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Cat likes cheap stuff, but i want her to have better

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

i got my cat when she was about 7 mos old.
she is now almost 4....

i wanted her to have the better cat food (or what i believed was better) but she refuses to eat any thing but Cat Chow, Meow Mix and Whiskas (all dry)

she will only lap up the liquid from canned cat food, if there is no "garvy", she will not touch it.

and she doesn't eat any people food except an occasional peice of cheese or a tiny bit of milk (she is one of the very few cats who have the enzyme so that she can digest milk) and perhpas a teaspoon of the water from a can of tuna (not the tuna itself)

my vet said that the cheap stuff is BETTER for her, that all the premium brands are too rich and cause health problems...

well, i have seen cats on premium foods (Iams, Science Diet) and they had GORGEOUS coats!

my cat is heatlhy enough, but i think her fur could look better, i don't know, maybe this is just the way she is....

but i cannot get her to eat the expensive stuff,
so, is there some supplement i can give her that will improve her coat and reassure me that she is getting all the nurtition she needs?
(she would not eat dry food with Linatone on it, or any other oil)

maybe a tasty tablet? that tastes like a treat? (she does like liver based cat treats)
she is almost impossible to"pill" so it could not be a pill that she will not eat on her own.

post #2 of 14
Have you tried gradually mixing in the new food with the old, starting with just a little bit? Cats sometimes reject new foods, so sometimes you have try to sneak it in.

<<my vet said that the cheap stuff is BETTER for her, that all the premium brands are too rich and cause health problems... >

That's ridiculous. If you research the ingredients of pet foods and what some of the ingredients really are, you will see why. Did you know that vets don't get much nutrition training, and obviously, some have not investigated what actually goes into pet foods, particulary the cheap foods (things like blood soaked sawdust and melted down feathers.) Is cheap food what your vet feeds his cat? The kind that's mostly corn (which cat's can't digest well), with cancer causing preservatives such as BHA and BHT? Many vets actually feel that it is cheap cat food that causes health problems down the road (diabetes, bladder and kidney problems in particular, due to the overabundance of carbohydrates in cheap foods).

Most cat owners have seen great improvements in their cats after upgrading the food. My cats coats become much softer and shiner when I did that. Plus, after learning about what really goes into pet food, I would never feed cheap food.

Here are some links you may be interested in: http://cats.about.com/library/weekly/aa101401a.htm
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply and the links.

i have been doing some research on cat foods and just when it seems i have found the perfect food, i come across an article that says that that food is garbage...
it is all very confusing.

what do you feed your cat(s)?

i did try to switch my cat over gradually, but as soon as there was even 1/4 of the new food in with the old, she would not touch it.

i do not know why this cat turns up her nose at things most cats would go nuts over- like fish, chicken, or turkey...

she does like the taste of liver, i guess most cats do, but an organ meat can not be too healthy to be eating a lot of (and probably why they say to limit treats, most of them do have liver listed first)

Well, until i can figure out the best food and try to get her to accept it, i still would like to find a supplement...
also i have a visiting cat who is very fond of food (my cat is not at all motivated by food) so i can't make any changes right now in diet...as the cats free feed.

i will keep looking!
post #4 of 14
My cat is almost 2 yrs old. I fed her excelusively a fairly expensive food, APD feline cat/kitten brand for the 1st year.

Then I started mixing in 1/4 cup of some cheaper foods, Friskies dry & Chef's Blend. A few months ago she was sick with a bladder infection & wouldn't eat much of the 'good' food. She'd pick out the cheap stuff. So I'm still giving her about 1/4 cup of the APD mixed with 1/2 Friskies Senior & half Chef's Blend for the other 1/4 cup.

She still seems to eat the 'junk food' first but will eventually finish the rest. She seems healthy & has a beautifully soft, glossy coat so I haven't been worrying about it.

She also will have nothing to do with 'people' food except will lap a bit of 1/2 & 1/2 from the bottom of my cereal bowl. Funnily she prefers the
fat free 1/2 & 1/2 which is what I usually use on my cereal.

She rarely will eat treats. Once in a while will accept 3 or 4 bits of Pounce treats but isn't really too interested in them

I allow her to get on one kitchen counter & can leave any food out there & she doesn't even sniff at it. Not even butter & I thought most cats loved butter. Guess we just have 'picky' kitties.

Betty & Mandy
post #5 of 14
There are vitamins for cats that come in capules, so maybe you could open the capusules and mix the powder in with some of that tuna juice your cat likes. You could try blending some canned food to make it seem all gravy- well sort of. Maybe she'll eat that.

I free feed dry and serve canned food meals. For dry I feed Pinnacle, Solid Gold, Nutro Complete Care, Felidae and Royal Canine. My five cats all have their individual preferences, so I put out three of a kind at a time. (Except one cat will eat just about anything.)

For canned, their favorite is Nature's Recipe Julienne Cuts (has that gravy they love), Wellness (2 of them won't always eat it), Avo Derm (the one with chunks of meat in gravy), sometimes Lick Your Chops, Evolve and recently, I'm trying to get them to eat Active Life, but only three are going for it right now. My cats mostly want the chunky kinds of foods in gravy, which only two of the ones I listed are.

I shop online, since there aren't any stores near me with much of anything decent for cats. The ones I mostly use are www.waggintails.com and www.petfooddirect.com Both sell supplements so you might find something that would work for your cat.

Since your cat seems to mostly want dry food, you might try freeze dried foods, such as Steve's Real Food. You can order it from waggintails. http://www.waggintails.com/index.epl?AnimalID=2 It's large dry chunks. I've been using it as treats, but it is a complete and balanced diet. You could cut the pieces to be about the same size as the dry food.

Also check out Halo http://www.halopets.com My cats didn't go for the Spot's Stew, unfortunately, but Halo has a food enhancer called Dinner Party https://www.halopets.com/dinnerparty.htm They also have Vita Mineral Mix, which looks to be a powder.

Good luck.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Betty and MandyCat,

thanks, yes your cat sounds a lot like mine! she rarely gets up on the table, but i wouldn't care if she did, as she just could care less about food...

and me, i am like a doting mother, always worried that she isn't eating enough!

i never even thought to just continue with a small amount of the better food mixed with the junk she likes.....
great idea!

my last cat, Sara, lived to eat! she just loved her food, and the poor thing was sick and had to have a prescription diet, but even then, she just adored her food...and she loved corn!! if i accidentally dropped any canned corn on the floor, she "Hoovered it" right up!!

so this is a switch, having a cat who has no interest. i had planned to try to train her to do some tricks, but she in not motivated by food treats, and really doesn't care all that much if i praise her or pet her either!

Oh and i tried to get my cat to taste a little butter, as that is what the vet said to use for her hairballs, and she ran away from it like it was poison! LOL
<she doesn't like the malt flavor of petromalt>
what a silly cat!

WOW, i had no idea there were so many different kinds of cat food!!
i have been looking into the Nutro cat food, but i have to wait to try it. i can get it a Petco, and i know they have other brands, too.

Thanks for all those links, i will check them out. and that is a good idea, to add the supplement to the tuna water.

i just read where you should check with your vet before giving supplements, so i guess i better do that too. i was mostly looking for the essential fatty acids that improve the skin and coat, but wasn't sure what was a good source.
most places say to just feed a better food, and that is what i plan to work up to.... when i can.

i will have to ask my sister is she'd mind her cat had some other food (her cat gets a good brand of canned cat food to supplement her diet, my cat won't touch any thing that expensive! i swear she knows what each can costs, and she prefers the stuff in the 3/1.00 range!)
i am cat sitting her and so i have to be careful what i food i put out.

THANKS for all your help 'guys', i really appreciate it!

post #7 of 14
I have a cat that is nearly 13 years old. She's always liked the cheap food better. Either way canned or dry so that's what I fed her. She's very healthy and active. I've tried to snaek in better food but she just won't eat it. Just thought I'd drop a few lines and tell you that.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Cathy,
well for now the cats will stay on the Cat Chow and Whiskas dry, with my sister's cat getting Science Diet canned...

i sent for free samples of other foods, there are so many different kinds out there, there is no way i could afford to buy a full size packages and then have it go un eaten...even the shelter won't take open bags of food, and i hate to see things wasted.

post #9 of 14
I have two cats who only eat "cheap" food, they are both happy and healthy. No health issues, both have plenty of energy, and all of their blood work has always come back A-OK.

I am in the minority here, and I know this, but I say feed your cat what it likes, keep up w/ their vet visits, and enjoy their life. And stop worrying about the "good" food versus the "bad" food. I've never fed either one of my kitties top of the line stuff, they eat Whiskas, Friskies, and Kit N' Kaboodle and love it. If they were feral and living outside they'd be eating much worse I think. If eating at all.

We had this discussion here a few weeks ago about what is "unfit for human consumption" since some of whats in the cheaper brand is labeled as this. Somebody brought up the point of other cultures who eat things that we as Americans would never dream of eating like chicken feet. I think that most cat owners want to feed their cat gourmet food and unfortunately not everyone can afford that. And if your cat is happy and healthy on what they are eating then I say go for it!!
post #10 of 14
Thank you for all those great nutrion links..can never learn too much.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
THANKS everyone for your ideas and advice.

Daniela, i have gone back and forth in my mind about this whole issue myself, and i think i have finally come to a few (hesitant!) conclusions-
my vet has seen hundreds-no, thousands- of cats, and he knows a healthy cat from a sick one, for sure-
if he says that my cat is better off with cat chow than a premium brand, there must be a reason....

my last cat needed to have prescription diets, first to help her lose wt, as she was diabetic, and then the "kidney diet" as her kidneys were failing...
they were very expensive foods, but it was absolutely required

i am guessing that cats, like people, have different nutritional needs- some may only really do well on the more expensive brands- perhaps high energy cats, or cats who don't digest certain foods as well as others.
my cat is just an average cat, she is not more active, she is very healthy, she has absolutely no digestive problems, so why not give her what she likes and will eat?

i was reading that her coat could look better if she was just groomed more- but she doesn't much care for being brushed, so perhaps i should direct my efforts towards getting her more used to being handled so i can groom her better...!!

NOW as far as all the stuff about what is in commercial food and all that- to be honest, i don't know who to believe! i find it hard to imagine that there's rancid oils and fats in the commercial foods, because rancid oil just smells so bad... and i can't imagine that a cat who is not starving, would eat that.
please, i am not asking for anyone to show me the proof or convince me!!!
the idea that there are body parts that people wouldn't eat doesn't bother me, in the majority of other cultures people eat insects, as they are an excellant cheap source of protein, and they think we are odd not to!!

it does bother me the idea that there may be diseased animals...
but the stuff is processed so much, can it really be that big of a threat to health?

Well, for now, this is how i will leave it. i will talk to my vet about supplements. i suspect he will say she doesn't need any.
i went thru a lot of vets before i found him (and his co-vets) and he cared for my last cat as if she was his own-
i have to give his opinion some weight here.
i think it would make me FEEL better if she was eating what looks like better food, but how i feel isn't the real issue, it's what she needs and what is best for her.
i think there is a lot of pressure to feed your animals "only the best" and somehow i think i feel as if i am failing her if i don't.

But how can i argue with what works????
besides, with the money i have saved on cat food, i have been able to get her this wonderful three tiered cat "tree" that she just adores, a couple of fluffy cat beds, and fresh growing catnip-
i can stil spoil her in other ways!

post #12 of 14
Good for you for making an educated decision!! Sounds like you've got it all under control!!

Keep us posted on how kitty is doing.
post #13 of 14
You know, I've had 6 or 8 cats in the last 15 years, and not a one of them would eat Iams' cat food. Even the stray cats around here won't eat it unless they're starving. I put out 1 cup and it sits for nearly a week before it's gone.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
hmmm, nice to know, thanks for sharing that
i've had people suggest that i didn't try hard enough, but she just will not eat it the stuff.
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