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Want to switch to the best dry food possible for my cat - need suggestions

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi there, I have a 10 year old domestic short-haired (black) cat who is currently in great health minus hyperthyroidism (which will be treated for next week with radioactive iodine.)

She currently eats Science Diet Nature's Best Ocean Fish, because the vet recommended it.

I was researching different foods online and have come across many names, such as Innova Evo Dry Food. I was wondering, are foods out there much better than what I am currently feeding?

I'm not concerned about the money factor, as the health of my cat is of the utmost importance to me. I would surely buy the brand of food that would keep her alive and kicking the longest. Any advice would be appreciated!
post #2 of 22
There's really no cut and dry proof that feeding your cat Science Diet is going to make your cat live a shorter life than feeding your cat a food like Innova.

What it really comes down to is how much you want to read into things. Many people don't like to see corn in a food because cats are carnivors and therefore most of their diet consists of meat, not grain. When you feed science diet, you are mostly paying for grain. This is just one example.

Feeding your cat a different food will not gaurantee that your cat will live any longer, or shorter of a life. But it might make you feel better knowing you could be feeding your cat a food that is better quality [the factories it is made in has better quality control] and contains good ingredients that you feel best match what a cat would be eating in the wild.

California Natural, Innova, Felidae, etc. are all really great foods. Whatever your cat will eat is going to be the best one.

Here's a website that talks about what food ingredients in dog and cat foods are exactly:

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/dogfoods.html
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldfusion
Hi there, I have a 10 year old domestic short-haired (black) cat who is currently in great health minus hyperthyroidism (which will be treated for next week with radioactive iodine.)

She currently eats Science Diet Nature's Best Ocean Fish, because the vet recommended it.

I was researching different foods online and have come across many names, such as Innova Evo Dry Food. I was wondering, are foods out there much better than what I am currently feeding?

I'm not concerned about the money factor, as the health of my cat is of the utmost importance to me. I would surely buy the brand of food that would keep her alive and kicking the longest. Any advice would be appreciated!
You one need a senior formula .... and two find one with chicken meal or beef meal etc first on the ingrediants ... EVO is great for some I wouldnt dare try it with a kitty of "senior" years
post #4 of 22
Yeah, Science Diet is of pretty low quality, unfortunately. It's full of by-products, grains and some SD products even contain not-so-safe preservatives. Science Diet and other foods like that are pretty much candy for your cat. You want something with MEAT as the first ingredient. Innova EVO is a very very very very good food. I've fed it to my dogs and cats with wonderful results. I also recommend regular Innova, California Natural, Felidae, Timberwolf Organics, etc. Good luck!
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
You one need a senior formula .... and two find one with chicken meal or beef meal etc first on the ingrediants ... EVO is great for some I wouldnt dare try it with a kitty of "senior" years
I don't use a senior brand yet but I do use Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Adult, and I bet their senior brand would be really good too. Make sure you're also feeding wet food!
post #6 of 22
Pet promice is wonderful. It's expensive, but wonderful.
post #7 of 22
Lookingglass: Pet Promise is mostly grains if you take a look at the ingredients.

Coldfusion: Luckily enough, you will have many products to choose from (many of them costing less or equal to Science Diet while being of better quality.) It might take a few tries to find a new food(s) that your cat likes, or does best on.
I recommend narrowing down your search to about 3-5 foods, and get sample packets of the food, and see which ones your cat will eat and won't eat.
After that, pick one of the foods, and feed it for at least 3 months to see optimal results in your cat.

Here is a large semi complete list I made of different food brands in alphabetical order, some are better then others. The links will bring you to the brands official site store locator so that you can request sample packets and find a store near you that sells the food.

http://angel.pwnd.org/cat/catfoodstorelocator.htm
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
You one need a senior formula .... and two find one with chicken meal or beef meal etc first on the ingrediants ... EVO is great for some I wouldnt dare try it with a kitty of "senior" years
The Vet told me that as long as her weight is staying good while she is on the Adult formula, there is no reason to switch her to senior.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldfusion
The Vet told me that as long as her weight is staying good while she is on the Adult formula, there is no reason to switch her to senior.
Senior is not a wt control .. I call it organ control ... since most are lower protein and fat than adult , they also have phoshporus , sodium and magnesium in the right amounts as to not stress the older cats organs... I likely could have saved alot of greif with kidney issues had I put my old kitty on senior yrs earlier ... Many also have joint support which can be helpful... This is not saying your vet is wrong just likely hasnt dealt personally with the issue ...
post #10 of 22
I like Drs. Foster and Smith cat food myself.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
I like Drs. Foster and Smith cat food myself.
It did look good but I have access to many simliar without the shipping..
post #12 of 22
Science Diet isn't the best food available, but when it comes recommended by your vet and you don't know otherwise, it's easy to see why so many people highly regard it as high quality.

I have been told by several different veterinarians that their training in animal nutrition while in school is very brief and often sponsored by Science Diet, hence when these doctors go into practice it's natural for them to recommend the food they are most familiar with that offers a prescription diet.

The most important thing I tell people, many of whom are on a budget is to learn what is pet food and what certain ingredients actually mean. Most expensive does not always mean best quality and nutrition unfortunately.

Earl at DoberDogs has an excellent site devoted to food comparisons. It is primarily aimed at dog foods, but much of the information related to ingredients and understanding the food label works for all pet foods. I recommend visiting and exploring his site if you have the time. Here's the link: http://www.doberdogs.com/foodcht1.html

Everyone's opinion will vary on what the "best" food is to feed your cat. This is an intensely personal choice and you should base it on your own feelings on what is best for your cat, and how well they thrive on a certain food.

In my opinion, the first 3 ingredients are the most important and make up the majority of the product. I prefer they be as natural and pure, free of by-products, meal, fillers, etc...as possible. I personally have a varied group of favorites: the Solid Gold's line of canned cat food, all of the Wellness canned cat foods, Wysong, Innova EVO line - not the Healthwise line though, PetGuard Organic Mature Formula, Azmira Holistic canned cat foods, Eagle Pack Duck & Oatmeal canned cat food (saved one of our rescues from food allergy death), Halo Spot's Stew, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Honest Kitchen Prowl, Nature's Variety Freeze Dried Diets and Primal Pet Foods Raw Cat Food, though anyone considering introducing a raw or homemade diet really needs to do their research and determine if it's best for their cat's current health conditions.

Take your time and do lots of reading and obtain samples. Many of the food companies above have websites where you can request samples online or email a request and they happily will send you one. You can also find samples of many holistic brands at human health food stores.

Good luck!
Rachel
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by fosterfelix
Science Diet isn't the best food available, but when it comes recommended by your vet and you don't know otherwise, it's easy to see why so many people highly regard it as high quality.




]



In my opinion, the first 3 ingredients are the most important and make up the majority of the product. I prefer they be as natural and pure, free of by-products, meal, fillers, etc...as possible. I personally have a varied group of favorites: the Solid Gold's line of canned cat food, all of the Wellness canned cat foods, Wysong, Innova EVO line - not the Healthwise line though, PetGuard Organic Mature Formula, Azmira Holistic canned cat foods, Eagle Pack Duck & Oatmeal canned cat food (saved one of our rescues from food allergy death), Halo Spot's Stew, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Honest Kitchen Prowl, Nature's Variety Freeze Dried Diets and Primal Pet Foods Raw Cat Food, though anyone considering introducing a raw or homemade diet really needs to do their research and determine if it's best for their cat's current health conditions.



Good luck!
Rachel
Hello Rachel and Welcome to TCS
I personally wont feed most of the foods you mentioned but they are all good ... I would like to know about the Honest Kitchen as I feed two of three raw ... How long have you used it and where do you get it from
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
It did look good but I have access to many simliar without the shipping..
They offer free shipping around Christmas, without the sales tax
post #15 of 22
I envy you feeding raw. None of my personal cats will go completely raw after numerous attempts. Though I've had numerous rescues that had no trouble switching.

I buy Honest Kitchen from a place here in Dayton called Wash Your Dog (a dog wash). You can usually find it at independent pet stores, groomers, etc... I've been feeding it for a little under a year. A 4# bucket is about $45 which seems insanely expensive, but 8 ounces makes about a pound of fresh food. They just came out with the 4# bucket. It's also available in little 6 ounce packets which make about 3/4 of a pound fresh food. Nice size to sample.

I know their website had a directory by state of where to buy it at one time and I assume they still do, www.thehonestkitchen.com.

I've been very happy with it as an alternate to canned wet food since my guys refuse to comply with my determination to go raw. They love the stuff. I've also used with some special rescues who really needed the weight gain and it worked wonders.

Thanks for the welcome!
Rachel
post #16 of 22
Sadie loves Natural Balance. Here's some info:

INGREDIENT LISTING
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Duck, Lamb Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E) Canola Oil, Oatmeal, Fish Meal, Brewers Yeast, Rosemary Extract, Dried Skimmed Milk, Natural Flavor, Dried Eggs, Carrots, Whole Ground Flaxseed, Kelp, DL Methionine, Dried Cranberries, Lecithin, Parsley Flakes, Tomato Pomace, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin C Supplement, Yucca Schidigera, Folic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Vitamin K Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ethylene Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
Protein minimum 34%
Fat minimum 18%
Fiber maximum 3%
Moisture maximum 10%
Magnesium maximum 0.1%
Taurine minimum 0.16%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids* minimum 0.5%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids* minimum 3%

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Nutrient profile.
Natural Balance Cat Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all stages of a cat's life as substantiated by the nutrient requirements established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profile.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to try the Natural Balance low calorie cat food. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Actually, wound up getting Felidae Platinum for Senior and Overweight Cats.

The store owner recommended it. I'll let you guys know how she likes it.

Anyone have any experience with this food?
post #19 of 22
No experience with Felidae Platinum but I think you made a better choice because the Natural Balance light has only 27% protein. A cat should have at least 30% protein in a dry cat food and a moderate level of fat. I personally don't like how light and senior formulas are lower in protein and have a greater carbohydrate content. Reducing protein (which also means reducing phosphorous) is only necessary for cats who have issues with their kidneys. If they don't I really don't think a high protein diet is going to cause it, rather feeding a lower protein diet would be even more unhealthy for a healthy cat without kidney issues.

I think feeding more wet food is best for cats with reduced energy needs.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
No experience with Felidae Platinum but I think you made a better choice because the Natural Balance light has only 27% protein. A cat should have at least 30% protein in a dry cat food and a moderate level of fat. I personally don't like how light and senior formulas are lower in protein and have a greater carbohydrate content. Reducing protein (which also means reducing phosphorous) is only necessary for cats who have issues with their kidneys. If they don't I really don't think a high protein diet is going to cause it, rather feeding a lower protein diet would be even more unhealthy for a healthy cat without kidney issues.

I think feeding more wet food is best for cats with reduced energy needs.
I would differ with you ... FROM my own experience fighting with CRF , I do think high protein does play a role since in dry it is NOT nearly as bioavail as the same in wet

DRY % of protein should be lowered in cats over 7... Many say 30 is to high.. I would say stay under 32 if no issues .... as the digestion slows and absorbtion is not the same as the same cat younger...

WET % protein is not an issue but do watch ca+ and phos if possible
post #21 of 22
Hello, I have 3dogs..and when I only had one, shes now 10years old, I was feeding her Science Diet, Iams..and I thought I was feeding top quality food. When I brought the 2nd dog, Kelsey shes 2years old..I went to a forum, much like this one dedicated to her and the other two dogs breed. They are all pit bulls, and I became educated on dog nutrition.

I learned that Science Diet and Purina and Iams and Pedigree were all crap. Those foods carry NO nutrional value, and are made to have longer shelf lifes. The exact same thing can be said about cat food.

Google local pet stores..not pet smart or Petco, but local, little pet stores. There you will find the "good" cat food, and cat treats. I feed my dogs Timberwolf dry kibble, and my cat eats Orijen dry kibble. My cat also eats canned cat food...by Merrick.

A few good top quality brands of cat food: Merrick, Orijen, InnovaEvo, Timberwolf makes an awesome cat food, but the name has lost me at the moment,. Itcan be found on their site. California Natural, Felidae.
post #22 of 22
It really depends on the cat which is where we get differing opinions on food and people claiming the food won't improve health or increase lifespan. Sure some can eat dirt, have no apparent health issues, maintain good weight, and live in to their teens. I am serious I have a barn cat that will eat dirt, cheap cat food, and most anything else she finds laying around and all that is true. My grandpa also has a cat that has to be over 14 because it's been 12years since she showed up as a full grown cat and she eats the cheapest thing he can possibly get from walmart.

However I still don't believe food makes no difference. It has been seen by many people that their animal's health problems all went away and even those with no health problems suddenly seemed healthier from feeding better foods. It's been proven time and again that food does have an impact on health and even lifespan. Just because a handful can eat dirt and live forever doesn't mean majority won't benefit from better foods. People who argue against what are considered higher quality diets usually have experience with that handful that happen to have good genetics. Now if you have one with good genetics then you can buy cheap food and use the extra money to keep your catnip habit going but for most that's not true.

In my own experience I found California Natural to be the best for my money. It's fairly cheap compared to similar quality foods, good for alleriges, all my cats can keep it down, all my cats eat it eagerly, and they've never been in better health. 3weeks of that after feeding purina for years and my sister tried to tell me that wasn't Carmel. Her coat was fluffier, her colors are 10times darker, and instead of always being a very tiny lightweight cat she's gotten really heavy and it's all muscle. My sister said she's huge now and looks like a normal sized cat for the first time. My 2nd choice if your keeping cost in mind would probably be Natural Balance but mine don't really like it as well and one has a very sensitive tummy so the CN worked out better. The rest of the foods I like are more expensive. If I had the money I'd do premade RAW, if I had the time I'd do RAW, but I don't.
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