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Settle A Debate For Me Please

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
So I'm still living with my folks and sometimes they have a habbit of feeding a LOT of wet food to our 14 week old kitten. I try to give her about a spoonful or two of wet food mixed with kibble at least once every day or two. Reason being I don't want her to get addicted so much to wet food that she won't even touch the kibble... which, unfortunately, is what happens when they give her a lot of wet food in one sitting. Plus, I hear a diet which conisists of mostly wet food isn't exactly healthy either, but maybe you guys can clarify that for me? And also, I understand canned food from the local grocery store isn't healthy either, at least when compared to decent stuff from actual pet stores, but what exactly is not healthy about it?

Thank you!
post #2 of 23
Cats really do better on more canned food diet with a little kibble on the side. They can digest it better and its closer to eating natural/raw foods. Cats don't eat "kibble" if they are in the wild

And as far as store brands compared to better canned foods - many of the store brands use cheaper ingredients and therefore the cat gets the minimum amount of nutrition it needs.

Yes, many cats survive on this kind of food, but quality food will give your cat better overall health condition then the cheaper foods.
post #3 of 23
There are many thread on nutrition in the Health & Nutrition forum and our resident food guru Sharky has great advice.

Cats are desert animals and tend not to drink enough water. Wet food helps get that moisture into their systems and has been shown to be a much better diet than wet food. Dry food can also have a link to urinary tract issues, especially in neutered males.

Then there is the myth that dry food cleans their teeth - nonsense. Cats' jaws do not move from side to side to chew like ours, theirs only move up and down. Mainly cats will swallow the small pieces whole or break the piece with the tip of the tooth and swallow which does absolutely nothing for their teeth. I liken it to the difference between you eating a dry cracker or a tablespoon of beef stew - which one is going to leave the most junk in your teeth? The cracker!

Grocery store brands of food (both wet and dry), as the above poster said, are usually full of less than nutritious ingredients. You don't have to pay big dollars to feed a better quality food. Look for foods with NO by-products and very few to no grains. I can give you a bit of a guide by telling you what I feed but I know it costs more than most folks want to pay.

I feed Orijen dry (about 1/3 cup per day) and one 5.5 ounce can of Merricks wet food. My cats won't eat any fish flavoured food at all.

Stay away from Fancy Feast - it's known around here as "kitty crack".

Check out the Nutrition forum and you'll get lots of info to help you be a great meowmy to your fur-baby.
post #4 of 23
I just wanted to add my opinion. I am sure that what is being said about wet being the way to go health wise (their natural diet) is true but I have seen many cats (and dogs) who have eaten wet food diets with rotting teeth, gum disease and dental problems. My mom took in three yorkie's who were going to be euthanized and they were only 4-8 years old and two of them had almost no teeth because of the diet they were on (wet food only). My sister also works at a vets office and has seen this happen a lot as well.

No question, cats like wet food better then dry. lol. I feed Orijen which is a great quality food- Canadian made (all natural, 75% meats, 25% veggies and fruit, no grains). It IS the closest (in dry food) that you can get to your cats natural diet. Expensive at around $55 for a 7kg bag but it is worth it. My cats energy levels went right up when I switched them to this food.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow, I guess I initially read wrong. Thank you all for your input! I'll definitely look out for Orijen and Merricks next time I'm at the pet-store. From your personal experiences what are some other nutritional dry and wet foods? Just off the top of your head.

And sorry to keep piling on question after question, but Yosemite when you say you feed one can of Merricks and a bit of Orijen on the side, do you feed your kitten anything else throughout the rest of the day? I've been giving my kitten small meals about 2-4 times a day as opposed to one large dish in the morning. I'm wondering if that's alright? I remember giving her a large dish once and she ate it pretty quickly, then later on the day she was meowing like crazy and seemed to want more food.
post #6 of 23
We feed ours twice a day. Dry (Royal Canin) in the morning and canned (Max Cat, Iams Beef and Natural Balance) in the evening. I vary the canned foods so they are eating a different brand/flavor every other day.
post #7 of 23
Kittens are still developing and should be free-fed, at least until they are spayed/neutered. It's probably not the end of the world if you are feeding several smaller meals several times during the day, but kittens really should be getting as much food as they will eat.

I feed Orijen too and have fed Merrick's, but they are two of the most expensive foods you can get. If you're looking for something more affordable, I would try Authority (Petsmart Brand) or Nutro. Neither are the best foods, but they are much better than grocery store brands and not much more expensive. Take a look at the health and nutrition forum and there is a TON of information on various foods. Basically, most look for NO by-products, meat as a first ingredient, and limited grains (some prefer grain-free, but some cats don't handle it well). Most here feed a combination of wet and dry, because of cost/convenience.

I free-feed Orijen dry and they get one small meal of Authority wet a day. I would feed them larger wet meals and/or 2 wet meals a day, but they won't eat it.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks. That's actually what I've been doing. I give her a small wet-meal (AvoDerm) then make sure dry food (Royal Canin for kittens) is always in her dish. I'll look out for Authority as well and give it a try.
post #9 of 23
studies are now showing wet to be no worse and often better for dental health to dry.. here is a human example.. are your teeth cleaner eating a apple or popcorn?? apples are like wet food and popcorn is like dry food??... with wet I will give this advise give as much as you can afford and the cat will eat ... and yes some grocery wet is fine if $$ is tight premium is better ( with dogs look at genetics and breed tendency ... my 13 yr old yorkie has good teeth and eats dry , raw and homemade used to be canned just to rich now ... she just had her First dental and NO extractions
post #10 of 23
Nothing really to add. Just another vote for wet. Chicken necks, chicken wings or big chunks of meat will help keep the tarter down. The necks and wings will do a better job. Kind of off topic, sorry
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris10 View Post
Nothing really to add. Just another vote for wet. Chicken necks, chicken wings or big chunks of meat will help keep the tarter down. The necks and wings will do a better job. Kind of off topic, sorry
I want to add to this post, that it must be RAW, cooked neck and wing bones can split in your cats throat/tummy, so any bones must be from raw meat.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by preciouskits View Post
I just wanted to add my opinion. I am sure that what is being said about wet being the way to go health wise (their natural diet) is true but I have seen many cats (and dogs) who have eaten wet food diets with rotting teeth, gum disease and dental problems. My mom took in three yorkie's who were going to be euthanized and they were only 4-8 years old and two of them had almost no teeth because of the diet they were on (wet food only). My sister also works at a vets office and has seen this happen a lot as well.

No question, cats like wet food better then dry. lol. I feed Orijen which is a great quality food- Canadian made (all natural, 75% meats, 25% veggies and fruit, no grains). It IS the closest (in dry food) that you can get to your cats natural diet. Expensive at around $55 for a 7kg bag but it is worth it. My cats energy levels went right up when I switched them to this food.
Unfortunately I think the rotting teeth, gum disease and dental issues were probably more genetic or hereditary than food related.

Fortunately more vets are becoming educated to the benefits of the wet food diet and are starting to advise their clients on these benefits.

I also feed Orijen but my vet has suggested I keep an eye on my neutered male for any kidney/liver (? can't remember which) issues.

No dry food is close to a cat's natural diet - they don't eat kibble in the wild. The best thing to say about Orijen is that it is grain-free but there are others that are as good and probably less costly.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by preciouskits View Post
No question, cats like wet food better then dry. lol.
This really depends on the cat. I got my first case of canned food from a friend whose cat refused to eat it. Her vet had recommended it because the cat was overweight eating only dry.

Shareena (18 months old) comes running when I put out the wet food, eats just a few bites, and then heads for the dry food. If there's nothing in the dish she sits there and looks sad until I fill it up. I don't want to stop free-feeding because she's slightly underweight now. I've recently switched to grain-free dry food, which I think is healthier for her.

One of the kittens (8 weeks old) won't touch the wet food, even when I stick her nose right in it. The other two finish off their own, and Shareena's, then go try to steal food from their mother's dish.
post #14 of 23
I feed 1/4 cup (per cat) of dry in the morning and evening (bedtime), and either a spoonful of wet or a small amount of dry again at dinner time.

Because of Jack's UTI history, I use a combo of Wysong Uretic formula and another high quality food... small pieces since Jack has few teeth left (he's only 6, but he had a bad start to life, before me).

I could put more wet down, but they won't eat it. JoJo steals Jack's wet food, so they get separated those days. I'd normally do wet every day, but I put medication in it, so if they get it w/o the meds, they won't eat it with the meds (I have strange cats, I know, picky as all get out). So, they only get wet food a couple times a week... it's a major treat for them and they love it. JoJo begs me for dry food... they're healthy... albeit overweight... the amount of dry I give is what the vet recommended... I do not free feed. They got over it pretty quick. I used to... but that gave me a 16 pound orange ball of fur (JoJo).

To the OP: you'll find lots of varied opinions here... free feeding kittens is good because they need lots of food to grow... and I definitely agree with the others... high quality food is better... Wysong is my main brand right now... and I think they have a kitten formula... I just checked: it's called Nurture, and it's for growing or lactating kitties. Petsmart and the other chains don't carry Wysong... I find mine at a local healthy grocery, but smaller pet supply shops sometimes carry it... good luck!

Amanda
post #15 of 23
My cat Riley is almost 2 years old. Since he was a baby he has been on a diet of 2 wet meals per day, with dry free-fed for him to nibble in between meals. At his visit last week his vet said that he had perfect teeth

They do make toothpaste/brushes that you can use on your cat if you're worried about dental health.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks everyone for your input. A lot of good information here for me to look into.

What do you all think of Royal Canin? I checked the ingredients and there doesn't seem to be any meat by-products. I've been feeding the Kitten formula to my kitten for a few weeks now and she seems to enjoy it. The price isn't too bad either.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triv85 View Post
Wow, thanks everyone for your input. A lot of good information here for me to look into.

What do you all think of Royal Canin? I checked the ingredients and there doesn't seem to be any meat by-products. I've been feeding the Kitten formula to my kitten for a few weeks now and she seems to enjoy it. The price isn't too bad either.
Royal canin here runs 3-5$ a lb ... I can get a grain free for about 1.50-3$ lb ... it is an okay food ... ie premium but it is grainy and IMHO not worth the price...
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Royal canin here runs 3-5$ a lb ... I can get a grain free for about 1.50-3$ lb ... it is an okay food ... ie premium but it is grainy and IMHO not worth the price...
What foods are $1.50 - $3.00 per pound that I could look into?
post #19 of 23
in most area s
common Big pet store brand s
Nutro
Blue spa
By Nature
Natural Balence

Mom and pop
or feed
chicken soup
diamond( naturals only)
wellness
sensible choice
solid gold
innova
evo
taste of the wild
merricks
post #20 of 23
Mine get both, but i feel like wet is better than dry, because i kno they dont drink much water. Plus, my bfs cat (he had him WAY before i knew my bf) died from crystals from eating dry. When Monster was a kitten, i gave him wet food 2x a day, and he always had dry food in his bowl. He always got really excited when it was time for his wet food. Mittens was free-fed when she lived with my boss, but i switched her. They each get a 1/4 can of Friskies (they like it better than anything else ive tried) in the morning when i wake up. Then sometimes in the afternoon, i give them some dry, and if they eat it all, they get no more. I am really worried about the urinary problems you can get while feeding a male cat too much dry. Then around 8 pm, they each get the other 1/4 can of the wet, and before i go to bed, i put some dry in their bowls to hold them over until i wake up the next day. Monster likes the dry food ALOT more than he did when he always had it available.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
So to summarize: When purchasing dry food I want to make sure there is as little grains and by-products as possible. And with wet food the less meat by-products the better. Anything else?

I purchased a small bag of Nutro and am going to slowly shift Zoe into it. Hopefully she'll like it. As for wet I've been gettin Avoderm and she seems to hound it down pretty quickly. Faster than the grocery-store stuff at least. What are some other wet-foods that are good for the price besides Merricks?
post #22 of 23
I like Max Cat (about 75 cents a can), Iams Beef (75-85 cents a can) and Natural Balance ($1.25 can). I usually get the Venison/Green Pea and the Duck/Green Pea in Natural Balance, and in the others its mainly chicken, turkey, lamb based.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post

Stay away from Fancy Feast - it's known around here as "kitty crack".
Yes indeed! I posted in another thread about an old cat I had who refused to eat for 2 days because we ran out of Fancy Feast and could not get to the store (bad snow storm) and turned her nose up at any other canned food we did have in the house.
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