Good low protien options for cats? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Good low protien options for cats?

Im just curious on what you all have used? They have us on the royal canin one... but im not sure if she likes it too much... she picks at it, but not a whole whole lot. But, she has an appetite, i offered her a couple of treats, and she gobbled them up no issues.

we have simbas urinary food away from her (luckily she is scared to use my bedroom cat door)... but i bet if she were allowed to it she would pig out. *but* ive been told its very important not to let her have that.

im also not really understanding the percentages of protien in things. i have a small and big can of the wet grain free pate beef food from before... both say 10%, but is that per so much an amount, or what they would get per day when eating only that food? theres no really serving size (like, say one cup in people terms)... im having trouble understanding how her wet is 5.5% protien, but her dry is 24%... but per how much? in the whole bag? it doenst say. it only says if your cat weighs this much to feed that much.

i was comparing their foods online (SO verses low protien, same company) and online it listed the info in per 1000 kcals.... i have no idea what that means... how many kcals are in half a cup of kibble, for example??

this is all so confusing.....

id like to still provide her with different flavours, if i safely can... but i want to be safe about it.

so in my head i was thinking, if the merrick cans have 10% protien, and the kibble has 24% protien, could she have some merrick with no problems? or is it a more concentrated amount of protein because the can is so much smaller than the bag? This is quite confusing...

for Simba, i knew as long as he was getting the extra fluids with some wet (he loves his kibble though), that basically the more fluids was key. But with this, for her... i know more fluids is *part* of it also, but since protien seems to play such a part.... i dont want to think im giving her something she likes more but ultimately be doing more damage.

i wish i understood this stuff more....
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 06:24 AM
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Not to derail your initial line of questioning, but why do you need to have your cat on a low-protein diet?

If your cat has been diagnosed as CRF/CKD (kidney disease) and your vet told you that your cat "had" to be on a low-protein diet because it would be "easier" on her kidneys, I can tell you that I have not found a single scientific study proving, beyond a doubt, that a low-protein diet is "good" for cats.

In fact, there are studies that show that it is actually a horrible thing for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores. They NEED protein. If you put a cat, especially an older cat, on a low-protein diet, you will see weight loss, and muscle loss as the cat literally "wastes away". Some of the "low-protein diet" studies showed lower kidney values on the cats fed lower-protein diets, but the cats sometimes suffered from weight loss, muscle loss, anemia, and malnutrition!

My own cat was diagnosed as CRF in 2012, when she was 14. My vet gave me the usual spiel about how she "had" to be on a prescription diet, or she would die in approximately 5 minutes (that was how dramatic the vet made it sound).

I put my cat on a fully-raw diet instead. She is now 17, with kidney values lower than they were when she was diagnosed 3 years ago. She's spunky, happy, has a great coat, and she is enthusiastic about eating. Her phosphorus and potassium levels are perfectly fine.

I'm not trying to demonize those "prescription" low-protein diets, nor am I trying to soapbox too hard about a raw diet, but I do personally believe the prescription foods a load of crap. Vets are paid commissions to sell them to their clients - and of course the only place you can actually BUY prescription diets are from a vet! It's a win/win situation for them. Personally, my vet tried to get me to buy all the Royal Canin and Hill's/Science Diet "renal diet" foods. My cat hated all of them and refused to eat more than a bite or a lick.

Even if your cat is not CRF, Tanya's CRF site offers some good insights into cat protein requirements here:

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Nutritional Requirements of CKD Cats

"Dr Zoran believes that healthy cats should eat a diet containing around 45% protein on a dry matter analysis (DMA) basis. ... This level of intake may not be sufficient for older cats. In "Feeding old cats", Dr Sparkes states that older cats need more calories than younger cats, preferably in the form of protein."

The page goes into the low-protein debate very thoroughly and offers insights on both sides. I really think you should re-consider a low-protein diet for your kitty.

Tanya's site also has very comprehensive tables on cat food, listing the protein %s of many common canned and dry foods:

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Canned Food Data USA
Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Dry Food Data USA

The charts give protein as a "dry matter basis" analysis, so you should consult this page to really understand what this means - the %s and info on the cans themselves aren't exactly accurate on a dry-matter basis.

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - How to Use the Food Data Tables

I know it is SUPER overwhelming and there's a ton of info and it's kind of like a tidal wave all at once. It was the same for me when my cat was diagnosed CRF - I was overwhelmed and terrified my cat was about to die. But I did some research, joined a mailing list group, and slowly came to my above conclusions.

In terms of canned food - personally, when my cat is feeling picky or when I have to be away for a few days (my family refuses to feed her the raw food), I give her a rotating diet of canned Weruva, Ziwipeak, Dave's pet food, and Natural Balance (all non-fish varieties). I believe these brands are very high-quality and are overall very good. Other good brands are Blue Buffalo and pretty much most of the grain-free "limited ingredient" foods out there.

I used to feed Merrick canned as well, but recently it looks like a lot of their recipes have changed (read the reviews on the individual varieties on the Merrick official webpage). It looks like they've opted for cheaper "filler" ingredients now, which is sad.

Honestly, the TL;DR of all of this is: give your cat what she WILL eat. It is far more important for a cat to eat SOMETHING rather than nothing, especially for elderly and/or chronically ill kitties. I sometimes give my cat Fancy Feast classic varieties when she isn't feeling great and won't touch anything else. If your girl won't eat the Royal Canin, give her what she WILL eat. It's better to risk higher kidney values (if she is CRF) than to risk hepatic lipidosis.

Try to transition your girl off of kibble, especially if she is CRF. Wet foods are so much better, plus you can add even more water to the wet food to give your kitty even more fluids.

Good luck!


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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Will look up at the rest later, but just wantedto mention that i did end up making a mixture for her of the low protien and the critical care they initially sent her home with. (before knowig her kidney values). That one is 8.5% protien, so its still not terrible i dont think. Still made it warm and soupy, She did take to that a bit better. The way i understand it, and the vet explains it, is the less protien they eat, the less their kIdneys have to filter and ultimately the longer they will last/better they will work. I will definitely check out those links when im on a bigger screen...
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 08:56 PM
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Dave's Protein and Phosphorus Restricted


Restricted Diet Protein - Phosphorus Chicken Dinner for Cats - Dave's Pet Food Dave's Pet Food


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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Dont think i can find daves here... im in canada... and it wants a zip code :/

but i planned on browsing aorund tonight anyway at whats available here before i stick with one. i noticed though that that one has i think it was 7.5% protien, where hers now has 5.5% (which i had calculated earlier to 27% dry matter, which is higher than her kibble.)

but even at that, im confused on the percentage... like, if she ate a tablespoon of it, 27% of tablespoon doesnt sound like that much at all... but is that even how they mean it? Its so confusing because it doesnt say.... maybe that other site has more info, but as of now im quite confused about it all.

ETA: i do have this to be thankful for today.... with all of these extr afluids... at least shes the cat who is good about the litterboxes!!
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 04:39 AM
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Looks like you've figured out how to calculate the DMB, but there are more calculations involved when calculating the approximate amount of protein, fat, and carb content of the food.

Have you looked at Lisa Pierson's website? She has good explainations of doing the calculations. Well worth the read in your case.
http://www.catinfo.org/link=cannedfo...Carbohydrates:


On the topic of lowered protein, I whole heartedly agree with Lakota. Cats, being obligate carnivores, NEED protein. To reduce them sounds really counterproductive, and downright wrong to me.

Dr. Pierson seems to agree, especially regarding rx diets:
Quote:
"Prescription/therapeutic diet" is another label that is certainly not indicative of a high quality diet or one that is necessary.

These diets represent an area of the commercial cat food industry that is very misleading and, quite frankly, a source of embarrassment for this profession.

Many of these very expensive products contain corn, wheat, and soy which have no logical place in your cat's diet. These diets are often very high in carbohydrates and, of course, all of the dry versions are water-depleted. Many of them also contain by-products as the main - and often only - source of protein.

While by-products can be very nutritious (and this really is the least of my concerns regarding these diets), they are cheaper than muscle meat so one would think that as much as these diets cost, the companies could use a more consistent source of high quality protein. (See by-products on the Commercial Food page for more details.)
Read more about CRF in felines from her website, too.
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health

Wishing you all the best for your cat.

Last edited by marie73; 10-20-2015 at 02:59 AM.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Actually... i went to our regular vet yesterday.... to try and find something thats still okay for her to have but that she would like. and, at least here, royal canin is completely revamping their renal diet. theres 2 kibble choices (shapes and flavours/smells), and 3 wet choices!! I compared the percents and they do contain more protien than the one she didnt like. not insane amounts, but, more.

they have a morsels and gravy choice (turkey, i think), a loaf choice (not too sure on that flavour), and another that i cant quite remember. she really seems to like the gravy more than the other old royal canin recipe. she probably drank a good 2 table spoons of water with gravy in it before even getting to the morsels. shes not too too crazy about the actual morsels part, i dont think.

when i checked again tonight from this morning, all of her food was gone... *but* the problem is not knowing for 100% who ate it. she was picking at the morsels some when i had mixed them up again for her... she definitely likes them more then the old one for sure. still deciding on which kibble. (i know, no kibble is best... but trying not to change TOO much all at once).

the best part is i can even mix and match, because the actual recipe is all the same, but the flavours and textures are different. so even if i try some pate mixed in with the morsels and she likes that, i can do that. i really like the idea of still having safe options for her, but still having options, rather than just the 1 type everyday.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Its frusterating that before this all happened they were sharing a bowl... so im really not too sure how much either one of them on their own truly ate before... so im not even sure if her appetite has gone down, gotten better, or stayed the same. overall i mean, not just since being really sick. but, compared to before but when she was well to now... im not sure how much they ate individially at all. makes it hard to know when to worry or not

but i think interest in the food is a big good sign... she couldnt have cared for any food at all last sunday, not even treats.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 11:48 AM
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Good low protien options for cats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakotaWolf View Post

I'm not trying to demonize those "prescription" low-protein diets, nor am I trying to soapbox too hard about a raw diet, but I do personally believe the prescription foods a load of crap. Vets are paid commissions to sell them to their clients - and of course the only place you can actually BUY prescription diets are from a vet! It's a win/win situation for them. Personally, my vet tried to get me to buy all the Royal Canin and Hill's/Science Diet "renal diet" foods. My cat hated all of them and refused to eat more than a bite or a lick.
I echo your concerns about a low-protein diet. It goes against everything Ive ever read regarding cat health. But I am not a cat vet, and haven't dealt with kitty kidney issues.


2 other things...

1 Be careful projecting single unsubstantiated experiences, into other scenarios, especially concerning health. There can be a lot of other compounding factors.

2 If you see hints that your vet has nefarious intentions or conflict of interest... Find a new vet.
When our cat had a urinary blockage, took him to the 24emergency vet, treated and they gave us an assortment of prescription UrinarySO food to try. He liked the RoyalCanin brand morsels vs the others in pate.
Back to our normal vet for post op checkup, they vendor for Hills prescription, but didn't give a ****, said stick with what he likes as long as it was one of the big three prescription UrinarySO. Gave us a prescription we could scan-email to chewy and order there.

I really really just think its a lazy/easy/simple way to provide clear instruction to consumers.

With some meticulous research we've since found higher quality healthy alternatives. Still afraid to go cold turkey, and doing a 50/50 mix.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakotaWolf View Post
I do personally believe the prescription foods a load of crap. Vets are paid commissions to sell them to their clients
Not that I'm a fan of prescription diets, but of course they get paid to sell them. Whenever someone sells a product they do so to make a profit...nothing wrong with that. My vet sells Petcurean and Primal products (including raw)...and she makes a profit on it.


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