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Discussion Starter #1
Our three cats Trin (10 yrs), Gohan (8 yrs), and Olive (3yrs) currently eat Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Chicken and Green Pea kibble. For a treat after playtime, they share a pouch of Applaws Chicken and Asparagus (Trin is obsessed with chicken, Gohan loves asparagus, Olive likes food).






I am overwhelmed with the amount of brands and types out there. I want to get something healthy and good for them. We had them try the Natural Balance pate and it was a resounding no. I thought maybe something shredded or with chunks would go over better than a pate. I haven't seen anything recent on the forum regarding canned food brands, so I though I would see if people had recommendations of good brands? The one's I've been eyeing trying were Dave's Naturally Healthy Shredded Chicken Dinner in Gravy, Merrick (although which line?) and Wellness. Not sure if any of these will appeal yet. Thanks!




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Hey there!
So I have done quite a bit of research on canned foods because as a first time cat owner I realized that not all of them were actually good. What I have been feeding my cats that they seem to love is the Wellness brand wet food or most recently I have really been liking the "Instinct" brand of cat food. They claim that it is like 95% all protein so they add in there the meat and organs and stuff too which is good for cats. Also instinct sells freeze dried food that you just rehydrate with water and give it to them..or theres also a brand called "Stella and Chewy's" that also freeze dries their food and it is like 98% real meat organs and bones just ground up and freeze dried. I usually rehydrate or I will give it the them as treats because my male cat just loves it!
 

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Thanks Stella! I had found a list of brands from “What Cas Should Eat” by Jean Hofve. Seemed she did a lot of research into the ingredients and formulas. At the end of the book there is a list of her preferred brands, of which Wellness is listed. Good to hear that your cats also love it! I bought a few cans today, along with Holistic Select flavors. We will see how this goes. 😬
 

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Fingers crossed for you Khadsell. It's a complete crapshoot trying to figure out what one kitty will eat, let alone three! My girl only does pates, and she's eaten these brands for at least a month: Dave's 95% line, Merrick's Purrfect Bistro, Wellness CORE, and Holistic Select. She used to get Instinct dry (rabbit), and I like Instinct in terms of quality, but their pates are not very smooth, and she didn't like them. She just recently starting eating Wellness CORE again, and regular Wellness. Unfortunately, she has advanced CKD, and Wellness isn't the best brand for CKD kitties (pretty high in phosphorus, and it has cranberries, not good for kidney kitties).

Stella&Toby, if you're interested, Instinct - and I believe Stella and Chewy's as well - also does frozen raw (not dehydrated). The Instinct raw bites are tiny, each one not much larger than a piece of kibble, so it's a nice way to try to introduce raw if you're interested.
 

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So test one was Dave’s Shredded Chicken Dinner. Olive ate it up, Trin wouldn’t touch it and Gohan literally gagged when he smelled it. At least Olive can finish the stock since I had to buy a case lol.

I bought some other brands and I’ll try and put a little on top of the food next time.
 

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Second experiment: Earthen Holistic Chicken Fricatsee with vegetables. Olive again liked it, Trin sniffed it a bit more but didn't try it and Gohan ate a fair amount.
 

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LOL so it looks like Trin is going to be your finicky one...I haven't tried that particular Dave's, because Celia won't eat anything shredded (she just licks up the gravy), but most of the Dave's have veggies. You might try one of the brands that has essentially nothing but shredded chicken, or chicken & liver: Wellness Signature Selects shredded chicken & chicken liver, Fussie Cat chicken in gravy, Weruva Nine Liver are ones I've tried recently. These all actually look edible, not like cat food!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, spirite, Trin can be picky. He loves chicken (goes crazy when he smells us having it and we give him some as a treat) and he eats the Applaws supplemental stuff (and makes sure the others haven't missed any in their bowls - even if they are still eating from them lol). Someone finished his portion of the Erathen Holistic yesterday after we went to work, but not sure if it was him or Gohan. It actually looked like shredded chicken I would eat, and we got a few different Wellness flavors to try next, so I'm glad you recommend it. It's a pretty fun experiment.
 

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It's a pretty fun experiment.
Ha. "Fun" doesn't make the top 800 words I would choose to describe the experiment I've been running with Celia for 2+ months now. "Expensive," however, would do nicely...about $280. One cat. :eek:

Hopefully, your experiment will not last 2 months...If it does, you'll probably need some new adjectives. :p
 

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Oh man, that's rough. I'm on like week 2 and I'm sure it will get old soon. Fortunately I am actually finding it hard to know what Olive likes best since she literally eats everything and seems just as excited about it. Gohan has been a good sport as well. Trin is our holdout, so we will have to see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Quick question: Olive is switched over to wet food now (she's going to finish up the cans of Dave's that I bought). She's about 11 pounds, and a bit chunky. I've been feeding her about 1.5 cans a day, for a total of 211.5 calories. I feed 1/2 can at 7 am before work, and 1/2 can when I come home around 6 pm, and then the last 1/2 before I go to bed. She also usually gets 1/3 of a pouch of Applaws Chicken and Asparagus after playtime (can't find the calorie content, but someone online mentioned it could be ~50 cal per pouch)


Is 11 hours too long to go before food? Should I leave her some kibble for snacks while I'm gone? I want her to lose a little weight, but I don't want to starve her.
 

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I think many people end up feeding 12 hours apart (if they're feeding 2x/day), so 11 hours should be fine. I wouldn't leave kibble out, first because you say she's a little chunky, and it can be hard to get extra weight off kitties, and second just in case she suddenly decides - in the way kitties sometimes do - that she prefers the kibble.

I've heard a lot about Applaws just in the past couple of months but haven't ever seen it. Then again, I wasn't looking for it - where do you buy yours?
 

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Thanks, Spirite. Glad to know she’s not starving

We started buying Applaws at PetfoodExpress, but will switch to Petco.com soon since it’s cheaper. It’s a supplemental pouch, not meant as a complete diet, so we split it among the three cats only as a treat. I read you can serve it with the Applaws canned good to be a complete meal but we haven’t tried it.


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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting new development: Olive actually doesn't like a food! I tried feeding them First Mate Chicken Limited Ingredient. She started eating just fine so I walked away, and her insistent meows brought me back, where she had backed away from the food and was tossing her head a little.


In other news, Trin will try the wet food if you add a little bit of rotisserie chicken on top. He's a glutton for baked chicken. Our thought is to add the Applaus on top of his food now. Very encouraging!
 

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I'm a big fan of science diet! Used it for years and it's been great.
Science Diet is full of by-products, wheat products, corn products and a variety of other ingredients that are not species appropriate for cats. The quality of their ingredients is low (e.g. GMOs). I was just looking at the nutritional profile on one of their canned foods....7% protein and based on the ingredients, most of it is not coming from animal sources. High quality foods have protein levels at 9-12%, all of it from animal sources. Cats need meat, not grains and other carbs.

You might want to check out these sites for great info on cat nutrition:

Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition
Little Big Cat | Holistic Health, Nutrition & Behavior
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I’m using the recommended brand list in Jean Hofve’s book “What Cat’s Should Eat: How to Feed Your Cat for Optimal Health”. I was so overwhelmed by the variety of brands it helped me choose. She also has a ton of great information about ingredients, labels and the pet food industry.

In addition, the Dave’s Pet Food Shredded Chicken Dinner seems to pass her guidelines even though the brand wasn’t listed. I think other flavors have carrageenan and other additives that aren’t recommended, but this flavor did not. Plus it’s a little cheaper than some of the other brands.

We have a case of Victor brand chicken on the way, so we will see how that goes. It was about the same price as Dave’s.
 

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I’m using the recommended brand list in Jean Hofve’s book “What Cat’s Should Eat: How to Feed Your Cat for Optimal Health”. I was so overwhelmed by the variety of brands it helped me choose. She also has a ton of great information about ingredients, labels and the pet food industry.
The littlebigcat site I posted above is Dr. Hofve's site, lots of good articles there.
 
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