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Cheap yet quality grain-free canned cat food?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I want to start feeding my cats canned, grain-free food because I have been reading that dry food is bad for cats. I have one cat that is really over weight and I want him to be healthier, and my other cat is also gaining weight. I tried to research online and saw that Wellness seemed to be a good brand but it is really expensive especially for two cats, and I’m not sure if I can afford that every month. I researched Felidae but I couldn’t really find reviews.

So my question is, what is a quality, yet not terribly expensive grain-free canned cat food? It doesn’t have to be very cheap because that usually means poorer quality. But something cheaper than Wellness.

post #2 of 24

Hi I don't know what area you live in but are you familiar with the supermarket chain Trader Joes?
I just got a 6 month old cat about six weeks ago and am feeding him Wellness wet cans but I supplement with a couple of other varieties of wet food as well. One of these is Trader Joes wet food. The ingredient list seems good to me and I did a little research and people seem happy wtih them. Just avoid the tuna flavor (except on occasions as too much fish can be bad for cats, according to my research. (who knew!). Anyway, the 5.5 oz cans cost 69 cents or something like that, so they are pretty inexpensive compared to some of the other brands.

post #3 of 24
Actually, Felidae is an excellent choice and quite reasonable. My cat's love that brand of canned foods. There is also Best Friend's Feline that I use in rotation too. It is a bit less than Wellness. There is also a brand called "Dave's" that my natural pet food store just started carrying. VERY inexpensive canned grain-free line. Excellent quality too. You can always ask a Natural Food store owner in your area to order a certain brand of food. Most will be happy to oblige. Good luck in your search wavey.gif
post #4 of 24

Just remember that only the Pure Sea and Pure Elements line from Felidae is grain free. 

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaimeridia View Post


So my question is, what is a quality, yet not terribly expensive grain-free canned cat food? It doesn’t have to be very cheap because that usually means poorer quality. But something cheaper than Wellness.



The easiest way to save money on the canned foods is to buy the large cans, the 13oz ones being the cheapest per oz IME.

post #6 of 24

We feed Wellness grain-free canned as well as Innova EVO.  Wellness can be purchased at PetCo.  We buy EVO either at the feed store or online.

post #7 of 24

Rather than feed just one type of food (no one wants to eat the same thing day after day!), why not spread the cost out a bit and feed a rotation of products? This will keep your kitties from becoming fixated on any one product (a problem if they change or stop producing it) and protect them from potential quality control issues by diluting their impact. Since cats can develop hypersensitivity when continually exposed to the same proteins or ingredients for extended periods, it will also help prevent food intolerance issues (and the associated diarrhea and vomiting). Dr. Hofve has a great article with even more reasons for rotating foods: Switching Foods.

 

Wellness, Natural Balance and Felidae all have grain-free varieties, and Nature's Variety Instincts and Evo 95% meat products are all grain-free. A "grain-free canned cat" search on petfooddirect.com will yield a veritable cornucopia of options, and you can conduct a side-by-side analysis of the ingredients and nutritional profiles.

 

Feline-nutrition.org has a nice article on deciphering pet food labels under their Nutrition section that offers additional insight into choosing different products.

 

Best regards!

 

AC

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melesine View Post

Just remember that only the Pure Sea and Pure Elements line from Felidae is grain free. 

Yes - that's right. Those are the two that I use in rotation. Very reasonable. I also feed a few dry PureElement Felidae as an evening bedtime snack. Felidae is overlooked and is an excellent line of cat food - both the grain and grain-free. And easy on the pocketbook biggrin.gif
post #9 of 24
dry food for cats is like feeding your cat potato chips and cheetos , actually its worse. Felines are STRICT carnivores , they will die without meat. Dry cat food contains nearly no actual meat in fact the protein that is the majority in the food is plant protein , a source cats literally cannot process, if you want to know more and you are interested in spending A LOT less on vet bills for your cats, go to www.catinfo.org, you will be amazed at what you see and read and I can attest not only as a cat owner who made the change and have experienced the difference , but as a vet professional who sees the repercussions of what feeding cats the wrong food actually does.
post #10 of 24
fish is not good for cats heads up
post #11 of 24

Wellness, Evo and Felidae are grain-free and sold in large cans.  So ounce for ounce they are good deals.  Wellness is the most expensive and the only one my cats will eat.  My cats were eating the other two brands at some point but went on strike.  Sigh.  If your cat isn't as picky, they are good deals for grain-free food. 

 

Pet Valu's Peformatrin also comes in large cans and I bought a handful of smaller cans to see if my cats will eat this brand.  I haven't fed them yet, but it's another option.

 

Edited: Prices have changed since I last purchased Evo and Felidae...

post #12 of 24

I found Hound and Gatos to be in the moderate price range, but it was better quality. We just had a post, though, in which what people paid was revealed, it seems like pricing can vary quite a bit with Hound and Gatos. Also some cats don't like it, possibly because it is a very plain food.

post #13 of 24

I'm feeding Fancy Feast classic pate, Friskies pate and Sheba pate.   All cheaper brands with high protein.  All different flavors.  So far she eats all of them.     

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raintyger View Post
 

I found Hound and Gatos to be in the moderate price range, but it was better quality. We just had a post, though, in which what people paid was revealed, it seems like pricing can vary quite a bit with Hound and Gatos. Also some cats don't like it, possibly because it is a very plain food.


Yes, they are definitely worth trying: it's good, high-calorie food and the prices can be very reasonable, depending on where you are. FWIW, our cats love the lamb, will tolerate lamb/chicken/salmon if I don't feed it very often, and generally reject the chicken and beef.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaHE View Post
 


Yes, they are definitely worth trying: it's good, high-calorie food and the prices can be very reasonable, depending on where you are. FWIW, our cats love the lamb, will tolerate lamb/chicken/salmon if I don't feed it very often, and generally reject the chicken and beef.

From other threads it seems the chicken is not very popular. My kitty hated the chicken, was good with the rabbit, and accepted lamb then refused it.

post #16 of 24
If you live in Australia or can find it online, Nature's gift has 100g cans that are free of guar gum, caragreenan, and grains, but had added vitamins, minerals and all that good stuff.
not very expensive either, worth checking out. smile.gif
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaimeridia View Post
 

I want to start feeding my cats canned, grain-free food because I have been reading that dry food is bad for cats. I have one cat that is really over weight and I want him to be healthier, and my other cat is also gaining weight. I tried to research online and saw that Wellness seemed to be a good brand but it is really expensive especially for two cats, and I’m not sure if I can afford that every month. I researched Felidae but I couldn’t really find reviews.

So my question is, what is a quality, yet not terribly expensive grain-free canned cat food? It doesn’t have to be very cheap because that usually means poorer quality. But something cheaper than Wellness.

 

Actually, if you buy the larger cans of Wellness, it is cheaper than buying the 3 oz. cans of "cheaper" food. For example:

 

Fancy Feast runs 55 to 60 cents (depending on which market I buy it from) for 3 oz. cans.

 

I have found Wellness at PetCo. for $1.49 for a 3 oz. can, and at Benson's Pet Center (independent locally-based pet store) for $1.38 for 3 oz. However...  the 12.5 oz. can of Wellness costs between $2.50 and $3.00, at least at Benson's (can't remember the exact price, IIRC it was $2.58 or thereabouts). 12 oz. of Fancy Feast would cost me $6.88-$7.50.

 

I lean towards the FF Classic Pates. Shelly has been losing weight on them - according to the paperwork I received when I adopted her on February 18 she was 14.04 lbs. (although she weighed 14.5 at her initial vet exam on March 1), and so far she is down 1.7 lbs. to 12.8. According to Dr. Pierson, safe weight loss is 1-2% of current weight per week, so Shelly is losing weight at a healthy rate. I had her on dry food to start (what they were feeding her at the Humane Society I adopted her from), but transitioned her to an all-wet diet shortly afterwards. I have tried her on several different brands, and she has only outright rejected one of them (Newman's Own).

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by redvelvetone View Post
 

Hi I don't know what area you live in but are you familiar with the supermarket chain Trader Joes?
I just got a 6 month old cat about six weeks ago and am feeding him Wellness wet cans but I supplement with a couple of other varieties of wet food as well. One of these is Trader Joes wet food. The ingredient list seems good to me and I did a little research and people seem happy wtih them. Just avoid the tuna flavor (except on occasions as too much fish can be bad for cats, according to my research. (who knew!). Anyway, the 5.5 oz cans cost 69 cents or something like that, so they are pretty inexpensive compared to some of the other brands.

 

I'm always on the lookout for new foods to try and add to the rotation if Shelly likes them. I think there is a TJ's in my area, so I'll have to look that food up.

post #19 of 24

Binky's Nutritional Information page for % of protein for calories intake (better than label info), unacceptable ingredients, and homemade food (catinfo.org) as cheaper and better alternative.

post #20 of 24

remember to watch calories too - i started feeding my cats nature's variety pride cans and they were so low in calories!  when i worked out how much i would have to feed them, it was completely ridiculous.  i've moved them onto wellness cans, nature's variety instinct, and some merrick flavors.  many people say that fancy feast has some pretty good options with ingredients that aren't that bad.  i'm not a fan of friskies personally, but that's me.  

post #21 of 24

Is any of the cat food mentioned good for a diabetic cat.  I find the RX cat food is too expensive.  I'm at my wits end trying to find cat food for her. 

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cammiethecat View Post
 

Is any of the cat food mentioned good for a diabetic cat.  I find the RX cat food is too expensive.  I'm at my wits end trying to find cat food for her. 


Are you able to check your cat's blood glucose at home?  I ask because you might be able to reduce or even eliminate insulin if you feed a low carb diet.  But you MUST be able to check her blood glucose, since too much insulin can kill.  Here's a website that has a canned food list:  http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf.

 

www.felinediabetes.com has a lot of information as well.

post #23 of 24

I am feeding 8 cats and 4 kittens right now.  Primarily Wellness canned and dry.  I do have to keep the costs down also.  There are several ways I can do this.

 

Petco will price match if you have documented proof.  A large can of Wellness is less than $2, small cans of Wellness Core $1.45.  I refer to the prices at Chewy.  I do mix in some other varieties, but at less than 1/2.  I also mix  the Wellness Core dry with another decent brand that they will tolerate.

 

I do coupons!

 

It may seem like you are spending too much on the food, but the cats need to eat less of the good stuff!  You will also reduce you vet bills!

post #24 of 24
Natural balance ultra cans and dry on sale one chewy.com. Comes in 5.5 ounce cans also more economical. Cats love it
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