Finding Cheaper Prescription Cat Food

Prescription cat food is designed to address a wide range of health issues in cats. There are prescription and specially formulated diets for cats with heart problems, thyroid and other glandular diseases, obesity issues, renal and other organ failure and more. While these prescription diets can dramatically improve your cat's health and overall quality of life, they tend to be far more expensive than regular cat foods. As a result, many pet owners search for alternative options for their pet's prescription pet food. Read on for some ideas for providing your pet with the high quality and specialized food that he needs, at a price that's within your budget.

Isolate the Key Ingredients

While all types of prescription cat food are different, there are some that contain (or lack) special ingredients. These cat foods may be easy to replicate with non-prescription brands. You may find that a certain prescription diet contains all of the same ingredients as another type of cat food except for a particular element. If this is the case, consult with your vet about the possibility of feeding your pet a non-prescription diet and supplementing his meals with a vitamin or mineral tablet.

Some of the most common prescription cat foods are hypoallergenic ones designed for pets that suffer from allergies to particular ingredients in standard cat foods. In many cases, a veterinarian will be able to isolate and identify the source of your pet's allergic reaction. If this is possible, your pet may not require a specially formulated hypoallergenic food. If you search through the ingredient lists of standard formula cat foods you may find one that is free of the offending ingredient.

Make Your Own Food

Another possible method for avoiding expensive prescription foods is to cook your own cat food at home. While this option is certainly cheaper than purchasing special foods, you do run the risk of not providing your pet with the nutrients that he needs. Moreover, if your cat requires a specialty prescription diet he may be even more susceptible to the effects of improper nutrition or malnourishment. For this reason, it's best to work closely with a veterinarian when preparing your cat's prescription diet at home.

Generally, pets need a diet that consists primarily of meat-based protein. Fish, poultry and lamb are the most common meats used in cat foods. Additionally, a small amount of vegetable or plant matter and fibrous material like rice, corn husks or other grains helps to round out the diet. Different prescription diets may contain different mixtures of these primary ingredients, and some will include other specialized ingredients as well.

In addition to consulting with your vet, you may find it helpful to examine the ingredient lists for different prescription diets that would be appropriate for your pet. In addition to being cheaper than the alternative options, homemade cat food is easy to customize according to your pet's tastes.

If your pet requires a prescription diet that you cannot afford, don't simply continue to feed him a standard cat diet. This can cause health complications of various types. Instead, speak with a veterinarian to determine your best course of action.