Posted : 1/4/2007 12:49:31 PM
my vet said that i should put pookie on a kidney/liver diet,he suggested the brands they carry but i am wondering if there is any better types
he's way better now but has lost alot of weight and still isnt eatting much
he is also 11.5 years so im not sure if he should be on a senior diet also
so canned/kibble food suggestions would be welcomed
Moderator: please move this thread if off topic.
You don't say exactly why your vet is recommending a "kidney/liver" diet but I can point you toward some resources and give you the benefit of my experience. Firstly, have you had blood and urine tests done? Kidney insufficiency is *very* common in older cats and there are lots of conventional and alternative ways of dealing with it, including diet. The indicators of kidney insufficiency show up in the blood tests as abnormally high BUN and creatinine figures. The urinalysis will also show a low specific gravity of the urine output, which means the cat is not concentrating its waste sufficiently, overworking the kidneys and leaving more toxins in the system. A urine culture is taken if there is any suspicion of an actual acute disease of the kidney, such as an infection, but older cats can frequently have poor blood results without there being an infection involved; their little kidneys just wear out over time. To my knowledge, the same blood test indicators that reveal a kidney problem don't necessarily mean there is a problem with the liver, so I'm not sure why you put "kidney/liver" together.
To answer your immediate question, the first dietary decision to make is to take the cat off all dry food if at all possible. Although there are dry prescription diets for cats that just won't eat canned, dry food is much harder on the kidneys than wet. The big manufacturers, such as Hill's, Purina, and Waltham have put a lot of research into prescription diets for kidney cats and the products seem to work well to support remaining function. They are not always so palatable that cats take to them readily, but consistent use of the rx foods can help to keep the "bad" blood test numbers down. Wysong also has a new line of rx foods that I think looks promising, since they are very conscientious about ingredients and have a number of vets and animal nutritionists designing the diets. If you go to www.wysong.net you can download some info to show your vet and if he likes what he sees, he can call or fax Wysong and they will sell the food to you directly. Wysong customer service is also very good if you have questions.
In general, you want a canned food with as little phosphorus as possible relative to protein. Phosphorus is now identified by vets as more of a problem than protein, which should remain rather high, since kidney cats are prone to weight loss through lack of appetite and muscle wasting. They need good quality protein, but extra Ph just taxes the kidneys.
Here are links to a wide variety of regular and rx canned cat foods arranged in order of their Phosphorus content, from low to high.
(new list, different foods on each list)
It is interesting to note that Innova adult light has one of the lowest PH levels of all foods, almost equal to the Rx foods. It is a very high quality food that my cats like a lot. I wouldn't hesitate to feed it to a kidney cat, although if your vet insists on you trying an Rx food, I'd go along with him/her because you and your vet are going to become very close in fighting this problem. Other very high quality foods that are lower in Ph are most Petguard flavors and most Wysong cans. Interestingly, some very good brands like Natural Balance and Newman's Own are rather high in Ph and I would avoid them for a kidney cat. You want the Phosphorus level under 1%.
Yahoo has several groups supporting owners of kidney cats. The people on HolisticAlternativesForFelineCRF
are very nice and very knowledgable, but it is not a high volume list.
If you have other questions you think I can answer, we should probably continue this in the cat section. PM me if you decide to start a new thread over there.