What food is best?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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Psycho kitty
Purred: Sat Jun 22, '13 6:38pm PST 
Hi, I have a 3 yr old male Siamese cat that needs the right food, he is very picky. Right now his current food is Chicken Soup For The Cat Lovers Soul, and he seems to enjoy it. But I am not sure if Iams or any other food is better? I have a ton of questions....But I will ask a decent amount. Well first off, he likes his current food but I am not sure if its the 'right' food. I feed a outdoor cat sometimes, and I feed her Meow Mix....Should I feed Mikko meow mix or keep it the same? I have meow mix because she doesn't like the chicken soup and I didn't want her to starve so I bought some food. She isn't a stray but she is outside a lot and she is pretty skinny. So, I am wondering if I should switch his food to Meow mix or Iams or anything else? It worries me a lot because I want my little 'king' to stay nice and healthy, but part of that is the right food for him. And I want him to live a long time so I really really need advice. Its not my first time at cat owning but I have always had trouble with choosing the right food. shrug


I didn't do it!
Purred: Sun Jun 23, '13 12:12am PST 
Catinfo.org has some great information, as does http://www.naturalcatcareblog.com/2010/12/the-7-best-natural-commerc ial-cat-foods-so-far/

You want to look for a food with:
No byproducts
No un-named meat sources (no words like meat, animal, poultry)
No grains like corn/wheat/soy/rice or other carbs like potatoes/sweat potatoes/peas/barley
No BHT, BHA, Ethoxyqin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate (synthetic K) or carrageenan
No Fish/Seafood

I personally make my cat's food, but I do keep "emergency" cans on hand, and at the moment the only two brands that are allowed in my house are Hound & Gatos and Tiki Cat (plain chicken and the chicken and egg varieties only)

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Sun Jun 23, '13 6:24am PST 
Meow Mix has horrible filler junk ingredients silenced The Original recipe: ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal, beef tallow (preserved with mixed tocopherols), animal digest, calcium carbonate, turkey by-product meal, salmon meal, ocean fish meal......

Iams isn't any better shrug Example ProActive Health Adult Original: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Tuna, Brewers Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast....

Corn is just a cheap filler ingredient used to bulk up the food naughty Cats have no nutritonal need for corn or other grains. By products are a lesser quality form of meat. Think canned SPAM instead of an actual cut of steak or pork chop.

Are you feeding only dry food? Do you plan on ever feeding canned food? Canned food is a lot healthier for cats and a more appropriate source of food. You can read Catinfo.org for proper nutrition and why dry foods are awful for a cat's health.

If yu have to feed some dry, I suggest a grain-free brand such as Nature's Variety Instinct, Wellness Core, Innova EVO, or any other of the grin-free brands that are showing up in stores now. Note that there is currently a recall on all Innova EVO/Natura dry foods so you shouldn't feed that now.

Compare these better ingredients to the ones above:

Nature's Variety Instinct Chicken: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Tapioca, Salmon Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Pumpkinseeds, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Meal, Montmorillonite Clay...

Nature's Variety Instinct raw Boost Chicken: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Tapioca, Salmon Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze Dried Turkey, Freeze Dried Turkey Liver, Montmorillonite Clay, Freeze Dried Turkey Hearts, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Meal.....

Wellness Core: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Cranberries....

Wellnes is actually a little better since it contains real muscle meat as the first two ingredients thinking I guess one could argue that cats have no need for cranberries and pumpkin seeds and fruits/veggies shrug Unless you make your own raw food from scratch, there's going to be some unncessary ingredient or two in commerical pet food shrug

Grain-free brands tend to cost more than what you can buy at the supermarket or chain pet store. Some grain-free brands can be found at chain pet stores (petco, PetSmart, etc) like Wellness and Nature's Variety. Sometimes there are sales on these brands. Some brands may only be found at independent non-chain pet stores, like Innova EVO. Pet food company web sites have a store locator that you can use to find a local store that sells the food.

You can get coupons from Nature's Variety to use. You can sign up on the Nature's Variety web site for coupons. I don't know if Wellness still has coupons shrug

A 100% canned food diet would be most ideal to help keep your cat healthy and prevent common health issues that can occur with a dry food only diet. Feeding at least some canned food daily would be better than nothing at all. 50% canned / 50% dry is a good starting point. Feeding a can once in awhile as a treat doesn't help shrug

Some people feed 100% raw food instead or do a mix of canned and raw food but not everone can do raw food for whatever reason.

Edited by author Sun Jun 23, '13 6:25am PST



The Most- Beautiful Girl- In The World
Purred: Sun Jun 23, '13 10:47am PST 
Interesting point about the veggies in the canned food.

I have my Cali on Wellness wet now which she absolutely loves (and boy did it take awhile to find the right one as she was a dry food addict)

I bought Halo Spot Stew for her to try, I opened the can, it is like full of peas and carrots, especially the peas. She ate some, reluctantly i could see and then promptly puked it all up within minutes. Needless to say I opened a can of the Wellness and the skunk ate the rest of the can that night.

It may be great food but I feel as though they ruin it with too many veggie ingredients. I mean the peas are like listed third or fourth on the label.
The same thing happened years ago with my elderly adopted boy Happy. I so wanted him to eat a good brand of food and bought one I had heard good things about Avoderm I think it was. Well after just a few bites he threw up all over the floor. Turns out when I opened the can it looked like there was alot of carrots or squash. My hubby even noticed and commented "Why are there veggies in the cat food?"

Now Im not a shrill for Fancy Feast, I dont feed it to my girl although it was all my old Happy would eat. However I will say there are some decent varieties of FF if cost is a consideration. many folks with diabetic cats feed it before giving insulin (I used it for my sugar cat Lawrence years ago) Some FF are decently low in carbs

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Sun Jun 23, '13 4:16pm PST 
I guess a good general rule is to read up on proper nutrition, like at Catinfo.org, and get the opinions of others and then make your own decision on what your cat should eat thinking Then buy the best quality food you can afford and can find in the local stores. Don't expect much help from the vet. Vets aren't taught much about proper nutrition in vet school shrug Many vets, especially older ones, push dry foods.

Cali, yes some brands of canned foods are filled with water and fruits and veggies with little actual meat shock Dr. Lisa of Catinfo.org isn't a fan of Halo for that very reason. Even pate/loaf style foods may have visible fruits/veggies in them but at least those aren't completely water filled shrug


The Most- Beautiful Girl- In The World
Purred: Sun Jun 23, '13 5:29pm PST 
Merlin that is a good point about buying local, Im so glad you brought that up.
My Pet Supplies Plus doesnt have a huge variety but thank goodness it's here or I'd be making a long drive out of town.
I would not purchase cat food that has to be shipped to my door. I have seen many reviews on Amazon etc about cans damaged in shipping.


Because I'm a- lady, that's- why.
Purred: Sun Jun 23, '13 7:42pm PST 
I feed my little Bubbles and her new furbrother canned. way to go

I mix in a little water too, for extra added moisture. I wouldn't feed Meow Mix... And I recently stopped feeding kibble. I'd find a reasonable canned to feed both your pretty kitty Mikko and your outside kitty. Tiki Cat is a reasonable canned and well priced, but the formulas are mostly fish (Merlin taught me this!).

I do a canned rotational of these foods for Bubbles and Bastian (profile coming soon big grin):

Natural Balance Platefuls
Spot's Stew & PatĂȘ
Felidae grain free
Nutro Natural Choice

*I'm going to replace the Nutro with something grain free. I was thinking Merrick's or Fromm's.


Psycho kitty
Purred: Thu Jun 27, '13 12:47pm PST 
Merlin- I do feed him canned food,1/3 every evening. I didn't know Meow Mix was such a bad food?!? I will have to start using what Mikko eats, Chicken Soup For The Cat Lovers Soul. Its a pretty good food, with a 4.5 rating. I love my Mikko so much and I want the best food for him. On the Iams commercial it seems like a great food, but who am I kidding, commercials say everything is great but its really not. I didn't know dry cat food was so bad for them, I always thought raw food was worse. On Mikko's birthdays I make up some raw food for him as a treat, I will definitely start feeding him more raw food then usual. What wet food brand though? My friend uses Whiskas wet food, and I don't know if its the best for her cat? shrug
Anyway, I didn't know any of those food brands, I am never usually in this forum but I wanted to know if my food was the best for Mikko. smile

Amber- Is making your own wet food from scratch hard? What are the ingredients for, say, a tuna thing or something, he likes tuna. Sometimes if I have those little crackers with the tuna I give him a scoop or two in his bowl, he seems to enjoy it. I will definitely check out the website. smile

Cali- That's weird. One time I bought a can of cat food from PetSmart I believe, and it was full of peas or something. All I know is that it was green. Mikko didn't even eat it. He sniffed it then looked at me then walked away. I will definitely try to avoid that now....Don't want to get my Mikko all mopey again....He expects better from me MOL!

Merlin, again- Yes, I got a thing in my e-mail saying make sure you don't go to your local vet for nutrition facts etc. Until then and now, I thought vets were experts on food and nutrition.

Bubbles- Finally, the last one MOL!!!! So, when my friend's cat winter was sick with a urethra blockage he could only eat wet food, and my friend always added a little bit of water to make it like gravy so he could just lap it up. I will definitely try Tiki Cat wet food for them, I wanted to make a profile for the outside cat, but I don't know for sure if she has a home or not. She is a Calico cat, and guess what, I call her Cali MOL!!! I have been seeing in about every post about Wellness, so I will have to try that too. I will try to get a pic of Cali to show you guys soon, hopefully.

I have another question, I feed Mikko Blue wet food every evening, is it a good brand for right now? I am sort of low on money cause I have recently been to Canada's Wonderland...It was so much fun!! party

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Thu Jun 27, '13 5:15pm PST 
I think Amber means that she makes her own homemade raw food thinking

Raw food is good way to go Human feeds Leroy and Emma the Nature's Variety brand of raw food. Lost of people make their own raw food from scratch using a recipie or by using the "frankenprey" method. You can post over in the Raw forum for more info about raw diets smile

TV commericals make any product look good shrug It's part of marketing and selling the product to make lots of moneyshrug Like the Friskies dry food commercial where the cat walks through a door and into a cartoon world with rainbows and butterflies and pretty swirly things shrug

Any canned is better for your cat than dry food. Ideally, you want a grain-free brand that lists meat (not by product or meal) as one of the first few ingedients. Whatever brand your cat likes to eat and you can afford is the "best" one. I posted links to info about good foods here:


I didn't do it!
Purred: Fri Jun 28, '13 12:31am PST 
Yes, I make my own raw food using the recipe from http://feline-nutrition.org/

However, if you are not comfortable going the raw route, you can still do home-cooked. There is a supplement called Alnutrin that can be added to either raw or cooked meat and it is balanced. There are other options but they are more expensive. You can buy it here.

It is fairly easy to make the food with both the recipe and the premix, and it takes less than an hour to make a months worth of food with the raw, a bit longer if cooking and using the premix.

I have a post here that breaks down the steps and average cost to make the raw food, which is less than a can of friskies per day since I buy my meat in bulk.

If you are cooking the food and using alnutrin, it is even easier, because since you cook the meat, you can just go to the grocery store and pick up ground beef/chicken/turkey/lamb/whatever, a bit of liver GENTLY cook it, let it cool, and mix with water and premix then portion and freeze. It is a LOT less complicated than it sounds, I promise. And, once again, it is cheaper than buying good commercial canned food, and you can control the source/quality of the meat. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

Edited by author Fri Jun 28, '13 12:42am PST


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