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Animals & Pet Supplies Non-prescription Cat Food

The Qualities of Healthy Cat Food
Prior to starting your buying, it’s critical to comprehend the dietary requirements of your cat. To begin, consult your veterinarian. Based on breed, age, and any health issues, they may suggest the finest cat food varieties.

All cats need a diet that contains both critical nutrients and a balance of animal protein and healthy fats. The price of cat food is mostly determined by the quantity and quality of the ingredients, although a greater price does not automatically imply superior quality.

 

Take a close look at the ingredients printed on the container when choosing the finest food for your cat when you go to the store (or purchase online). Typically, while inspecting dry foods, check for:

 

a minimum of 30% of high-quality animal proteins

Healthy animal fats (between 15% and 20%)

Fiber and digestible carbs

essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes

While there should be a large amount of high-quality animal proteins and lipids included in the components of wet meals, they should also have a high proportion of water. (For example, the wet meals on our list below include between 8% and 10% animal protein, which is lower than the percentages in dry foods but is due to the high water content.)

 

Remember that regulators don’t have a clear definition of what is meant by “natural” on a label. Byproducts may refer to organ meats or perfectly healthy leftovers from the manufacturing of food fit for human consumption. Look for the words “made in the USA” on the can if you want to continue buying cat food made in the United States. It will be noted on the package if the food includes any components from foreign nations (like lamb from New Zealand). BMW X5 m nürburgring 2022 Reviews, Test Drives, Pricing, Specs, and Many More

 

The food of animal protein in the food and its overall quality are two elements that affect the price you spend. We searched for meals that are both high-quality and reasonably priced.

 

Although buying in bulk might be seductive, use caution. As soon as you open a bag of dry food, its nutritious value begins to degrade. If you want to stock up, go for two smaller bags of dry food rather than one large one. Wet cat food that has not been opened has a two-year shelf life. However, after the seal has been broken, it only keeps in the fridge for approximately five days.

 

10 Budget-Friendly Options for Healthy Cat Food

Although it’s up to you to find the ideal balance between quality and cost, there are luckily many of excellent options available. Here are our top recommendations for the healthiest cat food for thrifty pet owners.

 

Formula Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken

Weruva offers a wide variety of tasty items. The primary ingredient is high-grade animal protein, which is followed by a well-balanced mixture of vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy taurine. Three, 5.5, and ten-ounce cans are available.

 

Chicken Weruva Paw Lickin’

Formula Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken

Shredded chicken in a mouthwatering sauce makes up the high-protein recipe known as Paw Lickin’ Chicken.

 

Secondly, Purina Beyond Dry Cat Food (Salmon)

Fresh salmon is the major ingredient of this Purina Beyond recipe, while chicken meal serves as an additional source of concentrated protein. This dry food, which is designed for indoor cats, also includes healthy nutrients and grains-free carbs. It comes in bags of 3, 5, or 11 pounds. Cheap Car Insurance

 

Salmon recipe for Purina Beyond 500 cat food.

Dry cat food from Purina Beyond (Salmon)

This high-protein kibble is a healthy option for indoor adult cats since it contains plenty of tasty salmon.

 

troisième Merrick Purrfect Bistro Canned Pâté (Chicken)

This grain-free chicken recipe is full of protein to maintain strong muscles and lots of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for general health if your cat likes wet food. 5.5-ounce or 3-ounce cans are available.

 

Canned paté from Merrick Purrfect Bistro

Canned paté from Merrick Purrfect Bistro (Chicken Recipe)

This affordable chicken pâté can keep your cat content and healthy at a low price.

 

4. Recipe for Rachael Ray Nutrish Kibble (Chicken)

This Rachael Ray Nutrish dry food has chicken as its first ingredient, making it a cost-affordable yet high-quality dry food. In addition to taurine, healthy brown rice, vegetables, and chicken that has been produced on American farms are also included. You may get it in 3-, 6-, or 14-pound sacks. Mortgage, Wells Fargo Mortgage Rates, Bank Of America Mortgage Rates

 

Recipe for Rachael Ray Nutrish Kibble

Recipe for Rachael Ray Nutrish Kibble (Chicken)

This dry food contains brown rice, vegetables, and farm-raised chicken, which adds taste and protein.

 

The fifth is American Journey Dry Cat Food (Salmon)

For customers on a tight budget, Chewy’s own brand, American Journey, is one of the healthiest cat food alternatives. Meat is the primary ingredient, while fresh fruits and vegetables provide easily digested amounts of essential nutrients. It provides nutritious, all-natural nourishment.

 

Dry food American Journey Salmon

Dry cat food by American Journey (Salmon)

The American Journey dry food is quite popular with cats. This one provides a delicious, grain-free recipe for salmon.

 

Whole Earth Farms Dry Cat Food, No. 6 (Chicken)

Chicken, turkey, peas, and potatoes are used to make this renowned grain-free dry food, which is made in the United States. It’s a full, flavorful dinner with a good balance of nutrients.

 

Grain-free salmon cat food from Whole Earth

Dry cat food from Whole Earth Farms (Chicken)

This grain-free alternative is among the most economical dry cat meals on the market today. Cats also like it!

 

7. Rocky Mountain Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food

The roasted venison and smoked salmon in this kibble, which is made with quality animal proteins, are part of a recipe designed to provide balanced nutrition the way nature intended. This cat food is one of the healthiest choices on our list and is available in 5-pound or 14-pound packages.

 

Dry cat food from Taste of the Wild

Rocky Mountain Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food

This venison and salmon recipe is affordable-end but yet reasonably priced, and it offers tremendous nutrition in addition to wonderful taste.

 

Canned cat food from Wellness Complete Health, No. 8 (Chicken Entree)

In this nutrient-dense, grain-free recipe from Wellness, which also contains antioxidants, taurine, vitamins, and minerals, chicken is the first ingredient. Cans weighing 3, 5.5, and 12.5 ounces are available.

 

Wellness pâté chicken taste cat food

Cans of Wellness Complete Health Cat Food (Chicken Entree)

This chicken pâté is designed specifically for adult cats and is high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and taurine.

 

9. Indoor Dry Cat Food by Iams ProActive Health

This Iams cat kibble, which has chicken as its first ingredient, gives your cat the energy she needs to live her best life. This dry food is not only healthy and delicious, but it also cleans plaque from your cat’s teeth.

 

Cat food IAMS ProActive Health

Dry cat food Iams ProActive Health Indoor

This dry food is a budget-friendly and healthy solution for your cat and is loaded with prebiotics, fiber, and omega-fatty acids.

 

10 canned cat food from Taste of the Wild Canyon River (Trout and Salmon)

Salmon and trout are the main ingredients in this wet food, which also includes fruits and vegetables. It comes in 3- or 5.5-ounce cans and is made in the United States. 

Canned cat food from Taste of the Wild
Can cat food from the Wild Canyon River (Trout and Salmon)
A supper rich in taste and budget from the combination of salmon and trout won’t break the bank.

Tips for Feeding Your Cat Cheaply
Are you looking for more methods to extend your cat food budget? Numerous online merchants, including Amazon, Chewy, and Petco, provide discounts for subscription purchases. Even better, food is regularly delivered right to your house so you never have to bother about going to the supermarket.

On their websites, manufacturers often publish coupons, and some even provide prizes and rebates. Another excellent strategy to guarantee that your cat receives the nutrition they need at a cost you can afford is to use coupons and rebates.

I have a 10-year-old cat, and I’m always trying to figure out how to keep her happy and healthy. A significant factor in that equation is choosing the proper food, which can be quite challenging when trying to make through the sea of marketing promises. If you’re like me and feeling confused by the options available, which range from grain-free and raw to human-grade and freeze-dried, Brennen McKenzie, a veterinarian who writes about science-based pet care at SkeptVet, may help you relax: The majority of cats can thrive on a wide range of accessible diets, he says, and there is no one “perfect” food. “Our pets enjoy a good supply of nutrition in traditional commercial cat diets,” the statement reads. “This is in contrast to the random diet of whatever prey and scavenged dead objects that wild cats may find.”

There are hundreds of cat food formulations to select from, even with that reassuring advice, so I asked McKenzie and 11 other experts to walk me through the options and explain why a cat owner would choose one brand or kind of food over another. Some of the deciding elements, as explained in the criteria below, will rely on your cat’s particular demands (typically indicated by their age), while others are more arbitrary (as cat owners know, picky felines often have their own unexplainable preferences).

To go directly to our best cat food options, click any of the links below, or continue reading for the criteria we took into account.

Best overall, best meat-in-gravy, best meat-in-gravy (less expensive), best shredded, best for sensitive stomachs, best for purebred cats, best human-grade, best raw, best for senior cats, best for kittens, and best (less expensive) for kittens.

What to look for Life stage: According to Martha G. Cline, a certified veterinary nutritionist at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey, “the most important part when you’re buying food for your pet is looking for the nutritional-adequacy statement and making sure itsays for the appropriate life stage for your pet.” The Association of American Feed Control Officials shall certify the nutritional adequacy of all pet foods, indicating whether the food is suitable for growth (ideal for kittens), adult maintenance (for keeping a healthy weight), or all life phases (any age).

Nutrition breakdown: Unlike with human food, the amount of carbohydrates, fat, and protein in your cat’s food is often not included on the nutrition label. McKenzie says it’s generally alright since every food that complies with AAFCO requirements will provide plenty of each macronutrient. He says, “Nearly all commercial diets fit within these parameters. There is a range within which cats may thrive, and individual cats all have somewhat different demands.”

Some vets, though, provide advice that are more detailed. “More protein than fat, and then very little of any form of carbohydrate is what we believe is probably optimum,” says Jennifer Berg, founder of Tribeca Veterinary Wellness. Cats need more protein than many other species, according to Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian with the online pet supply shop Chewy, who also emphasizes that the protein “should be obtained from animals.” If you’d want to view the nutritional breakdown of a specific formula, veterinarian Lisa Pierson has created a complete, publicly accessible Google spreadsheet with the nutrient profile for hundreds of cat food tastes. But it’s best to find out from your vet if they recommend a particular mixture for your cat’s requirements.

Additionally, some cat meals may be branded as “grain free,” but vets are leery of this marketing claim since it doesn’t provide much nutrition about the nutritional value of the food. The nutritional quality of grain-free meals may be great or awful, and whether they include grains at all has little bearing on how the diet will affect one’s health, according to McKenzie. Concerns regarding grains and carbohydrates in general in cat meals are unfounded and shouldn’t be used as the foundation for choosing a cat food, according to solid research.

There are two primary types of cat food: wet food and dry food. Ask your vet what they recommend for the specific requirements of your cat before choosing one type over the other. Cats don’t often drink a lot of water, therefore some vets recommend wet food because it contains more moisture and keeps cats hydrated, which may help them avoid renal problems. Other vets disagree, claiming that there is little scientific evidence to support the claim that wet food leads to better kidneys and that dry food stimulates cats to drink more water. Some vets may recommend wet food if your cat is having trouble maintaining a healthy weight since it is also lower in calories. Dry food, often known as kibble, has the benefit of being fresh longer, which may make it a smart choice if your cat like to graze at meals throughout the day. Some dry food is really freeze-dried, a technique used by producers to preserve components without running the danger of bacterial contamination (particularly with raw food). The wet-food category includes pâtés (a homogeneous, loaf-style food), shredded meat formulae, and meat-in-gravies (a liquid-based food with chunks of meat). You may need to test a few different kinds of food since picky cats often have a preferred style.

Cost per ounce approximation: The price of cat food varies based on the brand and formula you choose, and more expensive food isn’t always healthier. We’ve provided the estimated cost per ounce for each food based on the manufacturer’s recommended retail price since you’ll be purchasing a lot of food over your cat’s lifespan (which may be different than the retailer price as those can change because of different promotions). Cats typically need 200 to 250 calories per day, however this quantity varies depending on the cat’s size, activity level, and whether or not they need to lose or gain weight. You must read the feeding directions on the label since calorie counts per ounce of food might vary. In order to determine whether your cat is underweight or overweight, Megan Shepherd, a veterinary nutritionist at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, suggests speaking with your veterinarian for more detailed advice and using this body-condition score chart.

The best cat food overall
True Nature Natural Turkey & Chicken Entree Grain-Free Canned Cat Food by Purina Pro Plan Classic Adult
True Nature Natural Turkey & Chicken Entree Grain-Free Canned Cat Food by Purina Pro Plan Classic Adult
$31 for 24 adult servings of pâté that are wet and include a high amount of protein and moderate amounts of fat.

There isn’t really a single “best” cat food, as was previously explained, but this Purina Pro Plan recipe should meet the nutritional needs of the majority of adult cats without any particular requirements, according to the vets I talked with. Veterinarians like Cori Blair of Feline Health and Valerie Parker, an associate professor of small-animal internal medicine and nutrition at the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, both favor the brand Purina because it employs veterinary nutritionists full-time and makes significant investments in research and development. Purina Pro Plan is popular with veterinarian Chyrle Bonk of the pet health website Doggie Designer since it is a premium food that is nevertheless reasonably priced and simple to find. Purina says high protein, moderate fat, and plenty of healthful fiber and utilizes genuine, whole meat as their first ingredient, according to the author.

The best meat-in-gravy cat food is $31 FOR 24 AT PETCO.
Weruva Paw Lickin’ Grain-Free Chicken in Gravy Canned Cat Food
Weruva Paw Lickin’ Grain-Free Chicken in Gravy Canned Cat Food
$56 for 24 Adults | High in protein, low in fat, and low in carbohydrates | Wet, with beef in gravy | Roughly $0.38 per ounce

Berg says choosing this Weruva chicken-in-gravy flavor if your cat like meat-in-gravy recipes due of its high protein and low carbohydrate composition. Susan Lauten, a pet nutrition specialist, also endorses the brand. If you’re searching for anything without grains, it has that, but as was already said, “grain free” is more of a marketing buzzword than a trustworthy measure of health.

CHEWY: $56 FOR 24
BUY 24 FOR $56 ON AMAZON
Best (cheaper) meat-in-gravy cat food is Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Variety Pack Canned Cat Food.
Approximately $0.25 per ounce | High protein, moderate fat, moderate carbs | Wet, beef in gravy | $27 for 30 adult

Saving money on cat food is OK as long as you choose a food that is nutritionally sound. Many people may claim that Fancy Feast is similar to McDonald’s for cats, but Berg says that this is untrue. Many of the fancy feasts are really quite low in carbohydrates and surprisingly rich in protein. This assortment of meat-in-gravy varieties that are high in protein meets all of her requirements and would be a wonderful choice for cats that prefer to switch up their meals.

30 for $27 at Chewy
TARGET’S $24 FOR 30
Best cat food with shreds
Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Canned Cat Food with Succulent Chicken
Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Canned Cat Food with Succulent Chicken
Wet, shredded; $24 for 12 adults; low fat, high protein; and very little carbohydrates.

If you look at Pierson’s chart, you’ll find that Tiki Cat has a lot of options that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, and Lauten enjoys both the wet and dry food products from the company. Many brands of Tiki Cat food are fish-flavored, which cats love because of how salty it tastes. However, some vets, including Berg, advise against giving cats fish since it has been shown that fish-flavored cat food may induce hyperthyroidism. You may get advice from your vet on whether you need to restrict the diet of fish your cat eats. Cats that want their food a bit chunkier might appreciate this type, which includes shredded chicken.

[Editor’s note: While this cat food is now unavailable practically everywhere, you may get a 10 oz. can at Petco for $4.]

At Chewy, 12 for $24
AT AMAZON, 12 FOR $21
The best cat food for delicate tummies
Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food by Royal Canin
Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food by Royal Canin
Adult: $36 | Dry, kibble, moderate protein, fat, and carbohydrates | Approximately $0.35 per ounce

Dr. Jamie Freyer, a veterinarian, suggests this Royal Canin food that has been particularly developed for cats with sensitive stomachs or gastrointestinal problems. Prebiotics, readily absorbed proteins, and fiber-rich psyllium seed husks are some examples of components that support healthy intestinal function. Due to the science behind its food and the rigorous testing it undertakes, the brand was highlighted by several vets.

At Chewy, $36.
AT PETCO, $43
Purebred cats’ best food
Persian Royal Canin Dry Cat Food
Persian Royal Canin Dry Cat Food
$38 Adult; Dry, kibble; Approximately $0.30 per ounce; Moderate protein, fat, and carbohydrate content

If you have a purebred cat, Freyer advises taking a look at Royal Canin’s breed-specific meals, which are created to meet the special nutritional demands of cats like Bengals, Persians, and Maine coons. For instance, the kibble bits in the company’s dry food for Persian cats are almond-shaped, making it simpler for these cats to gnaw on them with their small jaws.

AT CHEWY, $38
38 USD ON AMAZON
Best cat food for humans
Chicken cuisine Nom Nom
Chicken cuisine Nom Nom
Adults start at $10; wet, shredded; very high protein; low fat; and low carbohydrate intake; price upon request.

Some vets claim that “human-grade” is more of a trendy term than a descriptor of quality, same to how “grain free” is. (As McKenzie notes, “All components in potato chips and corn dogs are, by definition, ‘human grade’.) However, this direct-to-consumer brand provides high-quality options that are nutritionally suitable for cats if you want to mix up your cat’s food. Lauten appreciates the high moisture content and AAFCO formulation criteria of Nom Nom’s food. A board-certified veterinary nutritionist created the recipe. It’s undoubtedly a good choice—my cat loved the Nom Nom sample I gave her—but vets like McKenzie and Liz Bales, the brains behind the highly regarded Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co. hunting feeder, emphasize that lesser-known brands aren’t always superior to the household names you’re used to seeing on the shelves of pet stores. “The testing of the components or the finished product is sometimes not as comprehensive. You may notice that a major cat food brand has issued a recall, but only after being put to the test. A recall cannot be issued for a product that was not tested, according to Bales. Nom Nom provides personalized portion amounts according on your cat’s age and weight, hence prices for its cat feeds vary. (vets also enjoy Smalls, which is a comparable choice.)

[Editor’s note: Nom Nom will stop producing their Chicken Cuisine cat food as of March 28 due to problems with the supply chain. If Nom Nom is ever able to provide the cat food again, you may sign up to be alerted.]

BEST RAW FOOD FOR CATS FROM $10 AT PETSMART
Chicken Recipe for Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Made Without Grains or Cages Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe from Cat Food Instinct Cat food
$24. Adult | Dry, freeze-dried | Approximately $2.42 per ounce | High protein, moderate fat, low carb

While some vets emphasized the advantages of feeding cats raw food, the majority advised against doing so due to the possibility of contamination. However, very few individuals want to cope with the potential microbiological risks that feeding raw food may offer, according to Bonk. “The less processed a food is, the more nutritious it is. She suggests using this freeze-dried raw food from Instinct, which resembles the nutrient-rich food your cat would consume in the wild but comes in a form that is safe to feed at home, rather than chopping up raw meat in your kitchen. This says a cat food that is incredibly healthy and little processed, according to the author, and cats appear to like it.

AT CHEWY, $24
24 USD ON AMAZON
Best cat food for older cats
Grain-free canned cat food Weruva Truluxe On the Cat Wok With Chicken & Beef in Pumpkin Soup
Grain-free canned cat food Weruva Truluxe On the Cat Wok With Chicken & Beef in Pumpkin Soup
77 dollars for 24 adult and senior diners | Low carb, moderate protein and fat | Wet, beef in gravy | Approximately $0.49 per ounce

You can see that the fourth column of Pierson’s graph records the food of phosphorus that is present in each of the foods mentioned. Although phosphorus may not be the first ingredient you seek for when buying your own food, cats’ health greatly depends on this element. Although phosphorus is necessary for the age of cats in young cats, Berg says that too much of it may lead to or exacerbate renal disease, a typical issue in elderly cats. Because of this, the minimum phosphorus requirements set by AAFCO for kitten feeds are greater than those for adult formulae.

Although Berg advises attempting to remain under 200 milligrams per 100 calories if your cat is 10 years old or older, AAFCO does not set a maximum phosphorus limit. Berg says to make sure you aren’t compromising protein in a lower-phosphorus formula since senior cats still need a lot of protein in their diet: As the protein level rises, she says, “phosphorus tends to rise.” However, certain proteins contain more phosphorus than others. There are just 163 milligrams of phosphorus in every 100 calories of this Weruva food that is nutritionally complete.

$68 FOR 24 AT AMAZON TO $77 FOR 24 AT CHEWY
Best cat food for kittens
Wet cat food, Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultrasoft Mousse in Sauce
Wet cat food, Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultrasoft Mousse in Sauce
24 Kittens for $48; high protein, moderate fat, low carb; wet; around $0.45 per ounce 

Animals & Pet Supplies Non-prescription Cat Food

Make careful to seek for the AAFCO nutritional-adequacy declaration for growth when purchasing cat food. Coates says that, per pound, kittens need more calories than adult cats since they are still growing and developing. To provide kittens these additional calories, “kitten meals are often heavier in fat than those meant for adults.” The brand’s just-for-kittens food is brimming with protein and enriched with all the vitamins and minerals the tiniest cats need to thrive, and Blair and Parker are lovers of Royal Canin. Hannah Shaw, also known as the Kitten Lady on Instagram, feeds her rescued kittens the same food. She claims that the pâté has the ideal soft texture for weaning kittens and says them high-quality nutrition that promotes growth.

CHEWY: $48 FOR 24
The best (least expensive) cat food for kittens is $55 FOR 24 AT PETCO.
Variety Pack of Purina Fancy Feast Grain-Free Classic Pâté Wet Cat Food
Variety Pack of Purina Fancy Feast Grain-Free Classic Pâté Wet Cat Food
$20 for 24 Kittens | Wet, Pâté | $0.25 per ounce | Moderate Protein, Moderate Fat, Low Carb

The brand Fancy Feast, which is our top recommendation for less expensive meat-in-gravy cat food, also produces kitten food that complies with AAFCO standards for developing kittens. There should be something in this variety pack with four distinct tastes for each puppy in a fresh litter to like.

If you’re here, you presumably have a cat that has some kind of urinary problem or you’re attempting to prevent any future issues by making sure your cat eats a diet that reduces crystals.

And you’re not the only one, by any means.

According to Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, FLUTD is the main reason cats visit veterinary clinics. FLUTD is among the most often diagnosed disorders in our feline pals.

The precise reason might differ amongst cats since FLUTD is a relatively wide-ranging group of ailments. However, many FLUTD variants, particularly those brought on by crystal and stone formation, may be controlled with specialized and sometimes prescribed diets.

By regulating urine pH levels and lowering minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, these diets prevent the formation of crystals. Even while many cat meals aren’t particularly marketed as urinary diets, some of the most popular urinary cat foods do need a prescription.

Studies have shown that prescription meals are effective, but they may be expensive and sometimes include unsatisfactory ingredients, which can cause stress and confusion in cat owners.

That’s why we made the decision to compile a list of substitutes for popular diets including Blue Buffalo W+U, Royal Canine Urinary SO, and Hills Science Diet C/D.

Our advice is to recommend your veterinarian before making any changes; our objective is to make you a better knowledgeable pet owner. This is not veterinary advise since I’m not a veterinarian.

If you want to jump ahead and discover which diets made the list, you can do so here. We’ll go over everything you need to know about why these diets made the list and why they could be an excellent alternative or replacement to prescription diets. 

Animals & Pet Supplies Non-prescription Cat Food

Best Urinary Wet Foods: Best Overall: Weruva Canned Classic Recipes Runner Up: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau
Best Value: Purina Pro Plan Hill’s Science Diet is a brand-name alternative for urinary tract health. Wet Food for Urinary & Hairball Control
Best Urinary Dry Foods: Best Overall: Farmina N&D Functional Quinoa Runner Up: Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Dry Food Wysong Uretic Natural Dry Food is an affordable alternative to Hill’s Science Diet, a prescription brand. Dry Food for Urinary & Hairball Control
The program What’s Inside
But first, we need to ask ourselves if we really want to find an alternative in the first place. 

Should You find For An Alternative Without A Prescription?
I really want to stress that this essay isn’t veterinary advice and that I’m not a veterinarian. If your cat has previously had treatment for crystals, obstructions, or stones, you are aware of the severity of this illness.

Therefore, even though a non-prescription diet may be less expensive, if it doesn’t improve your cat’s health, you’ll end up with a hefty medical bill and a lot of discomfort for your cat—or worse.

 

That’s not healthy for your cat or your wallet, either.

 

However, prescription diets are a highly complex topic, and the vagueness of FDA rules makes things worse. These diets don’t include prescription medications either, which may be confusing to the average customer who (fairly) equates a prescription diet with a prescription medication.

 

So what was the original point of these diets?

 

Although it’s not a flawless system, therapeutic diets often include scientific studies to support their diet’s efficacy. Here is an example of a research supporting Hills C/D Multicare. Most alternatives lack backing from a clinical study, unless they are also prescription diets.

 

Any decision should be discussed with your veterinarian. Since you both want what’s best for your cat, your veterinarian will be aware that these diets don’t include any prescription medications.

 

In mind of the above, let’s examine a few justifications for choosing an alternative.

 

 

Price

For the majority of people looking for a C/D or other urinary prescription diet alternative, cost is often the deciding issue.

 

However, it’s crucial to consider your cat’s long-term health and the associated costs of care. Saving money on the cost of cat food each month won’t be worthwhile if it compromises your cat’s health. In many instances, you’ll additionally have to pay the difference on top of the veterinarian fee.

 

That doesn’t mean you and your veterinarian can’t find up with a workable alternative, but it does imply you should think about the food’s nutritional worth rather than prioritizing price above everything else. There are many ways to find inexpensive cat meals without compromising quality, and urinary diets are no exception.

Animals & Pet Supplies Non-prescription Cat Food

component caliber

Hills Science Diet C/D has substances that some cat parents may prefer to avoid, which may surprise some people. Although there is much discussion about cat nutrition, some of these components may be considered fillers by others.

 

The first seven elements are shown below in brief list:

 

Brewers rice, corn starch, chicken, pork liver, water, pork by-products, and soybean meal

 

In addition to by-products, we can also clearly identify two carbohydrates (brewer’s rice and corn starch) and an additional, often unwelcome soy product. I’ve mentioned it before, but just because a food is on this list doesn’t always mean it’s bad, so it’s important to discuss all your options with your veterinarian.

 

 

Favorite Cat

At this point, I’ve published a lot of food reviews, which required me to read tens of thousands of reviews of cat food from dozens of various companies.

 

Actually, I’ve read over 100,000 evaluations of cat food at this point, and the main reason cat owners give a poor rating is because their cats don’t like the food! This is one of the main reasons I wrote a whole article on how to find the finest tasting cat food for finicky eaters, but just like any other creature, cats have likes and dislikes, and sometimes they simply don’t like for a certain food.

 

It’s not necessarily a sign that the food is bad, but if your cat just won’t eat Hills C/D or any other urinary prescription diet, you may need to find for a different alternative.

 

Proactive

In cats that don’t exhibit these symptoms, you may just want to be proactive and make sure your cat’s urine pH is within a healthy range before any issues arise. Taking proactive measures doesn’t always justify seeking a prescription or choosing components you’d rather avoid.

 

Instead, taking into account urinary advantages may simply be a part of your cat’s diet strategy as a whole.

 

the conclusion

It should go without saying that you should speak with your veterinarian before making any dietary adjustments since your cat trusts you to make the best choice for them.

 

 

Why Are Royal Canin Urinary SO, Hills Science Diet C/D, or Other Urinary Prescription Diets Recommended for Cats?

Hills C/D is often advised for cats with FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease), however this may be confusing since FLUTD is a general term that refers to a number of various disorders. A urethral blockage is an extreme emergency; other disorders create pain over time but are not immediately life-threatening.

 

Many of these ailments are also connected in some way. For part, bladder stones, which are included in the FLUTD definition, may lead to urethral obstructions even though they may pass or even dissolve on their own.

 

Although FLUTD might be confusing to understand, crystals in the urine are the most frequent reason of a C/D referral. A cat’s urine has an unbalanced pH, which allows crystals to build up and finally form a stone. Two frequent crystal forms (and the stones they produce) are struvite and calcium oxalate.

 

According to VCA Hospitals, both of these crystals are typical to find in cat urine, however “with certain cases, these struvite crystals join together to form a real stone inside the urinary system. These stones have the ability to irritate the urinary system and block the urinary flow.

 

Before we can figure out how to find a suitable urinary diet, it’s essential that we comprehend why Hills C/D is advised for cats, even if it could seem like too much information.

 

 

How Do Urinary Diets on Prescription Work?

The most important factors for stone avoidance, according to the staff at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, are:

 

Increasing the amount of water the pet consumes (by just diluting canned food or by adding water to both dry and canned food) will dilute the urine.

 

lowering the amount of the diet’s stone-forming substances

 

We know that stones form when pH is outside of a healthy range, thus the compounds that make up the stones may also affect the pH of your cat’s urine. In addition to lowering minerals like magnesium and phosphorous, which have also been shown to contribute to stones, Hills C/D works by altering the pH of your cat’s urine.

 

Even while these minerals aren’t always directly included on the cat label, they often do so in some capacity. They often make up part of the total ash composition. Ash refers to various minerals that are still present in your cat’s food, including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and a number of other elements.

 

It’s also important to point that keeping your cat hydrated, or diluting the urine, is stressed as being of important importance. One of the greatest ways to keep cats hydrated is via wet food, but because cats can consume much more than just water, you should also think of other inventive ways to enhance your cat’s hydration. In the wild, cats would get a large portion of their water by consuming mice and rats, but most of our feline companions don’t have that choice.

 

 

Both wet and dry food will be included in this list, but it’s still important to emphasize how much wet food may improve your cat’s urinary tract’s general health.

 

Are the Only Low Magnesium Foods Prescription Diets?

Without a doubt! Researchers and doctors connected too much ash in cat food to male cats’ urinary tract problems in the 1970s. Later, it was discovered that only magnesium, a specific mineral present in that ash concentration, was to blame.

 

Since then, an increasing number of businesses have joined the low mineral bandwagon, helping cats.

 

Therefore, there are many more options outside prescription diets when looking for meals that are low in magnesium.

 

How can I determine the magnesium content of a food?

The amount of magnesium is listed on the label of certain cat food products but not others. You’ll need to check the ash content in certain cases, but even then, it isn’t always accessible. We’ll list the amounts of ash, magnesium, or both for the alternative options on this list.

 

What Qualifies as Low Ash or Low Magnesium?

Looking back over the Tufts options, we can see that the optimal course of action is to increase hydration while reducing the diet’s intake of compounds that cause stones. Magnesium is one of the key offenders, as well, we know.

 

 

But what level of these minerals is deemed low?

 

Dr. Debra Primovic, a veterinarian, established the standards for this article, saying that “the ideal low magnesium cat food is one that contains less than 0.12% magnesium on a dry matter basis.”

 

Setting a baseline for low ash is more challenging, and after months of investigation, I was unable to locate an industry norm. And it seems that there isn’t one, according to some veterinarian friends. Therefore, for the sake of this list, we will consider a 2.6% ash percentage to be low, which is the same number we used in our list of the best cat foods with low ash.

 

What Magnesium and Phosphorus Content Does Hills Science Diet C/D Contain?

The Hills diet’s ash, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus contents are the last thing we need to think about. Even while this diet involves much more than just these three parameters, it’s important to keep them in mind as we evaluate our options.

 

The canned form of C/D is described as follows on the Hills website:

 

0.067% Magnesium

0.74% phosphorus

0.78% calcium

Regarding the dry form of C/D, we see the following:

 

 

0.08% magnesium

0.8% phosphorus

0.8% calcium

Again, these aren’t the only things to point about, but they will help us find similar items, at least in terms of minerals, and guide us in the correct way.

 

How much phosphorus and magnesium are there in Royal Canin Urinary SO?

Let’s now examine Royal Canin, one of the most popular prescription diets available, and discover what it contains.

 

The following is a list of the dry ingredients in the canned form of Urinary SO (water has been removed):

 

 

0.4% magnesium

0.8% phosphorus

The dry form of Urinary SO is described as follows on the Royal Canin website:

 

0.1% magnesium

1.26% of phosphorus

1.26% calcium

What Magnesium and Phosphorus Content Does Blue Buffalo W+U Have?

What’s in Blue Buffalo W+U in a can is as follows: 

0.1% magnesium
Potassium: 1.45% (dry matter basis)
Alternatives to the Best Wet Urinary Prescription Diet

Let’s look at our top options now that you have a solid knowledge of how urinary prescription diets function.

 

Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau is the best overall.

Luau Tiki Cat Puka Puka

2,121 reviews

Luau Tiki Cat Puka Puka

Cats are carnivores, so give your cat the meat and fish she loves with each serving of grain-free nutrition.

FOOD IN CANS WITH HIGH MOISTURE – You may give on each can of Luau’s high moisture content to provide your cat with…

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Tiki Cat doesn’t technically promote itself as a urinary diet, but it still satisfies many of the criteria we’d expect to see, having less magnesium than Hills Science Diet C/D and a low ash level. I consider the Tiki Cat brand to be one of the most underappreciated cat food brands in market. While some of their branding may seem goofy, the founder of the company has a long background in the pet food business, and their cat food is anything but.

 

 

This food resembles a can of chicken when you open it or look at a photo, which is fantastic for our carnivorous cats. The majority of the ingredients are simple to grasp, and there’s really no need to hazard a guess as to what’s within (at least for the main ingredients).

 

Additionally, this cat food is one of the few on the market that is free of any of the usual thickening ingredients, such as guar gum or xanthan gum. Although some people may not think highly of certain ingredients, others may love them.

 

This is a premium cat food, so if price is your main concern, this may not be the best choice. However, this Tiki Cat taste can be a fantastic choice if you want premium cat food without a prescription.

 

This cat food is a fantastic option for many felines since it has low ash, low magnesium, and low carbohydrates in addition to an emphasis on high-quality protein sources. Always consult your vet before changing a diet that has been prescribed by one.

 

By clicking here, you can visit Amazon to get the most recent price and read other reviews.

 

As with all of our cat food reviews, let’s examine the first five ingredients in more detail to get a better idea of what’s in this food:

 

First chicken

This is not shocking. Any of the images of this food will make it very evident that chicken is a key component. It resembles cat food more than shredded chicken in a can, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. In this video, you can see the founder of Tiki Cats consume some of her cat food.

 

 

Second, Chicken Broth

Broth is often found in wet dishes, thus its presence here comes as no surprise. A little broth is never a bad addition since cats need all the aid they can get with their hydration.

 

Sunshine Seed Oil 3.

Although I’d much rather see your cat getting its lipids from an animal, sunflower seed oil may still provide some important fatty acids and keep costs in check.

 

Tricalcium Phosphate, fourth

In addition to serving as an anti-caking agent, tricalcium phosphate helps maintain the proper pH level in your cat’s food. Additionally crucial to general urinary health is a pH profile that is balanced, but this element also enables Tiki Cat to avoid more widely used substances like guar gum and xantham gum.

 

Taurine 5.

Your cat must have taurine, an amino acid, in its diet.

 

The full list of ingredients for the Puka Puka Luau recipe is as follows:

 

Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), and Vitamin B12 S are all ingredients in chicken, chicken broth, sunflower seed oil, tricalcium phosphate,

 

 

Here is the analysis you can count on.

 

Protein 16%

2.6% Fat

0% Fiber

Moisture of 80%

 

 

Weruva Canned Classic Recipes came in second.

Mideast Feast at Weruva

There have been 3,355 reviews.

Mideast Feast at Weruva

more than ten different flavors to choose from

Max Ash Content: 1.5% (Mideast Feast)

Magnesium 0.02% (Mideast Feast)

Phosphorus at 0.15% (Mideast Feast)

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While it may surprise you to find another cat food on our list that isn’t specifically targeted to cats with urinary issues or that isn’t labeled as such…

Don’t be fooled by it.

 

 

There are several cat diets that fit our requirements, and some, like Weruva, nonetheless keep urinary health in mind without explicitly mentioning it on the main label. According to Weruva’s website, the high moisture content, high-quality meats, and low magnesium content are highly beneficial to the urinary system.

 

“As obligate carnivores, cats must consume meat, and quality meat helps ensure good urinary pH levels,” they particularly state. As long as cats are well hydrated and maintain an acidic urinary pH, crystal formation may be avoided.

 

To be fair, that’s not at all what you’d anticipate from a scientific study for a prescription diet, but it does fit with what we know about problems with the urinary system.

 

Weruva also appears in our list of the best cat meals for fussy cats because of the variety of flavors you and your cat may choose from, some of which contain ingredients and types that are unlikely to be found elsewhere.

 

For instance, the seafood ingredients in the Marbella Paella taste include calamari, shrimp, and mussels. Variety is obviously not required, and the goal in this instance is to discover the greatest urinary food, but it is a wonderful addition.

 

While all of the Weruva Canned Classic Recipes are low in phosphorus, magnesium, and ash, some of them may have more or less animal-sourced proteins in their first five ingredients. As a check, be happy you’re okay with the taste you’re considering. If you’re unsure, I usually suggest the Mideast Feast, Mack & Jack, and Marbella Paella flavors.

 

Clicking here will check you to Amazon, where you can see all of the flavors, along with 10+ flavors and the most recent price.

 

However, if you’re eager to learn more, let’s examine the first five ingredients of the Mideast Feast recipe in more detail:

 

1. Tuna

Unqualified animal-based proteins are always happy, in our opinion. There are no by-products present, just delicious tuna for our feline companions. Additionally, Weruva informs us that all of their tuna is sustainably and ocean-caught.

 

2. Enough water for processing

It should come as no surprise that any wet food would often include water (and sometimes broth). Use of water rather than broth may lower total costs. Water is usually a smart idea when it comes to urinary diets since moisture is a crucial component in minimizing and curing urinary tract problems.

 

Tilapia 3.

A new protein source is always beneficial, and it’s even better that this one has no restrictions. Having a second excellent source of omega fatty acids for our kitty buddies makes me very happy.

 

Fourth, potato starch

Even though carbs aren’t good for you, potato starch isn’t as bad as lower-glycemic foods like maize. The fact that this component isn’t at the top of the list here makes me happy, and goods like these do contribute to lower total costs.

 

Sunflower Seed Oil 5.

Although extra fatty acids from plants, even if they come from animal sources, aren’t always a negative thing.

 

Guaranteed analysis and complete ingredients

The Weruva Mideast Feast recipe has the following ingredients in its list:

 

Whole tuna meat with enough water to process it. Tilapia, Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D

Protein 10%

7% Fat

.05% Fiber

Moisture of 78%

 

 

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health is the most affordable option.

Urinary Tract Health Purina Pro Plan

9,449 reviews

Urinary Tract Health Purina Pro Plan

Affordable and available in flavors that our feline companions prefer

0.024% Magnesium

Phosphorus at 0.26%

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Since Purina commonly uses questionable ingredients, I don’t usually suggest them, but there are times when we are in a tight spot and need to locate affordable wet food that is low in magnesium and phosphorus.

 

Although there are two kinds of meat by-products in this Purina recipe that we generally think of as filler, I assure you that it isn’t as horrible as it sounds!

 

Returning to the Association of American Feed Control Officers for a few definitions, we can find that meat by-products are defined as animal components that are “other than the muscular tissue, including the internal organs and bones.” It contains some of the parts that Americans commonly eat (such as livers, kidneys, and tripe), as well as certain sections that are not often eaten by Americans.

 

However, the label of not being fit for human eating is often more of a cultural than a nutritional one.

 

Additionally, according to AAFCO, “certain by-products, including udders and lungs, are not classified “edible” by the USDA for human consumption, but they may be totally safe and nutritious for animals not predisposed to be misled by the unpleasant aspect of these sections of animals.”

 

We’ve previously discussed the advantages of organ meats, but in short, some of these less-than-appealing foods wouldn’t have put your cat’s wild ancestors off.

 

This doesn’t imply that we should consume just organ meats, but it also doesn’t imply that we must avoid them at all costs.

 

While this recipe may not have the scientific research required to qualify for a prescription label, it does have more than 6,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, which support its effectiveness in managing urinary stones.

 

Additionally, there are 3 distinct flavors to pick from, which although ordinarily wouldn’t be all that significant in the realm of urinary diets (most urinary diets just provide a few taste options), is sort of a major thing.

 

While the ingredient list isn’t ideal, the fact that the first five ingredients are either water or derived from animals should help you decide if Purina Pro Plan Urinary Health is a long option to prescription diets. Of course, the fact that it’s inexpensive certainly helps.

 

By clicking here, you can read some of those 6,000 five-star reviews, explore all the flavors, and check the most recent price on Amazon.

 

It’s important to note that all five of the primary ingredients—with the exception of water—are derived from animals, even if that includes some by-products. To have a better idea of this recipe, let’s zoom in on what exactly is included in the Beef & Chicken recipe.

 

1. By-Products of meat

We recently examined how meat by-products may not be as horrible as they seem and are a good compromise in terms of cost-effectiveness. The fact that these ingredients are derived from animals makes them at least species-appropriate for our carnivorous cats, despite the fact that the phrase is still very much a catch-all.

 

2. Water

In almost every recipe for wet food, water or broth of some kind is a given. Since broth is another element derived from animals, I always prefer to see it although adding water is also OK. Additionally, it aids in lowering the price of the recipe.

 

 

3. Chicken leftovers

“Poultry By-Products shall consist of non-rendered clean portions of carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as heads, feet, and viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter save in such trace quantities as could occur unavoidably under good manufacturing operation,” according to the AAFCO.

 

Overall, it is comparable to the meat-based goods we have previously seen.

 

4. Beef

An excellent addition that is uncommon in cat food is beef. Even while this diet does involve chicken and it may be difficult to locate recipes without chicken, the addition of beef does give this recipe some variety that some felines may find appealing.

 

In addition, it’s a far better protein source than the by-products we’ve observed thus far.

 

 

Chicken 5.

After two by-product ingredients, it’s wonderful to see another basic animal-based ingredient. Purina is able to keep costs down while maintaining competitive quality by moving these high-grade ingredients lower down the list.

 

Guaranteed analysis and complete ingredients

The Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health Beef & Chicken Recipe has the following ingredients in its list:

 

Meat by-products, water, chicken by-products, beef and chicken entree Beef, chicken, rice, guar gum, potassium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, Salt, carrageenan, taurine, added color, choline chloride, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, and potassium iodide), Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K) Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement). B474018.

 

 

Protein 10.0%

7.0% Fat

0.5% Fiber

Moisture: 78.0%

 

 

Hill’s Science Diet Urinary & Hairball Control Wet Food, a Prescription Brand Alternative

Wet food from SALEHILL’S Science Diet for Urinary & Hairball Control

4,794 reviews

Science Diet by Hill Wet Food for Urinary & Hairball Control

This urinary diet is offered by Hill’s without a prescription.

0.14% Magnesium

Phosphorus at 0.16%

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Sticking with the same brand could be a smart place to start if you’re looking for a prescription alternative that comes as close to prescription diets as possible.

 

 

What distinguishes Hill’s Science Diet C/D from their wet food for urinary and hairball control?

 

The greatest distinction is that Urinary & Hairball Control Diet, which is offered directly by Hills, is meant to promote urinary health with a regulated pH and minimal mineral content, while C/D has been scientifically proved to support urinary health.

 

Despite the differences in the ingredients, there are still quite a few parallels. I would anticipate that cats that like C/D will also enjoy this recipe since both include ingredients like pig byproducts, chicken, and liver in significant amounts.

 

Of course, you are free to get the Urinary & Hairball control recipe from Amazon whenever you choose without a prescription.

 

Despite any possible parallels, you should consult with your veterinarian before taking any action, and nothing on this page should be construed as medical advice.

 

The ingredients list of the Urinary & Hairball recipe isn’t very impressive, but it’s also not particularly horrible either, beyond the realm of urinary diet. The first five ingredients in this diet are all either animal-based or water, albeit it does include some byproducts. That’s a great place to begin any diet!

 

The main issue with the ingredients is that, despite several additions to reduce the price, the diet as a whole isn’t cheap.

 

Nevertheless, this food is supported by more than 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, which is long. Clicking here will check you to Amazon, where you can read all of those reviews and see the current price.

 

Reviewing the first 5 ingredients will help us have a better understanding of what is in this urinary cat food before we continue:

 

1. Water

Water is an essential component of all wet ingredients, however we prefer to have it included as the second food on the list. However, because more moisture is such a crucial component of lowering stones and crystals, it is surely excused when it comes to urinary-specific diets.

 

Chicken 2.

We’re always happy to see an animal-based protein without any extra qualifiers, even if it’s listed as the second component. At this shape, chicken implies that it is comparable to what we would get in the supermarket, however it probably contains some lower-quality slices.

 

Turkey Liver 3.

Although some people would classify liver as a by-product, it is undoubtedly superior than the ingredients that are often given that label. Your cat would gladly consume liver in the wild, and it is an excellent source of vitamin A and other nutrients.

 

Fourth, Pork By-Products

When examining our budget pick from Purina, we paid great attention to by-products. While it’s not ideal, by-products in moderation may be a sensible addition to cat food, especially if the goal is to reduce expenses.

 

Pork Liver, No. 5

More organ meat isn’t always a bad thing, but although it is species-appropriate, it is regrettably the diet’s secondary source of liver. I would prefer to see a different high-quality meat product at this price range.

Guaranteed analysis and complete ingredients

The full list of ingredients for the Hill’s Science Diet Savory Chicken Wet Food Urinary & Hairball Control recipe is as follows:

 

 

Chicken, turkey, and pork by-products, as well as water Pork liver, turkey heart, corn starch, rice, soybean meal, dried beet pulp, chicken liver flavor, egg flavor, fish meal, titanium dioxide color, guar gum, and brewer’s dried yeast are some of the ingredients in this product. Vitamins (Vitamin E supplement, Thiamine mononitrate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Niacin supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 supplement, Riboflavin supplement, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 supplement), L-Lysine, Taurine, L-Carnitine, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate,

Protein 7.0%

3.5% Fat

1.5% Fiber

Moisture of 78%

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Shanjida

Hi, I'm Shanjida from Mymensingh. I am a student. I love blogging.

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