Most often, the culprit for crystals, kidney failure, cancers, and hypothyroid (the most common maladies in older cats) are caused by a lifetime of bad diet. Specifically, grain in the diet.
Sadly, most vets haven't a clue about this causing all these issues, and focus on illness and not wellness, as a previous poster pointed out. I could not agree more. I have worked with animals professionally for years and years, and see all too often vets recommending diets and treatments that do noting and often mask the problems.
Originally Posted by lonegirl
Yes vets do not get a lot of training in nutrition in school....but they also don't get a lot of hands on surgery in school either.....many, many hours (after graduation) are used to increase knowledge in these areas. Sure, some vets don't bother but most I know have devoted a lot of time and effort into learning more about pet nutrition. I take offense to the idea that vets are specialists in disease not wellness. Have you worked in the field? 14 years of working in the field....I can assure you the reverse is true.
IMHO, unless you are going to a holistic vet that goes to continuing education specifically on nutrition, you don't wanna take their advice. Hill's funds most vet nutrition classes and practically writes the texts. Not exactly impartial info.
I will reiterate some things and relay some new things. Cats are true carnivores. They should NOT eat any grain, period. They also do not need vegetables or fruit.
The best food for a cat is raw, and you can either make your own or buy premade (brands below). In my experience, cats that are transitioning to raw from kibble or cans prefer a puree texture in raw- which is why i often recommend ready-made raw. The bones are ground into the muscle and organ meat. That is hard to do yourself.
The best raw cat food around is called "Rad Cat
". Cats love it, and they do make free samples. It is only available on the west coast so far. Not sure where the OP is located. They have no veggies or grain in their three flavors: lamb, turkey or chicken.Nature's Variety
is available nationwide. Their formulas do have some veggies, but it is mostly (90+%) meat.
You can make you own, but get a recipe that is nutritionally sound- it must have organs, bones, and muscle and possible a couple supplements.
Cans (cooked food) are the next best thing, but not all cans are created equal. Make sure they are grainless and hopefully veggie-less for a cat. Evanger's, Wysong, Merrick (100% line, not the grammy's pot pie kinda stuff), So Bright, etc. Since the food is cooked, a cat must have Taurine added back into the food, as cooking kills that amino acid and it is necessary for kitties.
Finally, there is a glandular and herbal supplement for cats that does wonders restoring the balance- it's made by Standard Process and it's called Feline Whole Body Support
. You need to get it from a holistic vet, but it is worth it!