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Argh-how to convince my mom that dry-only Nutro Max diet is unhealthy/

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My two new cats were previously free fed Nutro Max dry. No wet food, ever. I can just imagine the endless carbs giving them UTI's. I'm okay with a 50/50 or 25/75 diet including dry food, but my mom's convinced, "If the vet says they're healthy, they're healthy." This really worries me because the cats are already sort of elderly.
I really want to switch to Chicken Soup and Felidae with a little raw once a week, but I don't want to be too pushy with my mom. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 14
The dry s your looking at are basically the same quality I am guessing cheaper??

OVERALL IMHO 50/50 is the best diet for the ave person with more than 1 cat ... Wet will aid the Max s UTI health( some carbs aid uti health )...remind mom that cats are desert animals and do not drink enough and wet food fills that void
post #3 of 14
I wouldn't pursue it further. Nutro is a high quality food, and these cats have been on it their whole lives and, as the vet confirms, are healthy. It's true that it's better for cats to have wet in their diet, but a ton of cats out there don't and are just fine. Plus, if I'm understanding correctly, the cats have never had UTI problems before.

Bottom line, you get to decide what's best for your pets, and everyone else gets to decide what's best for theirs. And it sounds like your mother is doing a good job with hers — she's feeding expensive food with good ingredients, and the cats are healthy.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I wouldn't pursue it further. Nutro is a high quality food, and these cats have been on it their whole lives and, as the vet confirms, are healthy. It's true that it's better for cats to have wet in their diet, but a ton of cats out there don't and are just fine. Plus, if I'm understanding correctly, the cats have never had UTI problems before.

Bottom line, you get to decide what's best for your pets, and everyone else gets to decide what's best for theirs. And it sounds like your mother is doing a good job with hers — she's feeding expensive food with good ingredients, and the cats are healthy.
Nutro Max is a decent quality food, however it has been recalled - please check the Nutro website for information. If you are feeding Nutro, IMO, it is always a good idea to either mix it with something else, or rotate it, since Nutro seems to have a lot of recalls. Nowadays it is good to have a backup plan anyways.
As far as wet goes, it is always a good idea to have part of the diet being wet, to guarantee the proper water consumption.
As far as wet food goes, hold on to feeding Felidae right now - there might be a problem with the manufacturer... Look for foods without by-products, with good NAMED meat protein sources, and you will be fine - some "ok" quality wet food is better than none. As far as your mom goes, adding to Sharky's comment, tell her that changing this now will prevent higher vet bills in the future. Even though feeding a little better quality food can be more expensive, it can be a big $$$ saver in the long run.
post #5 of 14
I know about the recall, and the affected food is no longer on shelves. Plus nearly every single brand was affected in the last big recall.

The mother is already feeding an expensive food, and these cats (which are elderly) haven't developed any health problems or elevated vet bills. Plus millions of cats around the world eat low-quality pet food or all-dry diets and are healthy and happy. I don't see any reason to assume that these particular cats are suddenly going to have health problems; it's just idle worry. I say respect Mom and leave her to enjoy her pets.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
The recalled food is now off the shelves. I think the brand is fine. Nearly every single brand was affected in the last big recall; there's no difference from brand to brand.
I am sorry, but there are differences from brand to brand. I feed my kitties a brand that has never been recalled. I stand by what I said about having a back up plan - rotating or mixing foods is a good idea in case of a recall. There are also other reasons for it, such as varying the protein sources and nutrients, ensuring a more complete diet overall.
To the OP: Please check to see if the food you currently have at home is under the recall.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm don't mean to argue, but Felidae and Chicken Soup have better ingredients and cost about the same. But Nutro is easier to get.
post #8 of 14
I wouldn't push your mom all that much - I feed Nutro senior dry, and add a bit of wet food morning and night. If her cats are eating happily, are a good weight, poo and pee fine, and their check-ups are top notch (and I bet your mom gets blood work done) are good, well.....

There's probably not a food out there that hasn't had quality control issues (and I'm including human food in there).

Nutro has been very upfront about quality control issues, and have self-initiated recalls (unlike, apparently, Evangers and Natural Balance, both of which are apparently having some issues right now). You can check on the Nutro web site regarding the particular lines and dates that were recently recalled, by Nutro themselves. Evanger and the food it produces for other private label companies are definitely being produced under hazardous conditions right now - and at least as of last night, Evanger hasn't owned up to it on its web site. They've had issues for quite some time now, but apparently haven't made any efforts to correct the issue (unlike some of majors after the Menu food recalls - up to and including buying their own plants to manufacturer wet foods). I personally suspect Evanger tried to ramp up production too fast post-Menu recall - to take advantage of the demand for 'holistic' food and because some buyers just don't trust a larger company, whether for good reasons or for bad.

I truly don't think there's one food out there that hasn't had issues some time or another - including those that claim to have never had a problem. After all, recalls in the food industry (human or pet) are almost always up to the manufacturer - and some companies are better about 'owning up'. So, just because your vendor says they haven't had any problems, doesn't make it so, sad to say. Evangers now has been hit by the FDA - a nice big red flag, to me.

One thing about Nutro is that they follow the animal feeding test protocols used by AAFCO - a lot of the smaller companies simply formulate their foods against written formulations. You pay your money, you take your choice.

Basically, if your mom's cats enjoy the food, are healthy, and are getting regular checks by a trusted health care professional who's happy with their health, I wouldn't be too paranoid. And mom can always get her cats a water fountain to increase their water intake -or maybe get one as a present?
post #9 of 14
There are many dry foods out there of a better quality than Nutro (not sure why this board is so pro-Nutro!).

More importantly, however, wet food is healthier for cats than dry food, hands down, no question about it. I'm surprised to see the old, "Many cats eat dry food and live long lives, ergo, dry food is good for them" is still believed. That's like saying, "There are plenty of folks who live long lives eating fast foods, ergo fast foods are good for us." We know better than this, for ourselves and for our pets. (And didn't there used to be a TCS sticky listing all the reasons why wet was better?)

To the OP's question, if you feel strongly about the issue, do your research and present the results to your mom in a calm and reasonable manner (don't be desperate!). Feline nutrition has come a long way and if you can show her what we know now and how it's changed over time, she may be open to feeding the cats a more species-appropriate diet.

Of course, you then have to convince the cats. If they're "already sort of elderly" and have been eating the same thing all their lives, they may be reluctant to eat anything different. Try offering them a dab of wet along with the dry (not mixed in). If they like it, you can conitnue to add a little more wet and a little less dry until you have them eating one full wet meal a day (never try to force them onto a new food and don't make them go hungry if they're unwilling to eat wet at any point).

If your mom isn't convinced that she could be feeding the cats better, then you have to be willing to let it go for now. Very little is worth constant conflict in the home and there's no guarantee the cats would be willing to switch anyway. Maybe sometime in the future, your mom would be willing to let you try. I am convinced that even the PFI's will someday have to admit how inappropriate dry food is for cats.

I wish you the best of luck and commend you for being so responsible to your cats!
post #10 of 14
My personal opinion is to leave it alone. Especially since their vet says they are in good health. Everyone has their reasons for how they feed their cats, and if they are doing fine I would leave it be. My Mom has her way of feeding, and I have mine. We don't agree, but both of us have our reasons & the cats are happy with it.
post #11 of 14
Felidea is comparable ingredient wise.. ie multiple meat multiple grain( wheat and rice are the most digestible of the grains) with a meat to grain ratio of less than 1 to 1.25... Chicken soup is a good food also but the meat to grain ratio is not IMHO good, this has cellulose in many formulas this is IMHO an ingredient to avoid ...
the one they are on is formulated for UTI health and the two others are not in the UTI friendly category... In my are Felidea is about 2$ a lb for dry ( the wet 13 oz is a reasonable 1.29 -1.59 but is canned by evangers and that is a SERIOUS issue at the moment)... Feed store for chicken soup about 1.10 a lb and max is about 1.30 lb ... pet stores chicken soup is about 1.50 a lb and max is about 1.25 a lb

Generally speaking even conventional vets today say at least 5.5 oz a week wet for a cat is healthy ... Auntie has alot of good pts RATIONAL is a key ...
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Mom said their vet would be cats-only. They're going in two weeks, so hopefully the vet will tell her to feed wet more often because she'd be more well-versed in feline nutrition. I've been giving them some yogurt and chicken along with their dry food, which they nibbled at. Maybe being former barn cats they'd like raw feeding, but I haven't talked about it much with mom yet.
post #13 of 14
Can you just buy the wet food yourself and feed it to them yourself? That way your mom won't have to buy anything or even dish out the wet food. I doubt she'd object to that. If cost is an issue, try something cheap like Friskies...it may not be great food, but it is wet.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
Can you just buy the wet food yourself and feed it to them yourself? That way your mom won't have to buy anything or even dish out the wet food. I doubt she'd object to that. If cost is an issue, try something cheap like Friskies...it may not be great food, but it is wet.
I would and if I could I'd be making them raw. But it's hard when I legally can't have a job (too young).
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