Saturday, October 29, 2005

Food for Thought

Arthur sniffs the plastic box where we store the cat food I'm still trying to resolve our food issues, because I would like Arthur and Beowulf to:

  • Eat more wet food
  • Eat the best quality dry food
  • Stop their dependence on kitty condiments

So let me take a step back and tell you where we're at and have been at with out feeding schedule for a while now.

Dry Food At All Times

Dry food is available to the boys at all times that wet food is not in their bowl. Since we adopted them, the dry food of choice has been Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care. During their first year it was Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Kitten, but since their first birthday in September, I've gone with Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Adult.

They absolutely love the Nutro Natural Choice and maybe that should be enough, but I'm concerned. Is it the best dry cat food one can possibly feed? Well, I've tried a few sample of packs of "raw" food and they didn't like it. On the recommendation of my Cats Guide Franny Syufy, I bought a big bag of Innova (the Evo "raw" version, not the one in the red bag). The boys hated it.

At the CFA cat show I attended, I got some samples of IAMs and Eukanuba, but the boys didn't like them and those are not necessarily the fanciest of the fancy either. I'm tempted to go out and try Wellness Super5Mix Adult (because I've heard good things), but it's about $10 for 2.5 pounds and what if my boys don't like it either.

They love their Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care, but is it the best thing?

Wet Food at 6 am and 6 pm

Every day at 6 and 6, I feed my boys wet food. When they were kittens, I fed them mainly Nutro Max Cat Kitten and Nutro Natural Choice Kitten canned foods and they loved them both. As they got older, I started mixing in other premium brands like Merrick. They liked it all until one day they didn't.

I could have just stopped feeding wet food to them, but I know that wet food is a really important part of a cat's diet.

I bought some Kitty Condiments and started sprinkling them on the wet food. That worked for a while, but the condiments themselves have become a requirement and the boys may not even touch their wet food until I sprinkle the condiments on. Even then, if they don't like the food, they just eat the flakes off of the top.

Eventually, I found that Nutro Natural Choice Pouch Foods were the only wet food they would eat and that has been what I have been feeding them mostly. They seem to prefer something chunky and juicy to a pate.

I went to a natural pet food store a couple of weeks ago and they recommended we try Solid Gold canned food, Avoderm Select Cuts, Spot's Stew and a few other chunky brands. They kinda liked the Solid Gold and Avoderm, but not all the time.

Should I be concerned? I just want the absolute best nutrition possible for my boys, but they also need to be willing to eat the food.


Max said...

When it comes down to it, the best food is the one they'll eat...Our oldest cat will only eat Fancy Feast wet foods (he's not as picky about the dry) so we pick the varities with the lowest fat (because he has pancreatitis) and the highest protein--almost all of them are fish flavors.

We've tired premium foods, only to have him turn his nose up at the end, he's got to eat (and we have to hide meds in it,) so we buy Fancy Feast.

socidoc said...

My kitties have also been fussy about wet food... liking it for awhile, then turning their noses up... and my kitties (including my beloved Bessie, who you know went to the Rainbow Bridge recently) do like the Fancy Feast (supermarket) varieties...Iams brand has a very bad rep because they do bad animal testing and include lots of chemicals which aren't listed on their ingredients... I feed natural brands whenever they will eat them, and other times, just the Fancy Feast. Wet food is good for them, and dry food is too. Do the best you can!

Anonymous said...

Here's a site you may want to look at for some great info on cat nutrition. Janet's cat Binky was a diabetic, which made her do lots of research on cat nutrition. Scroll down about halfway for the diet-related information.

Your orange guys are gorgeous and we enjoy your blog!

Nora, Finnegan & Buddy the Orange

baileyshelbycody said...

I, for one, use Pro Pac and Royal Canin Siamese and Slim, althought they just changed slim to something else and I can't remember the name of it, although the protein in it is 37%. HIGH protein is the clue to ALL cat foods. I use a holistic person for my kids and this is what she recommends. NO wet food!!! Dry - 24/7. I recently adotped a cat with liver, pancreus and kidney problems, since I have had him on these foods, his poo has gotten better, not hard and small marbles. I still need to take him in for his next blood work to make sure. Also, so many of these company's use things cats don't normally eat and are in the end toxic...flax seed, rosmary, garlic to name a few. I used to feed raw and know a bit about it, but due to one of my cats having pica and lackig food to eat all day, I have had to resort back to dry so he would stop eating my blankets. Royal canin is one of the best foods on the market, as well as Pro pac.

baileyshelbycody said... Here is the website for my holistic person. She also runs catwell at yahoo groups. From her I have learned quite a bit. I no longer take cats in when they get the sniffles and sneezes, I use the URI nosode for about 10 days that I get from her. She has saved me a lot of $$$ and it works!!!!

baileyshelbycody said...

Here is the 37% food, now called Indoor slim, formally called slim. I buy my food from here, have it shipped using coupons I have signed up for and it gets to my door cheaper than driving the 40 miles to get it.

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

I rely on Franny Suyfy for information too. I feed wet 2x/day. I agree with the meat based protein diet in canned food vs the plant based protein in dry foods. I do leave dry out, because I have one cat who prefers it over wet. I feed Pro Plan indoor dry. It has 40% protein, the highest available that I know of...
for more on the "obligate carnivore" issue, which means cats need real meat in their diet. -LRG

Doll said...

My boys eat the Wellness dry food and love it. For the wet food they are given Iams. Ideally I would like their wet food to be a healthier brand but my youngest won't touch anything else but Iams.
I don't recommend leaving dry food out for your cats all the time. Cats are not grazing animals, they are gorgers. If you leave food out for them 24/7 they will get very fat. Also, constant feeding weakens the immune system and makes it harder for them to fight off illness. Do not resort to Fancy Feast for your cats. It's like feeding your children junk food ALL THE TIME. Which leads to a higher risk of liver and kidney problems which can lead to premature death.

DEBRA said...

Mr boys and girl LOVE wet food. I have a harder time feeding them dry. I like you have tried a myriad of things, hoping that they would like the better quality foods. As much as I didn't want my money to support IAMS (because of animal testing) my kitties love Eukanuba. I feel that they do need that dry foods, so for them they've settled the issue of what I will buy. If they don't eat it what good does it do to just sit on the shelf? I have tried a multitude of wet foods and they like Meow Mix packets best. I like you worry about their nutrition and want what is best for my furbabies.

angua said...

All our family cats (parents, in-laws, etc.) eat dry food only, and they live healthily into their late teens. If you buy the *good* dry food, it's enough. (Obviously, it has to be the good stuff -- read the ingredients.)

Wet food can have high ash percentage, and this is very dangerour for boys, who get urinary tract problems.

I would use wet food as an occasional treat. And you can always treat your boys with the occasional bite-size piece of steak, chicken or fish from the "grown-ups table", if you want them to eat more protein.

Diva Kitty said...

I have Sophia only on Wellness wet food and use the Wellness dry as her treats. She's done much better weight and activity wise on the mostly wet diet. My vet recommended the wellness because of the higher protein ratio. If I put out dry food she’ll sit and eat the entire bowl.

Initially she didn’t want the Wellness Turkey that the vet prefers she eat; however, since that’s all I offer her, after two days of being picky, she now chomps it up the moment the plate hits the floor.

Liz- The Fiance said...

We leave them limited amounts of dry food not one of those huge dry food dispensers. They get 1/4 cup of dry food in the morning to hold them over during the day and 1/4 cup dry food to hold them over during the night.

baileyshelbycody said...

Thought about it some more. "IF" I could afford to feed my 19 cats Wysong, THAT is the BEST food. Archetype and the canned meat only foods with their 'mix' that goes in the canned food (don't recall the name of it). My cats LOVE archetype, but it is VERY expensive. But you only have 2 cats and I think it would be worth your $$$ to try it. I think it is the next best thing to raw food.

Sue said...

My vet recommends dry food only, as being so good for teeth and gums, and certainly my 10½ year old Daisy (who came to us 2 years ago on a dry diet) has perfect teeth, quite unusual in one of her age. And I disagree about cat being "gorgers" - I find they only eat what they need, unlike dogs, so I leave the dry food down all the time. It's much more hygenic too - wet food can quickly become dried out and/or smelly. And my vet recommends low protein food as an aid to good kidney function. Hope this helps.

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

Wow! Seems the bottom line in this debate is that cats are just as individual as people are. But we already knew that! LRG

Anonymous said...


Adorably cats and great blog. really enjoyed reading it. Glad to hear that you are doing well...found out about your site from another Binghamton person.


Rahel said...

The late veterinarian Dr. Louis Joseph Camuti, who specialized in cats and who wrote the book All My Patients Are Under the Bed, recommended beef baby food as the ideal food for cats. Granted, Dr. Camuti died approximately twenty years ago and things may have changed since then, but I thought I'd share the information nevertheless.

Please give Arthur and Beowulf some skritches for me. I sure wish I could pet them myself! They are gorgeous kitties.

Muddy, said...

I usually just eat dry, but som wet is important and I get a bit of wet food once every few days. I am happy with that, but nutrition is a good thing to be aware of in pets like us! -- Muddy,

Anonymous said...

Wetfood should be the main part of their diet. Cats who are raised on dryfood only often develop kidney disease later in life because they are not getting enough water. Cats in the wild get most of the moisture that their diets require from the foods they eat(mice, insects, etc.).
Always shoot for the highest protein/lowest carb diet. Cats are carnivores and were not designed to eat rice, flour and blueberries. This sort of diet willlead to diabetes which is very common with cats today.