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by Doug Hines

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What's in Your Cat's Food Dish? ®

- My Vet Sells It -

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"My Vet Sells it. It MUST be Good."

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Is That Really True? Read the ingredients list.

Is it only me, or does it bother you that your own vet sells less-than-quality cat foods? 


You've seen it. You go into a vet clinic and the pet food is stacked floor to ceiling. I see it at my own vet's office.


Is this a case of a vet's questionable judgement, or is this a case of marketing gone wild? You watch and wonder as countless people buy pet food from their vets by the armful. They do so, based entirely on the trust they have established with their vet after years of caring for their precious companion animals. The vet's reputation sells the products - without them ever having to say a word.


Some of these brands, while even labelled "Veterinary Exclusive," may be eyebrow raising at best. Read the ingredient labels and you instantly come to the conclusion that some of these brands are not the best products in the world.


After having learned about product ingredients throughout this website, you can quickly identify unhealthy ingredients and make a determination for yourself about a product's quality.

"There is simply blind acceptance of 'vet-recommended' labeling claims"

Hill's® and Royal Canin®

The problem is that pet owners immediately associate Hill's® Science Diet®, Hill's® Prescription Diet®, and Royal Canin® with veterinary clinics and with quality. These brands may not be as beneficial for your cats as you might think. In fact, in reviewing over 1,250 cat food products, and after having rated them best to worst, these three come in towards the bottom of the list.


If cat food ingredients are any indication, there seems to be very little integrity in caring for the well-being of our cats. There are so many bad products on store shelves that it’s astonishing.


It seems to me that the cat food industry cares more about product shelf-life than it does about your cat’s life.


In my opinion, and after reviewing a total of 115 of Hill’s® and Royal Canin®’s wet cat food products, I think they are some of the worst cat foods on the market.


Of the 115, I rejected them all with an (X). That’s 115 out of 115 rejected. In other words, every product in their product line is substandard. Want to know why I graded them this way? Just read the ingredients labels and judge for yourself.


These brands are supposedly designed to provide solutions to specific pet health problems, or said another way, "illness-specific-remedies." If your cat has urinary tract problems, there's a cat food for that. If your cat has digestive problems, there's a cat food for that. If your cat has hyperthyroidism or kidney troubles, there's a cat food for that.


The only problem is that Hill’s® and Royal Canin®’s  Holy Grail answers to your pet’s problems have inferior ingredients.


When only two major cat food companies make a total of 115 different cans of cat food, something is strange. What ingredients could possibly change within a can of cat food to make that number of variations necessary? 


They make cat food for Seniors®, Adults®, Kittens®, Indoor®, Mothers & Babies®, High-Protein®, Low-Protein®, Prescription®, Sensitive Digestion®, Sensitive Stomach®, Weight Control®, Urinary Care®, Low Glycemic®, Breed Specific®, Vegetarian®, and on and on. They specialize in c/d®, k/d®, i/d®, z/d®, w/d®, a/d®, y/d®, d/d®, m/d®, s/d®, and r/d®. You have to go to their website to find out what all this gobbledygook is about.


I certainly don’t see the difference when I read the ingredients labels, and there’s nothing in the cans but the ingredients! No magic, invisible contents. (Oh there is one predominant ingredient in most of these cans - its water. You are paying for water.)


How much (marketing) variation can they squeeze out of simple cat food ingredients? Keep in mind that all of the following are produced by One Company!

  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [i/d Digestive Care®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [c/d Multicare Urinary Care Stress®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [k/d Kidney Care®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [k/d Kidney Care + Mobility Care®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [Metabolic Weight Management®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [Metabolic + Urinary®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [Adult 7+ Youthful Vitality®]
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stew  [Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive/Fiber Care®


Who are they trying to kid? (Which is a polite way of saying 'Who are they trying to CON?')  Do the products really have ingredients to solve your cat’s problems, or are all these cans, figuratively, full of baloney?


And another thing... Can you see any ingredients in these products which would necessitate needing a prescription to purchase them? Maybe needing a prescription to buy cat food is a great big hoax.


My argument isn’t flawed in any way. Read the ingredients labels, and find out for yourselves.

Let's Look at One Product's Ingredient List...

Let's see what's in the can. Let's take Hill's® Prescription Diet® c/d Multicare® Urinary Care® 'Stress'® Chicken & Vegetable Stew as an example. I chose this product at random from Hill's® product line.


The marketing hype states, "Hill's nutritionists and veterinarians developed Prescription Diet c/d Muticare, clinical nutrition specially formulated to support your cat's urinary health while also managing stress. In fact, c/d Multicare is clinically tested nutrition to lower the recurrence of most common urinary signs by 89%." (I'd love to see the clinical trial data that supports that claim.) "This irresistible food makes it easier for you to bond with your pet with gently cooked, bite-sized chunks of real chicken and natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals."

The nutritional analysis tells quite a different story

Questionable ingredients are shown in bold type, and their descriptions can be found elsewhere in this website.


Guaranteed Analysis:

  • only 6.0% min crude protein (which is low compared to other products)
  • 2.5% min crude fat, and
  • 1.0% max crude fiber


By the way, if the protein and fat in this example are equal to 8.5%, what's the other 91.5%? Mostly water. You are essentially purchasing a can of water. How does that make you feel?


Ingredients::

  • Water (more water in the can than there is anything else)
  • Pork Liver (Whoaaa... I thought the marketing hype above stated this was "bite-sized chunks of real chicken". Now we see that the first and most prevalent ingredient in this chicken stew is pork.)
  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Rice
  • Corn Starch
  • Spinach
  • Chicken Liver Flavor
  • Chicken Fat
  • Potassium Alginate
  • Fish Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Calcium Chloride
  • Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Guar Gum
  • Calcium Sulfate
  • Taurine
  • Vitamins (form/sources?) (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid)
  • Potassium Citrate (form/source?)
  • Iodized Salt (again with the added salt)
  • Choline Chloride (form/source?)
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • Dried Hydrolyzed Casein
  • L-Tryptophan
  • Minerals (Zinc Oxide (form/source?), Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate)
  • Beta-Carotene (form/source?), and
  • Calcium Carbonate


Folks, I think you are being lied to. Your vet really should know what's in these cat foods. The cat food manufacturer knows the truth for sure. One or the other, or both, are deceiving you.


Judge for yourself whether or not these products are good for you cat. My advice? Put them back on the vet's store shelf. If a vet's cat food sales start to dwindle, maybe that vet will find, both a conscience, and some better products to sell.

Another Questionable Practice by Hill's®

Hill's® produces at least four products in their Prescription Diet® line which are really absurd. (Keep in mind this is a company, selling through your Vet, which suggests that their food is somehow better than the average store-bought cat food.)


  • r/d Weight Reduction® Chicken FLAVOR
  • s/d Urinary Care® Chicken FLAVOR
  • m/d GlucoSupport® with Liver FLAVOR
  • Metabolic® Weight Management® Chicken FLAVOR


I want to draw your attention to this word 'FLAVOR.' Using the word flavor in the name only requires a slightly detectable amount of the meat to be present. In other words, there most probably isn't any meat in the can at all. At best, the food only contains meat broth - which has only traces of meat.


And your Vet is pushing this stuff?

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Photo Courtesy of Susan Thixton, TRUTHaboutpetfood.com

It seems I'm not alone in questioning Hill's® and Royal Canin®

Here's yet another article by Susan Thixton, Pet Food Safety Advocate and writer for the informative website TRUTHaboutpetfood.com. This article is titled, "How do you feel when Veterinarians sell less than optimal Pet Food?"


She writes, "We've all seen it, veterinarian offices full of Science Diet®, Eukanuba®, or Purina® pet foods. How does that make you feel? Knowing that most of these foods, prescription or maintenance, contain by-products, animal fat, and even risk chemical preservatives. Does that change your opinion of your vet?


It's almost as if veterinarians, as a whole, are the last holdout to climb on the quality ingredient pet food band wagon. Why is that? The long stated excuse of dog and cat nutrition classes taught in veterinary school by the very pet food companies they pitch just doesn't float anymore. Pet owners have been brainwashed by pet food for decades, yet a growing number of us have learned the benefit of quality pet food... So why are [verterinarians] still recommending pet foods that contain known less than optimal ingredients....?"


Read more of this important article here, and pay special attention to the paragraphs starting with "When I walk into a veterinarian's office..." Those paragraphs should sound familiar to you. You may not have realized it. You may not have put it into words,  but you were probably thinking it all along.


The whole point of this page is to have you use caution in purchasing cat food (even cat food sold by your veterinarian), and to encourage you to read the ingredients labels. Just because your vet sells it doesn't make it the best product on store shelves today.

CatFoodDB Reviews Hill's® & Royal Canin®

Tammy at CatFoodDB.com reviews all kinds of cat food. 


Find the best cat food for your cat from 2900+ products and 180+ brands.


When compared against all other wet food manufacturer's products, here's what Tammy has to say about Hill's® Science Diet®, Hill's® Prescription Diet®, and Royal Canin®.


Hill's® Science Diet®

  • These wet foods scored, on average, 4.4 out of 10 paws, making Hill's® Science Diet® a significantly below average wet cat food brand


Hill's® Prescription Diet®

  • These wet foods scored, on average, 4.2 out of 10 paws, making Hill's® Prescription Diet® a significantly below average wet cat food brand


Royal Canin®

  • These wet foods scored, on average, 3.8 out of 10 paws, making Royal Canin® a significantly below average wet cat food brand

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CatFoodGuide Reviews Hill's® & Royal Canin®

CatFoodGuide.com (Yet Another Cat Food Guide) shows you

'Which Brands to Avoid and Which to Look For When Cat Food Shopping.'


This page has a brief summary of "The Bad" products including Hill's® Science Diet®, and Royal Canin®.


"These brands market themselves as "premium" and typically charge a lot more than [other companies], but aren't much better..." "The sad truth is, most of these companies use exactly the same manufacturer and exactly the same ingredients from exactly the same sources." "These companies all use by-products, poor-quality ingredients, are far too high in carbohydrates, etc. They offer a stunningly bad value for your money."

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Hill's® & PetSmart® IN COURT!

Hill's® (& Royal Canin®) - Is pricey prescription pet food just a racket?

This all-important news story was written by Windy City Legal Geek (10/16/19) and was published in ChicagoNow.com (linked below). 


"In 2017, two women from Illinois brought a class-action lawsuit against Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the PetSmart chain alleging violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act. One plaintiff’s veterinarian prescribed Hills’ special “feline bladder health” food for her cat with bladder stones, while the other was prescribed special Hill's diet food for her diabetic cat. They both purchased the food from PetSmart for several years until they eventually concluded that the prescription food contains no ingredients that can’t be found in cheaper nonprescription cat food."     READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE!

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My Vet Sells it... So What Do You Think Now?

Bottom line of this whole story... Hill's® and Royal Canin® have a higher profit margin than most other foods. No wonder your vet sells them.


By the way... I mentioned at the top of this page that my very own vet was one who had the mountain-high stack of bad cat food in his/her front greeting area. I'm about to change that by voting with my wallet. Tomorrow morning I'm off to find another vet. Knowing what I now know about cat food ingredients, I just don't want to continue supporting a vet who isn't fully, 100%, committed to my cat's good health. I want a vet with more integrity.

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Information on this website is provided for general purposes only. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, care and treatment. Nothing herein is intended to treat, heal, or otherwise be considered as medical advice or treatment. Contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding your cat's diet or health. See additional details here.

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