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News — Cat



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.

Winter Safety Tips for Your Pets

Winter Safety Tips for Your Pets
When it comes to our pets, winter serves up its own set of safety concerns. We know not to leave them outdoors too long and to protect tender pads when walking on salty roads, but is that enough?


Ways to Keep Your Cat Hydrated - Chuck & Don's


Take a look at your cat right now. I bet they are just as comfortable as mine. My three are curled up on my bed, fast asleep, but only after making sure the comforter was rumpled enough to provide them with adequate comfort. Our pet cats today are domesticated and happy about it!

Seeing our cats as they are now makes it difficult to imagine where they came from, but for their long-term health, it’s important to remember that our cats’ ancestors were desert animals. I can’t look at my well-loved, and ummm, spoiled, felines and think of them surviving in a desert environment—but their ancestors thrived there.

Most animals in desert areas get most of their needed moisture from their food rather than from standing water. Getting moisture from their food also protected them from disease or poisoning should they drink from a dirty water source; like stagnant water in a puddle, for example.

Unfortunately, many domesticated cats don’t get enough water from their food. This can lead to significant health problems, including stones in the bladder and urinary tract. However, there are ways to increase your cat’s water intake and although your cat may not like all of these suggestions, she’s sure to like at least a few. Plus, a couple are just downright fun and you’ll enjoy them, too.


The best way to make sure your cat gets enough water? Make sure their food is plenty moist! Since it’s natural for cats to get the most out of the moisture in their food, an easy way to boost her total water intake is to feed a food with a higher moisture content. Dry kibble, for example, often has a moisture level of 10% while a canned food may have 78% moisture. A dehydrated food mixed with water before serving can have even more moisture as you can increase the water that’s added. Raw food is a great way to up the moisture level in your cats diet. Frozen raw food retains more moisture than kibble, and the naturally occurring moisture of raw food may hydrate better canned food. With freeze-dried raw, dehydrate or air dried food you can add as much moisture as you’d like when re-hydrating each meal!


Just as your cat’s ancestors wouldn’t drink out of a stagnant puddle, your cat is not going to drink old water in a bowl. So change the water a couple of times a day and don’t forget to wash the water bowl, thoroughly rinsing all the soap off it. You can also try a few different types of water bowls. Spock, one of my rescued cats, prefers cool water, and a ceramic bowl keeps water cooler than metal or plastic.


I don’t have to worry about water consumption with my orange tabby, Kirk, because he loves to drink out of the faucet. If I’m in the bathroom or kitchen and turn on a faucet, he magically appears. When I’m done with whatever I’m doing, I’ll turn the cold water to just over a drip and he’ll drink his fill. It’s easy and fun to watch him maneuver himself to get a drink without getting wet.


There are several models of water fountains available commercially, for both dogs and cats, but I’m sure the manufacturers had cats in mind. Just as wild cats don’t like to drink stagnant water because it could be dangerous, your cat may prefer moving water. Just keep the fountain clean, wash or replace the filters often, and change the water frequently. Here’s a tip to get your cat interested in the water fountain’s water: drop a handful of ice cubes in it. The current will cause them to bob around and this movement will garner your cat’s attention.


If you have a cat who just doesn’t like water, or one who medically needs to drink more water, offer a bone broth once or twice a day. We offer several different types of bone broth for cats (and dogs!) from brands like Primal, Stella and Chewy’s, and Open Farm. The Honest Kitchen also offers some dry broths that you just add warm water to so that it’s re-hydrated. Stop in to your local store and talk to one of our pet foodies to see which one you should try for your cat!


If your cat just does not seem enticed by water, try goat milk! Goat milk is often called the “universal milk” since it can be consumed and easily absorbed by many mammals. Goat milk is also rich in probiotics, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins and fatty acids making it great for your pets overall health. Primal, Steve’s Real Food, goat milk products are humanely sourced from free-range goats ethically raised without antibiotics or added hormones and have many options for cats (or dogs) of all life stages.


If there are some canned foods your cat really likes, add some water to it. For example, my problem drinker, Spock, likes a salmon canned food of a particular brand. So when I empty the can into a bowl, I add about a half cup of warm water to it. The warmth increases the smell and the added water significantly increases the food’s moisture content. It’s all good and he loves it.

If your cat doesn’t drink as much as you’d like, give a few of these tips a try. You’ll enjoy watching your cat’s reactions and she may discover that water isn’t all that bad!