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Old 01-30-2013, 09:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Still deliberating the expensive cat foods

Over my life I only have had 4 cats but we fed them regular commercial cat food from the grocery store with extra treats of protein like we ate.
They all lived until 16-17 years old and were happy cats. They were all indoor - outdoor cats in developed suburbs where kids played outside. I now adopted an abandoned cat and the one surviving offspring due to their necessity. I am reading about all the nutritional needs which basically translates to expensive cat food. And I am supposed to get their teeth I cleaned? I do read labels and try to do the best I can for the buck but I think of people who can't afford all this still have pets who have good lives. There are people who can't always afford to eat fresh fish because of the cost and they are relatively healthy. How does one reconcile all this with reality of circumstances?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think pet owners reconcile it by doing the best we can with the resources available (money, time, storage space, access to food to purchase, etc.) and what our pets will actually tolerate eating. No one is a perfect pet owner. If you can't do the absolute best thing, that's okay. Just do what you can.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To me, the key is to be educated and then do the best you can. For example, we all know wet is better than dry. Some people can't afford to feed 100% wet. But if they have the knowledge, then they can try to feed a can or two here or there. Maybe when they find a $5 bill on the ground, instead of splurging on Starbucks, they treat their cat to a few cans of wet food. It may not be ideal...but it helps.

As for teeth cleaning...yes there are a few cats that have chronic teeth issues and need a cleaning at the vets every year or two. I've never brushed or done anything for my cats teeth and have only done one cleaning per lifetime for each of my cats...usually around age 10. If a cleaning is needed then it's best to do it as the bacteria can cause all kinds of nasty problems, particularly heart issues. Knowing that it's something that will come up later in life, it's something to start saving for...put a dollar or two a week away and in 10 years you'll be covered. Of course there's always preventative maintenance...brushing, feeding chicken wings etc. That might push the cleaning off even further.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat owner again View Post
Over my life I only have had 4 cats but we fed them regular commercial cat food from the grocery store with extra treats of protein like we ate.
That is how my family was with our Himalayan. She lived to be at least 15 (maybe 16-17, not sure how old she was when we got her). We fed her Special Kitty, which was a very low quality brand, but it was cheap. She had health problems toward the end and I can only wonder if feeding her something like Taste of the Wild would have prolonged her life. She wasn't a big fan of wet food until the end...

With that being said, now that I have researched foods and have a cat of my own, I am feeding grain free Wellness (About $2.50 a can) and Innova dry. (although not grain free, it seems to keep her stool solid better than TOTW)

Like it was stated before, as long as you do the best you can, you are giving the cats a better life than they would have on the street. I don't know that a better food would have prolonged her life any more than a year...
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Doodle bug - can I feed the cat chicken wings? Funny they helped themselves to someone's garbage and I found chicken bones in the back yard. Do I cook the wings? I still don't understand how we can feed raw food without them getting parasites or bacteria?
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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$2.50 a can is my point. I hope you meant a big can but I don't like keeping them in the fridge open long. If my cat lives to 15, I think that is a good life. My mom is very old and the end of life is not go great.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I feed dry nature's recipe salmon recipe and 9 lives tuna with sometimes one of the other types. Then I pick a day and give them cooked chicken breast because I have been feeding my 15 year old dog that with natures recipe dry food and he is 15. This is the ingredients of the dry nature's recipe. I see my cats drinking water regularly.

Salmon, salmon meal, brown rice, chicken meal, pearled barley, brewers rice, pea protein, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, inositol, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, beta carotene, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), citric acid, yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cat owner again View Post
$2.50 a can is my point. I hope you meant a big can but I don't like keeping them in the fridge open long. If my cat lives to 15, I think that is a good life. My mom is very old and the end of life is not go great.
Prices can vary a lot depending on where you live. I buy the top of the line stuff, and the most I've paid around here is $1.89 for the huge cans that last for a few days. Prices can be very high in some areas, but $2.50 a can is not something standard. I would suggest you actually price them out locally and check if you could save money buying online before you decide you can't afford it.

I also think it's important to remember that there's a lot of middle ground between EVO and Special Kitty, for example. If you can't afford the foods with the highest quality formulas, no need to give up on the whole thing - there are a lot of mid-range foods at a place like Petco or PetSmart that have good ingredients and a good value for the money.

It's possible to make good nutritional choices for your pet on a budget. No diet is going to make your pet completely healthy for life, but like with people, good nutrition is a solid foundation for good health. Also like people, though, there are options in between a "perfect" diet and a diet entirely composed of junk food. Every little bit helps.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cat Owner, I don't want to be too repetitive, but the answer I found for a highish-quality food at a good price is Trader Joe's. Do you have a Trader Joe's near you?

Trader Joe's has their own brand of canned food that's only 69 cents a can. When I ran the ingredients past Doodlebug a couple years ago, she gave it a thumbs up for nutrition (and this woman knows her stuff). She said it's not the absolute best for nutrition, but it's good. That was good enough for me, especially considering it was the only canned food Murphy would eat.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by October View Post
Cat Owner, I don't want to be too repetitive, but the answer I found for a highish-quality food at a good price is Trader Joe's. Do you have a Trader Joe's near you?

Trader Joe's has their own brand of canned food that's only 69 cents a can. When I ran the ingredients past Doodlebug a couple years ago, she gave it a thumbs up for nutrition (and this woman knows her stuff). She said it's not the absolute best for nutrition, but it's good. That was good enough for me, especially considering it was the only canned food Murphy would eat.
This is a really good suggestion I always forget about.

Trader Joe's food is a really good value for the cost. It's only a few cents more than what you'd spend at the grocery store, and the quality is significantly higher.

I've never used it for my cats (can't because of Maisie's allergies,) but I've heard good things from almost everyone who uses it.
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Last edited by Blakeney Green; 01-31-2013 at 12:49 PM.
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