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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Is this a good cat food?

I'm currently feeding 4 Health Indoor Cat Grain Free to Hawkeye my 6 month old kitten. I leave it out all day and he gets half a can of their wet food twice a day.

My 4 week old kittens are eating their wet food mixed with hot water and a little KMR every 4 hours. They get as much as they want.

Is 4Health a good food? My vet said to feed Iams which I know is overpriced junk from owning a dog with grain allergies. I feed him 4Health so it seemed like a safe bet for the cats.

I know Raw is best, but I'm still living at home as I save up money for my own place and my parents said no raw.

Here is the dry food

4health Grain Free Indoor Cat Formula for Adult Cats, 16 lb. - For Life Out Here

And wet food. They have more variety in small cans but I'm buying the large with 5 piglets to feed.

4health Turkey & Salmon Cat Food, 13.2 oz. - For Life Out Here

4health Turkey & Salmon Cat Food, 13.2 oz. - For Life Out Here

Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 03:55 PM
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There's nothing wrong with not being able to feed raw. It may be better than wet, but wet is still a fantastic option. So, if it were me, I'd focus on feeding that instead.

As for the foods, here are my opinions:

It seems pretty good. Not the best, but still a decent dry food. There are some ingredients that are a bit iffy, but you could be feeding them A LOT worse.
- Chicken/Turkey Meal, Cellulose: not a big fan of these, but it's hard to avoid most of 'em since they're in almost every kibble out there.
- Veggies/Fruits: Personally, I try to avoid feeding too many since I've been told cats have a hard time digesting them? They also tend to be used in place of meat as a protein source, which is especially bad for cats, since they are carnivores, not omnivores like us.
- Fish Meal: The worst ingredient in this food. Cats should only have fish as an occasional treat, not as a regular part of their diet. What's more is they don't even list what fish this comes from, which is a huge red flag for me.
- Flaxseed: a common allergen for pets, and can apparently cause problems when not ground and only when in small doses. Since this is a kibble, it's more than likely ground and in a small amount, but personally, I avoid feeding anything with flax in it.

As mentioned above, fish should not be a part of their daily diet. You can probably give it maybe, once a week or so? But a lot of people avoid feeding food with fish in it because some cats may become "addicted", and refuse to eat anything BUT fish. Each cat is different, though, so if you feel your cat may be the exception to this, then I think feeding wet food with fish once a week is fine.

Also, it contains a few more iffy ingredients -
- Grains: rice and barley. You definitely want to avoid feeding any grains.
- Guar Gum & Carrageenan: some people choose to feed wet foods containing certain 'gums', since it is VERY hard to find safe, grain-free foods without them. (there are options, but they're not cheap) However, I'd avoid foods with "carrageenan" like a plague.

I had really nice website that listed all the ingredients to avoid in pet food (and why) but I can't seem to find it. :/ Here is another website, slightly less detailed but still containing a lot of great information on why the ingredients I listed as so bad.

Cat Food: What to Feed & What to Avoid - Happy Cats Haven

One thing it doesn't mention is that you're usually better off avoiding "gums" because they can apparently cause IBS-like symptoms, such as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. when fed in the long-term, and in large amounts.

You can probably work around this by feeding one brand of food WITHOUT "gums" for say, 4-5 days of the week, and then another brand WITH them the remaining 2-3 days of the week. I don't know if this would help avoid the negative affects of "gums", but I suppose it's worth a shot?

EDIT: I almost forgot. If you'd like a list of good wet and/or dry food options, I'm happy to list them for you. I went through as many different foods as I could find a month or so back, then wrote down all of the ingredients, etc. in order to create a list of "safe" pet foods for my own personal use.

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Last edited by Augustine; 10-07-2015 at 03:57 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Augustine View Post
Chicken/Turkey Meal
I'm slightly confused why you listed Chicken Meal and Turkey Meal as unfavorable ingredients? From my extensive research of dog food (dogfoodadvisor reviews primarily), Chicken Meal (or any meat's meal) is better than just Chicken because it is what is left AFTER the water is cooked out. Therefore, if Chicken Meal is a main ingredient, that is the actual weight. However, if just Chicken is the main ingredient, once the water is removed during the cooking process it would actually be significantly further down on the ingredient list because the majority of it's weight was all water. Therefore Chicken Meal as a main ingredient is much better than Chicken. Hopefully that makes sense.

"Chicken meal, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails."
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 05:21 PM
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I feed my cat and my dog 4health grain free and they are both doing ok on it. My cat gets Authority canned which is an ok food that he likes, and it's not terribly expensive (PetSmart brand) and they make a kitten food in cans, so maybe consider that for a cheaper but not terrible option. Be careful when switching foods as it can really put their digestive systems into a tailspin. Watch the first 5 ingredients of any food as they are listed in order according to amount. Also make sure it has the AAFCO approval written on it.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 05:39 PM
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Here's a list of the main ingredients of 4Health Turkey and Salmon canned:
4health Turkey & Salmon Cat Food, 13.2 oz. - For Life Out Here

You should avoid any carbs(high in sugar).....I've highlighted undesirable ones. Otherwise, your cat may develop diabetes, a very serious illness.

Turkey, Turkey Broth, Liver, Salmon, Dried Egg Product, Brewer's Rice, Dried Potatoes, Barley, Peas, Guar Gum, Flaxseed Meal, Carrageenan, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Apples,

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 06:02 PM
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I thought this thread provided helpful information with regard to the term "meal" and it's different uses.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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What is another good brand? I'd like to offer some dry food out just in case. My schedule is odd at times. Sometimes I get home at 2pm other times not til 9pm so I like being able to leave something out if they get hungry. Right now my mom is being awesome about feeding for me, but I know that won't last.

I also need something that won't break the bank. I'm feeding two dogs, a horse, and a rabbit in addition to these piglets.

What about Taste of the Wild? I know that's a good dog food, not sure for cats.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:37 PM
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If you want a pretty good, grain-free dry food that is affordable - I recommend Taste of the Wild. I'm a college student working part time so money is tight currently and I feed a little bit of TOTW to my girls in addition to their wet food. They both LOVE the TOTW (a little too much ), and have done great on it! I pay about $10-11 for 5lb of TOTW at my local pet store which is a great price. You save more money if you buy it in the larger sizes, too, especially if you can use your local pet stores coupons with it!

Last edited by marie73; 10-07-2015 at 09:22 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 12:44 PM
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If we eliminate all the ingredients that sources say are "bad" then there aren't many foods to choose from and the vast majority of people can't afford them.

Given the low price of the food, there are a few questions I have that cannot be answered from the ingredients list and would have to be answered by the company:

  1. Are they using ingredients that pass USDA inspection (approved for human consumption). If not, they are using human food rejects which can included animals that have died from illnesses rather than by slaughter. Or fruits/veggies that have been rejected for mold or insect infestation. Etc.
  2. Is their fish meal preserved with ethoxyquin? This is a very controversial ingredient, it's actually a fire retardant. It doesn't have to be on the label because it's added before it is purchased by the food manufacturer.
  3. Are they sourcing any ingredients from China?
  4. What is the "natural flavor"? Very often it's MSG.
Those are my major concerns and would immediately eliminate the food for me, no matter what the other ingredients are.

If their answers to the above questions are good. Then, my other comments are:


  1. It's a low protein food to begin with (32%) and a lot of it is coming from the peas, lentils and garbanzo beans as they are all very high in protein.
  2. I don't worry about the inclusion of small amounts of fruits as they are there for antioxident purposes. Since they're way down on the ingredients list, it's not really a concern.
  3. Because of the low protein and fairly low fat, this is a very carb heavy food. Cats do not process large quantities of carbs very well and they end up turning to fat.
  1. Again...lower protein, lower fat...super carb heavy.
  2. I'm not real hung up on carrageenan and gums. Yes some cats have issues with them but the vast majority are fine.
  3. Again...fruits are not a significant portion of the ingredients in this food...they're fine.

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