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Thread: A cat food question

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  1. #1
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    A cat food question

    The thread started by Krazyaboutkatz about Wellness cat food got me thinking. Can I just ask some questions? If these are too invasive, please let me know and I'll pipe down. Krazyaboutkatz, or anyone else who uses the higher quality cat foods ... what did your kitties eat before you started them on the Wellness food? Was there a specific reason why you switched? What changes have you seen in your kitties since you started them on special food? Your kitties are so precious and beautiful. I love to see pictures of them. I can tell they are well cared for.

    I have always fed Cassie grocery store cat food because that is what she was getting at the shelter. They now feed all their cats Hill Science Diet. I am wondering if I should switch Cassie over. The vet said it would be fine to switch her over at her age; the only change I should see would be that the higher end food is more expensive. I know there are some on PT who cook for their kitties, but the vet thought I could feed the best balance of nutrition to her by using a purchased product. She doesn't seem to mind supermarket food; and why would Petsmart carry it if it was inferior? Is there a difference between the Wellness, Hill Science Diet, Iams, Blue Buffalo etc. and others. Petsmart even has their own line.

    Again- if these questions are too intrusive, please let me know and i apologize in advance.

    Thank you,
    Elyse
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  2. #2
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    I changed my cats' food from Fancy Feast and Purina One to Wellness and Blue Wilderness. Ming, my Siamese boy, had recurring urinary tract blockages and I have him on amitryptiline. Mac, my orangey, is just getting older and was starting to lose weight and vomit more than usual. Someone on here recommended upgrading my cats' food from FF to something healthier. Well, once on these foods (and I tried several before settling on these two, which both will eat), Mac started putting on weight and no longer vomits, or very rarely, and Ming is doing so well I have reduced his med levels and he is doing well. I highly recommend upgrading Cassie's food. My boys are playing like kittens again and they have a gleam in their eyes I haven't seen in years. These foods cost a bit more, but they are more than worth it!
    Proud to be a crazy cat lady!

  3. #3
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    I feed Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry (Chicken) and canned (Salmon - what Jane will eat). I also feed real meat (Deli) as a treat. (Shame on me). I used to cook fish and need to start again.

    I used to feed Purina or Little Friskies years ago and the girls (RB) had diarrhea and felt bad. They wouldn't use the litter box. I switched over to Sensible choice (a good food then) and the difference was amazing. No more throwing up or diarrhea.

    So Spunky started on SC and then moved to Eagle Pack, Innova, and Veterinarian's Formula. All are good but each cat has a preference and Wilderness is the only dry and wet they really like.

    I fed the current clan Fancy Feast for a while but Spunky had diarrhea while on it and now he doesn't.

    Spunky tried to eat the store brand when visiting my mom once and promptly threw it up. He also developed kidney stones from a store brand years before that. So now he doesn't eat food unless I put it out for him. That's his decision. Wise cat.

    Those foods you mentioned? Most have corn in them among other junk ingredients. (Can you tell what I think of SD, Iams, Hills?) Corn is a source of protein but also has carbs which cats do not need.

    Better Food means less trips to the vet and hopefully a longer lived cat.

    Oh, Wellness look like a good food but mine don't like it. Finicky Critters.

    I hope this answers your questions and I hope I also didn't bore you.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, and Callie.


    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!



    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  4. #4
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    Elyse, your questions are just fine!

    We have had three kitties. Two were raised and thrived on basic Purina Kitten Chow/ Purina Cat Chow. Our third you know quite well. Pinot was a shelter kitty. I have news for you regarding shelter kitty food, at least the shelters around here. They are SENT HOME with high end food. They are FED with whatever is donated. I found that out after Pinot was quite used to Hills Science Diet, which she was sent home with, when I went to donate food. They said any store brand is fine; I usually give the shelter Meow Mix or Friskies. Pinot is strictly a Science Diet kitty - that's her preference.

    I think the majority of people who have switched their kitty's diet is due to a health issue. It all depends on your kitty. If Cassie is happy with her food, leave it be, she's fine. I'm quite sure you're doing the best for her. I hope this helps you.
    http://bestsmileys.com/cats1/4.gif

    LET'S GO O' S!!

  5. #5
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    I fed Science Diet for 10 years, as that is what my vet recommended.

    Guess what? SD is crap food! Hills makes huge donations to VMA, so vets recommend it. Vets generally get NO training in nutrition.

    Once I got dogs, I got involved in the bichon forum; bichons are known for their food allergies. So bichon owners tend to spend a lot of time learning about foods. I was able translate that to the cat side of things. Note: there has not been as much research done on cats and foods.

    I fed Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul kibble for a few years (2 or 3, I forget), and suddenly, I had NO MORE HAIRBALLS! Hairballs are NOT normal.

    Then about 2 years back, I switched the whole house to grain free Taste of the Wild. No hairballs continued; and smaller poops as there is less waste. All the cats that were pudgy trimmed down, with no effort on my part and no ill effects to them. (They weren't complaining they were starving!)

    In the past year, I've started some home cooking for them, and I now include grain free canned as well. Here is what happened: Sparkle was diagnosed w/ early stage renal disease last Fall; my vet said we could do sub Q fluids, or I could try feeding her some canned and, as she is very early stage, that may have the same effect. Er, wait a minute, "wouldn't she just drink more from the water bowl?" Well, it seems that cats are not geared to drink; they get more than 90% of the fluids they need from their prey (mice, moles, shrews, a bird here and there). Then why the heck am I feeding them only dry kibble?!

    Commercial cat foods did not come on the market until the 1960's. Up to then, vets did not see over active thyroid in cats (I've lost 3 cats to this), renal failure, cancers. Cats ate what the family had, and supplemented it with prey. Also, cats are obligate carnivores; again, this means they got all the nutrients they needed from their prey. Cats (in the wild, ferals, untamed / undomesticated) do not eat grains in any form. They do get a small amount of DIGESTED grains from the stomach of their prey -- cats can not digest it themselves.

    A good base to learn about commercial cat foods:
    http://www.petfoodratings.net/cattable.html

    There is a menu on the left. The link above takes you to CAT FOOD QUICK REFERENCE TABLE. You will also want to click on COMPLETE CAT FOOD LISTINGS.
    (NB - do NOT use this table for dog foods if you also have a dog; it is not detailed enough. For dogs, refer to: www.dogfoodanalysis.com)


    A good base for home cooking: THE WHOLE PET DIET by Andi Brown. I found it at my library; liked it so much, I bought a copy at Amazon.com. She provides recipes, and explains what each ingredient is for. I make the Chicken Spot's Stew and all 15 here go crazy for it!

    The Whole Dog Journal found only 1 complaint with her book: she does not emphasize calcium enough. But if you follow her recipes, your pet does get what it needs for calcium.

    Recently, I've been exploring raw feeding. I know I will never convert to it completely. But having the pet (dog or cat) crunch up some raw bones helps clean their teeth and prevent tartar naturally. I have been giving the cats raw chicken necks -- Tommy is absolutely WILD for them, he hee.

    There are 3 supplements for cats eating a raw diet. One I have used for years is Barley Cat. I am still learning about the other 2, on a raw diet forum.

    Hope this helps!
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  6. #6
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    Sometimes I wish she could speak! Meow: I'm hungry! Meow: this food tastes awful! Meow: Got any tuna? Meow: I'd like bottled water in my water dish, please. Meow: Just where the heck do you think you're going, human?

    Edited to add: Freedom, interesting findings on this chart! I'm not surprised at where the supermarket brands fall (one *) but I AM surprised about Science Diet and Iams! Yikes! I'm scared of Iams anyway after losing my cat-nephew Churchill to their contaminated product.
    Last edited by cassiesmom; 03-09-2011 at 07:41 PM.
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  7. #7
    I switched to grain-free food because Smudge was having urinary and allergy problems. Grain raises cats' urinary pH and makes it harder for them to dissolve minerals in their urine, so they get crystals; and many cats are allergic.

    Choosing a dry food was easy, because he loved the first one I tried (Indigo Moon by Solid Gold). He's pickier on wet food, but will reliably eat Natural Balance Limited Ingredients. (He needs to get at least some wet food for me to mix in his meds & supplements, and to help get more water into him.)

    Love, Columbine

  8. #8
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    If you want to make sure your cats get enough water in their diet, try getting them a fountain. I did this and both of mine now walk over to the fountain and help themselves to a drink all the time! It is filtered water so you know it is good for them.
    Proud to be a crazy cat lady!

  9. #9
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    another cat food question --- Moosmom mentioned in another thread that one of her cats likes Chobani yogurt, but has lactose intolerance. Cassie likes yogurt. I only give her plain or the top of "fruit on the bottom" yogurt. I haven't watched the litter pan enough to know if it's causing a problem, because I only give her maybe half a teaspoonful at a time. She has no problem with milk -- so, can I keep on giving her the yogurt? Should I keep a closer eye on what she puts in the litter pan? When she hears me pull off the foil lid, she's there. She likes yogurt a lot. Silly kitty.

    I had a sandwich from Arby's for lunch yesterday between church and bell choir -- you'd think she was starving, the way she was waiting for me to give her some of the beef! I cut it up very small and put it in a dish for her. No sauce or anything, just the meat. She did fine with it.

    Another PT kitty gets half and half-- please don't tell Cassie, or she will want that too!
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  10. #10
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    Cats are lactose intolerant.

    If Cassie is OK w/ half a teaspoon of yogurt, keep it up!

    We (Dad and I) are also lactose intolerant, so the only milk I ever buy is Lactaid. That is fine for the cats and dogs too.
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  11. #11
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    I finally went to the pet food rating site for cat foods. Most of the food ratings were about where I thought they would be. The site doesn't address Blue for cats, though. And just because a company makes good dog food, doesn't mean it make good cat food.

    I do read ingredients and Blue is a good food.

    I haven't tried mine with yogurt.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, and Callie.


    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!



    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Pennsylvania
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    To quote an old song: "Both sides now"

    Right off, let me say that I had been feeding Purina O.N.E. and my cats were doing fine on it - no medical problems. However, reading forums, it seemed to me that grain-free was the way to go; however, on a very limited income (SS and investments - no pension), switching to a higher-end food seemed impossible. I did, however, find Taste of the Wild to be approximately the same price as the Purina, so I switched to it a couple of years ago. I've since found that buying it in the 15-pound bag makes it cheaper than Purina from the grocery store. What I've noticed is that 16-pound, almost-10-year-old Mordred seems to me to be more active than previously. I can't imagine that being caused by his aging! So I guess it was the change to grain-free. He didn't lose any weight on it, though.

    Wanting to add some canned food at least occasionally, I was again stumped: I simply can't afford the high-end cans when feeding three. However, on another forum, someone mentioned Dave's Pet Food. I checked it out: good ingredients, no gluten, no grain - and surprisingly affordable. My three now get some of Dave's canned each evening.

    On the other hand, years ago, before premium food was ever dreamt of, I fed grocery store food because that's all there was. Cassandra lived to almost 17, and Kalli made it to almost 20 on that food. Kalli would get seriously sick every few years, although the most serious - myocarditis - had nothing to do with food. Cassandra was never ill; I had her sent to the Bridge when she threw a clot. So, feeding grocery store food will not kill your cat; as long as it has the AAFCO seal, it has all the proper nutrients - although the sources of those nutrients may not be the best or most efficient.

    I do have one "pet peeve" that I didn't see here but will throw it out there anyway: some people simply do not have the finances to buy the premium foods; they do the best they can and feed grocery store food because *that* is the best they can do. If they come to a forum where that food is called "junk," "crap," or "garbage," - as I've seen on another forum - they're made to feel inadequate, unworthy pet parents. I know that's how I felt when I was feeding Purina; to call the food I was feeding by derogatory names is to berate *me*, not just the food. The compassion we extend to our furchildren should teach us to extend it to others who may be less financially secure.



    Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The PrinCESS Althea

  13. #13
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    Westlock County, AB, Canada
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    Many years back I had a cat that I only bought grocery store brands and never read the ingredients. This cat also like some of our foods, especially veggies. Then we hit a road block and she started having digestive problems. She was about 16 years old at this time. I switched her over to Fancy Feast (consider premium at this time) and saw a marked improvement. The next problem showed up when we gave her corn and then the problem with dry cat food. I started reading the ingredients and much to my dismay almost every brand had corn gluten. I went to every specialty pet store trying to find something without it. At that time (about 12 years ago) I found Sensible Choice. I switched my cat over to it and she did well. She lived to be 20 1/2.

    Since that time I've tried to go with corn free cat food. It's been a challenge. Brands that didn't use it, started to. It's a cheap filler. Right now I feed my kitties Costco's "Maintenance Cat". It's a premium food(chicken based) with no corn gluten and actually it's inexpensive and my kitties love it.

    FYI I saw a show awhile back that compared a three different brands. Iams came out on the bottom. Turns out it has the highest filler content. Sorry but I don't remember what the other brands were.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    Cats are lactose intolerant.

    If Cassie is OK w/ half a teaspoon of yogurt, keep it up!

    We (Dad and I) are also lactose intolerant, so the only milk I ever buy is Lactaid. That is fine for the cats and dogs too.
    Dear Auntie Freedom -- Thank you for telling meowmie I may have yogurt! Could you please tell her to keep up the tuna, too? I am VERY okay with that!

    Purrs, meows and head bumpies,
    Cassie

    p.s. from Cassie's food lady: She would be content if I served her tuna, pureed baby food meat, a bit of deli turkey, milk and cut-up chicken white meat on a regular basis I keep telling her that I need to give her a balanced diet (veterinarian's orders), but she just looks at me and meows.
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  15. #15
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    I'm back to this thread again. The feed store near my house has a special on Merrick cat food - 79 cents. They also carry the "Chicken Soup" dry cat food and Taste of the Wild. I see on the pet food rating Web site that Merrick's Before Grain line got 5 out of 5 stars. The varieties also have cute names like California Roll and Grammy's Pot Pie. Like Mr. Spunky, Cassie is eating more now that the weather is getting cooler -- so I'm going to try offering her the Merrick. I'm already paying 59 cents a can to feed her 1-star Friskies so as long as it's on sale I might as well see how she does.
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

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