What Cat Food to Feed
My six year old male cat died in August due to a urinary blockage. We weren't going to get another cat, especially not a male, but I'm bringing home a new baby boy tomorrow. I've done a bunch of reading on the possible causes of urinary blockages in male cats and have discovered a lot of things I didn't know. Types of food seems to be a huge factor. I read it's best to feed an all wet diet. I think they need a little dry as the crunchy food is good for their teeth. I also read that any food that is made of seafood is a no no. Now I'm trying to figure out what the best choice is for him. There are foods that are for urinary tract health that keep the urine ph down so I'm wondering if one of those would be good. Help!
I found this web site , I am not sure if it will help . My dog got crystals in his urine and I was told not to feed any him food that has yeast in it. So he get canned food now and has not gotten crystals again.
[QUOTE=mybubbles65;1062058]I read it's best to feed an all wet diet.[/quote]
[QUOTE=mybubbles65;1062058] I think they need a little dry as the crunchy food is good for their teeth. [/quote]
Nah, isn't good for their teeth at all, actually. Dr. Jean Hofve sums it up best in her article: [URL="http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/does-dry-food-clean-the-teeth/"]Does Dry Food Clean the Teeth?[/URL]
And there are plenty more reasons not to feed dry:
[QUOTE=mybubbles65;1062058]There are foods that are for urinary tract health that keep the urine ph down so I'm wondering if one of those would be good. Help![/QUOTE]
If you feed a meat-based, low-carb wet food, you really shouldn't need to go anywhere near one of the urinary tract foods. All the manufacturers do is add an acidifier or more salt to inferior ingredients, when if you fed good quality animal protein in the first place, you don't need that extra crap. I think long-term feeding of these foods can damage other organs.
I feed my own cats a combo of pre-made commercial raw (don't have time to make my own) and a variety of good canned foods like Wellness, Nature's Variety, Weruva, ZiwiPeak, Schesir, etc.....
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your cat. The loss of a beloved fur buddy can be quite devastating, to say the least. I am glad to see that you have a new fur baby in the home, and that you are deeply involved in research into what makes a healthy, and happy cat. SCM has supplied a couple of excellent websites to browse and her statement is pretty well on the money for what you should consider when it comes to striving to raise a healthy animal.
One of my male cats years ago suffered from urinary tract problems. I was fortunate enough to catch it and take him to emergency at 12 o'clock midnight some 2 hours away from home. In discussing the problem, the vet asked where the litter box was, and I said in the basement. She then said I was extremely lucky to have caught the problem in the early-stage with the litter box so far away from the living area. She recommended, would you believe, a quiet area in the kitchen or in the bathroom if it was close to the main living area of the house where the cat's movements could be observed by people but not disturbed too much. I have followed that rule for 10 years, and in that time there have been several times it has paid off with some of the others having urinary tract issues.
As far as hard food for the cat's teeth go about the best on the market is raw chicken necks. I'll pick up chicken necks at the butcher's bring them home, and cut them in half or in thirds and freeze them - 2 or 3 times a week I'll give a piece as a treat after thawing it out. Put it in a plastic bag, and place it in hot water to bring it up to body temperature before giving it to the cat. DO NOT USE A MICROWAVE. It will start a cooking action as soon as turned on destroying the natural nutritional value of the neck along with making the bones brittle, and causing a digestion problem
A wee bit of seafood from time to time as a treat should not cause any problems. When it is used as a mainstay this can cause issues, and anchovy should be avoided even in fish oil supplements. It is known to be a microtoxin to cats and depending on the cat and the length of time administered can possibly cause a problem.
I am enclosing a couple of websites that I have found useful in the past, and still refer to even today. Hopefully all the information in these different websites that have been mentioned will be of value in the raising of your new fur buddy.
Any further questions, just let us all know.
Hi, I want to first say congrats on your new cat! I hope all is going well. I also have some info about LUTD in cats that I wanted to share with you to help you prevent anything like that happening with your new kitty. Sorry, it will be lengthy, but it is helpful, I promise.
I agree that water intake is extremely important for urinary health, and so is the kind of food. But good urinary health isn't just a matter of increasing your catís water consumption. And feeding a meat-based diet or avoiding certain ingredients really isn't going to prevent urinary issues either. Some people will try to simplify the solution to those things, but itís incorrect and potentially harmful to do so. It's important to know how crystal formation works to understand how nutrition does make a real difference.
Urine is a pretty complex fluid made up of water, dissolved minerals (such as phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium), and other compounds. Urinary crystals form when minerals that are floating in the urine attach to each other. They can be a normal finding in healthy urinary tracts. In high numbers, though, crystals can cause irritation, plugs, or can stick together to form stones. Bladder stones that form could be just one type of crystal, or a combination of different types. In cats, by far the most common types of crystals are calcium oxalate and struvite. Calcium oxalate stones are most common in male cats, whereas struvite are more common in female cats.
Crystals and stones are more likely to form in the following conditions:
- high level of minerals in the urine (particularly calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus)
- highly concentrated/low volume of urine
- alkaline urine (particularly with struvite crystals)
- urinary tract infection
So knowing how crystals and stones form, what can help prevent them?
1. Adequate water intake is crucial for either kind of crystal. Getting enough water can be tough for many cats, though, because theyíre not naturally inclined to drink a lot. You can feed wet food to help for sure, but not just any wet food will do, since, as I mentioned, mineral levels are also very important. If itís wet food, it needs to be the right wet food, too. Other things to help increase water consumption - especially if your cat doesnít care for wet food:
- make sure fresh water is always available
- put several easily-accessible bowls of water around the house
- keep water bowls away from high-traffic areas or the litterbox
- try one of those water fountains or similar things to help encourage drinking
- separate feedings into smaller meals, as this can increase the number of times cats visit their water bowl
- try different types and sizes of bowls and find the one your cat likes best. Some cats like clear glass bowls, others prefer metal bowls. Some like larger bowls so their whiskers donít brush the edges, others like to dip in their paws to drink.
- some foods have higher levels of sodium to encourage drinking and thus increase and dilute the urine. As unhealthy as this might sound at first, it has actually been studied and shown that, unlike humans, cats are not negatively affected by increased salt intake. Rather, the opposite has been shown to be true, as moderate increased sodium levels have shown to significantly increase catsí voluntary consumption of water and improve urine dilution. (Here is just one study done on sodium intake in cats, if youíre interested: [url]http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2004.tb02567.x/abstract[/url]).
2. Mineral levels must be considered! In order to greatly reduce the likelihood of stones forming, certain mineral levels need to be controlled in cat food. The really important minerals in relation to FUTD are phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium (but there are more), because these are the very minerals that form the most common types crystals in cats. It has been shown that if these minerals are controlled at certain levels, then the urine will be ďunder-saturatedĒ in these minerals so that crystals do not form. Crystals can form and grow if the urine is more saturated in these minerals.
3. Urine pH might be important, but it depends. With struvite crystals, urine pH does play a large role. Alkaline urine is a factor in the formation of struvite crystals, and acidifying the urine can even dissolve these types of crystals. Calcium oxalate crystal formation, on the other hand, is not influenced by urine pH. Clinical urinary diets will usually create a moderately acidic urine to prevent and treat struvite crystals, but this factor is not really important if the problem is calcium oxalate crystals.
With these things in mind, you should feed a food that controls the specific mineral levels to create under-saturated urine, that creates a slightly acidic urine pH, and that helps dilute urine through adequate water intake. The really good pet food companies do on-going research on urinary health and formulate their feline diets based on these well-studied factors. If you choose to feed raw or homemade, it's absolutely essential that you understand how mineral levels in particular will affect urinary health, and how to control those mineral levels. In my opinion, if you don't know 100% what you're doing, you shouldn't do it.
I also want to add that many cats suffer from feline idiopathic cystitis, which can be helped by creating a stress-free environment for your cat that really respects his needs as a cat. Check out this website for some great tips: [url]http://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/[/url]
Hope that helps you out! Wishing you the best of luck with your little guy!
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