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Old 02-17-2009, 11:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do cats need variety?

So I've finally succeeded in eliminating dry food from my kitty's diet. I used to feed her Wellness Core, which she seemed almost addicted to (any kind of dry food for that matter). In addition I'd feed her some canned food (different brands).
She is a really picky eater, and very particular about the texture of her food, and so far I can only get her to eat WeRuVa Paw Lickin' Chicken canned food. I've had limited succes with other brands like Avoderm and Solid Gold, but lately she doesn't want to go near her food bowl when I feed her those.
My question is, would it be okay to feed her the WeRuVa canned food for the rest of her life? It seems to be an excellent brand, but would it affect my cat's health negatively if I were to feed it to her solely for the rest of her life. Any thoughts or help would be highly appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

Weruva may use high quality ingredients, but I would not recommend it as a primary diet, or even a large percentage of a cats diet. The reason why I would not recommend it is because of its very low fat and calorie content. One 5.5 oz can of the non-fish varieties has a mere 84 calories. Thats about half of the calorie content of most other high quality brands. Natural Balance, for instance, has 154 cal per 6 oz cans. Wellness ranges from 180-220 cal per 5.5 oz can depending on the variety. Innova Evo is around 200 if I remember right.
The fat % of Weruva foods is on average 1.4% and with moisture at 85%, thats about 9% on a dry matter basis, which is very very low.
I fed Weruva to one of my cats for a while, and when I noticed a very drastic dangerous drop in weight I started investigating. They do not post calorie content on their website, so I had to email the company for the information. It may be human grade, and cats may love the taste, but IMHO, it is not an appropriate diet for a cat. Cats need fat in their diet. Its a source of calories they utilize well, as well as important fatty acids. Thats what nature intended, not to mention that you'd need to feed 2-3 5.5 oz cans per day just to meet the calorie requirements of most cats (150-250 cal/day).

I would suggest using it only as a topper on other foods to make it more appealing to her while you transition her to wet food, but I think if you feed it long term you're going to run into problems.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

Cats NEED variety but they don't necessarily LIKE variety.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

My cats prefer variety and will turn their nose up if given the same brand/flavor for more than 2 or 3 meals in a row. I also believe that the variety of brands and flavors gives them better balance in nutrients...food A may have more Omega-3s, food B may be higher in fat etc.

That said, if a cat food says that it meets AAFCO standards then it should meet all nutritional needs of a cat, even if it's the only food fed.

That said, Weruva is a bit different than most foods. Most of the high end foods have ~200 (+/- 20 ish) calories in a 5.5 oz can. Weruva has 84 calories. These foods usually have the following make up:

Protein: 10%
Water: 70%
Fat: 5%
Carbs: 15%

Weruva make up is:

Protein: 10%
Water: 85%
Fat: 1.4%
Carbs: 3.6%

They're replacing carbs, which a cat doesn't need at all and are basically empty calories, with water. But they've also reduced the fat significantly, which concerns me. They claim that their calories are more bio-available than their competitors....that holds water if you compare them to Friskies, but not to Wellness or other high end brands.

So, with all of that info....here's what I'd recommend....watch her weight carefully. If she starts losing, then you know that there aren't enough calories. You can increase the quantity if she'll eat it or you may have to resort to other foods.

Have you tried using the Weruva as a topper? Give her one of the other foods, but put a spoonful of Weruva over the top?
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

Thank you all for the wealth of knowledge. I've been feeding my cat a third of a 5.5 oz. can 2 times a day, with a few treats here and there. She hasn't lost any weight, and she's extremely active and seems happy. I had no idea about the caloric content of the WeRuVa canned food though, so I am really happy I asked my question. I have tried mixing food, but she simply won't touch it when it contains the pate-style food, which most canned food seem to be. She'd rather starve, I suppose. I really wish she would eat the Wellness canned food, because I have about 20 cans of those.
Fortunately, I can donate it to my local shelter (where I got her from).
The only thing I know she'll eat for sure is the Fancy Feast grilled turkey and chicken.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

As long as her weight in maintained, that's the important thing.

Other foods that are chunky style:

Merrick
Nature's Variety Homestyle
Wellness pouches
Fromm

Tiki Cat is very similar to Weruva, but I don't know about the calories, they're not listed on the website. I need to stop at the pet store today, I'll see if it's on the can.

There's probably more chunky style, but just can't think of them right now. I'll check when I stop at the store today.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

Nutro Max 3 oz cans are all chunky and a fan favorite here--well until raw entered our lives.

Leslie
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

Thanks for the recommendations, doodlebug & Jack&Harley.
I haven't tried Fromm and Nutro Max yet, but have the others. I'll definitely post an update. My cat's just really weird, she only likes the shredded kind, and even that's not a guarantee she'll eat it.
Thanks again.

P.S. Does anyone know where I can get the individual Fromm cans online? I'd hate to be stuck with a couple of cases of food. I usually order from PetFoodDirect. I only have PetCo and Petsmart around.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do cats need variety?

I would try the Fromm website for a store locator. You might be surprised at the number of stores you have around you that carry the good foods.

Personally I would not recommend NutroMax. Many of their formulas have wheat gluten. Nutro was the first company to be hit by the major pet food recalls last year and there have been many anecdotal stories about the quality of their food since then. It's just enough to make me feel uncomfortable about their foods. Even without the recall issues, wheat gluten is a cheap source of concentrated protein that cats cannot process well. Wheat is also an ingredient that many cats are allergic to. So I would avoid wheat gluten even without the issues surrounding it.
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