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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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cat food and health

My two cats are geriatric and I have had them since they were kittens. My Siamese is 12 years old, while my tabby is 16. The tabby cat had urinary crystals as a young cat and I had them both on Hill's C/D diet for many years. Then I went to wet food because it was healthier, but store bought brands because of convenience.

My Siamese is pretty healthy. I hadn't had her to the vet for more than checkups and rabies shots, until she got a double ear infection last December. She also regularly had a small amount of crusty discharge on one of her eyes. Someone suggested it could be a food allergy, and I felt the guilt for feeding her Fancy Feast and Friskies. Although I was trying to buy only the varieties my vet recommended as low carb, I knew they put corn and crap in there she didn't need.

So off to pet store I go with my reading glasses to check labels on all the cat food. I landed on Blue Freedom, grain free cat food for mature cats. Grain free is big for both cats and humans these days. Perhaps with good reason, as it has only been a handful of months and I see a marked improvement in my cat that I didn't know was needed. The ear infection cleared up (with drops), but so did the eye discharge, her fur is silkier than before and even her stance is more regal and Siamese like. She has never been overweight, but her belly was round and now it is less so. It has to be the food! I am surprised at what a difference a high quality diet can do.

As for the tabby, he has another Hill's prescription diet for another health problem. He looks terrible, but it does seem to be addressing his issue. I wish I could put him on the Blue Freedom food as well, but that would lead us down a road not right for that cat.

Last edited by marie73; 04-22-2017 at 01:59 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:50 AM
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Yes, you've had a similar experience to many other people. But....I recommend finding a different brand of high quality food. Blue Buffalo has been sued for false advertising...they say their foods have no junk in them but when analyzed corn products and by products were found. They blamed their suppliers, but in the end BB is responsible for ensuring that they are getting the product they specified. The lawsuit was recently settled for undisclosed terms. There was also a consumer class action suit. In addition they have recently had multiple recalls on their canned foods. Basically, feeding their food is a risk. Other brands: Weruva Dave's Hound & Gatos Redbarn Nature's Logic Purrfect Bistro Wild Calling Earthborn Instinct Fromm There's more, but that's a start for you....


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:50 PM
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What is a good way to figure out cat food brand quality rankings?

If I go to any major pet food web site and filter available cat food to, for example, only list grain-free items, it's a small step towards buying better quality pet food... but is there a web site that ranks these? For example, it's hard to really rank computer video cards, but there are sites that give you a decent idea on which one is "better" between the two... Is there such a thing in pet food world? Since price is not an indicator, I would like to be able to have a way to decide which is better between example A and example B... Any input appreciated... Also any links for further reading on this appreciated.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 11:14 PM
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Honestly, there is no easy way to do it. It's going to take a lot of time and effort from you, and you'll just have to click around to different sites and compare the foods manually. It took me a lot of research before I settled on the brand I was going to feed Onyx. You could make a spreadsheet in excel if that's your thing, or you could type up pros and cons. I know some popular brands people feed on this site are Blue, Weruva, Nature's Variety, Nutro, and Fancy Feast. Keep in mind, it'll also depend on your kitty's personal preference. You can buy the best food in the world, but if he won't eat it, it's not going to do you any good.

A word of advice for you... feed exclusively wet food if you can. Cats are not, by nature, very apt to drink a lot of water. Canned food really helps keep them hydrated and keep all bowel movements easy and productive, and it's an all around healthier diet that is more reminiscent of their ancestral diet. Some members promote raw diets as well, which can be extremely healthy if done correctly.

Also bear in mind, cats don't need vegetables and grains. They are obligate carnivores... so the foods that advertise things like peas and carrots and fruits... those aren't needed by your cat's body. Certainly those foods won't HURT him, but they won't necessarily add anything to his diet either.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 09:31 AM
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I have not found a site that does a decent job of ranking cat foods. There are a couple good ones for dog food (dog food advisor and dog food analysis). For the most part if they rank a dog food high, then the corresponding cat food is good as well. Remember that assessing a cat food is not only about the ingredient list....it's also about sourcing (do any ingredients come from China?) and quality of ingredients (are they using products that have been USDA inspected and approved or are they using rejects?). And both of those dog food sites do not address either of those issues. Not all this info is readily available, you really have to dig. Some places to start for understanding commercial cat food: catinfo.org and littlebigcat.com. Truthaboutpetfood.com has a lot of good info but can be over the top alarmist at times. But they do provide a lot of info on sourcing and quality of ingredients. They do have a ranking site, but you have to pay a yearly subscription. Once you get in it you will find that it isn't always up to date and a lot of brands are missing (especially newer ones). The ranking system is kind of odd..it's based on the first 5 ingredients....if a food is only chicken and then supplements it will get a low rank. So again, you have to work at it.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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I hear things, but when I see it in person, it is a surprise. I am sad Blue food has controversy. It took some convincing to get that cat to eat it. She wants the Hyperthyroid prescription food her housemate gets.

Thanks for the feedback.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 03:08 AM
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I'd found these two sites that have lists of what they consider top foods. It seems like they're at least looking for the right things when ranking but maybe doodlebug will have some input on whether the info is worth anything:

The Best Food for Your Cat: My Recommendations

Today?s best cat foods?reviews of canned and raw options | Natural Cat Care Blog

I also had this page bookmarked, because I thought it was interesting. It shows what big companies own which brands, and what processing facilities they use. Again, I can't speak to its reliability, and I think some companies have bought out others since this was posted, but here it is anyway:

Diets and Nutrition for Cats, Dogs, and Other Pets
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 08:03 AM
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The first 2 sites that Spirite listed have good info. The foods they recommend are all good, but the lists are far from encompassing...there are plenty of other foods that could be included. So if a food you're interested in doesn't appear on those lists, it doesn't mean it's a bad food, it just isn't on the list. The last site made my eyes bleed. The list of who manufactures what is very dated and there have been a lot of changes over the years. The writer clearly hasn't done much nutritional research and is falling back on what companies like Purina & Hills push on vets. I could go on, but please don't rely on that site for accurate info, it's 30 years behind the times.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecatblue View Post
She wants the Hyperthyroid prescription food her housemate gets.

Thanks for the feedback.
Please ditch that stuff and use the medication. Ingredients are crap and the science behind the food is questionable. My vet told me that every new patient that comes to her on this food are extremely unhealthy...she switches them to meds and they thrive.


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Holly, Misty & their friend, Jake, the dog.
Onyx, Callie May, Maggie & Kobi forever in my heart.
Yes, I know I need a new signature pic...someday...
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you and I know the food isn't the best. Unfortunately, he is not a candidate for the meds or the radiation treatment. The diet is the best option for this cat, until it isn't anymore. When it stops working, we'll have to revisit our options again.

Last edited by marie73; 05-11-2017 at 03:11 PM.
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