Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Revisiting the topic of cat nutrition

Karis and I took a cat nutrition class in June of 2012 and I learned a lot from it. After our scare with Karma's pancreatitis and hospitalization, Craig and I definitely needed to reassess what we feed our cats, Karma and Tanzi.

We went to the Animal Doctor in Muskego to pick out natural food and enzymes. This was before Karma was released from the hospital and before we spoke to his vet about food options. I just went off of the information I learned in cat nutrition class and that teacher's recommendation to visit the Animal Doctor.

We ended up with the Nature's Variety Instinct, some Stella and Chewy's and Prowl dehydrated food. All of these brands were mentioned in the WCTC cat nutrition class. Tanzi has been eating the Nature's Variety and he seems to like it. We give it to him specifically because it has more crude fat than Karma is allowed.

As a Christmas present to the boys, we got them a new cat scratcher from Target, which they love, but do knock over occassionally.

After reading up on pancreatitis, we decided that we should get some enzymes to help both cats digest their food.

When we went to get Karma from the vet hospital, the veterinarian recommended buying food with 10% or less fat for him. She said this would help prevent pancreatitis from occurring in the future and that she found Wellness brand and Blue Buffalo seemed to have the most cat food types that included 10% or less fat.

Karma adapted well to this new food and has really seemed to enjoy it. Tanzi also eats it occasionally and he's our picky eater.

The weight control food form Blue Buffalo is the only type we found that had less than 10% crude fat.

Like human doctors, Karma's vets didn't seem to know much about cat nutrition, which disappointed us. I decided to research Wellness and Blue Buffalo brands, like the vet recommended, and find a food that sounded nutritious and healthy for the boys. I feel like there should be more integration of nutrition education for vets, just like I feel like MDs should have training in nutrition too.

Overall, we think Karma's food may be contributing to making him seem more energetic and playful, just like a kitten. As a pet owner who adores her two animals, I feel like paying more for food is well worth it (Blue Buffalo has some great coupons available-just request them on their website). If we hadn't made the switch, one of them could have ended up with pancreatitis again and the result would be another big vet bill to pay.


  1. I wish vets could provide more guidance on nutrition, ours have been very little help, but like you said, it's similar to the lack of human nutrition information provided by doctors.

    I'm becoming a bigger fan of alternative doctors and I should really take the boys to see Dr Jodie at The Animal Doctor.

    My primary care doc is a D.O. and I much prefer his osteopathic approach to my neck pain than the standard "let me give you a prescription" approach.

  2. Do you take away Tanzi's food to keep Karma from eating it? Whenever we've tried to feed two cats differently, they always seemed to want the other's food...

    1. No, Karma is pretty good about eating only his food.

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  4. Just fyi I do not believe blue buffalo is actually low in fat. Notice it says min crude fat which means it can contain as little as 9% fat but could have over 20% fat. They claim the actual percentages to be proprietary information which I find ridiculous. We have the right to know what we are actually feeding.

  5. I wrote Blue Buffalo and this is the response I got:

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact BLUE.

    BLUE is a maintenance diet and in many cases may not be the right diet for pets with medical issues. In most cases, a prescription diet is the way to go because they can offer certain levels of in particular things that over the counter maintenance diets can not. BLUE does target for the numbers on our guaranteed analysis. BLUE Longevity Mature dry cat formula contains 8% min fat, as-fed basis. We recommend you speak with your veterinarian, as he or she will be able to direct you to a product that is best suited for your pet. Please check with your vet before making any switches.

    Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

    Take Care,

    Blue Buffalo Co.

  6. Nice sharing! I've a question, we adopted a cat that was a stray. I bought her some cheap dry cat food. After a week she started throwing it up and won't eat it any more. She will eat soft cat food but is still throwing up. What should I feed her? I tried mixing rice in her soft food but that didn't work. What cat food is best for a cat that vomits everything she eats?