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Questions about Cat Food

blessedbeingmom

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We've been feeding our cats Purina Cat Chow for years. It wasn't until we got our guinea pigs and found this forum and started considering the best way to feed our guinea pigs that we began to question the way we feed our cats. We have always left dry food out on demand (in a feeder) and plenty of water (in several areas of our home) and never had any problems due to this.

Our oldest cat is about 12 years old, and we've had her since she was a tiny kitten. Our other two cats are about 2 to 3 years old. All our cats are spayed or neutered and taken to the vet for checkups, so I always thought we were being responsible pet owners. We had another wonderful cat that went away (we don't know what happened to him, he never came home) a couple of years ago, and he was about 10 years old at the time.

Our oldest cat goes out only for a few minutes a couple of times a day. The younger two cats were raised outside from the time they were kittens, so with 3 children constantly in and out of our home, the younger 2 cats spend a lot of time outside, but spend about half their time inside (unless we manage to keep them in longer).

One of the younger two cats was originally a neighbor's cat who adopted us, and he will follow us around the neighborhood when we take our family walks, which is kind of funny. I think the neighbors probably got him because he was a cute white kitten, but didn't really want him as he grew older, as we took him back a couple of times, so they knew where he was when they couldn't find him, and one day my DH was out in their yard talking to them when their cat walked up, and the mom said something like, "oh, there's your cat."

After he started coming in our house through our cat door, eating our cat food and sleeping on our bed, I guess he chose us. After about 6 months of this, we took him to get neutered and vaccinated, and have been caring for him ever since. I do think the little girl believes her cat ran away, because a few months ago we were out with our kids riding bicycles down the cul-de-sac and the little girl was so excited to see "her" cat, like she hadn't seen him in a long time (and we just live across the street, to the side of our house). However, he still came back home with us later on.

Okay, to the point of my post:

I've done some reading on the cat feeding threads here, and I know my DH (who is the stay-at-home dad who takes primary care of our pets and children) would never go for the raw food diet. I was looking at the Wellness Core dry food or the Wellness Complete, but the closest place for us to get it is about 45 miles away in an area we rarely visit. Can anyone possibly give me some other good brands to look into that might be a little more readily available locally? I looked at it online, but the shipping was nearly as expensive as the bag of cat food.

Has anyone switched their cats from a diet of something like Purina to something healthier? What did you switch to, and did you notice a difference in your cats? How long did it take for you to notice the difference? If you feed dry food, do you leave it out, or do you only feed at certain times of day? How many times a day and how much do you feed?

Thanks for any help or advice.
 
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Jenni_Feathers

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Purina isn't a very good quality food. What types of stores do you have near you?

I feed my cats Taste of the Wild dry with Merrick canned. I get the TOTW at a local feedstore, and I get the Merrick through my Guinea Pigs' vet.

When they were younger we had them on Meow Mix (didn't know any better) and when we switched then, we just did it really slowly, over the period of a few weeks. We'd feed the mostly MM, with just a tad of the TOTW, and over time we added more TOTW and less MM, untill we were feeding only the TOTW. I did notice a difference in their coats, their coats are much nicer, and shinier on the TOTW.

We do measured feedings, at certain times of the day. They are 3 bowls, all in different locations. In one bowl they get 1/4 cup, in one they get 1/4 cup and in the other they get 1/3 cup. So they get all together less than 1 cup a day total (for 2 cats). Then with the canned food they get in the morning, they each get half of the (3.2 oz) can.

Some other brands to look into would be:
-Chicken Soup For The Pet Lovers Soul
-Taste of the Wild
-Felidae
-Innova
-Blue Buffalo
-Natural Balance
-Before Grain
-Now!
-Nature's Variety
-Acana
-Fromm
-California Natual
-TimberWolf
-Wysong
-Solid Gold
-Orijen

...just to name a few.
 

guineapigluver1

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The best food is grain free. The grain free brands I like are Wellness CORE, Innova EVO and Nature's Variety Instinct. I thought our cats fur was soft when we had them on a good food with grains, but when we took them off of grains and used mainly canned food, what a difference! Very soft and silky fur. I want to start doing raw again (model prey this time), but don't know when that will happen.
Is ordering a possibility?

Edit-
Sorry, just saw that ordering isn't a possibility.
It isn't a good idea to let the food just sit out all the time, it can lead to weight problems. I feed three times a day, one three ounce can per meal with a little dry food mixed in (probably about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon).
Don't know why they eat so little, as they are quite active, but none are underweight.
 
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ferndalezoo

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Due to a number of factors, we feed our cats a middle-of-the-road brand of kibble (Kirkland, from Costco). It's better than purina, iams, eukanuba, etc, but not anywhere near top-of-the line. It does have grains, but no corn, no byproducts, etc, and nothing artificial. It's the best we can afford while still feeding all the other mouths that need fed in our home-- and additionally, it's the only thing I've found that my extremely picky cat will eat, while simultaneously agreeing with my less-picky-but-sensitive cat's system. Sigh.

Our ferrets, on the other hand, are fed Nature's Variety Instinct. It's a grain-free kibble, with a probiotic coating. With its high protein and fat content, it is appropriate for ferrets-- moreso than a lot of "ferret" foods on the market. It made Puck (sensitive cat) violently ill, but he's a freak. :rolleyes:

Just remember that if you do switch, slow and steady is best. Mix the new food in with the old, a little more at a time, until they are eating just the new food.
 

Paula

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The two foods I alternate between for my cat are Merrick Before Grain and Wellness Indoor Health. I have a very picky eater so I have to mix it up or he'll lose interest pretty quick.

Years ago I fed Purina and my cat just loved it but ultimately it wasn't very good for him so we switched. He lost a little weight on the better quality food and overall seems to feel better. That could just be my wishful thinking, but overall he seems to be much happier and healthier.

There's some good info on cat food in this thread started a few months back too.
 
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