Dry Food/Constipation

kalebkat

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Hi All! I haven’t been around for a long time! I used to post a lot until Kaleb and I moved. It took a while for us to settle. Kaleb is 5 now and I thought we’d do a check back! Plus question.
Mostly all these years Kaleb was on Earthborn wet and dry. This was after he got bored of the usual weruva . But now hes getting a mix of fussie cat And Canidae dry, and weruva wet.I’m afraid to take him off dry food even though some experts say going with only wet food is better and dry is no good. Sometimes he doesn’t eat his wet food at all and he’s gotten rather picky, which is why my vet said keep him on one singular brand because switching around can cause picky eating. I’m at a loss here on his constipation. Weruva helps a lot because the one he eats is all fish. But when should I be worried about any problems with urinary? Does fish cause that? Does dry food cause that? If not, what does dry food cause? I do have a lot of questions soI thank you!
 

Maurey

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I’m afraid to take him off dry food even though some experts say going with only wet food is better and dry is no good.
Is there any particular reason you're hesitant to take him off dry food? Dry food provides no benefits over wet food, as kibble cleaning teeth is a myth.

Sometimes he doesn’t eat his wet food at all and he’s gotten rather picky, which is why my vet said keep him on one singular brand because switching around can cause picky eating
I've found the opposite to be true. Providing my cat with variety from a young age has made her a hoover who will refuse next to nothing, though, granted, she's always been food-oriented. If you're having trouble getting him to eat his wet, sprinkling a small amount of topper onto his wet food (grinding up his dry food can be a good choice, a lot of dry foods will have flavour enhancers that some cats find addicting. Alternatively, brewers yeast or fortiflora can help, as can boiled chicken, if your cat enjoys it), and gradually restricting dry food access will help.

I’m at a loss here on his constipation. Weruva helps a lot because the one he eats is all fish. But when should I be worried about any problems with urinary? Does fish cause that? Does dry food cause that? If not, what does dry food cause? I do have a lot of questions soI thank you!
Dry food can cause chronic constipation due to dehydration.

Fish is a poor choice as a primary diet. While it provides very beneficial fatty acids, there are heavy metal concerns, as well as phosphorous content concerns (can lead to kidney issues). If you feed fish, you need to rotate to other protein sources.

Dry food can lead to urinary and kidney issues due to lack of moisture and has been linked to diabetes due to the average carb content being so much higher than is species appropriate.
 
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kalebkat

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Thanks so much Maurey. Your reply gave me a LOT of perspective. Reasoning I’m afraid of taking him off dry is because one day he may refuse food, and the dry would be there. Or I could coax him to eat the wet by adding dry. Going by what the veterinarian said was what made me hesitate about the rotating. She promoted wet over dry but didn’t say it’s better to not have dry, at all. Just someone at the pet store and here. But I do trust their advice and yours,so what do I need to do? I already have a very good deal of food to cycle on because I’ve been preparing for this.
 

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Happy to help! Just for full disclosure, IANAV, but I am in research science, so I've read a lot of research on the topic of feline nutritional research, as I'm obsessive about my kitty's health. That said, I won't say that it's best to go against your vet's advice, especially if you have no reason to doubt them.
However, it's important to remember that your average vet isn't trained in nutrition. If you want the PoV of someone trained in the field who'll be able to give you very relevant advice, it could be beneficial to consult with a veterinary nutritionist. I'm heavily biased against highly processed foods like kibbles, even though I know they're a necessary evil, in some cases, and beneficial as temporary measures in others. Generally, nutritionists will be able to provide an educated, and less biased PoV.

I can provide limited advice on encouraging a kitty to eat a new food, as my girl has been on various formulations of prey model raw since weaning. I'm sure people with firsthand experience will be along soon!

Based on my reading, and my friends' experiences, though, there are a few major steps that help early on.
- Removing free access to food (i.e. switching to timed feedings). This may be more peacefully achieved by gradually limiting the amount of dry food you leave for him to free feed on before cutting it out completely. Limiting the food he's addicted to may encourage him eating wet food, in general.
- In hand with above, reduce the amount of dry food you put out, and how long you leave it out for with timed feedings. Offering wet food before dry, and leaving it out for a while without giving into wailing for dry food may encourage him to eat his wet food out of hunger, as well. Leaving out wet food for an hour or two is fine, unless it's boiling where you are, but if he refuses to touch it, it's fine to put it away and try again later. Prolonged fasting is bad for a cat, but skipping a meal in an animal without any pre-existing liver or kidney conditions shouldn't cause any trouble.
- Toppers. Try not to offer these with every meal, and vary them per meal, especially as your cat adapts to having wet food meals. Having a topper (especially the same one) makes it not-exciting anymore, essentially. Toppers are generally to be used when an animal is completely reluctant to eat.
Ideally, you'll want to eventually completely stop sprinkling dry food on his wet food, and rotate in other alternatives, like yeast, fortiflora, or chicken.
- Have patience, and don't be concerned about taking it slow. Some cats can take a while, and that's okay too. Long as you move forward a bit at a time :>

On a different note, has your vet recommended adding pumpkin or egg yolk into his diet for his constipation? If it's dehydration causing his issues, adding a broth into his kibbles before you're able to get him eating more wet food can be a good idea, as well. Tiki cat have a line of broth sachets, if memory serves.
 
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kalebkat

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Happy to help! Just for full disclosure, IANAV, but I am in research science, so I've read a lot of research on the topic of feline nutritional research, as I'm obsessive about my kitty's health. That said, I won't say that it's best to go against your vet's advice, especially if you have no reason to doubt them.
However, it's important to remember that your average vet isn't trained in nutrition. If you want the PoV of someone trained in the field who'll be able to give you very relevant advice, it could be beneficial to consult with a veterinary nutritionist. I'm heavily biased against highly processed foods like kibbles, even though I know they're a necessary evil, in some cases, and beneficial as temporary measures in others. Generally, nutritionists will be able to provide an educated, and less biased PoV.

I can provide limited advice on encouraging a kitty to eat a new food, as my girl has been on various formulations of prey model raw since weaning. I'm sure people with firsthand experience will be along soon!

Based on my reading, and my friends' experiences, though, there are a few major steps that help early on.
- Removing free access to food (i.e. switching to timed feedings). This may be more peacefully achieved by gradually limiting the amount of dry food you leave for him to free feed on before cutting it out completely. Limiting the food he's addicted to may encourage him eating wet food, in general.
- In hand with above, reduce the amount of dry food you put out, and how long you leave it out for with timed feedings. Offering wet food before dry, and leaving it out for a while without giving into wailing for dry food may encourage him to eat his wet food out of hunger, as well. Leaving out wet food for an hour or two is fine, unless it's boiling where you are, but if he refuses to touch it, it's fine to put it away and try again later. Prolonged fasting is bad for a cat, but skipping a meal in an animal without any pre-existing liver or kidney conditions shouldn't cause any trouble.
- Toppers. Try not to offer these with every meal, and vary them per meal, especially as your cat adapts to having wet food meals. Having a topper (especially the same one) makes it not-exciting anymore, essentially. Toppers are generally to be used when an animal is completely reluctant to eat.
Ideally, you'll want to eventually completely stop sprinkling dry food on his wet food, and rotate in other alternatives, like yeast, fortiflora, or chicken.
- Have patience, and don't be concerned about taking it slow. Some cats can take a while, and that's okay too. Long as you move forward a bit at a time :>

On a different note, has your vet recommended adding pumpkin or egg yolk into his diet for his constipation? If it's dehydration causing his issues, adding a broth into his kibbles before you're able to get him eating more wet food can be a good idea, as well. Tiki cat have a line of broth sachets, if memory serves.
yes she has and he loves the Stella and Cheweys chicken broth!!! He’s also not that picky when I switch but he does get bored after a couple weeks. I don’t think rotating brands and flavors will be a problem. He also has good results from fortiflora, but when the vet suggested L-lysine she said he can do without the fortiflora....I was thinking “ whaaaaa? “ he does so well on that!!” But it was because I had been giving him green mush too, have you heard of it?
 

Maurey

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He also has good results from fortiflora, but when the vet suggested L-lysine she said he can do without the fortiflora....I was thinking “ whaaaaa? “ he does so well on that!!” But it was because I had been giving him green mush too, have you heard of it?
I don't see why one should prevent the use of the other, especially when there's little evidence to support that L-lysine beneficially affects cats (plus, L-lysine is marketed to aid with immune boosting/preventing URIs, so not sure what one has to do with the other). Lysine supplementation is not effective for the prevention or treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection in cats: a systematic review

I'm very... skeptical about green mush, shall we say. First of all, I really hate that it's affiliated with a company that's promoting vegan diets for your obligate carnivores. Secondly, it professes that because something is natural it's better 100% of the time. Thirdly, and most importantly, it's not been on trial to determine any levels of efficacy (at least that I have found) -- I'm guessing they cherry picked a few studies that might not even be conducted in the same organisms as they're selling for that found that x ingredient does y. The fact that the first site I found when googling the product mentions that it helps 'detoxification' makes me even more skeptical -- that's the same bs that human-targeted companies spout about detox tea, or smoothies, etc, etc. Our bodies don't need detoxification, and neither do our cats'. That's what the liver is for. To nitpick another thing -- they claim the supplement is highly absorbable. This isn't true. Studies unaffiliated with major pet food brands have all found that cats have a hard time absorbing nutrients from plant-sourced materials, as opposed to animal-sourced ones.
 
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kalebkat

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I don't see why one should prevent the use of the other, especially when there's little evidence to support that L-lysine beneficially affects cats (plus, L-lysine is marketed to aid with immune boosting/preventing URIs, so not sure what one has to do with the other). Lysine supplementation is not effective for the prevention or treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection in cats: a systematic review

I'm very... skeptical about green mush, shall we say. First of all, I really hate that it's affiliated with a company that's promoting vegan diets for your obligate carnivores. Secondly, it professes that because something is natural it's better 100% of the time. Thirdly, and most importantly, it's not been on trial to determine any levels of efficacy (at least that I have found) -- I'm guessing they cherry picked a few studies that might not even be conducted in the same organisms as they're selling for that found that x ingredient does y. The fact that the first site I found when googling the product mentions that it helps 'detoxification' makes me even more skeptical -- that's the same bs that human-targeted companies spout about detox tea, or smoothies, etc, etc. Our bodies don't need detoxification, and neither do our cats'. That's what the liver is for. To nitpick another thing -- they claim the supplement is highly absorbable. This isn't true. Studies unaffiliated with major pet food brands have all found that cats have a hard time absorbing nutrients from plant-sourced materials, as opposed to animal-sourced ones.
Ok. Thank you for that info. the vet gave me a free bag of the l-lysine that another client passed up after they ordered it for her. It says it helps the immune system, respiratory, and normal eye function. I will not put him back on green mush. The other supplement I have is Ultra Oil skin and coat supplement, I just got a free sample at the local grain free food store,it has hemp in it and omegas. I guess that’s a better one, what do you think?
 

Maurey

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Ultra Oil looks fine to me, after a brief skim :> Personally, I think just plain fish oil might work out cheaper and provide the same omegas, but if it works for your kitty, no reason to not use it! I'm sure other people will be by soon to give a different perspective on everything, though. I am, admittedly, very biased ahah.
 
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kalebkat

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Well, thanks! You’ve helped a lot!
 
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kalebkat

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Maurey,

is there any particular supplement for urinary health or prevention of illness you could point out? Hemp is good but I don’t see/know how it helps cats
 

Maurey

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Best preventative is good hydration, imo, through wet food and providing water. Urinary foods will contain a compound that acidifies urine, but with longterm use can cause overly acidic urine, which can lead to oxalate stones.
 
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kalebkat

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Ok. Thanks. That’s REALLY good to know. I called my vet and she says it’s better to keep them on wet/dry for variety. Then she said feeding a constant supply of fish won’t cause urinary tract problems. But, not sure about that since it came up in a search too. Just on plain ol internet
 
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kalebkat

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Sorry but my baby is important to me and why a vet would give advice that could damage his health i don’t know. I really think I side with you on the no dry thing, just don’t know how he’ll take to it
 

Maurey

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I called my vet and she says it’s better to keep them on wet/dry for variety.
Variety is great, but dry food isn't needed for that, imo. I'd just give different protein sources, and feed a rotation of brands, both to prevent feeding the same additives all the time, and so that you'll have less fuss if a recipe is altered or discontinued.

Then she said feeding a constant supply of fish won’t cause urinary tract problems. But, not sure about that since it came up in a search too.
Some vets are old school, others didn't have any significant level of training in nutrition in veterinary school, so they just go with what they were taught in the lectures they had on the topic, which, from my understanding were commonly funded or somehow otherwise related to major vet food brands.

Cats are originated from desert animals, and, as such, don't drink much water, as they're biologically evolved to get most of their moisture from their food. Because of that, low moisture diets aren't particularly biologically-appropriate, imo. I think your vet is advising you to the best of their knowledge, but generally, your average vet doesn't have much training in nutrition.

Sorry but my baby is important to me and why a vet would give advice that could damage his health i don’t know. I really think I side with you on the no dry thing, just don’t know how he’ll take to it
Completely understandable! For now, just take the transition slow, and see how he goes. If you're having trouble, perhaps make a new thread specifically on transitioning onto a wet food diet. I'm sure plenty of people here will have good advice :>
 

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Sorry but my baby is important to me and why a vet would give advice that could damage his health i don’t know. I really think I side with you on the no dry thing, just don’t know how he’ll take to it

You don't need the vet's approval to ditch dry food or feed whatever you feel is best for your cat. Many vets have little knowledge about nutrition. It's not taught in depth in vet school. Just politely disagree with the vet about food and leave it at that. If the vet insists on X food, be firm about your decision. It's YOUR cat and YOU make the decision. The vet can't force you to feed something else. A new vet may be in order if the current vet refuses to provide vet care for your cat.
 
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