As you know if you're a regular here, I have a cat named Gatsby who recently suffered a life-threatening urinary blockage. The emergency room vet said diet was the cause, even though we already had him on a prescription diet for urinary issues. (Click here for the story so far.)
I wondered at the time why we don't feed cats raw meat instead of commercial foods, if even the best of those are bad. So when we went in for a followup visit at our own vet last week I asked.
She said that cats need a balanced diet and minerals. Meat is not a balanced diet. When a cat eats prey, it eats everything - meat, bones, entrails, and all. They will also eat grasses and some plants. They get enough water from all that, so they do not need to drink much.
Raw meat contains pathogens and parasites that can cause disease, which is why we cook it. However, there is a movement afoot among cat owners to include raw meat, so there are companies offering irradiated raw meat that can be added to a cat's diet. (I'm guessing this is pretty expensive.)
Canned food is the best choice. It has the meat and the fluid cats need. Dry food is sort of OK, but you have to trick the cat into drinking enough fluid if you use it. Offering tuna water and unsalted broth is helpful. And, she says, you really get what you pay for here. Cheap food can result in a sick cat and big vet bills.
Gatsby turns up his finicky nose at anything but dry kibble, including those tasty fluid treats. So for now he is on a temporary diet that causes thirst and dilutes the urine.
He was doing great until yesterday, when he began vomiting. He hasn't been able to keep anything down in the past 24 hours, and his urine output is not what is has been. I have a feeling we are heading back to the vet next week, if not the emergency room.
I'm really at wit's end on what to do now. Have any of you found a solution to recurring urinary problems with your cats?
5 hours ago