Cat Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, everyone! I recently (i.e. about a month ago) adopted a 6-year-old female longhair cat. She was a rescue, brought into my vet by a man who asked that she be put to sleep. He brought her in in a sealed container. She was scared to death and very matted. He said she was no longer using her litter box and he was "sick of her." Fortunately one of the receptionists intervened and, with the man's permission, she and one of the vets decided to try to find the cat a new home.

As it turns out, the reason why she was no longer using her litter box is that she had crystals in her urine. Once that issue was resolved, she was able to be adopted and, knowing that I'd recently lost my 22-year-old cat, Annie, my vet asked me if I'd be interested in giving her a new home. So, that's how I came to get her.

I was told that she would have to be on the Urinary SO diet from here on out. (It's canned food, not dry.) It contains chicken liver, chicken and salmon, and she seems to really like it. I cannot believe how many people I've had react almost in horror that she would be put on this diet long-term. Almost everybody I've talked to (mostly on another forum) has had nothing positive to say about Royal Canin either, and several have gone so far as to say, "Vets don't know anything about feline nutrition." I haven't wanted to get into a fight with anybody, but it's hard for me to imagine switching her diet from what my vet said to feed her to what some strangers online have told me. So, anyway, I'm here for some second and third opinions. What do you all think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Since Gandalf's blockages and subsequent PU surgery, he has been on SO and loves it. He prefers the dry, however to the wet, and so far, he has de-crystalized fairly quickly after about 2.5 months. He still gets Greenies for treats still since he can't have Temptations anymore, but he adjusted easily to it. My vets and other PU posts I have read swear by it, and excepting for those that can execute a fully raw diet consistently, its the best option available. I'm in the pro-SO camp. Hope this helps you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Welcome to the forum Katspur! I am so glad you brought up the "vets don't know anything about nutrition" issue.

People who make that claim are wrong, but their point is valid. Let me explain. Pet food manufacturers, not professors, teach veterinary students what they want them to believe is a healthy diet for animals with chronic medical conditions. For example, they only care about the amount of protein, not the protein source, and add plant ingredients and call something healthy because their recipes have enough protein. Their representatives go to vet schools and tell the students cats need protein from grains or pretend fruits and vegetables are necessary for cats for the same reasons people need them. The result is prescriptions do not have the right ingredients for general feline health because vets are only taught what is needed to treat the problem. You can read everything about this in the book "Not Fit for a Dog!" (sold on Amazon) that has four chapters on prescription diets for cats despite the title.

Of course, you never want to tell the vet, "I read on the Internet prescription diets are bad for cats." But you can decline to feed your cat a prescription diet. Some people can't afford them. Not all cats like food that comes from the vet. There are regular cat foods at pet stores that can help cats with urinary crystals. Not only do cats like them, but you save a ton of money that way. I don't think a vet would be mad at you unless you act like a know-it-all.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions, I have more answers.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,495 Posts
from a vet's blog:

Pet food companies absolutely do NOT teach the nutrition classes in vet school. Veterinary colleges utilize professors that are specialists in their field and are independent of any for-profit company. Various vendors and companies have given lunchtime lectures at schools, but that is not related to classes and are always voluntary. The curriculum is also determined by academics to meet standards of education and testing in the field. These companies have absolutely no influence whatsoever over the content of these classes. I challenge anyone who feels differently to find an official for-credit veterinary nutrition course taught by someone working for a food company.
But I don't think nutrition is a large part of vet school. Many vets still recommend dry food for cats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your prompt responses. My cat (Allie is her name; I forgot to mention that earlier) is really weird in that she simply will not drink water unless it's water that her food is sitting in. Honestly, it's the strangest thing I've ever seen in a cat. I was told this when I took her, and the vet said that as long as I just add a little water to the bowl when I give her the canned food, she'll be getting enough liquid. I don't mix the food and the water (i.e. stirring the water in with the food). I just put the food in the bowl and add about a quarter of an inch of water around the edges. Sounds yucky, but she likes it that way. At any rate, I don't think I could ever try going with a dry food for her because of this little peculiarity she has.

The SO food is extremely expensive, though. We also have a dog and another cat, and Allie's food costs about the same as my two other pets' food put together. What is in the SO food that makes it different from any other canned food? I feed our other cat (a 12-week-old kitten named Samantha) canned food in gravy, so it's extremely moist. I would love to be able to switch Allie over to it, if I could do so safely. I have to separate the two cats at feeding time so that Allie is sure to get her own food, because Samantha will eat it as well as her own food. I am taking Samantha to the vet for some shots on Monday, so I'll run this all by the vet, but I really do appreciate everyone's comments and input. I'd like to be as knowledgeable about the SO food as possible when I go in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
SO is designed to increase the Ph balance in the cats urine, thereby preventing crystals from forming. It takes about 4 weeks to correct if no other food is introduced during that time frame. It also makes them thirstier, which encourages them to drink more water to further dilute the struvites. Its expensive, but preventative if you don't have to go through blockages and surgery. For us it was either new diet and surgery or put him to sleep. There is a lot of good info on raw diets for cats out there which I might consider in the future, but pay attention to Ph levels, particularly with males. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,495 Posts
Okay, I don't want to judge, maybe that's what you can afford, but that's really low quality food.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,095 Posts
Oh my goodness, all she needed was treatment for crystals, but her owner was ready to put her to sleep? :( What a sad story, though with a happy ending for her!

Just one more thing to add to what LovingFurballs and marie said about pet food companies and vet schools: my holistic vet said he always knew most of the RC and Hill's foods were junk, but that he fed both to his own pets throughout vet school, as did all of the other vet students. Why? Because the companies provided it to them for free.

Like many of the other posters you heard from elsewhere, I'm generally opposed to RC and Hill's, because of the poor quality of the ingredients in most of their foods. However, several members here have said that while many of the prescription diets are a waste of money, those that are specifically formulated for urinary care are worth it, because of what Gandalf's Mom noted.

If she goes several months with no issues, I wonder if you might be able to cut back on the rx food, maybe feeding that 3-4, or 4-5 times a week and then rounding out her diet with something else?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I don't want to judge, maybe that's what you can afford, but that's really low quality food.
It's probably not all I can afford, but we'd just barely gotten the kitten and I got a super buy on it at Sam's Club, so I thought... What the heck. I used to feed my last cat (who lived to be a very healthy 22 years old, and died this past summer) Deli Delights. I can't remember, but that might have also been a Friskies product. She was a picky eater, who wouldn't eat any kind of fish, so I had to chose only chicken, bee, and turkey meals. She loved them and thrived on them. There is a small pet food store right next door to our vet that stocks all kinds of supposedly very healthy foods -- brands I've never heard of, some from Canada. I don't want to feed any of my pets substandard quality food, but right now, Allie's food is costing us $1.20 a can, and they're those little tiny cans. That's $2.40 a day or $72 a month. Then, with another cat and a dog and probably a second dog this coming spring, we'll be spending half as much on our pets as we do on two adult humans. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to feed them all healthy food, but I would like to do so as economically as I can. What kind of food would you suggest for the kitten? (She will no longer eat kitten food, by the way.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Oh my goodness, all she needed was treatment for crystals, but her owner was ready to put her to sleep? :( What a sad story, though with a happy ending for her!
That's very nice of you to say, and I want you to know that I appreciate it. Allie came to me very scared and shy. She even escaped through the doggie door on one of her very first nights home. We had flyers out and everything. I was just about to call HomeAgain when I saw one of my neighbors running up to my front porch. "I think I've got your cat under my daughter's bed!" she said. Turns out Allie had gone into their house through their doggie door. Poor thing was so scared. She's had a rough start, but she is starting to warm up to me and to the other animals.


@ spirite - This is going to be a challenge. There are four vets where we take our pets. It was not my regular vet who initially prescribed the RC SO food, so when I have Samantha (the kitten) in to see my regular vet on Monday for her shots, I'll see what she thinks. I've known her for years an years, and think I can have an honest discussion with her without her being offended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
My cat will not eat fish either, but I don't care. Chicken is healthier for cats anyway. When you say "no longer eat kitten food," do you mean she is old enough to switch to adult foods? How old is the kitten?

Wow, 22 years is great. Your cat was very lucky to live so long and still be healthy until the end. My last cat missed her 20th birthday by 6 months after losing a battle with CRF. Never forget the good times.

Fortunately, higher quality cat food does not have to be expensive. Once you find a food your kitten loves, you can subscribe to it online to save 15% on each order. If you do this, you can change the frequency and amount (for example, 2 cases every 6 weeks). The downside is you can't order a variety pack. To order two flavors or brands, you need two different subscriptions. Do a feeding trial locally first to make sure your kitten likes one flavor and brand enough to never get tired of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
She's 16 weeks. (I messed up; I've been telling people she's a little younger than that, but I double-checked before posting this.)


Yeah, I rescued her as a tiny kitten, abandoned with her siblings on a riverbank in September, 1995. She was actually very healthy up until the day before we had her put to sleep. She started having seizures and the vet said it was almost certainly a brain lesion. I fed her the only thing she would eat, which was Deli Delights.


I'll check it out. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Following this as I am hoping to learn more about what foods I might want to shift to once I get my new cat digestive issue squared away (other thread). Like with one being a male, do I need to lean towards certain foods for him. So much to learn.

Oh and like Katspur, Duchess (previous cat) lived 18+ years. Food was mainly fancy feast. But she did have hyperthyroidism for the last 8 or 10 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'd forgotten who makes Deli Delights until I saw your post. It's actually Fancy Feast Deli Delights and it's by Purina. Quite possibly I'm going to be told that Purina puts out poor quality food, too, and I suppose that could be right. All I can say is that it's virtually all Annie would eat for most of her 22 years, and she was healthy up until the very end, so it couldn't have been that bad.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top