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Switching foods & questions......

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are currently switching foods from a very bad Meow Mix to Science Diet. We are in the 3rd week of the switch. I'm doing it VERY slowly because Trent has a bit of a sensitive stomach.

Hubby said he's concerned about the new food, and that "when I was growing up, we fed our cat Meow Mix all her life and she loved it and was fine with it." OK, well, I still think they need to be on better food.

Anyway, his concerns are that: they are eating less (I think this is a good thing, right? They are getting better nutrients from the SD so they don't need to eat as much?), I told him they are pooping less (another good thing, right? That means their bodies are using more of the food?), Trent's been having a lot of hairballs (no matter how much I groom him...I think hubby thought just switching to a better food would make this go away, I think it's just because Trent is shedding a LOT), but his main thing is that they are sleeping a lot more and are less playful than before. Could this be because it's warmer outside and inside? I'm trying not to run the AC, so it's usually mid-70s in our apartment. Are they just adjusting to the new food?

Hubby has also pretty much decided that he doesn't like SD. I think if it were up to him we would have them eat Meow Mix all their lives. I'm not going to let that happen, but somehow I have to convince him that the better quality foods really are better and have benefits for the cats.

HELP! I need to win this little disagreement!
post #2 of 15
Why does all this sound familiar? I got on the Internet quite a while back and printed out all sorts of German articles on feline nutrition before my husband was convinced that supermarket stuff was not good for cats. The SD is much more nutritious than Meow Mix, so of course cats will eat less of it and produce less solid waste (and in the long run you will save money because of the smaller quantities of food and litter). At the moment, most people are saying how lethargic their cats are - they're hot, and therefore mainly active in the early morning, late evening, and at night. I can't imagine the SD causing more shedding than Meow Mix: it's more apt to be the warmer weather. Hill's also has Hairball Control, which will help to prevent hairballs, but not shedding. Meow Mix has all sorts of nasty additives like food coloring. You can get information at:
http://www.healthypet.com or http://web.vet.cornell.edu/public/the
post #3 of 15
one of the things the better foods advertise is that it will cause less pooping and that they will eatless. So that is normal. I think the warm weather might be making all the cats alittle lazy. And the warm weither is also making them shed so that might be the extra hair ball problem. Good luck with the good switch!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, I talked to him today at lunch about it, and he's not opposed to switching he just doesn't like Science Diet. He said that if we can find a food that they like and agrees with them, we can switch. (Although I really think that he thinks that Meow Mix isn't that bad, and since they like it better.... ) So it's back to the drawing board. I think I finally "got" him with the "and have you done any research about the nutrition in cat food?"

So I think we're going to try a different food. I may try a hairball formula. His rationale on that was that Trent was ooping (sorry, vomiting, but we call it oop so it doesn't sound as gross! LOL) more often, so it must be because Trent or doesn't like the new food or isn't reacting well to the new food. Never mind that there are hairballs in it.
post #5 of 15
Peaches had bad diarhea when I first brought her home. She wouldn't play and had a dull look in her eyes. After I had her about 5 days I took her for her first Vet visit and he recommended Science Diet or IAMS. His explanation was that the cheaper, commercial pet foods constantly change their sources for purchasing ingredients. They get their ingredients from where ever it is cheaper at the time. So potentially, every time you buy Meow Mix or any of the others, your cat could be getting different ingredients. He said with Iams or SD they always purchase quality ingredients from the same sources so cat's tolerate it and digest better. I switched Peaches to Iams right away and by the next day her stools started forming and she was more alert. By the second day she was playing too! It was an amazing transformation and I'm sold! :flash:

Tammie & Peaches
post #6 of 15
I feed Spike Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care dry food. He has a bit of a sensitive tummy as well, which is why I switched over to the Nutro Natural Choice... he was eating Nutro Max Cat before it. It says it's supposed to be easy to digest, and also help with less shedding/fewer hairballs.

My memory is foggy, so I can't really compare, but I know that since he's been on the Nutro, there is almost no waste in the litterbox. And it's not stinky either. I mean, he goes and all, but cleaning the litterbox is one of my more favorite chores, so it can't be bad. Also, he eats so little in general. He's free-fed, so he nibbles here and there all day, but the overall consumption of food isn't much at all. If I actually measured out his food, I'd give you an amount per day, but I don't, so I can't.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Score one point for me! Last night the kitties were much more active and playful, gee - maybe because we had the AC going. But here's the real kicker: Hubby "forgot" about the mixed food (which is sitting in a ziplock bag right behind the bowls - how can you forget?) and put straight Meow Mix in one of the food bowls, leaving the 50-50 mix in the other side. Well, the mix side was almost gone this morning, but the straight Meow Mix was almost untouched.
post #8 of 15
I used to free feed the cheap stuff too, but then Leo had a urinary track infection, so I switched them to a prescription diest for that, which has no by-products, it's called Medi-cal Preventative. (Hills has by-products and only Hills and Medical have studies proven to help this condition from what I read...)

I got the less stinky stool, and less volume, but my kitties love the food too much that I had to stop free feeding because they wanted to eat double thier portions.

Now it's twice a day, with begging in between!! In the morning, Roxy and Leo will do anything to get me up... Roxy's latest is jump on the top of my husbands armoir, which is 8 ft tall? we still cannot figure out how she gets there, once we left the iron board out so we saw, and never do that, but she has found another way!! We have a stereo on top of that and she play with wires and chases her own tail, making lots of noise! This begging in the morning starts at 5-6am, and i have tried everything, but nothing changes thier mind. They want food at 6 am wether I like it or not!

sorry so long, but the point of this is I wish my guys liked the expensive good quality food less!!!!
post #9 of 15
If your husband doesn't like the sound of Hill's, there are lots of alternatives, many of them a bit cheaper than SD. JC also likes Nutro, which has the advantage of big kibble that forces the cats to chew, and loves Felidae and Solid Gold. Royal Canin and Eukanuba (same producer as Iams) are also recommended by many vets, and I know people who swear by California Natural.
post #10 of 15
I try to give Nakita the least amount of additives and preservatives in her food. She won't touch any human foods, fish, meat or vegetables. So she wouldn't do very good on a raw diet!

Right now she's on a mix of Royal Canin and Solid Gold and Nutro pouches. I'll also try to give her some Wellness in the future since this is the food the breeder used to give her.

post #11 of 15
All cats are different, but I did the same thing a few years ago. I was feeding Purina and decided they needed something better. I would say about 3 years now they have been eating Science Diet. Now, I won't switch them for anything in the world. The hair coat on them is AWSOME, and I don't get anymore surprises in my toes (unless one eats too fast). I did try and go the "natural" route once, and it didn't agree with them. I think it's because they have had regular cat food for so long, the big difference in the natural caused all kinds of havoc. It took about 4 or 5 months when I switched them to Science Diet before I noticed a huge change.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK, still working on the SD argument, but I think I really proved my point today. They haven't touched the 100% Meow Mix, but there is quite a bit of the 50% SD gone. They are much more active today (because it's cooler inside and out) - Trent was running around like a wildcat!

What flavor of SD do your cats seem to prefer? We got them Ocean Fish, because we figured it would blend with the MM better. If you switch flavors, do you have to mix all over again? If we switched to a sensitive tummy or hairball formula would we need to gradually mix again? I know I'm way ahead of myself, but I've always wondered about that.
post #13 of 15
If you are just switching flavors and not brands, you won't have to go through the gradual mixing, provided that they like the new flavor. JC loves SD tuna and rabbit, but will also eat the lamb. I usually alternate between buying the tuna and rabbit, since JC gets sick of even his favorite food after 2 or 3 months. He's not a poultry fan, so I haven't bought the chicken since he was a kitten.
post #14 of 15
Usually if you are switching flavors, they seem to be okay. When you switch from different formulas, I would do it slow. Made that mistake once
post #15 of 15
I made the mistake of changing formulas all at once too. VERY bad mistake! I switched from IAMS regular formula to a hairball formula, cold turkey! Poor Peaches threw up for 2 days... and it wasn't just hairballs. I felt extremely bad.... I made my baby sick.

Tammie & Peaches
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