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Is it bad to keep switching cat food?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hello. I want to know if it's bad to keep switching cat food? My mom said that it's bad to do that with a dog, and I didn't know if the same is true for cats. The reason I ask is that the food I usually get for my babies (I have three cats - two are 1.5 years old and the baby is 8 months) is from the health food store. But I ran out and was not able to get there, so I bought them Iams. Then when that ran out, I was again not able to get the health food store so I bought another brand of food. They seem to like all of them - and none of them have had any visible ill effects.....so is it really bad to do this? Plus, what's a really good brand that I can get at the grocery store, as it's so difficult for me to make to the health food store, even though they have such great quality cat food.

Thanks in advance!

Abrah and her kitties Catty, Chino, & Casper.
post #2 of 35
You shouldn't switch foods because it can upset their stomach. Find a food that they like and is good for them and stick with it. The best food at the grocery store I would say is Iams.. a bit expensive though. If you can get to a place like petsmart they have more of a selection.

I personally feed my kitty Nutro's Natural Choice but there is also Iams, Eukanuba, Purina, etc.
post #3 of 35
Hi Abrah,

Actually, while when switching foods, it's best to do so gradually to avoid intestinal upsets, it is okay to give your cats some variety, and in fact, can be good for them by helping to keep them from becoming finicky and for other reasons - see this page: article on switching foods
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
Hi Abrah,

Actually, while when switching foods, it's best to do so gradually to avoid intestinal upsets, it is okay to give your cats some variety, and in fact, can be good for them by helping to keep them from becoming finicky and for other reasons - see this page: article on switching foods
Pat, thanks for posting this. I had been switching every couple months, just to try some different foods that are out there. I did encounter one (Chicken Soup brand) that gave Smokie really bad breath and stinky poo, so I discontinued that immediately. She's had no other problems with switching aside from that. But I'm glad to see that it can be a good thing.
post #5 of 35
For the past year or two, many cat magazines (including Cat Fancy) have had articles by nutritionists actually recommending switching foods occasionally in order to avoid nutritional imbalances, along the lines of "No food is perfect". Some cats react to a switch with an upset tummy, while others show no reaction at all. A gradual change is probably the best tactic if you don't know how your cats' digestion will react to a change.
I take many of our local shelter cats to the vet's, and I've taken note that all four of the local vets caring for them are, 1) no longer saying a strictly dry diet is okay, and recommending canned or dry and canned, and 2) are recommending a more varied diet (much to the dismay of the "Cat Home", because a major supplier of dry food offers shelters a very good price, and would naturally like to be the "sole supplier".
One German forum I participate in has had a thread going on this subject for about two months, and I'm surprised at how many of the members do subscribe to a "varied diet". Reasons given are, among others, 1) fear of necessary special diets and/or senior food being rejected because the cat is used to eating one brand only, 2) fear of nutritional imbalances, 3) fear of a change in formula or taste that causes the cat to reject the "old" food, with no viable alternative on hand, and 4) fear that a brand will become unavailable (most "premium" or "ultrapremium" brands available in Germany are imported, and problems with Customs aren't unusual).
Jamie made the decision very easy for me - he won't eat the same thing more than twice a week.
post #6 of 35
Afraid I'm another switcher! My lot get fed up with the same make even though they have variety. Presently they are on Felix pouches. I know what will happen though-I will buy loads of it and then they wont touch it! I would prefer the dried stuff but it makes Mischa sick whatever the brand - even the stuff for sensetive tummies. They dont suffer from tummy upsets needing the litter (!) whenever we switch food but maybe I am just lucky.
post #7 of 35
Cats have shorter gi tracts than dogs , thus making switching food quite important .... I kinda base it on age and temperment.. under a 1 yr and over 10 yrs up to two weeks and for all in between 4-8 days
post #8 of 35
Also, no food from the grocery store is really good (too many chemicals to give it longer shelf life which are horrible to the cat). Last week I spent 1 hour in the cat food section of Petsmart, comapring the ingredients to EVERY SINGLE FOOD. The absolute best one I could find it Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul.
Here's the ingredients:
Chicken, salmon, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), powdered cellulose, potatoes, cracked pearled barley, millet, turkey, duck, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, carrots, peas, apples, dried skim milk, kelp, cranberry powder, rosemary, parsley flake, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

It is such a great variety, with vegetables, and vitamins and cranberry.

Also, the magnesium is very low and so is the ash percentage.

I am going to switch to this. They have it at Pet Supplies Plus. Also there is a wet food too. One flavour only, but they have adult, kitten and low fat. I have been buying Nutro which is a good one but then I found Chicken Soup. Everyone should switch to this! I have not found another single cat food that has even comparable ingredients.

If anyone disagrees please let me know. I am curious and want to feed my cats the best food I can find.

Iams is actually not a very good food but it is waaay better then, say, Friskies or Whiskas or 9 Lives! I cannot remember what is so bad about it but it was basically killing my persian cat. It was shutting down his kidneys I believe. I posted about it awhile back asking what it is that makes it so bad since it is so popular, other then the fact that it is sold at grocery stores. I wil try to find it or if someone else knows.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
I have not found another single cat food that has even comparable ingredients.

If anyone disagrees please let me know. I am curious and want to feed my cats the best food I can find.
I think that PetGuard flavors and Felidae and Active Life are comparable quality...for some cats, cranberry is the not the best option, and not everyone wants kelp and apples in their cat's food. California Natural Chicken and Rice is also excellent.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
I think that PetGuard flavors and Felidae and Active Life are comparable quality...for some cats, cranberry is the not the best option, and not everyone wants kelp and apples in their cat's food. California Natural Chicken and Rice is also excellent.
And not all cats want kelp and apples in their food! I finally found Merrick's and my cats have been a bit finicky... but they still like their Petguard Chicken & Wheat Germ flavor. Oh well!
post #11 of 35
Jen,
Let me know how the Chicken Soup is with your kitty. I mentioned above that I got that for Smokie and it did not sit well with her. Her breath was AWFUL and when she went in the litter box - LOOK OUT! I'm not really sure why different cats would have such different reactions to a food, but Smokie won't be getting that ever again!
post #12 of 35
chn soup is not as digestable so your cleaning up a lot more in the box .. Plus it is not for any "kids" with sensetive tummys... I use nutro max for the old one and natural choice indoor for the young one.. My dog get two brands nutro and natural balence mixed ( she is the picky one).. I found Eagle Pack holistic very good till the vet got after me about the pork in it...

I am curious where do you guys and gals get Petguard...I am always making sure there aint something better.. My dog and cats love the Merrick cans..
I do apolgize for spelling errors , I can't spell..
post #13 of 35
You should be able to find PetGuard in any of the better mom and pop pet stores in your area, or via a number of online sites.

I have a special pipeline
post #14 of 35
May I ask where in the NW you are I am in north Idaho... and dont think I have seen it in any store here or in the Spokane area
post #15 of 35
I am south of Seattle, given my distributor's location, I know that it is in many non-super pet markets in this area.
post #16 of 35
I wish I could switch food for my cats, but one of them is on Science diet due to having bladder crystals and has had surgery due to this. He has been doing very well on this diet for the past 5 yrs. But I do let him cheat and give him moist food.
post #17 of 35
I get Petguard at the local health food stores. If you're interested, I suggest visiting their website (google it if you can't find it) and emailing their customer service. The customer service is very friendly and can help you find nearby locations.
post #18 of 35
If you think that Chicken Soup is good, you need to also look at the ingredients in Wellness. I have my two on Wellness, a little more expensive but well worth it.
post #19 of 35
Is Wellness the one that has garlic in it or am I confusing it with something else?
post #20 of 35
When you talk about switching foods are you all talking about both wet and dry? I feed different wet at each meal, but keep out the same dry. I haven't had any tummy distress since they got over their initial baby problems. Actually, the tummy distresses went away once I started on wet food.
post #21 of 35
Garlic is a good thing for most kitties due to the antioxidents in it ... In pet foods there is a very small amount to avoid the possible toxicity all of us who are over 25 were told ...

Thank you for the pet guard info .. I will look into it .. someone has a link to a site that had some of the canned looking toward the rabbit ... older one has kidney issues and low protien helps...

I switch wet flavors but only use two or three brands with simliar ingrediants to avoid tummy issues.. the dry switch is the most important..
post #22 of 35
I actually advise folks to avoid the use of garlic with their cats...the antioxidant value is there for humans, but for cats, it can lead to Heinz Body Anemia (just as onions can), and it is not advised as widely as it was. Part of the problem is that the sensitivity of cats to garlic varies greatly cat to cat, for some, you might be able to get away with feeding one of the brands still using garlic, for others, very quickly or eventually, it will cause serious health issues.

I know that when I was younger, garlic and brewers yeast was an oft suggested home remedy for fleas, but there is more information now on how garlic affects cats.

Here is one article:
Vet article advising against garlic use with cats

Yup, petguard rabbit and rice is a good one...just wish my crf kitty liked it
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Also, no food from the grocery store is really good (too many chemicals to give it longer shelf life which are horrible to the cat). Last week I spent 1 hour in the cat food section of Petsmart, comapring the ingredients to EVERY SINGLE FOOD. The absolute best one I could find it Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul.
Here's the ingredients:
Chicken, salmon, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), powdered cellulose, potatoes, cracked pearled barley, millet, turkey, duck, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, carrots, peas, apples, dried skim milk, kelp, cranberry powder, rosemary, parsley flake, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

It is such a great variety, with vegetables, and vitamins and cranberry.

Also, the magnesium is very low and so is the ash percentage.

I am going to switch to this. They have it at Pet Supplies Plus. Also there is a wet food too. One flavour only, but they have adult, kitten and low fat. I have been buying Nutro which is a good one but then I found Chicken Soup. Everyone should switch to this! I have not found another single cat food that has even comparable ingredients.

If anyone disagrees please let me know. I am curious and want to feed my cats the best food I can find.

Iams is actually not a very good food but it is waaay better then, say, Friskies or Whiskas or 9 Lives! I cannot remember what is so bad about it but it was basically killing my persian cat. It was shutting down his kidneys I believe. I posted about it awhile back asking what it is that makes it so bad since it is so popular, other then the fact that it is sold at grocery stores. I wil try to find it or if someone else knows.
I never could find this at Petsmart but have been buying it at Pet Supply Plus.
The last time I went they talked me into trying Solid Gold ..I have one cat and he is eating it but does not like it as well as Chicken Soup..Linda
post #24 of 35
Wood, paper, and cotton all contain cellulose. Cellulose is an excellent fiber. Wood, cotton, and hemp rope are all made of fibrous cellulose.http://www.psrc.usm.edu/macrog/cell.htm
This is why I wouldnt give this to my cat..The absolute best one I could find it Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul.
Here's the ingredients:
Chicken, salmon, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), powdered cellulose, potatoes, cracked pearled barley, millet, turkey, duck, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, carrots, peas, apples, dried skim milk, kelp, cranberry powder, rosemary, parsley flake, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
post #25 of 35
I wouldn't completly swich food.... I feed Limerick Iams and every so often he gets whiskas or sheebe wet food and tuna as snacks and speical treats.
post #26 of 35
While I do not think it is bad to keep switching food, I think you need to watch out for what proteins are in the foods you switch often. I see a lot of posts reguarding how many great proteins are in their pets food, for example the Chicken soup mentioned above has duck in it. Having a cat with food allergies has caused me to examine these types of foods. When I went to the vet, all the prescription diets with novel proteins had either duck, venison, rabbit or lamb. These things are no longer novel proteins because they are in so many premium foods, making it harder to deal with food allergies. My cat has eaten all of the hypoallergenic diet proteins in over the counter foods making it almost impossible to find a new protein source. If I were switching cat foods, I would stick to one with only 1 or 2 protein sources, that way, if you something happens and you need to try a new protein for some reason, there is still one available to you.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsygirl
While I do not think it is bad to keep switching food, I think you need to watch out for what proteins are in the foods you switch often. I see a lot of posts reguarding how many great proteins are in their pets food, for example the Chicken soup mentioned above has duck in it. Having a cat with food allergies has caused me to examine these types of foods. When I went to the vet, all the prescription diets with novel proteins had either duck, venison, rabbit or lamb. These things are no longer novel proteins because they are in so many premium foods, making it harder to deal with food allergies. My cat has eaten all of the hypoallergenic diet proteins in over the counter foods making it almost impossible to find a new protein source. If I were switching cat foods, I would stick to one with only 1 or 2 protein sources, that way, if you something happens and you need to try a new protein for some reason, there is still one available to you.
That's a very good point, and one that has also crossed my mind when I've been buying lamb, rabbit or venison cat food for Jamie, a poultry hater. A friend's cat (3-year-old Bengal) has developed such severe food allergies that the only thing she seems to be able to eat is a special food containing just lamb and potatoes.
post #28 of 35
Ok, I thought I had a handle on this, but now I'm more confused than ever. My vet told me it wasn't necessary to buy the food sold at his office. I forget what brand it is. He said Purina One was an excellent choice. I have been feeding the kitties that their whole lives with a little wet food at dinner time. I was taught that dry food is better for them than wet. Now I'm reading the opposite! (Is it possible that my mother doesn't know everything??? )

Also, I avoid chicken flavors because Oliver got sick a few times after eating that flavor. Although they always get Purina One dry food, I do vary their wet food. Maybe the change is what got Oliver sick and not the chicken!

I'm SO confused!
post #29 of 35
It's just that as they learn more, as cats live longer, opinions are changing re dry versus wet.

Here is a good little article to read:
is canned food better than dry?
and here is an article on hypoallergenic carbs for dogs and cats, and which carbs most often cause a food allergy:
interesting article

Hope this helps a bit!
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
It's just that as they learn more, as cats live longer, opinions are changing re dry versus wet.

Here is a good little article to read:
is canned food better than dry?
and here is an article on hypoallergenic carbs for dogs and cats, and which carbs most often cause a food allergy:
interesting article

Hope this helps a bit!
Thanks! Appreciate the info and articles. Hmmm. I DO like cooking. Cooking for the kitties...something to think about. BTW, Oliver LOVES fresh spinach. I didn't see it on the list, but is it safe to assume he can have it regularly?
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