hair loss and weight loss on Hill's c/d

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

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Member Since
Purred: Fri Nov 23, '12 7:51am PST 
My 9 year old house cat, Oliver, has always been fed Wellness Indoor, Wellness Core, and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover brands both dry and canned, with occasional Earthborn and Halo as well. About a month ago I came home for lunch one day and noticed him going repeatedly to the litter box, straining, and there was some blood on the pad (I use the Tidy Cat Breeze box). So I immediately took him to the vet.

He was in the hospital for 3 days, which was very traumatic for him. He had to be tranquilized, catheterized, etc, they said they did not find any stones but there were crystals and a lot of sediment. The vet of course placed him on the Prescription Hill's c/d dry, I asked for canned also because he has always gotten dry food freely and canned food 2-3 times a day about a spoonful or two at a time. The vet did not seem thrilled for me to take the canned, told me to make sure he eats the dry. He will eat the dry fine, and does not vomit nearly as much with this food, BUT he is steadily losing more and more hair. Almost all of the hair from the insides of his back legs, underneath his tail, and on his belly is gone and now he is losing hair on his sides and back as well. I am afraid he is going bald! I called the vet and told her I thought he was allergic to the grains in the food, as he has been on grain-free his whole life, but she told me she felt that is unlikely and that probably he is losing the hair due to the stress factor of being hospitalized and to keep him on the Hill's and not to worry, the hair would grow back.

Well I have given it a couple more weeks and he is just losing more hair and looking thinner to me. He has always had a beautiful shiny black coat, never any skin or hair issues with the foods I have fed him. I am torn what to do. We did move over the summer, for the first time in his life, and have had several people coming and going in the new house, some stayed with us a few weeks at a time, and one stayed for 6 whole weeks, which all would have been stressful enough to him to have contributed to the crystals in the first place, combined with insufficient water during the hot summer maybe?

So, do I go against the vet and take him off the Hill's, put him on canned only, or wait it out knowing that the crystals could come back on the RX diet anyway, there is no guarantee... Thank you for any advice!

Alex (sweet angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
Purred: Fri Nov 23, '12 8:35am PST 
It sounds like he's allergic to all the corn and grains that are in that food. You're going to need to call the vet and tell her you want another food!!!


Momma loves my- beautiful eyes
Purred: Fri Nov 23, '12 11:08am PST 
I can't believe a vet told you no canned food! That is the best thing you can give a urinary cat. Get rid of dry! And those "holistic" foods usually don't have appropriate pH balance. Demand a wet food from your vet, and try a different brand.


Super- freakey----MEOW!
Purred: Fri Nov 23, '12 11:37am PST 
I was not happy at all with the Hill's C/D, Macy didn't really like it and although he wasn't loosing his hair, he was very dull coated and sort of scrawny on it. I replaced it with Royal Canin Urinary and has put on weight, has a luxurious coat and is extremely playful. He doesn't care for the Rx canned much, so I get him the Royal Canin adult cat canned I think(?) from Petco and treat him once every few weeks with a can and he eats it riight up.

Edited by author Fri Nov 23, '12 11:38am PST



Knead softly &- carry a big purr
Purred: Wed Nov 28, '12 9:02pm PST 
Tigger had 2 blockages, and Smitty did have crystals. Vet put them on this food. Problem is that Tigger will not eat the wet every day. Smitty's coat was like bunny fur & so shiny & soft, silky. There is a big difference with him eating the dry C/D. I give them both wet food, all grain free, but I was going to ask my vet about adding either potassium citrate or something similar & letting them eat the wet food they should. It is scary though, as you don't want your kitty getting a problem again. I would consider speaking to another vet. I did have a vet one time that "encouraged" her patients to eat nothing but dry food & was upset that I fed mine wet at all. That was the last visit to both that vet & the clinic she was at. I always go by my gut feeling - if you arenot happy with the answer, the vet owes it to you to listen & confer with you as a pet parent. Talk to your vet again, or visit a different one. I personally think there is a reaction to the c/d - but that is just my opinion, I am not a vet. Good luck - keep us posted ok?


Purred: Wed Nov 28, '12 10:09pm PST 
Hi! I was recently hospitalized with crystals, and my vet said that I am ONLY to ahve canned food for the rest of my life.

The thing about the urinary diets (from my understanding) is that it is VERY IMPOTANT to not mix the dry and wet versions of them. The kibble is designed ot make us kitties thirstier, whereas the cans are designed to put more water into our system from the start, so they sorta cancel each other out. (At least, that's what the vet tech told us)

I've been on Purina UR cans since my hospialization. The ingredients are meh, but it is quite moist and very tasty. Meowmie is chatting with the vet via email about weaning me off of the UR onto a grain free canned food eventually, but for now I'm going to stick with the UR cans, since I feel SO much better.


It's all about- me.
Purred: Thu Nov 29, '12 8:51am PST 
I'm with everyone else: canned food only! And find a new vet! Preferably cats only. It sounds like allergies or he might be overgrooming from stress, but you might want to have him tested for hyperthyroidism, too.


Georgian Blue
Purred: Sat Dec 1, '12 10:15am PST 
Are you positive that this is not just normal shedding? I recommend switching your cat to a canned or pouched food. My cats eat Whiskas, with the occasional can or tuna or chicken, and I add Nordic Natural to their food for omega 3s. You should also be brushing your cat on a daily basis. You will probably have to vacuum a lot of excess hair until you get this under control. My cats shed heavily twice a year, and this is around the time they are ending their second shed cycle of the season. Daily brushing really helps!

Member Since
Purred: Thu Mar 7, '13 3:53pm PST 
Hi, thanks everyone for the responses! Update on Oliver: I took him back to his regular vet (who was out of town at time of original issue/blockage etc). The vet found he had a fungal infection and bacterial infection, he was given antibiotics, anti-fungal, anti-itch, allergy shot. The vet told me to put him on a good quality grain-free canned food, he recommended Blue Buffalo, and also to give him only distilled water.

After finishing the round of meds and switching the foods, Oliver was doing well, his hair was coming back in and he was looking really good. Then about a month or so ago, same thing again, big bald spots again. Plus he was throwing up frequently sometimes undigested food so he added an anti-vomit med (which works wonders!!) The only other thing I could think that might be causing this was the use of the Tidy Cat Breeze litter system, just because the stool lays on top of the pellets so even after scooping it out some of the remaining pellets probably have some on it, the pee drains down to a pad underneath; so I thought maybe this system begins to become unsanitary and he was catching something from the litter box. I changed back to the classic litter box with clumping litter for now and he has finished the round of meds and so far seems to be doing well. If the litter box is not the culprit, then maybe it is just allergies or stress, or I am just destined to have a bald cat. :/

He is still eating Blue Buffalo canned, and some Earthborn Holistics canned. I have Blue Buffalo dry for if we have to be gone but otherwise, he gets canned. So far no more blockages either since that first time, so hopefully I made the right decision taking him off the SD...