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Yet another food question

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am looking to switch my kitties to a better food. We have been feeding them a bad grocery store type food, and I want to switch them to something of a better quality. I am looking at Science Diet, Nutro Max, Royal Canin, Nature's Best and Nature's Recipe. I've done some comparisons online (at PetsMart's website) of ingredients and nutritional information, and they all look similar to my untrained eye.

Both cats are in good health, they are three years old. Trent has a bit of a sensitive stomach, but not too bad, and he is prone to hairballs. Ophelia is just generally a healthy and not too picky kitty.

Here's the questions: Would you recommend any of the brands above the others? Is there one I should rule out to begin with? If we get hairball formula would that be OK for Ophelia too since she doesn't have that problem? Are there other brands I should consider too? Any taste comments, or extra info like litterbox odors, amount they eat (compared to kitty junk food like they are getting now), etc.?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 15
OK - I know Royal Canin sponsor TCS, but I really have to say, I've sworn by that food for about 3 years now.

I feed hairball formula (as I've 2 persians), but the vet advised that Ferdy the shorthair would be perfectly OK eating it too.

When he first arrived with us, he had a very unsociable litter tray habit (clothespeg on the nose), but although he only nibbles the RC, it has improved his innards no end.

And do you know - we've had only a couple of furballs in all that time, and kits have been healthy as anything.

BTW - has anyone ever seen the Ren & Stimpy episode about producing furballs - LMAO & ROTHFL all in one!!

Hope that helps.
post #3 of 15
I don't know how you guys can afford that food. We go through a 3.15 lb bag of Friskies in a week. We tried some Nutro Max Kitten, and a 6 lb bag lasted about 2 weeks ;( We can't spend more than 4-5 dollars a week on cat food.

Also, I'm bringing in an adult cat next week, is it okay for an adult cat to eat kitten food? I don't know how we can keep adult and kitten food separate, since we free-feed, and they'll be in each other's food all the time.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Myste - You may have to watch the adult cat for weight gain, since kitten food is more calorie and nutrient dense.

That's kind of the situation we are in, but since our financial situation is starting to improve I think we need to get them on a better food. I did the math and what we are feeding them now costs $0.45 per pound, Nutro costs $1.49, Science Diet costs $1.79 for adult maintenance or $2.23 for sensative stomach, hairball or any of the "specialty" foods, Royal Canin Indoor costs $2.14, and Nature's Recipe costs $0.84. Quite a difference in cost. I've heard, though, that they will eat much less of the good food as compared with the junk food we are feeding now.

Has anyone else made the switch from junk food to premium?
post #5 of 15
You have to sign up to get the sale price, but it's free!They have buy one get one free about every other month. There is also the 200pound club (I think) that gives you 10% off when you buy that amount of any brand dog or cat food. You can check their web site for more info on that. They are kind of pricey, but, buy one get one free is a good deal. You can go to the RC web site to see where they sell it near you. This is Rudy and she loves her food!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Teresa, with that sale on RC is that something you have to order online or a coupon they send you that you can take into the store? If I could get it buy one get one that would cut the cost enough to make it almost affordable. LOL
post #7 of 15
I have 4 Wellness fanatics over here. My bunch just loves the stuff and it's a food I can feel good about feeding them. It's helped clear up Xavier's chronic dandruff as well as being gentle on Fallon's sensitive tummy.

I like it because it doesn't contain any artifical flavorings or colors, no corn gluten crap and no by-products. The downside is it's more expensive and it doesn't have as long of shelf life as your other foods. But hey the pluses in my opinion outweigh any negatives.
post #8 of 15

Here's a link that Hissy put up. It has an analysis of lots of cat foods, which ones had the real meat (not the meat by-products), no additives, etc. It was really helpful. We are now eating Royal Canin. . . it's delicious :tounge2:
post #9 of 15
The better brands are really not that expensive, though they appear to be when compared on a cost per bag basis rather than a cost per day basis. If you figure out how much it costs to feed your cat per day you may find the cost of the cheaper foods to be similar to the cost of the better brands. Most of the higher quality brands are much higher in calories than the cheaper brands requiring you to feed less and making them last alot longer. I used to feed Purina Cat Chow which has 374 kcal per cup - now compare that to Innova which has 537 kcal per cup. My cats eat .50 cups of Innova but would have to eat .72 cups of Purina Cat Chow to get the same amount of calories. For me to feed 6 cats... a 16.6 lb. bag of Innova costs me $25.00 and lasts me 19 days. This averages out to be about $0.22 per day to feed each cat. The Innova lasts alot longer than the Purina did and if it didnt I would never be able to afford to feed it to my cats.
post #10 of 15
unfortunately that doesn't work for us ;( We free-feed, and they eat the same amount whether it's cheap or expensive. They actually gained a lot of weight when we fed Nutro Max kitten.
post #11 of 15
Hi Heidi,

Spike eats Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Adult cat food. What I do to save a little money is buy the 20 pound bag. (It's less expensive buying one large bag versus more smaller bags.) It runs me about $24 or so at Petsmart. Then I transport the food into gallon-sized Ziplock freezer bags and store them all in a large rubbermaid container. I figure it helps keep it fresh since the same 20 pound bag isn't opened with air coming in repeatedly. I haven't paid much attention to how long the food lasts, but I know it lasts a good while. He is free-fed and doesn't seem to over-eat. He weighs in at about 9.5 pounds. His coat is soft like a bunny's and nice and shiny. I also don't notice any odor problems from the litter box either using Nutro - Max Cat or the Natural Choice varities. He seems to be doing well on the Nutro from what I can tell.

He used to be on Iams before I knew about by-products, and then on Nutro Max Cat (for his urinary tract). When he was having digestive problems earlier this summer, we made the switch to the Natural Choice version. (It's supposed to be for sensitive tummies.)

On a side-note, I did try to switch Spike over to Felidae last winter. Being made from meat suitable for human consumption and without by-products, I figured it was a step up from Nutro. Well, the little fellow wanted nothing to do with it... he ate around the Felidae and gobbled up his Nutro out of his bowl. Oh well... at least I don't have to have it shipped in now.
post #12 of 15
Originally posted by Myste
unfortunately that doesn't work for us ;( We free-feed, and they eat the same amount whether it's cheap or expensive. They actually gained a lot of weight when we fed Nutro Max kitten.
I free feed as well but in measured amounts. I fill each bowl with 1/2 cup, each day. They are free to pick at it all day long but when its gone I dont give them anymore until the next day. This seems to work out pretty well for us.
post #13 of 15
I have 2 cats (soon to be 3) How do I keep them out of each other's food? Otherwise, Jorin will hog it all and Tiger won't get any.
post #14 of 15
Maybe try feeding them in separate rooms? It's annoying I know but it's the most effective way to ensure that the cats eat their food and not his and the other cat's.
post #15 of 15
Hi There,

We made the transition from "junk" food to premium dry food for our gorgeous Birmans about 3 months ago. I think you may need to experiment with what works best for Trent and Ophelia.
First of all we tried IAMS and the girls stuck their nose up. I fed them once a day every day with IAMS dried food and every day they would not eat it. It may have been full of goodness but the kitties just didn't want to know!
The second thing we tried was Purina. The older cat, Sasha (4 years old) would throw up after eating it, every single time. Needless to say, we took that one away pretty quickly.
Now we are onto Royal Canin Indoor formula, and we alternate it with Fit 32. The girls LOVE it. Also, I find that the extra cost is worth it because you use a lot less than the "junk" foods so it ends up being more economical. The girls' look in beautiful condition and have lovely soft coats, clear eyes and good teeth.
Having said all that, they get fed twice a day, once with dried food (during the day) and they get fresh meat from the pet shop for their evening meal (it is a mix of kangaroo and rabbit, and has some of that jelly stuff in it). I'm not sure if that sort of thing is available in your area but it works out very inexpensive, and I buy it in bulk - a few kilograms at a time - and freeze it into small meal-size portions. I also add vitamin powder to it, just so I know they are getting a completely balanced diet.

Hope that helps!
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