In response to the claim she sometimes hears that “My Cat is Doing Just “Fine” on Dry Food!“, Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, says:
Every living creature is “fine” until outward signs of a disease process are exhibited. That may sound like a very obvious and basic statement but if you think about it……
Every cat on the Feline Diabetes Message Board was “fine” until their owners started to recognize the signs of diabetes.
Every cat with a blocked urinary tract was “fine” until they started to strain to urinate and either died from a ruptured bladder or had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency catheterization.
Every cat with an inflammed bladder (cystitis) was “fine” until they ended up in pain, passing blood in their urine, and missing their litter box.
Every cancer patient was “fine” until their tumor grew large enough or spead far enough so that clinical signs were observed by the patient.
Every cat was ‘fine’ until the feeding of species-inappropriate, hyperallergenic ingredients caught up with him and he started to show signs of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).
Every cat was “fine” until that kidney or bladder stone got big enough to cause clinical signs.
The point is that diseases ‘brew’ long before being noticed by the living being.
Of course, in order to be on board with the ‘preventative nutrition’ argument, a person has to understand the fact that carbohydrates wreak havoc on a cat’s blood sugar balance, that a urinary tract system is much healthier with an appropriate amount of water flowing through it, that cats inherently have a low thirst drive and need water *with* their food, and finally, that cats are designed to get their protein from meat – not plants.
See “FEEDING YOUR CAT: KNOW THE BASICS OF FELINE NUTRITION” for more good information from Dr. Pierson.
Update (7-30-09): The same general principles apply to man.