So it looks like I might be bringing a new cat home in the near future. My last cat, Annie, was the sort of cat who never had too much appetite so we never worried about her over-eating - she was fed as much as she wanted because any weight we could put and keep on her was always a good thing. Obviously, most cats aren't like this. So now I have to do some math I've never had to do before.
I'm definitely steering clear of dry food, however that's probably what the cat is being fed right now due to shelter constraints. I'll be transitioning onto a wet or freeze-dried raw food ASAP. Being in Canada, I only have access to certain brands, and a lot of brands are more expensive here
I'm thinking I'd ideally like to stick with either Wild Calling, or The Honest Kitchen as those are the best brands I can come up with that are accessible to me and not terrifyingly expensive to feed on a regular basis. I know HK is a bit higher in carbs but them's the breaks, as far as I can tell something like Primal or Stella and Chewy's or Ziwipeak is just way too expensive here. ESPECIALLY Primal or S&C's, where according to their feeding calculations their largest sized bag which costs $20-$30 at least would last me less than a week!!!
I'm trying to figure out rough cost to feed, assuming the cat is ~10lbs and has an average activity level. Obviously these costs may vary in reality depending on the cat in question, but I'm trying for an estimate here.
I've also heard it mentioned that manufacturer's feeding guidelines are often too high. For example, Wild Calling recommends 3/4 to 1 full 5.5oz can every day for every 6-8lbs on an adult cat! This seems like a lot to me. I used to work at a vet clinic and most of the cats we had in were eating 1/2 a large can of food a day at most. If they were teeny cans it was another story but a 5-6oz can wasn't usually consumed entirely by an average cat in a day... I can't see a 6 or 8 pound cat eating an entire can of high-quality food just to maintain weight, and I can't see an average cat needing to eat more than that. Isn't part of the appeal of higher quality foods supposed to be that they're more calorie dense so you don't need to feed as much, even if they're more expensive per can/bag/packet?
I figure if a cat eats 1/2 a can of the Wild Calling a day, then it'll cost me about $40/mo to feed, which is do-able, but how on earth does anyone afford to feed that if their cat eats an entire can per day?! Or more, if your cat is over the 6-8lbs!
So if the manufacturer's guidelines ARE too high, how do you tell? And how do you figure out how much you should ACTUALLY feed? I've seen a bunch of estimates of # of cals/lb of body weight a cat should get, but most calorie info is listed in kcals if it's listed at all. I'd be worried about feeding too much or not enough and not necessarily realizing until the cat was either too fat or too thin and feeling terrible about it
Maybe I'm over-thinking this....
In any case, any advice? Thanks!