I do not feed any commercial food to my own cats and I would definitely never feed them any “prescription” diets.
Too often these cats are treated with a high level of steroids and a prescription grain-laden dry food diet. I feel very strongly that this common therapeutic regimen dismisses the very significant role that a proper diet plays in our IBD patients. There are an impressive number of anecdotal reports of cats that were terribly ill with IBD that exhibit dramatic improvement when all dry food was removed from their diet and a grain-free/low-carb canned food was fed instead.
I found this to be so very true! My cat went into severe kidney failure after getting into a jar of baby food with onions in it. He spent several days on IV’s at the vet and when he came home, we were given a ridiculously expensive prescription cat food. We fed him this for about a year and still had a lot of medical issues with him, even having him crash twice. His once beautiful fur became dull, and he even started losing some in spots. This was not an old cat, only 10. Then I when the whole melamine issue came out, I started researching grain free foods, and found a brand that was totally grain free. I worried that this would be too taxing on his kidneys, but had found some research done at UC Davis Vet School suggesting that protein for cats was their natural diet and that assuming cats function like a human is flawed logic. So, I switched a little at a time. My cat flourished. He died at 16 from cancer on his leg and when they were doing all the blood work for that, the vet said there was NO EVIDENCE he had kidney issues at all and that aside from the tumor on his leg, he was healthier than any 16 year old cat she has seen in her practice. Beautiful, shiny coat too! I will NEVER go back to feeding anything else!
Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken Dry Cat Food
Prescription Diet: Clinical Therapeutic Dog & Cat Food | Hill's Pet
Unfortunately, the transition never worked out... Both cats began to have very loose stools and one cat began vomiting shortly after any attempt to eat. By the end of the transition period, both cats would sit at the food dish and cry for food, eat a few bites and walk away... Both still had very explosive loose stools tinged with blood and one cat was now also vomiting multiple times daily. After a few days of this, I called my vet who wanted to see the cat that had begun vomiting multiple times daily, right away. He received fluids, a b12 injection and an ultrasound. The doctor recommended that I discontinue feeding both cats this "improved formula" (which she was unaware of as well) immediately. My cats never ate another bite of the Hills "improved formula" prescription z/d, and have been thriving with zero incidents in the 7 months since I have transitioned them to a different diet.Our sweet Simba was diagnosed with urinary crystals 2 years ago. I had read a lot about cat diets and was not on board with the idea of a medicated food, but after his 2nd bout with the crystals we had to follow the vet's advice and give the Hill's prescription food a try. It did seem to help with the crystals, but after a year now, he suddenly slowed his eating of it. He was on the dry food. He had over the past months had more and more frequent episodes of vomiting. Sometimes hairballs, but other times not.