Pros: special protein concentrate designed for use in cats with food intolerances, or IBS. It works!
Cons: uses ethoxyquin and bha, expensive, prescription only.
I have written many cat food reviews to date, but none more important that this one. To say that Hill's Science Diet Feline z/d Low Allergen Dry food has been the sole reason my beloved cat "Joshua",is still alive is not an exaggeration. Read on for all the details.
~Who is Joshua and What is Feline IBS?
Joshua, aka the "bumblecurl", is a silly fur ball who is almost 16 y.o., a Lilac Lynx Point American Curl who adores me and whom I adore in return. Joshua became extremely ill over 2 years ago. After a hospitalization turned him around, we began the work to keep him healthy. His symptoms included horrific diarrhea, vomiting, losing weight. Appropriate meds were given to treat any infection or possible parasite, and meds were given to calm the inflammation in his intestines, easily felt by my vet who described his intestines as feeling thickened and ropey. When other potential causes for his symptoms were ruled out, what was left was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Our approach...find a food that his gut didn't have a reaction to.
We went through all the prescription canned foods available at that time, that restricted protein and carb sources to one per 'flavor', and he continued to have serious problems. At that time, Hill's Science Diet was just coming out with a revolutionary new food. It was low allergen, due to as, my vet explained it, a new kind of protein stripped of anything that might cause an allergic reaction. It was our last chance to find something Joshua could eat without being so ill.
~Hill's z/d Low Allergen - What is it?
If you have never visited the website for Hill's Science Diet Prescription foods, I encourage you to do so today.
Http://www.prescriptiondiets.com will not only go through various disease descriptions, but lists every prescription food for dogs and cats that they make, and the usual reasons the food is prescribed by vets. Currently, there is a $10 off coupon (Good with the US only) for having your cat's kidney's screened. As the owner of a cat with Chronic Kidney Failure (Patrick), I highly recommend early detection as being very important.
Hill's z/d low allergen (from the website) is unique in the world of cat foods because it has "an exclusive ingredient called Hills Hydrolyzed Protein System, a unique protein that helps reduce the possibility of an adverse reaction to food.". It also features a single carbohydrate source - cats, like dogs, can be allergic to some of the carbohydrates used in many cat foods these days. If you are familiar with my reviews, you know I often comment on such carbohydrate inclusion, and Joshua is the reason why.
Rice protein concentrate, brewers rice, hydrolyzed chicken liver, vegetable oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), hydrolyzed chicken, powdered cellulose, glyceryl monostearate, taurine, ethoxyquin (a preservative), minerals (calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, salt, calcium sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement).
Crude Protein...(min)34%, Crude Fat...(min)13%, Crude Fiber...(max)3%, Moisture...(max)10%, Calcium...(min)0.5%, Phosphorus...(min)0.4%, Magnesium...(max)0.085%, Taurine...(min)0.10%.
Feed 1/3 to 1/2 cup for a 5 lb. cat, feed 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup for a 10 lb. cat, and 3/4 to 1 cup for a 15 lb. cat. To be honest, I free-feed Joshua, keeping a full bowl of this available to him at all times.
The food is a small,cylindrical pellets and the food is available in two sizes - 4 or 10 lb. bags. Each bag features a "best used by date" so you can be sure the food is not out of date. It is only available as a dry food, and is only available via your veterinarian, as a prescription-required food. it comes with a 100% guarantee, and is manufactured here in the US. I must caution you...this is the most expensive cat food I've ever encountered (and I used to purchase one of the most expensive all natural premium foods on the market. I pay $16.99 for the 4lb. size, and $39.79 for the 10 lb. It is worth every single penny to us.
Hills Science Diet Prescription Diet Feline z/d Low Allergen is not a food that has my favorite kind of ingredients. It contains two preservatives I do NOT like - Bha and Ethoxyquin. But...this food has been the one thing that has allowed Joshua's IBS to be controlled, for him to gain weight, have fairly normal stools, no more bloating and pain...he naps, plays, cuddles, and does a whole lot of purring. Life is good for Joshua, and that means life is better for me, as I cherish his presence in my life. I highly recommend this special food if you have a cat with food intolerance, or IBS, and if your vet feels it is an appropriate choice.
Thank you for reading!