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EVO and California Natural Q's for feeding kittens and overweight cat?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,
After reading everything that people are posting about EVO and Cal. Natural, I've decided to give it a try with my kittens.... That is, if they'll eat it.
I've got some Q's concerning both the dry and wet foods and feeding them to my cat and kittens. Sorry about the long post and many questions.

Before I get into the multitude of questions, let me give you some background info:

I have two kittens, ~7 months old now, neutered DSH males. They are very lean, although I am not sure if it is due to diet or genetics... Right now they get two meals of dry food (nutro nat. choice kitten, ~1/3 C.) and one meal of wet cat or kitten food (authority or nutro, ~ 1/4 of a 5.5oz can). I have been adding a little cooked meat in with their wet food also. I have suspected that they might have feline herpes, so they are also getting a dose of powdered lysine with their wet food daily.

I also have an overweight DSH neutered male cat (~3 years old, or so the shelter told me). He is about 16lbs and needs to be about 13-14lbs. He has an enlarged heart (causing lower metabolism) and has had ocassional seizures (possibly due to the heart issue, or so the vet says). He has been eating nutro nat. choice weight management for the past few months and pretty much holding steady weight on 2/3c. a day. I switched him to nat. choice adult, hoping that he would loose some weight, but he gained weight, so back he went on the weight management. At one point, the vet told me I could go down to 1/3 C. a day of dry food with him. He gets ocassional wet food, but not everyday at this point.

Now that you know the background, here are the questions:
EVO dry food:
I've ordered a sample sized bag (2.2lb) from pet food direct because there are no suppliers locally and I didn't want to be out a huge amount of money if they won't touch the stuff.

That said, I know that some people on here have said that their cats have gotten fat on EVO, hopefully this won't be an issue with kittens, but how much should I feed them per lb of weight?

Also, Could my overweight cat possibly benefit from the high protien/low carb EVO?
If I can try EVO with him as well, how much would he get per lb of body weight?

California Natural Chicken/Rice Dry:
As a "safety" I also ordered a small bag of Cal. Natural chicken and brown rice... I like the fact that it has very few ingredients compaired to other foods. Unfortunately they didn't have a trial size of it, so I got the 4lb bag. How is it compaired to Nutro Natural choice kitten? If they refuse the EVO, would Cal. Natural be a good choice for them instead of the Nutro kitten and/or instead of the nutro weight managment?

Wet food Q's:
I got a free can of EVO with the 2.2lb bag, so I am also considering ordering some more of it as a good wet food to supplement the kittens or overweight cat, if they will eat it, that is. I could not order any of the Cal. Nat. cans, because there wasn't an option to try a single can...Only a case.

That said, I am open to any suggustions about other "premium" wet foods that might work for my cats...I'd prefer to go with those with less ingredients and fewer grains. While (and I know this is the hard part), staying in a moderate price range... Preferably around $1 a can or less (not including shipping).

If I can get all three to eat the same type of wet (that will work for all three), I could go with the larger cans (13 oz) which would, I think, make it more affordable to feed them the good stuff.

Well, I think that is all of my questions for now...Although I am sure I will come up with more once I have posted this.

Thank you so much for your help and time in posting/ reading this!
Art
post #2 of 26
Evo dry I believe is high in calories and not many cats can handle the richness of it. California Natural my obese cat gained weight on it and I also had one cat get severe constipation on it ( I believe due to the brown rice). So I do not recommend either for dry.

As for wet I think either should be fine to feed.
post #3 of 26
Cal natural is comparable to REGULAR Natural choice in fat and protein and carbs... the Natural choice wt mgmt is MUCH lower .. a third less is fat

Has the vet every said WHAT % s to feed the one with a heart issue???


If you look up premium wet foods youll see I have written many many list s
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies,

The vet has never given me %'s (i.e. fat, protien, etc. or via weight) for the adult with the heart enlargement... She just said that I could feed down to 1/3 cup for weight loss...she said that was what she had to do with her own cat. She also said that most of the reccommended feeding amounts of bags of food were higher than they needed to be. I do not think she has any specialized training in nutrition and this is backed up by the fact that their practice sells science diet products.

I won't feed the Cal. Natural to my overweight cat, as the values are pretty much the same, but what of EVO? If the carbs (in the nutro, etc.) are making toby gain weight, could the lower carbs in EVO help him loose weight?

Would EVO work for the kittens, if they can tolerate it? I will be trying to move them onto a 50/50 mix of wet and dry as well, so maybe the increased amount of wet will help with the stomach issues?

I know that EVO has a lot more calories than other dry foods, but am I correct in assuming that I can feed less (according to body weight, etc and the amount of calories) so that their calorie consumption is the same as eating more of a less "rich" food?

BTW, I finally managed to get the kittens to stay on the scale long enough to get a weight reading, they are about 9lbs each...a little less than 9lbs according to that scale (and I have no idea about it's accuracy).
post #5 of 26
1/3 of whatever your current food is would be very different to 1/3 of a cup of EVO dry and not getting enough nutrients can lead to problems. I would ask your vet for a clear listing of how many cals and what %s of nutrients would work best.

As far as the amounts on the back of the bag, they are for a healthy, active cat maintaining their weight. Most indoor cats are not classed as active and the food given should be adjusted accordingly.

EVO works well for some cats that are overweight, but not for others. I have a cat that lost over 5lbs of the 12lbs he has lost in total while eating EVO. He does have a carb problem (he will eat french fries) but it is trial and error as far as finding what works. For some people it is one food, for others is another food.

EVO is an all life stages food, so should be fine to mix in with the kittens food (slowly, it is rich and takes a while to get used to). You do feed less of EVO, but make sure that you feed enough that they are getting the daily amount of nutrients needed (again your vet can help you work out what is best for your cats)
post #6 of 26
I agree. One thing I want to add about my experience with Evo. My cats do very well on the canned but get really bad gas with the dry. I've been trying to mix just a little bit in their regular dry and that seems to be ok for them. I'm going to try gradually adding a bit more and see what happens.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for your replies!

I guess all I can do is try it and see what happens. I will try mixing in just a little bit of the EVO at a time with all of their food and see what happens with the gas/digestive issues. The Cal Natural I'll mix in with the kittens current food.

Art
post #8 of 26
You should always add any food slowly. Sudden changes in dry food will cause tummy upsets in most cats
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
1/3 of whatever your current food is would be very different to 1/3 of a cup of EVO dry and not getting enough nutrients can lead to problems. I would ask your vet for a clear listing of how many cals and what %s of nutrients would work best.

As far as the amounts on the back of the bag, they are for a healthy, active cat maintaining their weight. Most indoor cats are not classed as active and the food given should be adjusted accordingly.

EVO works well for some cats that are overweight, but not for others. I have a cat that lost over 5lbs of the 12lbs he has lost in total while eating EVO. He does have a carb problem (he will eat french fries) but it is trial and error as far as finding what works. For some people it is one food, for others is another food.

EVO is an all life stages food, so should be fine to mix in with the kittens food (slowly, it is rich and takes a while to get used to). You do feed less of EVO, but make sure that you feed enough that they are getting the daily amount of nutrients needed (again your vet can help you work out what is best for your cats)
Thank you
I cant write it that nice but you did what I was thinking
post #10 of 26
My Kitty is very picky she will only eat Evo dry, she hasn't had any gas or stomach problems, I think it depends on the cat. Lucky's health has really improved and her coat is now shiny, and silky
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you again for the replies,

Yes, I know that 1/3 Cup of one food can be very different than another food...That is why I was planning on using the calories per cup and my kittens / overweight cat's weights to determine how much to feed instead of going purely by what's on the bag, etc.

I will have to do some math and post back on exactly how much EVO I think I'd need to feed based on calories/pound.

Art
post #12 of 26
It is not just calories you need to consider, cats need a certain amount of taurine and other nutrients per day, 1/4 of a cup of EVO can be the same as 1/2 cup of another food calorie wise, but not be enough actual nutrients.

The nutrient level is very important when a cat is dieting, not getting enough nutrients can be worse for a cat than being overweight
post #13 of 26
I can't help you with the nutrition questions, but just wanted to add that I have 2 cats doing very well on Cal. Nat. and Evo dry. I mix it together, about 2/3 CN and 1/3 Evo. They like it, and have no problems at all.

You asked about wet foods. Mine eat Evo wet, but won't touch the C.N. wet. There are many brands you could try. The one mine eats the most of is Merrick. It has about 8 different flavors, with all but I think 2 (would have to look up which ones) are grain free. He won't eat any brand but Merrick and Evo wet, so I can't tell you anything about the others.

Good luck!
post #14 of 26
I switched my two to Evo dry from Natural Balance recently hoping to alleviate Daphne's gas issues. It worked ...whew! Daphne is almost 10 months old and Seb is 11 yrs. Seb is doing very well on it, his coat is better and he seems to have more energy. A 6.6 lb bag seems to last just about 2 weeks and I free-feed. I am thinking of trying the California Natural mixed in with the Evo but haven't decided.

Seb still has his peeing issue but I am beginning to think that is a picky litter box problem and for another thread.

For the wet, Daphne still won't touch wet food. Closest she will do is the water from a can of tuna (but not tuna cat food). Seb likes the cheap stuff Have spent lots of money on the premium brands just to toss it. Am thinking of trying to mix a bit of Fancy Feast with the premium - perhaps can trick him that way.

Let us know how it all goes for you
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for your replies...
For the time being, lets take Toby (the overweight cat) out of the picture and focus just on the kittens. . .

Lets also assume that:
1. My kittens will actually eat EVO.
2. They don't have a severe reaction to it, in terms of gas, etc
3. I will be feeding at least 50% wet food along with the EVO dry.

Would I need to look for a specific type of wet food to balance out the higher fat and phospherous in EVO?

Thanks,
Art
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Thanks again for your replies...
For the time being, lets take Toby (the overweight cat) out of the picture and focus just on the kittens. . .

Lets also assume that:
1. My kittens will actually eat EVO.
2. They don't have a severe reaction to it, in terms of gas, etc
3. I will be feeding at least 50% wet food along with the EVO dry.

Would I need to look for a specific type of wet food to balance out the higher fat and phospherous in EVO?

Thanks,
Art
UMM the answer would likely need a vet to answer ... I would suggest looking at adult cat wet foods since they are lower( senior versions are often the lowest )... avoid heavy fish formulas
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks,
I am feeding mostly adult formula foods now and only feed fish very ocassionally because I have heard that it is bad to feed large amounts of it.

BTW, natura's site has a feeding amount calculator for EVO (and their other foods) which gave me .8 cup for the kittens and .5 cup for Toby. I know it isn't the same as talking with a vet, but at least it gives me a rough idea of what amount would be "safe" in terms of still getting the nutrients they need... I suppose if you wanted to cut back even further than that you would definately need a vet's assistance as the nutrients in less than that amount would be far less.

Art
post #18 of 26
1/2 cup of EVO is a lot of food, I feed that much to my one who is 20lbs
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
hum, perhaps the natura feeding calculator isn't very accurate... I'll have to work out how many calories, etc. that would be.
Thanks,
Art
post #20 of 26
As I said before, it recommends food for a 'healthy, active cat maintaining weight'

The notion of active on feeding guidelines is set taking into consideration an outdoor cat who climbs trees, chases birds etc, very few indoor cats get half the exercise they would as outdoor cats.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Here's the link to their feeding calculator: http://www.evopet.com/tools/feeding.asp
It has options for activity level and I selected weight loss and 14lbs and still got 0.5 cup.

For my kittens (8lbs) it suggested 0.7 cups.

Something tells me the calculator must be a bit off.... Seeing as I'm currently feeding Toby (the adult) ~ 2/3 C Natural Choice weight loss and the kittens ~2/3 C nutro kitten along with some wet.

Art
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Here's the link to their feeding calculator: http://www.evopet.com/tools/feeding.asp
It has options for activity level and I selected weight loss and 14lbs and still got 0.5 cup.

For my kittens (8lbs) it suggested 0.7 cups.

Something tells me the calculator must be a bit off.... Seeing as I'm currently feeding Toby (the adult) ~ 2/3 C Natural Choice weight loss and the kittens ~2/3 C nutro kitten along with some wet.

Art
.5 =1/2 cup

.75 - 3/4 cup
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Here's the link to their feeding calculator: http://www.evopet.com/tools/feeding.asp
It has options for activity level and I selected weight loss and 14lbs and still got 0.5 cup.

For my kittens (8lbs) it suggested 0.7 cups.

Something tells me the calculator must be a bit off.... Seeing as I'm currently feeding Toby (the adult) ~ 2/3 C Natural Choice weight loss and the kittens ~2/3 C nutro kitten along with some wet.

Art
I used the calculator too and my vet looked at me like I was crazy she said they would all be huge if I fed them as much as it said to, but yours may do well on recommended amounts. Mine are lazy and don't need the extra calories they won't use.

I give them just under 2 cups of Orijen, which is slightly lower in calories, between 5 of them.
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, I recieved my 2lb bag of EVO and the 4lb bag of Cal. Natural on Thursday... So far, so good...

I gave them about 3-5 pieces each on Thursday evening (of the EVO) to see if they liked it and they did eat it.

Starting on Friday, I began to integrate a little bit of the EVO into their regular dry food (while slightly reducing the amount of nutro kitten they got in the mix).

I did the same today, adding just a little bit more EVO into the mix, and so far, no horrible gas, no throwing up, and I haven't noticed any extremely stinky poo either.

I've also started integrating it into Toby's diet and he seems less "hungry" than before... He's also leaving more food behind in the bowl than before (so maybe he's getting fuller, faster on the EVO?). I just have my finger's crossed that it is the carbs putting weight on him and not the fat/protien.

They will probably all be on EVO only (for their dry food) by the end or middle of next week, so we'll see how the digestive issues go then. I won't be able to tell about Toby's weight gain or loss until probably 3 weeks or so, so we'll see.

I think that I will start the kittens off on 1/3-1/2 cup of EVO a day plus their wet food (I can only get them to eat about 1.5 ounces of wet at a time, if I'm lucky). The kittens seem to be pretty good about stopping when they're full, so I will reduce the amount of food they get per meal to what they will consume at one time. They may end up getting 1/3 to 1/4 cup EVO. BTW, the kittens weighed ~8.4lbs each a couple of days ago when I weighed them.

I will start Toby off on 1/3 cup EVO along with the wet food and we'll go from there... I figure that any nutrients he will lack from eating the small amount of EVO can be made up from the wet food. Toby weighed ~14.3lbs when I weighed him this week.

I have not opened the Cal Natural yet (although the kittens were plenty interested in the bag). I think I will wait to integrate some of it until the kittens have been on all EVO for a week or two. I think that I will start mixing some in on a regular basis if they can't handle the all EVO dry diet.
And, if EVO ends up not being tolerated at all, then I will hopefully be able to switch them to Cal Natural instead of Nutro kitten.

Thanks for your help and I will keep you posted on how the EVO is working out.

Art
post #25 of 26
Grain in cat food (and dog food, for that matter) is just filler. In general, the less filler, the less food it takes for the kitty to be full. (I know that there is nutritional value in grain, but remember that cats are carnivores and don't need grain to have a balanced diet). Tink was 6 pounds overweight when I switched him from Hills prescription diet to Wellness canned. Even though the wellness has more calories and fat, he's lost the 6 extra pounds and his coat is awesome, he sheds less, plays more and in general, is just plain more healthy. (no more uti's, no constipation, no muscle spasms) I would bet you'll see a similiar result with the EVO. Good luck!
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

Another update- I might have encountered some of the "gas" that folks were mentioning...It's not horrible (yet) and has only occured a couple of times since they have been switched over.

Art
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