You take your cat to the vet for an ailment he’s dealing with and they recommend that you feed him a prescription diet. Do you know what’s in this prescription food?
The term prescription is defined as “a written direction or order for the preparing and use of a medicine” so many cat parents think that this food contains the medicine that their cats need. However, it does not. “Prescription diets” actually contain no medicine whatsoever.
Instead, big brand pet food companies alter ingredients to help with a certain health issue, mark up the prices and require a “written order” to purchase it. The altered ingredients can often help with a health issue short term, but may cause bigger issues long term. I wish the veterinarians told us this. I wish more veterinarians knew this.
Understanding Prescription Diets for Cats
We know that this is a controversial subject, but we hear too many horror stories about cats on prescription diets to stay silent. We deserve to know that a “prescription diet” isn’t our only option. Cat parents should be impowered to choose the best food for their furbabies.
The reason I keep putting “prescription diet” in quotes is because that term is actually trademarked by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. This is why brands like Royal Canin and Purina have to use the term “Veterinary Diet”. So even the term itself is a marketing gimmick. Things that make you go hmmm…
Read the ingredients in any food that you are considering feeding your cat. If what you see is corn gluten meal, wheat gluten and other by-products, ask yourself if this is a food that would help your feline thrive. These non-animal proteins are not appropriate for an obligate carnivore that requires consuming animal meat to survive. This is why these foods often lead to bigger health issues, like diabetes, kidney disease, etc., if fed long-term.
Consult with an integrative veterinarian or nutritionist to find the best alternative to a prescription diet for your cat. Regardless of who recommends a food, do your research before feeding it to your family member.