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I have a couple of ferals to feed in my neighborhood. I do a mixture of Purina ONE dry food, 9 Lives canned, FF canned, Authority brand and also try to feed Wellness for the majority of the time. FF, Purina and 9 Lives are extremely bad but sometimes I just can't afford Wellness to feed all of them. Now that I'm neutering/spaying them I'll probably stick with cheap Purina ONE dry food bc I'll be broke.

I try to feed wet most of the time because I just think they like that better and it's better for them anyway. However, they're sometimes not around and I'm in a hurry to leave so I just put the wet food in a bowl. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don't. I don't know if it's good to feed ferals wet food because they're not always around and don't come on time. But they, the 95 degree heat and humidity keeps it warm I guess.

What do you guys feed?
 

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I think you are being exceptionally kind to them! I would not leave the canned food out more than an hour in weather that hot. It would probably be better to pick it up after 45 minutes. Some of the brands might not be the best, but there are many cats who have never had anything that good. You are saving lives!
 

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I fed whatever I had. Usually I fed the cheap grocery store dry catfoods. As they became friendlier and would come up to the house, I offered the better foods my indoor cats are fed.
 

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Wet food:

If you are near a Petsmart they have Sophistacat. The dry is bad but there is one fairly decent flavor of wet food. I think it is Elegant Entree. That specific flavor I have only found in a 5.5 ounce can and a can is $0.38. The first ingrediant is poultry by-products but the second ingrediant is turkey.

Friskies Poultry Platter is also good. The first ingrediant is actual turkey and the second poultry by-products :)

9Lives® Tender Nibbles with Real Chicken & Liver in Gravy - first ingrediant is chicken, second is meat by-products.

That is not at all bad for the price. You just need to check the ingrediants. Of the three I'd choose the Friskies first, Sophistacat second, and 9Lives third. Just pick the cheapest one though as they are all fairly equal.

Cheap Dry Food:

Authority Sensitive Solutions or Authority Kitten - $13.99 for 8 lbs. The Sensitive Solutions comes in a larger bag as well but don't know the price. First Ingrediants are Chicken and Chicken meal or Turkey and Turkey Meal.

Purina Cat Chow Naturals - $14.49 for 14 lbs. The first ingrediant is Chicken Meal.

Or if you can get to a Costco they have their brand, Kirkland. It is $16 for 25 lbs and the first two ingrediants are chicken and chicken meal. It doesn't have corn which is a huge plus.

Both of those I would consider much better than Purina ONE...actually the Purina Naturals is even cheaper besides. Kirkland is probably the best but you'd have to be able to go to a Costco to get that.
 

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While I want to give the very best to these poor critters, I don't think I'll be able to... at least for a while.
Last bag I bought was premium stuff $28 for 18 lbs, and it's half gone after only a week. Currently I have $20 to last me for the next 5 weeks, and I still have to buy groceries to feed ME!
So I suppose until I can either win the lottery, miraculously lose my disabilities and get a job, or inherit funds, I'll have to buy cheap 'junk' food for them. I guess it's better than nothing, though.
 

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Vivid Dawn said:
While I want to give the very best to these poor critters, I don't think I'll be able to... at least for a while.
Last bag I bought was premium stuff $28 for 18 lbs, and it's half gone after only a week. Currently I have $20 to last me for the next 5 weeks, and I still have to buy groceries to feed ME!
So I suppose until I can either win the lottery, miraculously lose my disabilities and get a job, or inherit funds, I'll have to buy cheap 'junk' food for them. I guess it's better than nothing, though.
Can you get to a Costco? Their name brand (Kirkland) dry food is actually very good and really cheap for the quality ($16 for 25 lbs).

While it isn't as cheap Purina Naturals is also still quite good...at least it has meat as the first ingrediant. Petsmart has it at $14 for 14 lbs. I think they have a larger size bag as well but it isn't listed on their site.

If there is a Safeway near you their store brand "Priority" is cheap. I think chicken by-product meal is the first ingrediant which is MUCH better than something like corn.

Meow Mix Indoor Formula is $20 for 16 lbs (according to petfooddirect) and the first ingrediant is chicken by-product meal.

Ask stores if they have any torn or otherwise "unsellable" bags of dry food. A lot of places will give you the bags for really cheap as else it would be tossed.

I know that this is still quite expensive but a lot of the stores here that sell Natura EVO have all of their Natura stuff 50-75% off. I got 24 cans of EVO 95% for $0.40 a piece! I know that their had their dry food marked way down as well.
 

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Two other things:

Ask stores if they have any dented cans of food and if they would sell them to you for 1/2 price or less.

Smaller stores (not stores like Petsmart but the Mom & Pop stores) get a lot of samples of dry food or at least they do here. Most here will just give you a few grocery bags full of samples for free if you ask nicely and just say you have a lot of cats. These samples are typically of high quality food (Felidae, Taste of the Wild, EVO, Innova, etc). The only downside is that each "pouch" is only about 6 oz of food so you have to cut a lot open. But it is really worth asking!!!
 

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Yeah, I've thought about that. The only problem is that Petco already gives all their damaged/extra stuff to the rescue group I volunteer for. I haven't asked Petsmart, but I'm pretty certain they do the same thing with the group that uses them for adoptions.
No mom-pop stores around here (phone book doesn't list any for 20 miles around)
There is a pet nutrition place a few cities away, but they also give extra stock to my rescue group (we just got well over 3,000 lbs of cat food that they couldn't sell for some reason, and have been using it at the sanctuary. But I don't know if I want that, because now all the cats have bad diarrhea).
I guess I could ask Wal-Mart, but last time I tried to ask for things for charity, they wouldn't. (I wanted shallow cardboard boxes, like the kind the canned catfood is packaged in, to use as temporary litter boxes on adoption days... they said it was too much an inconvenience to save stuff for just one customer, and if I found any on the shelves that they forgot to break down, I could have those).

I don't mean to be a pessimist with excuses for why it can't be done. Like I said, maybe I could ask...but I won't be surprised if I get nothing out of it.

When I run out of "feral food", I'll just take from my indoor cat's supply. Next payday (Aug. 3), maybe I can find a neighbor or one of my sister's friends that might take me to Costco.
 

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Why couldnt you ask the rescue group you voluteer for if they have any extra food they could give you to feed your ferals? I would think theyd be glad to support your efforts in feeding your colony! If your really broke get free food- there are open bags donated to food banks of cat and dog food. That would be another source too.

We give the caretakers of colonies what ever food is donated to us. Most ferals arent picky!
 

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Oiy... I really am going to seem a pessimist! The ferals might not be picky, but I am! LOL
The food my rescue group is feeding is JUNK. 90% of the cats have horrible diarrhea (it's practically brown water), and some are even bleeding. We've started giving cranberry stuff (I don't know exactly what it's called... never paid attention to the bottle, I just give it to them) and pumpkin. Only about 5 out of 50 cats still have relatively firm stools.
While I guess it would be better than nothing/starving, I don't know if I could live with getting ferals sick with diarrhea when they already have enough of a hard life as it is.

I'm gonna try Kirkland from Costco. I did some research, and it seems split between people loving it, and some people claiming it gave their cats fatty liver disease... I guess I can try it, and just watch the cats carefully (5 of the 9 ferals will now let me get close (5 feet or so) from them, when they're busy snarfing down food).
 

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Vivid Dawn said:
Oiy... I really am going to seem a pessimist! The ferals might not be picky, but I am! LOL


I'm gonna try Kirkland from Costco. I did some research, and it seems split between people loving it, and some people claiming it gave their cats fatty liver disease... I guess I can try it, and just watch the cats carefully (5 of the 9 ferals will now let me get close (5 feet or so) from them, when they're busy snarfing down food).
Oh, I know all about being picky with cat food!!!!

I think any food with have complaints regarding fatty liver disease. "Normal" people don't get that if a cat doesn't eat for a certain length of time they will get fatty liver...

My mom works at a vets office. They get cats in all the time that are so dehydrated that their skin doesn't pop back down when you pull it up...and they (the owner) had just noticed that day that their cat didn't feel as good as normal. Or animals that are just skin and bones because they haven't eaten enough for months and the owner just realized that their cat/dog has a problem :(
 

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furryfriends251 said:
Or animals that are just skin and bones because they haven't eaten enough for months and the owner just realized that their cat/dog has a problem :(
:( That's what happened with Malibu and me. She was an indoor/outdoor former-feral that did not allow much contact at all. It was Mallie and the dire medical straights I found her in that convinced me to *force* my handling attentions on ALL of my cats, whether they liked it or not. They could either grow to like it or they could learn to tolerate it ... but one way or another ... I was going to touch and handle them every day so I wouldn't miss such early signs ever again. By the time she felt poorly enough to allow me close enough to touch her ... she was already severely advanced. I thought she had a mouth problem because she wasn't eating enthusiastically and would drop food. When she finally allowed me close enough to handle her and I got my hands on her, I realized she had a bigger problem ... I just didn't know what kind of problem until she was diagnosed with fatty liver (hepatic lipidosis) at the vet.
That is when I joined CatForum and everyone here was supportive when I was unsure and helped cheer us on and not give up. We began our long road to recovery with me nursing her at home, and we pulled her through it. That journey *changed* the relationship between us and she became completely MY cat. She is now my snuggle-cuddle-buddy who sleeps with me every night ... and now I touch and handle *all* of my kitties every day. :wink:
 

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I volunteer at a local cat shelter and they sell Science Diet to us volunteers for like $8.75 for a 20 pound bag. The Science Diet company makes this program available to cat shelters who adopt out some minimum number of cats per year. That's how my shelter keeps it's volunteers coming around regularly to help. If you are connected to a shelter check it out for them - If they qualify it is a major help to them, and the volunteers.

My house cats and ferals have been eating nothing but Science Diet for years now, and it's not breaking my bank at that price.

Hope that helps.
 

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The cats I feed are darn picky about what they eat, :lol: They like 9 Lives & Friskies, but only certain flavors. I bought a cheap brand of dry food once--not one of them (between 7 & 8 I feed) would touch it! They just stared at it, wouldn't go near it! (After an initial sniff.) I also feed them wet food on occasion, plus I get them fresh raw chicken or beef liver on occasion. Only 4 of them will eat that though. I also get them fresh chicken meat on occasion, with only 2-3 of them touching that. So lots of times I'm just "supervising" who gets what, who eats what. It's pretty comical. :lol: Now though with this neighbor throwing rocks and yelling at me this past late night when I went to feed the cats I don't know what I'm going to do. :(
 

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Ah I know that feeling. Don't worry, you're not alone. I live in a very bad neighborhood and I have to risk my life everyday in the middle of nowhere, at 10:30-11:00 pm at night just to feed the feral cats. If I try to do it in the daytime, I will probably put the cat's lives in danger. If people see them being fed, they might try to poison them or something. They also view the cats as a nuisance. The maintenance man who picks up trash around the neighborhood every morning tried to beat the cat with his broom when she was eating her canned food. So lately I have to supervise each and every cat in that area, even if it's night, just so I know nobody is interrupting them. I sometimes take my dad with me but every single time I take him he always has to say "why do you have to do this?" or "the cat food stinks, don't set up the cat food bowls inside the car. Go outside and do it!"

My animal cruelty police officers told me to keep a camera on hand and if I ever see someone abusing an animal, to record it and bring it in as evidence because they can't really do anything unless they have evidence.

I stopped caring about people. It is not illegal to feed animals. If anything, I am helping control the overpopulation in this neighborhood. If anybody ever does something or says something to me, I immediately get out my phone and tell them I have the animal cruelty officer's number on speed dial. Which I don't. But I can personally go up to them and talk to them and that gives me comfort. Is there anyway you can try feeding the cats *only* when this mean person isn't around? Like maybe at night when he's sleeping? And when the cats are finished eating, immediately pick up all the bowls so there's no evidence. I would never get out there and try to feed cats in the middle of the day when everybody is out. Not a lot of neighbors appreciate that. I feel like James Bond at night lol. I am always undercover. Of course, the situation is not that bad as a lot of people have commended me. Many neighbors pass by and say "keep up the good work" but I just don't want to take any risks so I feed at night.
 

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I can fully understand and empathise with your situation, CL.

Ah I know that feeling. Don't worry, you're not alone. I live in a very bad neighborhood and I have to risk my life everyday in the middle of nowhere, at 10:30-11:00 pm at night just to feed the feral cats. If I try to do it in the daytime, I will probably put the cat's lives in danger. If people see them being fed, they might try to poison them or something. They also view the cats as a nuisance. The maintenance man who picks up trash around the neighborhood every morning tried to beat the cat with his broom when she was eating her canned food. So lately I have to supervise each and every cat in that area, even if it's night, just so I know nobody is interrupting them.
 

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I stopped caring about people. It is not illegal to feed animals.
Humans are so annoying, sometimes!

Actually, in some places, it is illegal to feed ferals. They tried to make that law in a city near me...luckily it didn't pass, but lots of people are still fighting the decision.
Technically it's not illegal to feed animals where I live... it's just illegal to "own" more than 2 cats, and feeding/caring for them is considered ownership. If I get caught, they take the cats and euthanize them. So I'm glad my neighbors are on my side! (heck, one of the neighbors feeds table scraps...the other neighbor just doesn't want any more litters born).
 
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