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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Switching Foods

We adopted our lovely girls yesterday. They are 3 years old and both spayed, though recently, since their tummy hair still hasn't grown back in!

They are currently eating 2 cans each of proplan wet food a day. I bought a bag of Blue buffalo Indoor adult to start switching them over to a diet of wet and dry.

At what rate should I switch them? They are more than happy to eat both wet and dry food.

Thank you for advice!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 10:30 AM
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If they're happy to eat wet-only, I wouldn't add dry. Dry is not nearly as biologically appropriate as wet. Cats don't have the same kind of thirst drive as we do. They're designed to get most of their water requirements from food. Therefore, a dry food diet leads to many, if not most, domestic cats living in a state of chronic dehydration. This leads to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney failure, constipation and who knows what else. The healthiest possible diet for a cat is an all-wet one.

Dry food is also very high in carbohydrate--carbs are necessary to 'bind' the other ingredients in dry kibbles. Blue Buffalo Indoor Adult, according to the bag, may be as much as 42% carbohydrate according to the guaranteed analysis. Cats should have a diet containing less than 10% carbohydrate, ideally. Their bodies aren't designed to process large amounts of carbohydrate and excessive carbs may lead to diabetes and other health problems.

So for me, the rate at which you should switch your cats is 'go to the pet store when you have a chance and switch out the dry food for more wet.'
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 11:00 AM
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Congratulations on your new girls! Ditto to what spidercat mentioned... if they're already willing to eat wet food, you may want to consider keeping them on just a wet diet. There's a lot of health advantages to feeding a wet diet, and it can save a good amount of money on health issues and vet bills in the long run.

When changing any food, start slowly. Add a small amount of the new food to the old, and gradually increase the new and decrease the old. A good place to start is 3/4 old and 1/4 new. If your girls were adopted from a shelter, there's a good chance that they've been exposed to a large variety of foods, which may help them make a smooth transition.

PS: It might take a while for their tummy hair to grow in! Belly fur on some kitties seems to grow really slowly. I'm fostering a male cat who had his lower belly shaved in May, and it's still not fully grown back!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 11:33 AM
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Great tips and advice already mentioned.

If you want to go a step further, I'd look for grain-free canned foods, and always read food labels. Purina Pro-plan often contains wheat gluten, corn starch, soy products, and even those controversial by-products (mystery meats are not in my cat's diet).

I also think you can do better to save some money and buy larger cans than those teensy 3 oz cans. There are many better quality brands that sell in 5.5 oz cans, a few even in 12.5 - 13.2 oz, if your cats don't mind eating the same food for a few days. I try to buy canned foods from my local independent stores--they have way better quality canned cat foods there, at reasonable prices that often times are competitive to big box stores, AND they actually KNOW about the stuff they sell. Can't say the same for the other big chains.

Also, avoid fish/seafood based products as their main source of food if you can. Fish does more harm than good to felines, despite what most people think. Other than that, I encourage rotating varying types of proteins and brands, to prevent boredom and preventing future food intolerances/allergies. It is always safer to have several brands to buy from, as many pet food companies tend to alter their formulations or discontinue/have company mergers. If you've got a picky cat that isn't used to variety, they may refuse any "new, improved" tastes and then you'll be super stressed to find them something healthy that they actually like.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 11:44 AM
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There is a great article at catinfo.org about why wet is best. If you have a few mins it's well worth a read.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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I'm mostly worried about cost. Wet food is expensive! Is there a cost effective way to feed wet food? 4 dollars a day for inferior wet food seems insane!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 12:45 PM
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Buy it in 12 or 13 oz cans. Dave's brand is a great choice...good quality and price....should be about $2 a can which will feed (2) 10lb adult cats for a day. Go to the Dave's website for a store locator to see if you have a store near you that carries it. It's also available online.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 03:08 AM
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$4/day for 2 cats IS a lot, especially for a low-quality food. I feed Dave's. I don't think the flavor my cats eat comes in the big cans, but I buy the 5.5-oz ones. One cat eats about one can a day; the other eats about 2/3 of a can a day. That comes out to less than $3/day.

Congrats on your new little ones!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 11:00 AM
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I also feed Dave's. We alternate the big and 5.5oz cans. The big can feeds one cat for two days and the 5.5 feeds one cat for one day, for me--very active 10ish lb male. Watch the formulae--some have a fair bit of vegetables in--but most are really good and very low carb. I get my Dave's from Chewy.
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