Cat Food Recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As Capn Morgan is eating again, and is again refusing wet cat food, I need to move him to a healthy dry food. We got a Science Diet Prescription food from the vet as he was eating it as a treat in their office. He was willing to eat it when he refused other foods. But I am not willing to keep purchasing it because the main ingredients are chicken by product meal, corn meal and cellulose. Compared to his old food, he is eating a ton and going a TON - most of it is ending up in the litterbox, which we didn't have before.

    He used to eat Taste of the Wild, and i have no problems going back to it. But the last time I looked at cat foods, the choices were far more limited than they are now. We have several farm & home stores as well as a PetCo now, so I can find almost any type of food in town, which is a nice change.

    We will, of course, make the change in food slowly and gradually, but I see little reason to keep paying for this corn based food when I know it isn't the best for the price that we can get.

    What foods do your cats eat and why do you recommend them?
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We feed the cats TOTW. It's a little harder to find (I have to go to Tractor Supply), but their poo isn't as bad or as much... And they are super happy.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I feed Nature's Variety Instinct Grain Free wet and dry food. I'd recommend that, for caloric intake and high palatability, the best food on the market is probably Orjen, which is grain free and comes in both a turkey and a 6 fish based variety.

    Orjen is Canadian made of locally sourced ingredients. It is probably one of the top rated foods out there at this time. I feed NVI because Thomas of the ticky digestive tract finds Orjen difficult to digest.

    Hill's Science Diet is crap. The food is made of corn and rendering waste, basically.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Correction, I feed Nature's Variety Pure Protein, which is the top end of the Nature's Variety line with 95% of the protein sourced from whole chicken as opposed to chicken meal.

    I feed this because both of my cats are seniors and as cats age they need higher quality proteins that are utilizable with less strain on the kidneys.

    It is an excellent food, but also the most expensive dry food readily available on the market currently.

    Were Thomas younger (he'll be 12 in August) I would be feeding a less expensive food.

    Right now, I want to lessens the strain on his aging kidney as much as I can while still feeding him a diet as high in quality protein as possible.

    Before switching to nature's variety, I fed Orjen for seveal years with excellent results.

    I have also fed Blue Wilderness with good results, but would be leery of that brand until the lawsuits betweent hem and Purina are straightened out as they are currently accused of using meat byproducts in their foods and not revealing that on their labels.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Hey Susie. I don't have a cat but I now use diamond natural for my dogs. Before it I used store brand tractor supply food that is made by totw. I can't remember the exact name.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Janet, I would be leery of Diamond as they contract out their manufacturing, do not use human grade ingredients, and have had a disturbingly high number of recalls over the past decade or so.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Diamond has a video ALL about their manufacturing plant and how great they are. I believe they make both Diamond brand and TOTW because I found the video on the TOTW website.

    We had zero problems with TOTW before and it is corn free. My parents tried to tell me that their cats would not eat TOTW because it 'stunk'. I laughed because the kids have taken baggies of it over and been swarmed by their cats. Their cats are a bit standoffish, and one is a downright fraidycat, but with a baggie of TOTW the kids are the greatest thing around. Offer a bag of science diet treats and they want nothing to do with you.

    I loathe science diet. They have vets thinking they are super great when they are actually quite unhealthy. Great marketing, but really bad veterinary work. Even our vet school, which has to teach classes in nutrition to the vet students, still pushes SD really hard in their clinic.

    We only have SD now due to the vet and my mom. They had some even more expensive 'prescription' version of SD that they use as treats for the cats and Capn ate some. My mom bought a bag of it because he wasn't eating dry food at all then. She then insisted on getting another bag for him when he ate that mixed with wet food or gravy or baby food.

    He isn't so picky now, and he is in much better health. So I am going to switch SLOWLY to a healthier, corn free food.

    The one Canadian food isn't sold within 70 miles of here, not even anywhere near where we drive to the doctor's. I can find it 20 miles from the doctor's, but I don't think I am going to start with that. If we ran out or ran low, my husband would insist on just picking something up here. He normally means at the grocery or WM, and that plays havoc on the cat's system. We had more than a few episodes of upset tummy when he would do that. I stopped it by refusing to clean it up or let the kids, even if it had to sit for a couple of hours until he got home. Capn was always considerate to get sick on a box or a non-carpeted surface, so it could sit. I am going to take a list of the others to see what Atwoods carries, and what the pet store carries. The PetCo is only about a year old, but I found out I can buy unscented clumping litter at a great price if I have my own container, so I have to go there anyway. I like it even better than Fresh Step, and so does Capn. He hates many other brands except one we can get at Sam's.

    Thanks so much! I appreciate the info very much.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Yeah, Orjen can be hard to find in smaller communities. I was astonished when a "natural" pet food shop opened in the small town in WI I was living in until last month that carried it, as up until then I'd been ordering it. It's a phenomenal food, but can be difficult to find.

    Another, equally good food is Acana, but that can also be difficult to buy, and is more pricey.

    Hill's products are crap, and though Royal Canin's RX diets are better than the Hill's diets, the ingredients are still pretty appalling.

    In Germany, I was able to get a line of organic RX diets called Felistar/Canistar that was very good, and was available in the US at one time, but haven't seen it in several years.

    So far, Thomas' issues (chronic diarrhea) have settled down much better on the Natures' Variety Instinct Pure Protein than they did on the RX foods I had tried on vet recommendation.

    It seems like your primary issue with Cap'n is getting healthy weight back on him gradually without straining his liver and kidneys, so any good, easy to digest, "clean" premium food should work.

    Many folks quit feeding ToTW when Diamond bought them out. The videos of which you speak were made by Diamond in response to the bad publicity generated by the many recalls they had.

    Personally, I won't feed a Diamond product. I also will no longer feed an Innova product as they, along with several other premium cos have been bought out by Proctor and Gamble.

    It is becoming harder and harder to find a good food that is privately manufactured.
  9. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    All our cats and dogs on the farm get fed raw. Because of the animal variety, I do this:

    Those 10 lb bags of chicken leg quarters. Currently up to $7.40 a bag for the "fresh" but the solid frozen when they have 'em are 6.38 a 10 lb bag.

    In the morning, all get fed. Gwen Kitty gets a night feeding too until she weans the kittens.

    Queensland Heeler: three drumsticks
    Aging lab: Whole thigh quarter, without drumstick
    Pug/schnauzer mix: Spine/organ section and thigh bone, all meaty, chopped into edible chunks with a cleaver, about 1/2 cup total
    Chihuahua: same as above
    Five adult cats: All the muscle meat and organs (plus any other organ meat scraps) from the pieces I fillet out for the Schnug and Chihuahua.

    For the four dogs and five cats, I go through a 10 lb bag every five days or so. They are healthy, their teeth are white and shining, their poos don't particularly smell and frankly break down into crumbly white lumps in a week or so. (Which, I know is kinda gross, but the geese when free ranging the farm love to nibble on those after they've crumbled to nothing. Probably for calcium for their eggs.) The only drawback is a bit of food defensiveness, as none of the animals are loading up belly space with fillers of any kind. The cats are sleek and fast (except for Dorkface who's actually somewhat retarded) - the only time we had a taurine deficiency problem was one of our cats who decided he liked the chicken layers feed better than the catfood, and we couldn't break him of that; he died eventually of it. Otherwise the diet - requiring some work with a cleaver every morning, true - is working perfectly with no physical or nutritional side effects.