…and then hopefully we’ll move on?
The one article that has gotten the most attention on this website is my critique of Renafood and why it’s (if you’ll pardon mon français) utter horseshit. Renafood supporters will periodically poke in and sing its praises, claiming their cats are doing fantastically after starting Renafood.
I want to make something really clear here: to all those people, I’m really, really happy to hear that your cats are doing well. I’m shaking my pom poms and cheering their fuzzy butts on. May they live long and prosper, and snuzzle you when you need it most, and knock your keys under the couch, and drool on your boobs because they’re so happy, and bring you their little felt octopus for you to throw so they can run after it and then promptly bat it under the oven, and freak out for no discernible reason in the middle of the damn night so you scream a little and then feel embarrassed because dude, it was just your cat being a spaz per usual. Kick that CRF in the ass.
All those heart-warming stories of how Renafood has worked wonders, however, are inevitably accompanied by the story of how the caretakers have improved the diet in some way. Switching from dry to wet is an immense improvement. Switching from those terrible low-protein, completely unpalatable kidney formulas to something the cat will actually enjoy eating is an even bigger improvement. Prolonged fasting will screw a cat with CRF up but good, because it sets up a horrible feedback loop: the cat feels nauseated and ill from CRF, then is given unpalatable low-protein dry food, so he’ll avoid eating it, and then his body starts breaking down his muscle mass to feed the unrelenting protein engine that keeps feline bodies running, and he’ll feel even more ill and eat even less because it’s a really stressful process that releases some truly nasty by-products into the bloodstream that his wrecked kidneys are incapable of dealing with. So on. So forth. Phosphorus restriction and a high-quality wet diet—or more importantly, a high-quality diet that your CRF cat is willing to eat on a consistent basis, period—will manage his condition better than just about anything; if you’re giving him subcutaneous fluids, even better. But first and foremost is to keep the cat eating. A cat who ain’t eating is a dead cat.
What I’m trying to say here is: a massive diet improvement is what’s making your cats’ lives better. And good on you for making that switch. The fact that you’re making the switch concurrent with or in addition to using Renafood speaks volumes. The bloodwork numbers don’t lie, but I think the credit for the improvements lie with a source other than a pill that (and let me be explicit here) can’t actually work the way the manufacturer claims it works because it makes no scientific sense whatsoever.
If somebody has a cat with kidney disease and uses Renafood to treat it but hasn’t made any other modifications to the diet prior to starting Renafood wants to speak up about how using Renafood miraculously improved kitteh’s bloodwork numbers, I’d love to hear it. Until then: I love hearing how your cats are doing well. I’m completely unconvinced that Renafood is doing anything. Instead, I’m applauding your diet management skills and the obvious love you’re showering on your companions.