Special Diet Cat Food
June 9, 2010 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Is there somewhere online where I can compare the nutritional value of cat foods? Something similar to the "Nutritional Information" label on packaged human foods?

I have a cat with the earliest stages of kidney disease, which I'm told can be managed through diet alone for now. He is eating k/d canned food and Medi-Cal Maturity, as prescribed by the vet, but I'm looking for alternatives for a couple of reasons. 1) It's difficult to get to a vet's office as they all seem to close early (i.e. at the same time I finish work) and not be centrally located in my city. 2) The first ingredient of the Medi-cal is "animal by-products" which doesn't exactly say, 'wholesome, meaty goodness' to me.

I looked on the websites for some of the other foods in pet stores, but I cannot find any detailed "Nutritional Information" for them to compare against the k/d. I'm wondering if there is a review or consumer information site somewhere that compares food this way, to see if there's something appropriate available in a pet store. It doesn't necessarily have to be cheap - I just want to be able to buy it on a Sunday, or at 8 pm on a Tuesday.
posted by Kurichina to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: These may not be quite as detailed as you need because they are related to diabetic cats' nutritional needs and not kidney disease needs, but may be a starting point:
Janet & Binky's Dry Food Page
Janet & Binky's Canned Food Page 1
Janet & Binky's Canned Food Page "New"

These are all for US foods and I see you're in Canada, but I imagine most of the brands are the same/similar. There is also a non-US page with just a couple of Canadian and other international brands.
posted by dayintoday at 10:28 AM on June 9, 2010

You can buy veterinary diets online as well.
posted by crankylex at 11:01 AM on June 9, 2010

Here's a a page the lists a number of different feline CRF diet foods, with links to their nutritional content where available.

Since CRF diets tend not to taste very good, it's useful to have alternatives. When my old cat had chronic renal failure, my vet carried only one brand of CRF foods, which my cat absolutely refused to eat. I had to find the names of different diets online, and then call all over town to find a vet that would sell me the ones my own vet didn't happen to carry (this was before you could buy cat food online).
posted by Ery at 11:13 AM on June 9, 2010

This isn't exactly what you asked, but I hope it might be helpful nonetheless. I was told by my dog trainer at PetSmart that their store organizes dog food by nutritional value. I believe the more nutritious the food is, the closer it is to the front of the store. You might try browsing their shelves. (I would also not be surprised to hear that other stores do this, as well - I think my local Chow Hound does.)
posted by rikhei at 2:52 PM on June 9, 2010

As an owner of a dog with health issues, I would suggest joining a forum or a Yahoo Group about kitty kidney disease and reading their files/messages about nutrition - even homemade crock pot and freeze food.

I've been told by numerous forum members that the Prescription Diet just isn't worth the price.

And buy your food at independent pet stores. IME Petco/smart knows NOTHING about nutrition.
posted by k8t at 8:37 AM on June 10, 2010

In the states, Banfield and Petsmart have an agreement so that you can buy prescription foods during Petsmart hours. Since I had to go to a specialist, Banfield begrudgingly wrote me a prescription card.

You might be able to find the same sort of arrangement somewhere in Edmonton.
posted by politikitty at 1:05 PM on June 10, 2010

In case you missed this comment you might want to consider switching to an all wet food diet. Dry food requires that your cat drink more to hydrate it for digestion. Your cat's kidneys then have to work harder to get rid of the extra water. YMMV but my 3 cats took to the all canned diet without any problem.

Also, you can have your vet call or fax your prescription to Banfield. I felt kind of crappy about doing it though since the vet makes money from selling the food and I'd rather support a local vet than Petco/smart.
posted by irisclara at 7:54 PM on June 13, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses. Just to clarify, I am asking about different kinds of canned food (all 3 eat canned, except for a reserve of dry food for when I'm away and need something easier for the cat-sitters). From what I gather from dayintoday's links, I'm looking for low phosphorus and 30% protein, which doesn't seem available from non-veternary sources. :-(

I looked into buying online, but those places seem to require a presciption, which would mean making an appointment at the vets (again), which is even more limited hours than their general opening hours.

I'm considering seeing if I can get taurine and other supplements instead and making my own wet food diet, if Tommy will eat it.
posted by Kurichina at 7:44 AM on June 14, 2010

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