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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone... I'm new to this site, but I have to admit how impressed I am by all the information on here! And all the other people who are mildly kitty-obsessed like myself :) Maya came to me from the humane society when she was about 12 weeks old, already spayed! I love my little apartment but now it is SO much more fun coming home each day knowing she is there!

I grew up with 2 cats but my mom always took care of the food/litter issues.... so this is my first time figuring things out on my own. I've read everything I can find so far on different foods.... and right now Maya is eating Nutro Natural Choice Kitten and doing quite well.... but I have a couple questions.

1) I'm confused about carbs in dry cat food. Especially the INCREASED amount of carbs in weight-loss foods..... doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose? It seems to me that logically, more protein and fat would keep the cat fuller longer.... so why reduce fat and then increase the one thing a cat's body doesn't really need?? Dieticians have proven over and over again that reducing fat does not reduce weight in humans... is this different in cats?

2) Any recommendations for a good all-around food (kitten or adult) that has improved your cat's coat and reduced shedding? Or for any supplements? Maya's coat is thick and healthy but I've noticed some dandruff on her dark fur, and I have allergies as it is, so the healthier her skin and coat, the better for both of us!

Sorry this is so long!! But I would appreciate any info or opinions anybody has to share. Thanks everyone!
 

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You've asked a mouthful, firelightsj!

1.) You're right to be confused. We've had several threads on this. Here's what Dr. Jean had to say about it, "Here's a simple way to think about it. There are only three basic nutrients (macronutrients to be precise): protein, fat, and carbohydrate. On a dry matter basis, the three together have to add up to 100%, minus a few tenths or hundredths of a percent for vitamins and other additives. If you increase one of the three, one or both of the others must decrease, and vice versa. "Light" foods are lower in fat. Protein is expensive and nobody puts in extra. So, if fat goes down--it's carbohydrate that goes up! Fiber, which is also a carbohydrate, tends to be increased in light foods, though it does not contribute calories as such. Many cats *do* gain weight on "light" foods. I'd say I've seen many more cats gain weight than lose on these diet foods, because people still leave the food out all the time. Cats just eat twice as much of the light food since their satiety is triggered by protein and fat. The only way these diets work at all is to restrict the amount fed, which you can do with any food, it doesn't have to be "light". "

2) I've been feeding my cat Wellness canned food for a couple months and he's been doing really well on it. He has diabetes. I believe it was caused by the cheap, grocery store dry food I fed him most of his life. I keep saying that if I knew then what I know now I would have fed him a high-quality wet diet since kittenhood. It would have saved me a lot of money in vet bills, insulin, syringes, and antibiotics from all the bladder infections. Since I've had him on Wellness, his blood glucose has stabilized and he hasn't had a single bladder infection. I haven't monitored his weight, but when he goes in for his bi-yearly exam, I'll see if he's lost any. His fur has gotten much softer and silkier, too, but that may have to do with the fact that I'm combing him a lot more often now.

Dr. Jean, I hope you don't mind me quoting you. If you don't want it up there, let me know and I'll take it down.
 

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I agree with Anissa on your #2 question. A change in food can change everything about your kitty. I switched mine to Felidae wet and dry exclusively and they both feel like little bunnies. Stix has darker fur, and I can tell that it shines more now. I can't tell with Kota, because she is lighter. I very rarely comb them, so I know the change is because of the food.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for your quick responses!! That was exactly what I was wondering... I'm glad to hear I'm not crazy in thinking increased carbs doesn't make sense for losing or maintaining healthy weight in cats. There is just so much conflicting info out there. I found this website with nutritional breakdowns of dry cat foods:
http://www.sugarcats.net/sites/jmpeerson/dryfood.html
I believe it was developed by somebody with an interest in feline diabetes. Very interesting to compare some of the formulas!

I just bought some Wellness Kitten dry food yesterday, so I am hoping the high quality of that food will keep Maya's weight where it should be as she grows up. My childhood cat (16 yrs old, at my parents' house with our 10 yr old cat) has diabetes, so I am trying to do as much reseach as possible on nutrition now... so that hopefully Maya won't ever have to contend with that!

I was also considering Felidae or Innova... has anybody found one of these 3 to be superior to the others? Particularly in terms of skin/fur/healthy weight? Jonsgirl... it sounds like Felidae is working for your kitties' coats!! What were you feeding them before that? I will keep it in mind if the Wellness doesn't seem to make a difference with Maya's!
 
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