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I have 4 cats... None of whom would die from a diet. Judging from pictures they are not morbidly obese, but slightly overweight. Regardless, I am worried about the future; diabetes and urinary health. I would rather prevent the high cost of vet bills with proper feeding now. Honestly I dont have the money for an all canned food diet nor the time, energy or knowledge for a raw diet. From what I have read each cat needs a can of food a day and no dry food. Even buying in bulk from Sams Club it would be 100 dollars every 2 months and compare that with 40 dollars every 2 months for dry I go YIKES! I was wondering if anyone could give advice on mixing canned, dry and water together? How many feedings a day? 3? How much of each would I mix to make a meal for 4 cats? Please help thanks!
 
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Umm no, I am focusing on my school and I cant work or my grades fail.. Sorry but my schooling is the single most important thing in my life and I dont hoard things to be able to sell them later.. Friskies sells the big cans in bulk for under a dollar each. I cannot afford 4 dollars a day that equals almost 500 dollars out of every student loan and I have a mortgage to pay so if you would like to help by answering my main question that would be great...
 

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Just feed as much canned as you can afford for now. Even half a diet of canned is better than all dry.

However another way to do it would be to feed a mix of cheap canned and better canned, and cut the dry out all together. Or just cheap canned, is still better than any dry, even so called "grain free" dry.

As you already realize, cutting out as much dry as possible is likely to remove the likelihood of expensive vet bills, so you are saving money in the long run.
 

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if your budget is X amount and that's what you're already spending then there seems to be very little wiggle room. Dpeending on how much you're able to spend here's a couple of (albeit limited) options...

If you need to feed dry, pay a little extra to get your cats on a higher quality dry food. Look for something with no corn or byproducts. Your cats may actually eat less of a higher quality food because it is more nutrient-dense and has less filler so don't be too afraid of a higher price.

I can certainly relate to having a tight budget, but proper food for my cat was part of my budget when I made it. There are a lot of ways to be frugal including shopping online and buying in bulk, but I don't think anything would fall into the $20/month that you seem to be averaging.

if you're not able/willing to upgrade their dry food, I'd say keep feeding what you're feeding, and try to give them as much canned as you're willing to pay for. Only you can decide what that number is. You can get an idea of what other people pay, but as hoofmaiden suggested, EVO at under $2/can is a quality food at a good value
 

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Just feed as much canned as you can afford for now. Even half a diet of canned is better than all dry.

However another way to do it would be to feed a mix of cheap canned and better canned, and cut the dry out all together. Or just cheap canned, is still better than any dry, even so called "grain free" dry.

As you already realize, cutting out as much dry as possible is likely to remove the likelihood of expensive vet bills, so you are saving money in the long run.
I agree. The general consensus is that wet > dry. Even the worst wet vs. the best dry.

You'd be better off feeding the grocery store brands than dry.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
if your budget is X amount and that's what you're already spending then there seems to be very little wiggle room. Dpeending on how much you're able to spend here's a couple of (albeit limited) options...

If you need to feed dry, pay a little extra to get your cats on a higher quality dry food. Look for something with no corn or byproducts. Your cats may actually eat less of a higher quality food because it is more nutrient-dense and has less filler so don't be too afraid of a higher price.

I can certainly relate to having a tight budget, but proper food for my cat was part of my budget when I made it. There are a lot of ways to be frugal including shopping online and buying in bulk, but I don't think anything would fall into the $20/month that you seem to be averaging.

if you're not able/willing to upgrade their dry food, I'd say keep feeding what you're feeding, and try to give them as much canned as you're willing to pay for. Only you can decide what that number is. You can get an idea of what other people pay, but as hoofmaiden suggested, EVO at under $2/can is a quality food at a good value
Thank you and when I say I spend so much right now and Im not willing to spend SIX times that amount at 120/month doesnt mean I am not willing to spend say 50/month on cat food :)
 

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You seem to have done your research and understand that canned/raw is better than dry and the only thing holding you back is expense. That leads me to believe that once expenses even out you'll be able/willing to increase the amount of wet foods your cats eat.

I would suggest splitting the difference for now while things are tight. Feed them canned for one meal and dry for a second meal. Scheduled feeding (never free feeding) will prevent obesity caused by the dry food and the canned once a day (maybe even mix in a little hot water and make a sloppy mush to increase water in take). Rightsaidfred was correct, a better quality dry will last longer as they'll need less of it. A water fountain often encourages cats to drink more as they prefer fresh running water.

We can only do the best that we can with what we have and good on you for educating yourself and understanding the dietary needs.
 
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If the cans to which you refer are 13 oz cans, and they cost $1.00 each (I think that's what your other thread said), then you will feed around 1.75 cans a day to 4 cats (divided into 2 meals). That's $52.50 a month to feed all canned. Is that seriously too much? B/c that is EXTREMELY reasonable. Any canned is better than any dry and you should do whatever you can to feed ALL canned w/out any dry at all.

50 a month is about my max and my cats arent fond of pate versions... The 5.5 oz cans of the shredded and other versions would equal more like 100 a month so my actual question was how much can/dry/water would it take of each to make how much to feed per feeding if that makes any sense. That way I could feed them the non pate kinds they like and still make budget.
 

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Canned food isn't priced by style. It's priced by brand. Meaning a brand that has both pate and shredded or chunks, will charge the same price for both kinds.

Don't mix the dry and canned. They digest at different rates.

For instance: If you are feeding two meals a day, feed canned (with water added) at one meal, and the measured dry at the other. Feed the dry meal at the time when they will go the longest without a meal, because dry takes so much longer to be processed in the body.

Add water to the canned meals, not the dry meals. Dry food has a coating on it that turns quickly to bacteria, once it is wet.

Feed a dry food that has identified meat and identified meat meals as the first ingredients. Avoid corn and dyes.
 
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That said, you seem to have done your research and understand that canned/raw is better than dry and the only thing holding you back is expense. That leads me to believe that once expenses even out you'll be able/willing to increase the amount of wet foods your cats eat.

I would suggest splitting the difference for now while things are tight. Feed them canned for one meal and dry for a second meal. Scheduled feeding (never free feeding) will prevent obesity caused by the dry food and the canned once a day (maybe even mix in a little hot water and make a sloppy mush to increase water in take). Rightsaidfred was correct, a better quality dry will last longer as they'll need less of it. A water fountain often encourages cats to drink more as they prefer fresh running water.

We can only do the best that we can with what we have and good on you for educating yourself and understanding the dietary needs.

Thank you.. I think Im just gonna have to wing it. I was hoping for someone to know the exact measurements of canned/dry/water for 4 cats per feeding so I wouldnt be over/under feeding them. I have one cat that is likely to overindulge and if I just "wing" it Ill prolly mess up and over feed him.
 
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Canned food isn't priced by style. It's priced by brand. Meaning a brand that has both pate and shredded or chunks, will charge the same price for both kinds.

Don't mix the dry and canned. They digest at different rates.

For instance: If you are feeding two meals a day, feed canned (with water added) at one meal, and the measured dry at the other. Feed the dry meal at the time when they will go the longest without a meal, because dry takes so much longer to be processed in the body.

Add water to the canned meals, not the dry meals. Dry food has a coating on it that turns quickly to bacteria, once it is wet.

Feed a dry food that has identified meat and identified meat meals as the first ingredients. Avoid corn and dyes.

Ok thank you I will remember that and there were a couple people attacking me including people telling me to get a 2nd job and such. i noticed that brands like Friskies and others do sell pate cheaper (like 50 cents for the bulk boxes) and pate is even cheaper because it can come in the big 13 oz cans which is cheaper than the shredded (that only comes in 5.5 and smaller).
 

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Well, imo it's not that easy of an equation. I could feed MowMow HALF of what I feed Shepherd Book and he'd be a freaking house. He's older, less active, and built differently.

I would give 1/2 a can to each in the mornings and maybe a 1/4 C of dry at night. If you see someone getting pudgy cut them back...if someone starts to lose weight increase their amount. YOu might even still have your baby scale from y our kid, that would be perfect. I weight my guys about every 3 weeks to check for any issues.
 

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Thank you.. I think Im just gonna have to wing it. I was hoping for someone to know the exact measurements of canned/dry/water for 4 cats per feeding so I wouldnt be over/under feeding them. I have one cat that is likely to overindulge and if I just "wing" it Ill prolly mess up and over feed him.
Every cat is different. I did post some general guidelines:

As for amounts, well a lot depends on the brand of food you are feeding, and each cat's needs.

Keep a cat journal, recording what each cat eats at each meal If a cat seems to be gaining weight, cut back a little on the dry. If the cat is losing weight, add a little more canned to the daily feed.
 

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I'm not sure what some people expect you to do, just because you can't give them 100% wet food? Do they think your pets are better off in a shelter? Of course not. :flame

I agree with the scheduled feedings. Seperate the animals if you can during these to make things easier.

I also had a cat that was a shredded/chunks ONLY cat for a long while. She would refuse absolutely anything else - and she could tell if I just cut up the paté. Little booger.

She eats almost exclusively paté now. I'll tell you what I did to get her used to it, but I'm not sure which thing was the "magic" one that caused the switch.
1) Started scheduled feedings. Even when she was still getting dry food, I didn't change the amount I gave her per day, I just changed the time when I filled the bowl and how long it was out.

2) Take up food after 15 minutes and reoffer it again 30 mins later. I did this twice. If she didn't eat it I took it up and presented it again at the next meal time (within reason - some foods she refused to eat for 24 hours, so they were gone).

3) Have a big play session if she refuses it the first time. Cats like to eat after "hunting" and it seemed to stimulate her appetite a bit.

~~

Also, man, where did/do you guys find the time? I'm a grad student, and I only have a 1/2 TA this semester (plus 1.5 units of non-teaching RA), and I think my eyeballs are going to fall out of my head I'm so busy.

(Maybe if I spent less time on catforum :p)
 

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I feed two of the cats all wet and one all dry. I think your best bet and cheapest is to do both. Find a high quality grain free dry give them all one meal of dry and one meal of wet. I recommend going to pet stores and stocking up on whatever is on sale. Petsmart sells authority (store brand) wet for cheap and it's decent quality too.
 

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It wouldn't let me edited my last post. I was going to say if you want to feed both feed 1/4 cup dry each in the morning and 1/2 5.5 ounce can of wet in the evening and always leave a few bowls of fresh water out.

I also want to say don't listen to these rude ignorant people. They have a knack for brainwashing people into thinking they have to feed wet or the cats better off dead. This is not true. There's no scientific evidence that an all wet diet will make your cat live longer,.. It's mostly a fad thing . Lots of cats thrive on dry. One of my cats do better on dry so she will be on it for life. To each their own. Feed what's in your budget and what works for your cats. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.

I can't believe it was suggested to get a second job to feed your cats! How rediculous , rude, ignorant and down right dumb. You don't have to have a ton of money to own pets.. They arnt children, sheesh.
 

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It wouldn't let me edited my last post. I was going to say if you want to feed both feed 1/4 cup dry each in the morning and 1/2 5.5 ounce can of wet in the evening and always leave a few bowls of fresh water out.

I also want to say don't listen to these rude ignorant people. They have a knack for brainwashing people into thinking they have to feed wet or the cats better off dead. This is not true. There's no scientific evidence that an all wet diet will make your cat live longer,.. It's mostly a fad thing . Lots of cats thrive on dry. One of my cats do better on dry so she will be on it for life. To each their own. Feed what's in your budget and what works for your cats. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.

I can't believe it was suggested to get a second job to feed your cats! How rediculous , rude, ignorant and down right dumb. You don't have to have a ton of money to own pets.. They arnt children, sheesh.
The scientific evidence is the FACT that cats are obligate carnivores.

This means that their bodies are biologically designed to get all their nutrition from MEAT derived products, including moisture with their food.

The OP has obviously done his/her homework and already understands this. The OP is looking for a way to feed the cats with the least damage possible, until their financial aspects improve.

If they feel the must feed some dry because of budget restircitons, they have been given some decent advice about how to do this.

Cats may live long lives on dry diets, but the quality of their lives is not optimal. To thrive and feel their best, cats need meat diets and they need moisture from their food. Once that has been settled, the next step is to aim for low carbs and no grains or fruits and veggies. :)
 

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Incidentally, whether or not is a practical solution for the OP, I work extra jobs, so that I can afford to feed my cats a high quality canned, partial commercial raw, diet.

If I didn't feed them these foods, I might be able to work less, but then, the vet bills that inevitably come with dry feeding would probably negate any savings, anyway.
 

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Friskies and others do sell pate cheaper (like 50 cents for the bulk boxes) and pate is even cheaper because it can come in the big 13 oz cans which is cheaper than the shredded (that only comes in 5.5 and smaller).
Shredded types of Friskies also come in 13 oz tins. If you find a store selling only pate in 13 oz, ask them if they are willing to bring in other types. This would be more likely something that will happen in a pet store; large grocery stores (unless they get enough requests) aren't going to order something in just for you. As it happens, my cats don't eat shredded so I must be careful of the types I choose.

As far as feeding amounts go, when I feed Friskies, my two cats usually share a 13 oz tin.

The fact remains that cats are expensive. I'm not sure how anyone can reasonably argue w/ that fact. ???
They are? Depends on the cat. Blaze hasn't been to the vet in 16 years. In Blaze's case this is because he freaks out and would pee all over himself... the trip would do more damage than good; in fact my aunt's cat died at the vets due to the stress of the visit. I think there's a lot of cats out there just like him - not everyone takes their cat to the vet for a checkup when it's healthy, much like a great deal of people don't go until they're sick, either. For the first 15 years or so Blaze ate whatever kibble was cheapest along with Friskies. The majority of people outside of this forum are feeding grocery store brands, or feeding Science Diet and thinking it's top of the line.

You can expect to have at least one major medical issue per animal in the course of their lifetimes--I hope you have a plan for that?
Most people don't; but then, most people don't have a plan for themselves, just looks at how many people aren't saving enough money for retirement. When the time comes they either scrounge the money that's needed or they don't. In the life of the cat, many don't have a medical issue until the end of their life, and then they go down quickly. Going to vet before hand may have alerted to the potential issues, but ultimately the end result isn't likely that much more time with your pet, unless you can shell out a few thousand. The majority of people don't have the kind of money, and by that point the animal is usually old... it's had a good life. At least times have changed from 50 years ago (well - in most parts of North America at least), where the animals were just taken out and shot.

I like to keep things in perspective. Great if you have a plan and the money to feed top brands... otherwise, do what you can and what you feel is best for your pet given its circumstances. We can't all do the same.
 
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