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Discussion Starter #1
The girlly I adopted has been on Purina One for sensitive tummies, and she's doing well on it, but I know it's not the "best" that's out there. Ideally, I would feed a raw diet, but having just been switching over the dogs back to kibble because of "safety" reasons, I think I'll just stick to kibble for now and branch out later after the baby comes and I can assess what would be safest for baby.

For the dogs, I'm going to Taste of the Wild, which is grain free and has great reviews (it's also what I typically use for my fosters). I was wondering if anyone knows if the cat version has the same good reputation. I can get it at a really good price and 15% of the sales go to my rescue.

What are other good choices that are grain free and decently priced?

Thanks!
 

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TOTW is the best priced kibble for the quality of the food. But...you really need to get wet food into the cats diet. Cats have very low thirst drives (they're desert animals and their system is designed to get water from their prey) and a diet of only kibble will leave them dehydrated...often a major contributor to urinary and kidney issues.

TOTW wet food only comes in 3 oz cans and is pretty expensive. I'd recommend Wellness, Merrick or EVO.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks,

Could you tell me how much and how often canned should be brought into the diet? I've never heard this before, but now I've been seeing a little of this on the forum.
 

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Also, is it okay to do kibble in one brand and wet in a different brand, or will it be hard on the tummy?
 

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I have definitely heard good things about TotW. I don't feed it simply because I can't find it anywhere near me. I feed Wellness Core, which also seems to be well-reviewed.

As for introducing wet food, there are a lot of different ways you can do it. The more wet they get the better, generally, so how much depends on how often you are able to give them set meal times and your budget.

Mine get canned for breakfast and dinner, and then a dry evening snack for them to nibble on during the night (so they don't wake us up early in the morning demanding food). Exact portion sizes really depends on the cat's age, size, and general metabolism, and what kind of food you're feeding. In general, higher-quality, higher-protein foods can be fed in smaller portion sizes than lower-quality foods since there's more nutrition packed in there.

My cats get 1/4 of a 5.5 oz can of wet each a day (so about 3 oz a day total for each, or one 5.5oz can a day split between them) and somewhere between 1/2-3/4 cups of kibble split between them. I'm kind of still trying to figure out the best proportions of canned to dry for them though. Usually I can get them to eat all of their canned every day at this point, but sometimes they won't eat all of their dry, and sometimes they'll act like they're still hungry once they've finished it.

The grain-free canned brands I feed are Wellness (check the labels, some of the flavors aren't grain-free), Merrick Before Grain (and some of the Gourmet Entree flavors, but again, check labels with those), and Blue Buffalo (although this one sparingly since it's fairly expensive). Other brands I've heard good things about are Evo and Orijen. Taste of the Wild seems to have a canned option too, but again i haven't personally looked into it because it's not available near me.
 

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Also, is it okay to do kibble in one brand and wet in a different brand, or will it be hard on the tummy?
Totally fine!

The only thing you need to be concerned about is introducing a completely new food to their diet for the first time. Thankfully my cats have never had any issues starting a new food, but some cats can develop diarrhea or stomach upset if they switch to a new food too fast. With kibble, it's usually recommended to gradually add higher proportions of new to old over time. This is one of the rough recommended guides for how to do it: Starting Your Cat on a New Food You may find instructions on your food bag as well.
I always tried doing that whenever putting my cats on new kibble, just to be safe, although I've personally not had problems starting them on/switching them to wet food, so I'll have to let other members comment on any specific ways that should be done.

But as for feeding different brands at once, that is totally fine. My cats get one brand of dry, and 3 different brands (in multiple flavors of each) of wet that I rotate from day-to-day. I do this to keep them from getting bored/picky, to avoid buildup of allergies or intolerance to certain proteins, and to ensure they're getting proper balanced nutrition from a variety of sources.

So variety is actually quite good for their diet. It helps ensure they're getting everything they need and not getting too much of one thing, and can keep their digestive systems from getting to sensitive to different foods.
 

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Thanks!

This might be a silly question, but can you feed the wet and dry together, or should it be kept at different meals? We are currently feeding 2 meals a day (morning, night). She's around a year old, and she's pretty small at 9 lbs (I'm used to bigger kitties). She's got a lot of energy, but it's hard for me to judge her metabolism after just one week.
 

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Thanks!

This might be a silly question, but can you feed the wet and dry together, or should it be kept at different meals? We are currently feeding 2 meals a day (morning, night). She's around a year old, and she's pretty small at 9 lbs (I'm used to bigger kitties). She's got a lot of energy, but it's hard for me to judge her metabolism after just one week.
I've heard it's best not to literally put them in the same bowl, since when dry gets moist it can grow bacteria very fast. As for putting them both out at the same time in separate bowls, there's nothing wrong with that health-wise as far as I know.

I do know that when my cats had free-access to dry food all day, they were less willing to eat all of their wet, so that's the only problem you could run into having them both out at the same time. So it's really whatever works for you. You can do both dry and wet in separate bowls at the same time, one dry meal and one wet meal a day, two wet meals a day with a dry snack somewhere, etc. The specific amounts of food total for each day don't change, it's just how much you give them each meal. It can be spread around in whatever way seems to work best for your cat.

I've been using Core's feeding guidelines (since they actually have combo-feeding recommendations) as a starting point and adjusting when needed: Wellness CORE® Fish & Fowl for Adult Cats & Kittens You may find the amount of dry food they recommend is too much or too little depending on your specific cat.
 

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I don't let her free feed, so if it gets left behind (after a reasonable amount of time), it gets picked up. It took her about 2 days to figure that out and she's been pretty good about not leaving anything behing. Doing a meal of wet and an meal of kibble would probably work best. Thanks for the link. I'll have to price around to see what we can reasonably afford.
 

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Yes you can do different brands of dry and wet. You can even mix up the wet brands from meal to meal. My cats get 2/3 of a 5.5 oz can per day and about 1/8 cup kibble (each). A completely wet diet (or raw) is ideal, but of course sometimes the convenience of dry is needed. I vary the wet food every meal, usually have at least 6 different brands/flavors in the house at any given time and in general use probably 8 different brands and several different flavors per brand.
 
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