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Want to Make a Change

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Our cats have been doing well on their current food (a store brand recommended to us -- seems to have the analysis of Purina brand foods), but I've decided that I really want to make a change. Not only would I like to start introducing canned food and some (limited) raw food into their diets, but I want to move ahead to a more appropriate, higher-quality cat food.

Unfortunately I'm going to need to be earning all the money to pay for this myself, because a vet at one point told my DH that it didn't matter, store brands were as good as "real" brands. I somehow doubt this, having studied the analysis on the bags.

I've done a bit of looking around, but not a whole lot. I don't like what I'm seeing on the Nutro ingredients list (rice is listed high up on the indoor formula food). Can somebody point me in the right direction for a brand-analysis site, thread here at TCSF or at the TCS site? I'm not having much luck with searches.

Personal opinions based on experience would be wonderful, too. These are indoor cats, everybody's weight is good (except that Whisper could stand to gain a few ounces) and everybody is in good general health. I just think we could reach "excellent general health" with a better food.

Opinions on dry, wet, and advice on feeding raw all appreciated
post #2 of 13
I feed California Natural chicken and rice. It run's me about $31 per 16 lb bag. I go through that size bag in about 3 weeks for 8 cats, so if you have less than that it should last a long time. There are a lot of good foods out there though. Innova, Felidae, Wellness, Chicken Soup.
This website is geared towards dogs, but it has some good advice on what to look for in foods.
post #3 of 13
I use Hill's Science Diet from the Vet. It runs me 28$ for a 20lb bag and it lasts for a couple months with 2 cats. Mine is a little bit more spendy due to the fact it is for cats with bladder infections, but there is some for regular kitties too. I havn't had a cat with a bladder infection since so it really has saved some cash! I have to store it in a tupperware container though because of the fact that it could get icky if left out cause of how long it would be left out but it sure saves!
post #4 of 13
EVO is one of the better dry foods, it's less expensive than some other no-grain dry food, and it's available in 2 lb bags so you could buy your cats a relatively inexpensive sample.
post #5 of 13
A good, meaning easy, place to compare ingredients is Natura's "Pet Food Comparison Wizard" http://www.naturapet.com/tools/comparison.asp
post #6 of 13
Here is good link to compare protein, fat, and carbs

post #7 of 13
Both are great charts..

Rice is NOT EVIL... YES cats in the wild would get some grain in there diet the most widely accepted is 3-5% mixed with veggies....

Rice is alot more digestable than any other grain to a cat ( in a cooked white form ) .. it also works better in many sensitive cats... Mine does well with reg Natural choice kitten

I like No grains but have yet to find the perfect one , so I am using them as treats ...

List of no grains ( all are good )

CORE ( my dog eat this )
Nature variety ( reg with grain are raw bio coat)
Nature variety RAW INSTINCT (their grain free)
Orijen( my and Zoeys fave for cat grain frees )

that is the list I can remember

look into them and decide for you not what someone told you
post #8 of 13
i've been using the Chicken soup brand, both wet & dry, & i really like it but the place that carries it around here is not always open when i can get into town to buy food.... so i just recently tried Petsmart's Authority brand [wet & dry - the lamb for the wet] & the kits like it pretty well. i prefer the other ingredients, but these are acceptable, & it's a bit cheaper, as well.
ingredients for Chicken Soup dry:
Chicken, Salmon, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, whole grain white rice, potatoes, cracked pearled barley, millet, turkey, duck, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, carrots, peas, apples, dried skim milk, kelp, cranberry powder, rosemary, parsley flake. Vitamins and minerals.
ingredients for Authority dry: i couldn't find them on their website, but i read them in the store.
mine are also indoor only, altho the ferals get the same stuff.
post #9 of 13
If you have a Costco Membership. Kirkland is a pretty decent brand they carry, with great ingredients (it's not grain free though) and cheap!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to have a look at Felidae. It seems a though what y'all are saying about your cat food consumption is in line with what I hear about dog-food consumption -- that the higher quality foods cause your pet to eat less of them, because they don't need to eat as much to get the nutrients that they require. In other words, it's not much more cost-effective to buy the less expensive brands
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add... I'm going to try getting some samples of both dog and cat foods -- I might be able to show the cost-effectiveness of premium brands to my DH and save *myself* a lot of hassle. We'll just have to see what happens. He thinks that $10 for a bag of food is too much to pay, whereas I completely disagree, when that $10 bag lasts us a week and a $30 bag might last us a month with four cats!
post #12 of 13
NO CATs do NOT eat less...lol.. only if going from low end grocery to mid to high end premium... In many cases for a time theyll eat more .. It does taper off usually after a few months ... I always tell folks you wont see the food bill go down for about 2 months .. BUT I can note the vet bills are fewer ... I feed my yorkie like a cat

premium cat foods usually an ave cat 8-12 lbs will eat 3-4lbs a month ...
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sharky, that would be a reduction for us. Our four are going through a 20 lb bag in about two weeks, unless I'm mis-calculating something (and I might be -- I could be figuring on half the bag. Remember, I'm pregnant and forgetful ). That does *not* include the food going to the ferals.

I would also like to see a significant weight gain in Whisper. The store-brand food isn't doing it for him at all, and we've upgraded that as it is. I'm seriously considering putting him on a wet-only diet, or even feeding him (and just him) exclusively raw and/or prepared in order to get his weight up. I'd say the same for Reagan if it wasn't just *fat* that I was worried about with her -- she's the most muscular moggy I've ever seen!

Even if it takes three months or so to taper off, I think that it would be worth it in the end, obviously not only for the cost benefits (which aren't why I'm considering doing this) but mainly for the health benefits. I want to see the increased energy (okay, so Reagan doesn't need any ) and increased muscle mass on the two cats who currently need it the most (Whisper and Molly).
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