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Old 01-18-2008, 02:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Canned food w/no fish - our favorites...

I hope there's useful info in here for someone, if not - I had fun putting it together and Gracie had lots of fun doing all the eating research!

We started out so confused about food. Gracie came to us eating Iams hairball dry, but we just knew it was so processed and wrong. After browsing here I found and got a copy of Dr. Jean's () terrific "What Cats Should Eat" article, and then we took Gracie to our local vet, who pretty much agreed completely with the "wet food only, no corn, no fish" concept.

She additionally steers people away from beef, whole fruits or vegetables or soy, and also cautioned against long-term homemade food without occasionally periods of canned food. She said that after the food recall debacle, vets began seeing some deficiencies in home-fed cats, since home cooks do not have access to laboratories where they could test their source meats for quality and fine-tune their results if their purchased ingredients were lacking. I asked her about fish oil, and she said oil seems to be fine, but to stay away from fish and salmon especially because of high levels of histamines.

So here’s what we ended up liking the best, in order. All of them have synthetic vitamin K , but no fish, or blueberries or broccoli or whatever! We also give her a little raw meat if we are cooking it for us that day - ground turkey, chicken, a nibble of steak

Evangers Organic Braised Chicken – great, includes liver

Organics by Nature chicken, turkey and combo – same as above, a little mealy and dense but feels like you get your money’s worth

Natural Balance
duck & green pea, chicken & liver, venison & green pea – all with salmon oil, but the ingredients seem really good and Gracie gets really excited about all of them

Precise
chicken, turkey and triple delight – last one has beef, but I’m okay with it sometimes just not everyday; kind of sticky pasty texture

Sensible Choice chicken & rice: okay, simple ingredients – we rotate this one into the mix when we’ve got one of the richer or more expensive cans going at the same time, like duck or venison

Avoderm chicken chunks – soupy, difficult to serve, but if one of the other choices is dense or dry we serve them on the same plate

Evo 95% tried the duck, bought venison too – not sure the herring oil was so good, Gracie had a loose poop but liked it, not my favorite because of the price, too

These we won’t buy again:

Eagle Pack
Holistic Select: didn't work for us, there are chunks of vegetables in these; Gracie threw up undigested carrot pieces every time

Nature’s Recipe
rabbit & rice: walked away from the plate after first tasting – very strong gamy smell

Fran
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Evangers and Organics by Nature sound like ones I'd like to try for the girls, but they doesn't sound familiar, not sure if either of them are carried at either of my pet stores.

I'll print this whole list out and do some checking.

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I read your list with interest because I have to stay away from fish in my house; it gives Holly diarrhea.

I agree with no corn, wheat, soy, and my cats don't like beef anyway. But why no fruits and vegetables? Yeah, I know they don't need them, but they do supply a source of anti-oxidants and fiber. I've always gone with the theory that I would rather have a little fruit and veggies than carbs like rice, especially the brewers rice that is in Sensible Choice. Which is why I have foods like Nature's Variety and grain-free flavors of Wellness in my rotation. I don't feed exclusively grain free, but do choose the fruits and veggies over the grains a majority of the time. So I'm interest to know if that's a bad choice and why.

Also, a lot of the foods you're feeding are limited ingredient diets with novel proteins aimed at cats with food allergies. I tend to stay away from those foods as part of a daily diet because I wanted to have something to resort to if one of my cats develops allergies further down the line. I think it's common enough for that to happen that it's worth the precaution.

Everything I've read about fish oils for pets is very positive, great source of Omega-3. They don't cause the issues that actual fish does. And on a personal note, don't affect Holly either. Flaxseed oil is also an excellent alternative to fish oil.

On a personal preferences note...while my cats liked By Nature, I hated the smell. Bad enough, that I refuse to feed it to them.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback! I'd love to hear more opinions about the fruits and veggies issue, since our vet's main concern was that these ingredients are unnecessary and add expense, especially in the brands that focus on natural and/or organic ingredients. She feels like the organic folks are on the right track with their source meats and organ meats, but the other additives are just not needed. I wasn't sure if "not needed" also implies more work to digest or stress on the system or whatever...

Natural Balance is definitely the one with the most hypoallergenic offerings. I would love a few more duck or venison choices by other manufacturers. For Wellness and Nature's Variety, are the fruits and veggies in chunks, like Eagle Pack Holistic Select? If not, I'll give them a try for Gracie, too. The pet store clerks usually can't answer my really picky questions (too obsessive ), so I have just been going by labels. Eventually, I would like to have four or five brands that are favorites.

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Old 01-18-2008, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think I'll stick with my original approach on fruits and veggies then.

The Wellness is really ground up, no chunks in it. I do find a couple whole peas or pieces of carrots in the Nature's Variety Instinct.

I feed the Eagle Pack (turkey & barley or duck and oatmeal) and have never really noticed veggie chunks in it.

I really would stay away from the venison, rabbit, duck, of any brand to give yourself something to use if an allergy develops. Protein allergies are the most common food allergies for cats, chicken being the biggest culprit. Cats develop them over time, with continuous exposure. So if you're feeding all of the available proteins, there won't be anything that's new to use if something develops down the line. (I'm very sensitive to the food allergy thing because I've been there with an IBD kitty)

And if you're wondering why I go against my own advice and feed duck, it's because finding a decent dry food that doesn't have fish in it is darn near impossible. One of the few available is Eagle Pack duck & oatmeal. I feed about 1/8 cup dry per day so I have the convenience of dry when I can't be home for normal feeding times.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug
I think I'll stick with my original approach on fruits and veggies then.
Unless someone knows another reason why not to feed fruits and veggies, I will also continue with that approach. My cats love Wellness and I was really excited to add it to part of my routine. I was worried when I read the part about avoiding fruits and veggies.

Thanks for posting this thread, I have found it very helpful. I am currently trying to eliminate fish from my cat's diet and haven't taken the time to go through so many different brands.

Doodlebug~ Do you know which flavors of Wellness do not contain fish? I know you have to watch for that, so I thought you might know. Thanks
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wellness makes it easy...if fish isn't in the name, it's not in the food. I use the chicken and turkey. They don't like the beef & chicken.

Other fish free food I use:

Eagle Pack: Turkey & barley, Duck & Chicken
Nature's Variety Instinct: Chicken, occasionally Lamb
Merrick: Turducken, Grammy's Pot Pie
Weruva: Paw Lickin' Chicken, Grammy's Chicken Soup

Looks like Weruva has come out with a whole bunch more non-fish flavors. If you haven't seen Weruva food it's because they are fairly new to the cat food market. Best looking and smelling stuff I've ever seen....literally shredded white meat chicken and chunks of veggies, very saucy...looks more like pouch food. It's not a staple in my rotation but it makes for a nice change.
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Same here for the Wellness flavors, what are everyone's favorites? I think I will add those in and see how our kitty does, and also cut back on some of the Natural Balance ones, on good advice here.

As an aside, I wonder whether certain allergies, sensitivities and illnesses for cats are due to cumulative exposure to chemicals or pollutants? This isn't about IBD, but about FH (thyroid disease) but it also explains more about risks of fish for cats:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/08/cats.html

In California, our exposure to fire retardant chemicals is really high, since the state has stricter laws about new furniture, bedding, carpet, etc. (Also, lots of airtight, newer homes and cars - we're steeped in chemicals...) Poor kitties, I think they might be like the 'canaries in the coal mine' on a lot of chemical issues. (That's a mixed metaphor, eh?) If this warrants a different thread, I'll follow up. Food for thought...

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Old 01-18-2008, 03:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Of everything they get, I'd say the Wellness Turkey is the overwhelming favorite around here.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wellness "Sardine, Shrimp, and Crab" flavor is the favorite in my house! Oh wait...that might have fish in it...

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