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The Cat Food Conundrum & Information Overload

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by saartje, Aug 14, 2019 at 8:46 PM.


  1. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    I have been reading lots of sources of information on cat food on here and am a little confused.

    Over here in the Albert Heijn which is a major supermarket chain they sell Felix, IAMs, Sheba, power cat and Albert Heijns own branded cat food in wet food and the same again in dry food plus perfect fit, whiskas, purina one and Vitakraft Triggles dry foods

    Saatje our cat is an indoor and outdoor cat and does hunt as we get little presents everytime she does but when she is in we have been feeding her for the last 9 years IAMs dry and wet food leaving down water as well.

    From what I have read on here people have been saying this is not very good for cats, although Saartje has not had any health problems with feeding her IAMs wet and dry food.

    The vets over here frown unpon feeding cats raw food or at least the one we use does and tells us it is wrong as it would not be balanced and would be dangerous to feed raw food. Reading some of the threads it worries me even considering raw feeding if TB can be caught from meats like raw pork, venison etc.

    We do not want to put our girl at risk of anything that may harm her food wise.

    Also we don't want to go buying loads of new food brands for them to be rejected and upsetting Saartje by taking away what she has liked all these years we have had her in our lives.

    We do want to do everything to ensure Saartje eats what she should be eating but are now wondering if we are actually doing wrong feeding her the food we are feeding at the moment.

    My brain is in overload with all the different opinions on the cat food related threads on here and I am getting completely confused if we should be doing anything different than we are doing relating to what foods we should be feeding and avoiding.

    Saartje is a relatively active for a 10 year old cat and in excellent health.




    I say we alot I know but this is because my partner also feeds Saartje so this would be a joint decision if we decide to take any advice and change Saartje's foods that we feed her, he has an active role in her care as well.

    I have also read the information on the Cats Info link and Feline Nutrition link.

    I guess I am asking what should we do next?

    Any advice is very welcome.
     
    #1 saartje, Aug 14, 2019 at 8:46 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 8:56 PM
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @saartje - it is highly unlikely that TB could be caught from farmed raw pork in any country (e.g. the EU) that has strict food hygiene regulations, including meat inspection at abattoirs.

    The raw venison that was infected with Bovine TB was wild venison, not farmed, but it's true it had been passed as fit for consumption somewhere along the chain of responsibility for inspection.

    I do not feed my cats dry food (kibble) but if I did I wouldn't choose IAMS as it's not one of the best quality; if you have a look at the ingredients you will see what I mean. ;)

    I think many younger cats can probably get by OK on a dry food diet. But cats as a species are not designed to drink much water , they are designed to get their fluids in their food (prey). My major concern would be chronic low level dehydration and the harm this could cause to a cat's health over years fed a dry food diet, or a 50% dry food diet. i.e. harm to their internal organs, especially their kidneys.

    Certainly I would never recommend feeding a cat who has chronic kidney disease any dry food at all. Your cat is 9 and now regarded as being "middle aged" in cat years. It is the time in her life to start being extra sensitive to potential chronic health issues as she gets older, so that she may continue to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

    To me that means looking after her kidneys by feeding a high moisture diet, (wet food or raw) so her kidney function remains good into her teens. And feeding her a low carb diet to avoid the risk of Diabetes Type 2. Dry food without exception is high in carbs, which are unhealthy for cats of any age, but particularly bad for older cats. If you really are keen to feed some dry food I would choose Thrive Premium Plus which is the lowest in carbs that I know of, is high in meat protein and has fewer ingredients than most dry foods.
     
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  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't stress yourself too much over raw feeding if you don't want to do it (though if she is hunting she is already eating raw :))

    But I would certainly urge you to eliminate the dry kibble and keep her on an all wet diet.

    Most vets are anti-raw, sadly. If they would spend some time learning about it and help people who want to feed raw instead of trying to scare monger, perhaps they wouldn't need to worry so much about people feeding unbalanced diets.

    I feed a rotation of two premixes (Food Fur Life's EZcomplete and Alnutrin), and prey model on Sundays.(with egg shell calcium instead of bone). I used to also feed a commercial frozen product in the rotation, but they have had to close down due to FDA persecution. EZcomplete does ship to the UK, but I don't think Alnutrin does.

    Both websites have some good useful information. Food Fur Life offers articles and resources on various health conditions and other topics as well. You could spend some time browsing around, just to get a feel for it, if you are thinking about raw feeding. It's not something that has to be done all at once. The way I feed now, 7 1/2 years after starting is completely different from the way I started, and has evolved a number of times over the years. :)
     
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  4. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    Thank you both for your replies which I have read thoroughly.

    @chillminx I am sorry if I gave you the impression about Saartje's age, she is actually 10. We fed her the kitten food that came with her when we got her and then moved her over to Iams dry and wet food. I don't think we can get thrive premium plus over here in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, I have not seen it for sale in the Albert Heijn supermarket.

    @lorilu thank you for the websites. I don't live in UK so I don't know if we would be able to get these two premixes over here in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, but they do sound really interesting. I will have a good read of both websites today when I have a bit more time, perhaps after work.

    I will do more reading before approaching my partner as I would have to really sell the idea of moving Saartje over to a new diet to my partner (long conversation in Dutch) as he does have an active role in her health and wellbeing like I do as well and it would have to be a joint decision as Saartje belongs to us both and she means alot to us both.

    I realise that raw feed is the closest to the most natural way to feed her so perhaps this would be the avenue to explore, but would have to really read more on this. I know the vet we use will probably discourage us. Yes Saartje hunts and brings us back mice and birds when she decides to go out (she does spend alot of time indoors with us as well lately). I haven't seen Saartje eat any of her prey yet she just leaves it in our home or on the doorstep.

    I may have some questions later on. Would it be ok to ask them and get yours and others replies? It is great reading yours and others experiences as well, it helps to understand things better.

    Thank you once again for your replies so far.
     
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  5. ChaosCat

    ChaosCat PetForums VIP

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    In case you decide to try better wet food brands, like the ones recommended here
    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads...-just-the-good-stuff-work-in-progress.440844/
    Zooplus does deliver to the Netherlands. You can order single pouches of different brands to see what saartje eats. As I have no idea what the IAMs wet food is like I can’t recommend anything in particular.

    With friends’ cats I have found that the ones used to 'supermarket food’ are most easily transitioned to Smilla and Bozita tetra packs with chunks in jelly/ sauce or Smilla pate. Animonda Carny goes down well, too.
     
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  6. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    I will have a look at the link you have provided later when I have more time. On my way to work presently.

    Thank you for your recommendation.
     
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  7. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    When you go to that link, have a look for Felini complete (a "completer" to add to raw, if you decide to try that). You can also get Thrive dry food from ZP. At least, you can from the English site not sure about your Dutch site.

    Ps. Sorry. I meant the ZP site
     
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  8. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    So my partner and I had a discussion last night and we have agreed to try the Felini Complete for €12.99 from Zooplus. We will inbetween be trying Saartje on small pieces of uncooked boneless meats like chicken breasts, beef and lamb (lamb is quite expensive) now and again. We don't eat meat as we are on the verge of going onto a vegan diet from a vegetarian diet, the meat will be purchased for Saartje specifically.

    Of course we keep her on her current diet along side trial with Saartje.

    I have contacted Alturin and they will ship to us here to the Netherlands but their prices seem high for us and looking at the prices of EZComplete this seems high to this is why we chose to go with Felini Complete as a trial to see if Saartje will eat meat with this on it.

    We did look at the link with other foods on it like Garu etc but we don't want to be spending alot of money on food trials for the food to be rejected by Saartje and thrown away. This is why we thought we would try a trial of raw meat with Saartje to see how she gets on alongside her current diet.

    Thank you all for your suggestions and advice it has been helpful. Now we will see how things go.
     
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  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Saartje, it sounds like a great plan.:)

    Just to add, I would go for off-the-bone chicken leg (or drumstick) rather than chicken breast, as muscle meat contains more taurine than breast meat, and the meat is more flavoursome for the cat.
     
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  10. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    Thank you for recommending this to us we will definitely buy some off the bone chicken legs or drum sticks and debone them.
     
  11. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    The meat can be cooked with the bone in, and then more easily de-boned before feeding the meat to your cat. :)
     
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  12. ribbon

    ribbon Resident idiot

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    Is felini complete not meant for raw meat? Would it still make food complete if the meat is cooked? Would be perfect for me if so, I have quite specific reasons why I can't feed raw but I'm sure my cats would love more cooked meat and I rather they have that then the poor quality cat food they prefer!
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    The makers of Felini Complete state it can be used to supplement raw or cooked meat. :) I asked Zooplus to confirm this with the makers a few yrs ago.


    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/supplements_specialty_cat_food/vitamins/155860
     
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  14. ribbon

    ribbon Resident idiot

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  15. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    I agree with you that you can overthink this, there is so much varying advice about what is 'best'. My own cats in the past caught and ate their own food, (rabbits, voles, mice) but that is not the same as buying raw food for them which I personally wouldn't do. I currently have a 6 year old who catches his own which forms a high proportion of his diet, last year he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and is likely to die within a year... and my neighbours cat who caught his own meals died of stomach cancer aged 5... and I had a cat with IBD who vomited up his own fresh-caught rabbit but happily ate the prescribed Hills dry food. So IME a natural diet is over-rated (but obviously that is just my experience, others will have different views).

    So I just choose food which my cats enjoy, doesn't cause them any immediate issues, and seems reasonably nutritious (80% wet, 20% dry). They eat Felix (I know, shocking) but once a day they also have a high protein meal like cooked chicken drumsticks, white fish, tuna, or a Thrive-type tin of chicken. It's my version of what I currently think seems a reasonable diet - not perfect, but good enough. I think you just have to try different foods and see what works for your cats.
     
  16. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    Today was Saartje's first day off dry food. She had her usual IAMs wet food slightly reduced so she could have a small amount of raw chicken drumstick off the bone in a separate bowl as a treat and she loved every bit of what she ate. So things looking positive so far.

    We are going to continue without giving Saartje dry food and give her raw chicken drumstick a few times a week to start with as a treat so she doesn't lose interest in having raw chicken drumstick.

    Is it ok to leave raw meat out throughout the day or is it dangerous?
     
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  17. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    All raw meat contains bacteria, and once it is defrosted the bacteria increases. In the fridge it increases at a fairly slow rate, but at room temperature it increases at quite a rapid rate.

    I wouldn't leave raw meat out at room temperature for your cat for longer than a couple of hours; not all day.

    I know some people serve it still frozen in a timed autofeeder and by the time the feeder opens the meat has defrosted. Quite a good solution.

    Also it is possible to buy timed autofeeders with freezer packs included, (you freeze them before use under the feeder) and using those with frozen meat would delay the defrosting process further.
     
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  18. saartje

    saartje Hallo

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    Thank you for your advice.

    We was just thinking if we was at work if we could leave out some raw meat for during the day, but from reading what you said it is not a good idea. We will therefore give Saartje the raw meat treat in the evening a couple of times a week to start with.

    We was really happy she enjoyed the amount she had today along side her IAMs wet food.
     
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