Nutrition is important for sick cats, and finding the best food to feed a cat with cancer is important. Finding out that your cat has cancer is a heat breaking experience for pet parents. Your cat will experience many hardships a long the way, and due to the way that cancer impacts the body, it’s more important than ever that they receive adequate nutrition. There are thousands of pet food brands all vying for your attention, and it can often be confusing as to which ones are truly healthy.
In this article we’re going to go over the nutritional needs of cats with cancer, and we’ll help you to decipher the information on the ingredients label. We’ll also make some recommendations for healthy foods, and make note of ones that have ingredients which can be helpful for the many symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, which can include pain and nausea. Let’s start by talking about what happens to cats who have cancer and the hardships they may face.
What does cancer do to cats?
For cats with cancer, there will likely be a negative impact on their immune system. Sometimes this is from the illness itself, but in some cases even the drugs used to treat your cat may have negative repercussions. Medical researchers are still struggling to treat cancer, and many times there is a trade off for attempting to kill cancer cells that can be damaging in other areas.
Cats with a weak immune system may have trouble fighting off infections or illness that would otherwise be no problem for a healthy animal. For this reason it’s important that you monitor your cat’s health carefully, as he may need medical assistance for things he would have been able to shrug off in the past.
Pet parents should know right off the bat that there is no magic food or product that can cure your cat’s cancer. However, there are foods which can be helpful for the symptoms which your cat will express that can make him more comfortable while he receives treatment, or give him a better quality of life for the time he has left if his cancer is inoperable. That’s what we’re here to talk about today in our article for the best food to feed a cat with cancer.
What are some cancer fighting foods for cats?
Some issues that your cat may face during his diagnosis and treatment include pain, nausea, lowered immune system, diarrhea and possibly trouble keeping weight on. When searching for a new food for your cat, there are a few ingredients which you should keep in mind that may be helpful to them. By scanning the ingredients list you can usually pick out a food which could help their ailments. This is a small list, but these ingredients are common in many higher quality cat foods.
- Sweet potatoes (Anti inflammatory)
- Blueberries (Anti oxidants)
- Pumpkin (Digestive aid, bowel movement regularity, Vitamin A)
- Fish Oil (Anti inflammatory, Omega 3, skin health)
Should I feed my cat a raw diet?
It is not recommended to feed cats with cancer a raw food diet. While this is perfectly acceptable for a healthy animal, due to the fact that cancer patients often have weakened immune systems, this may be dangerous for cats who are facing a cancer diagnosis. Their bodies may not be strong enough to fight off the bacteria that could be present in raw food. Therefore, our recommendations will only include recipes where the ingredients have been cooked.
Our list for best food to feed a cat with cancer
Now that you know exactly what you’re up against, it’s time for us to present our picks for the best cat foods for cancer. We’ve chosen only top quality foods that use good ingredients for this list, and we’ve also chosen only wet foods. The reason for this is that many cats simply have problems with dry food thanks to struvite crystals. Cats often do not get enough liquids through drinking, and you really should consider feeding them a wet food so that you are not adding additional health problems for them. Dehydrated cats can get blockages caused by urine crystals which prevents them from urinating. If this happens your cat would need immediately medical attention to survive. The best way to combat this is by feeding them a high quality wet food to make sure they get plenty of liquids.
We’ve included recipes that are predominately protein based, because that’s what cats need for nutrition. However, we’ve also included recipes that include small amounts of healthy fruits or vegetables which can benefit them, such as pumpkin to help them keep their food down and stay regular and anti inflammatory foods to help them fight pain and swelling. Here’s our top picks!
#1 – NomNomNow
Our top pick is for pet food delivery service, NomNomNow. This company uses only the freshest, human grade ingredients, and they deliver this food to your door every week. That’s pretty cool, but they also offer limited ingredient diets that offer exceptional nutrition to your cat. Below you can see the ingredients for their fish feast recipe, which we recommend. This recipe contains only five main ingredients. The first ingredients are healthy fish servings of tilapia and salmon which will provide your cat with healthy fish oils. Fish oil also acts as an anti inflammatory, and this can help to reduce swelling and soothe some of the pain your cat may experience.
This particular flavor will of course be very enticing to cats, and if you’re having a hard time getting your poor fur baby to eat, then this will likely be an excellent choice to help keep the weight on them. This recipe is also very low in carbohydrates, giving your cat more healthy proteins, which is exactly what he needs to be happy and healthy. While NomNomNow is certainly a more expensive option than feeding your cat boring dry kibble, it is also the healthiest and highest quality diet available. If you’d like to learn more about feeding your pet like a kitty king, then you can visit the website.
#2 – Halo Cat Food
If NomNomNow is a little out of your price range but you’d still like to offer your cat excellent nutrition, then number two on our list is Halo. This brand makes exceptional cat food offerings that are both nutritionally sound and easy to digest. They have many different recipes, and if you’ve found that your cat is sensitive to some ingredients, then you’ll likely be able to find something here that will fit the situation. This includes many different specialty recipes such as grain free and gluten free as well. They use only whole meat ingredients and not overly processed meat meals like other brands.
If your cat has had trouble with constipation, diarrhea or vomiting, then you’ll be glad to know that Halo offers superior digestibility to other cat foods. They actually tested this in a laboratory and have come out on top! If we take a look at the ingredients for the grain free turkey recipe, we can see that this food is predominantly made of turkey and turkey liver. This is quickly followed up by healthy veggies like sweet potatoes, for an anti inflammatory and berries for healthy antioxidants. Here’s the full ingredients list for this particular recipe.
Ingredients for this recipe: turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, chickpeas, sweet potato, natural flavor, cranberries, blueberries, agar-agar, parsley, dandelion greens, potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, salt, dried New Zealand green mussels, L-Carnitine, minerals, vitamins While this food is obviously not quite as limited in its ingredients as our first choice, it does offer excellent nutrition for your cat, and it will be easy for them to digest. You can read reviews and learn more about this food here.
#3 – Wysong Uretic
Wysong has a reputation for producing exception pet foods, and this offering is of course in line with their core values. Their Uretic diet is a canned food diet that is excellent for senior cats. It has been created to be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It also has immune system boosters, and it’s great for your cats urniary health. It perfectly addresses all the concerns of senior cats, and due to the high protein content it’s particularly palatable, making it a great choice for cats with reduced appetite.
Ingredints: Organic Chicken, Brown Rice, Blueberry, DL-Methionine, Cranberry Extract, Taurine, Organic Barley Grass Powder, Dried Kelp, Yeast Extract, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Chicory Root, Hemicellulose Extract, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Pepper.
Here we can see the ingredients for this particular food. It’s mostly comprised of organic chicken, but there’s also some brown rice in there. Brown rice is very digestible, and it can be a good ingredient for animals with frequent nausea issues. If you’re interested in reading more about this excellent food, then you can do so at the manufacturer’s website. They also offer the best price on all their products, and their auto-ship program saves pet parents and additional 10% on each purchase.
How to help cats with digestion problems
If your cat has issues with digestion, then you can easily add a little something to their food to help. Pumpkin is a great ingredient to help settle the stomach and help your cat have regular bowel movements. Just purchase a can of pumpkin at the grocery store and mix a bit into their wet food. Just make sure that you only buy pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling! These products look similar, but the latter is full of sugar and junk that your cat does not need. It’s a very cheap and effective method to help pets with upset stomach issues.
What else can I do to help my cat?
If your cat is experiencing a lot of pain but you don’t want to use drugs to treat him, then have you considered an anti inflammatory supplement? While it’s possible to give your cats anti inflammatory in their food, it may be difficult or impossible for them to retain enough of it to be helpful. Giving them a dedicated supplement can go a long way in helping them to reduce swelling and soothe pain caused by muscle aches or arthritis. If you need a great supplement for this, then FlexPet makes a great product that is an all around health supplement for older or sick pets. You can also save a good deal of money on it by purchasing it directly from the supplier instead of a retailer!
What can I do for a cat that is underweight?
For cats that are underweight, you may need to consider giving them a supplement. It only takes a small amount of weight-loss for a cat to be in dangerous territory. If your sick cat is consistently losing weight, then you may need to consider adding a supplement to your diet to get more calories in them. Wysong also has an excellent product called PDG. This is a power made of nutritious organ meats. It’s very calorie dense, and you can sprinkle it on your cat’s food in order to help them maintain weight. It can also be force fed if you get to a point where your cat has no appetite at all and simply refuses to eat.
You can do this by mixing the powder with a bit of water to form a paste and then administering it with a feeding syringe. However, it’s pretty attractive to cats, and even putting a bit on their tongue with your finger may be enough to entice them to begin eating again on their own. You can learn more about this product here if your cat needs help maintaining their weight. If your cat loses a lot of weight in a short time and you can’t seem to get it under control, then it’s time to go to the vet. Don’t wait around, because it could become life threatening for your pet surprisingly quickly.
While we’ve tried our best to make healthy picks for cats, it’s important for pet parents to remember that best food to feed a cat with cancer is the one that they will eat. This is especially true for cats, because even not eating for as little as two days can be life threateningly dangerous for them. You should feed your sick cat whatever you can get them to eat. Choosing a fresh or high meat diet is usually the most flavorful and will often spur their appetite though.