Feline leukemia is an infectious virus that affects your cat’s immune system and is transmitted to other cats through their saliva, usually occurring through grooming. You can help your pet manage the disease through a program of vaccinations, medication, and a proper diet. We’ve chosen several brands of cat food to review for you to help you select one for your cat. We’d give you the pros and cons of each one and tell you if our cats liked it so you can make an educated decision.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH ADULT CAT FOOD||
|Best Value||CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Cat Food||
|Premium Choice||Purina Pro Plan Weight Management||
The 3 Best Foods for Cats with Feline Leukemia – Reviews & Top Picks 2021
1. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH ADULT DRY CAT FOOD – Best Overall
|Bag Size:||22 pounds|
Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food is our pick as the best overall food for cats with feline leukemia. It contains several ingredients that can help your pet stay healthy. Natural fiber will help balance the digestive system by regulating the amount of fluid in the intestines, reducing the frequency of constipation and diarrhea. Prebiotics help feed the guts good bacteria (probiotics). This bacterium works with the fiber to digest food quickly while extracting more nutrients. Important vitamins and minerals like calcium and potassium help your pet stay healthy and develop strong bones and muscles. Omega fats will help reduce swelling and can help promote a strong and healthy coat. Even with all of these ingredients, there are no artificial colors or chemical preservatives.
We felt good about providing IAMS to our pets, and it seemed to help them. The only problem we had with it was that some of our cats didn’t like it, and it took several weeks to get them adjusted to it.
2. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food – Best Value
|Bag Size:||10 pounds|
CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food is our pick as the best food for cats with feline leukemia for the money. It comes in many sizes, and you can get a package as small as 2 pounds if you need it or are on a budget. It contains chicken as the main ingredient and provides your pet with 40% protein per serving. There are no grains like corn or soy that can cause your pet to gain weight, and there are no artificial colors or chemical preservatives that might harm your pet.
The biggest problem we had with CRAVE was that the Ziplock for resealing the bag is flimsy and is either broken or doesn’t work on three out of four bags, making it difficult to keep fresh. Another problem we had was that some of our cats wouldn’t eat it very easily.
3. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management, High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food & Wet Cat Food – Premium Choice
|Bag Size:||12.5 pounds|
Purina Pro Plan Weight Management, High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food & Wet Cat Food is our premium choice food for cats with feline leukemia. The proprietary blend helps extend the life of older pets by providing plenty of vitamins and minerals, including taurine and vitamin A, which cats need for growth. Live probiotics help boost the good bacteria in your cat’s gut, which helps the cat digest food more completely, extracting more nutrients. This brand also provides your pet with plenty of protein (38%) which will provide plenty of energy, help your pet feel full longer, and will help it build strong muscle.
Our cats loved this brand, and more of our cats ate it than the others. The biggest downside to Purina Pro Plan was that it has a lot of calories at more than 600 per serving. It can quickly cause your cat to gain weight if you don’t watch the serving size carefully. We also noticed that the kibble is extremely hard and can give some of the older cats problems chewing, especially if they have dental problems.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
When choosing a food to help your cat with feline leukemia, one of the first things we recommend checking is that the brand you are serving contains probiotics or prebiotics. Probiotics are better because they are the good bacteria that the stomach can use to help break down food and fight off bad bacteria. Many experts believe that much of the immune system resides in the intestines. The probiotics in the gut will help strengthen, providing your pet with a powerful tool to fight feline leukemia.
Prebiotics are the food that probiotics eat. While not as good as probiotics, prebiotics allows you to nurture the probiotics already present in your cat’s gut. The process will be slower, but the result is the same. Finding a brand with both nutrients is the fastest way to a healthy gut and a stronger immune system.
Vitamins and Minerals
We recommend looking for brands that contain vitamin and mineral fortification.
Some vitamins, like vitamin C, are powerful antioxidants that can help remove free radicals and promote better health.
B vitamins are essential for providing your cat with energy. Cats with plenty of energy are better able to fight disease and more likely to eat the food they need to stay healthy.
Potassium is also important for a calm stomach, reducing the risk of diarrhea, which can rob your cat of important nutrients. Potassium, along with sodium and chloride, can combat dehydration and improve kidney functions.
Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium will help build stronger bones and teeth, and magnesium will help make sure it’s absorbed.
Artificial Dyes and Chemical Preservatives
We recommend avoiding foods that contain artificial coloring because several colors can cause an allergic reaction in your already compromised cat. Luckily the number of dyes in cat foods is declining, but they are still present in some of the most popular foods. Chemical preservatives like BHA and BHT can also cause additional health problems for your cat, creating tumors and preventing blood clotting.
Besides the foods on this list, you can also add supplements to your pet’s food to help boost the immune system. Some claim to detoxify the lymphatic system and encourage your pet to eat using only all-natural herbs that are safe for your pet.
When choosing food for a cat with feline leukemia, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food provides your pet with natural fiber, prebiotics, and omega fats. It’s easy to find in most grocery stores and is also available online at a reasonable price. Another smart choice is our pick for the best value. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food is a high-protein grain-free food that provides your pet with exactly what it needs to stay healthy without additional fillers.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found a brand you would like to try out with your cat. If we have helped your cat feel a little better, please share this guide to the best food for cats with feline leukemia on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Okssi, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 3 Best Foods for Cats with Feline Leukemia – Reviews & Top Picks 2021
- Buyer’s Guide