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LOW protein food for cats .. suggestions ..

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Hi everyone ..

Have a question for you cat lovers.

Our 17 year old pusser, 'Smokey', is in his usual winter funk. He so detests the cold and snow on his perfect paws LoL
As well, we have noticed him drinking more water, and, he is urinating a goodly amount in his litter box too. He occasionally throws up, but then, I always think that might be from overeating table food (bad on us) not that he gets much, but, he feels he IS entitled!!

Has anyone tried a low protein food that their cat will EAT .. Smokey is the KING of finnikie .. he varies between Whiskas wet food or Meow Mix .. but loves his Temptations treats (crunchy) he is offered, and laps up, a very occasional saucer of milk.

Am hoping this is simply the 'winter doldrums' and, not something KIDNEY related :-(

Any help gratefully accepted with thanks ^_^


Thumbnail by MarilynneS
Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

Why does he need LOW protein food?

Mequon, WI(Zone 4b)

His age, increased drinking, and increased urine output make me think of diabetes. Have you taken him to the vet?

It is also important to remember that cats are very different from humans. They metabolize food (and many medications) very differently from humans. They are obligate carnivores, which means they must have meat (protein). I would be surprised to find a cat food marketed as 'low protein'.

Lyndonville, NY

Most low protein foods are diet food I believe, at least from what I have found. AND....also "senior" forms.

BUT it should definitely be GRAIN free...meat base only.

You should start with your vet.....

My cats did like the Blue Buffalo.

This message was edited Jan 18, 2013 3:26 PM

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Thanks for the suggestions ..

My research re cats and the symptoms he's exhibiting pointed to perhaps a kidney problem, ergo, the low protein.
As it is, I went to a pet food store today and between 2 of the salespeople and myself we had a 'lesson in protein' .. anywhere from 15% in some, to 8% in the 'diet stuff' .. reading those cans about made ua all blind !!!

Diabetes has crossed my mind, and, we are keeping a close watch. I would imagine we will be taking him in for a 'seniors check up' soon.

Again, thanks so much


Deer River, MN(Zone 3b)

Excessive thirst can point toward any of the Big 3 diseases that are prevalent in elderly cats: renal disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes (or any combination thereof). You really should take your boy in for a full blood chemistry, CBC, and Total T4 as soon as possible to see what, if anything, you're dealing with medically. If he does have one or more chronic ailments, the earlier he is diagnosed, the more successfully you will be able to manage his condition. If you wait too long, he may reach a point from which you can not stabilize him. Been there, done that, regret it every day.

Even if he does have renal insufficiency (which would be very typical for a cat his age), it's not necessarily a good idea to reduce dietary protein. That's old school thinking. Many CRF caretakers and vets now feel that reducing protein in the earlier stages of renal disease can actually do more harm than good by weakening the cat overall. Many people now recommend feeding high quality protein sources, instead.

The much more important consideration relative to renal disease is the phosphorus content of food. With a kidney cat, you want to choose foods with as low a phosphorus content as he'll agree to eat. But that brings up an even more important point. The bottom line for any kidney cat is to feed him whatever he'll eat enough of to maintain weight. No diet is beneficial if the cat wastes away on it.

BTW, dairy is very high in phosphorus, so ditch the milk and start mixing warm water into his canned food, instead, to help him maintain adequate hydration.


Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I didn't know about milk being high in phosphorus! Thank you!

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

At that age, I'd being taking him in for a complete checkup as Laurie suggested. Seventeen is a very senior cat and a lot of things can go wrong and escalate rapidly if not tended to.

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

As always, many thanks ..

Smokey is doing well, today, chasing the 2 Westies around !! But, I will be taking him in for a check up and 'seniors blood screening' this coming week.
Re the milk. He gets it rarely, usually when I am baking and he hears me with the container, he might get an ounce or two.
I'll continue with the wet form of Whiskas and Meow Mix .. and his treats .. bought him 'Greenies' yesterday, wow, does he ever like them !

Smokey has never been a heavy cat, he doesn't appear to losing weight either .. and, we have been keeping a close watch over him since he became blind in his left eye about 2 years ago. That blindness has made his hearing more acute, he can hear a cheese slice package being opened if he's OUTSIDE I'm sure LoL

I know the inevitable will come, have let several animals continue over the Rainbow Bridge in my lifetime. Hopefully Smokey's time isn't going to be anytime soon, our 2 Westies count on him for direction !!!

Again, thanks so much ^_^


Deer River, MN(Zone 3b)

Here's a link to a chart that lists canned cat foods by phosphorus content. That will make it easier for you to choose lower phos foods for Smokey to try.

Remember that cheese (and yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, etc.) is also dairy, and also high in phos.


Deer River, MN(Zone 3b)

I just reread your last post and had two more thoughts. First, what caused Smokey's blindness in the one eye? If the cause was never diagnosed, it'd be a very good idea to get him to a vet who has a doplar machine to check his blood pressure. High blood pressure is not uncommon in elderly cats, and it can cause sudden blindness if the hypertension is not properly controlled.

Second, it's very difficult to see gradual weight loss in animals. Since you're used to seeing him every day, your eye might not be picking up on subtle changes in his weight. I lost a CRF cat years ago because I didn't realize how much weight he had lost until his CRF had advanced to the point that I could not stabilize his condition. I lost him just a few months later. He taught me how important it was to closely monitor weight. I bought a digital baby scale and started weighing all of my cats every two weeks. That was in 2007, and I'm still weighing them all every two weeks and charting their weights in a spreadsheet on my computer. Now I can use this very important diagnostic tool to identify when one of my cats might be getting into health trouble.


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