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need help evaluating cat foods

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I currently have my cats on Natural Choice food, but honestly my kitten isn't quite taking to it, except for their pouch variety. I've been thinking about trying a different brand and I've noticed that Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul and Evolve are mentioned often on this board. I see that Evolve has more protein in their kitten formula and adult formula, but it almost looks like Chicken Soup has more meat. Does choosing one over the other really matter? I ordered a small bag of the Chicken Soup, it was only 3$, to give it a try. I liked the fact that it had fewer ingredients, but honestly I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Here are the ingredients for each-

Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul-

Chicken, Salmon, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, whole grain white rice, 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. Vitamins and minerals.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (Min) \t30
Crude Fat (Min) \t20
Moisture (Max) \t10
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) \t3.4
Crude Fiber (Max) \t3
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) \t0.6
Magnesium (Max) \t0.1
Taurine (Min) \t0.1

Premium Grade Chicken Fat:
The chicken fat we use is one of the most digestible of pet food fat sources, and perfect for dogs and cats, it also yields optimum levels of linoleic (Omega-6) fatty acids.

Extra Information:
Contains Fresh, Never Frozen, Chicken and Salmon with Potatoes, Duck, Turkey, Carrots, and Peas - Special "X" Kibbles Cats Love - Helps Clean Teeth and Reduce Plaque - Naturally Preserved

And the Evolve brand-

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, citric acid, and rosemary extract), Tomato, Rice Bran, Menhaden Herring Meal, Egg Product, Dried Milk Powder, Flaxseed Meal, Peas, Yogurt, Brewers Yeast, Dried Kelp, Garlic, Farmers Cheese, Avocado Oil, Spinach, Beets, Parsley, Yucca Schidegera Extract, Cranberries, Blueberries, Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Bifidobacterium Thermophilium Fermentation Product, Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Solubles, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Magnesium Oxide, Niacin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Carbonate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Copper Proteinate, Thiamin Mononitrate, D-activated Animal Sterol (a source of Vitamin D3), Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menedione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (a source of Vitamin K activity).

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (minimum) \t35
Crude Fat (minimum) \t18
Moisture (maximum) \t10
Ash (maximum) \t6.5
Crude Fiber (maximum) \t4
Taurine (minimum) \t0.18
Magnesium (maximum) \t0.09

Thank you so much!
post #2 of 11
Of the two I would go with the Chicken Soup I like the ingredients list better, and also (not my only reason) will not feed garlic - which Evolve has.
post #3 of 11
Chicken Soup gets my vote. I did the whole ingredients comparison one day at the pet food store. Took over an hour. Chicken Soup is the one I like the best. On the other hand I have never heard of Evolve. But I like the Chicken Soup ones better.

What is it about garlic that is bad for cats?
post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by Jen
What is it about garlic that is bad for cats?
While this is still a topic of hot debate for some, it isn't for me Garlic, like onions and chives, can have quite a deleterious effect on cats. Onions are known to cause Heinz Body Anemia, garlic - the sensitivity of cats to this varies cat to cat, with some needing very little of it, to have Heinz Body Anemia - anecdotally, this has happened to more than one person on a support list I am on for owners of cats in chronic kidney failure.
It does not, contrary to what one may read, matter what form the garlic is in, if raw or cooked, I'd simply avoid it.

Here are a couple of articles to read (though it is interesting to note that there are some well respected companies and authors who insist that garlic has health benefits for cats, similar to that for humans, I simply disagree...if garlic contains a substance similar to that in onions which causes problems, it only seems logical to me to avoid it):
Feline Future on garlic
and vet article

Some food companies have responded to customer requests for garlic to be removed, some stick to insisting that it isn't harmful and is actually a plus.

My feeling is if they were smart, they would develop a garlic free version as well
post #5 of 11
I switched to Chicken Soup after learning Wellness has Garlic in it. My Hershey Loves it! And I also switch my Cocker Spaniel to the Dog Verison. No Problems with either one with this product.
post #6 of 11
chn soup gets my vote ...
post #7 of 11
Give Eagle Holistic Cat a whirl. My cats feed it and they do WONDERFUL on it - great coat, healthy teeth and gums, and "regular" stools. Check it out here.
post #8 of 11
IMO, both brands look good and either would be a fine choice. I've never tried Evolve but have used Chicken Soup and was happy with it plus my cats really liked it.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice everyone. I went ahead and ordered two 1.5lb bags of the Chicken Soup food. The smaller bag was definately a selling point. It's nice to not have to invest $13-16 on another bag of food that my kitten will potentially not like. I had a 10% off coupon, which was nice. They just sent me a 13% off coupon, so if I like the Chicken Soup variety I will order more with a nice discount! I honestly hadn't even noticed the garlic in the ingredients list of Evolve, I'm glad that was brought up.
post #10 of 11
Evolve also has tomatoes, which are a member of the deadly nightshade family. They contain Solanine, which is toxic.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow, thank you for the info cloud_shade. I had no idea that tomatoes could be dangerous to cats. The symtoms sound a lot like those that my dog experienced when she scaled a peach tree and was poisoned by eating peach pits. We nearly lost her. It's amazing how things that are so healthy for us, like tomatoes, or peaches, can be so deadly to the animals we love.
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