Dear Catster reader,

Almost two years ago, we invested numerous resources and rebuilt the Catster community. With new hardware, software and personnel, we did our best to satisfy the many users who shared their thoughts, pictures, questions, and love for and of their pets with us and friends. It was a thriving community with many users. We hoped, however, there would be more like you.

Times and habits have changed and we are sad to announce that the Catster community will be closing down on July 20, 2019.

Catster magazine, and the associated social media sites are NOT shutting down. We encourage you to continue reading the content found in the pages of the magazine and the web sites, commenting through the mechanisms provided and sharing your ideas and comments with us and your fellow readers.

Instructions for accessing pet profiles were shared with everyone in 2017. The instructions can be found elsewhere within the forum. AFTER JULY 20TH, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THIS CONTENT. And, effective immediately, we are no longer able to answer questions about the community.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to serving you through our magazine and website.


Why do vets push Science Diet?

Erin HergertErin Hergert Member Posts: 20
edited 15 April, 2012 in Food & Nutrition
Just curious because all of a sudden I\'m hearing bad things about it. And I\'ve always fed my cats that and my Vet said it was one of his top 3 picks of good food. I\'m all worried now and feel I should switch because of everything I\'m hearing. I don\'t understand it either it\'s one of the top foods at my local pet store which doesn\'t stock too many good foods and it\'s expensive. What\'s good and bad about it? Thanks for any advice!


  • April PlourdeApril Plourde Member Posts: 248
    edited 7 November, 2007
    All kibble is the equivalent of fast food... it's a matter of choosing to eat at Burger King or Subway. Science Diet uses several lower-grade ingredients to achieve nutritional adequacy. Brands such as Felidae use higher quality ingredients. However, both are manufactured in the same manner (burnt, extruded, and left to sit in a bag for months), voiding much of the nutritional value from higher quality ingredients. I personally feed the higher quality brands (our favorites being Canidae/Felidae, Natural Balance, and Natura brands). But if your cats do well on Science Diet, I would not feel pressured to switch. |^|
  • Moxie PopMoxie Pop Los AngelesMember Posts: 130
    edited 7 November, 2007
    When one of my previous cats had kidney failure, my vet put her on a prescription Science Diet K/D formula. It was very expensive and only available through a vet. I started researching my kitty\'s condition and learned a lot about cat food/nutrition. I was shocked to find out that Science Diet had chicken-by-products (which actually makes the kidneys work harder!) and other ingredients that are not considered good for cats. The k/d formula did have benefits for kidney disease but overall it\'s not a high quality food. I think vets push Science Diet because it\'s one of the better lower-quality foods AND because they get a cut of all the prescription diet formulas they sell. A vet can\'t stock their shelves with prescription Science Diet and then tell you NOT to buy the regular stuff at the pet store! Anyway, we no longer go to that vet. I realized some of the advice he had given us was quite outdated. Just like with any profession, there are some people who are better at their jobs, more knowledgeable, etc. than others. I recommend Innova EVO, Wellness, and if you must go with a less expensive and easier-to-find brand, Nutro Natural Choice.
  • edited 7 November, 2007
    In the '70s, Science Diet was the latest thing and highly recommended. Then somewhere along the line it was bought out by one of the conglomerates and is not the same. Also, as was mentioned, not all vets keep up with all things; similar to human doctors who don't know nutrition. It is horrible, but the Food Scare got more humans looking at what was really in the food they gave their cats. Science Diet just isn't what it used to be!
  • Erin HergertErin Hergert Member Posts: 20
    edited 8 November, 2007
    Wow! Thanks everyone for being so nice and supportive! I\'m thinking of switching to EVO and will be ordering a small bag and mixing it with my Regular to see if I like it! |^|
  • Ellie(Elinore) ClarkEllie(Elinore) Clark Member Posts: 9,364
    edited 8 November, 2007
    Is EVO and the others you mentioned only sold on line or are the available in pet stores?
  • edited 8 November, 2007
    Dakota, Innova EVO is usually available at your local pet store. Petcos and Petsmarts don't carry it though.:?
  • Sue KaufmannSue Kaufmann CranfordMember Posts: 1,465
    edited 11 November, 2007
    Brady, another thing to remember is that sometimes the only nutritional info that vets get is through the food companies, and sometimes the food companies are the ones that fund the nutrition classes at vet schools! The good news is that there are vets out there who are doing their own research on food as a part of their personal efforts to stay on top of their profession. I have heard many stories about vets who learned from their clients, too, so you see that we can help in the cause toward better feline health for all of us!
  • edited 11 November, 2007
    Hear, Hear! So true, Hattie! Just as the humans are learning to take charge of their own health decisions, we must teach or challenge the vets sometimes, too.
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 11 November, 2007
    Store locators: Innova EVO and other brands made by the same company, NaturaPet. Wellness Premium brands are typically sold in small neighborhood, non-chain pet stores and speciality pet boutiques. Whole Foods supermarket does sell some Wellness foods.
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 11 November, 2007
    It's Stella. For a long time, for those of us out in the boonies, Science Diet was only available through your vet, it was expensive and your vet got a share of the profits. Sadly, our vet still only recommends the kinds of foods that he sells. We now have a Petco and have a much wider range of foods. It doesn't do my person much good because I won't eat ANY kind of cat food mentioned as being good on this list. My person has tried all that she could get. I like cheap cat food, the cheaper the better, and I won't eat any canned food beyond one tablespoonful. I had been eating Iams for sensitive stomachs, which was one of the highest grades I had been willing to eat, plus it stopped my yurping. Last night she put out Eukanuba for sensitive stomachs and I am on a non-eating strike. $10 down the drain!
  • Sue KaufmannSue Kaufmann CranfordMember Posts: 1,465
    edited 11 November, 2007
    Ooh, ooh ... one more thing -- if your human buys a lot of food and it turns out you don't like it, ask them to give the rest to an animal shelter. They are usually very grateful for the donation.
  • Erin HergertErin Hergert Member Posts: 20
    edited 12 November, 2007
    Thanks all for posting all the advice so fast!! My meowme bought a small bag and is having it shipped to our house and will definetly pass it along to a shelter if it doesn't work. |^|
  • JessicaJessica Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    edited 12 November, 2007
    I'm currently on Hill's C/D for my urinary tract disorder, but if there's a better quality food that'd work the same so I don't get any more crystals, my human meowmy would definitely buy it. She doesn't like the ingredients Hill's use it but currently there's no alternative food for me. :(
  • Sarah MinerSarah Miner MaplewoodMember Posts: 3,790
    edited 12 November, 2007
    Anyone know much about Royal Canin? That is what I eat and all I like. I used to eat Eukanuba until I got a UTI and they put me on a special diet with Royal Canin.
  • Pamela MathyPamela Mathy Member Posts: 25
    edited 12 November, 2007
    Hi Maus, Tell your mom to check out the Wellness Cat Food formulas. According to their website they are formulated to help prevent urinary tract problems and they don\'t have any \"bad stuff \" like corn gluten. I eat Wellness Kitten now and mom plans to switch me to Wellness Indoor formula soon. I really love the dry food. Yummy! Your mom can paste in this address and check it out for herself. I hope it might help. Chester
  • Moxie PopMoxie Pop Los AngelesMember Posts: 130
    edited 13 November, 2007
    I\'m lucky to live in Southern California where there are LOTS of fancy pet stores that carry premium cat food brands. I like Innova EVO and Wellness but if you can\'t find these brands and it is not feasible to order online, just learn to read the ingredients label and buy the best one available. There are lots of forum posts about high-quality foods but in short, there should be NO meat-by-products and avoid carbs like corn/rice as primary ingredients. Cats, like people, have different food/taste preferences -- size/shape of kibble, flavor, wet vs. dry, etc. so EVO may or may not work for your cat but don\'t give up. Feeding your cat quality food will be worth it! One of my local pet stores is run by the owner and she let me have a sample of dry kibble when I asked. Although you may not be able to get this for most brands, it doesn\'t hurt to ask. * Note: Since EVO is such a high-protein food, make sure to introduce it gradually by mixing it with your current food in increasing quantities or give small amount separately. Your cat may not take to it right away so give it a few days or even a week. Good luck!
  • Kelly GormleyKelly Gormley Orlando, FLMember Posts: 30
    edited 13 November, 2007
    I personally would never feed Science Diet. I really like the Timberwolf Serengeti cat food and Wellness canned food. Lilly gets a mixture of the dry and canned food in the morning and evening and she loves it and has never looked better! She went from lying around the house all day to jumping from couch to couch, window to window. She seems a lot happier. It is a bit pricey, but Lilly's happiness and health is worth it!
  • kate vonkkate vonk BoiseMember Posts: 1,313
    edited 13 November, 2007
    lilly, i totally agree! my cats love wellness wet food and serengeti (they also like evo). it might cost more in the short run but it will save me money in the long run on vet bills and their happinesss and overall health.
  • Beverly HixBeverly Hix Osage CountyMember Posts: 48
    edited 13 November, 2007
    Two years ago my vet put Rags on Science Diet CD after a very serious urinary disorder. He has not had a reoccurance, so I am appehensive about switching him to something else. I read others remarks about what to feed and not to feed, but those opinions seem to conflict and confuse me. Each individual seems adamant about their assertions; but, how am I to appraise those against my vet\'s judgement?
  • JessicaJessica Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    edited 15 November, 2007
    Meow! To reply to the kitty above me, I was on strictly Wellness canned and still managed to block twice. My meowmy says that the crystals are stubbornly insistent like me. :))
  • Barbara LindellBarbara Lindell Sunnyvale, CA/San Francisco, LMember Posts: 544
    edited 16 November, 2007
    My vet is awesome, but he offers this brand of food to his patients... I don't know why, I find it strange that he'd push a food with so many by products in it. However, the SF SPCA also provides Science Diet for their kitties. The adoption counselor told me it isn't the best food, but heck, its sure got a lot more nutrients than Friskies or any of those really crappy grocery brands.
  • Moxie PopMoxie Pop Los AngelesMember Posts: 130
    edited 16 November, 2007
    I agree that there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there about what to feed your kitty. We just have to do the best we can with the information we have and be diligent about keeping up-to-date with the latest science, giving more weight to trusted and reliable sources. Based on my research regarding kitty food, a good basis is to avoid meat by-product and high levels of carbs to prevent diseases like kidney failure and diabetes. I think that\'s common sense like don\'t eat sugar-loaded candy bars for breakfast and greasy fast food for lunch every day. Obviously a vet is one of the best sources of information - just make sure you have a good vet. I discovered very quickly that our first vet from many years ago did NOT view his patients on the same level as I did. I see my kitties as family members and I bet everyone her on Catster feels the same way. I started to get a clue when he said things like it\'s no big deal for my 15 year old cat to lose teeth (due to decay) and that she can \"gum\" her food fine. It can be subtle but this vet was clearly old-fashioned in his views. We found this vet through referral so clearly other people thought he was a good vet. It\'s just not good enough for me.
  • Sue KaufmannSue Kaufmann CranfordMember Posts: 1,465
    edited 17 November, 2007
    Tommy Rags, I agree that it can be confusing to make food decisions, especially given all of the opinions you're reading. When making a change, it's important for your human to check a variety of sources (doctors, online and books, breeders if you know any, etc.) , and make sure that they're not necessarily ones that stand to profit from the decision you make. And when you ask for recommendations, ask why they selected that choice, and alternatives they think you should consider, too. Our experience is that a good doctor or kitty care person will offer up a few brands or options (like raw). In any event, I think it's good to seek out variety and not be stuck to a prescription food, if possible. It would be a shame to be restricted to just one kind of food for a lifetime, don't you think?
  • Jill BrunoJill Bruno Member Posts: 289
    edited 18 November, 2007
    HI, I am on hill's c/d too. Mommie tried to put me on wellness and my urine pH was too high so back on c/d, well she tried to go to innova b/c their 3rd ingredient is DL-methionine ( which is a urinary acidifier for those of us with a tendency toward triple phosphate crystals and struvites) but after about 1 month my urine was strongly smelling of ammonia so off to the doctor for a sample. Guess what? My urine pH was 8.0 and I had lots of triple phosphates soooooo, back to c/d. Mommie works at the doctors so she is actively seeking an alternative. SO far the responses have been unanimous that the c/d seems to be the most effective for maintaing proper urinary health. There is s/o by royal canin and another by purina for urinary health and most of the other doctors have said they have seen the best success for the longest period of time with the c/d by hill's science diet ( and we do carry and prescribe all 3 brands so we are not biased based on sales). Mommie says that wysong produces a prescription urinary diet too. After my next urinary health check, we are going to try that b/c mommie doesn't like what the c/d does to my skin ( i have some flakes). On another note, hill's science diet has reformulated, especially after the big scare of 2007 and they are trying to add some better things to the food like omega 3's and 6's but it has made no difference in my skin. Oh and about the urinary crystals/stones/etc, Mommie walks around putting glasses of water out for me all the time muttering "The solution to pollution is dilution" meaning that the more water i drink, the more diluted my urine becomes and the more I urinate, leaving less time for the urine to sit in my bladder and get all gunky. Now, back to sleep..... Hanny =^..^=
  • edited 28 November, 2007
    Frankly I think the big chain petstores are not the place to go for petfood anymore, after the recall, Iwas proved right about what people thought was 'silly or overreacting', I'm sure all of us have been desensatized about what we feed our pets from time to time. Science diet is crap, that vets just use to make $, I too was lulled into believeing this was the "best food" The sad thing is, alot of the time the brands that are used, were they very same ones/non speical types we used that caused the URI or kidney issues in the first place. :-/ Example 1 cat eats science diet- URI- sceince diet anti uri::o
  • Kara DickmanKara Dickman Middle of No WhereMember Posts: 2,283 ✭✭
    edited 2 December, 2007
    I have to agree that Science Diet is no that good of food. I think vets push it because Science Diet is good about service and really pushes there food themselves.That said Liberty eats Science diet Lamb & Rice due to a major fish allergy and hating chicken!
  • Mary ComminsMary Commins AntiochMember Posts: 55,502
    edited 3 December, 2007
    I guess we are very lucky cuse our vet only sells Natura foods like Innova and California Naturals! He doesn't believe in Science Diet. Of course his wife is an animal nutritionist! =;
  • Denise BensonDenise Benson Member Posts: 1
    edited 30 March, 2012
    I am new here & I see that this thread is now inactive. I am hoping though that someone will see my reply & offer some advice. I have five cats all inside. They all but one go outside when it's nice out. Currently two of my cats have been suffering from UTIs. They were all previously on Taste of the wild, but I switched them to Wellness with the triple cranberry because I was told it was really good for cats with UTIs. My newest cat has been on it for over a month & the vet says her PH balance is even higher since she has been on it. My other cat got a UTI immediately after I switched from The Taste Of The Wild to the Wellness Core. The vet keeps pushing the science diet food & telling me that's what they need to be on. I don't want to put them on that because of the poor quality ingredients. This last time, the vet told me there was no reason to bring one of the cats back to see her anymore & to just put them on the Science Diet food. I am so frustrated right now! I don't know what else to do. Both cats have been on antibiotics with no success & no success with the Wellness diet either. I have wasted more time & money & just don't know what else to do. I have been doing some research & found that cats should be on canned food because they need more water, but with five cats to feed, I think that would get pretty costly. I was told once buy a man that sold & quality dog food that the reason the vets push Science Diet is because Science Diet gets them while they are in school & offers to pay their student loans if they will promote their food. >:-{
  • Hannah EastmanHannah Eastman Member Posts: 182
    edited 30 March, 2012
    at one point me and nellie did eat science diet. this was back when mom first adopted us. she no idea about cat food or nutrion at the time. the shelter she got us from gave her coupons and said it was wonderful food. shortly after starting science diet i started have diaherra it was all water. sorry to be graphic. it was not going away. so mom rushed to me to the vet. and they ran a stool sample and bloodwork. it back came that i was healthy. they asked mom what i was i eating she said science diet. they said could have been that. i had to be put on meds. long story short we never ate science diet again.
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 30 March, 2012
    To the new member who's kitty is having chronic UTIs and nothing is working, I can tell you that's happened very recently to my sister's cat Midnight. Someone I know told me about an all natural thing called D-Mannose. D Mannose for cats. This will explain what it does better than I can but it's worked for Midnight very well. With the help of another Catster mom here I found out that most UTIs are actually caused by ecoli. And D-Mannose is what works to take care of it. Read that page. You can get NOW brand D-Mannose at a lot cheaper than anywhere else I've looked but it really did work on her and I still give it to her occasionally to squelch problems. I'm not someone who automatically believes this stuff but it worked almost instantly. No harm in trying it, it's non toxic.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Catster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!