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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure which food I should be feeding Shug. Right now, all she eats is kitten kibble. We've always bought our pets kibble, and that's pretty much all they've ever eaten, but I don't know if I should continue that route with Shug or not. I really don't think I can do the whole "raw" diet, because I honestly think my parents would say something to me about feeding her raw food (what does raw food consist of anyhow?)

I was thinking about getting a mix of wet food and kibble for her, but I'm unsure still.
 

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We feed our kittens a mix of wet food and kibble. We will probably go for less kibble and more wet as they get older, but they simply eat SO much right now, since they're kittens, that we can't afford ALL wet since we're buying grain free wet food.

There are more fillers in dry food (even better quality dry food) than there are in canned food. Also, canned food helps cats get the moisture they need, since cats are not big water drinkers. Canned food is just all around better for cats. I didn't even know that before we got our two - I just did a lot of research. ;)

Our kittens eat Chicken Soup for the Kitten Soul dry food (this is pretty hard to find, but we happen to have a pet store near us that sells it), and we also mix Lily's dry food with some Orijen sometimes, but Spencer won't eat that. For wet food, they eat Wellness (we only buy the grain free kinds) - but not their kitten wet food, since Lily and Spencer didn't like it, and Merrick Before Grain wet food. Wellness and Merrick are not specifically kitten foods, but they are ok for adult cats and kittens.

If you can afford it, I really recommend getting grain free wet food as much as possible. It is a little pricey. We pay $1.09 for a 5.5 oz can of Before Grain and $1.19 for a 5.5 oz can of Wellness. We feel that it's worth it, though. Our kittens are very active, have beautiful, soft coats, and are just generally very healthy. They also have no, ahem, litterbox issues. We really do attribute all this to their healthy diet.

You can rotate wet foods, and there are non-grain free wet foods that are still decent, even if they have some grain. Natural Balance is one. Sometimes Lily eats regular Merrick (not before grain), which does have some grain. It's actually a good idea to rotate types of meats that you give you cats (for example, we feed our cats canned food that's turkey, chicken, quail and chicken, salmon, and sometimes I find one with some duck for Lily since Spencer won't try anything new...). Rotating meats helps the cats get lots of different kinds of meat proteins, instead of just one. I've seen a lot of people on here say their cats will eat fish and refuse all else if they feed too much fish. This isn't the case with us - our cats won't even eat Before Grain tuna. They also aren't too thrilled about anything with beef in it. They LOVE turkey and chicken, however. It all depends on the cat.

Anyway, for wet OR dry food, look at the ingredients. You want to avoid meat byproducts (it will actually say "chicken byproduct" etc). The first couple of ingredients should be MEAT, (and possibly water, in canned food), and grains should NOT make it into the first few ingredients. Our dry food is not grain free, but the grains don't make the list until the 6th ingredient. If you're not getting grain free, look for grains like rice and potatoes, and stay away from corn and wheat. (Some foods say "maize" to try to make corn sound better...it's still corn no matter what they call it! lol)

I'm not sure what stores are near you, but the way I found our awesome pet store (where we get Merrick and Wellness for MUCH cheaper than they sell it at Petco), was by looking on pet food brand websites and finding the retailers near me. If you want to go that route, I'd start with Wellness - it tends to be one of the more common premium foods.

Sorry this is so long...but I hope it was helpful!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How does Grain effect them? I know it can cause weight gain in humans.. is it the same for kitties too?

I don't have any 'pet stores' like Petco or Petsmart near me..
All I can really buy pet food from is my local walmart or common stores. =(
 

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How does Grain effect them? I know it can cause weight gain in humans.. is it the same for kitties too?

I don't have any 'pet stores' like Petco or Petsmart near me..
All I can really buy pet food from is my local walmart or common stores. =(
I dont think cats can digest grain too well, and it can cause tummy troubles (diarhea etc)
 

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I just wrote a big long reply to this thread that you might find helpful: http://www.catforum.com/forum/38-health-nutrition/140819-how-feed-my-future-kitten.html#post738728

To cover some additional specific points:
I really don't think I can do the whole "raw" diet, because I honestly think my parents would say something to me about feeding her raw food (what does raw food consist of anyhow?)
There are a few ways raw can be done.

-Whole prey: Just what it sounds like. Feeding the cat whole animals (mice, chicks, hens, quail, rabbits).
Pros: Most natural way to feed. No tricky balancing required as they're already getting balanced meals by eating the whole animal/
Cons: Difficult to source, may be expensive to order online, may gross your parents' out.

-"Frankenprey" or prey model diet: Feeding pieces of different animals to try to recreate the natural diet without feeding a whole animal (ex. bones, organs, and meat). This method needs to be balanced though, to make sure they're getting the right amounts of everything. There's a sub-method here where people grind the food and mix it together, but I don't really think that's an ideal option for most cats, it kind of defeats some of the big purposes of doing homemade raw (avoiding extra processing, and improving dental care).
Pros: The cheapest method usually, as you can often get everything you need from the grocery store or local meat/ethnic markets. If balanced properly, is probably almost, or just as close to a natural diet as whole prey.
Cons: Requires careful balancing. Still may be some "gross" factor, though not as bad as whole prey. Not viable if you can't include all the elements of the diet (ex. if you can't find a good organ source).

-Commercial: This is premade raw, that comes in bags of frozen nuggets. The nuggets consist of ground meat, organs, bones, and sometimes additional ingredients like vegetables (arguably not really necessary in a cats' diet).
Pros: Most convenient/easiest of the raw feeding methods. Least "gross" of the raw feeding methods. Everything is already balanced for you if you're buying from a good company.
Cons: Most removed from a natural diet (although still arguably closer to one than any other commercial food). May contain unnecessary fillers like vegetables. May be pricey (for me, the price is about $3 more a month than a high-quality grain-free canned diet, so not horrible, but definitely more expensive than home made).

I currently use the third method, with a little of the second method tossed in (and the occasional grain-free canned).

How does Grain effect them? I know it can cause weight gain in humans.. is it the same for kitties too
Yup, but worse for cats. Humans are omnivores, whose bodies are equipped to deal with a decent amount of grain in our diets. It's one of our common energy sources. Cats' bodies, however, are designed to use animal parts as their primary sources of energy and nutrition. Their bodies can't always properly digest grains, meaning they need to eat more of them to extract the same amount of nutrients, and this can lead to gas, bloating, loose stools, and obesity. Grains also spike blood sugar more than any food natural to a cat's diet, and their bodies aren't equipped to deal with that, so this can put them at risk for developing diabetes.

I don't have any 'pet stores' like Petco or Petsmart near me..
All I can really buy pet food from is my local walmart or common stores. =(
Do you have any small non-chain stores? Like little local pet stores? They tend to carry a lot of quality foods (grain-free, and raw). PetCo is where I get all of my grain-free canned, however the big name pet stores actually don't carry raw. I have to go to little local stores for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't plan on feeding Shug raw meat, because of my parents. Not only will it "gross them out" but they think that a pet shouldn't be fed "human food" unless they're leftovers, lol.

I do have a pet store, but it's like 20 minutes away from the rest of our stores, so I don't think my mom would even take me to it. She'd tell me to get "normal cat food" from walmart.
 

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I think your best option then is to feed her her a canned or partially canned diet. A completely dry diet has the potential to be dehydrating, and all the carbs can be problematic, but if you can introduce a decent amount of moisture into her diet via at least some canned, that would be great.

I checked out the foods available at Walmart (according to their website) and it looks like you have a few different options there. I did a really quick look at canned food ingredients and it looks like Fancy Feast or Friskies contain the least amount of bad ingredients of the available foods, but you may want to take a closer look and decide for yourself.

Basically, you want to try to find one with the least amount of animal byproducts (preferably one that names its meat source rather than just saying byproducts or flavor), soy, corn, gluten, and sugar.

I am pretty sure all these foods contain at least some corn/gluten/soy, but Friskies and Fancy Feast at least seem to contain a named meat source rather than a byproduct, and no added sugar (looks like Meow Mix actually adds cane sugar to their food, which is a decision I cannot comprehend at all).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hm.. I'll take a look whenever I go there next. I'm sure she'd love the wet food.

Would I give her just one can per day, mixed with some kibble?
I'd probably have to slowly introduce her to it to avoid tummy aches.
 

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Hm.. I'll take a look whenever I go there next. I'm sure she'd love the wet food.

Would I give her just one can per day, mixed with some kibble?
I'd probably have to slowly introduce her to it to avoid tummy aches.
Different brands will have different feeding requirements. It can sometimes work out cheaper to feed a higher quality food as you have to feed less of these than some of the 'junk' foods, as you pay extra for the filler :p

The food I have my kittens on at the moment requires between 1-2 cans, but some pouches can recommend up to 4. it really depends on the recommendations PLUS what your cat needs, as the recs are generalised :)
 

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Grain is usually bad for cats. Paizly throws up anything with corn (or "corn-something") in it, but she can tolerate rice okay.
Generally grain does lead to unwanted weight gain, sometimes causes diabetes, lots of tummy troubles, sometimes allergies. Just bad over-all!

If you're on a budget, Costco kibble is pretty cheap but decent quality. At the Costco I go to, I can get 25 lbs for $15.99 (it's about $17.20 or so after tax)... with feeding only one cat, it should last you at least a month, if not longer.
Another thing that makes it last, is buying canned food and feeding that too. Since I'm on a budget, I buy 9-Lives most of the time. Try to get food with REAL meat (avoid by-products, but "meal" is okay) in the first few ingredients on the list.

I give my cats 1/2 can (about 2 or 3 oz) in the morning, and leave out a bowl of kibble all day. And of course water! I used bottled water because tap water has way too much junk in it and gives Paizly urine issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I doubt I can buy online -- my parents will tell me to not waste time online and just pick it up as we go grocery shopping.. so I'm kinda stuck buying food at Walmart or something that's not too far.
 

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Costco kibble you can't buy online... though I wish I could!
Walmart carries some decent ones, you just have to be careful to read the ingredient list. Next time I go (which is probably Thursday), I'll look for ya, and give suggestions of the best ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alright, cool, thanks Dawn.
I'm not sure when I'll be going back to town next... it takes an hour to get to walmart. :(
 
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