A PLea to cat owners

in Pets & Pet Care
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shoperholicnotshoperholicnot Forumite
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Please please please, I beg you, Do NOT feed your cats on a wholly dry food diet.

I had two cats. one is diabetic and during her regular check up I found out that she had early renal failure about a year ago, this i assumed was a complication of the diabetes ( I was also led to believe that this was the case).

Two weeks ago my other cat very suddenly got very ill. I took her to the verts who told me that she was in the end stages of renal failure (often there are no symptoms up to this point) In the end the vet advised me that there was really no hope and I had to put her to sleep. I had her for 15 years, she was my baby and I am devastated.

Took other cat back to vets and they said that after a year there was no furthur deteriation in her kidneys.

The thing is just before she was diagnosed last year I switched her from dry food to wet food, to help control her glucose levels.
My other cat much preferred dried food and i kept her on it.
I wish I had not made that decision.

1 in 5 cats is meant to ger crf, but BOTH my cats are victims to it.

One is well and crf not advancing on wet food.

I had heard that dry food did cause CRF but did not believe it.
NOW I DO.
I am 100% certain now.
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Replies

  • wigginsmumwigginsmum Forumite
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    I'm so sorry that you lost your cat; we very nearly lost one of ours last year for a similar reason (crystals blocking the bladder) - they'd all been on IAMS. He had to have 3 operations and spend 2 weeks at the vets trying to clear the blockage. My vet said dried cat food should be banned.
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  • shoperholicnotshoperholicnot Forumite
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    wigginsmum
    yes it should be banned. what makes me laugh is that it is sold as 'premium' food, so people automatically think that it is the best food for their pets
  • PoppycatPoppycat Forumite
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    I dont feed ours entirely on dry food, as he often brings it back up after fur balls many hours later, so I can only assume it takes ages for the food to digest in his stomach.
  • larmy16larmy16 Forumite
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    I had a female cat that suffered with this complaint. She would keep trying to wee and crouching a lot. I used to mix water in her food and would you believe it cranberry juice which seemed to help! I used to buy her those pouches of fish and chicken, which seemed to hide the cranberry, a bit more expensive than the canned. I understand though, that once a cat has this, it is an ongoing problem.

    I was not in a position though to afford high vets bills, so since then I have decided a pet is a luxury I cannot afford. It's fine if you get one with no probs, just boosters and neutering.

    I had to get her rehomed as she was a vicious cat, but that is another story.
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  • Gingham_RibbonGingham_Ribbon Forumite
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    It's difficult. I am so sorry to hear about your cats and sympathise, having lost 2 to FIP.

    The vets have told me to use a mixture of dried and meat. The meat is to prevent problems with the kidneys and bladder, and the dried is to keep their teeth healthy.

    All mine are rescue cats and have been through various problems. One in particular only has a few teeth (she is only about 7 and lost them when she was about 2.) The vet advised me to only give her dried, but she also gets cystitis when she's nervous (eg if there are men other than my husband in the house.) So for that she should be on only wet food. One of the others throws up a LOT and they don't know why, but it's usually with dried, but he too has had teeth out and needs to be on mixed food.

    I don't know what the answer is, but I do feel for you.
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  • tankgirl1tankgirl1 Forumite
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    GR - sorry to hear you lost your cats to FIP - its an awful disease :(

    back to OP - yes a solely dry diet can cause problems with some cats. overweight neutered males are at most risk. so like GR's vet, i would advise a mixture of wet and dry.

    however, CRF is an EXTREMELY common disorder, and i have seen many cats with it, who have eaten wet food all their lives, so please dont beat yourself up about feeding your cat dry. I used to feed my cat a purely dry diet (before she went missing :() in her case i was happy with my decision- she was a neutered female, and extremely sociable- ie she hardly ever got stressed. (stress is a MAJOR contributor to cystitis in cats). also i was in the fortunate postition, of working at a vets at the time i had her, which meant not only was i aware of the very early tell tale signs of any problems, but i was also able to get a quick check up/blood test for her if i was worried, for no more than a fiver.

    as you said, there are often no clinical signs until the damage is already done . please please dont feel bad about the dry food.

    my heart goes out to you- i know how heartbreaking it can be to lose a beloved pet. (((hugs)))
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    RIP POOCH 5/09/94 - 17/09/07
  • tankgirl1tankgirl1 Forumite
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    OP- re your diabetic cat, do you feed her on a high fibre diet? the fibre helps to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream, thus helping to regulate blood glucose levels.
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    RIP POOCH 5/09/94 - 17/09/07
  • tankgirl1tankgirl1 Forumite
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    GR- pehaps a mixture of dried food, and a special dental diet, such as hills t/d would be best? i used to give the t/d just as a treat, as my cat found them VERY yummy!

    there are also special diets out there (hills do one) for helping prevent cystitis etc, but without knowing your cats case/talking to a vet etc, i couldnt advise if these would be suitable for her.
    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    RIP POOCH 5/09/94 - 17/09/07
  • tankgirl1tankgirl1 Forumite
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    wigginsmum
    yes it should be banned. what makes me laugh is that it is sold as 'premium' food, so people automatically think that it is the best food for their pets


    i dont think dried cat food should be banned. it has its place, but vets should advise their clients more comprehensively in the first place. most receptionists/nurses/vets i have workd with advised dry cat food from kittenhood. IMO they should instead advise of the pros/cons of each type of diet.
    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    RIP POOCH 5/09/94 - 17/09/07
  • SnowyOwl_2SnowyOwl_2 Forumite
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    I lost two cats last year to renal failure - my lovely boy Henry per my avatar who was about 11 or 12 years old (unsure as I took him in when he was a starving stray), and Tabitha who was a stately 18 years old. They were both fed on wet food, as both of them hated dry food. But the state of their teeth, I was so ashamed that they had to go through such torture with their teeth because of the food I gave them. Tabitha in her lifetime with me (I got her when she was 7 from the RSPCA) had three dentals, and only had four back teeth and three canine teeth. Henry had just one dental operation but immediately after he went downhill with kidney failure - I don't know if these are connected or not, but if his kidneys were already weak then the anaesthetic wouldn't have done him any favours.

    I have two new cats, and feed them only on Hill's dry food - these cats are not going to have their teeth rotting in the heads. I am concerned about renal failure but it is so horribly common in cats I am not convinced that wet food is the key - there is a split opinion on this thread, so who knows who is right? All that happens, IMO, is that a cat fed on wet food drinks less water compared to a cat fed on dry.

    What is important is that your cat gets a diet which has all the necessary vitamins and minerals s/he needs, gets as much exercise as needed, and that you use a vet who is genuinely interested and caring for cats. I'm not saying some vets are incompetent - just that some vets have a special interest in cats, some in farm animals, some in birds, some in horses etc etc. Just pick one who has a particular interest in feline health and keeps him/herself bang up to date.
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