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How many can be raised WELL

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi. This is my second post.

I have always had a cat. My husband has had rescued St. Bernards and cats. We both consider pets to be part of the family and allow for the expenses that are needed to take good care of them. I have read many articles about food and litter and try to balance between what is absolutely ideal and what is very good but not quite the best of the best of the best while still being economical. Our pets eat better than we do (smile), but I don't want to throw money down the tube after diminishing returns.

I am looking for honest feedback about what kind of litter to use, how often to change, what kind of food, etc... in the real world.

I can say that I have four cats (one is a kitten) and two big dogs. We feed the cats a mixture of Kirkland dry, Iams dry, and Science diet dry. This is supplimented with two to three servings of wet food (right now fancy feast and friskies, but not in the future). We use CHEAP litter (five boxes), and I change it twice per week. I have read the articles and might think that wet food is best. I understand the high protien needs and the lack of need for grain.

How does this compare to your routines? How do you balance things?

Thanks
post #2 of 23
My opinion is that with food, there is no substitute for quality. I am a dirt poor student and my guys still get super premium canned and dry food. Now, I am a rabid bargain hunter when it comes to cat food and I know how to keep costs manageable. The food I buy is less expensive than Iams and much less expensive than Science Diet, but the quality is far superior. Fancy Feast is another wallet drainer and isn't great quality. I buy 14 ounce cans of super premium food for $1.00 or less each, and 18 lb bags of dry for less than $20 each.

For litter, I use clumping only (non-clumping starts to really stink way too soon for my preferences) and refuse to pay more than I have to. My attitude is that I will pay top dollar if I have to for the stuff they eat, but I cannot see paying much money for the stuff they will poop in. I scoop twice a day and change when the litter and/or box are visibly soiled. This usually comes out to about every 10 days, but it varies somewhat. I don't change the boxes just because it's been two weeks since I've last done so as long as the litter and the box are still relatively clean.
post #3 of 23
You will save really a lot of money by switching to one good quality food.
You will save because they will eat less, and they will poop less, requiring both less feed and less litter.

Do your research on the Health and Nutrition forum and find a better feed.

In my household, our 6 cats get Nutro Natural Indoor(about $40 a month), and our dog get Nutro Natural Weight Management (about $30 a month)

But there are other brands out there of superior quality to what you are feeding, which, IMO, is where the bulk of your cat/pet budget is going.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
See, I am confused, because I have read a lot of articles about food and none of the dry foods seem that great. I looked at the ingredients for the last food suggested, and they don't look (to me) any better than what I am feeding:
Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice Flour

That is why I am having a hard time deciding what to feed. The same goes when I read the wet food labels.
?
post #5 of 23
Too many grains, and corn is the worst of them.
Simply fillers.

Chicken and chicken meal are ok, chicken by product meal is not.

Kirkland-(unless it's been changed recently)Chicken by-product meal , ground corn.
Iams(original)-Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn grits, corn meal
Science Diet (original) -Chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain corn
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Are the first ingredients that I found on the internet what your bag of Nutro says or is it incorrect? With the ricen and corn gluten meal and rice flour, it doesn't seem much better?


Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice Flour
post #7 of 23
They are correct, but as I said, corn is the biggest offender, it isn't even digestible by humans or dogs (which are omnivores).
It simply fills spaces and travels through the system into the litterbox.
It is also a major allergen in pet foods.
Cats really shouldn't have grains at all, but unless you're prepared to pay a bit more, you won't entirely avoid them.
Rice can at least be partially absorbed.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Chicken and chicken meal are ok, chicken by product meal is not.
Why not???

when a cat takes a mouse or bird it eats the whole animal only feathers and the "green liver" bladder are left.

Therefore the "by-products" intestines and so on, should be good food, if fresh. In fact, probably better then pure muscles/meat as the calcium-balance is better than in pure muscles, and more fat.

Or??
post #9 of 23
Because by product meals here are far from fresh, and often times they are the floor sweepings in the processing plants that are then rendered.

Yes, if a cat goes out and kills an animal (or you go out and kill it) feeding the whole thing is best.
post #10 of 23
This site is a good resource for choosing food and learning about food labels.
http://cats.about.com/od/catfoodandnutrition/

I like Wellness' label, but my cat wouldn't eat it. I also tried CA Natural because it's okay and I read that kitties like it--and he did. I feed raw food though. It's the only way I can get a food that has everything I want in it and nothing I don't.
post #11 of 23
"The AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officers) defines meat by-products as 'The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents...' By-products as a rule are considered an inferior form of the protein which cats need."

"'Meal' is generally produced by rendering, a process which raises a red flag to cat enthusiasts."

http://cats.about.com/od/catfoodandn...voidingred.htm
post #12 of 23
Lilmisse
Quote:
Are the first ingredients that I found on the internet what your bag of Nutro says or is it incorrect? With the ricen and corn gluten meal and rice flour, it doesn't seem much better?

Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice Flour

I am with you on this question! I have also been having trouble finding what is the best food. I have posted many questions, and I know I'm probably driving the more experienced posters crazy b/c I have trouble understanding all the food stuff! Right now I'm feeding Eukanuba, b/c I thought the label looked really good with chicken and chicken liver as first 2 ingredients. But I'm being told Nutro would still be better. So I may try Nutro next, we'll see. I know Marlee LOVES the Eukanuba, but I want to make sure she's healthy. Good luck, maybe soon we will figure it out!
post #13 of 23
Nutro isn't your only choice
Nutro is what I feed based on various considerations.
There are equally good feeds as well as feeds that are far superior to Nutro.

If I had my druthers, I'd be feeding my cats and dog a raw diet.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purr
"The AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officers) defines meat by-products as 'The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents...' By-products as a rule are considered an inferior form of the protein which cats need."

"'Meal' is generally produced by rendering, a process which raises a red flag to cat enthusiasts."

http://cats.about.com/od/catfoodandn...voidingred.htm
Now I'm confused. I've been told consistantly that it's better to have a meal in the food then by-products, and infact at times can be conisdered better than a straight out "chicken" because it is weighed without water where as "chicken" would be weighed with and therefore lessens it's content in the food after dehydration.
post #15 of 23
I was just posting in another thread - http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=65433- and this may help some....I hope! (sorry I wasn't sure how to put the link in, you'll probably have to copy and paste!)
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Just my thought. As long as a person stays far away from the worst foods (the ones that are actually made with corn as the first ingredient) and the cat appears to be healthy (nice fur, healthy weight, etc..), things are good and the cat will be healthy-even if the food isn't the absolutely best that is available anywhere in the world. I don't eat the absolute most perfect diet that I should, but I don't eat total junk either, and I am fine. I have been convinced by some articles that I have read that including at least some wet food (preferably quite a bit) is best, so I do that. I think the lesser wet foods are better than most drys anyway since they don't need the fillers to stick together. Since cats have a low thirst drive, the moisture in the food is good too. I have also been convinced that there is benefit to variety-so that if one food is missing something, another food may provide it.

?
post #17 of 23
There's a new book out I highly recommend called Dr. Pitcain's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. I just finished it and my review will be on site in a few days- But it does really explain the mystery behind pet food quite well.
post #18 of 23
heres my simple easy cat food guide...

No grd corn ( ie corn or corn grits) ... this is hard to digest and only 10% protein

No by products ( I make fresh lightly cooked and raw organs at home... I dont like the idea of feet in my kids food)

No dyes artifical or chem prervs

I prefer no wheat but at times it is accetable

Rice is fairly digestable
Corn gluten meal is 60-66% protein ( not a great primary source but not bad as a secondary or further down)

No more than one grain or 1.5 grains to one meat... chn and rice is fine... not chn rice wheat corn

If you research brands meal is better than meat ... chn is 60-75% water and fat so when you read chn on a label it is raw and when cooked shrinks to about 20% of orginal leval.

Ideal label
Chn meal rice chn
not
corn chn by product wheat

I prefer no barley or rye due to wheat being an allergan and the three sharing a gluten complex that is nearly identical

soy isnt a great thing..
post #19 of 23
I feed Maxximum super premium hairball control kibble. I buy it at Walmart; it is a "store" brand but the first ingredient is chicken, not chicken meal or whatever.

Each of my three cats gets 1/4 C of this per day. They usually have at least some of it left over from one day to the next, because they also eat:

Friskies or Nine Lives canned food. Two of them eat about 1.5 cans per day; the other one gets about .5 can per day but doesn't eat most of it (she mainly likes the gravy part, so I give her all the gravy from the can and just a smidge of the food). The others finish any leftovers anyway. LOL

I know that the canned food I buy is not the best brand I could get, but I figure I am buying them a good quality kibble, and it all comes out even somehow. One reason I feed them some canned is that they would be eating 'wet' food in the wild. Another is that it gets some water into them.

As for litter, I was buying Arm & Hammer super scoop until recently. The cardboard boxes it comes in are just too hard to handle when you're topping off and filling the boxes. I bought some Cat's Pride, a cheapie clumping brand that comes in bags like dry food is packaged in, and while it doesn't smell as good and it raises more dust, I hope they like it. As someone else said, hey, why spend a lot of money on something that's going to be -- well, pooped in. LOL
post #20 of 23
How is soy protein?

I have a hard time finding acceptable food so i did a lot of label reading at Pet Smart last week. I noticed some brands had soy protein, but no corn (which I avoid).

curious about that.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
There's a new book out I highly recommend called Dr. Pitcain's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. I just finished it and my review will be on site in a few days- But it does really explain the mystery behind pet food quite well.
Hissy,
Where should we keep an eye out for your review? I have a gift certificate from Chapters burning a hole in my wallet and the book's on sale right now
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie
How is soy protein?

I have a hard time finding acceptable food so i did a lot of label reading at Pet Smart last week. I noticed some brands had soy protein, but no corn (which I avoid).

curious about that.
I have heard that its something to avoid, although I'm not sure why. I guess meat is just more digestable for them than plants.
post #23 of 23
soy is an allergen in cats , can be the cause of gas and isnt a really digestable protein...


This is both personal experience and reading..

I had Zoey on a food with a little soy protein and her growth slowed and she pooped more... I wont say it is bad , it isnt like some things in cat food .. but I would place it in the I dont want my kid to eat it catagory
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