was my 6mo put on Hills dry food for medical reason? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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was my 6mo put on Hills dry food for medical reason?

I have adopted my little boy at 3mo, he is now 6mo and was neutered a few weeks ago.

The shelter had put him on Hills for kittens since the very beginning. I asked if I needed to change his diet after his surgery, they said I only need to change his diet when he becomes an adult. He had cat flu before I adopted him but appears to be in good health now.

Thing is, his poop smells horrible! I have a covered litter box in my room, the litterbox has a swing door. But the moment he drops the bombs, the smell wakes me up in the middle of the night. And every night I get up to scoop his poop immediately as the smell will keep me up if I don't immediately dispose of the poop. He doesn't bury his poop too, just leaves them on top for all to smell. He has wet food three times a day, and i leave some Hills dry food out for him after he finishes the wet just in case he wants more.

Question, I read that certain brands can make his poop less smelly. And I understand hills is a prescription brand. Is there a reason why I should stick with Hills, or is this something I need to check with my vet?

I would love to try out some other brands such as innova, wellness or Evo. But if it compromises his health, I am of course going to put up with the mid night scooping.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 06:59 AM
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Any of those other brands are very good quality and will not compromise his health at all. Vets prescribe Hills S/D because they know it and are comfortable with it. Any good quality cat food is fine at this point. Personally I feed my foster kittens just about any wet food and give them dry PureVita all stages dry food for between meal snacking. There are plenty of foodies on this forum that will give good advice but my bottom line is feed what you are able to afford with good quality (possible grain free) for between meal dry food.

As to the smell - try to resisit the urge to scoop the poop right away. If you will just put a shovel full (or two) of litter on top of the poop it will absorb the moisture and get rid of the smell almost immediately. Essentially YOU are "covering". I promise it works - try it. You can then add a TINY spritz of Febreze into the air to dissapate the lingering air odor.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 07:01 AM
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Dry food is absolutely horrible for cats. Cats get most of their moisture requirements from their food - they don't have as strong of an "instinct" to drink water. So if they are on dry food, they are on the path to potential health problems including kidney issues, urinary tract issues, and dental issues. I believe there's a sticky here in the forum that goes into more detail about why a cat should be fed "wet"/canned food, grain-free, with a protein (meat) as the first ingredient. (i.e., the canned Science Diet/Hills foods are just as bad, as they are full of grains and flours that cats simply cannot digest.)

Your vet, in all honesty, probably gets a commission from selling Science Diet and Hills foods. They essentially profit from pushing it onto every single client. Or, it's also possible that they simply do not understand feline nutritional needs (I don't believe vet training includes nutritional schooling), so they think that a dry, grain-based kibble is perfectly acceptable.

There is absolutely no medical reason that I can see that a 6-month-old kitten should be on some kind of prescription diet. Unless he is already suffering from an illness or condition, get him off that food ASAP.

I'm an advocate for raw diets, personally - when I switched my cat, who is now 17 years old, to a fully raw diet 3 years ago, her poop literally does not smell. At all. I can stick my face an inch away from the litterbox and I smell nothing. Her poops are small, dry, and powdery-white, indicating that she is digesting and absorbing nearly all the nutrients from her food. That is why a kitty on kibble/grain-filled canned food lays huge, loose, wet stinkbombs in the litter box - they're passing all the crap they cannot digest, like grains, by-products, and basically anything plant-based. A cat on a raw diet, or at least a high-quality meat-based canned diet, will have FAR less stinky poops.

There are a lot of commercially-available raw foods out there - some are frozen, some are freeze-dried. But I know the raw life isn't easy, and it's not for everyone!

However, I would absolutely switch your little guy to a high-quality, grain-free, real meat CANNED food brand. Innova is good, as are Wellness and Evo. Ziwipeak, Dave's Pet Food, Natural Balance, Blue Buffalo, and my cat's personal favorite Weruva are all also excellent grain-free brands. Honestly, even Fancy Feast Classics (which are actually grain-free!) are better than even the "highest quality" fancy kibble.

Sorry to go on such a soapbox ;} I feel very strongly about my kibble-hate and I believe a lifetime of kibble (before I learned better) contributed heavily to my cat's kidney failure (CRF/CKD). It's much better to switch a kitty over to canned before they become hopeless "kibble addicts".

TL;DR, I see no reason why your kitty has to be on Science Diet/Hills; you absolutely should switch to canned Evo or whatever brand you want to try :}


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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 09:28 AM
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I agree with all that LW said except about feeding EvO/Innova. It was bought out by Mars (reason enough not to feed it) and they are doing away with the products. Start feeding that and you'll be looking for mew foods in the next little bit.

https://www.catforum.com/forum/38-hea...al-innova.html

Science Diet does sell prescription, but mot ONLY prescription. The shelter feeds it because S/D donates huge amounts of food to shelters(an amazingly effective way to drum up business. Think how many people keep right on feeding it because the shelter told them to.)

Yes, vets are very well treated by their prescription food distributors.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 09:42 AM
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Far as I can tell (and may be totally wrong) the reason vets push Hills/Science diet is not medical but financial... they get something from it. I suspect that vets, like people doctors, do not have a whole lot of nutritional training in school. Pity.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 05:47 PM
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my vet wanted my cats to eat hills science when they had diarrhea. i researched the ingredients--which are mainly corn and other grains. hills is really crappy food and vets push it for financial reasons. the wet may be a bit better but the dry is awful. and there is nothing in it that requires a prescription. that is all advertising hype to make you think you are getting something that you are not..

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 08:50 AM
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Unless there is a real health reason I am so against what has happened with your kitten. Even as a prescription I have reservations. For obscure reasons we had some free several years ago - most of them had problems and one was really ill for a short period.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all! I've decided to switch both dry and wet to merricks.


My kitty has been gradually converted to merricks, he's been eating and pooping no problems. But he seems to be more calm now. He used to be psycho especially after I get home from work, but now he just quietly sits next to me and closes his eyes. This is week four after his desex surgery.

Is he ill? Is merricks not suitable for him? He is 6mo, I read desexing him won't actually make a kitten calmer until they eventually age out of the psycho stage.

I have been ill recently, nasty cough sore throat, I'm taking meds from the doctor. Could I have made my kitty sick? Sorry if it sounds idiotic, not sure if cats can catch human diseases. He sleeps next to me every night and I've been coughing pretty badly.

Thanks again!

Last edited by pinkegg; 11-10-2015 at 07:01 AM.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 09:48 PM
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No he won't catch your cold or whatever you have.. when I am laying around on the couch or in bed, one or both cats will be sleeping next to me. So maybe he's just keeping you company. No doubt he'll still race around the house too. But engage him in some play sessions if you think he is not active enough.


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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 10:55 PM
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Nan is right. Cats don't get human colds, so no worries there, feel free to cough and drink lots of liquids to loosen up that phlegm! I know, gross... but better to have thinner secretions than those tenacious ones, I always tend to get a nasty ticklish throat and have terrible coughing fits, so I know.

A 6 month old kitten is turning into an adolescent, so though he may seem calmer to you, sometimes a kitty can be naughty when you're not around to actually watch, lol.

I used to feed Merrick's wet food frequently when my two were little kittens with huge appettites. I loved their line because they had various proteins and textures to choose from, and thought their ingredient list were pretty decent. They were also an affordable brand and easily found at big box stores. As far as smelly poops, it seems to me that the more the food is filled with filler type ingredients, the worse it is. High fiber ones are stuff I usually avoid as those usually indicates some form of grain in it...now some cats might need it, but my two don't. Currently, since my two are mostly on a raw diet, their litter box has zero odor and their poops remain pretty small unless I give them some canned and yup, back to bulky and stinkier poops.
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