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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

I recently posted about training kittens not to bite etc...However, after a little bit more thought and research, I think the more important question is, 'What is the best nutrition for my kitties'?

They're on Whiskers at the moment but am very sceptical as to how good it is for them. I'm assuming Whiskers is like the McDonalds of the feline world? I think it's really important to give them a healthy and nutritional diet, so do you have any suggestions? I don't mind spending the extra money if it means eliminating future health risks.

If you do have any suggestions, can you please let me know where I can purchase food from?

Thank you in advance
 

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My normal missive - sorry about the cut and paste - :eek:

Firstly if you can try to get them off the dry - they do 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.

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. You did really well with your cat. But . . . and here's the crunch; was it a solely indoor cat fed ONLY that and not supplementing it's diet outside. If it was you got lucky, if it wasn't then the natural food it ate helped it along.

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.

Hope that helps.

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
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fantastic!

Thank you for the detailed information. I did'nt want to just buy something and feed it to my felines just because someone said so. The info you provided makes total sense.

May I ask, is there a reason why you mix certain foods? Does one contain nutrients the other doesn't and vise versa?

Once again, thanks for the info :)
 

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Basically, and quickly as I'm due to go out (but will be back later), I feed a rotation of stuff as that makes sure I cover all the nutritional basis as some to the labelling on some brands leaves a lot to be desired AND it stop the cats getting bored AND it means that if one brands changes it's recipe or goes bust then my cats aren't left with nothing to eat (either thorough lack of food, or not liking the new flavour). Simples.
 

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Rotating foods is mostly so cats don't get bored or fussy, and if they stop making one of the brands you use, you have plenty of fallback foods. This happened to me recently - one of the foods in my rotation was TigerCat, a decent quality and reasonably priced grain-free wet food. Sadly, the manufacturer seems to have gone out of business and I'm unable to order it anymore. Luckily, I feed a large rotation (Animonda Carny, Grau, Smilla, Catz Finefood, Mac's, Granatapet,...) and I don't think my cats even noticed, even if they did like TigerCat.

I have also read that while many foods are good, most aren't perfect, and rotating lets one food "pick up the slack" in another. For example, one of my cats develops the runny bottom if fed too much Bozita, but in small quantities she's fine, and as they both like it a lot, I still order s little from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ahaa I see. So don't mix the brands, ROTATE. Excellent. I already feel better that Max & Buena will be on a MUCH HEALTHIER diet!

A massive thank you guys....simples. :)
 

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Not that mixing is something to be avoided at all costs either, you know. :) Say if you have some left in the fridge from the previous meal, nothing wrong with adding it to freshly opened food - if your cats will eat refrigerated food, of course. Mine seem to like it better when I store it in tupperware, not the tin.
 

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Spid, that's a great reply! As a whole prey feeder (to a neautered male) I feel great knowing I'm doing the best by my boy.

Tomorrow night sees our latest addition move in - a teeny tiny 9 week old female. For her I'm going to start on pinkies and small mice before introducing quails, chicks and rats.

I would suggest introducing a bit of heart to your kitten if you're going down the raw route. When our male, Otto, started out on raw he loved this! Though be careful with raw; they need a lot more than just meat and offal.

In my experience of producing frankenprey (a mixture of raw meats and parts), it's so much easier and surprisingly cleaner to feed whole prey. It all goes down in one! Do make sure though if you feed rats to put a weight on the tale to avoid the rat ending up in your bed or splattered up your skirting board.
 

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I am so glad I came across this thread!! I was considering iams as a dry but I am doubting myself now.

Pennies are tight so I try my best to feed them the best I can afford. Where do you get your prey to feed as would like a stock for treats in the freezer xx
 

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Tami, I get 100 rats, 100 chicks, and odd mice and pinkies from TSM pet supplies. If you're going to feed raw make sure there's variety. Try out dicing up rabbit and pheasant and feeding whole fish and smaller birds like quail. Don't remove anything too, and I don't suggest buying quail from a butchers as they gut them.

Most affordable way is to bulk buy and vary how much and what you feed. For example, some days Otto just has a rat, or a rat and a chick, or two chicks. Annual cost for his food is just under £500 a year. I suggest having a peek at the daily average costs marked up in Pets At Home on cat foods. This made me realise just how ridiculous the commercial cat food market is. Applaws is something like £4.50 a day, but it's just shredded chicken breast (human food, barely any taurine etc). Then obviously there's cheaper daily averages around £1.50 which speaks for itself.

Good luck!
 

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Right I have spoken to th oh as he feeds them also and he seems keen to try! I am going to have a very good read of the basic raw thread and get as much info as poss!

Moto is only 6 weeks is this to early to think about raw for him or will he be ok? Xxx
 

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Tami as long as he's onto solid food and doing well on it, he'll be ready. Try cutting up the food (I tend to get a pair of sharp kitchen scissors and cut mice or rats into small chunks). Just make sure the bones are small and supervise him eating. Here is a pic of my nine week kitten enjoying her rat!

You'll be surprised how quickly their instinct kicks in - she gobbled an entire chick today and I hadn't prepared it for her.

 
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