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michelle_phxaz

Alternative to Hills Science Diet KD

michelle_phxaz
10 years ago

I have a cat with kidney issues and she was prescribed Hill's KD food, however the price is starting to become unaffordable. It is $30 for an 8lb bag, and we have three cats that eat it (non-free feeding is not an option) so it is really expensive.

Is there a good alternative to the Hill's KD diet?

Thanks!

Comments (35)

  • 2katz4me
    10 years ago

    There are a lot of kidney friendly foods - though I don't know how much cheaper they are. I learned a lot about that kind of thing on the Yahoo CRF forum when I had a CRF cat. They had a link with information about foods that were good for cats with kidney problems. Unfortunately I can't remember any of the specifics any more.

  • Meghane
    10 years ago

    If your other cats are not having kidney problems, I would NOT allow them to eat the K/d- it is too low protein for normal cats.

    Also I have still not been convinced that k/d is appropriate unless cat has hyperphosphatemia, protein-losing nephropathy, uremia, or hyperkalamia.

    You may be able to make the food cheaper from fresh wholesome ingredients. Ask your vet to get a recipe from BalanceIt.com. The vet has to get the recipe because of your cat's disease. Again, I would NOT feed healthy cats a diet made for kidney disease.

  • quasifish
    10 years ago

    I had/have the same problem as you- CRF cat and others and free-feeding is necessary.

    At the Tanya feline CRF site (google it) she has a list (or link to) of commercial cat foods and how they compare to KD as far as protein and phospherous. I found a high quality commercial food (still expensive, but way cheaper than KD) that was comparable to KD where those 2 factors were concerned. It also happened to be a senior diet, which was just fine for my other cat who was a senior.

    There is also a non-RX kidney diet for cats, I believe it is under the name Hi-Tor Neo Diet. It is wet food and I always had to order it online when I was feeding it.

    For a while I made a homemade chicken and potato food. I found the recipe online and would make it in a big batch and freeze it in 1 cup ball jars. That became too much of an undertaking later, and while she ate it, it wasn't something she loved.

    Eventually, we settled her on a high quality, high protein diet and she has been one who has done much better with that. I don't know how often that is the case, so I wouldn't tell you to start feeding your cat that way, but it might be something to research. We came to this conclusion after she had a bad crash in Oct 2007 and I decided that her quality of life was way more important than quantity, and started feeding her high protein foods that she loved and made her happy. She got much better on that diet and her blood work has been consistently better on the higher protein diet. I can't say that I understand it at all, but have heard of others having similar experiences.

  • friedajune
    10 years ago

    I have a senior cat with kidney disease, diagnosed about 6 years ago. At that time, he had about 33% kidney function. We started with the Hills Science Diet KD, but my vet at that time told me he wasn't convinced that KD was beneficial, and was even starting to think that perhaps it might even be detrimental. Since my cat hated it, and my vet wasn't enthusiastic, I stopped using the KD, and switched my cat to Evo, canned only. In the intervening time, my vet switched first to recommending only CANNED high-quality food, no more dried for cats with impaired kidney function. Then he took it a step further and is recommending only canned for ALL cats, including my young 2-year-olds.

    My cat is now 19 years old, and still feisty. Truly, I think the biggest difference is getting him off dry food, and only feeding canned. Canned is also better because older cats tend to get constipated with a dry diet. My cat's kidney function at the last test was about 29%, which is not much deterioration from 33% in 6 years for a 19-year-old cat. He is on medication too of course. I know your question is about finding a lower-budget alternative, and canned is probably more expensive, but what about the savings in vet bills? And of course, in the quality of life for your cats.

  • oregpsnow
    10 years ago

    I would hope that any one who has pets would take the best care of them they can. Free feeding cats (poor quality??)dry food is not the current standard of good care for cats. They need wet food - either canned or fresh/frozen. It can prevent many kidney problems and appears to be the best food for kitties that have problems.

    Best of luck to your kitty.

  • michelle_phxaz
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks all! I should have mentioned that we also feed them canned food 2-3 times a day, KD canned mixed with "junk" food (9-Lives which they all love) so they do get enough wet food as well.

    We did a lot of research and everything pointed to it being just fine to feed the healthy cats the KD as well, they are both thriving on it.

    I should have really said that I was hoping to find a more readily available food, we have to order it from our vet and lately the company has either forgotten to ship it or (the last two times) sent it in Canine formula. I am totally out of dry food and was hoping this awesome forum would give me some quick results and you have. I will look for a kidney friendly food at the local pet/tack store.

    Thank you all from myself, Lily, Cali and Minnie LaRue.

  • juliet3
    10 years ago

    Michelle_phxaz - you mentioned "a lot of research and everything pointed to it being just fine to feed the healthy cats the KD as well". Can you be more specific as to your sources for that research? Everything I have read says just the opposite. So does my vet. Meghane also posted above that KD is bad choice for healthy cats, and she is a vet. While you say they are "thriving on it", I think you are setting up for future high vet bills, since the problems with these KD diets won't show up right away.

    Anyway, my vet feels that "kidney friendly cat food" is a marketing campaign by Hills, Purina, etc. that has been very successful at making them money, but not successful in prolonging the well-being of CRF cats. According to my vet, the KD and similar diets from other manufacturers have no merit or basis in veterinary science. Better to feed a high quality high-protein, no-chemical food which is more like the cats' natural diet.

  • Meghane
    10 years ago

    Unless your kidney cat has hyperphosphatemia, hyperkalemia, protein-losing nephropathy, or uremia there is no reason to feed a kidney diet. And if your cat actually had one of those conditions and you were mixing 9 Lives with the K/D you're still wasting your money because you're negating the reason to feed the K/D in the first place. If your cat does not have any of those conditions, stop wasting money on the prescription diet that you are ruining anyway and buy a higher quality canned food for all the cats. Look for something without grains like Wellness, EVO, Natural Balance, Wysong. That way, all of your cats will be on a healthy diet AND you will save quite a bit of money. Plus those foods are available at the pet store (although Wysong is hard to find), and you can switch around if for some reason they don't have exactly what you want.

  • oregpsnow
    10 years ago

    Meghane - well said. I hope the OP listens. I am a relatively new cat owner who did a great deal of research into foods when I got my cat. I am amazed at the many folks who think they know what is best for their cats but are a bit misguided. My adopted, scrawny Burmese kitty has been transformed into a beautiful, perfect-weight healthy lover girl eating EVO, Wellness and Avoderm. Her only problems are too much energy and attitude - both of which I love.

  • Diana4Huskrs_aol_com
    10 years ago

    Well my cat was just diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart murmur, kidney disease, and she's starting to go blind to the high blood pressure. If my vet says she needs to be on the KD diet for the kidney disease then I'm going to do it no matter how much it cost's!!! I want my cat to get healthy and stay healthy for many years to come!!!

  • Diane Shields
    5 years ago

    My vet is charging $43 for a 4.5 pkg of KD. Am I being ripped off? My 3 cats are 13 yrs old with kidney disease. I find that Science Diet for kidneys is working very well. Science diet and KD are both made by Hills.

  • jean001a
    5 years ago

    Diane,


    I don't know the current prices. But I do know cost has risen considerably since the above posts which were added 5 to 6 years ago.

  • Diane Shields
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you for replying. Do you know the difference between Science Diet and KD? Both are made by Hills. I've been feed my cats the Science Diet which seems to be working.

  • tigre072562
    5 years ago

    My 13yr old cat named Kayla was just DX w/mod-severe renal failure and 2° hyperglycemia, anemia, and uti. I am trying the Hills k/d but she doesn't eat much of it. I also have 2 other senior kitties in home who aren't thrilled w/ the feeding changes. I had been feeding both Purina high protien and Blue Wilderness foods as recommended by a previous vet. They all had gotten the dry foods free eating plus canned food w/ fresh water available 24/7. I am on a fixed income also. I the other 2kitties are of similar age and are relatively healthy. I need honest advice as how too best manage all three. I have always been a responsible cat owner, achieving longevity w/ them. I want the best quality lives for all of them. Please advise....tigre.

  • trancegemini_wa
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    tigre, my senior cat at 18yrs was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease and non regenerative anemia (is this what the vet told you your cat had?) The way my vet explained it, is the kidneys produce a hormone which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells, but when the kidneys are failing, they aren't able to do that properly, so the cat ends up with anemia. My vet also said that a blood transfusion would be little help, because very quickly she would just become anemic again. In the end it was the anemia which got her before the kidney failure did. Unfortunately when they have anemia, it usually means the kidneys are in really bad shape (unless there is another cause of the anemia), but usually it's caused by the failing kidneys.

    I did try to put her on K/d food but she wasn't too keen on it, and the vet felt she had little time left, so I just fed her whatever she would eat, which often meant opening up multiple cans of wet food at a time to see what she felt in the mood for.

  • tigre072562
    5 years ago

    Tx so much....I have considered her quality of life . If it comes to her failing cause she doesn't like k/d then I will go back to what she will eat. I use to B a nurse and sometimes knowledge is a blessing and sometimes a curse....double edge sword.

  • quasifish
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    tigre, when I had my CRF cat and her very healthy senior brother, I fed Royal Canin Active Mature cat food for the last few years. At the time we were feeding it, it had about the same protein levels as the KD diet (this info use to be available at the Tanya site), but cost less and the cats both loved it. It was good for CRF cat from the standpoint of low protein and phosphorous, and quite good for the healthy cat at his age as well. My CRF kitty was tiny, and the active mature had a higher fat/calorie content, so that is why we went with that. They also have a mature cat formula (not active mature), that I believe is about the same of protein/phos- which would be a good choice for bigger kitties who don't need extra calories.

    I hesitate a little to post this because there have been some unkind things posted about Royal Canin on this forum over the years, but am posting in hopes that it might be of some use to you. I was so impressed with how my old kitties did on RC, that my "new" guy (lol, we've had him for 7 years), still eats Royal Canin (dental diet for him), and our vet is enthusiastic about the brand and his health as well.

    But as was also said, at a point, feed them whatever they will eat.

    ETA: those foods mentioned above are dry foods. My CRF girl was a dry food eater and continued to crunch it down even when she had almost no teeth left. She did eat wet food daily, but just focused on high quality proteins when it came to those.

  • Diane Shields
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I hope it is ok to give names but I found Chewy.com has the very best prices. My 3 cats are 13 yrs old and have bad kidney issues. Chewy has Hills RD for cats at $20 for a 4 lb bag with free shipping for orders over $49.00. My vet was charging $40. Talk about price gouging.

    Cats need extra water so every am I share one can (of whatever they will eat) and mix with warm water. Cats need the wet and dry food. Yes I am spending a lot of money on my cats but the comfort they give me is priceless.

  • Diane Shields
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I forgot to mention that Hills Science Diet Active Longevity works really good. The best price for this food is online at Petco.com. Free delivery for recurring orders

  • lisa_fla
    5 years ago

    My cat had severe kidney disease and lived for 5 years with a great quality of life. He ate the dry K/D. He received subq fluids the entire time as well. He was more active than our normal cat! His last 6 months anemia set in but it wasn't an issue thanks to aranesp. He eventually died from cancer, not kidney disease. You CAN feed kitty canned food with a phosphorous binder. check out the Tanya site or buy the book on Amazon. The other cat ate the K/D for years with no issue. CRF cat has been gone for 2 years now. Other kitty has gone back to regular food. My point is- my cat lived a very long time for a kitty with his lab numbers. You can sometimes print $7 off coupons for K/D on their website.

  • Diane Shields
    5 years ago

    What is aranesp? I need all the help I can get. Thank you for your reply. One of my cats does not seem to be getting any better.

  • Deb Silva
    4 years ago

    hello, my kitty has 2nd stage renal failure and diabetes. Anyone here have suggestions most of the canned foods are low in phosphorous but too high in carbs. thank u so much

  • annztoo
    4 years ago

    Deb,

    You'll probably get more responses if you start a new thread. This is an old post and not everyone will look at it.

    Here's something I found online for low-carb cat food. You'll have to do more research to see if the other ingredients work for a cat with renal failure.

  • Kristen Lightbody
    3 years ago

    Meghane- I found this post yesterday! Thank you for your alternatives to Hills prescription diet foods! I had never heard of Wysong pet food co. I ordered a bag for my 12yr old kitty w/ kidney issues.

  • Larry Cohen
    3 years ago

    I read a couple of articles which say that Hills KD is either ineffective, or harmful because it is lower in protein than a normal cat food. Cats need a diet that is high in protein. I would ask a pet nutritionist (not a vet) what to feed your cat for kidney disease. You want something natural, and grain free at a minimum. Vet's are good at diagnosing and treating medically diseases that cats can get. They are not necessarily good at nutrition. In fact, some vets promote certain big name foods, like Hills, because they get a kick back from the company that makes the food. Be very careful about assuming your vet is a nutrition expert, because most of them are not.

  • lisa_fla
    2 years ago

    KD is lower in protein because of the kidney disease!
    The usual guidelines for CKD cats are to feed a diet which has added potassium and essential fatty acids but which has reduced levels of protein, phosphorus and sodium.

  • HU-788055214
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    ,

  • HU-788055214
    2 years ago

    Feast with kidney disease

  • Yassin Akkari
    last year
    last modified: last year

    There are definitely multiple k/d cat food alternatives on the market to choose from. I think one of the best is Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Cat Food but I'm not quite sure whether it would be affordable or not. However, the Forza10 Wet Cat Food Kidney RENAL ACTIWET is a top low-budget choice as mentioned in the article that I've linked to earlier.

    Good luck!

  • HU-25974606
    11 months ago

    Where do

    You find an 8lb nag for $30.-? I only can get it for $52-$55.-

  • HU-25974606
    11 months ago

    Where do

    You get it for $30 for an 8lb bag? I can only find it for $52-$54 for an 8lb bag

  • Skye Lowe
    10 months ago

    Great post, it was hard to find on Google! As you may see, I'm currently scouring the net for more info on CKD food. I'm constantly on the look out for CKD food for my stage 1 CKD kitty. I couldn't feed her the chicken hills science diet k/d because it contains sugar. I can't feed her royal canin ckd because she refuses to eat it. So far I have her on weruva slide n serve brat pack chicken & lamb because it is the lowest phosphorous (wet) at around 15% (you can find all their nutritional information on their website) but the dry matter is quite high at around 80% and Tanya's CKD suggests a dry matter of around 50%. While both my senior cats love it (my ckd cat is around 16 the other is around 14-15) I feel like maybe I should look for a lower phosphorus one for my ckd cat. I ordered Tanya's CKD food guide book off Amazon recently and look forward to checking it out once it arrives. This thread was a very helpful, informative read and it took me forever to find, I stumbled upon it by accident. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed and God bless you and your kitties. I'd like to mention that before switching to Weruva (and now still on the search for another healthy kind) my cats both USED to eat the CKD Royal Canin food, both wet "E" (they only like pate) and the hypoallergenic dry (which has soy in it, that's why I stopped feeding it to them) and they did horrible on it. My CKD cat kept throwing up, wailing every night, refused to eat, was always miserable, had intense muscle wasting, and just slept a lot and drank a ton of water and peed like crazy. My healthy cat, who is usually quite active, had really poor energy levels and would get exhausted too easily. After taking them off that food they're doing a million times better. My healthy cat has more energy, and my CKD cat has a better appetite, pees and drinks a bit less, is brighter and more active and mobile, more affectionate and friendly, and only wails when she's hungry lol shes still stage 1 so currently no supplements and I can be a bit liberal with her food choices (still want low phosphorus!! I'm not risking feeding her a high phosphorus food) but I do worry down the line about what I'll feed her in the future. For now, I'm comfortable feeding her low phosphorus and moderate protein non-prescription foods from reputable companies that are good quality and I agree that I'd much rather have cat eating and happy on a non CKD diet than miserable and suffering on a CKD vet diet. For now, she seems ok and I will keep monitoring her blood tests. I don't know what the future holds in terms of her nutrition though. Best of luck to you guys and kitties. God bless. Also have you heard of biotin in cat food interfering with blood test results? I need to do more research into that!

  • Sam
    4 months ago

    I know this is an older thread, but wanted to share this to help others so as to not lose their pet to kidney failure.


    I balked at spending so much for my cat and dog for Hills, Royal Canin, etc. I asked my vet if there was a better way. She gave me a homemade recipe that works for both my cat with kidney failure and my older dog with kidney failure. My dog was recently diagnosed and is slowly gaining weight and getting better getting this recipe with about a serving of 4 cups or more 2X day. She was eating regular fog food before all the time and lost weight turning into nothing but bones. It was the kidney failure causing the weight loss. The same thing with weight loss happened to my cat. This recipe brought my cat completely out of kidney failure and he is normal today. I am so appreciative to my vet for this recipe because she even sells the Hills brand and gave me this recipe anyway.


    It is:


    6 cups cooked rice, brown or basmati works good


    6-8 oz of liver, chicken or turkey. I use mixed white and dark canned chicken. Change up the meat for variety. They will get tired of the same meat all the time.


    1 1/2 Tums tablets


    1 1/2 tbl oil like canola, olive, sunflower


    2 eggs cooked over hard.


    Vitamin liquid 4 dropperfuls. I use Pet-Tinic found on Amazon


    For my cat I add 1 capsule of taurine


    I double this recipe and sometimes quadruple it and freeze the rest. . To double the recipe, I use my big rice cooker and use 3 cups of dry rice and 6 cups of water. I then divide the entire batch of rice into 2 containers with saver tops. Then 1 can of chicken or other meat goes into each container. Then I add the 1 1/2 tbls of oil to each container, then I smash up the Tums and add to each container. Then I squirt 4 dropperfuls of the liquid vitamin in each container. Then I cook 4 whole eggs and put 2 cooked eggs in each container. I add the taurine capsule, one for each container. I then keep the 2 containers in the fridge and they last for 1 week. If I quadruple the batch, I freeze another 2 containers for later.


    Good luck.