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Is dry food really that bad for cats? I've seen a few different vets over the years, and they all had their own opinion on what cats should eat. Most of the vets said good quality dry was best, and canned should be reserved only as a treat. I've had all say that raw was bad for house cats, and not to do it. Though my new vet in this state claims that only canned should be given, but pretty much forbids dry or raw. Though with my last cat, I tried her on canned food for about a month, and it gave her terrible stomach problems and she wouldn't eat much of it and she lost weight. I switched her back to dry, but she always had bad hairball problems (even though she was not a long-haired cat.) I later tried her on Purina Naturals and her coat got shinier, she was shedding less and she never got another hairball. I could never get her to try cat laxes/hairball medicines easily, and even on the occasion that I made her, it never helped. So once I got Finn, I put him on the same thing and he gets tuna as well. He seems very happy and healthy. Is this really unhealthy for him? I've seen so many varying opinions on food, even from vets.
 

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Raw is absolutely best. How many cats on the Serengeti are eating kibble? :wink Most vets do NOT take nutrition courses and the ones provided are hosted by ....wait for it.... pet food companies. The text books.... provided by pet food companies.

Canned is an OK alternative. A good quality grain free canned that is. Here are a few informative articles about pet food that were posted on here recently.

Commercial Canned Foods by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: reading cat food labels, canned versus dry cat food
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health
 

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Wow. Thank you for the information. I never knew half of that after growing up around several animals. I'm still shocked that out of every long-winded thing I've heard from vets about diets, nearly none of that info came up. I don't think I will try the raw diet just yet. I do believe I will try switching him to canned, though. I will try to stay clear of fish-based and grain-based canned food. I can't even remember what kind I'd given my last cat; it was a few years ago. I wonder if it had fish in it. I didn't realize cats were sensitive to fish, or could be.
 

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I do believe I will try switching him to canned, though. I will try to stay clear of fish-based and grain-based canned food.
If you stick with that you'll do great and likely end up with a very healthy and happy cat for a long time. It's amazing how much better cats look at behave when their system isn't trying to make sense of the trash found in poor quality foods.

I switched to wet three years ago, and grain free about 6 months ago and saw very noticeable improvements both times.

:D
 

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I don't believe kibble is the Great Satan, but it's NOT ideal. Raw is best, but it requires a bit of work. Work that's not difficult, but I'm lazy. My cats mainly get Weruva and some Blue Buffalo dry when I'm going to be gone for more than 16 hours (which isn't often).

If you're not willing to do raw, then grain-free wet is the next best option. I'm a raw feeder, and used to be really hardcore into it, but then life happened and it's only a few times a week now.
 

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Most of the vets said good quality dry was best, and canned should be reserved only as a treat.
Wow... that's like saying the best food for humans is super-processed McDonald's, and that fresh veggies and home-cooked meat should be reserved as a treat only.

I've had all say that raw was bad for house cats, and not to do it.
What an interesting distinction, eh? Raw food is bad for house cats, but not bad for... non-house cats? What's the difference, exactly? Do outdoor cats have a different anatomy from indoor cats? Do their organs somehow process raw food differently? *confused*


I think vets are "against" raw food for a variety of reasons... it depends on the vet, and for some it's a mix of reasons, but here are a few:

1. They are misinformed. Just because someone is a vet doesn't mean they have the best information on cat nutrition. Some do, but not all. It's their job to fix a cat's ailments, not necessarily prevent them. Just like doctors aren't always the best source on human nutrition...

2. There is a conflict of interests. Some vets sell certain brands of food, dry and canned, so they have something to gain from you buying these foods. They sell Science Diet at my vet, so it's no wonder my vet is constantly recommending it even though it's pretty much one of the worst things I could be feeding my cat.

3. They underestimate their clients. Some vets actually do realize the benefits of a raw diet, but don't recommend it for fear that their clients won't be able to do it properly. Feeling an unbalanced home-made raw diet, from what I hear, can be even worse than just feeding dry kibble. If you're going to do it, it needs to be done properly, and many cat owners just aren't willing to put in the time and effort to be able to do it properly. So some vets will play to the lowest common denominator and not recommend raw at all, just in case.

So given all these points, I decided to take my vet's word with a grain of salt on this one. I looked up a lot of information on raw cat diets and it just made a lot more sense to me. I transitioned my cat very early on, only a couple of weeks after getting her (she was about 1.5 years old), but I noticed quite a positive difference:

1. She seemed to have more energy (though this could be attributed to her getting more used to her new home).
2. She started drinking less water (cats should get most of their water from their food, not from drinking water), and yet, peeing more (a sign that she is getting more liquid despite the fact that she hardly ever drinks water).
3. Her stool stopped stinking. I kid you not!!! When we first got her, her stool would stink up the whole bathroom, if not for the whole house. Now we can't even tell when she pooped until we clean her litter box and find it. I can't even smell it close to the litter box. There is also way less poop. If that's not enough reason to go raw, I don't know what is.

Here are a few things to note about my cat, which may or may not be due to her raw diet. I don't know because I didn't have her on non-raw long enough to know how she used to be, plus I've only had her for 4 months so who knows if any of these things will change...

1. In the 4 months I've had her, she only just puked up her first hairball today, and I think it may be due to a little accident we had with her flea meds yesterday (it dripped and she was licking it off :( ). Her hair is long-ish, and I don't brush it much since it doesn't mat and she doesn't like it (although I may start after this), so it's pretty amazing that she only puked her first hairball today.

2. She smells great, her fur is super soft, her breath doesn't stink.


I think I've given you enough lists for today. Seriously, do some more reading on raw and draw your own conclusions. I just couldn't help but share :)
 

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Brands of grain-free canned food my cats like: earthborn holistic chicken, tiki cat chicken, addiction, nature's variety, ziwipeak.
 

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I don't believe dry food is of the Devil. Sometimes thats all a provider can afford. I've seen many health cats live for years on dry food. Even the Wal-Mart brands, although I dont recomend them.

I just started Mia on dry Evo. Its the best I will be able to give her. Luckily I can get it half off at Pet Supply Plus when its on half of because its expiring in a month or two. Its not a bad thing. Sometimes I think people go overboard and make others feel guilty for what they feed their cats. Just do the best you can and leave it at that. At least he/she is not out on the streets trying to get food.
 

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My "Dry food is the devil." comment was a poor attempt to be silly and light humored within a sometimes controversial topic. Usually, on cat forums at least, my sense of humor fails me. In all seriousness, I don't believe dry cat food has any relation to theology in the slightest.

I have great respect for the need to do what you can within a given budget. I free fed my cat dry food for eight years. In the beginning it was Meow Mix that I bought using scratched together change from the gas station convient store I lived behind.

Three years ago I switched to wet food. Friskies actually. I saw a large improvement in his health. Less than a year ago I switched to grain free wet foods. I saw another large improvement in his (all three of my oldest cats, actually) health, physically and psychologically. Because of my experiences, I tend to speak up on the wet vs. dry topic.

I did not mean to offend. I apologize if I did so.
 

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My "Dry food is the devil." comment was a poor attempt to be silly and light humored within a sometimes controversial topic. Usually, on cat forums at least, my sense of humor fails me. In all seriousness, I don't believe dry cat food has any relation to theology in the slightest.

I have great respect for the need to do what you can within a given budget. I free fed my cat dry food for eight years. In the beginning it was Meow Mix that I bought using scratched together change from the gas station convient store I lived behind.

Three years ago I switched to wet food. Friskies actually. I saw a large improvement in his health. Less than a year ago I switched to grain free wet foods. I saw another large improvement in his (all three of my oldest cats, actually) health, physically and psychologically. Because of my experiences, I tend to speak up on the wet vs. dry topic.

I did not mean to offend. I apologize if I did so.

Thanks Ghosttown. Apology accepted. Sorry I took it so seriosly. This can be a touchy subject. :crazy
 

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I think between Penny and Ghostown an interesting point was raised: you should do the best you can within your means. No one should feel guilty because they can't afford expensive foods. Only you know your own motivations, and if you made an informed decision, you are way ahead of the game. A lot of people simply go by whatever brand they see on TV, and is the easiest even if they can provide better, they just don't want to be bothered.
 

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i'm incorporating more frankenprey style raw food in their diets cause the canned food can really add up! it takes a little bit more work at first but it's better for them, and better for my wallet. it's a win win :)
 

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Mine LOVE Earthborn chicken (it's shredded, not pate) and they also get wellness grain free varieties (including core), Nature's Variety Instinct, and have eaten Innova, EVO, Before Grain, Go!, weruva, california natural, and felidae (and probably more I've forgotten about) in the past but we stopped because my dad can't remember that many food names lol.

Wet food is MUCH better for cats and luckily people are starting to catch on to this. It is much lower in carbs and much higher in moisture, both of which mean your cats body will be much healthier on a wet food diet and won't have to work nearly as hard. Cats on dry food are often dehydrated and their organs must work very hard to try and process the carbs and sugar they are not designed to eat. If your cat had issues last time you tried wet food it could have been a specific sensitivity to a certain ingredient. If it was a low quality brand that could have been the problem. Some cats are sensitive to certain grains, some have trouble with potato, some have problems with certain proteins like beef or fish. Some cats vomit if their food is served cold. You might need to experiment a bit. The one and only down side to wet food for us was the cost. Feeding homemade raw was much cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sometimes thats all a provider can afford. I've seen many health cats live for years on dry food. Even the Wal-Mart brands, although I dont recomend them.

I just started Mia on dry Evo. Its the best I will be able to give her. Luckily I can get it half off at Pet Supply Plus when its on half of because its expiring in a month or two. Its not a bad thing. Sometimes I think people go overboard and make others feel guilty for what they feed their cats. Just do the best you can and leave it at that. At least he/she is not out on the streets trying to get food.
You have brought up something that I've been thinking about. I have health problems and am living on about $700, which was never a problem with my last cat in the past. I have always just budgeted my money the best I could and put away a little every month (for emergencies or yearly vet, etc) after cat food, litter, the odd toy or bed, and of course, my food and bills. I had never considered the food a neglectant factor, though I never realized it wasn't the best for cats. I never bought the cheapy dry food or anything; I always tried the get the best dry that I could afford. I think, like you, that it is better than them being on the streets or going hungry. I know Finn is much better off with me than living in a cramped cage at a shelter, and eating skimped portions of very cheap dry. At the same time, after learning all of this, I feel bad, but at the same time, I know that I'm really not neglecting him. But I know that none of these responses were intended to be negative toward anyone.


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I would like some advice from you all. Two things come to mind: Considering that I am aware some canned/wet is very costly, could I get some names of some that would be better options, but at a more reasonable price? Secondly, Finn is very food paranoid. I have given him wet/canned along with his dry before, but generally that was just as a treat a few times a week, and the dry as a constant. However, he wants food to be full in his bowl 24/7, so he can eat when he wants, and if his bowl is empty or not completely full, he will go crazy and yowl (even if he'd just eaten a second before), follow me, and harass me until I fill it. I think he's afraid that he will go hungry if he doesn't see food at all times. I think it might be from living in the shelter for 5 months; I imagine sharing smaller amounts with his sibling(s) made him a bit paranoid. How would you suggest I go about feeding him nothing but wet/canned in this situation?
 
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