The Great Vet Food Debate
I'm trying to find a new food for my cats. One of them, Mulder, has had several run ins with struvite crystals a couple of years ago now.
First the vet had him on Medi-cal Dissolution. Then switched to Royal Canin - Urinary s/o..then finally told me to take him off of all dry food and only feed him canned RC Urinary S/o. At almost $2/can and 3 cats..I just could not feed them only the canned vet food. So i have been feeding them 2 cans of the S/o per day (I mix 1 can food with 1 can water to make them get extra water) and some of the Medical Dental dry. All purchased from vet with the thought that that was the best food I could buy for them.
Recently I bought a puppy and was doing research on pet foods. I have had an education to say the least!
First I discovered from the Royal Canin website that the main ingredient in the canned food is water, and it also has by products in it. It also smells foul but that could be another thread. I regularly clean up cat puke.
Then I read the ingredients list for the Dental - main ingred = corn. Chicken meal might have made it to the top 5 ingredients but most of it seems to be wheat and I think this one also had "cellulose" in it.
So I did more research. I found it very difficult to find an unbiased source of information. I seem to find 2 extreme views - only feed RAW or 'Corn is GREAT!' Or websites by vets that also have pet food advertising on it. That kind of leads to independence issues in my mind so I'm not sure if I can really trust their opinions.
Now I'm not a vet, or even in the medical field so I could be wrong about my conclusions about pet food. I would love to be enlightened or pointed to some good, scientific research on the reason for preferring corn over meat protein in cat/dog food.
I went to the vet today and asked about the food.I was told that sometimes pet food companies will list ingredients alphabetically so that makes them seem better and that pet food saying it was tested according to AAFA(?) standards does not mean that it is certified. And also that 'human grade" doesn't always mean that humans could eat it. I suppose that could be true. Since they have a vested interest in selling the prescription food, I did not expect them to say they sold substandard fare. On the other hand, if you are going to get me to pay almost $100 for a bag of special vet food..you'd better have a logical, scientifically backed reason for using so much of what is considered fillers.
Needless to say, I got a pamphlet prepared by the manufacturers of RC with "myths" about pet food, and was told..feed your cat what you want and see what happens.
I just feel so disillusioned. I mean, here I was buying what I thought was the best quality food for my sick cat, sold to me by someone who should know something about animal nutrition, and I have been feeding my cats CORN for 3 years and paying top dollar for the privilege. If I had been picking this stuff up for $14 bucks a bag at the corner store I could rationalize it.
Maybe corn is perfectly fine to feed to cats. It doesn't really make sense to me to feed mainly corn to a carnivore..but if someone could enlighten me, I'd really welcome it!!! BUT if money was no object and you could feed meat to a cat instead of corn..would you feed your cat corn?
This is getting rambling, but I'm getting to a question.
I'm a bit nervous to take my cat off of the Urinary s/o. So far as I can tell, it has no real "prescriptive" qualities except maybe extra sodium to make the cat drink more. And maybe lower magnesium levels.
Does anyone know the difference between a good quality canned food and the vet prescriptions?
Many of the canned foods have various fish in it - I've read that fish isn't that great for cats with urinary problems. Why is that? is it fish in any quantity? or just a LOT of fish?
I've also read that more protein = better ph balance, more acidic(?) than a carbohydrate based diet. If this is the case...wouldn't that mean that corn or other grains should be totally off the menu? And I should be feeding solid protein diet?