If you want to skip ahead and see which diets made the list, you can do so here. We’ll go over everything you need to know about why these diets made the list and why they might be a decent option to prescription diets.
Should You Look For An Alternative Without A Prescription?
I really want to stress that this essay isn’t veterinary advice and that I’m not a veterinarian. If your cat has already undergone treatment for crystals, obstructions, or stones, you are aware of the severity of this illness.
Therefore, even though a non-prescription diet may be less expensive, if it doesn’t improve your cat’s condition, you’ll wind up with a hefty medical bill and a lot of discomfort for your cat—or worse.
That’s not good for your cat or your wallet, either.
However, prescription diets are a very complex topic, and the ambiguity of FDA rules makes things worse. Additionally, these diets don’t include prescription medications, which can be perplexing to the normal customer who would (fairly) confuse a prescription diet with a prescription medication.
So what was the original purpose of these diets?
Although it’s not a flawless system, therapeutic diets typically have scientific trials to support their diet’s efficacy. Here is an example of a study supporting Hills C/D Multicare. Most alternatives lack backing from a clinical trial, unless they are also prescription diets.
Any decision should be discussed with your veterinarian. Since you both want what’s best for your cat, your veterinarian will be aware that these diets don’t contain any prescription medications.
In light of the foregoing, let’s examine a few justifications for choosing an option.
Alternatives to the Best Wet Urinary Prescription Diet
Let’s look at our top options now that you have a solid knowledge of how urinary prescription diets function.
Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau is the best overall
Tiki Cat doesn’t technically promote itself as a urinary diet, but it still satisfies many of the criteria we’d want to see, having less magnesium than Hills Science Diet C/D and a low ash level. I consider the Tiki Cat brand to be one of the more underappreciated cat chow brands available today. While some of their branding may be goofy, the creator of the company has a lengthy background in the pet food business, and their cat food is anything but.
This meal resembles a can of chicken when you open it or look at a photo, which is fantastic for our carnivorous kitties. The majority of the ingredients are simple to understand, and there’s really no need to hazard a guess as to what’s within (at least for the main ingredients).
Additionally, only a small number of cat foods on the market don’t contain any of the typical thickening ingredients, such as guar gum or xanthan gum. Although some people might not think highly of certain ingredients, others may love them.
This is a premium cat food, so if cost is your main concern, this might not be the best choice. However, this Tiki Cat taste can be a fantastic choice if you want premium cat food without a prescription.
This cat food is a fantastic option for many felines because it has low ash, low magnesium, and low carbohydrates in addition to an emphasis on high-quality protein sources. Always with your vet before changing a diet that has been prescribed by one.
Weruva Canned Classic Recipes came in second
Despite the fact that another cat food on this list isn’t advertised or labeled as a urinary-specific diet, you might be surprised to see it there. Don’t be fooled by that.
There are several cat diets that fit our criteria, and some, like Weruva, nonetheless keep urinary health in mind without explicitly mentioning it on the main label. According to Weruva’s website, the high moisture content, high-quality meats, and low magnesium content are highly beneficial to the urinary system.
“As obligate carnivores, cats must consume meat, and quality meat helps promote good urine pH levels,” they particularly state. As long as cats are properly hydrated and maintain an acidic urine pH, crystal formation may be avoided.
Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health is the most affordable option
Since Purina commonly uses questionable substances, I don’t usually recommend them, but there are times when we are in a tight spot and need to locate affordable wet food that is low in magnesium and phosphorus.
Although there are two types of meat by-products in this Purina recipe that we generally think of as filler, I assure you that it isn’t as horrible as it sounds!
Returning to the Association of American Feed Control Officers for a few definitions, we can find that meat by-products are defined as animal parts that are “other than the muscular tissue, including the internal organs and bones.” It includes some of the parts that Americans commonly eat (such as livers, kidneys, and tripe), as well as certain sections that are not normally eaten by Americans.
However, the designation of not being fit for human eating is frequently more of a cultural than a nutritional one.
Additionally, according to AAFCO, “certain by-products, including udders and lungs, are not classified “edible” by the USDA for human consumption, but they can be totally safe and nutritious for animals not predisposed to be misled by the unpleasant nature of these sections of animals.”
I’m done now!
While looking for alternatives to urinary prescription diets may appear to be a simple procedure, there is actually a lot to discuss before you can truly make an informed choice.
As I’ve said numerous times, you should discuss this choice with your veterinarian so that you can think about your cat’s overall health, not just urinary issues.