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question about EVO for cats

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been reading some threads about different cat foods, and I noticed that EVO seems quite popular, although, I read somewhere that only 50% of cats do well on it, or that it might be "too rich."

What exactly causes it to be too rich? And can that cause constipation or diarrhea?

I'm trying to get my kitties' bowel movements squared away, but I'm leary about switching their foods, since they are only 6-months.

On a related question, how long should you mix foods, and once completely switched over, how long should you stay on it if it doesn't seem to be working?

post #2 of 8
I feed EVO dry and the EVO 95% meat cans (as well as cal. natural) to my 8 month old kittens.

I have had no problems and switched to EVO from nutro natural choice.

My cats have not had any of the major digestive issues that some folks report with EVO so far... Their poo is stinky (but all poo is) and they do have ocassional gas, but this has gotten better over the last month or so (they've been on it for ~5 months now). That said, I have noted that they're drinking more water than they were (but I have also gotten them a fountain).

I try to feed some wet at least every other day to help with digestion and moisture.

When folks say it's too "rich" I believe they're referring to the high fat/protien content verses carbs and fiber. Some cats, used to a higher fiber, less protien diet, will have constipation or throw up, etc. It is also not good for cats with kidney issues as the body has to work harder to digest protien than, say, carbs.

You also need to know that it is very calorie high, which was one of the reasons I got it... I was afraid that my kittens weren't getting enough calories with me only being able to feed them 2x a day. EVO has around 540kcals per cup...compaired to ~275/350 in most foods. So, you have to watch and make sure they aren't getting "chubby" on it.

What I did, was use progressively add more and more EVO to the kittens' diet over a period of ~2 weeks. I would've taken longer, but I ran out of nutro earlier than expected... I think a period of 1 month would be best. I also tried to feed more wet (about 50/50) during the transition to help with any digestive issues that might arise.

I think that if you slowly added some into their current food (say, have an air-tight container of each, and slowly up the ratio from a teaspon of EVO / half cup of other food, to say, a tablespoon, then 1/8 cup, etc (keeping the same ratio for a couple of days) you should be fine.

Something big to consider is that many cats won't eat some of the grain free diets, so your cats may not like EVO. What I did was order a sample bag and tried it with them...When they ate it, I was able to order a bigger bag and now I buy the 15.5lb bags (2 lasted me 4 months with 3 cats).

If you have a store near you that carries it, they might be willing to give you a sample to try. You might also be able to email natura and ask for coupons for samples, etc.

Right now, I think Petfooddirect had a dollar off the sample size bag with a $5 off coupon for future purchases BUT you have to think about the cost of shipping...That is why I order in bulk.

You might also want to look at Orijen and Taste of the Wild I have heard good things about these and the Taste of the Wild is much cheaper (I am thinking about switching over for that reason)...These two are also supposed to be more easily digestible.

post #3 of 8
When I fed one of my kittens the regular EVO (dry and wet) he had problems with diarrhea, but that is due to food sensitivities to some of the ingredients found in the regular EVO.
Since then, he was switched to a Limited Ingredient Dry (Natural Balance Duck and Peas) and eats NB wet venison and peas. He also eats the EVO 95% meat, which has limited ingredients in it, (essentially just meat). The limited ingredients have stopped his diarrhea and actually improved his poops. As artgecko pointed out, there may be a number of reasons why any cat food will or will not work for your cat - depending on his or her circumstances.

As to switching foods, wet foods you can move between easily, where as dry foods take awhile. (This is only an example, the key to the process is SLOW and watch for changes in poops: 3-5 days of 75% original dry + 25% new dry, 3-5 days of 50% original + 50% new, etc until fully switched to the new food.)
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you! That is very helpful!

I have actually been starting to switch them over to EVO, very gradually for about a week, doing practically what you've done: Started with a few tablespoons of EVO, and now up to 1/4 cup of EVO and 1/4 cup of old food. Another week or so, and they should be completely switched over to the EVO. Also, giving them Wellness Wet every other day as a supplement.

My one kitten who was constipated for a few weeks (and taking Lactulose) is now having diarrhea. But I've taken her off the Lactualose yesterday. The vet did say she could get a bout of Diarrhea, and at which point I could cease Lactulose.

I had people rave to me about EVO, so that's why I switched (and because I wanted to give them grain-free), but now with the switch to Diarrhea, and knowing its high calories, I am not so sure. But I dread the thought of switching them again.
post #5 of 8
If he's a kitten, the high calories shouldn't be an issue...I was free-feeding about 2 cups a day for 3 cats...now that I'm just feeding the 2 kittens EVO and one of them is getting a might pudgy, I am cutting back to about 1,1/2 cups a day between the two of them. I'd say don't worry about that until you see weight gain.

The diarrhea might pass.... Some cats do this whenever switching foods. I would keep him on EVO for at least 3-4 weeks (unless he is loosing weight) to see if it evens out. If EVO isn't working for you after that time, maybe try slowly switching to another grain-free (i.e. taste of the wild or orijen).

I agree with the 95% meat cans...I've used them and they are good. My cats prefer the chicken/turkey, beef, and venison cans to the rabbit or duck.

post #6 of 8
I just recently switched foods on my 10month old, Zoe too. She didn't like the Nutro at all and RC made her have issues....but to be fair, she's always had issues since I've had her. Loose stools but not diarhea have been a norm around here.
After using probiotics to help firm poops, I read many threads where people recommended Iams or Euk hairball formula for firming. After asking a few questions of my own..I have just changed her over to Iams Hairball and her poops firmed up to just right! I know alot of people slam these brands, but I've tried feeding the very best and they didn't work.
Then after she got used to that, I have added in a bit of Evo, cause like you, I have read so many good things about it and she has tolerated it just fine. I don't plan to change over to just Evo but would like to keep her on both because she's finally doing so well!! All of us in the cat world know just how important that is!
After you know that the runny poops have passed from stopping the constipation meds, then see how the Evo is doing for your kitties, if you're worried about the calories, maybe you could mix it with something else?
post #7 of 8
I had to switch both of my cats off of it - it was way too rich for them. You could smell their poop from the opposite en of the house when they used the litterbox :P

A shame, it is a good food, but some cats are fine on it, and some aren't.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I actually wouldn't care if their poop stunk, as long as it was firm and healthy! LOL

At this point, they are on straight EVO dry. One is still constipated with occasional diarrhea, but going better than she was. The other is going normal once a day. So I guess I'll see what happens in the next few weeks. Hopefully this will even out.

Between two different antibiotics, different foods, canned pumpkin, and laxatives, I think they just need a break from all of that. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for all the replies!
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