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Food confusion still

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Lunaowen, Jan 24, 2012.


  1. Lunaowen

    Lunaowen PetForums Member

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    Hi guys,
    I have read the info reccomended on food etc and also taken on board advice given.
    However I have just read the info pack given to me from the vets for my Kitten and feel confused again. I was going to look at ordering from Zooplus but wasn't keen on the idea of ordering food from internet, just a personal thing.
    The info pack reccomends not buying supermarket foods and tinned foods also but then goes on to say we reccomend a good quality dry food that is low in salt and provides excellent and complete nutrition for your growing kitten. The foods we reccomend have a ' closed formula' which means the ingredient list must remain the same. The brand that is super premium and meets our standards is Royal Canin. Then change to adult formulation of same brand at 6 months old and senior version at 7 years old. Also we really like the 'neuteured cat' diet which is lower in calories.
    I thought dry food was a no,no on its own anyway.
    Can anyone give me more advice on this and also if they disagree with this advice is there anything else they would advise I could use instead of shopping on internet.
    Thankyou x x:smile5:
     
  2. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    An all dry diet is never a good thing. It can lead to dehydration and the formation of urinary crystals which in turn cause very real problems with a cat's ability to urinate. This leads to an unhappy cat and large vet bills.

    That being said, I do have Royal Canin down for mine to graze on, but there's a number of reasons I feel comfortable doing this.

    Firstly, my older girl will not eat enough wet food to maintain her weight, whereas she will maintain really nicely if I give her the option of dry as well.

    Secondly, as mine are Persians and RC offers a Persian formula which is easy for them to eat and controls hairballs really well, it works in mine and the cats' favour to have it.

    Thirdly, when I tried to change them to a better quality dry food, they vomitted constantly, so it just wasn't viable for me.

    If you absolutely have to feed dry, then you'd be better buying something like Origin or Acana as the meat content is much higher and they are grain free foods. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they can only draw nutrition from meat, nothing else. Because of this, foods which are bulked out with veg or grains will do them no good. You're paying for that extra volume just for the cats to poo it out and the manufacturer to make a bigger profit. you will have to feed more of the food which in turn will cost you more, and you'll spend more on litter because the kitten will poo more. Meanwhile, their systems are working harder to process things that will do them no good and could lead to conditions such as diabetes.

    So, to summarise, I wouldn't feed only Royal Canin. It's a dry food which comes with its own problems, and it's packed with grains. However, I see no problem with this as a grazing food if you're feeding a good quality wet diet which makes up most of the kittens' intake.

    There are a few decent foods available through shops, but nothing is as good a quality as you can buy on the net I'm afraid.

    If you have a local pet shop, have a word with them as they will sometimes order in Bozita. The pate is the best type, and this comes in reindeer or turkey. I feed mine turkey as they get on better with it, and it's a closer approximation to what they're likely to get in the wild. I.e, they're far more likely to eat a bird than a reindeer, even if that bird isn't a turkey.

    If the pet shop won't order it for you, then you have a few more options. Asda stock a food called Toplife Chicken Dinner. The meat chunks have something like 92% meat in them, but they come in jelly, so you're paying for that as well. However, mine were fed on this and seemed to get on with it just fine. They're £1 per carton, but that's 360 grams. So it works out at about 28P per 100 grams.

    From Pets at Home, you can buy wet foods from the Purely range. These too come in jelly, but have a reasonable meat content, and they do come in a few flavours. Mine used to eat them like they were going out of fashion, then went right off them for some reason. They're about £5 for 12. I can't remember whether each pouch is 85G or 100, but I think it's 85. If they're 85G, that works out at 49P per 100 grams. If each pouch is 100G, that works out at 42P per 100 grams.

    Pets at Home also stock Nature's Menu. This is a really nice food, but a lot of people find that it's too rich, and it gives their cats the runs. I can't use it with mine, however nice it is. I can't remember the price, but I think it was about £6.49 for 12 pouches. Not at all sure I'm right though.

    HiLife can also be bought in supermarkets. This is very like the Purely in that it comes in jelly, or at least, the ones I've had come in jelly. The meat content isn't so great though, but it's still better than the usual supermarket stuff.

    Butchers do a range of cat food which has a good meat content, but if I remember rightly, the calcium to phospherous ratio was massively imbalanced, so perhaps not a good idea to feed that one unless you're prepared to supplement.

    So all in all, there's a reasonable choice of decent quality wet foods that you can buy off the shelf. My top choices would be the Bozita, then the Toplife, then the Purely. The only reason Nature's Menu isn't in there is because of the runny bum issue.

    Of course, you could always feed raw, but I haven't been brave enough to do that yet, and anyway, my freezer isn't big enough to store the food in.

    Hope this helps.
     
    dagny0823 likes this.
  3. wellsandmittens

    wellsandmittens PetForums Member

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    Hi there. I am no expert on feeding but my understanding is that cats are designed to eat a wet diet, which in the wild would be prey animals. They originate from hotter climes where water might be scarce and therefore do not have much of a drink reflex. It is therefore better for them if they get the moisture they need straight from their food. Dry fed cats do tend to drink more but apparently never make up the amount of moisture that they need. This permanent dehydration leads to bladder problems and sometimes even kidney failure. The problem is worsened by the fact that a lot of dry foods contain loads of fillers, typically grains, which cats are not good at digesting and this sort of food has been linked to problems such as diabetes. For that reason, a lot of people choose not to dry feed at all, or if they do make it a small part of the overall diet (as carly87 describes).

    Vets tend to complicate matters as they don't actually get much education about nutrition when they are trained and what they do get is often a sponsored seminar by the likes of Hills or Royal Canin so unless they investigate the issue themselves they will have very little understanding of pet nutrition. When they are working, reps from this sort of company come to the practice to tell vets how wonderful their foods are. Because a lot of other companies don't do this, including a lot of the foods you will see recommended here, vets will agree to sell these foods at their surgeries. Don't forget that in many cases they just don't know any better. They also get a % of the profit for doing this.

    In terms of getting better quality food for your kitty, some people on here would say that any wet is better than any dry, so you would be better off with supermarket own brand rather than buying the Royal Canin. Carly87 has made some good suggestions for other things that you could buy without using the internet, although ultimately I'm afraid that's really the only way to go to get really good quality food that doesn't cost too much. I'm not sure why you don't like the idea of it but honestly it's very easy as long as you have somewhere the food can be delivered to if you're out at work.
     
  4. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    I don't like using the internet for essentials like food because I worry about what if the delivery was late, the product was withdrawn etc, and my cat refused to eat shop food...?! If it was my own house with space to store food bought in bulk, I'd order more, but I don't feel it's fair on my elderly parents to keep getting deliveries when I'm out at work.
     
  5. notsure

    notsure PetForums Senior

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    There is a really good beginners guide for feeding cats here: http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-heal...beginners-more-seasoned-cat-owners-alike.html it should answer many of your questions (including those you didn't know enough to ask).

    Like others have said, vets get thier nutrition knowledge from the companies that make the food, so that information should be treated as naturally biased towards the foods they sell.

    It may be hard at first to get used to the idea that your vet isn't always right - but look at it this way - they have to have a broad knowledge about a large number of species (humans are humans the world over, but our pets are so varied - dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, mice, snakes etc etc), and so rarely get to go indepth about any particular one unless they are particularly interested. Once you get your head around this, it starts to become easier to accept that vets don't always know what's best, and that doing your own research is essential.
     
    #5 notsure, Jan 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  6. Lunaowen

    Lunaowen PetForums Member

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    I didn't trust my vet that's why I asked on here coz I'm well aware that they like Drs don't know everything. I learnt the hard way to trust my own instincts with the Drs and when reading the info it didn't feel right.
    The only reason don't want to order on net is in case I run out or it's late being delivered really. Can you pick the day it's delivered?
    I did read it's good to give them a bit of mixed diet if poss as in different wet foods so I might try ordering the carny off zooplus then one of the recommended ones that have been suggested on here a couple of times a week that way if it goes pear shaped I have a backup.
    She does have wet and dry at mo but hardly any dry and just for grazing. I give her one whole pouch now which I upped from half yesterday and she dud keep letting off wind last night not pleasant.
    Want to order some food on pay day then I can try swapping her or mixing it till the whiskas runs out.
    Do I go for carney kitten or does it not really matter I have seen & read different things like adult food is fine and they don't need the kitten food? Also how much should I order, does anyone know what the recommended quantity is for a 3 month old kitten?
    Really appreciate the feedback thankyou
    X x x
     
  7. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Don't bother with the kitten food. The adult stuff is super quality, so the kitten range is just a money maker for the manufacturers.

    If you're only feeding her 1 poutch a day, that's not really enough for a growing kitten. You should feed her as much as she'll eat at this stage, as she does some huge growing in the next few months.
     
  8. jo-pop

    jo-pop PetForums VIP

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    What I would have said ;)
     
  9. notsure

    notsure PetForums Senior

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    I fully understand the worry about food not arriving in time - I can't order from zooplus (not being in one of the countries they deliver to), but am lucky enough that my local petshop is willing to order in Bozita for me - unfortunately we've been caught short a few times when their order has been late - so I end up having to feed the boys whiskas for a day or two (it's that or RC or Hills).

    One idea would be to order a little bit more than you actually think you will need (ie next month I'll be ordering 2.5 months worth of food rather than my usual monthly order) so you have some set aside just in case if that isn't possible, another idea is to maybe look at including maybe 1 or 2 of the brands suggested above as being available at the supermarket/pets at home, as part of your general food rotation - that way if an order is late you have something available locally to fall back on.
     
  10. Jansheff

    Jansheff PetForums VIP

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    I've been buying from Zooplus for about a year now and have never had a problem with running out because of late deliveries. I tend to re-order when I can see that I've got about a week to ten days' worth of food left, then I don't have a problem. I usually order about a month's worth of food at a time, but we do have a cellar to bung it down. Over Christmas I ordered extra early because I didn't want to be running out close to the holiday period when it would take longer. It just takes a bit of planning ahead. If we're not in when they deliver it either gets left with next door, or taken to the local Spar which is a pick up place for parcels, it open long hours so we can pick it up virtually any time.

    It's wonderful not to have to carry heavy tins and great bags of litter from the supermarket!
     
  11. wellsandmittens

    wellsandmittens PetForums Member

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    I have an embarrassing number of tins of cat food in my garage at any one time so running out is not an issue I realistically have to bother about. I can see that it would be more of a problem if you don't have space to keep a lot of food since I don't personally think I am organised enough to keep a close eye on stocks and think ahead to order more in time. In any case, for a number of reasons (not least that my cats love them) I still feed some supermarket brands anyway so I wouldn't have to worry even if I did run out, they just might get a few more tins of Felix than normal until the delivery came. They would probably be very pleased!

    PS I know that Whiskas/Felix/Classic etc are not the best for my cats but they get a bit of everything, some better quality stuff, some less good quality and the odd bit of raw mixed in for good measure. It works for us and seems to keep them happy.
     
  12. notsure

    notsure PetForums Senior

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    Although having to order full boxes (16 tetras per box) of Bozita at a time has been annoying in that it has meant I've been restricted to 4 flavours in a month, the flipside is that I don't have to deal with individual tetras. My usual practice is to put all the boxes on the table, open them & sort them so I have them in feeding order, and have then put them back into the boxes they came in - I then stack them on the sideboard in the kitchen hallway. Not sure I'll stack them all on the sideboard when I order 10 boxes next month though I'll probably stack the majority of them on the floor beside the sideboard - as I don't want to put 60kg of catfood on it (160 tetras).
     
  13. anotheruser

    anotheruser PetForums Senior

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    While I do agree with you to an extent, I would suggest cats have come a long way from when and where they originated, therefore their reflex will be a lot higher than people think... I think :p


    If you don't trust your vet, you should find another one.
    While I do agree, some vets can be indifferent to the way many here bring up their kitties, I would suggest they do (to some extent) know what they are talking about.
    In the end I take advice from my vet and based on that, make a choice.


    Depends where you order from and how you feed.

    Me: Two cats, fed one tin per day between them.

    Buying online is easier. I thought it would be strange but now it's great and easy. I get Animonda Carney from ZooPlus, buying one pack of every flavour including the two fish ones. In fact, I buy the two multi-buy savers and end up with around 60 tins in total. When I have about 15 tins left (IE, 15 days) I will order some more, which always arrive in plenty of time (usually within 7 days). If the order was late, then I have some Asda Tiger pouches which they can have. Sometimes I feed these as a bit of a treat, but then I think I'm lucky as my kitties will eat anything.


    Mine grew up on about 200g a day and he is a perfect weight. But others here will say free feed (IE leave as much food down as the kitten will eat).
    To be on the safe side, if you have the storage space to store 60+ tins (the same size as baked beans), do what I do and get one Carney of every flavour. It's about £60 or so, but then lasts for 60 days. If you don't have the storage space, just buy less, but do look at their value packs near the bottom.
    I'd also recommend feeding up to one tin a day (400g) for the kitten. They won't starve, but I'd be cautious at porking the cat up too quickly. However, others are more knowledgeable in this area and may say different. :)
     
    #13 anotheruser, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  14. Lunaowen

    Lunaowen PetForums Member

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    Haven't been on for a while as working etc but thankyou for all advice. My husband is now looking into getting it and we are going to order some asap to try her on.
    She eats anything we have found out by accident as she opened a pack of wraps and ate round edges and also some choc muffins which hubby had put on side unopened and when he went to enjoy them with kids found the pack with the top of each muffin nibbled off. Luna luckily didn't get ill or anything although the hubby and kids were mortified as they no longer had a nice treat lol.
    She has recently learned how to open bin and then eat off top although think most the time she opens it then jumps off not witnessed her do it just bin lid open very frequently, however did find a shredded sandwich bag and one grape on floor so take it kids hadn't eaten the grapes so had been put in bin and Luna had got it.
    Am now going to childproof the house like for a toddler only for my cat LOL.
    New bin needed that cannot be opened, clips for cupboards if she learns to open them which i'm sure she will when big enough etc etc. :biggrin:
     
  15. MontyMaude

    MontyMaude PetForums VIP

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    You do realise that both grapes and chocolate are dangerous foods for cats or dogs to ingest.
     
  16. Lunaowen

    Lunaowen PetForums Member

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    Yes I do but she got it without us realising and like I said luckily she was ok that is why I am now kitten proofing house and there is never any food on kitchen sides. We have always kept our bread on top of toaster, cakes on side etc as kitchen and space is a challenge as quite small, it was done out of habit as we had only just had Luna really. She is bit of scamp when playful anyway have had to tie our voiles up as she kept ruining them and if i'm washing jumps in and out of washing machine playing ( have to make sure she is out before I actually do shut door or turn it on as that would be horrific.
    I have had dogs all my life whilst at parents and one of our own up till 4 years ago and I cringe when people give there's chocolate as I know how dangerous that is so I am aware but unlike cats dogs you have to give it them they don't jump on sides etc luckily.
    New to all this but doing our best am sooo glad she has been ok as would be mortified if she got ill.
    I work and one day went on my lunch only to find that the edge of my roll and bit of ham looked all broken or nibbled, realised with horror that Luna had got in and done that, she only could of had minutes to manage that as I put my lunch by front door in a carrier as about to leave but had nipped the toilet. I had no lunch that day and was not impressed. Now do my lunch as leaving and take it with me.
     
  17. scatchy

    scatchy PetForums Member

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    I've been reading the posts about cat food - what is good/bad, the wet or dry option and wanted to put forward a different view.
    I have been involved with cats for nearly 40 years. I took on 2 rescued kittens at 18 and over the years I have cared for many cats. For nearly 25 years I regularly fostered cats and looked after at least 200, probably more than 300. Of course I have had several generations of my own cats and I also worked in a boarding cattery for 7 years.
    I cannot help thinking rather too much emphasis is being put on scrutinising labels.
    Cat food is subject to marketing and to fashion.
    When I was a child I can remember only 2 types of tinned food.
    Since then we have seen more and more brands, all different flavours, different types of food i.e. in gravy, in jelly/ pate, etc.
    Then came pouches - pretty much the same food but a good excuse to charge more for a smaller amount aswell as adding to the waste packing problem.
    Of course, we had the introduction of complete dry foods back in the eighties was it? which we were led to beleive was the way forward. Now people seem to be turning against them and the latest trend is these so called natural foods. High priced brands from overseas.
    I am very sceptical about terms like "natural" and I know from human foods what it says of the label is not always a genuine reflection of the contents.
    I do feed my own cats on a "natural" food, have done for nearly 30 years. I do so because experience has demonstrated it to be a "good" food.
    I use Denes which has been around much longer than these latest super premium(super expensive) brands.
    I certainly will not be changing to one of these other in vogue brands as I see no need.
    The fact that I have seen kittens grow in to cats and live long and healthy lives on the food I use is more important than analysing labels.
    To any new cat owners looking for advice I would say remember that the posts on here are just opinions.
    Buy the best you can afford but don't feel like an inadequate owner because you cannot afford the most expensive.
    I am sure there are a huge number of cats reared on Whiskas or Felix that have lived long and happy lives.
    Also if your cats prefers a certain food why force him to eat something else?
    As the old joke about being teetotal goes you don't actually live longer - it just seems like it!
     
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