Dry food prescription diets for cat UTIs are contradictory – vet approved!

Well, I have just bumped into an excellent American veterinarian, Dr. Drew, on social media, who has a TikTok label of “The Jungle Vet”. A good one because he does a lot of wild animal treatments. And what he says chimes completely with what I have felt for many years; in fact, for as long as I have been writing for this website (17 years).

Dr Drew speaks openly and honestly about vets' failings in the US and the contradictory nature of dry cat food prescription diets for UTIs.
Dr Drew speaks openly and honestly about vets’ failings in the US and the contradictory nature of dry cat food prescription diets for UTIs.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

And it’s about that old problem: dry cat food and its unnaturalness. There are two videos on this page (I added a third at the end of the article). In the first one immediately below he criticises the concept of dry food prescription diets designed to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) because they are contradictory as dry cat food contributes to or may even be the sole cause of a urinary tract infection or blockage (stones) often in male cats.

The way to treat urinary tract infections through food is to provide plenty of water and that means a high-quality wet cat food. You can also provide a supplement of for example boiled fish with added water. But you need water and dry cat food contains 10% water.

Veterinarians hate to discuss this. They tend to shy away from this topic because they are often heavily connected with the dry cat food manufacturers such as Hill’s. This manufacturer’s products are very commonly seen in veterinary clinics to my knowledge and experience. They are designed to give the impression that they are medical in nature. That they cure diseases. The word ‘prescription’ is designed to achieve this aim.

This connection compromises the veterinarian’s independence and their ability to provide independent advice; uncompromised and focused on the sole objective: excellent healthcare.

@thejunglevet

Replying to @Kimberly Dixon i think the pet food industry should abolish the creation of all dry urinary/kidney diets 🤷🏾‍♂️ #fyp #viral #petnutrition #pethealth #prescriptiondiets #catsoftiktok #dogsofttiktok #petsoftiktok

♬ Silent Track 3 Minutes – Sleep Sounds
Dr Drew explains why dry food prescription diets for urinary tract disease are contradictory as the only way to treat this disease is to feed wet food. Dry foods contribute to the problem or sometimes create the problem. Note: these videos are embedded here with code. They may cease to work some day but I can’t control that. Sorry.

Another video on the same topic. Important.

@thejunglevet

#stitch with @kgkikichick im so sorry for your loss. this 100% falls on us as a field and i hope we can change to prevent this from happening to other cat owners like yourself ❤️‍🩹 #fyp #viral #catnutrition #cats #cattok #cathealth #caturinaryhealth #flutd #dryfood #catfood #cattips . . . if your pet has a specific disease process(es), inquire first to see if any of these should consider being avoided. my recommendations are product of my own individual entity & are backed by peer-reviewed studies/articles, research, & accredited universities/personnel. these are my own professional views/opinions and while they are safe and accurate, are not to be affiliated nor considered a reflection of my employer.

♬ original sound – Dr. Drew | Veterinarian

Addictive dry

My cat has a uti currently, she already went to the vet, got a shot for antibiotics. He wasn’t worried, I am she had crystals!! I took away her kibble she hates soft food so I’m trying every single soft food and soup. 😳 She still hates everything. Maybe that’s why? I have gotten her to eat some Delectables Bisque not exactly ideal but she won’t touch tiki cat or Churu’s bisque!

Betsy Watrous

Betsy’s comments above on the video tells us that quite often dry cat food becomes somewhat addictive or in her case completely addictive to her cat because of the highly palatable fats that are sprayed onto the dry, tasteless kibble.

It is certainly far more sensible to feed your cat essentially wet cat food with some dry as a supplement perhaps for night-time grazing. But to put a cat on a full-time dry food is very unwise in my view and I’ve been saying this for years.

Vets criticising dry cat foods

Dr Drew is wise enough to say that as well. And he does point to a problem which is that veterinary clinics and so-called expert veterinarians don’t like to criticise dry cat food such as the Hill’s prescription diets. They don’t want to criticise Hill’s Because they sell the food and they receive a commission as mentioned. They don’t want to reduce their sales and therefore allegedly have to be less than totally honest to the public which is very detrimental to their profession but then, that said, there are a lot of things that veterinarians do which are detrimental to their profession such as declawing in the US.

Dry cat food generally. Being proactive. Vet training omissions.

And in the video below, he touches on a very, very important point. And I must applaud Dr Drew for his openness and honesty. He is saying something which some veterinarians won’t like to hear. He is probably becoming an outsider as a result from the veterinary community but he feels compelled to say what he’s saying. And it is this: veterinarians are not really trained in proactive measures and they are not really trained in nutrition (in the US). Because of this they tend to promote the dry, kibble feline diet to customers. They also promote this diet very often for the reason I have stated above which is because they sell the products.

@thejunglevet

what are your thoughts? i love our field of vet med and we do some GREAT things for our patients, but i truly think we need to hone in ALOT more on the importance of proper nutrition and its correlation to our pets’ health. #fyp #veterinarymedicine #vetmed #veterinarian #vettok #vetnurse #vet #petparents #petsoftiktok #petnutrition #veterinary #pettok

♬ Kawaii Aesthetic – LoES

Same 10-15 disease in pets

And he says that he constantly sees the same 10-15 diseases in cats year in year out. Nutrition is one of three common denominators behind the causation of these diseases. In this video he refers to nutrition only but no doubt there is a lifestyle component other than nutrition. I’ve not heard his video on that but it might mention obesity because full-time indoor cats are so inactive. That’s the kind of thing he is hinting at. Obesity causes many diseases.

RELATED: Critical appraisal of the top 10 domestic cat health problems 2023

But in both the videos on this page he is criticising the strong drift towards dry food diets which did not exist decades ago. They are highly convenient which makes them attractive to cat owners. But convenience isn’t the only criteria for selecting a cat food, is it? The ultimate criterion is what is best for your cat and what is best is what is natural and what is natural is a diet which contains about 70-80% water. Dry cat food cannot meet that objective and cats don’t drink enough water to compensate. I have said that over and over again.

Sorry for the lecturing tone. My bad. But this is important and dry cat food dominants the marketplace still after all these years of discussing its limitations.

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