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ChristineLVT, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3307
Experience:  Licensed veterinary technician (B.S. Mercy College), 10 yrs in animal medicine and training
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My cat has been diagnosed with CRF. She won;t eat the KD foods

Customer Question

My cat has been diagnosed with CRF. She won;'t eat the KD foods (wet), but will eat the dry KD. I read on the internet about Hi-Tor Neo-diet kidney diet wet food. It's supposed to have a better taste. Do you know about this food? Do you recommend it?? Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago via PetWave.
Category: Cat
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.



I'm sorry to hear about your cat's diagnosis, but am glad to hear that while you search other options, she is eating some of the dry k/d. Hi-Tor is just as good of an option in staying with the low protein, low phosphorus and low sodium required with kidney failure. Obviously, each cat has their own individual preferences, but in my experience both with cats I've personally cared for as well as with client's cats', the hi-Tor seems to be much more popular in taste. In fact, I'd estimate about 80-90% of cats I've treated dislike the k/d, both wet and dry, but will eat the Hi-Tor, and giving a canned food is always a better option with this condition as it contains a higher water content.


i would start with ordering a small amount to try it, but my bet would be your cat, if eating dry k/d, will most likely prefer the Hi-Tor canned. K/d in my opinion seems to taste like cardboard!


Let me know if you have further questions, and good luck with Karen.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. I have read further about Hi-Tor food and am seeing that their phophorous levels are high. The suggested one with best low phophorous and sldium levels is Wellness food for CRF. What do you know about it?? It was suggested, also, that the turkey and salmon in Wellness were too high in those things. I'm not sure about the taste factor. What good is it, if Karen won't eat it?? Are you familiar with Wellness Brand?? Phophorous levels should be less than 240 mg. per 100 Kcal. Not so in Hi-Tor food, supposedly. Thank you for any further info.
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.

The wellness brands that I have seen do not have a sufficiently low protein to help compensate for protein loss in renal failure. They do tend to use a lot of fish, which is high in protein, though cats do tend to like the taste of them.


Obviously, starvation is not preferable to keeping these levels lower. It is more important she eats than to have the food with lowest protein/phos/sodium contents, but our goal is to find one with the lowest levels, and best for her condition, that she will continue to eat.


If she has elevated phosphorus already, that is when you need to consider that higher priority in selecting foods, and a phosphorus binder supplement would be required by your vet. If not, low protein content is of utmost importance. Reading content % on labels give you minimums and maximums but that is only a guideline, as the foods may have a different quantity than they claim. However, I do know Hi-Tor has been evaluated and deemed suitable for renal failure and used often by vets, while wellness' claim of having a renal failure diet remains just their claim. K/d has the lowest proven protein, phos and sodium levels together for this problem, and in fact aren't a suitable long term diet for cats not in renal failure, which is why it is prescription only. However, as we've been discussing, taste is seriously lacking, and starvation is absolutely not the chosen alternative!


In reading labels and doing the best we can with that info, Hi Tor claims to have a severe minimum in both protein and phosphorus, here's the link:


I am currently looking for more info on wellness and renal approved formulations. Also, have you tried Purina NF kidney formula? Again, picky eaters aren't overly fond of, but a better response is seen than with k/d. (K/d seems to be the hardest to get them liking).





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you. I'll wait to hear back from you, re: Wellness etc. I wonder if cats will eat Wellness?? Why can't someone come up w/ a tasty kidney formula?? Thanks for any info you can find.
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.

Not even on wellness' website can i find a diet that they say is ideal for renal failure (though they do have the opposite: a core formula with high protein for diabetics, as well as urinary health diets). Their chicken and herring seems like one of the better choices if you were to try this diet.


Wellness is a 'stinky' food, and yes, many cats love it. My mother actually has 2 5 month old kittens currently eating wellness canned and can't get enough of it. Though again, my first option would be those researched and used in kidney failure, i.e. those labelled as renal failure diets, as there are just too many factors involved in nutrition for us to try to pull up all other brands and compare all the findings.


If we could come up with a tasty kidney diet, we could probably make millions... why they can't... I wish I knew.... i guess the lowered protein makes for a disinterested cat, as cats are complete carnivores by nature.


ChristineLVT and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Christine, thank you for your help. I guess I didn't understand about the

'accept' button. I got some Royal Canin IVD Modified Feline, and Karen ate a little, but then she leaves it. I think I'll order some Hi-Tor from somewhere. My Vet hadn't heard of it. Again, thanks for your help. Cannon

Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.

I hadn't heard of it until last year when I was caring for a friend's cat in kidney failure was in love with it. I suggested it to the hospital, and we started recommending it and seeing good results. If she continues to remain picky, just always remember, while you're best interests for her include keeping certain conditions (protein/phos) low, keeping weight on her and nutritionally sound is the best option.