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Foods and switching

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm a little confused on the idea of mixing in new foods when switching to a different brand. I've read that some people like to feed their cats several different varieties so they don't get bored....and apparently these cats have no problems with stomach upset? Is it true that this is more of a concern with new dry foods then wet foods?
The reason I ask is because my cat Bellina threw up the other night, she did fine on Sheba and then I tried Friskies (only cause I had some and I didn't want to waste it..but now I think it's going in the trash) but she got sick later on. Then again, maybe it was just hairballs, but I can't be sure.
Wouldn't mind a little advice from some more experienced cat owners.
post #2 of 13
I think if your cat is used to many kinds of food, its okay to try switching them over more quickly. Still mixing it a bit, but you don't have to take a week or whatever. Zissou eats one kind of dry food (kitten) and two brands of et food, but several different flavors. She has no probs switching back and forth.
If your cat has been eating the same food for a long time and you're trying to switch, then the process should be much more gradual.
Here's a bit of an analogy: If you are a vegetarian and suddenly try to eat a hot dog, you will get sick. If you eat different kinds of meat but have never eaten a hot dog, you probably won't get sick. It has to do with what the cat's body is used to digesting, if they get a variety of foods then they retain all the enzymes and bacterias and such for digesting it. If they only eat one food, then their body specializes to digest that one food very well, and the equipment necessary to digest other types of food falls to the wayside.

Try switching to a better quality food, one with fewer grain ingredients and a whole meat as the first ingredient. If your cat gets sick when being switched, then you should probably take it slow, but there's always a chance its just the Friskies that doesn't agree with her.
post #3 of 13
I personally would recommend a trip to a pet store ... then read the labels after doing a nutrition search here... canned should nt be a problem since most cans contain more than one meat type ///
post #4 of 13
I think you have to determine whether it was vomit, regurgitated(sp) food or, a hairball. Each one has different causes and treatments.

We free feed our cats Evo and Natural Balance mixed 50/50 for dry food. We use different brands/flavors of wet food in fairly small amounts. I don't think the wet food is as difficult to change around as dry foods.

We really wanted to limit grains in their diet and switched them to this mix. All the cats except two took to it with limited problems. The other 2 are adjusting better now after 2 months. They are still kittens so they are very sensitive to change.

I also believe that cats look for consistancy in their diets not variety. So when you find something that satisfies you and the cats stick with it.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice everyone! I am sure it was a hairball and/or an intolerance to Friskies. After finding bits of what looked like white bone in her dish, anyway, I think I'm not going to use Friskies anymore. I know it's very low quality food even IF we raised our cats when I was a kid on Friskies and they did all right.
I have successfully switched Bellina to Iams (she loves it, actually, this cat is a bigtime dry lover) and she LOVES Sheba. Originally she did not eat wet food (think she wasn't used to it) but after I tried several other brands I remembered I opened a tray of Salmon Sheba and she ate that. It seems her appetite for wet food came about cause now she'll try anything.
But since I don't want her to eat just poor quality food (yes I read labels and I saw that Iams is first with chicken in its ingredients) I am happy she is eating Iams. I've read the "Big Five" are not necessarily the best foods but I can't afford the best kinds. Iams is amazingly well-priced, a decent food, and good quality, in my opinion.
Oh and she also gets Fancy Feast on occassion. I may try the Whiskas pouches.

Thanks again everyone and sorry for the ramblings!

~E~
ps- I have started her on Hartz hairball remedy as well.
post #6 of 13
Sheba is worse than Friskies IMO. The first ingredient is water, the second is meat by-product, and the third is poultry by-product. None of those are good. Try to find a wet food that has a whole meat (chicken, beef, etc not "by-product") as the FIRST ingredient and if they add any liquid at all it should not be the first ingredient.

Zissou likes Iams for now as well.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
Sheba is worse than Friskies IMO. The first ingredient is water, the second is meat by-product, and the third is poultry by-product. None of those are good. Try to find a wet food that has a whole meat (chicken, beef, etc not "by-product") as the FIRST ingredient and if they add any liquid at all it should not be the first ingredient.

Zissou likes Iams for now as well.
It's unfortunate that for now I can't afford the more expensive brands. I heard something called "Innova" was good, and this other food called Wellness, I will check those out at my local Petsmart (if they have them) and compare prices. Maybe I can try one of those.
But since I just got my first apartment and money is tight, I'm more concerned that my cat is eating well then eating the very best foods. I've read alot of threads with some pretty heated debates over food and I tend to feel you can only do the best you can do.
post #8 of 13
I like Innova but youll likely not find it at Petsmart

Petsmart has several good to very good foods.. look at Nutro Royal canin and Authority, Blue Spa all have no by products , chemical preservatives and Nutro and Authority are very reasonable

I am not a Wellness fan due to garlic
post #9 of 13
I've started feeding mine the Meow Mix pouches. It seems like a pretty decent quality food, they both like it, and it's only 39 cents at Petsmart.
post #10 of 13
I feed both the kitties Authority for wet food. It is Petsmart's own brand and it is really reasonable. It has no by products and the kitties really like it. There are definatly some better wet foods out there, but my kitties don't like them. I feed natural balance dry and they love that, but the natural balance wet they don't like. Same with Felidae wet, they are not fans. Try Authority, it is a good food and very reasonable priced. I actually got the recomendation about Authority from sharky Thanks!!
post #11 of 13
Is Petsmart's own food actually good ?

We don't have many high quality wet foods over here (in the affordable range). Supermarkets have a very limited choice, Petsmart has a bit more, but it's a long drive. Petsmart's own brand would be cheap enough, so I can bulk buy for a month.

This question was about canned food... my cats don't eat much dry and I stick to Iams there.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm actually more impressed with the labels of Fancy Feast vs. Friskies or Sheba. (When speaking of lower priced foods.) The first 2 or 3 ingredients list meat. Plus the cans are a nice size for one serving. My cat loves the Fish and Shrimp feast I tried last night.
Thanks for the tips on Authority. I will try this out. However only the wet food cause she's already eating the Iams dry food and it's a good brand and quite nicely priced for me.
Plus I don't want to change brands to often and upset her stomach again.
It's a lot of trial and error, isn't it? If I spend too much time worrying about food (especially since Bellina is like super happy and energetic now ever since I took her home and after her vet visits when she started eating properly again) it will drive me insane and make the experience of cat ownership more of a stress then of a happy situation, know what I mean?

But again, thanks for the advice everyone.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by madpiano
Is Petsmart's own food actually good ?

We don't have many high quality wet foods over here (in the affordable range). Supermarkets have a very limited choice, Petsmart has a bit more, but it's a long drive. Petsmart's own brand would be cheap enough, so I can bulk buy for a month.

This question was about canned food... my cats don't eat much dry and I stick to Iams there.

I think Petsmart's Authority is a good brand of wet food. I sure is not as good as califorina natural, natural balance etc. wet foods, but jasmine and rudy won't eat any of those. Just tonight I gave them some feliade (sp?) wet and they would't even eat it. It is probably on the same level, maybe just a tad lower than Nutro. Authority has no by products and it has real meat in it so that is what is important to me. I try to compensate though by feeding a really good quality dry food.
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