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CRF Cat in need of feeding help

summertimesmile
May 24th, 2011, 05:52 PM
Hello. My best friend was diagnosed with CRF about a month ago. My holistic vet immediately took him off all commerical food and put him on Royal Canin renal foods. He ate the kibble but not the wet food, except for some of the gravy off the morsels. She also put him on Azodyl twice a day, 1 Renal Support Vitamin, and he takes 1/4 tsp of honey a day for allergies. We were putting it in a syringe and injecting in his mouth, which he hated. He ended up vomitting several times afterward, to which I was done doing that to him.

At that point I took him in, and they found he had high blood pressure. He was put on pills and allowed to mix in commerical food to get the pill in him and then try to give him the others. I ended up giving him a little more commercial and giving him the other pills. Well, blood tests came back yesterday that his levels have dropped. The vet was very happy with it, but I'm not. He's still above average on his BUN and Creatine levels. But found he had lost some weight and was developing anemia. I am to get another pill of vitamins for him for the anemia.

However, here's the problem. The only food he eats consistently is Meow Mix cans which have over 50% protein in them. All the other canned foods, and I've tried a bunch, he may eat for a day and then gets tired of it the next day. The Azodyl is very expensive, and so every time he won't eat the food, I waste a pretty penny. He loves gravy so I bought him Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers and tried to skim the gravy off. Sure enough he didn't like it. The vet says the only way for him to gain weight is to give him commercial food. However, this is the thing that taxes the kidneys. I just don't know what to do anymore. I want to have him stick around for years, and am trying everything I can. He doesn't like tuna juice or chicken broth, just so you know. I've tried getting any kind of food that has gravy and then putting that on other foods. But there's only so many foods below 40% protein and 1% phosphorous that I can find. Any suggestions would be a great help!!!

Bella's
May 24th, 2011, 06:17 PM
Immediately when I saw Meow Mix and Royal Canin I shook my head. The food vet has put him on is bad. I don't understand why vets choose to go for my low quality foods. Royal Canin is the same as Meow Mix as Meow mix is to friskies, Iams Purina etc. My friend's cat had a few health issues and I suggested foods such as Blue Buffalo, Halo, Wellness, Evo, Taste of the wild and other high quality food. She choose the Blue Buffalo Wilderness and it's been over a year and her cat is the healthiest 12 year old.

Blue, Avoderm, Evo, Wellness and all the other I mentioned has canned food. Cats are carnivores so meat should be the first ingredient.
Try getting him which ever food you choose to go with and mix 25% of the new food with his old food which I think was meow mix? Have him eat it.

low protein food is mostly forced in CRf Cats. but you do want to feed a food that is high quality protein.

Examples of low quality foods to avoid: Anything you can find in a grocery store will be low end, Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Meow Mix. These foods are the causes of health issues in cats.

Examples of high quality foods to look for: ,Blue Buffalo, Innova, Wellness, Solid Gold, Felidae, Fromm Four Star, Merrick, GO Natural, Nature's Variety Prairie, Nature's Logic, Artemis Fresh Mix, Timber Wolf Organics.

Although the high quality foods are more expensive, you're getting what you're paying for. Less filler material means more concentrated nutrients... this means you typically need to feed far less of the high quality food than you would of the low quality one. Which also means less poop!

If your vet recommends another brand of food try it. He might end up liking the other. Before following your vet's food recommendation, keep in mind that vets get /very/ little nutritional training during their schooling. Besides that, what training they /do/ get is usually sponsored or taught by the crappy pet food companies! They also often get paid to sell some of their products at their clinics (Science Diet, Royal Canin etc.)

Make sure you cat is getting water and to get him to drink more would be a cat fountain. Cats tend to like to drink from running water and cat fountains see to that need, encouraging cats to take in more water.

summertimesmile
May 24th, 2011, 06:31 PM
Hello. Thank you for the reply. Your response was exactly what mine was when he was given the Royal Canin. I used to give him Natures Balance, which as you know is a great source of great proteins. However, the vet said unfortunately we have to give him lower protein to not tax the kidneys and lower phosphorous levels. Royal Canin actually is the best of the renal foods, she said. And therefore, she'd prefer something else but they don't make anything renal like you suggest.

So we were just trying to get him stablized, which I guess he is, but still high levels of Bun and Creatinine. And this was with the lower protein and phosphorous food. When I look at the dry analysis of the wet foods you suggest, most of there's protein is well over 50% of the food and high phosphorous levels. So us Renal kitties are caught in a rock and a hard place. How do you give them good quality foods but with low protein and phosphorous? So far, I've found that since the commercial foods are regulated they have to be at a certain level of protein, which is actually higher than we want for a renal cat. So we have to use the prescription food, which the only way to get lower protein is use lower grade sources like corn for the protein.

Obviously with me feeding him a high quality food his whole life, he still got renal failure, so I'm not sure putting him back on higher protein is going to help out his kidneys. He also was very thin to begin with and can't afford to lose more weight. So I'm just seeing if anyone has any great suggestions on how to get them to gain weight w/o taxing the kidneys. Thank you.

SamIam
May 24th, 2011, 06:40 PM
Just a thought, but what about a canned dog food? One with taurine added, of course. They may not officially be approved for feeding cats, due to too low protein, but perhaps you could find one in a flavour your cat likes that your vet would be willing to support you trying?

14+kitties
May 24th, 2011, 08:14 PM
There is absolutely no better advice you can get than the thread I linked for you below. It contains more information than you will ever need. Please read through as much of it as you can. It's invaluable. :thumbs up

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=45017

mikischo
May 24th, 2011, 08:33 PM
Hi, summertimesmile and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear about the diagnosis of CRF. The causes of CRF are still relatively unknown. Unfortunately, it is quite common, particularly in older cats.

There are a few people on this board including myself who have or have had kitties with CRF. You will find a lot of information on here including a very large thread by one of our members which is devoted to the subject:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=45017

One commercial cat food that many people with CRF cats use is Wellness chicken, turkey, beef and chicken, and kitten formulas. The protein is of high quality and levels range between 44 and 46% while phosphorus levels range from 1.05 to 1.17%. Although a tad higher than the veterinarian recommended, many people are of the opinion that the quality of the protein is more important than the percentage, and phosphorus levels of under 1.20% are still considered to be acceptable.

The phosphorus levels in Nature's Balance that you were previously using are considerably higher than the Wellness formulas listed above. For example Nature's Balance turkey and giblets has a phosphorus level of 2.14% or double the recommended amount.

The following is another great website that has a lot of information on CRF:

http://www.felinecrf.org/

Bella's
May 25th, 2011, 12:00 AM
Hello. Thank you for the reply. Your response was exactly what mine was when he was given the Royal Canin. I used to give him Natures Balance, which as you know is a great source of great proteins. However, the vet said unfortunately we have to give him lower protein to not tax the kidneys and lower phosphorous levels. Royal Canin actually is the best of the renal foods, she said. And therefore, she'd prefer something else but they don't make anything renal like you suggest.

So we were just trying to get him stablized, which I guess he is, but still high levels of Bun and Creatinine. And this was with the lower protein and phosphorous food. When I look at the dry analysis of the wet foods you suggest, most of there's protein is well over 50% of the food and high phosphorous levels. So us Renal kitties are caught in a rock and a hard place. How do you give them good quality foods but with low protein and phosphorous? So far, I've found that since the commercial foods are regulated they have to be at a certain level of protein, which is actually higher than we want for a renal cat. So we have to use the prescription food, which the only way to get lower protein is use lower grade sources like corn for the protein.

Obviously with me feeding him a high quality food his whole life, he still got renal failure, so I'm not sure putting him back on higher protein is going to help out his kidneys. He also was very thin to begin with and can't afford to lose more weight. So I'm just seeing if anyone has any great suggestions on how to get them to gain weight w/o taxing the kidneys. Thank you.

Hi the reason I mentioned high quality food such has blue buffalo because blue is known to cure many problems in cats. Saved cats from renal failure, allergies. Easy digestible. Saved a cat from getting bladder stones again.

You can see for yourself
http://www.bluebuffalo.com/testimonials/1

Honestly Natural Balance is a fine food - not as good as Wellness or Blue but still a good food nevertheless. Problem with NB is that in dry it is not grain free. Grains usually cause problems in cats.

My vet recommended for science diet when my cat got sick and I was not a personal fan of science diet. I went behind her back and bought blue instead. When she strictly said SD only. When I took her back to my vet she told me "I told you Science Diet would help." I told her "No, Blue Buffalo did."

growler~GateKeeper
May 25th, 2011, 04:30 AM
he takes 1/4 tsp of honey a day for allergies. We were putting it in a syringe and injecting in his mouth, which he hated. He ended up vomitting several times afterward, to which I was done doing that to him.

Did you have the syringe tip at the side of his mouth just inside the teeth, slowly putting in a small bit at a time, stopping for him to swallow often?

The Azodyl is very expensive, and so every time he won't eat the food, I waste a pretty penny.

The company that produces Azodyl, Vetoquinol (http://www.vetoquinolusa.com/CoreProducts/CardioNephrologyRenal/Azodyl.html), recommends to give it pilled whole as it is more effective this way, also you can then guarantee the cat will get the full dose.

I've tried getting any kind of food that has gravy and then putting that on other foods. But there's only so many foods below 40% protein and 1% phosphorous that I can find. Any suggestions would be a great help!!!

the vet said unfortunately we have to give him lower protein to not tax the kidneys and lower phosphorous levels.

When I look at the dry analysis of the wet foods you suggest, most of there's protein is well over 50% of the food and high phosphorous levels. So us Renal kitties are caught in a rock and a hard place. How do you give them good quality foods but with low protein and phosphorous?

Any food including the pate type can be made into gravy just by adding a teaspoon or two of warm water & mashing it up.

The focus needs to be more on low phosphorus levels rather than strictly low protein. As carnivores all cats need higher levels of meat protein, not filler corn or grain sources, when you restrict the amount of quality meat protein you are at risk of creating muscle wasting and the body leaching protein from the muscles as it's not getting enough from the food.

http://www.felineoutreach.org/Education/Kidney.html
It was believed that low-protein diets might be beneficial for cats with CRF, but studies indicate that low protein diets actually elevate Creatinine levels and exacerbate the anemia and muscle wastage commonly secondary to renal issues. Feeding a diet containing a high quality protein can improve the quality of life for cats with CRF. High quality proteins are easily digestible proteins such as poultry or rabbit muscle and organ meat. Grains and grain glutens are not easily digestible, and it may be desirable to avoid them.

Phosphorus binders are an option that can be added to the food, it will not remove phos from the blood/body, just bind to the phos in the food to prevent it's absorption.

One of the most important things with regards to feeding a CRF cat is to get the cat to eat, if the cat won't eat a lower phos or lower protein food adjustments can be made to the treatments but the cat must eat. Too many CRF cats literally die of starvation, anorexia and the associated nutritional deficiencies.

Some good quality low phos canned food choices for you:

By Nature Organics (http://www.bynaturepetfoods.com/productpages/organiccannedcat.php) Turkey & Turkey Liver, Chicken & Chicken Liver, Turkey & Chicken, Chicken & Mackerel, Beef & Beef Liver

Innova Flex Beef & Barley Stew (http://www.innovapet.com/products/default.asp?id=1693)
Evo 95% Chicken & Turkey (http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1662)

Felidae Platinum (http://www.canidae.com/cats/platinum/canned.html)
Felidae Cat & Kitten (http://www.canidae.com/cats/cat_and_kitten/canned.html)
Felidae Grain Free (http://www.canidae.com/cats/grain-free-cat-food/canned.html)

Merricks Before Grain 96% Beef (http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=114&s=20481)
Merricks Before Grain 96% Turkey (http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=114&s=20480)

Merricks Cowboy Cookout (http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=52&s=20246)
Merricks Thanksgiving Day Dinner (http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=52&s=01803)

Halo Spots Stew Wholesome Chicken (http://shop.halopets.com/Canned-Cat-Food/Wholesome-Chicken-Recipe-3-5-oz)
Halo Spots Stew Wholesome Turkey (http://shop.halopets.com/Canned-Cat-Food/Cat-Canned-Turkey-3-5oz)

Wellness (http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/recipes.aspx?pet=cat&ft=2) Turkey, Chicken, Beef & Chicken, Beef & Salmon, Kitten, Wellness Core Chicken Turkey & Chicken Liver

Holistic Select Turkey & Barley (http://www.holisticselect.com/product.aspx?pet=cat&cat=2&pid=33)
Holistic Select Duck & Chicken (http://www.holisticselect.com/product.aspx?pet=cat&cat=2&pid=30)

Many more choices listed here http://www.felinecrf.org/canned_food_usa.htm#food_data_tables


Do you know how to do the formula to compare foods by dry matter analysis?

100-moisture (listed in nutrient analysis) = dry matter

phos(or protein or whatever you want to check)/dry matter=dm phos*100 (to return to percentage) = dm %

Example for Evo 95% Chicken & Turkey (http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1662)

Phosphorus level:
100-73.99=26.01

.23/26.01=0.0088*100= 0.88% dry matter phos


Protein level same food:
100-73.99=26.01

10.58/26.01=0.406*100= 40% dry matter protein