Pros: my vet gave it to me for free
Cons: cheap and gross ingredients, not much added fiber, only sold by vets
For the past couple of months, I have been battling with kitten and cat diarrhea. Cleaning, looking at, or even walking past the litter box has been a horrifying experience. I have taken several stool samples to the vet for fecal exams, I have tried various wormers and antibiotics, and I have tried feeding them several different types of food. And still the diarrhea persists...
While at the vet's office two weeks ago for an entirely different matter, I mentioned to him that I still had not been able to find the cause of and cure for their loose and stinky stools. He gave me several cans of Science Diet Prescription Diet Feline k/d canned food. He told me that the k/d formula contained added fiber that may help to eliminate the kitty diarrhea. I accepted the cans and was hoping that maybe this would be the solution to the problem.
From company website: For the Nutritional Management of Cats with Kidney Disease
There are many causes for kidney disease resulting in an variety of uncomfortable and life threatening symptoms for your cat. Kidney disease can be either sudden (acute) or occur gradually (chronic). Prescription Diet? k/d? Feline cat food has been uniquely formulated to help manage cats with kidney disease. Kidney disease can result from other illness or changes in your cats health, breed/hereditary tendencies and even nutritional factors. The signs of kidney disease remain difficult to detect until more than two-thirds of kidney function are lost.The nutritional formulation of Prescription Diet? k/d? may also be useful for pets with a variety of conditions.
The cats definitely don't have kidney disease or other health problems. But this food does, in fact, contain added soluble fiber so they fall into the category of "pets with a variety of conditions", I guess.
Science Diet Prescription Diet Feline k/d canned food is sold in 5.5 ounce aluminum cans. Each can has an "easy open" top that allows you to open it without a can opener. The cans are recyclable.
From company website: Water, Pork Liver, Beef By-Products, Corn Starch, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Ground Whole Grain Corn, Pork By-Products, Potassium Citrate, Powdered Cellulose, Calcium Carbonate, Fish Oil, DL-Methionine, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Cysteine, Glycine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of vitamin C), Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
What a horrifying list of ingredients. First of all, this food contains pork liver and pork by-products. I don't think I have EVER seen a cat food that contains pork components. While liver can provide some valuable vitamins, it also can contain incredible amounts of toxins and to use it as the primary source of protein is very undesirable. I also do not like to feed my cats or foster cats by-products because they are a cheap source of inferior protein.
This formula is designed to have a lower-than-normal protein level. They achieve this by incorporating quite a a lot of carbohydrates into the food. The problem is that they use corn starch which is a cheap source of carbohydrates that contains no vitamins, minerals, oils, etc. Hill's also uses ground whole grain corn which is a cheap filler that cats cannot properly digest. (They are carnivores, not cows.) Corn components are ingredients that I go out of my way to avoid when selecting a high-quality cat food.
Powdered cellulose is the source of added fiber in this formula. It is the same type of powder that people mix up with water and drink when they need to add fiber to their diet.
Overall, this is a very low-quality canned cat food (as are all of the Science Diet formulas) and one that I usually would never feed to my cats. But, I was desperate to stop the diarrhea and was willing to try almost anything... so I fed them Science Diet Prescription Diet Feline k/d canned food.
Cost and Availability
Because the vet gave me several cans of this food for free, I am not exactly sure how much it costs. He has "prescribed" other formulas for my cats over the years and I have paid about $1.25 per 5.5 ounce can for those.
Science Diet's Prescription formulas are available only in veterinary offices. You won't find them sold in pet stores or even on the Science Diet website. Vets make a ton of money selling these foods which is why they love to "prescribe" them to so many animals. Sadly, most pet owners do not know much about cat or dog nutrition and buy these foods for their pets "because the vet said so."
Did The Added Fiber Help?
Not really. Everyone still had loose stools fairly regularly while on Science Diet Prescription Diet Feline k/d canned food. Perhaps there isn't enough added fiber in this food. It isn't specifically "designed" to improve digestive issues--it is supposed to help with kidney disease. I imagine that the pork by-products and corn didn't help to soothe their digestive system either.
If I wanted to try feeding the cats food with added fiber, I would simply open up a high-quality canned food like Merrick or EVO, sprinkle powdered fiber on top, and mix well before serving. That way I would know that they were getting both premium ingredients and added soluble fiber.
This is another inferior formula in Science Diet's "Prescription" line. It contains cheap ingredients that are difficult for cats to digest. I would not give this to my pets again nor would I recommend it to anyone else. Even if your cat has kidney disease (the condition for which this food is supposedly formulated), there are much better ways to lower protein and increase carb levels and incorporate extra fiber into your pet's diet.