Requesting feedback on this diet

slowboost99

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I've been looking after a 6 year old cat and he recently seemed to have trouble urinating. He seems to be doing much better now but I'd like to change the dry food I've been feeding him.

I have not spoken to a vet about this but based on my research and recommendations on this forum and others, I think I'd like to try this one.
Pro Plan® Focus® Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food | Purina® Canada

I'm wondering if it's ok to feed him both this dry food and canned food... so half and half. The canned food is regular friskies.

Also, is it safe to give this urinary tract health chicken & rice dry food to cats that don't have a urinary tract issue? Would they be getting the same nutritional benefits that they'd get from regular dry cat food?

I still have a bag of the regular cat food. Can I mix this with the purina dry food?
 

LTS3

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A visit to the vet is the first thing to do to address the problem with urination. The vet will likely insist on prescription food for urinary issues but you don't need to feed it. Take a read here: Cat Urinary Tract Diseases: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary Tract Infection

Any cat with urinary issues should not eat any dry food, not even dry foods that are supposed to help with urinary issues. Getting more water into the cat to keep the urine diluted and the kidneys and body working optimally is key. This is easiest to do with canned food because of the high moisture content. A small amount of dry in the diet may be ok for some cats but one should try to add extra water to the canned to ensure good hydration. Any canned food will do, not just the urinary specific ones. Some people say adding a d-mannose supplement helps with urinary issues.
 
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slowboost99

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Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I took him to an emergency vet clinic recently and they were not sure what was wrong but prescribed prazosin and told me to keep an eye on him.

He does not drink much, like most cats I guess, so I've started making chicken broth for him. So you don't think one of the purina urinary tract dry foods is much better than the regular dry food?

Do you think there's any difference between the two purina dry foods I mentioned? One is a pro plan but the ingredients and nutritional value are almost identical.
 

abyeb

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I don’t know which is “better” among the two diets you posted, but I would recommend asking your vet. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before starting a specialty diet.

Also, you may find this article helpful, if talks about urinary issues in cats, as well as treatment and prevention: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (flutd) – TheCatSite Articles
 

LTS3

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I'd just give the cats plain water to drink. Nothing better than plain water :) What is in your homemade chicken broth? A treat of chicken broth is fine once in awhile but give it too often and the cats may refuse to eat unless the food has the chicken broth added to it.

IMO, no dry food is good for a cat with urinary issues. Cats with certain urinary issues may benefit from a temporary diet of prescription food and there is usually a canned version one can choose over the dry.

What problems with urination are you seeing? Frequent trips to the litter box but only drops of urine? Blood in urine? Not urinating at all?
 
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slowboost99

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The broth is pretty plain. I put in some carrots & parsley.

There is always fresh water available but he does not drink it often. I do understand that canned food is better but can cats get complete nutrition from just canned food?

Is it possible that vets know something we don't? If not, why do they recommend these special urinary tract dry foods? I'm just trying to understand if it's worth switching dry foods. If it's even a little worthwhile, I'd do it.

I noticed that he would often go to different spots, trying to pee but it looked like he was unable to. The day I took him to the vet emergency clinic, he looked in distress. I have not noticed him having trouble urinating in the last week but I don't know what caused this problem.

I don't think he will become too picky if I give him chicken broth too often as he really gets excited when it's time to eat.
 

LTS3

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The broth is pretty plain. I put in some carrots & parsley.
I'd leave those out and just poach chicken in plain water. The water turns into broth as the chicken cook and release natural juices.

Here are simple recipes to make cat-friendly homemade broth:

Question Re: Making Bone Broth In Crock Pot For Sick Kitties
i Need instructions on how to make broth for cats...very simple instructions
What Other Liquids Are Ok For Cats?

I do understand that canned food is better but can cats get complete nutrition from just canned food?
Yes as long as the food is labeled as a complete balanced diet. It will say so on the label, usually in teeny print under the AAFCO or other similar statement.

Foods that do not have any vitamins and minerals listed in the ingredients are only treat / supplement only foods.

Is it possible that vets know something we don't? If not, why do they recommend these special urinary tract dry foods? I'm just trying to understand if it's worth switching dry foods. If it's even a little worthwhile, I'd do it.
Nutrition isn't taught in depth in vet school so many vets have little knowledge of proper nutrition and what effect it may have on health. Big name pet food companies sponsor veterinary classes, conferences, etc and heavily market their products to vets so that influences many vets to tell clients to feed a certain brand.

I noticed that he would often go to different spots, trying to pee but it looked like he was unable to. The day I took him to the vet emergency clinic, he looked in distress. I have not noticed him having trouble urinating in the last week but I don't know what caused this problem.
Follow up with the regular vet if the urination problem continues.
 

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Canned pet food is as complete as kibble, you can check the labels. There are some special foods that are not nuitionally complete but they're clearly labeled. From what I understand, urinary tract issues are often more than not caused by a dry food only diet. I think adding broth can help if your kitty likes drinking it, but carrots and parsley not so much. If your kitty is willing to eat wet food, and you can afford to, it would be definitely be my first choice of action.

It varies from vet to vet, but my vet knows more about feline nutrition than most, being a cat lover herself. She makes a note to tell patients the benefits of wet over dry for urinary and kidney health! They don't push prescription food there which is part of why I love her. The prescription food usually just has the same garbage ingredients as their normal brand food, with additional medicinal ingredient or changes. It's like putting medicine in a big mac, and then charging big money for it.
 

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Some low-quality foods--especially low-quality dry food--might cause urinary issues themselves. So prescription urinary food might be good in the way to not feed the problematic food. This is if the previous food was the problem partially or solely.

All urinary prescription foods I know also contain some (usually holistic) ingredients to dissolve the stones and alike. It might be also beneficial in that way but there are also supplements and pastes for that.

I will repeat wet food is better. If I were you I would only go for dry urinary food if your cat doesn't eat enough wet food like my cat doesn't. But still try to give mostly wet, if not only wet. You can add some extra water to each portion.

Small meals throughout the day helps both digestion and urinary problems also.
 
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slowboost99

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Thanks for all the help and tips. I will leave out the parsley and carrots when making the chicken broth next time and I will try to increase canned food while decreasing dry food but I think I will try the Purina One (second link I posted) and stop giving the special kitty brand as I've read bad reviews about this food. I wish I would have looked up reviews before buying it.
 
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slowboost99

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@ LTS3 LTS3 I forgot to ask why you think I should not add parsley and carrots to the chicken broth? I've read that parsley is good for cats in moderation and carrots also contain vitamins for them.
 

LTS3

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Cats are obligate carnivores and have no use for veggies, fruits, herbs or other non-meat things in the diet. Yes pet food companies add such things to cat food but as cheap filler ingredients and to appeal to a Human's perception of what a healthy and wholesome diet is.
 
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