Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Financial harships (AKA, Student loans) have forced me to make cutbacks in my budget. I've fought it for as long as I could, but I can't afford to continue to feed three cats canned wellness. I'm spending about $190 a month in cat food as it stands now. I just can't continue on this way, as much as it pains me. They look SO GOOD right now. This diet has truly done well by all three of them.

I just can't bring myself to go back to kibble. So I've made the hard decision to switch to a lower grade canned diet. Because I work at a vet clinic, I've gone with Science diet because I can get a pretty deep discount. Its not a bad food, I know, its just not on par with wellness as far as I'm concerned. I really hope they continue to do well on it.

Anyone have any experience with science diet canned diets? How have your cats done? Anyone have any experience with switching from a higher quality food to a mid grade food like SD? Tell me I'm not a bad mom for doing this. There is just no where else to cut the budget.

If I could rewind the clock and undo grad school, I would do it in a heart beat!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,452 Posts
Rachael I just wanted to send you a (hug) as I know this must have been such a hard decision for you. You are a wonderful cat Meowmie and that will never change, regardless of what you feed the furries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,060 Posts
I expect your cats will do just fine on SD canned, though you might want to consider a raw diet. I don't know where you live, other than TX, but I can tell you that in my area, I feed my crew very, very cheaply on raw prey model. In fact, the only meat I have to buy is the edible bone (40# boxes of chicken backs [for the dogs] and necks [for the cats]). I live in a rural farming/hunting area. I get all of my organ meats for free from a local slaughterer, and I get all of my muscle meat either free or cheap ($.30/lb) from folks cleaning out their freezers. You'd need a large freezer to store all of the meat/organs/bones.

I never would have believed that I could feed my large 4-legged family such a high quality diet for so little cost, but in a farming/hunting area, you'd be amazed how much old meat gets tossed into the local landfill when folks clean out their freezers. They're more than happy to let me have it rather than see it all go to waste.

Just another option for you to consider, but as I said, I expect your cats will do fine on any canned diet you want to feed, even if it isn't Wellness.

Laurie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,666 Posts
Financial harships (AKA, Student loans) have forced me to make cutbacks in my budget. I've fought it for as long as I could, but I can't afford to continue to feed three cats canned wellness. I'm spending about $190 a month in cat food as it stands now. I just can't continue on this way, as much as it pains me. They look SO GOOD right now. This diet has truly done well by all three of them.

I just can't bring myself to go back to kibble. So I've made the hard decision to switch to a lower grade canned diet. Because I work at a vet clinic, I've gone with Science diet because I can get a pretty deep discount. Its not a bad food, I know, its just not on par with wellness as far as I'm concerned. I really hope they continue to do well on it.

Anyone have any experience with science diet canned diets? How have your cats done? Anyone have any experience with switching from a higher quality food to a mid grade food like SD? Tell me I'm not a bad mom for doing this. There is just no where else to cut the budget.

If I could rewind the clock and undo grad school, I would do it in a heart beat!
you would undo grad school? really? no way. :) (i know the paying back student loans and yeah. but now that i'm old and they're paid off, i don't regret any of it.)

fifteen years ago i might have been stupid or just too busy and trusted my vet but i fed both my cats SD and they were fine. to be honest, they thought it was a little bland and sometimes the main one who was supposed to eat it (the cat with no teeth) (whose teeth had to be removed because of SEVERE and disgusting gum disease that had already manifested when i adopted him) (but didn't know about lol) wouldn't so i bought a cheap little food processor and i would grind up the chunks one and then he'd eat it.

he died about six years ago but he never had health or kidney problems or any kind of cancer, no IBD, no vomiting or diarrhea, and he looked good, actually he looked beautiful until maybe a year before he passed. the one who was a baby then is now quite healthy except for hyperthyroidism. that's actually what i think coda died from, but to the best of my knowledge that isn't diet related.

maybe you could consider what laurie said about raw. i mean, there's a lot of meat in texas, isn't there? :) and don't people there like to shoot and hunt, so maybe you could even get free venison or duck. who knows?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,383 Posts
I know this is a tough decision...but an idea for you...

Most vets get their food through a distributor, not directly from Hills. Those distributors have many brands of food. Maybe you could talk with the person who orders the food for your office and see if they might be able to order other brands for you at the same discount. If you order several cases at a time it shouldn't be too much of a hassle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
I'm not sure how much your budget is, how many meals you're feeding and what the prices are in your area, but here's what I get:

Authority - Petsmart. It's about 80 cents a can. Not the best food, but way better than others.
Nutro Max - Petsmart and Petco. It's about 90cents to a dollar a can. I like it because it's virtually grain free (I think it has rice in it), and one of the few Paizly can keep down most of the time.

Only when it's on sale and only when I have enough to splurge, I really like Holistic Select. But even on sale it's about $2 for a 13 ounce can so that's really more for a treat than a daily menu.

Right now I'm transitioning to raw, so they're getting that and some canned alternatingly. This last batch of food has been ground, but I plan on going to the store next week for some chicken, cornish game hens and I may order a LITTLE bit (most to see if they like it) off one of the raw sites in the links of the raw diet site. Quail and mice, maybe rabbit.
I like the ground stuff, cuz I'm lazy... but I guess I'll sacrifice some work of the whole prey for my kitties to be healthier! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,060 Posts
fifteen years ago i might have been stupid or just too busy and trusted my vet but i fed both my cats SD ... the one who was a baby then is now quite healthy except for hyperthyroidism. that's actually what i think coda died from, but to the best of my knowledge that isn't diet related.
Actually, there is a link between canned cat foods (not SD exclusively) and hyperthyroidism. It has to do with the chemicals in the lining of most cat food cans.

maybe you could consider what laurie said about raw. i mean, there's a lot of meat in texas, isn't there? :) and don't people there like to shoot and hunt, so maybe you could even get free venison or duck. who knows?
The majority of the food I get from freezer-cleaning folks is venison. I also have some duck in my freezer right now, too, along with rabbit, pork, beef, chicken, and various game birds - all free or very, very cheap.

Laurie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
Kobster,

I completely understand your feelings and the tight budget dilemma. Im in the same boat. Please try and not to feel guilty.
You love your animals deeply and are doing the best you can with the resources you have.

Some people have the priviledge to feed their animals high end quality food. Others, like us, do the best we can.
Your animals know that you love them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
603 Posts
Kobster,

I completely understand your feelings and the tight budget dilemma. Im in the same boat. Please try and not to feel guilty.
You love your animals deeply and are doing the best you can with the resources you have.

Some people have the priviledge to feed their animals high end quality food. Others, like us, do the best we can.
Your animals know that you love them.
So true!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,126 Posts
Lots of people are in the same boat you are esp in this economy. You arent abandoning your cats in an empty house. You are trying to do what is wise in your situation. One day you will be back on your feet when the loans are paid off. Switching food is a tempory measure. Dont beat yourself up. Your a great cat mom!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
Wow, yeah, $190/month is very steep! I have 4 cats and I spend less than half of that on their food, but now I feed exclusively raw (frankenprey in the morning, and ground raw patties I make myself at night). It requires prepping food once per month, and as was mentioned before, ample freezer space. Once you get into the swing of it, it's pretty routine and easy.

I know canned is much more convenient, but if you are on a tight budget, the trade-off of still maintaining or even improving their diet and saving yourself a substantial amount seems like a win-win.

Whatever you decide, I don't think you are doing wrong by your cats, either. Hang in there :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
I'm not sure why your food cost is so high? I have 2 cats and the cost on food is about 60CAD a month. Even if I go all can (now it's 2/3 can and 1/3 raw), it will stay within 100.

13oz canned Wellness is 3.20CAD here in Toronto. My cat each eat 5.5oz per day. If you do the math (factor in the 14% tax), that's 46CAD for each cat per month. I see you are at Texas, so you will definitely find better deals and you pay lower tax. So unless your cats eat a LOT, there is no way it would cost you 190$ for 3 cats.

I think before you switch food, maybe monitor your spending closely and see where the money really went? It may not be the food that is hurting your wallet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
That's not far from a car loan cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,945 Posts
The way you started your thread, I was waiting for you to say you were giving up some or all of the animals. Say it ain't so, I was thinking! Then you said it was about the food they eat .. PHEW!

Do you have a Trader Joe's near you? They have 5 different flavors of canned food, two of which I get for Murphy, and the cans are only 69 cents each. Resident Expert Lisa looked over the ingredients and said it's a good food, although not really premium, but in the "good enough" sort of category. The problem is that you can't order online from Trader Joe's, so you need to have a store near you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
13oz canned Wellness is 3.20CAD here in Toronto. My cat each eat 5.5oz per day. If you do the math (factor in the 14% tax), that's 46CAD for each cat per month.
I'd love to switch to the bigger cans, but with only one cat everything says the food can't keep in fridge for the 2.5 days she'd need to eat 13oz.

Did you ever find a decent online site with delivery in Canada? I found one that only delivered free in Ontario (I'm in Alberta). I wouldn't even mind paying a few dollars for shipping, but I find it nuts that I can get ridiculously large/cumbersome things like K-cups delivered free/cheap but not cat food.

We already have spud for produce delivery, but their cat products are severely lacking (by which I mean they sell one type of dry food, that's organic but the ingredients like doesn't look that impressive).

(sorry to hijack!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Not a bad meowmie at all! You are doing the very best you can for them within your means. I second the suggestion to consider supplementing with raw. I've dropped my food costs for my 2 by about 20-30% by substituting about 10 of Pedro's meals a week and 2 of Apple's meals a week (mostly she doesn't think raw is real food lol). Combine that drop with the cost reduction from changing their canned food and you really could slash your food budget for the kitties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
(mostly she doesn't think raw is real food lol).
This is why I still keep a few cans around. Nebbie just can't figure out that all that pink goop on her plate is supposed to go in her mouth (rather than batted around like she did the first couple times I gave it!).
I can't have her starve, so I finally give in and give her half a can at night before bed, and they all get half a can in the morning (because I'm still not in a routine of getting up just a -bit- earlier to soak their breakfast in a bowl of warm water)
Lunch and dinner is raw. Whoever doesn't eat (usually Nebbie, sometimes Zinny) gets canned food at bedtime.

Their kibble bowl has been completely empty for nearly a week now. YAY!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
I'd love to switch to the bigger cans, but with only one cat everything says the food can't keep in fridge for the 2.5 days she'd need to eat 13oz.
Actually 2.5 days in fridge is fine, as long as you seal it well. You can buy those "can cap" to snap on the open can, and put the can in cooler place in the fridge (like at back). I frequently have open cans sitting in fridge for 2-3 days and my cats don't complain. The canned squash that I mix in their food occasionally stays in fridge even longer. They don't get upset stomach or diarrhear either.

Did you ever find a decent online site with delivery in Canada? I found one that only delivered free in Ontario (I'm in Alberta).
We had similar discussion on this topic before and the conclusion is, such website possibly doesn't exists in Canada right now. I wonder if the one site that you mentioned is Ren's petfood? If so, then the truth is they don't deliver free in Ontario. Cat food is classified as heavy item and their free delivery excludes heavy or oversize items. Hope that will make you feel better! Us Ontarioans don't get special treat :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Actually 2.5 days in fridge is fine, as long as you seal it well. You can buy those "can cap" to snap on the open can, and put the can in cooler place in the fridge (like at back). I frequently have open cans sitting in fridge for 2-3 days and my cats don't complain. The canned squash that I mix in their food occasionally stays in fridge even longer. They don't get upset stomach or diarrhear either.
My mother instilled a fear of leaving anything inside a can in the fridge in me. We put Io's food in a tupperware with a snap lid - that should be just as good/better then the can toppers, shouldn't it?

I hope so. It would save a lot of money to go to the big cans. I just never thought of it before - not to find a big can of something shredded! (Her highness turns up her nose and 'buries' anything paté).



We had similar discussion on this topic before and the conclusion is, such website possibly doesn't exists in Canada right now. I wonder if the one site that you mentioned is Ren's petfood? If so, then the truth is they don't deliver free in Ontario. Cat food is classified as heavy item and their free delivery excludes heavy or oversize items. Hope that will make you feel better! Us Ontarioans don't get special treat :lol:
No, it was petonly.ca. Online Pet Store Canada | Cat Toys,Pet Treats,Dog Boots,Dog Clothes Beds

Shipping is FREE on orders of $79.99+(*Exclusions Apply)

Please Note: These Exclusions do not apply to Ontario & Quebec shipping addresses. Shipping will always be FREE on orders of $79.99+ when we ship within Ontario & Quebec except extremely Remote Area.**
...
Free Shipping does not apply to oversized items, heavy items & pet food shipped to outside of Ontario.
I wouldn't care if the free shipping wasn't until $200+ orders. It's worth it to not have to lug everything home since we don't drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
I hope so. It would save a lot of money to go to the big cans. I just never thought of it before - not to find a big can of something shredded! (Her highness turns up her nose and 'buries' anything paté).
You can certainly give it a try. Cats have really sensitive nose, so if the food is not fresh enough to her like, she will let you know :D

The only big cans with shreds that I know is Performatrin Ultra (at least the beef and turkey flavors are). It's sold in PetValu. The ingredients are quite decent and price a bit lower than Wellness.

Interesting. Thanks for letting me know! Unfortunately their price is not good. They ask $3.25 for Wellness 13oz, and $1.875 for Merric BG. I can get better deals at my local store. But still useful info :)
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top