Turkey (

Felidae Platinum (
Felidae Cat & Kitten (
Felidae Grain Free (

Merricks Before Grain 96% Beef (
Merricks Before Grain 96% Turkey (

Merricks Cowboy Cookout (
Merricks Thanksgiving Day Dinner (

Halo Spots Stew Wholesome Chicken (
Halo Spots Stew Wholesome Turkey (

Wellness ( Turkey, Chicken, Beef & Chicken, Beef & Salmon, Kitten, Wellness Core Chicken Turkey & Chicken Liver

Holistic Select Turkey & Barley (
Holistic Select Duck & Chicken (

Many more choices listed here

Dr Lee
February 15th, 2011, 10:54 PM
With CRF, it is very important to transition to a kidney friendly diet. The biggest problem, as you have noticed, is transitioning to the new food. While normal transition is typically over 7 days, for feline kidney cats I recommend a slower transition - over a period of a month or so. I would start by placing the new diet just next to the food and let the cat just become familiar with it. Then several days later, add a few kibbles onto the regular food and continue very, very slowly. If we can transition to a proper kidney diet, we can greatly increase the length of life of many feline kidney patients. Some diets can more than double life expectancy and increase the pet's well being.

A few notes...

1) if you are going to add anything to "season" the food, perhaps try oregano. With any diary products (like cheese), we need to be very careful with giving them to kidney patients as dairy is very high in phosphorus. I avoid dairy in these situations.

2) some of the concerns with over the counter diets....

Natura Pet Products EVO Turkey and Chicken: for kidney patients phosphorus levels should be less than 0.6% DMB (dry matter basis) to avoid further damage to the kidney. This diet's phosphorus is 1.86% DMB which is 3 times the amount. The sodium and protein levels are higher than recommended for a kidney patient as well. These are common issues with many OTC foods. I am not picking on this brand but suggesting that in the best interest of any cat with kidney disease; a diet that is designed with regard to kidney preservation can improve both quality and quantity of life. The factors that must be carefully adjusted include: phosphorus and sodium amounts, omega 6:3 ratio, DHA level (a type of n3 FA), protein level, caloric density, pH level, water soluble vitamins, antioxidants, potassium level, etc.

For this reason, I would talk to your veterinarian about transition strategies. Obviously we do not want her caloric intake or weight to decrease so this is a tricky situation but with some time and care, we can transition safely. If your veterinarian is unable to help, then I would ask your vet or his/her technician to contact whatever food company they use - the companies have great resources.

Interestingly when we look at studies with cats with kidney disease, the only therapy that has had data linking the prolongation of life are diets. Some of the medications show changes and improvements with other clinical signs but for life extension, it lies with the diets.

I hope that this helps. :pawprint:

February 16th, 2011, 12:30 AM
2) some of the concerns with over the counter diets....

Natura Pet Products EVO Turkey and Chicken: for kidney patients phosphorus levels should be less than 0.6% DMB (dry matter basis) to avoid further damage to the kidney. This diet's phosphorus is 1.86% DMB which is 3 times the amount. The sodium and protein levels are higher than recommended for a kidney patient as well. These are common issues with many OTC foods. I am not picking on this brand but suggesting that in the best interest of any cat with kidney disease;

The Evo you have listed is dry food, which we all know dry food is not good for cats and most especially shouldn't be fed to kidney cats.

While the higher values are true of the regular canned Evo Turkey & Chicken with the purple label (dry matter 1.31% phos), the above linked Orange label canned 95% Chicken & Turkey has a dry matter phosphorus of 0.88%

Dr Lee
February 17th, 2011, 04:46 PM
Chicken & Turkey has a dry matter phosphorus of 0.88%

Thank you for the link. Looking at the nutrient analysis, I am pleased with much of it overall. However for kidney disease when we look at the key nutritional factors (Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th edition), this diet still exceeds the recommended ranges with regard to kidney insufficiency for: protein, phosphorus and sodium. It also is low with regard to vitamin E. I see the omega 6 listed but do not see the omega 3 levels nor the amounts of DHA.

Compared to other diets however, the canned version is better than many. It is unfortunate that the canned and dry versions vary so widely.

Once again, thank you for the link.

March 8th, 2011, 03:57 PM
Info about great success feeding Wysong's raw-dehydrated meats on the Raw Meaty Bones For Healthy Pets blog,

I haven’t tried this & don’t know about availability or cost, but it sounds like cats LOVE it!

“Cats: Beneficiaries of the Raw-Meaty-Bones Diet” blog post
Dec. 31, 2010,

“…[Wysong’s] Epigen is a starch-free dry food for cats and dogs. Epigen is more than 60% meat, more than 60% proteins, and the rest is mostly animal fats -- in other words, a convenient but suitable dry food for carnivorous pets.

For reasons unknown at this time, cats LOVE Epigen. Not just my cat, but all the cats of Kona Raw [co-op] members. We collect amusing tales of cats running to eat when the Epigen bag is opened for the first time. Must be something in the aroma. Cats gobble up Epigen, fending off the dogs for whom the bowl was intended. Cats don't seem to know this is a new food they should instinctively avoid, as they do other new foods.

Daisy now weighs 16 pounds, on her way to full maturity -- around 18 pounds at three years-of-age. Other skinny and sick cats are similarly being helped by the addition of Epigen to their raw diets.

Several cat owners who recently joined the co-op have sick to very sick cats. There are cats with chronic renal failure, with wide-spread food allergies, with tumors, and other distressing maladies. Owners are feeding raw-meaty-bones to make their pets well or to give them happier lives until the end. So far, owners are reporting good results with cats accepting raw meats and chicken bones. They also find that Epigen is a helpful addition to their cats' diets.

Whereas dogs will eat almost anything (that doesn't eat them first, as one vet told me years ago), cats are much more selective in what they will consume. Some cats won't eat beef liver; other thrive on it. Some cats love green tripe; others sniff and find it as distasteful as most pet owners do. Some cats crunch up chicken bones as well as dogs do; others won't chew up anything harder than an Epigen pellet. It's trial-and-error to devise a good raw diet for cats, and repeated trials at that. By combining raw meats with Epigen, owners feel more secure that their cats are getting nutrients they need to get well and thrive.

I have much to learn from experienced cat owners in the Kona Raw co-op. The canine-o-centric focus of the co-op has changed. Felines rule!”

- - - - - - - - - - -

Something else I'd like to explore...

Apparently, many cats also enjoy homemade canned meat as an alternative to canned food with unknown ingrediants. You could try it and explore adding supplements before feeding to make it balanced - if your cat likes it.

Dr. Lisa Pierson writes about it on her site,
under Making Cat Food (

“There is a very helpful page on the Raw Meat Cat Food Company website. It provides information on canning cat food. My Robbie does not do well on any commercial canned food (he gets severe diarrhea) so this is a great alternative for me in an emergency situation so I don't have to use commercial canned foods. (see

I purchased this pressure canner [link on] and now have homemade canned chicken, turkey, and rabbit cat food available for periodic feedings and for emergencies. This canned food also comes in handy if I have to be gone for 12 hours on a hot day. I leave this food out instead of the raw/semi-cooked diet. This canned food is also safe for human consumption so it doubles as an emergency supply for both two-legged and four-legged members of the house.

Please note that I said for "periodic feedings". I have no idea what nutrients and in what amounts are destroyed in the canning process so I would not want to feed this diet as a sole diet for more than a week or two during an emergency situation.”

March 8th, 2011, 04:09 PM
While limiting phosphorus intake may be beneficial, cats with kidney disease or other illnesses have a higher protein requirement than most other animals who are ill. It’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Please get a copy of
“Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life”
by Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, if you don’t have one already.

She explains the modern approach to managing CRD (chronic renal disease) which many veterinarians are not yet aware of. She provides clinical examples and links to websites form more information. She also recommends the website (some newer research is posted there).

She details the problems of protein-restricted diets, what nutrient restrictions are indicated, why elevated BUN levels are higher in cats on higher-protein diets & why that’s not necessarily a problem. The dangers of using Azodyl & why no cats should be fed dry cat foods are also explained. She discusses new, improved methods for managing CRD & the benefits of benazepril [Fortekor].

[Dr. Hodgkins is pet food industry insider & provided expert supplemental testimony at the pet food hearings in 2007:

“Supplemental Testimony for Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Hearings”

- I consider this information important to EVERYONE who is truly concerned about pet health and welfare & REQUIRED READING FOR ALL PET OWNERS. Please see]

Note: “Small Animal Clinical Nutrition” is written by pet food manufactures & preached by many vets & vet schools, unfortunately. :(

“The unholy alliance of pet food companies, veterinarians, and animal welfare groups (who also depend on pet-food funding) is costing pet owners worldwide billions of dollars in diet-caused illnesses and causing unmeasurable suffering and premature deaths for millions of pets.” :evil:


A growing number of vets, pet owners & breeders agree with this statement.

Best wishes!!!

March 8th, 2011, 04:30 PM
MrsKittysDad,I have no advice to give,I just wanted to say Mrs Kitty is beautiful and thank you very much for saving her life:grouphug:

March 24th, 2011, 03:10 AM
Hello all, and a big thanks to MrsKittysDad for starting this thread (and taking care of her)... I am in the same situation, with a rescue cat currently diagnosed with stage 3 CRF who only will eat the original Hi-Tor Neo cat diet, which has been modified to a new formula she will not eat. We've run out of the apparently discontinued original product. The new version is on shelves and online everywhere, but no luck finding stock of the original yet.

Does anyone know where this may be found, or have ideas where to look for such older/ discontinued products? MrKittysDad, have you been able to locate more stock?

Thank you all very much for any input, and for being here... ourangel1

March 24th, 2011, 03:16 AM
Have you recently tried some of the food options listed above in post 4 (

If you've tried them in the past, please offer them again as cats are picky and may eat a previously snubbed food.


March 24th, 2011, 03:22 AM
I am in the same situation, with a rescue cat currently diagnosed with stage 3 CRF who only will eat the original Hi-Tor Neo cat diet, which has been modified to a new formula she will not eat.

:frustrated: I went through a similar thing a couple years ago, and went to all the retailers within a reasonable distance. There was one store in particular where stock didn't move too well and I was fortunate to find a small amount of what I needed there. The trouble is even if you are able to find some of your cat's food, you will eventually run out. I really sympathize with what you are going though!

March 24th, 2011, 11:44 AM
Hello again...thought I'd posted a reply earlier this morning but see it didn't post.

Thank you so much for your replies. I am still searching for the Hi Tor, short-term solution tho it is, please anyone do write in if you know where I might find the original formula.
Per above, my cat will not eat the new formula now available and I'm trying very hard to find stock of the older formula to keep things afloat while i devise a new feeding strategy.

I am going to re-try some of the foods listed above, thank you for that suggestion also. I have been reluctant to give high-protein foods per 2 vet consultation's i've had. However I understand there is a debate over amount vs. grade of protein however, and yesterday had to feed her something she would eat so had to give food with higher protein than I would have liked.

She has unfortunately snubbed the prescription renal diets, perhaps i can find a way to make them more palatable. Feeling like I am in a race against time and i don't want to lose this... Any further thoughts on the conundrum of avoiding foods with medium to high protein content, but finding she will not eat the lower protein foods and am needing to get her weight up, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for the support and helpful information.

March 24th, 2011, 11:46 AM
SamIAm, will let you know if i strike gold and find the original Hi Tor to help with your cat as well. thank you for your empathy.

March 24th, 2011, 01:32 PM
I have been reluctant to give high-protein foods per 2 vet consultation's i've had.

I know it's a bit of a conundrum to be in to go against the advice of a vet (or 2), but when it comes to prescription diets and the feeding of our feline friends, most vets are out to lunch. ESPECIALLY when renal disease is in the picture. But I think even the most ardent Hill's/Royal Canin/Purina-pushing vet would acknowledge that the most important thing of all is for a cat to EAT. Period. Wasting away is the biggest problem for CRF kitties, and I'm betting that in many of those cases it's due to not liking the crappy food they're being forced to eat. So please re-think the low protein myth and instead start looking into the phosphorus amounts in some of the commercial canned foods. Or consider a phosphorus binder if her blood-work warrants it. Here are some charts showing phosphorus levels:

Feeling like I am in a race against time and i don't want to lose this...

Is your kitty on any meds or supplements?

March 25th, 2011, 08:26 AM
Hi Sugarcatmom, thank you for replying and for the canned food nutrition list. I had seen a nutritional list for cans, but it was nowhere near this extensive and did not include the Fancy Feast /Friskies type foods... and I hate to say that the Fancy Feast is what she wants to eat so I have been giving it to her yesterday & today to get her back to eating, and then I will try again with the better, yet apparently less tasty, foods such as Wysong. Your point about "wasting away" really hit home for me.

Do you think then that it is more important for the food to be low in phosphorus than to be low in protein? And do you think that feeding the lesser quality foods like Fancy Feast (as compared to a Wysong or Wellness) is heavily taxing on the kidneys?

Re meds and supplements, I just started her on Mertazapine per the vet suggestion yesterday, to help open her appetite. Was advised her test results indicate no phosphorus binder needed.

No supplements yet, been reading Omega 3's could help. I would be very interested in any recommendations you may have. She is very sensitive to additions to food that may change the taste, but i will try anything.

Thanks again for all.

p.s. Do you happen to know how to convert the Phosphorus milligrams listed into percentages...?

May 14th, 2011, 05:27 PM
Getting CRF cat to eat more

Some of the tricks that work to transition dry food addicts to canned (or raw) cat food can also encourage cats with kidney disease to eat more food. Our Miss Kitty is starting to lose weight, so I've started adding a bit of FortiFlora to her food (see Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food on, by Dr. Pierson).

B vitamins are supposed to help improve appetite. Our cat vet ordered one for us called Rx Vitamins Amino B-Plex, formulated by Robert J. Silver D.V.M., M. S.

Appetite stimulants are available. We got some from a cat vet in a cream form that you rub in the cat's ears, called Periactin Transdermal. The vet said it works for some cats but not others.

Anti-nausea medication is also available.

Giving Milk Thistle supplements to cats with kidney disease is one of the newer recommendations. Check with your vet for dosage. (General info on

Kidney Failure info from “Whatever special food you feed your renal-compromised pet, you'll want to feed it less, more often, so as not to tax the stressed organ.

I should say organs... Since the liver and kidneys are such a team in decontaminating the bloodstream, I would certainly think in terms of detoxifying and giving support to the liver as well. Dandelion root and milk thistle are the most readily-available and commonly used liver cleansers, for both people and pets.

And a final word on food: In case of just about any illness, I would strongly suggest using digestive enzymes (canine or feline version) for better nutrient assimilation. Powder sprinkled on or mixed into the food is better than a swallowed capsule, if your pet will eat the food (enzymes are pretty tasteless). You can get it in some health food and pet supply stores, and via vitamin supply companies.

Probiotics should similarly come to mind. Non-lactose-based acidophilus is considered better than the milk-based for this purpose. Multiple types of this sort of "gut critter" is better than just acidophilus…”

I have used liquid OTC phosphorus binders (usually the liquid alumina and magnesia oral suspensions, an antiacid) to help offset the phosphorus in food. You can ask your vet for dosage & get empty gel caps from vet or pharmacy. Our vet charged $12 for 100 gel caps. Use eye dropper or syringe to measure & fill gel caps, then immediately give to cat as the binder will soften & dissolve the gel caps. This info is also on the Feline CRF website recommended by Dr. Hodgkins,

Using alternatives such as crushed egg shells are also discussed on the site.

"Dietary restriction of protein does not benefit cats and dogs with progressive renal disease." From Dr. Fox's article:CARE FOR ANIMALS WITH CHRONIC RENAL FAILURE,

FLUORIDE IN PET FOOD WARNING – pets with kidney disease more at risk of fluoride poisoning.
"...the Environmental Working Group’s findings of over 9 mgm /kg in dog food with chicken meal as the primary ingredient (possibly from recycled laying hens) is indeed pause for concern.

It should be noted that such ‘tolerable’ fluoride levels are not acceptable for human patients on kidney dialysis, and cats and dogs with kidney disease are likely to be more prone to fluoride poisoning when impaired renal function means more fluoride retention in the body." Dr. Fox, Fluoride in Pet Food---A Serious Health Risk for Both Dogs and Cats?

Best wishes,