I'm such an idiot about cat food! and question on dry/wet.

  1. OK, I just had to do a petco run because my two cats were out of dry food. We adopted them Sept. 1st - a mama cat and her kitten from a rescue organization. When we got them, they were on a specific can food and dry food and I've just maintained that, but recently switched off the kitten food to regular indoor cat food of the same brand.

    Well, the cats are eating less and less of the wet food. They just don't seem to like it very much, but they LOVE the dry food, but it's so expensive. a 3.5 lbs bag costs 15.99!!!

    So, where I'm stupid. We had an old cat that died early this summer and he was always super finicky about food. He wouldn't eat food that was "stale" which also meant, any container of food larger than the 3.5 lbs bag and he would turn his nose up at it after a couple pounds of it - EVEN when we were storing it in air tight containers.

    BUT... that doesn't mean THESE cats are that finicky! I just looked and that SAME food comes in a 15 lbs bag and that costs $38... so for the same weight - $75 or $38!!! I have been paying DOUBLE what I should have been paying!!! OMG!!! I then thoought, well, i'll need a container to hold the big bag, but that container paid for itself with the INITIAL BAG OF CAT FOOD!

    How could I have been so stupid??? And I always comparison shop! UGH!!

    Now, my question: with our older cat, we were told dry food diet was best, but now I'm reading and the suggest an all wet diet, or at least a mix of the two because otherwise they don't tend to drink enough... but what if my cats BEG for the dry???? I have tried different flavors of the Dick Patton canned foods and they seem to feel the same about it - a few nibbles and then leave the rest.

    Do I switch brands? or just skip the wet food? I'm not going to keep spending over a dollar a day on a canned food they leave half uneaten.
  2. First of all, good for you for adopting your babies from a shelter!!! I hope you and your family will enjoy their company for many years to come.

    For an older cat (at least for mine, before she died), we did feed a mix of dry and wet. We bought the "senior forumla" cat food. I don't know if there's actually a difference or not, but it made us at least feel better about what we feed her. She also ate a lot of human food (bad, I know).

    Some cats just don't like wet food, though. My cat does NOT touch wet food at all. My other cat loves it and prefers it to all else. I can't force the first cat to eat wet food, so he only has dry food and seems perfectly fine... I do notice that he drinks way more water, consequently, than the other cat who likes wet food.

    You don't need to buy ultra-fancy canned food that's over a dollar. I'm not sure how big your cats are or how much they eat, but I would only give them one cat a day. I don't buy anything fancy, just Friskies (I think) wet food. It's 32 cents a can. I give the cat that likes wet food one can a day, and the rest of the time, if she's hungry, I make her have dry food because it's better for her teeth anyway.

    I don't tihnk its a problem if your cats only like dry food, as long as water is readily available to them. Plus, it means they'll have better teeth!
  3. I don't know... I did a lot of reading and the old wisdom of dry being good for teeth is now being disputed (this is what I used to think too). Plus, I'm a firm believer in what goes in body should be quality things and Friskies is like the low of the low of cat food. LOTS of fillers. They LOVE it, but I think it's like eating McDonald's every day of your life.

    I worry about the wet food thing because our old cat died of kidney failure at the age of 13 and he was probably sick with it for a couple years and now that I read more? The biggest culprit seems to be the lack of water due to dry food.

    But, as with everything out there, can I trust what I'm reading is accurate? I don't want to go wacko crazy in making their own food, but I don't want to disregard good things for them too, just because of a few cents a day.

    We love our kitties and we want these two (now almost 2 we think and nearly 9 months) to stick around for a LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG time!
  4. Hi berryblondboys, while I can see where you're coming from, I really don't think the fancy foods like "Science Diet" are significantly better in quality: they just have a different marketing approach (hence labeling themselves "Science Diet" versus another name like "Fancy Feast"). I basically think they're essentially interchangeable, and the only actual difference is how they brand themselves. I honestly don't think that dry foods you buy at Petsmart differ enough to make any significant difference in an animal's health. Again, just my opinion. Of course, each cat is individual in its makeup and genetics, etc... my old cat lived to be the age of 16 without any health problems, and all she ever ate was Whiskas, a little bit of wet food and a lot of human food. My other cat is the same, she's 12 years old and acts like a 5 year old cat. She also eats a lot of wet food, plus dry food and a lot of human food. I don't feel bad about feeding my cats Meow Mix Indoor Formula, currently. It's not out of cheapness or inconsideration, either.
  5. Ugh... and this is where I go back and forth on it. Our vet for our first kitty said, "dry food only, stay away from Friskies, but anything by Purina is good enough, you don't need to buy anything special."

    Now, we adopt from a rescue organization and they strongly encourage wet only and "IF" you need dry only these two to three brands. and with wet, only these two to three brands. Our vet is the same way.

    Reading online you don't know who is really HONEST and while a cat can live long on a Friskies diet a cat can also die young on a science diet - but are there any TRUE studies that SHOW???? That's my main thing - not a cat food company's study, but an outside third party testing and evaluating.

    I don't want to be a sucker and buy into gourmet this and that, but don't want to ignore what's better for my cats if there IS something better either!
  6. ^^
    I understand what you're saying! I don't think there's one right way to do it. Really.
  7. I feed my cat Iams dry in the chicken flavor - it's what she was eating at the pound before I got her, and it's all she will eat now. Seriously, she turns her little kitty nose up at any other type of cat or people food, wet or dry. She seems to be in fine health and isn't overweight according to the vet. I say don't mess with what works unless you need to for some pressing health reason (like your cat losing teeth in old age or something).
  8. I've heard that cats get addicted to specific dry cat foods and it can be really hard for them to adjust to newer brands. This happens especially with the cheaper foods cause the fillers flavor the food. I usually feed my cat good dry food, but we'll give him wet food probably once a month. Luckily, he drinks lots of water (and likes licking condensation off the window!) so he hasn't had any teeth problems.

    If you're having trouble getting him to eat the wet food, try mixing some dry food into it so it's a mixture. Or find out what treats he likes and mix that in. For example, we'll mix in pureed pumpkin which he loves into the wet food, plus it's good for his digestive system (obviously check to make sure it's safe for cats first). Also, we often switch the taste of dry food he's eating within the same brand, ie. from chicken to turkey to salmon, just to make sure he doesn't get addicted to one.

    Regarding cheap vs. expensive food, I've been told by both my vet and the adoption shelter to stay away from the cheap foods, cause like berryblondeboys said, they contain fillers that just fill up the cat for a short time, and don't have the right nutrients. But having said that, I think that once you reach a certain level, it's all about the same. The Science Diet would probably be the cheapest food I'd buy.
  9. What brand of wet do you use? I've been trying different flavors of Dick Patton and at first they devoured it, but now they pick at it. I put down half a can in the morning and it's hardly touched.
  10. ^^ Usually Wellness or this other brand I can't remember right now - it comes in a pouch (one per day) and it's like gravy with actual chunks of meat (sardines, salmon, turkey etc). My cat looooves the gravy, and always licks all that up first. Let me see if I can find out the name of it.
  11. It sounds like you are over-thinking it. Give them what they like and just make sure they have plenty of water available. Cats aren't stupid, if they get thirsty, they will drink. To make it more "fun" for them you might consider one of those pet fountains---my cats love theirs.

    FYI, I have 8 cats ranging in age from 1 to 14 and with the exception of one who has congenital heart disease, they are all fine and healthy on their diet of indoor cat formula dry food--brand varies depending on where I'm shopping---and a few spoonfuls of wet food (Friskie's is their fave) twice a day. By a few spoonfuls I mean that we split three cans between the 8 of them--it's really more of a snack. My DH calls it the Food Rejection Ritual because sometimes they won't touch it.
  12. EIGHT CATS! LOL You sound like the lady we got the rescue cats from. She belongs to the organization where they take cats from shelters and put them in foster care. She has five cats of her own, a dog and a parrot. Then, she has usually 3-6 cats in some stage of fostering at all times too! OMG at the thought of taking care of all of them!

    On a side note, I've been meaning to pm you for a LONG time because your avatar cat looks a lot like the kitten we have - Pippen. Here's a pic of when he was about 6 months old. He's 9 months old now:

  13. First berryblondeboys you are not an idiot...
    Second, like everyone suggests, what is the best for your cat is that he/she is eating and keeping up the great appetite. I think as long as the cat is eating, I really learned not to care about the different 'brands' out there. And all 'cheap' brands are not bad at all...;) But if you are thinking and researching, maybe you can think about cats being an obligatory carnivore, i.e. Eating meat!
    As a RVT, I was taught long ago that dry food is better for teeth, and Fancy Feast and Friskies are junk food, etc. etc., but when that whole food recall happened, I really reevaluated what I was feeding to my cats... And I really got convinced more and more because cats are obligatory carnivores, high protein diet is not only important but necessary for them... Then one of my cats showed high gluocse in the blood work so that was it for me. No more dry food, no more high carb diets...
    My cats range from 16 yrs old, 7 years old (x3), and 6 years old. My 16 yrs old is in renal failure and has been managed with SQ fluids for almost 2 years now. 2 of my cats are overweight. One of my 7 year old has been 'blocked' with crystals. So water intake is very important in my household. And cats do not generally have a thirst drive like we do, so water intake is important in their diet. I do have 3 fountains anyway. There are dry food diets that contain more salt to encourage cats to drink water, like the anti-crystal diets, but those diets are not good for kidney diseased cats so we have to be careful.
    What came down to my household is that I feed them Fancy Feast but just those that has carbs less than 10% (The Gourmet Series; http://www.felinediabetes.com/glutenfree.htm). No seafood because it can also cause feline acne and two of my kitties flares up once in a while. No gravy kind because gravy is gluten, i.e. carbs.
    Cats generally like dry food because they coat the kibbles with fat, and my boys were very difficult to wean them off. They were carb-addicts:p. But they were healthy enough that I could work on weaning off the dry food. And you shouldn't always mix kibbles with canned because molds can grow very fast on the dry food unless you know the cats are finishing the food right away. I also read that kibbles mixed in water can release some toxins, but I am not sure if that has been proven.
    I used to feed my kidney disease cat those 'kidney diets', but she ended up eating the other cat's diet. Always with the advice of the veterinarian, I am just feeding her mostly Fancy Feast only now. And I give her cooked chicken breast. She LOVES that! And guess what? My overweight cats started to slim down in a healthy way just by switching to canned food (with low carb).
    Again, what your cat loves and keeps eating is most important. If you must stay away from the 'cheap' brand, then I think Wellness, Innova are good brands. But some of the flavors contain vegetables in the diet, which I don't think the cats need that much...
    P.S. Pippen is a cutie:heart:
  14. This is what I've been reading too. the cat food (both dry and wet) we've been getting is the good stuff - almost all protein.

    The dry I've been getting is Royal canine Indoor 27. The wet is Dick Patton ultimate formula, but I've been trying different flavors to see if it entices them more, but no.

    We just did the SQ for 6 months with our cat which we were told had 1 week to 1 month to live even WITH the fluids and after that, we just want to try we are doing the best for the kidney health since they ARE obligatory meat eaters which is naturally hard on kidneys.

    I had also read that cats are desert animals (or subdesert) and so they are designed to mainly get their water intake from diet mainly and this makes sense to me.

    Maybe I'll try the Wellness brand. I think Whole Foods carries it. They are just nonplussed with the canned food now.
  15. OK, just did some looking. No wonder they like the cat food I'm giving them, it's not that GREAT! Only 27% protein. If I stay with this brand, I'll switch to either the Light (37 % protein) or the fit and Beautiful which is 34% protein.

    The top rated wet cat food is what I've been giving, them, but They are holding out for the dry.... Maybe I'll try to wean them off it.

    here's the article from consumer research:

    It's too long to cut and paste.