Nov 15 2010

CANNED FOOD ONLY FOR CATS?- Here’s Why

Of the top 10 reasons why cats are brought to their veterinarian, urinary track infection is number one and chronic renal failure is number three (based on data taken from medical claims submitted to veterinary pet insurance in 2007).

I have been recommending 100 % canned food, low carbohydrate, high protein diet to my feline owners for the last 8 years — ever since I attended a lecture given by a known expert on bladder stones (calculi) and urinary track diseases in cats.

The title of the lecture was “The solution is in the can, idiot.”

The central point on which the lecturer focused was that because canned food has 60-70% moisture content, it is similar, in fluid content, to a natural diet, which the feline would eat in the wild (prey, such as mouse/bird with 70 % of the body being blood). Feeding our cats with canned food thus protects their kidneys from sediments, such as crystals, which may accumulate and form stones and, as a result, damage the kidneys.

Cats do not drink much water unless they have a medical problem. They usually get most of their fluid from their food, so by feeding them dry food we are forcing them to be on a diet that is very different in water content then their natural diet.

Given that we all know how important it is to drink a lot of water on a daily basis – as it simply flushes the system and gets rid of toxins — a diet that is 100 % canned food may prevent, over a long period of time, damage to your cat’s kidneys and bladder.

Your cat will live longer and healthier.

Dr. Ohad Barnea is a 1992 graduate of Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine and the owner of Tenafly Veterinary Center and Cliffside Animal Hospital.

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