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Dear Christopher Cat

When Smokey Joe, my 19-year-old cat, was treated at the emergency clinic for a urinary tract infection, he was fed a canned food called “a/d.” He loved it, so I continued feeding it along with his regular dry food.

His blood test results look good, and the a/d has helped him gain some much needed weight. May I continue feeding it? By the way, what does a/d stand for?

Christopher Responds

It’s no wonder Smokey Joe likes a/d, because the prescription food is high in protein, fat and calories. Even when we cats refuse other foods, we’ll usually eat a/d.

For that reason, I call it the “anorexia diet.” Hill’s, the manufacturer, apparently not as creative as I, says a/d isn’t an abbreviation for anything in particular.

Perhaps that’s because the diet is formulated for cats and dogs recovering from serious illness, accident or surgery.

A high protein diet is hard on those of us with kidney and liver dysfunction, and a high fat diet sometimes can trigger pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas.

However, Smokey Joe’s test results show he is free of these problems, so supplementing with a/d should pose no difficulty.

Generally, a/d is not meant to be a long-term diet. On the other hand, it makes dry food more palatable, so Smokey Joe is eating better.

Personally, I would love to eat a/d every day. So as long as it’s okay with Smokey Joe’s veterinarian, I think you may continue to supplement his dry food with it.

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