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Still looking to change my cats food: What’s the deal with Protein?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
(This is for dry food)

This is an on going thing for me. My life is so busy I put this on hold. I am looking at a few foods at the moment.

Taste of the wild
Wellness Core
Solid gold

I just called the pet food place to see what grain free foods they had and she started telling me about protein levels and how some of the foods have between 40-50% protein. What does this mean? Is this bad? I asked her and she said “well depends on the cat” …. That doesn’t help me.

So… what’s so bad/good about protein level?

Once again, thanks for your help.
post #2 of 6
I don't know much, but from what I do, a good grain free should be between 40 and 50% protein. I think what she meant by it depending on the cat, is that for some cats the food is too rich. One of my cats eats CORE with no problems, but he had diarrhea and flatulence on EVO. He also did fine on Instinct, but he didn't like it - I always had to coax him to eat.
post #3 of 6
Cats are carnivores and they have a protein-fat metabolism. They need animal proteins to keep everything running and to sustain their muscles. I'd rather see protein in a food than carbohydrates for which they are far poorer equipped to deal with.
Animal proteins are better than vegetable proteins, because cats need enzymes to use these nutrients, but during their evolution to carnivore they have lost a lot of enzymes a herbivore/omnivore would still have, so you can feed them vegetable proteins but they are not as able to actually use them. Unfortunately, you can't tell from the package which part of the proteins is from animal origin. But you could try to buy a food low in grains, potato, vegetables, etc.

The idea persist that cats get kidney failure from eating proteins, diets low in protein are often recommended for all older cats, but I can't understand where that idea comes from. Or maybe it would be a good idea to start feeding more animal proteins that are highly digestible instead of vegetable proteins that are not as useful to a cat and just increase the kidney's workload. Only when a cat already has renal failure it is a good idea to restrict protein intake, but again, i would make the vegetable proteins the first to go, because a cat still needs proteins to maintain a strong body.

post #4 of 6

In a dry food I am leary of the over 45% ... just because most rely on non meat to boost the protein ...

I feed a VERY high protein to a CRF cat and her numbers went down but it was Wet and Raw not dry... IMHO do think high protein in a dry may tax the vitals a bit that is why I feed wet and dry with raw and homemade...

The best food is the one your cat will eat and does well on
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I would love to feed my boys wet food. The only problem is Bugsy has some sort of weird tummy and has vomited up every single wet food I have ever tried wth him. Ive been through cheap to expensive to sensitive belly food. So Capone suffers with him since I don’t want to feed one and not the other.

This is why I want to feed the absolute best possible dry food. Every so often I will try the wet again. I know bodies change sometimes. But for now, it’s only dry food.
post #6 of 6
I totally understand where you're coming from!

I was going through the same thing ...and have been going through it for about 1 year now. I switched from nutro natural choice (dry) to innova EVO dry (along with some canned food) and kept my cats on it for about 6 months, I also tried taste of the wild (which they loved)...then one of them developed hair loss (possible allergies) and, more recently, one of the kittens developed an ongoing UTI...So, I've had to switch to Nutro Max (more UTI-friendly food).

The high ash, magnesium, (and something else I'm forgetting) levels in the grain free dry foods are UTI un-friendly, so not good for a cat prone to them.

Also, really check the ingredients on the "grain frees" I know that the solid gold grain free (blue moon?) has lots of potatos in it (just replacing one carb with another). Blue Buffalo's grain free is also like that.

Here's how my cats reacted to them:
Wellness core- tried a smaple size and now use it as a supplement to the nutro max. They eat it ok, but it is crazy expensive.

EVO-were on it as the sole dry food for a while... Good results, ate far less than on a normal food, less poo (and more compact), did not really have bad digestive issues, but they did have more gas on it and poo did smell more. It is cheaper than CORE.

Taste of the Wild- Cats LOVED it. they ate a 5lb bag. Did not have gas or stinky poo (like on EVO). Also it is WAY CHEAPER than the other grain frees out there. IF my cat could could back on a regular dry food...this would be the one I'd feed.

Also, IMO, these foods are more dense, calorie speaking (and protein and fat), so yes, I think they are rougher on the kidneys. I did note that my cats drank more water when eating EVO. I gave them a fountain to encourage it. I would advise trying to feed a good bit of wet along with the dry if you're feeding a grain free dry.

There are grain free wet foods out there...if you can get it locally, you might want to try EVO's "95% meat" line of cans. I'm not sure what it would be about wet food that messes your boy's stomache up (does he gobble it really fast? ), but maybe a grain free wet would be better tolerated....What I'm having to do now (due to the UTI issues) is feed the nutro max dry, but I'm feeding about 50% wet food...most of which is grain free...(EVO and By Nature) along with some natural balance.

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