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Help! Need food advice!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey there, everyone. I could really use some good advice here. Over the course of the past several months, my two kitties have suffered a variety of mouth irritations. They've had "acne" problems, getting blackheads around their chins and lips, skin irritation on their chins (vet said it was food crumbs they're not getting off in cleaning) and mouth sores or ulcers.

On my first visit to the vet, he advised me to change their food and water dishes, as they were eating and drinking from plastic containers. I promptly made the switch to stainless steel for both food and water. However, a month later and I noticed they still had quite a few black heads and were still suffering from the ulcers. Most of the chin irritation has stopped as I've taken to dusting their chins off after they eat.

Anyway, I took them back to the vet, as the ulcers were starting to form on their lips and gums. I've had them myself before, and I know how badly they can hurt. I don't want them to be in discomfort. He looked them over and said it was possibly a viral thing, sort of the human equivilant of cold sores. We discussed the brand of food, as my husband and I worried that it might have some bearing on these ulcers. We currently feed them an all dry diet (I've tried the wet foods and they don't much care for them.) using Iams Multicat formula ( http://www.iams.com/en_US/jhtmls/pro...tml.4_A&_DAV=1 ) The vet said that the product was fine, but I worry that there is something in it causing the ulcers as they continue to get them.

I've been wanting to find a healthier food for them because I know better brands exist. Money is kinda tight right now, so I can't go much futher, budget-wise, than what I'm paying for their Iams. Any recommendations? I also live in a really small town, but I noticed that the local Pet Supplies PLUS shop is advertising they now carry Nutro Max...

Would love to hear what you all think. Would prefer a brand with fewer chemicals and such, and that doesn't have the kind of reputation for animal testing that Iams does either, but doesn't cost a lot more than $30 for a 20-24lb. bag.
post #2 of 22
I think changing their food is a good idea. Nutro is a good brand, an 8 lb bag of nutro indoor kitten costs me about $15 and I think the nutro max kitten food is a little cheaper. I've also heard good things about purina one and I think that's readily available in most areas.
post #3 of 22
I pay a little under $9 for a 5# bag of Felidae, which is a little over your target price. But one thing that's kind of hard to factor is that with a premium quality cat food, the cats don't need to eat as much.
post #4 of 22
We feed Royal Canin's Speciall 33 and I believe it's one of the best dry foods available. They have several special formulas but they are higher($30/15 lbs at Pet Smart) than you want. Pet Supplies PLUS carrys RC too.

FWIW, feeding only dry food is a "no-no" according to several cat breeders. Please get them to eat a wet cat food if possible. A low cost food is Fancy Feast. You can get FF in a "Sliced" version so that would cut down if not eliminate the food specs adhearing to their mouths as that food is in small chunks/sliced and our Oci likes it. Merricks is a better wet food and it comes in a style that's a cross between 'paste' and 'chunks.

Dan
post #5 of 22
I have good luck with Purina Cat Chow. They offer different varieties such as one for indoor cats, kittens, etc. It's not expensive and I know it is available at Pet Supplies Plus.
post #6 of 22
I prefer Nutro's Natural Choice Line over their "Max Cat" line - I pay $26+ for a 20 lb. bag so it is in your price range and better, imo, than your current brand.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightninrod
FWIW, feeding only dry food is a "no-no" according to several cat breeders. Please get them to eat a wet cat food if possible. A low cost food is Fancy Feast. You can get FF in a "Sliced" version so that would cut down if not eliminate the food specs adhearing to their mouths as that food is in small chunks/sliced and our Oci likes it. Merricks is a better wet food and it comes in a style that's a cross between 'paste' and 'chunks.

Dan
You know, I asked my vet about introducing wet food to their diet and he dismissed it saying that it didn't add anything much nutritionally and only really served to make their feces "more odiferous".

I'm beginning to question my vet's abilities and training. He had to put on these super magnification glasses in order to view the ulcers that were so easily recognizable to me...and he still couldn't see them. I had to point them out and they were clearly there. I hope I can find another vet in the area. If not, looks like a long car trip for Fraggle and Angel, which will upset them. They hate riding in the car.

Anyway, I thought wet food offered obvious nutritional and taste benefits to the kitties. So, is Fancy Feast a good brand? I always thought it was beneath Iams nutritionally because of the price difference. I just want them to have as good of food as possible. Oh, and how often should they get the wet food? I'm afraid I'm a noob when it comes to the wet food. lol

Thanks for the great replies everyone. I'm researching the Royal Canin, Felidae and Nutro Natural Choice brands now.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyGoneWild
So, is Fancy Feast a good brand? I always thought it was beneath Iams nutritionally because of the price difference. I just want them to have as good of food as possible. Oh, and how often should they get the wet food? I'm afraid I'm a noob when it comes to the wet food. lol
One of my favorite topics Can't say I agree at all with your vet...cats are obligate carnivores and optimally, they'd be eating a diet that exludes lots of grains, flours and any sweeteners. For grins and giggles, here are two excellent overall sites on cat nutrition - even if one does not wish to feed a raw diet (which I do not, my leaning is now towards a homecooked, but that's another topic). Check out www.catinfo.org and www.catnutrition.org

Things to avoid in canned cat food- wheat and or soy flour, soy protein concentrate,by-products, animal or poultry digest, any food containing artificial dyes or colorings. Fancy Feast has a few flavors out of it's over 45 that meet these criteria and a couple that meet all but one (they have by-products in most).

Brands to consider - innova, petguard, the previously mentioned felidae, merricks, natural balance - and this is just a partial list.
post #9 of 22
I don't want to put any brand down, but I have switched our kitties over to Merricks as it is one of the brands that has no by-products. There are a number of good foods out there that have no by-products and I would personally recommend those.

FF is not recommended by my vet as she says she sees more kitties with crystals that on on FF diet.

I've also cut back on the dry food for our cats and feed wet twice a day with only about 1/2 cup of dry per day for them to snack on while we are at work.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
One of my favorite topics Can't say I agree at all with your vet...cats are obligate carnivores and optimally, they'd be eating a diet that exludes lots of grains, flours and any sweeteners. For grins and giggles, here are two excellent overall sites on cat nutrition - even if one does not wish to feed a raw diet (which I do not, my leaning is now towards a homecooked, but that's another topic). Check out www.catinfo.org and www.catnutrition.org

Things to avoid in canned cat food- wheat and or soy flour, soy protein concentrate,by-products, animal or poultry digest, any food containing artificial dyes or colorings. Fancy Feast has a few flavors out of it's over 45 that meet these criteria and a couple that meet all but one (they have by-products in most).

Brands to consider - innova, petguard, the previously mentioned felidae, merricks, natural balance - and this is just a partial list.
I would also add some meow mix flavors( pouches) , authority( petsmarts brand) , Pro pack , eagle pack , nutro , california natural ...

I also like to see only one grain or two and not in the first five or so ingrediants... example beef beef broth wheat rice barley...... beef beef broth chn chn liver beef liver rice
post #11 of 22
My cats get dry twice and wet once per day. They're getting innova evo kibble and love the natural balance wet food. I ran through every canned food brand I could find and this is the only one they enjoy. I just ordered some merricks online though due to all the good things I've heard about it. So whenever that arrives, I'll see how my picky eaters do with it.
post #12 of 22
My cats also get a "natural" by-product free commercial diet...

I feed each cat half a cup of Felidae Cat and Kitten Dry and they each get half a 5.5oz can (over twice a day, although they've recently started eating a third of a can at each feeding, rather than a quarter) of one of the following brands:
-Evanger's
-Merrick
-Wellness
-Trader Joe's
-Whole Foods

It's not the RIGHT answer by any means...there are many viable combinations and brands out there...but it's definitely an idea!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3angels
I have good luck with Purina Cat Chow. They offer different varieties such as one for indoor cats, kittens, etc. It's not expensive and I know it is available at Pet Supplies Plus.
Purina is not a good quality of food. If she switched to Purina it would be taking a giant leap backwards and most likely won't help the problem any. Purina has way too many by-products and unhealthy chemicals and fillers and stuff in it. Don't switch to Purina.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your help, everyone. It's really appreciated.

I'm in the process of researching the varieties of dry foods that were mentioned (will be researching wet food too thanks to the advice in this thread ), and I'm strongly leaning towards the Felidae. Although pricier than other brands, it has the fewest grain products and in lesser amounts than many of the others.

I was just looking over the Innova Evo for Cats and found it rather odd that they include Potato, Apple, Carrot, Tomatoe and Cottage Cheese in their feline Evo formula. Would that enhance the diet for my kitties or am I missing something here? It doesn't seem like anything they'd be eating if they were wild cats. What are your thoughts?
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyGoneWild

I was just looking over the Innova Evo for Cats and found it rather odd that they include Potato, Apple, Carrot, Tomatoe and Cottage Cheese in their feline Evo formula. Would that enhance the diet for my kitties or am I missing something here? It doesn't seem like anything they'd be eating if they were wild cats. What are your thoughts?
It's a very high quality food, don't get me wrong, but my kitties, and many other kitties on this board did not do so well with it. It's such a rich food that a lot of cats have trouble processing it, which will lead to soft stools or diarrhea, and the litter box will be STINKY! On the other hand, there are other kitties who do quite well on it from what I have heard.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I've also cut back on the dry food for our cats and feed wet twice a day with only about 1/2 cup of dry per day for them to snack on while we are at work.
How much wet do you feed them at each meal? I've read a lot of varying opinions on the food manufacturer websites. I don't want to over or under feed my princesses.

On a side note:

Fraggle is currently 10 lbs. and Angel is 8 lbs. I was worried Fraggle was overweight, but the vet said she's a fine, healthy weight. Angel looks much smaller in comparison. Should Fraggle be getting a weight watching type of formula or Angel a muscle building one? Sooo many choices...

Edit:

I believe I'm going to change their dry food over to Felidae, and introduce them to the wet food fromFelidae, Merrick and Natural Balance. I'm off to the store!
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Purina is not a good quality of food. If she switched to Purina it would be taking a giant leap backwards and most likely won't help the problem any. Purina has way too many by-products and unhealthy chemicals and fillers and stuff in it. Don't switch to Purina.
I had no idea. Thank you for the advice. I will be switching Tiger, our 1 year old cat over to something else.
post #18 of 22
On a side note:

Fraggle is currently 10 lbs. and Angel is 8 lbs. I was worried Fraggle was overweight, but the vet said she's a fine, healthy weight. Angel looks much smaller in comparison. Should Fraggle be getting a weight watching type of formula or Angel a muscle building one? Sooo many choices...

[

I believe I'm going to change their dry food over to Felidae, and introduce them to the wet food fromFelidae, Merrick and Natural Balance. I'm off to the store![/quote]

Felidae is a great food ... good luck with it ....
post #19 of 22
Felidae is a very good choice. I think you'll find that it's not more expensive than what you're feeding now, since you'll be feeding less.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm back from the store with their new Felidae dry formula and a variety of flavors from Merrick, Felidae and Natural Balance for tryouts on the wet foods. I've mixed some of the new food into their old Iams for them. So far, Fraggle seems rather fond of the Felidae. Angel, on the other hand, looks like she's eating around it, and when she does get a kibble of the Felidae, promptly spits it out on their table. Hopefully, this behavior will subside and she'll grow to love the Felidae.

Thanks again, everyone. Your advice has been most helpful. I'm happily looking forward to lots of years with two loving, adorable, happy and healthy kitties. Afterall, they have my wrapped around their tails.

Edit: OH! Forgot to mention, the 20 lb. Felidae was only $1.00 more than the 20 lb. Iams I've been getting them, so...
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyGoneWild
Afterall, they have my wrapped around their tails.
Cats are SO good at doing this
post #22 of 22
I have my senior on Felidae. I got the small bag end of sept and its not quite gone yet. Lucky for me none of the other cats are eating it!! Ox and the rest are on Nutro natural which was one sale today so I picked up 2 bags. For moist-its mainly a treat for the cats as they only get about 1T or so daily. I add extra water to the boys dishes to make sure they are getting a tiny bit extra water!!
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