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5 very different cats, 1 food?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm seeking advice on cat food, and I have five very different hungry beasts. I need to improve the schedule and content, to make sure my fat cat doesn't get fatter, my skinny cat doesn't get skinnier, and my healthy kittens continue to stay healthy. I hope you may have some suggestions.

To give you an idea what I'm looking for/need, let me give you a brief rundown on who I'm trying to placate. All cats are male and neutered, except Sorrow, who is of course spayed. All cats will be going for their annual appointment in March, though Tesla might be going sooner. The kittens are 10 months old, and it's time to get them onto proper adult food.

Mealtimes: 9am scoop of dry to share, evening younglings get scoops of dry Purina kitten chow (and separated from adults) while the adults split a can of wet and a scoop of dry. When the kittens are let out again, they devour every last scrap of wet that the adults have left. Everyone's a browser here, except for the wet food.

1. Mercury- 8yrs, long hair, huge frame with wide build, 20lbs, very chubby. I want to see him lose a few pounds. He generally isn't interested in wet food, and cleaves to dry. Frequent, but light browser.

2. Tesla- 3.5 yrs, short hair, tiny frame, 13lbs, muscular build, very thin. He refuses to eat dry food but for rare occasions, and frequently eats some of his wet food fast enough to get the hiccups. He has very bad teeth, and I'm going to get them vet-cleaned in a few weeks. The vet pointed out that he might not be eating dry because they hurt his mouth, hence the earlier visit. Tesla has always been thin, and he's still energetic, but he seems to be losing a little weight. I have been checking to make sure that his ribs aren't any more exposed than they were before, but he sinks in after the ribs more than I'm comfortable with. His last vet visit was in August, and the vet certifies him healthy barring the teeth. Browses rarely.

3. Sorrow- 10months, short hair, tiny lithe frame, healthy weight. She is small, and doesn't seem inclined to grow large. Very hyper.

4. Haze- 10months, short hair, medium lithe frame, healthy weight. He is Tesla's size already, and his paws indicate he may become a large cat. He is muscular, and his body is more dense than any of the other four. If he doesn't keep up the activity, he may get chubby, but that's not a great concern yet. His stomach is fuller than the others. It's important to point out that much of his activity is tussling with Tesla, as Tesla frequently stalks and surprises the other cats, though the wrestling rarely seems to become earnest. Haze and Tesla do this more frequently than any other combination.

5. Marigold- 10months, short hair, medium lithe frame, healthy weight. Pretty active, with a long body.

I've spoken to my vet about all five, and they suggested to me that I would need a high-protein, low-carb diet that I can get over the counter, or DM (prescription) which is $24 per 6lb bag. I'm willing consider it, but I want to see the options before I take the plunge into feed that is so expensive.

Sorry for being so long-winded, I just wanted to consider all of the factors related to the question.
post #2 of 8
Hi and welcome!!

What stores are available to you? Big chain pet stores? Small independent pet stores?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
All of the above, and the internet. I live in the Dallas metroplex, so there's plenty of variety.
post #4 of 8
Well, Sharky (another member here) is the food expert so I hope she sees your post and chimes in but here are my thoughts.

You really only need 2 types of food if you are going to be feeding the kittens adult food now. The 4 will eat the same adult food, regardless of activity level, and the 8-year-old will need some sort of senior formula.

I personally feed both dry and wet, but not together. Mattie gets Nutro Natural Indoor Adult in the morning, Chloe gets Nutro Natural Indoor Kitten. At night, they get wet food. I switch up the wet food (you don't have to be consistent like you do with dry). Mattie eats a few brands: Wellness, Castor & Pollux, Natural Balance, Nutro Natural, & Nutro Max. It seems like there are less kitten formula wet foods out there, but Chloe (who is approx. 5 months) eats Wellness Kitten and Nutro Max kitten. Both of my cats have long hair so I like the Nutro dry food because it has hairball stuff in it.

Are you only feeding them 1x a day in the morning? They all should be fed 2x a day. I find it very hard to free-feed cats when you have more than 1 in the home (unless they are seperated the whole day). You really should only be leaving wet food sitting out for 30 minutes (dry can be left out all day).

As far as brand preference, there are tons of good options and tons of not good ones. For the price, I really like Nutro products. They are easy to find (My PetSmart has them, so does PetCo) and pretty inexpensive, and the ingredients are good. Sharky can give you more details but you want to avoid foods that have animal byproducts and that don't have meat as the first ingredient. Also, lots of carb fillers are not the best. I doubt you need the prescription stuff, I don't know a ton about it but this is something I think vets really push for $ reasons.

Here are some brands I like that are easier to find for me where I live:
Solid Gold
Natural Balance
Nutro Natural & Nutro Max
Castor & Pollux Organix

I've also tried By Nature but my cat didn't like it. I don't know a ton about Purina without looking at ingredients but from what I've gathered from being on this site a few months, there are much better brands out there. As a general rule, I avoid anything that is sold at grocery stores.

Oh, and with switching dry food once you decide on something, it needs to be gradual. They have sensitive tummies and if you want to avoid diarreah, make the switch over 1-2 weeks by mixing more of the new and less of the old as time goes by.

Oh, and we must see pics!!
post #5 of 8
My 2 cents on Tesla, get those teeth done ASAP. Two of mine are toothless, Twitch & Cow. Littermates, bad teeth are genetic. Twitch's were rotten at 7 months, pulled at 2 years. Cow's were rotten for far too long, pulled about 1.5 months ago. Once those teeth get cleaned (or extracted if necessary), eating will be much easier.

Ideally, wet food is best. Most grocery store foods are pretty junky....like Purina, Meow Mix, Friskies, Special Kitty, Fancy Feast, 9 Lives, Science Diet, etc.

When you read a label on a bag of food, try to find one with NO by-products. First ingredient should be meat.

IMO, like every prescription vet diet I've encountered is junk. However, they *are* necesary in some cases.

I don't think you'll find "one food fits all". I've got 6 kitties I feed together. I go for an all-lifestages food. Two are kittens & one a senior, so I feed them senior/kitten food 1-2x a day seperate from the others.

To manage weight, it might not be a bad ideat to establish feeding times, no more free feeding.
post #6 of 8
Where can you shop???

the easy answer is all stage which is a food meeting all of AFFCO % for kitten thru adult ... I call it adult food with extra taurine , ca and phos ...

likely a kitten food or adult food for all but the oldest and then a senior food
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sorry it took so long to get back. I work 2 jobs and just started grad school. I'm giddy for insanity!

White- I have requested an appointment for Tesla's teeth in February. I'm setting the date with the Vet. I'm lucky in a way; we learned early that Mercury wouldn't eat anything that said by-products on the can, so he trained us before we got the rest.

Sharky, I can shop just about anywhere, though I might have to dig some. Besides, we can find anything on the internet, and can usually track it to a local source.

Thanks for your answers. I think I'll print out this thread and take it to the store with me so I can do some thinking.
post #8 of 8
The brands mentioned are all good ...

www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com it is a all stage with lots for all

this is one of Zoeys the other is Natural choice
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