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I became interested in feline nutrition a few months back, and wanted to share my thoughts/findings, in case they might be of value to others.

Here's my food chart based on a Dry Matter Analysis. These are ACTUAL VALUES, and not the worthless "guaranteed analysis" information provided on labels and manufacturer websites. This is information that you need to know when looking at this chart:

1. I am not a veterinarian, a vet-tech, or even a statistician. I took some undergraduate and graduate courses in stats, but have no medical animal background.

2. Undoubtedly people will post about the benefits of raw. I do not disagree. I feed my cats a partially raw diet. I worry that not all homemade raw diets meet the full nutritional needs of cats. It looks like these forums are an excellent resource for making a balanced food.

3. There are some great brands of pre-made raw food out there. Feline's Pride, Nature's Variety, and Primal are just a few. However, NONE of these brands can (will?) provide actual nutritional values, providing only the aforementioned "guaranteed analysis". I've written and called, if you want to try, go for it, I'd personally like to see actual numbers.

4. After losing a cat to Chronic Renal Failure, and having a close friend's cat deal with struvite crystals, I vowed to never again feed dry food.

5. Dry food keeping a cat's teeth clean has been debunked. Even if it were true, the benefits of water greatly outweigh the benefits of clean teeth (assuming you could only pick one or the other). If you want to be awesome, feed a wet diet and brush your cats teeth


6. There is no one answer to "How much should I feed my cat?" It will differ based on age, gender, breed, activity level, calorie content of food, etc. I am a bit neurotic and weigh and chart my cats' weights on a daily basis, using a baby scale accurate to .5 oz.

7. Every brand of food has unsavory rumors of it. Google "Wellness struvite crystals". Google "Innova Procter and Gamble". At the end of the day, you need to decide what you believe. This is the internet.

8. Carbohydrates (grains) have no value to a cat. They should be fed in as small values as possible.

9. "Low Fat" brands of cat food are neat, they lower the fat content and increase the carbohydrate content, which is then turned into fat by your cat. Clever marketing.

10. In order to most replicate a cat's natural diet, I avoid beef, venison, and fish. I feed only foods containing rabbit and poultry.

11. I avoid soy at all costs. Too many allergies out there.

12. I don't eat by-products. I don't expect my cats to either. In a post-apocalyptic scenario where I run out of human food, I want the highest quality food to poach from my cats (this is a joke).

13. Binky & Janet's page is largely out of date. The numbers are no longer accurate. Use at your own discretion.

14. My feelings aren't hurt if you feed your cat garbage.

15. There are other great foods out there I'm sure. If you are interested in the actual values of what you are feeding your cat, I would be more than happy to help look.

16. Based on the research I could find, these are the parameters I set for selecting my cats' food: Protein 40%+, Fat 30%+, Carbs. 10%-.

17. Also for their importance I have included phosphorous and sodium values (when available). Ultimately these were not factored into my food selection, but if you have a cat with kidney issues, they warrant further inspection.

18. On to the Chart. NA= NOT AVAILABLE

BRAND/VARIETY, PROTEIN, FAT, CARBS, PHOSPHOROUS, SODIUM

EVO Chicken and Turkey: 47%, 37%, 7%, 1.3%, .55%

Wellness CORE Chicken, Turkey, Liver,: 46%, 36%, 11%, 1.08%, .32%

EVO 95% Chicken and Turkey: 41%, 49%, 4%, .88%, .46%

Innova Low Fat: 44%, 21%, 23%, 1.3%, Sodium NA

Weruva Chicken and Gravy: 57%, 8%, 28%, .7%, Sodium NA

Wellness Turkey: 46%, 40%, 6%, 1.05%, .3%

Wellness Kitten: 43%, 42%, 7%, 1.15%, .93%

Wellness Chicken: 45%, 41%, 6%, 1.15%, .34%
 

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It is awesome of you to conduct such analysis! :D But as a math & stat grad, I can't help to bringing some criticism. Hope you don't mind :)

1. You need to state where you obtain the raw data (for example, did you get the number from the lable on the can, or did you call the manufaturer?) and how you perform the analysis (i.e., algorithm/formula of your calculation)

2. You need to justify why among all the results, you choose to present only these 5 criteria: PROTEIN, FAT, CARBS, PHOSPHOROUS, SODIUM. In other words, why these are the most important and why others are not.

3. What's your observation and conclusion from your analysis results? You know, data are pointless and the most valuable thing is what you can deduct from the data. Conclusions can be something like "Among all samples, Weruva Chicken and Gravy has the highest amount of protein and lowest fat, and, hence, is most suitable for cats that...".

4. The 4 brand in your analysis, i.e., EVO, Innova, Wellness & Weruva are all of the top brands and within the same (high) price range. Although it is very interesting to see some analysis, I'm afraid it doesn't help a lot to other cat owners. It can be seen in the data that aside from Weruva, which is an obvious outlier of the sample set, others are more or less the same. So I don't see any difference in feeding Wellness or EVO. It will be very helpful if you could bring other range of brands, like the mid-end Felidae & Chicken Soup for Cat Lover and the low-end Friskey & Fancy Feast, into your analysis as well.

I'm very grateful someone could take the time to do this. I just think it would be nice if your work can be further improved :) Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is awesome of you to conduct such analysis! :D But as a math & stat grad, I can't help to bringing some criticism. Hope you don't mind :)

1. You need to state where you obtain the raw data (for example, did you get the number from the lable on the can, or did you call the manufaturer?) and how you perform the analysis (i.e., algorithm/formula of your calculation)

2. You need to justify why among all the results, you choose to present only these 5 criteria: PROTEIN, FAT, CARBS, PHOSPHOROUS, SODIUM. In other words, why these are the most important and why others are not.

3. What's your observation and conclusion from your analysis results? You know, data are pointless and the most valuable thing is what you can deduct from the data. Conclusions can be something like "Among all samples, Weruva Chicken and Gravy has the highest amount of protein and lowest fat, and, hence, is most suitable for cats that...".

4. The 4 brand in your analysis, i.e., EVO, Innova, Wellness & Weruva are all of the top brands and within the same (high) price range. Although it is very interesting to see some analysis, I'm afraid it doesn't help a lot to other cat owners. It can be seen in the data that aside from Weruva, which is an obvious outlier of the sample set, others are more or less the same. So I don't see any difference in feeding Wellness or EVO. It will be very helpful if you could bring other range of brands, like the mid-end Felidae & Chicken Soup for Cat Lover and the low-end Friskey & Fancy Feast, into your analysis as well.

I'm very grateful someone could take the time to do this. I just think it would be nice if your work can be further improved :) Thank you!
1. Numbers were obtained through the manufacturer when "as fed/actual content" was not available on websites. I did not crunch any "Guaranteed Analysis" numbers. I used TARGET/(100-MOISTURE) to calculate the Dry Matter Values for each item. I later found Tanya's CRF page and checked my work; more or less identical.

2. I started this project looking at the three nutrients that contribute to a cat's calories: protein, carbs, and fat (obviously not alcohol). The importance of calories derived from fat and protein became obvious after reading it repeatedly (can't cite work specifically, but it's out there, I promise) along with the need to avoid carbs. Phosphorous and Sodium became interesting after I lost my cat to HCM. He ended up dying from a combination of CRF and CHF, which I sometimes wonder if it could have been delayed had I been more wary of the effect those two minerals have on the kidneys (along with Potassium, I suppose).

3. Based on my findings, I like EVO Chicken & Turkey along with Wellness Turkey and Wellness Chicken. I kinda wanted people to draw their own conclusions. Weruva is a "weird" food. The fat content is too low to be nutritionally sufficient for cats, and the carbs are too high. I couldn't find a canned food that they made that was well rounded. Also, their moisture content was extremely high (up to 85% on some foods), meaning you would have to feed almost twice as much food to get the same calorie content as a food with a moisture content in the 70% range.

4. Well, the only thing I concluded (in my mind) was that I didn't want to feed Weruva because of the aforementioned issues, I didn't want to feed Wellness Kitten (because it is limited to 3 oz size), and I didn't want to feed Innova Low Fat or Wellness Core because of the high level of Carbs. I also felt more comfortable with feeding Evo C&T Cat and Kitten, because it meets the AAFCO regulations for ALL life stages, while other EVO products do not. Wellness does, on the other hand, but it makes my kitten puke, so it's out. Check out Tanya's CRF food profiles if you want to have a full list of foods, I unfortunately found it AFTER I had spent some time crunching numbers.

Again, this is just information I compiled myself after wanting to have my cats lose weight and do so in a healthy manner. I wish I knew all of this long ago, that someone had sat me down and shared it all so I could draw my conclusions. The purpose really isn't to push any one brand or force anyone to feed any certain thing. These are just my own conclusions, not a scientific research paper.
 

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I especially love number 14 ;)

Thanks for the post. I think it is very similar to what I know about dog food...except that cats have a bigger need for meat content because of the taurine issue. But the way I look at it, dogs need meat too.

I see you feed a partial raw diet. I plan to do the same. SO when not eating raw, I assume they eat canned? What are your thoughts on the Merrick canned lines? I personally love them for my dogs. Do you feed your cat(s) inside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I especially love number 14 ;)

Thanks for the post. I think it is very similar to what I know about dog food...except that cats have a bigger need for meat content because of the taurine issue. But the way I look at it, dogs need meat too.

I see you feed a partial raw diet. I plan to do the same. SO when not eating raw, I assume they eat canned? What are your thoughts on the Merrick canned lines? I personally love them for my dogs. Do you feed your cat(s) inside?
Yes, they eat canned, and yes, they are indoor only cats. I think Merrick "generally" makes high quality canned foods. I say "generally" because I have yet to find a brand that I would feed all of their food lines without reservation, if that makes sense. The reason I didn't include Merrick in my little chart is because it doesn't come in 12oz+ cans. With three cats, 3.2 ounce and 5.5 ounce cans aren't terribly economical, unless there is someway I could build a house out of empty cans.
 

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I became interested in feline nutrition a few months back, and wanted to share my thoughts/findings, in case they might be of value to others.

Here's my food chart based on a Dry Matter Analysis. These are ACTUAL VALUES, and not the worthless "guaranteed analysis" information provided on labels and manufacturer websites. This is information that you need to know when looking at this chart:

1. I am not a veterinarian, a vet-tech, or even a statistician. I took some undergraduate and graduate courses in stats, but have no medical animal background.

2. Undoubtedly people will post about the benefits of raw. I do not disagree. I feed my cats a partially raw diet. I worry that not all homemade raw diets meet the full nutritional needs of cats. It looks like these forums are an excellent resource for making a balanced food.

3. There are some great brands of pre-made raw food out there. Feline's Pride, Nature's Variety, and Primal are just a few. However, NONE of these brands can (will?) provide actual nutritional values, providing only the aforementioned "guaranteed analysis". I've written and called, if you want to try, go for it, I'd personally like to see actual numbers.

4. After losing a cat to Chronic Renal Failure, and having a close friend's cat deal with struvite crystals, I vowed to never again feed dry food.

5. Dry food keeping a cat's teeth clean has been debunked. Even if it were true, the benefits of water greatly outweigh the benefits of clean teeth (assuming you could only pick one or the other). If you want to be awesome, feed a wet diet and brush your cats teeth


6. There is no one answer to "How much should I feed my cat?" It will differ based on age, gender, breed, activity level, calorie content of food, etc. I am a bit neurotic and weigh and chart my cats' weights on a daily basis, using a baby scale accurate to .5 oz.

7. Every brand of food has unsavory rumors of it. Google "Wellness struvite crystals". Google "Innova Procter and Gamble". At the end of the day, you need to decide what you believe. This is the internet.

8. Carbohydrates (grains) have no value to a cat. They should be fed in as small values as possible.

9. "Low Fat" brands of cat food are neat, they lower the fat content and increase the carbohydrate content, which is then turned into fat by your cat. Clever marketing.

10. In order to most replicate a cat's natural diet, I avoid beef, venison, and fish. I feed only foods containing rabbit and poultry.

11. I avoid soy at all costs. Too many allergies out there.

12. I don't eat by-products. I don't expect my cats to either. In a post-apocalyptic scenario where I run out of human food, I want the highest quality food to poach from my cats (this is a joke).

13. Binky & Janet's page is largely out of date. The numbers are no longer accurate. Use at your own discretion.

14. My feelings aren't hurt if you feed your cat garbage.

15. There are other great foods out there I'm sure. If you are interested in the actual values of what you are feeding your cat, I would be more than happy to help look.

16. Based on the research I could find, these are the parameters I set for selecting my cats' food: Protein 40%+, Fat 30%+, Carbs. 10%-.

17. Also for their importance I have included phosphorous and sodium values (when available). Ultimately these were not factored into my food selection, but if you have a cat with kidney issues, they warrant further inspection.

18. On to the Chart. NA= NOT AVAILABLE

BRAND/VARIETY, PROTEIN, FAT, CARBS, PHOSPHOROUS, SODIUM

EVO Chicken and Turkey: 47%, 37%, 7%, 1.3%, .55%

Wellness CORE Chicken, Turkey, Liver,: 46%, 36%, 11%, 1.08%, .32%

EVO 95% Chicken and Turkey: 41%, 49%, 4%, .88%, .46%

Innova Low Fat: 44%, 21%, 23%, 1.3%, Sodium NA

Weruva Chicken and Gravy: 57%, 8%, 28%, .7%, Sodium NA

Wellness Turkey: 46%, 40%, 6%, 1.05%, .3%

Wellness Kitten: 43%, 42%, 7%, 1.15%, .93%

Wellness Chicken: 45%, 41%, 6%, 1.15%, .34%
Too funny!
 

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Thanks for the explaination Tylt33! Again I apologize for my criticism. Sometimes for something to make sense it has to be thorough :) Your follow-up post pretty much cleaned up all the unclear point.

I found it very interesting that Weruva is so high on protein but so low on fat. I wonder if they did this on purpose? And why? This also sort of explained why Weruva is the most expensive canned food I have seen so far. I haven't tried that brand with my kitty because of the price (am pretty happy with EVO and Wellness now), and after reading your study, I possibly won't in the future.

And this is very helpful info. Didn't know that before. Does that include Evo 95% C&T as well?

I also felt more comfortable with feeding Evo C&T Cat and Kitten, because it meets the AAFCO regulations for ALL life stages, while other EVO products do not.
 

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BTW, how do you feel about Innova? I think they only have 3 varieties and I currently give my cats the Cat&Kitten ones occasionally. I'm considering switching the roles of Wellness and Innova, i.e., feed Innova on regular basis and occassionally Wellness. While I like Wellness, my cats don't. After so many months they still refuse to eat it if I don't mix it with some other food that they like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BTW, how do you feel about Innova? I think they only have 3 varieties and I currently give my cats the Cat&Kitten ones occasionally. I'm considering switching the roles of Wellness and Innova, i.e., feed Innova on regular basis and occassionally Wellness. While I like Wellness, my cats don't. After so many months they still refuse to eat it if I don't mix it with some other food that they like.
I like Innova, but prefer their EVO line over regular. There is some skepticism out there for Innova due to their acquisition by Procter & Gamble, but I haven't personally noticed a decline in their food quality... mostly just speculation. Changing up the cat food is a good idea if your kitties are starting to get picky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the explaination Tylt33! Again I apologize for my criticism. Sometimes for something to make sense it has to be thorough :) Your follow-up post pretty much cleaned up all the unclear point.

I found it very interesting that Weruva is so high on protein but so low on fat. I wonder if they did this on purpose? And why? This also sort of explained why Weruva is the most expensive canned food I have seen so far. I haven't tried that brand with my kitty because of the price (am pretty happy with EVO and Wellness now), and after reading your study, I possibly won't in the future.

And this is very helpful info. Didn't know that before. Does that include Evo 95% C&T as well?
No, EVO 95% C&T is "Adult Maintenance" only; does not meet AAFCO standards for kittens.
 

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Thanks for the info! :D

To be fair, I won't call my cats picky. I can switch food very easily, from brand to brand, from dry-wet-raw without any "transition" period. Oddly though, there are food that they just refuse to eat from the very beginning. They sniff it for a minute and then look at me, with either confused or disappointed looking (can't tell). They wouldn't even try one bite. And maybe my cats are stubborn, once they made up their mind, time doesn't help to improve their attitute toward those food. So far I found Wellness and Max Cat are the only two they reject. I've always wondered why. The texture looks the same as other brands, and they certainly smell no different to me :/
 
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