Phosphates Research indicate bad source of phosphorus for cats.

Jojo&Tutu

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My nutrition veterinarian Dr. Lisa Weeth DVM DACVN recommended to stay away from cat food that had Tricalcium phosphate or Dicalcium phosphate in it. I did an internet search to find out why and found this article summarizing much of the research done.
Calcium phosphate,Tricalcium phosphate, Dicalcium phosphate and even Sodium phosphates, etc all contribute to kidney failure because of how much more phosphates get taken up into a cat’s blood compared to a natural source of phosphorus. I think you should read this article and pass it on to your nutritionists formulating your cat and dog food and change your source of phosphorus to something safer and perhaps more natural. It is not just how much phosphorus is in a can of cat food but also how much will end up taken up into the blood affecting the kidneys and contributing to kidney failure.

Research:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.15961
 
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Jojo&Tutu

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I think using other forms of minerals other than phosphates might help a lot. I read that having four times the calcium, adding fiber and magnesium helps reduce the phosphorus. Wish companies could keep up with all this and fix their formulas. I will talk to Dr. Lisa Weeth DVM, DACVN to see if she has any further advice.
 

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Yikes, that’s upsetting to consider given I just checked my top three cat foods and they all have tricalcium phosphate. Also makes “low phosphorus“ foods seem sketchy if they still contain phosphates.

What’s even more interesting, why does phosphorus even need to be added given the natural sources for it are meat? Is it cooked out?

Looking at some common renal/low phosphorus by various brands
Royal Canin Renal: sodium pyrophosphate
Hill’s k/d: L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (unsure if this is still considered a phosphate or not)
Weruva Wx: Impressively does not contain any phosphates in the chicken flavor I looked at
 
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Jojo&Tutu

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Yikes, that’s upsetting to consider given I just checked my top three cat foods and they all have tricalcium phosphate. Also makes “low phosphorus“ foods seem sketchy if they still contain phosphates.

What’s even more interesting, why does phosphorus even need to be added given the natural sources for it are meat? Is it cooked out?

Looking at some common renal/low phosphorus by various brands
Royal Canin Renal: sodium pyrophosphate
Hill’s k/d: L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (unsure if this is still considered a phosphate or not)
Weruva Wx: Impressively does not contain any phosphates in the chicken flavor I looked at
I have a more recent post on all this that clarify it so I’ll post it again ina couple reply’s here:

Why phosphates can be bad for cats:

I spoke to my veterinarian nutritionist Dr. Lisa Weeth DVM DACVN of Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital, Los Angeles, California. She initially advised me to stay away from cat foods that have Dicalcium or Tricalcium phosphates in them. I did some research and found a problem with Sodium tripolyphosphates. I asked her why tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphates are bad for a cat and also about sodium tripolyphosphate. She said:

If calcium phosphate is from bone meal it’s ok but if it is not from meat or bone it can grab onto other minerals so minerals end up depositing in the kidneys which is damaging to the kidneys. A lot depends on how much of the phosphorus in the formula is from tricalcium-phosphate or dicalcium-phosphate. The pet food manufacturers use these as a cheap available source for calcium. If low on the list of ingredients it is likely ok. If more of the phosphorus in the diet is coming from it then it is a problem for the kidneys - increase markers of kidney damage were found in the cats in research. Purina and Royal Canin sponsored the research. They should be adjusting their cat diets.

To clarify. It has to do with the percentage of phosphorus that is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate vs natural sources like ground up bone. If it only 30% from tricalcium or dicalcium phosphate that’s ok but if it is like 70% that’s when it is a problem. That’s when she said if it is low on the list of ingredients there is likely another source of phosphorus (hopefully). Wish the food manufacturers will list a clarification on that. Maybe we should start requesting that information so they list it somewhere on their website. Ask: What percentage of phosphorus is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate? That a bit of a different question than: What is the percentage of phosphorus (on a dry matter basis) that is in the whole formula?

Regarding Sodium tripolyphosphate;

This Is often used to prevent tarter. Sodium breaks apart calcium phosphorus complex forms and binds to calcium preventing plaque forming. However in the gastro-intestinal system it causes phosphorus to enter blood more rapidly at higher available levels which is like having more phosphorus in the formula which can affect the kidneys. Calcium dampers the effect. Dr. Weeth said the calcium phosphorus ratio should be not less than 1:1 and not more that 2:1 (greater calcium).

Here’s the research summary on the sodium tripolyphosphate that I found:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.15961
 
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Jojo&Tutu

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I have a more recent post on all this that clarify it so I’ll post it again ina couple reply’s here:

Why phosphates can be bad for cats:

I spoke to my veterinarian nutritionist Dr. Lisa Weeth DVM DACVN of Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital, Los Angeles, California. She initially advised me to stay away from cat foods that have Dicalcium or Tricalcium phosphates in them. I did some research and found a problem with Sodium tripolyphosphates. I asked her why tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphates are bad for a cat and also about sodium tripolyphosphate. She said:

If calcium phosphate is from bone meal it’s ok but if it is not from meat or bone it can grab onto other minerals so minerals end up depositing in the kidneys which is damaging to the kidneys. A lot depends on how much of the phosphorus in the formula is from tricalcium-phosphate or dicalcium-phosphate. The pet food manufacturers use these as a cheap available source for calcium. If low on the list of ingredients it is likely ok. If more of the phosphorus in the diet is coming from it then it is a problem for the kidneys - increase markers of kidney damage were found in the cats in research. Purina and Royal Canin sponsored the research. They should be adjusting their cat diets.

To clarify. It has to do with the percentage of phosphorus that is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate vs natural sources like ground up bone. If it only 30% from tricalcium or dicalcium phosphate that’s ok but if it is like 70% that’s when it is a problem. That’s when she said if it is low on the list of ingredients there is likely another source of phosphorus (hopefully). Wish the food manufacturers will list a clarification on that. Maybe we should start requesting that information so they list it somewhere on their website. Ask: What percentage of phosphorus is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate? That a bit of a different question than: What is the percentage of phosphorus (on a dry matter basis) that is in the whole formula?

Regarding Sodium tripolyphosphate;

This Is often used to prevent tarter. Sodium breaks apart calcium phosphorus complex forms and binds to calcium preventing plaque forming. However in the gastro-intestinal system it causes phosphorus to enter blood more rapidly at higher available levels which is like having more phosphorus in the formula which can affect the kidneys. Calcium dampers the effect. Dr. Weeth said the calcium phosphorus ratio should be not less than 1:1 and not more that 2:1 (greater calcium).

Here’s the research summary on the sodium tripolyphosphate that I found:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.15961
The other forms of phosphates might not be a problem. The L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate I think that it is vitamin C and my nutrition vet said not to worry about the vitamin one. I feed my cat Pure Cravings (Safe Catch) salmon and tuna and it has ferric phosphate in it but my nutrition vet was unsure about it -not likely a problem? I will contact the company about all this. Weruva does have some formulas that do not have phosphates in the food. I’m getting some pates. The ones with gravy tend to be all gravy no meat - might be production issues. I switched to Hills TD kibble I use as dental treats which doesn’t have the phosphates in it. Royal Canin and Purina sponsored the research but have not cleaned up their formulas completely yet.
 

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I have a more recent post on all this that clarify it so I’ll post it again ina couple reply’s here:

Why phosphates can be bad for cats:

I spoke to my veterinarian nutritionist Dr. Lisa Weeth DVM DACVN of Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital, Los Angeles, California. She initially advised me to stay away from cat foods that have Dicalcium or Tricalcium phosphates in them. I did some research and found a problem with Sodium tripolyphosphates. I asked her why tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphates are bad for a cat and also about sodium tripolyphosphate. She said:

If calcium phosphate is from bone meal it’s ok but if it is not from meat or bone it can grab onto other minerals so minerals end up depositing in the kidneys which is damaging to the kidneys. A lot depends on how much of the phosphorus in the formula is from tricalcium-phosphate or dicalcium-phosphate. The pet food manufacturers use these as a cheap available source for calcium. If low on the list of ingredients it is likely ok. If more of the phosphorus in the diet is coming from it then it is a problem for the kidneys - increase markers of kidney damage were found in the cats in research. Purina and Royal Canin sponsored the research. They should be adjusting their cat diets.

To clarify. It has to do with the percentage of phosphorus that is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate vs natural sources like ground up bone. If it only 30% from tricalcium or dicalcium phosphate that’s ok but if it is like 70% that’s when it is a problem. That’s when she said if it is low on the list of ingredients there is likely another source of phosphorus (hopefully). Wish the food manufacturers will list a clarification on that. Maybe we should start requesting that information so they list it somewhere on their website. Ask: What percentage of phosphorus is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate? That a bit of a different question than: What is the percentage of phosphorus (on a dry matter basis) that is in the whole formula?

Regarding Sodium tripolyphosphate;

This Is often used to prevent tarter. Sodium breaks apart calcium phosphorus complex forms and binds to calcium preventing plaque forming. However in the gastro-intestinal system it causes phosphorus to enter blood more rapidly at higher available levels which is like having more phosphorus in the formula which can affect the kidneys. Calcium dampers the effect. Dr. Weeth said the calcium phosphorus ratio should be not less than 1:1 and not more that 2:1 (greater calcium).

Here’s the research summary on the sodium tripolyphosphate that I found:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.15961
Thanks for the further information! Will keep that in mind. For now until there are changes on the AAFCO side of things then I'll have to remain on the cautious side of things. Personally will be trying to find foods where the phosphates are, at least, not in the top 5-10 ingredients (depending on the overall number of ingredients)

Do you know of any groups that push for AAFCO changes such as listing the ingredient percentages? Would love to help back a petition or DACVN that would advocate for us.

More basic information on Sodium Pyrophosphate (in non-animal based studies)
 
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All the Weruva brand and Halo that I use have Tricalcium Phosphate. And so does the additive I add to his home cooked. This is concerning because I have to give him home cooked, it's what he does best on. So I'm not sure what to do to make it balanced.
 

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Weruva does have some formulas that do not have phosphates in the food. I’m getting some pates. The ones with gravy tend to be all gravy no meat - might be production issues.
Do you happen to know the names of the Weruva that doesn't have it? All the ones I feed my cat from Weruva have it, including slide and serve and the Truluxe which is their minimal ingredients one. I can't give him fish.
 

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To clarify. It has to do with the percentage of phosphorus that is from tricalcium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate vs natural sources like ground up bone. If it only 30% from tricalcium or dicalcium phosphate that’s ok but if it is like 70% that’s when it is a problem. That’s when she said if it is low on the list of ingredients there is likely another source of phosphorus (hopefully).
So if it's the top half it's bad? This is one of the Weruva brands I feed my cat:

Chicken (Boneless, Skinless Breast), Chicken Broth, Duck (Boneless, Skinless, Breast), Pumpkin, Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3 Supplement), Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

All of the foods I feed him have it as one of the first supplements. :( Do you know brands that don't use it?
 
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Jojo&Tutu

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I don’t think the low phosphorus chicken has any tricalcium or dicalcium phosphate in it. If you go in the Weruva website you can look at the ingredients in one area and can see things like the percent of phosphorus overall and the amount of calcium and phosphorus to see the ratio of them in a link listed. Here’s a few that I was considering but also look at the reviews on Amazon and Chewy.
Best Buds chicken and beef pate
Laugh out loud chicken and lamb pate
Destiny chicken and duck pate
Take a chance chicken duck and turkey pate
 
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Jojo&Tutu

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I don’t think the low phosphorus chicken has any tricalcium or dicalcium phosphate in it. If you go in the Weruva website you can look at the ingredients in one area and can see things like the percent of phosphorus overall and the amount of calcium and phosphorus to see the ratio of them in a link listed. Here’s a few that I was considering but also look at the reviews on Amazon and Chewy.
Best Buds chicken and beef pate
Laugh out loud chicken and lamb pate
Destiny chicken and duck pate
Take a chance chicken duck and turkey pate
There are others but they have fish you wanted to avoid
 

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The Honest Kitchen pate doesn’t have it and minced turkey has it fairly low on the list (my cats adore it). I’ve emailed them about stuff and really appreciated how open they are about their ingredients and nutrition.

As always though do your own research and feel free to look into the company yourself rather than relying on other’s opinions :goldstar:
 

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Just a quick update to this, double check these just in case:

Nulo Medalseries and freestyle wet tends to not have phosphates. But they do have guar gum.
Wellness Core wet is hit or miss, but some do not have it. Watch out for gums and peas though.
KOHA also seems to have a lot of foods with no phosphates and has LID options. Their LID options are all pate and very very thick, I tend to mix them with some kind of food topper or bone broth.

Weruva I have spotted so far with little to no phosphates:
Classic Cat Meal or No Deal Chicken and Beef Pate
Classic Cat Stewy Lewis
Classic Cat Stewlander
Classic Cat Taco Stewsday
Truluxe Glam N' Punk

If anyone would like me to check over the ingredient lists of any specific brand let me know, I have a spreadsheet so it's faster to spot. Glad I setup my spreadsheet like this so I can highlight them separately and see how high up the list it is easily.

Also again, double check these! I loaded all the ingredients into a spreadsheet but I could miss things.
 

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Jojo&Tutu

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The other thing you have to look at is how high is the overall level of phosphorus. I like to get the dry matter basis percentage to be close to 1 or less than 1. Dr. Adam Eatroff recommended low phosphorus is the only thing that stabilizes the kidney from further damage so why not start low to begin with.
you listed are too high overall phosphorus levels:
Stewkander is 1.88% DMB
Taco Stewsday is 1.35% DMB
Meal or No Desl 2.75% DMB

My Weruva list with some info, please let me know if I’ve got something wrong:
I included the calcium/phosphorus ratio and the % DMB overall of phosphorus:

WERUVA

MINCED tends to be a lot of gravy

Lights out tuna lamb
minced pieces in gravy
.78 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio = ok

STEWS tends to be a lot of gravy

Stewbacca chicken duck salmon
Minced in gravy
1.3 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio ?

Stewy Lewis lamb N American salmon
minced in gravy
.92 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio calc up good
The one I got was all gravy no meat

PIECES IN GRAVY: ALL GRAVY

Selfie Cam chicken lamb tuna
pieces in gravy
1.08% % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio calc up good

Belly Rubs tuna beef
pieces in gravy grain free
.89 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/ phos ratio calc high good
One real bad review with photo: Amazon or Chewy:
11/20/23 diarrhea food turned red, all gravy

Dilly Dally tuna duck
pieces in gravy
.89 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio is a little low

Be happy chicken & beef
Pieces in gravy
.77 % DMB phosphorus
Cal/phos ratio - calcium up good

Dream team chicken & duck
Pieces in gravy
.77 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium phos ratio / calcium up good

POUCHES PIECES IN GRAVY
tends to be all gravy

Meowiss Bueller chicken and lamb tuna
Pate purée grain free no egg
.85 % DMB phosphorus
Calc/ phos ratio = ok
The one I got was all gravy

Booya beef chicken
pieces in gravy
1.08 % DMB phosphorus
Calc/phos ratio - calc .15/phos .16
a little high phos

Stir the Pot chicken lamb and salmon grain free pieces in gravy
.90 dma phosphorus

POUCHES PATE

Destiny Chicken duck egg white
Pate
.87 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio back .17 phos .18
Calcium a little low

Tubular chicken tuna sardines egg
Patio
1.0 % DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio Calc up ok

PATE

Laugh out loud Chicken, Lamb & egg
pate
.82% DMB
Calcium/ phos ratio a little low calcium

Til then chicken tuna sardine egg
Pate
1.01% DMB phosphorus
Calcium/ phis ratio. calcium up good

Best Buds chicken beef egg
Pate
.91% DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio = ok

Take a chance chicken duck turkey egg
Pate
.81% DMB phosphorus
Calcium/phos ratio back .17 phos .18
Calcium a little low

Note: Shazam might also be good but one I got was all gravy. Some of the gravies might be because it is the end of the run and are like that.
 
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There is another problem in cat food that the regulators are not addressing and that is flaxseed. Flaxseed can cause cyanide to be in the food. If your cat is 10 lbs or less I would avoid it. I had cans of Lotus Just Juicy rabbit evaluated and the local lab sent them to a specialist food testing lab. The cans came back with .3ppm cyanide twice as much as what my 6.5 lb Siamese cat should have. I even consulted Rhian Cope the principal toxicologist of Australia and she said my cat should only have one can of it a day. I notified the CA regulatory agency for pet food and Lotus and no one did anything. I’ve notified different companies and they do nothing about it. I’ll do a separate post on this. From memory I think Koha had flaxseed in it. I think forming a group to put pressure on the cat food industry and regulators is a great idea. Get the press involved. I think my cat might be allergic or sensitive to something in some of the Weruva - bummer. She is eating Pure Cravings (Safe Catch) salmon, tuna and tuna with salmon. They test for mercury levels and only use fish that is very low. I just wrote them because they do have ferric phosphate in their formula and I fear it could deposit iron in the kidneys. Here’s the testing done for cyanide in Lotus Just Juicy rabbit.

IMG_5067.jpeg
IMG_4790.jpeg
IMG_4831.jpeg
 
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I’ll try to check out Nulo Medalseries, Koha and Freestyle but I think the Koha has the flaxseed in it and the Freestyle might still have a broth problem. Will try to get at it soon.
 
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Jojo&Tutu

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I was not impressed with KOHA. A lot has flaxseed or tricalcium phosphate or salt high in the list or kale or spinach. I don’t even think it is advised for people to eat too much kale or spinach great but not every day. Personally would not choose KOHA. Note: If a company lists a broth always ask what’s in it. Onions and garlic are toxic to cats. I think we need someone who can get through to regulators. Maybe we need to go fund me to hire a lobbyist company. I am disabled, not well and limited in energy. Would be suppirtive if someone would take this on.
 
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Here’s a new one
Just was looking at the honest kitchen website and I cannot believe it. They put Yucca in some cat food. That’s poisonous for cats and dogs. See attached photo:
IMG_3498.png
 
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