I would be interested to know....

bonepicker

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How many people out there have dealt with cat health issues(old age not included) where you feel your cats health issues were a direct result of what you were feeding at the time. No judgements just honest answers.
 

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I fed my previous cat a supposedly premium big name brand of dry food for 8 years. I only occasionally fed canned food. Then my cat became diabetic. From the reading I did online and finding the FelineDiabetes.com and the famous Binky's food charts, I learned that the dry food I had fed for years was extrememly high in carbs and as a result of that put a huge strain on the pancrease until the pancrease failed to work properly. My diabetic cat immediately went on low carb canned food and stayed on that food until he passed away.

I wish the Internet existed back when my previus cat was a kitten with all of the information that is available now so I could have made a better infomred decision on what to feed. I had no idea that dry food was horrible for cat health. Canned food was viewed more of a treat than a meal and was more expensive than dry food.

I refuse to feed dry food now. The only thing dry I will feed is freeze dried raw as treats.
 
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bonepicker

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I fed my previous cat a supposedly premium big name brand of dry food for 8 years. I only occasionally fed canned food. Then my cat became diabetic. From the reading I did online and finding the FelineDiabetes.com and the famous Binky's food charts, I learned that the dry food I had fed for years was extrememly high in carbs and as a result of that put a huge strain on the pancrease until the pancrease failed to work properly. My diabetic cat immediately went on low carb canned food and stayed on that food until he passed away.

I wish the Internet existed back when my previus cat was a kitten with all of the information that is available now so I could have made a better infomred decision on what to feed. I had no idea that dry food was horrible for cat health. Canned food was viewed more of a treat than a meal and was more expensive than dry food.

I refuse to feed dry food now. The only thing dry I will feed is freeze dried raw as treats.
Thank you for your honest feedback.
 

momto3cats

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Not sure if it counts as a health issue, but one of my first two cats became obese because of the poor quality dry food she was eating, I believe. My other cat at the time was quite the hunter and ate what she caught, and she stayed slender, with a much nicer coat than the fat cat.

When I started learning about the ingredients in cat food I switched their diet to a better dry food, and saw great results just from that. The bigger cat lost weight without being put on a diet, still being free- fed dry only.

I now believe wet food is much more appropriate for cats, but that was my first lesson in how much the food I choose for my pets matters.
 

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@hompeicker Curious as to why you are interested in this topic and why you ask for "no judgments" - but perhaps that is only judgments of those who post. I was fortunate before I adopted my three cats several years ago that I got some of my cat education from helping be with and care for 8 cats over a period of a decade of a nearby friend. In addition to learning invaluable principles and practical exp. about multi-cat households I learned a lot about nutrition and so have chosen to raise these cats on a nearly totally home made raw food diet with occasion grain free kibble. At least 5 of the 8 cats seem to have allergic response to the dry food that had been part of their diet. One of them who had spent years calling out and biting at itself toward its rump stopped this once her diet was changed. Another has had serious thyroid issues which are probably in part related to the dry food, which was supposedly "high quality".

As I imagine, you know the pet industry is a huge business and like many is driven only by a monetary profit motive and agenda. For some of those businesses they will choose whatever ingredients, packaging, and marketing that leads from their extensive research to the most profitability. WHile I have no proof in the sense of double blind scientific evidence, it seems to me to be a reasonable hypothesis that creating food addiction and preferably to some flavor etc. in their own product would lead to better profitability. To the extent that that might turn out to be true, then I have some judgment on such practices, not for the people who have been taken advantage of and to the detriment of our animal companions.
 
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bonepicker

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Not sure if it counts as a health issue, but one of my first two cats became obese because of the poor quality dry food she was eating, I believe. My other cat at the time was quite the hunter and ate what she caught, and she stayed slender, with a much nicer coat than the fat cat.

When I started learning about the ingredients in cat food I switched their diet to a better dry food, and saw great results just from that. The bigger cat lost weight without being put on a diet, still being free- fed dry only.

I now believe wet food is much more appropriate for cats, but that was my first lesson in how much the food I choose for my pets matters.
I fed my previous cat a supposedly premium big name brand of dry food for 8 years. I only occasionally fed canned food. Then my cat became diabetic. From the reading I did online and finding the FelineDiabetes.com and the famous Binky's food charts, I learned that the dry food I had fed for years was extrememly high in carbs and as a result of that put a huge strain on the pancrease until the pancrease failed to work properly. My diabetic cat immediately went on low carb canned food and stayed on that food until he passed away.

I wish the Internet existed back when my previus cat was a kitten with all of the information that is available now so I could have made a better infomred decision on what to feed. I had no idea that dry food was horrible for cat health. Canned food was viewed more of a treat than a meal and was more expensive than dry food.

I refuse to feed dry food now. The only thing dry I will feed is freeze dried raw as treats.
Thank you for your honest feedback.
 
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bonepicker

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So if dry food must be fed there are some much healthier ones. They are not all the same.
 

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So if dry food must be fed there are some much healthier ones. They are not all the same.
Without going into the whole dry food is bad etc debate, yes, there are some dry foods that are better in quality than others. If one has to feed dry food, choose one that is grain free if at all possible and lists real meat as the first ingredient. My two cents
 

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My kitty is about 5 years old according to the vet.  We had to guess as he was abandoned by his previous owner in the town I moved from last year.  He was skinny when I got him but not so much that he went without.  Some of my now-former neighbors would feed him, then I got in on it.

I decided to take him in even though pets weren't allowed.  It was going on winter (2012) and I didn't want anything to happen to him.

Pumpkin turned out to be quite a finicky eater.  He loves dry food and will turn up his nose at all canned foods, inc. Fancy Feast.  Pumpkin was pooping ok when I first got him, but as time went on and he adjusted to being an indoor kitty, I think this change might have affected his tummy.  Pumpkin had severe constipation a few times so he's on Lactulose and Laxatone.  His Lactulose had to be increased a little and now he's pooping on a regular basis again (sorry about the graphic details).

Pumpkin doesn't like meat.  He used to nibble on ground beef but now he won't touch it.  Won't eat chicken.  Won't eat turkey.....even home baked.  Nope.  He likes Friskies Indoor Delights with Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Health mixed in.  The vet suggested a dish of his favorite dry food with water added, and he actually likes it, which surprised me.  So, he gets two dishes of food each day - one of the dry food blend and the "soup" made with only the Friskies.

This combination seems to be working pretty good.  I can't get him to eat Royal Canin by itself but he will if I mix it in with the other.  I'm not sure if his tummy is better because of this or the medicine or both.
 

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I fed a supposedly premium dry food to my cat, and she chewed all the fur off her underside for years. At age 15, she got inflammatory bowel disease and kidney failure, so I've switched her to wet food, maybe 8 months ago, and all her fur has grown back. She has had that problem ALL HER LIFE so it was quite a shock.  I've since read taht some vets think an all dry food diet may be contributing to kidney failure, so I plan to feed mostly wet food from now on. I may or may not make some pet food - I take care of some people too and it may be too much more burden. I'm thinking about it, though, since I already have a professional meat grinder and I could put half a chicken thru there at a time. My vet thinks the home recipes are not good enough when I BRIEFLY discussed that with her.  One of my kitties will not eat wet food too much, he wants dry, but he has kidney failure (early stage) and wet food would be better, so this is why I think of making homemade cat food, at least for some of his meals. 
 
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jodiethierry64

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Well I definitely think, before I learned, that what I fed mine contributed to health issues. I have one obese diabetic, one with colitis and one with chronic cystitis.
I use to feed dry Friskies and a scoop of wet. After I read on nutrition I changed to 90% wet and 10% grain free dry. My kitty with Colitis is fine now. My kitty with chronic cystitis still has problems but not as bad. My diabetic is still a work in progress.
They use to vomit a lot and now rarely!! I think the pet food industry has done our furbabies wrong. I know we shouldn't have blind faith but I trusted my vet and she knew what I was feeding, we write it down, and she said nothing. I now research and I shouldn't have to. I should be able to trust a Dr. That's why THEY get the big bucks!!!
I can't apologize to my babies enough! My ignorance made them ill. : (
 

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It took us two years of my cat throwing up to figure out she couldn't tolerate any canned food that was fish flavored.  As her owner, when we figured it out, I was so mad at myself! 

I have a cat now who has feline herpes.  Changing her diet to a grain-free diet, both canned and dry, was one of the best things we did to help control her herpes.  There are many other supplements we've added, but we saw a huge improvement in her health when we eliminated the grains.

I also have another cat who can't tolerate a totally grain-free diet.  It caused him to have diarrhea, so we have added a prescription food that contains grain to his diet to keep his stools firm.  He's still predominately grain-free, but because of his gastrointestinal needs, we have to feed him some grains. 

Lastly, I have seen a vast improvement in the overall health of my third kitty's fur and skin since she came to live with us.  Changing her diet has helped her to have such soft, supple fur.
 
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bonepicker

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It took us two years of my cat throwing up to figure out she couldn't tolerate any canned food that was fish flavored.  As her owner, when we figured it out, I was so mad at myself! 

I have a cat now who has feline herpes.  Changing her diet to a grain-free diet, both canned and dry, was one of the best things we did to help control her herpes.  There are many other supplements we've added, but we saw a huge improvement in her health when we eliminated the grains.

I also have another cat who can't tolerate a totally grain-free diet.  It caused him to have diarrhea, so we have added a prescription food that contains grain to his diet to keep his stools firm.  He's still predominately grain-free, but because of his gastrointestinal needs, we have to feed him some grains. 

Lastly, I have seen a vast improvement in the overall health of my third kitty's fur and skin since she came to live with us.  Changing her diet has helped her to have such soft, supple fur.
Good to know thanks for your input.
 

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I definitely feel that Hill's Weight Control kibble was a direct contributor to Grey's diabetes, and even higher quality kibble led to her kidney failure years later.  I tried fountains, water all over the place and she drank well...but ultimately the damage from diabetes and dry took their toll.  I made it a point to never feed dry again.  Then I got 3 new cats after she died.  These 3 cats were on cheap canned but suffered IBS-D, so I ended up feeding raw.  My new rescue started on dry (what his former owner fed), but has switched to raw and the pee balls and poops are amazingly different.  What's even more amazing to me is how little water they drink/need compared to before raw, and especially compared to my dear Grey.
 

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I definitely feel that Hill's Weight Control kibble was a direct contributor to Grey's diabetes, and even higher quality kibble led to her kidney failure years later.  I tried fountains, water all over the place and she drank well...but ultimately the damage from diabetes and dry took their toll.  I made it a point to never feed dry again.  Then I got 3 new cats after she died.  These 3 cats were on cheap canned but suffered IBS-D, so I ended up feeding raw.  My new rescue started on dry (what his former owner fed), but has switched to raw and the pee balls and poops are amazingly different.  What's even more amazing to me is how little water they drink/need compared to before raw, and especially compared to my dear Grey.
Hi Peaches,
My Buster Brown is diabetic and obese. I wss finally talked into, by vet, to get the prescription weight loss food. He had gained 2 pounds on the diet I had him on. He was 18 lbs and I was feeding him like a 17 lb and he gained 2 lbs so now he's 20 lbs. He was on a canned diet. I'm not fond of prescriptions but I am desperate. I don't want his life shortened. I'm so scared especially after reading about your Grey. I can't do raw and he won't eat cooked. What or where nexted???
 

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Go grain free canned food and feed less
I have. I was feeding him the calories of a 17 lb cat when he was 18 lb. Too much of a calorie decrease and they will have liver problems. He's on 15 units of Lantus a day some days a little less some days based on his b/g levels.
 

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Hi Peaches,
My Buster Brown is diabetic and obese. I wss finally talked into, by vet, to get the prescription weight loss food. He had gained 2 pounds on the diet I had him on. He was 18 lbs and I was feeding him like a 17 lb and he gained 2 lbs so now he's 20 lbs. He was on a canned diet. I'm not fond of prescriptions but I am desperate. I don't want his life shortened. I'm so scared especially after reading about your Grey. I can't do raw and he won't eat cooked. What or where nexted???
Actually, I should have mentioned that the vets still complained about Grey's weight on Weight Control by Hill's and I was feeding her the amount for a cat  2/3 her size.  I had a hungry and unhappy cat.  Now what was the point in her gaining weight and being hungry?  Ugh. 

What canned foods was he eating?  What is the prescription food?  Since this kitty is on Lantus, I suggest also posting at the feline diabetes message board at http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/.
 

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A significant number of our previous cats died of kidney failure. We thought we were feeding good-quality dry food (Prescription Diet C/D then W/D). We tried the canned versions, but the cats refused it. Our vets indicated two had to be on prescription food and it wouldn't hurt the others. One cat was significantly overweight and was always hungry on W/D; he ended up dying of heart failure.

With our current cats, we selected a good-quality grain-free dry food. The male cat, Tim, had frequent hairballs and was on Laxatone. He vomited and had diarrhea occasionally. When Tim was less than two years old, he had his first episode of constipation and obstipation, which resulted in a visit to the emergency vet and an enema. The vet said he appeared to be dehydrated and suggested a water fountain to encourage more drinking. Two years later, despite Tim practically living at the water fountain and him throwing his kibble in the water bowl before he fished it out and ate it, he became backed up again, and this time it was worse. The vet put him on cisapride and warned of megacolon.

We decided to transition the cats to mostly canned food, as I was terrified of the possibility of megacolon. We fed a premium brand of canned food, but Tim still had frequent hairballs; frequency might have even increased. He still had diarrhea. He still vomited on occasion. He developed urinary struvite crystals (you read that right; he did not have crystals on dry but got them on canned). He developed mild asthma. It was after a weekend of constant vomiting and our vets not having any answers for us except more drugs, each of which caused a new problem, and strongly suggesting prescription food for urinary crystals, that I changed foods again. This time I avoided chicken, only because that was in every food he vomited, then a few days later, carrageenan, because that was also in every food he vomited.

Today, Tim is a healthy cat that eats ~60% commercial raw and ~40% canned. We give him a Tbsp of kibble a few times a week as a treat. He has not had a hairball since May; before that, he hadn't had one since February, shortly after I changed his food. No diarrhea or vomiting since May. No crystals. No asthma. Tim is off all medications and we are tapering some of the supplements we used to help wean him off cisapride. Tim may still have a sensitive stomach, but I think even that is improving; he gorged on canned food that I accidentally left out on Saturday with no ill effects.

So, yeah, I do believe Tim's health issues were a direct result of what I was feeding him. While he actually had more problems on canned, it may have been cumulative. I don't intend to go back to dry to find out, however, because we can't risk another severe constipation/obstipation episode.
 

jodiethierry64

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Actually, I should have mentioned that the vets still complained about Grey's weight on Weight Control by Hill's and I was feeding her the amount for a cat  2/3 her size.  I had a hungry and unhappy cat.  Now what was the point in her gaining weight and being hungry?  Ugh. 

What canned foods was he eating?  What is the prescription food?  Since this kitty is on Lantus, I suggest also posting at the feline diabetes message board at http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/.

He was on Blue Buffalo and Friskies Pate mixed. I had to do it that way or he wouldn't touch the Blue!! I rescued him as a stray. He was a healthy 12lbs. I got him neutered and 5 months later he was 18 lbs and 3 months after that diabetic. He was on Friskies dry and just when I read about nutrition and changed his diet to can he became diabetic.
He's on Hill's prescription.
 
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