How to read food labels

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Mindy & Lamont, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2020
    Hi,

    I'm new to this. Lamont is still at the vet getting stabilized from the DKA that diagnosed him. I have another cat with urinary issues and I'm trying to figure out if they can still share food or not. I've attached the food analysis for one of the urinary foods. What do I look at for evaluating it for my diabetic baby?

    Thanks so much,
    Mindy
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Hello and welcome to FDMB! I'm sorry to hear Lamont is at the vet with DKA. DKA kitties need extra special help once they come home, I would recommend making another post here with the title asking after after-care for DKA cat to give Lamont his best chance at recovery.

    As for your other kitty, I don't have personal experience with urinary issues but off the top of my head I think that Wellness Core and Weruva are both low in phosphorous (for UTI kitty) and are also low carb (for diabetics) so they are appropriate for both issues.

    I believe @Wendy&Neko has experience in both.

    Here is a food chart that we use, you'd be wanting to find something that is both less than 10% in carbs and less than 250 in phosphorous. That will cover both kitty's needs. :)
     
  3. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    What is the name of the food. The list in the photo is incomplete.
     
  4. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2020
    Hi,

    This one is Purina Vet Pro UR. It's a prescription food for struvite crystals. The non-diabetic cat has feline idiopathic cystitis which sometimes flares up with crystals and sometimes not. We usually use Royal Canin s/o in the food rotation and it keeps him under control. "Normal" cats can eat it but I'm not sure about diabetics.

    Do I look at "as fed" or "dry matter"? Is it just the carbs for diabetics? It looked like protein was low but I really have no reference.

    Thanks,
    Mindy
     
    jt and trouble (GA) likes this.
  5. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2020
    Hi,

    It isn't really the phosphorus as he has cystitis and not a kidney issue. The food aims to keep the urine dilute so crystals and sediment doesn't build up in the bladder. We recently switched from Royal Canin s/o in our food rotation as our cystitis kitty hadn't relapsed in two years and s/o is really salty and can cause future issues. Of course, as soon as we stopped s/o, he relapsed. We are trying Hills and Purina vet prescribed foods as they don't rely on salt to make the cat drink. I just don't know if these two conditions are at cross purposes and we have to start feeding separately.

    Thanks,
    Mindy
     
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  6. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Wendy had both a diabetic kitty and a kitty with cystitis who she fed the same low-carb, low-phosphorus food with plenty of water so I think it would still stand, but I'll let her clarify since I don't have personal experience with it. :)
     
  7. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    In all honesty, there is not one dry prescription food low enough in carbs.
    The Purina UR runs about 36% carbs.
    The S/O is even higher.
    Just look at the ingredient list:
    Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, natural flavors, wheat,
     
  8. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

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    Aug 1, 2020
    Where did you get the 36% from? I can't see it in the chart I uploaded.
     
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  9. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

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    Aug 1, 2020
    Oh...and I'm looking at canned food, not dry. Kibble isn't good for urinary cats and I'm guessing not great for diabetic cats as well!
     
  10. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    I checked two carb calculators on the internet to get a rough idea.
    For better accuracy, use this method (which is beyond my mathematical ken):
    The only prescription wet food low enough in carbs in the Purina DM pate but there is nothing special about it except the price and inconvenience of having to go to the vet's clinic to pick it up.

    Prescription wet food can be found at on Dr. Lisa's list. Scroll down to the very end.
    The S/O ranges from 20-24%.
    The UR ranges from 12-14%. Lower, but still too high.
     
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  11. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Yes, my second kitty was diagnosed with idiopathic cystitis one week after Neko got diagnosed with diabetes. I guess he didn't want her getting all the attention. :rolleyes: I did start him out with C/D, also a vet urinary food, but both it and SO are way too high in carbs. Neko would push him out of the way and eat his food, so I had to find a solution that worked for both. His vet recommended raw food - low carb and low phosphorus. It doesn't have to be raw, but it is easier to find low P low carb food in raw. Later I found that Dr. Lisa Pierson's feline nutrition website recommended the same thing for both. Here is the link to her page on cystitis. I added plenty of water to his food, as well as some glucosamine (Cosequin), which is thought to help the bladder wall. Second kitty never had a relapse after that. I also put up some Feliways, as stress can cause episodes.

    The page you included looks like the food is not a good choice for diabetics.
     
  12. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

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    Aug 1, 2020
    Oh dear...black magic math! Of course, why wouldn't they just put it plain on the label.

    I saw the list but didn't scroll far enough to find the vet food. Thanks for the hint...I think I may print the whole thing off until I get a bit of experience.

    Mindy
     
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  13. Mindy & Lamont

    Mindy & Lamont New Member

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    Aug 1, 2020
    We've been battling recurrent bouts of cystitis for years. The cosequin didn't help and we gave up on Feliway after a year of continuous use throughout the house. The cat just worries about everything but he seems to be mellowing out with age and wisdom.

    The cystitis guy would likely eat raw but the diabetic won't. He does love Fancy Feast, etc. so that won't be an issue. There are three other cats in the house without chronic issues so I'm sure we'll find a balance.

    Thanks for the clarification!
    Mindy
     
  14. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Fancy Feast isn't particularly low in phosphorus.
     
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