The Catological Verdict On Hi
From top to bottom, this is a below average food.
Meat is the first ingredient, but it is an unnamed by-product meal. This is not a quality meat product.
It uses rice and corn, which are biologically inappropriate for cats.
This is NOT a good example of a dry food you should be feeding your cat.
Since its clear that plant products make up a lot of this food, we can assume that this is mostly a plant-based food, which is not ideal for your carnivorous felines dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 33% protein, 22% fat, and 32% carbs.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Below average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because meat it uses unnamed meat ingredients and is full of fillers, our rating for this brand is 1.5 stars.
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Reduce Inflammation With Omega
Many cats with kidney disease develop nephritis or inflammation of the kidneys. Along with other anti-inflammatory supplements, consider omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have a well-documented ability to reduce inflammation, helping your cat to feel better.
While humans and other animals can benefit from omega-3 fatty acids derived from plant sources like flaxseed oil, cats can only utilize those found in animal fat. Good sources include various types of fish oillike salmon oil, menhaden fish oil, and sardine oilas well as krill oil. You can also consider green-lipped mussels. In addition to being a good source of other omega-3s, theyre the oceans most concentrated source of the fatty acid ETA.
While many foods contain sources of these beneficial fatty acids, you may also want to supplement your cats diet with a good omega-3 supplement.
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Good Foods Give Your Cat Extra B Vitamins
Because cats with kidney disease urinate so much, they often lose crucial B vitamins in the litter box. Deficiency in B vitamins is associated with loss of appetite and overall poor health.
Prescription or therapeutic diets for kidney disease are usually fortified with additional B-complex vitamins. Your veterinarian may also recommend B12 shots to give your cat a boost.
In addition to vitamins in your cats diet and subcutaneous injections, consider giving your cat a multivitamin supplement like Vetoquinol Renal K+. Formulated for cats and dogs with kidney disease, this gel contains B-complex vitamins and potassium. Both substances support muscle function and your cats nervous system health.
Where Can You Buy Hi
Hi-Tor is sold primarily through pet specialty retailers and family-owned stores. You can also purchase it through online retailers including Amazon and Chewy.
The Sunshine Mills website features a store locator to help you find a retailer in your area. Enter your zip code to find a retailer near you.
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Should You Feed Your Cat Prescription Food For Kidney Disease
In summary, decades of research tell us that the best food for cats with CKD is one with the following qualities:
- High caloric density
- High quality or restricted protein
- Low phosphorus levels
- Increased B vitamins
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Currently, prescription or therapeutic diets are the only foods that check all of those boxes at once. Frustratingly, those diets often have other not-so-great qualities.
Think high carbohydrate content, added sugar, and potentially low-quality animal by-products.
This gives you a few options.
You can hold your nose over the ugly parts of a therapeutic or prescription diet. You can opt for a non-prescription food that meets one or two of the above criteria. Or you can make CKD-appropriate food at home.
But youre also taking a riskhomemade food takes time and it can be hard to get everything right. If youre going to make homemade cat food for kidney disease, consider working with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that you dont miss anything.
Look For Foods With Restricted Or High
When dietary protein breaks down during digestion, it produces waste. Healthy kidneys filter out this waste and send it on its way into the litter box. But as your cat loses kidney function, it becomes increasingly difficult to remove these waste products. Instead of passing through your cats body, they remain in the bloodstream. This is why BUN levels rise in cats with CKD.
In an attempt to reduce BUN levels, cats with CKD are often given protein-restricted foods. But in recent years, this practice has become increasingly controversial.
Experts worry that a protein-restricted diet will lead to severe protein deprivation, decreased muscle mass, and poor physical condition. Instead of cutting back to 20% or fewer calories from protein, you may choose to feed moderate levels of highly digestible, low-waste protein from high-quality animal sources.
The bottom line is that you want your cat to feel better, not worse. While a protein-restricted diet helps some cats to feel better, it may also lead to muscle wasting and weakness. Youll have to weigh the costs and benefits of a low-protein diet for your cat.
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Above All Cats With Chronic Kidney Disease Need To Eat
From Dr. David J. Polzin, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIMs 11 Guidelines for Conservatively Treating Chronic Kidney Disease: In many or most dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease, death or euthanasia results directly or indirectly from starvation.
The dietary recommendations above only apply to cats who are still eating. But if the disease has progressed to a point where your cat is no longer interested in food, nutritional rules go out of the window. If your cat is refusing to eat, dont worry about feeding a therapeutic diet. Any food hes willing to eat is good food.
The 5 Best Prescription Foods For Cats With Kidney Disease: Our Recommendations
Because prescription or therapeutic diets offer a combination of renal disease-appropriate qualities that you wont find in any other commercial food, they earn the top spots on our list of recommendations. Here are our picks for the five best prescription foods for kidney disease.
- Some reviews indicate that its highly palatable
- Calorie dense to support healthy muscle mass
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At A Glance: Best Food For Cats With Kidney Disease To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, weve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. Youll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Maximized energy density to help keep cats strong and muscular
- Contains omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation
- Low phosphorus levels help your cat to feel better
- Added omega-3 fatty acids for anti-inflammatory effect
- Calorie-dense to support muscle mass
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil help to reduce inflammation
- Controlled phosphorus helps your cat feel healthier
- Customers report that the square kibble is easy for their senior cats to eat
- Low in phosphorus, which may help to prevent and ease the symptoms of kidney disease
- Rich in easily-utilized animal protein
- Low carbohydrate content
- Some reviews indicate that its highly palatable
- Calorie dense to support healthy muscle mass
Because its low in phosphorus with controlled sodium, added B vitamins, and anti-inflammatory omega-3s, we recommend Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D Morsels in Gravy as the overall best cat food for kidney disease. This product has a strong reputation for helping cats with CKD, but its far from perfect.
To help you find the right match for your cat, weve gathered eight very different formulas, including prescription and non-prescription options, dry kibble, and one raw recipe.
Before we get into the reviews, a quick disclaimer:
Choose Foods That Are Low In Phosphorus
As kidney function declines, phosphorus is one of the things that doesnt get filtered out. As phosphorus builds up in the bloodstream, your cat will start to feel ill and kidney function declines even more quickly.
The best way to counteract this effect is by reducing the amount of phosphorus in your cats diet. The ideal diet for a cat with CKD contains less than 0.5% phosphorus on a dry matter basis.
What Types Of Cat Food Does Hi
All High-Tor foods are specially formulated for specific dietary needs. They dont require a veterinarians prescription and cost less than some similar special diets, making them potentially a more convenient and affordable alternative to prescription food.
The Hi-Tor selection is limited. It includes a dry and wet version of a low magnesium, low phosphorus formula for urinary tract health, along with a single canned recipe designed for cats with kidney disease.
All Hi-Tor foods are manufactured in the United States from North American and European ingredients. The dry formulas are made in a Sunshine Mills facility, while canned foods are made by Simmons, a leading North American private-label and contract pet food manufacturer.
Consider Giving Your Cat High
In addition to traditional food, consider giving your cat high-calorie supplements. High-calorie gels and treats help to curb weight loss and keep your cat feeling as well as possible. Consider nutritional gels like Tomlyn Nutri-Ca and Vetoquinol Nutri-Cal.
Food toppers, broths, and treats can also help. Some cats, especially those with poor dental health, may be willing to eat baby food.
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You Might Also Consider Supplementing Your Cats Diet With A Probiotic
When bacteria and endotoxins enter the gut, probiotics may help to perform enteric dialysis, taking on some of the detoxifying function that the kidneys have lost.
Azodyl is a synergized prebiotic and probiotic supplement designed for cats with kidney disease. The supplement contains patented strains of Enterococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus. The three probiotics are synergized with psyllium husk, a source of prebiotic fiber.
While its not clear that Azodyl will help, it does show some promise. If youre not willing to spend over $70 a bottle for the putative benefits of Azodyl, consider supplementing with another probiotic.
What Makes Hi
Hi-Tor is manufactured by Sunshine Mills Inc, a family owned and operated company spanning four generations. Most leading pet foods of today are manufactured by multinational companies like Nestlé and Mars. While the food may be good, these companies are more interested in the money more than anything else. They also dont hesitate to use low-grade ingredients to lessen manufacturing costs while making the products highly affordable.
Sunshine Mills Inc brings family values to the products they make and puts pets before everything else. Excellent customer service and that personal touch to the products make Hi-Tor much different from the larger pet food companies.
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