Are Prescription Cat Foods Worth It?

Diabetic Cats Like Me Love Our Food!If you haven’t visited Catster, you should.  They have wonderful and informative articles, and I find them to be a good source of information about felines like me.  Today I want to share the findings of a veterinarian who wrote about prescription cat foods.  Diabetic cats like me need to keep a close eye on our diets, so this was important for me to read.

Here is what the veterinarian had to say about some prescription diets:

  • Life stage, lifestyle, and breed specific diets do not help cats very much.  Catster’s veterinarian feels that the marketing claims made do not have a sound basis in veterinary medicine.
  • Kidney health diets are good in theory, but not good in practice.  Cats with kidney problems cannot eliminate nitrogen and phosphorus efficiently.  Kidney health diets claim to address this by lowering the protein content in their food because proteins break down into these elements.  But cat’s bodies do not have much control over how much protein they break down.  Thus, even if the amount of it in food is reduced, this may not reduce the amount that gets broken down into nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • Diabetic cats like me can benefit from food designed for us.  We need to keep the amount of carbohydrates in our food down, and high protein diets help us do this.  But the important thing to remember is that most diabetic cats will still need insulin even if we use a prescription diet so it is not a cure all. Special diets can help diabetic cats
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases can be treated with special diets. Easily digestible foods, or ones with limited ingredients, can help reduce the vomiting and other digestive tract problems that cats with this disease deal with.
  • Urinary tract diseases also can benefit from foods designed for cats suffering from this condition.  Catster’s veterinarian saw good results from these foods and he highly recommends them for cats with this disease.
  • Raw foods are okay as long as care is taken to ensure that bacterial contamination does not occur and that all feline nutrition needs are taken care of

What are your experiences with prescription foods?  Please share them with me so that I can learn and so can the rest of my readers.

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4 Replies to “Are Prescription Cat Foods Worth It?”

  1. In my experience, prescription kidney food has been a godsend. My cat was diagnosed with renal failure in April 2008. He is still active and spry at age 19 and his BUN and creat levels have held all this time. I also had a diabetic cat who lived many years with her w/d diabetic formula cat food and daily insulin shots. In my experience, prescription food has helped.

  2. We’ve used a variety of prescription diets for our dog and two cats. It seems to work well for the dog (RC Satiety dry – he has bad arthritis and needs to keep his weight very low but this keeps him feeling full) but we mixed it with a higher-quality dry. We have not had good luck with the cat ones though. Chairman was on Hills I/D (wet and dry) for a few years and Hills K/D after that (for IBD and kidney failure) but the only thing that has seem to make him better was to give him higher quality wet food and weekly SQ fluids. Since he has switched foods he has stopped all his symptoms of IBD (constipation, several days of vomiting in a row) and his kidneys seem to be doing well. I have nothing bad to say about K/D but I/D certainly didn’t help.

    1. Yeah, it’s hard to say because there are so many different things going on. I like what the vet wrote because he never said don’t do it, he said don’t expect miracles. It doesn’t hurt to try and if it doesn’t work, then you move on to something else. Kind of like my strategy to get outside on the balcony to “just look at the bird.”

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