My cat just underwent surgery for kidney stones, urinary tract blockage, my vet said his urinary tract pH balance was good at 6.5 and that these issues in boy cats are common. When he came home the vet said to give him SO prescription diet. He will not eat that food; the only thing he is eating now is fancy feast it does help him to eat and drink lots of water; however I don’t want him to end up back at the vet. What do you suggest I give him in place of the SO diet?
Royal Canin SO diet it is formulated for cats at risk of developing feline lower urinary tract disease, coupled with the predisposition for gaining excess weight. The ingredients used to make the SO diet vary between the dry and canned formulas but it isn’t uncommon that pets don’t like the prescription diets as much because they aren’t as flavorful as other options available.
Cats may have been domesticated for centuries but their systems have changed very little. They are still obligate carnivores, meaning they rely on readily available nutrients found only in animal tissue – real meat, not by-product. A cat’s diet must have readily available sources of amino acids, vitamins and minerals only found in diets rich in meat sourced proteins, organs and fats.
Cats are a desert evolved animal having a low thirst drive making it easy for them to become dehydrated. They also do not rehydrate as well as dogs or humans by drinking water from a bowl. Just like in humans, if a cat is thirsty enough to drink from a bowl they are likely dehydrated already. Cats are designed to get a majority of their moisture from their food source. Muscle and organ meat is the best source of moisture for any cat where they will also get amino acids and enzymes not available in just water.
Grains are also a nutritional watch item. Although grains can be a source of energy cats do not have adequate biology to properly break down carbs like corn, wheat or other grains so they should be avoided in a cat’s diet. Presence of fruits and vegetables are extremely helpful in making your cat’s diet complete as they are a holistic approach to providing a balance of vitamins and minerals needed to be a complete diet while also helping to maintain adequate pH levels in the urinary system.
With those facts stated, I’m sure it won’t surprise you that we recommend any food you feed your cat should have a meat source as the first ingredient with plenty of moisture i.e. raw or canned food. I would always recommend feeding a raw food diet for any cat but especially those with urinary issues due to the extra moisture present in raw food. Raw food is as easy to feed as any canned cat food and generally speaking, similar in price per serving. I would also guess that it might actually be cheaper than prescription diets. Chuck and Don’s sells multiple brands of raw food for you to try with your cat with some sample size packages available to see if incorporating raw is a good fit for you and your cat.
Grain-free canned cat foods like Nature’s Variety, Nature’s Logic, and Weruva among many other grain-free lines carried at Chuck and Don’s would be a great source of real meat, fruits and vegetables with plenty of moisture. These phenomenal foods provide all the necessary factors mentioned above for optimal health that cats also love to eat.
Chuck and Don’s also supplies several supplements to help balance the urinary system to help prevent future episodes as you have experienced that are both painful for your cat and expensive for you.
Finally, we strongly recommend that you work with your vet before making any changes to your cat’s diet.
This is a lot to process and much more could be said about nutrition and a cat’s urinary system. Visit your local Chuck and Don’s and a team member would be glad to talk to you more in person in order to help you find the right products to help you ensure a long, healthy life for your cat.