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Is it so bad?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm struggling with how best to feed my 5-year-old male, adopted 8 months ago from local shelter.

Background--my first cat (who adopted ME) thrived on a diet of Fancy Feast and supermarket dry (I didn't know any better) for her almost 20 years of life.

Now I know better, and was determined to feed my boy a healthier diet. He prefers wet, and I've tried almost every premium brand--most of which he rejected and would not touch. We've had a long struggle over food. He'll eat Fromm sometimes, but not always. He absolutely detests Wellness and Felidae and every other brand I've tried. He LOVES Fancy Feast.

He will eat some dry, and he eats Fromm and Taste of the Wild.

Is it so terrible that he eats Fancy Feast? My former cat had a long healthy life on it, and I'd hate to deny him his food preference unless it's really important. What do you think?
post #2 of 27
I'd say that a mid-grade wet is better than no wet at all Have you tried the Meow Mix cups? They are fairly decent quality (no by-products) and my kitties loooooooooove them
post #3 of 27
I too have had cats live long healthy lives on supermarket brand dry foods exclusively but now with my boys I try to feed them the best quality I can afford and give them wet daily since I feel like any wet is better than all dry. I feed my boys Friskies canned and they do fine on it, they turned their noses up at most of the higher quality (more expensive) foods or only nibbled at it where with the Friskies they eat it all and only nibble at their dry. On my budget I can’t buy anything much more expensive regularly, so its either Friskies (or something comparably priced) or no wet at all.
post #4 of 27
IMO FF is not a terrible food, especially the low-carb ones. I'm not crazy about the byproducts but they don't bother me that much.

Have you tried introducing a better quality food gradually by mixing a bit of it into the FF and gradually increasing the amount over a week or more?
post #5 of 27
Have you tried Purina Pro Plan? The ingredients are pretty good and it's less expensive than the super premium brands. That is one of the only canned foods my cat will eat. (Chicken & Liver Entree)

http://www.proplan.com/products/Chic...er_WetCat.html
post #6 of 27
Fancy Feast is all Gizmo will eat as well. I spent a small fortune in the past buying high quality canned food only to have him turn his nose up at most of it. I was feeding him Nutro Max for a while which made me feel a little better about feeding FF but I've since had to put my boy on a diet, which meant cutting out the dry food. He's been eating only ff for the last few months and seems to do ok with it.

I think if that's all you can get him to eat, then go with it. I know it's far form the best food but it's definitely not the worst.
post #7 of 27
I don't think it's so bad. Mony free feeds on high quality dry food (Blue Spa Selects Indoor) so I don't worry about the by-products in Fancy Feast as much. It is inexpensive and she likes it, so I'm happy. Plus, she only eats 1/3 of a can per day at breakfast time. (I stir up the pate, set the can on the floor, and let her eat as much as she needs. She can only eat about 1/3 at a time.)
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your kind replies! More info:

Yes, I tried Meow Mix in the cups, and he loves that. I didn't know it was good, but I'll get more of it for him.

My experience with Purina Pro Plan is interesting. He was hospitalized for 5 days with subcutaneous emphysema (they nicked his trachea during his teeth cleaning), and the vet told me they fed him Purina Pro Plan. I checked it out, and since he was eating it in the hospital, I thought he'd go for it. And he did--the first time I bought it (12 cans). He clearly wasn't wild about it, but he ate it. However, the next time I bought it, it wouldn't touch it.

And, yes, I've tried mixing the premium with FF and Meow Mix to get him "used" to higher quality foods, but he rejects the entire dish whenever I do that, so I've given up. I'm sure you all know how subborn cats can be:-)

I think I'll go with FF and Meow Mix and see how he does. At least when he nibbles on dry, he's getting good stuff with Fromm Surf and Turf and Taste of the Wild.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
I think I'll go with FF and Meow Mix and see how he does. At least when he nibbles on dry, he's getting good stuff with Fromm Surf and Turf and Taste of the Wild.
You might want to use "fishy" foods sparingly. They increase the risk of crystals in the urine and that is especially worrisome with a male. I *think* most of the Meow Mix cups have at least some fish. I use some FF but none that have fish.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
However, the next time I bought it, it wouldn't touch it.
Have you tried changing the types and flavors up for him? My boys get a rotation of flavors and textures because if I feed just one type (say all chicken, or all shredded) for more than two days they stop eating it. I have to switch it up to keep them eating it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I *think* most of the Meow Mix cups have at least some fish. I use some FF but none that have fish.
When I bought the cups I got only non-fish flavors but when I got home I heard about this and checked the ingredients and yes even the non-fish flavors had fish ingredients pretty high up on the list. I didn't see any of the Meow Mix cups without fish.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, I rotate the flavors, and he gets mostly FF meat. Thanks for the tip about the fish in Meow Mix because I've been feeding him what I thought were meat flavors.

He gets 90% meat flavors with occasional fish [ff Salmon], perhaps once a week. Do you think that's OK or should I completely eliminate fish?
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
Yes, I rotate the flavors, and he gets mostly FF meat. Thanks for the tip about the fish in Meow Mix because I've been feeding him what I thought were meat flavors.

He gets 90% meat flavors with occasional fish [ff Salmon], perhaps once a week. Do you think that's OK or should I completely eliminate fish?
I've heard once a week should be OK.
post #13 of 27
Most cats can handle fish a few times a week ... the BIG exception is UTI and crystal prone cats , fish should be avoided

Some wet IMHO is better than no wet
post #14 of 27
Since she has thrived for almost 20 years on FF, I would not change a thing!!! This is more than most cats will ever live, and point proven it worked for her... as we say in Brasil.... Don't change a winning team!
With that said, I would perhaps just add some good quality wet food to her diet every day, just to make sure she gets as much water as possible...
post #15 of 27
What's sneaky is that some "meat" flavored cans actually contain fish..like the third, fourth, or fifth ingredient.

I feed a lot of friskies...I think it's about the same quality as FF and is a lot cheaper... I feed primarily the "special diet" ones without fish and the "country dinner" and "mixed grill" regular ones (have no fish). Have you tried authority? They're a petsmart brand. Pretty cheaply priced, but only the lamb/rice is no fish.

I've had good luck with mine eating Natural balance cans...the chicken/liver variety is no fish and mine love the vennisen/pea and duck/pea kinds (have fish oil).

Have you tried any of the 95% meat cans? EVO has a nice line, also by nature sells some as well (I found some of those at a petsmart recently).

I've noticed that mine like the quality foods less and less now that I"ve been feeding them friskies...I think they must put some artificial flavorings in them or something to make them taste "good".

Art
post #16 of 27
read your labels carefully to avoid the fish-heavy stuff - but otherwise, if that's the wet he'll eat, go for it.
i had to stop the meow mix due to the high fish content. since the kibble has fish meal [can't seem to avoid it ] i want to keep the wet as fish-free as possible since Chip's had crystals in the past.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was at the supermarket today, and Meow Mix has another "cup" that's a rectangular shape (I don't know what it's called), but I read the label VERY carefully, and it has no fish. I bought two to see if he likes it.

The regular cup was startling when I read the label. I was buying a "chicken/beef" combination, and fish was listed as the second product on the label--that means there was more fish than meat in it but you'd never know unless you read the small print on the label.

I'm used to reading labels for my food, but now I'll have to carefully read the cat food labels as well!
post #18 of 27
I don't think FF, Friskies, or Meow Mix is that bad. Marshmallow primarily eats Friskies (non fishy flavors) She likes it the most and it works well for her. And really a food is only good if it will be eaten and tolerated
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
I was at the supermarket today, and Meow Mix has another "cup" that's a rectangular shape (I don't know what it's called), but I read the label VERY carefully, and it has no fish. I bought two to see if he likes it.
I just looked it up. No by-products and no wheat gluten. Good find! I'm going to try it also.

Thanks!
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
He LOVES Fancy Feast.

He will eat some dry, and he eats Fromm and Taste of the Wild.

Is it so terrible that he eats Fancy Feast? My former cat had a long healthy life on it, and I'd hate to deny him his food preference unless it's really important. What do you think?
I have not read the other responses, this is my opinion only.

If all he'll eat is FF, then go for it. Any wet food is generally better than no wet food, and there are brands worse than FF out there.

A good food is one your cat will eat, his tummy likes it, and you can afford it. He's getting a good dry kibble.....definately watch for the fish tho, you don't have to be anal about it unless he's ever had probs... but limiting it in a male is a good idea. Once or twice a wk isn't bad.

Good luck
post #21 of 27
Have you tried the Max cat canned? That's the "cheapest" food I'll feed. Charlie had UTI and I have to give him the higher quality canned foods (which he loves).
post #22 of 27
Ok so would a cheaper wet food with by products with no fish at all be better then a higher quality wet food with fish as the 3rd or 4th ingredient.

I've been feeding my almost all male crew Authority wet. They eat all the flavors except the Lamb and Rice which they won't touch.

I can't go back to the Nutro Max due to their price increase and the stores that carry them only have the oceanfish in the 6 oz cans now.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mai_kitties View Post
I've been feeding my almost all male crew Authority wet. They eat all the flavors except the Lamb and Rice which they won't touch.
that's the only one i use - it's the only one with NO fish ingredients at all.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mai_kitties View Post
Ok so would a cheaper wet food with by products with no fish at all be better then a higher quality wet food with fish as the 3rd or 4th ingredient.

I've been feeding my almost all male crew Authority wet. They eat all the flavors except the Lamb and Rice which they won't touch.

I can't go back to the Nutro Max due to their price increase and the stores that carry them only have the oceanfish in the 6 oz cans now.

Fish in minor amounts, in a male cat who has never had a problem with UTI's, is not a huge deal. Once or twice a wk is what my vet recommended, and to avoid the ones with fish as a first ingred.

ByProducts when identified, as in it states "chicken by-products" instead of "meat by-products" are not always a bad thing. The book Your Cat: Simple Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life has a great blurb about by-products in it.

I'd be more concerned with a food that has no by-products and large quantities of cereal, veggies and fruits.

In answer to your question, if I was striving for fish free or low fish, I have absolutely no probs with buying foods with by-products instead of foods with fish as the 3 or 4th ingred (still quite high)....now if the fish were 10th ingred, that would be different.
post #25 of 27
Dusty won't eat any wet food except FF. She also eats dry - Nutro Max and Innova Evo. But she also drinks about a cup of water a day.

We also have a patio cat that we call Rags. He's an unneutered male who drops by about once a day for a handout. No collar, so I assume he is a stray. I give him Dusty's leftovers and anything else I want to get rid of. Since he thinks we are the local soup kitchen, I've noticed that he looks better, and is grooming himself more. He'll even let me pet him now. But I won't let him in the house because of his questionable social skills.
post #26 of 27
Yep, that is main wet food used here... that is what they eat so i use it, when on sale i grab pro plan wet too and lately we have gotten the new fancy feast garden ones in this country and 2 of them like those as well.

I tried every single "better" wet food product out there and they wouldn't go for it so i settle at this, i think getting wet is important so i go with what they'll eat.
post #27 of 27
Yet another who has tried them on every premium food I can find, to consistent rejection, i.e. they might eat it once, but don't bother trying a second time -- it ain't gonna fly. They eat FF, and fortunately the four flavours they will deign to eat are no-fish, no-grain ones, so I think it's a reasonable compromise, particularly with a high quality dry for free feeding.
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