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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya :)

Ok so my kitten Stella is 9 weeks old and she's the first cat I've ever owned so I'm a bit naive about her diet. I've read books and looked at some of the previous links in here but its making me more & more confused.

I've had her for 1 week now and I got her from a rescue centre so I've just kept her food the same as there really...

She always had dried food out to eat as and when she's hungry (which she does) and I'm giving her 1/2 pouch wet in the morning (which is kind of nibbles at) and a full pouch at tea time (which she has been nearly finishing)

Both wet and dried are Whiskers kitten, the wet is Simply Steamed.

Tbh I'm only using these because they were in offer at Pets at Home the day I got her and I'm reluctant to change incase they cause tummy probs

Can anyone recommend what I should be feeding her or if it's fine to stick with what I'm using? I read a debate about wet/dried and now I'm worried she's not getting the nutrients she needs

Many thanks xx
 

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Hello there,

Firstly if you can try to get her off the dry - she will love it - but we like cake but don't eat it all the time! It's full of completely unnecessary carbs that are there to bulk the food out and make it cheaper for the manufacturers to produce. Add to that that cats find it incredibly hard to metabolise you end up paying for them to poop it out. The additives and sugars that are in dry are a contributory factor to feline obesity.
Also dry is incredibly dehydrating for cats as cats have evolved to get 99% of their fluids from their prey and so have no natural thirst drive. For each 50g of dry they eat they need about 1/2 pint of water to counteract the dehydrating effects. Even with a water fountain most cats find this a hard amount of water to drink.
Dehydration can lead to kidney problems, UTIs and crystals forming in the bladder. This is especially bad for neutered boys (no idea why neutered) but boys because they have a longer urethral tract and often the crystals get stuck in their willy when they try to pass them and it is incredibly painful. Obviously not all cats will get this - but you have to weigh up the risks and decide to do what is best for you.

The worst wet is better than the best dry. Yes even Whiskas and Felix!

For wet the higher the meat percentage the better. I like to feed anything above 60% but tend to go for 97% or more, watch out for the offal content though.

I personally feed a mixture of raw, Bozita, Aminonda Carny (was feeding Smilla but it's just changed and I won't be buying it again), and Grau, I have fed Natures Menu and Hi-life in the past, and probably will again to replace the Smilla. Other good ones are Petnatur, Tiger etc. These foods are found either at Pet Supplies, Pet Food, Dog Food, Cat Food and Pet Accessories at Zooplus or other german suppliers. Other have ordered from the other suppliers but I haven't had the courage yet. Nature's Menu can be found at [email protected] as can Hi-life.

If you really need to feed dry - look at Orijen, Applaws, and Acana - these are grain free.

As with all good food they may seem more expensive (wet and dry) to begin with, but you feed less and they poop less, AND it's a lot less smelly.

SOme reading for you

Page Cannot Be Found
Does Dry Food Clean the Teeth? | Little Big Cat
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health
cat nutrition - blog
Feline Urinary Tract Health: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary Tract Infection by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: cat urinary tract health
Kidney Failure in Cats Symptoms and Treatment

I suppose it's all about risk.

Many people will quote the old lady down the road who smoked like a chimney, drank a quart of scotch a day, never exercised in her life and lived to be a 100. But they omit to tell you about the 50 others that fell by the wayside along the way. Many people do really well with their cats on 'rubbish' foods.

It's a very difficult and potentially contentious subject - pet foods have taken off in the last 25 years - the market is now HUGE and not enough adequate research has been done into the health effects and benefit of all these foods. The research that has been done is rarely independent and never long term. When we had my first cats they ate what was there, there were no dry foods, they hunted to supplement their diet (in fact that's what most cats were kept for - vermin control), there were no kittens or breed specific foods and yet most did well. Obesity and diabetes and kidney failure were rare. And yet all of those are on the rise in our feline population - as it is in humans.

And what is the contributing factor, what has changed for both us and cats? - DIET.

Cats can't digest grains/ carbs - but the makers of Felix and the like use a lot of grains/ cellulose fillers etc in their foods as it is actually cheaper than meat. So the cats struggle to digest it, what they do digest interferes with their biological systems and sometimes causes them to put on weight (as that is the bodies way of dealing with excess carbs), this then interferes with insulin production etc and you end up with diabetic cats (not all, just some). This is why cat poop on that diet stinks - they are getting rid of noxious waste. You pay for them to poop most of the Felix type food back out again and because the body doesn't like it it struggles to process it making it smelly in the process. Cats fed raw have almost odorless poops. Add in the fact that dry is a (imho) major contributing factor in UTIs, crystal forming, and kidney disease and you begin to see a bigger picture.

It's all about risk and minimising it. You can feed supermarket foods (and some are better than others) and your cat could live to be in its 20s, of that there is no doubting - but what if your cat is one of the other 50 that won't get to twenty and is more prone to weight gain, chronic kidney failure etc. You weigh up the risks and how to minimise them, you do your research, and then you make an informed choice. And if after all that you still want to feed Felix etc then do so.
 

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There are a lot of cat food experts on here who will you give you good detailed advice (I see one already has :)).

We got our first cat last month and we feed her high meat content wet food (HiLife - available from most supermarkets, Nature's Menu and Lily's Kitchen - both of which we buy online). She has a Orijen dry down so she can snack if she gets hungry between wet meals, and she gets raw chicken (wing or neck) once or twice a week as a treat, and a chicken heart every few days to boost her taurine. We'll likely be introducing a variety of different raw meats in future.

I've learned quickly what a minefield the world of cat food can be, and everyone has their own opinions, but I reckon ditching the Whiskas and choosing a wet food with as high a meat content as possible is a good start!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow thanks for all that - ill be spending tomorrow at work reading through all those links more thoroughly!!

I would like to keep her on some form of dry food as me & my partner are both at work through the day so it's likely she'll be left alone for at least 8hours...atm I'm using last of my holidays to enable me to work shorter days and my dad is popping in to feed her at lunch time...so I can't leave wet out all day can I?

I'm definately going to try some chicken hearts for her at the weekend tho :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also...sorry for what may be a daft question, but when you give her chicken wings do you taken the chicken off yourself or give it to her on the bone?
 

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Wow thanks for all that - ill be spending tomorrow at work reading through all those links more thoroughly!!

I would like to keep her on some form of dry food as me & my partner are both at work through the day so it's likely she'll be left alone for at least 8hours...atm I'm using last of my holidays to enable me to work shorter days and my dad is popping in to feed her at lunch time...so I can't leave wet out all day can I?

I'm definately going to try some chicken hearts for her at the weekend tho :)
I am in the same situation as you (working all day) and I use an automatic feeder for my kittens' lunch. Whatever food I will put in the feeder goes in the fridge the night before, so when I actually put it in the feeder it is still cold and has warmed up to room temperature by lunchtime. That way (I hope!) the food doesn't go bad before they eat it. So far it has worked really well and has completely avoided the need for dry food.
 

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Also...sorry for what may be a daft question, but when you give her chicken wings do you taken the chicken off yourself or give it to her on the bone?
On the bone - Yuki only strips the meat off them, but many cats eat the bone too which is very good for them! A lot of people who don't feed a raw diet still give their cats a raw wing once a week as a treat and to help clean their teeth.
 

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Hi and welcome!
When we got our kitty we kept him on the Whiskas kitten food he had at his old home until he settled in.
After doing research on here he's now off the Whiskas (was easier than expected!) and now eats a rotation of pets at home own brand Purely, Animonda carny, Grau and Bozita. He does get a bit of dry eat night as his bed time treat and he is in excellent condition and loves meal times.
Kitten food is a bit of a gimic from what I've read so try to get kitty on to good wet food when she settles in.
Good luck! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice - im going to look into the automatic feeders, they sound great!

I am slightly confused today though as I've had Stella to the vet for the first time this morning (we're both slightly traumatised now!) and when chatting to the vet about her diet, she said to try and get her off the wet food and only give her dried?? She gave me a free sample...are they paid to promote this?? I would have thought the vet knew best but I don't see how no meat is good for them, I thought they got a lot of their liquid intake from wet food also?

I understand when she's older and starts going out she'll be getting her own meat in the form of mice etc but thats a while away yet!!
 

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That's what my vet tried to do as well! They say it's better for their teeth apparently.
I stuck with advice I got on here as clearly there are some very experienced cat owners & breeders.
 

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it's so annoying what the vets drill into you! Especially as a new owner, when it's hard to make an informed choice.

We were told our cat had put on weight because she was on wet food and that we should switch to the dry version of the brand that they promote... and if we wanted to give wet as an occasional treat we should buy the same brand as it can make them fat using different brands. have you ever heard such rubbish!

((Our problem was we read the feeding guide lines on Zooplus and they were completely different to the guide lines recommended by the manufacturer! (And she is a bone idle kitty!) so now we've cut down she will probably start to lose a little weight again (she was still healthy weight but vet was concerned by the putting on of weight so quick) ))

Some times it's really hard to ignore some vets when they come out with stuff like that, just remember they are not as impartial as a human doctor - they make money, and obviously make more money from certain things.

All new cat owners all muddle through eventually! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for that, I'm more reassured and going to do my own research before deciding what to feed her :)

She loves the wet stuff and only just nibbles at the dry so I'd feel bad taking it away from her...I will be switching onto something with a higher meat content but as long as she eating and is healthy I'll be happy.

I did mention I'd never had a cat before...next thing I knew I was getting a sample...just thought they were being kind!! Lol
 
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