Feed healthy without breaking the bank?

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.

Mama Cat

Purred: Sat Sep 21, '13 10:46pm PST 
I'm interested in how any of you here are able to feed higher quality on a budget. I've recently taken in 2 foster kittens in addition to my own cats, so my cat food expenses have doubled. My own cats were eating mostly grain free wet, however, I've had to cut back a bit out of necessity. The foster kittens have to have dry food because that is likely what they will eat once adopted. I had them eating Wellness Core dry that I had for my cats, but recently switched to Nutro as Wellness was too expensive and it is unlikely that their new families will feed it. They also get a serving of Wellness wet grain free (half of a 12 ounce can split between four one morning, then the other half the next).
I tried to give them something cheaper, but the poo poo stink increased so I went back to Nutro dry and Wellness wet. Any of you have tried cheaper cat food that doesn't stink up the litter box? Both of the fosters (about 4 months) are a little chubby, so I am going to work on portion control this week which will save some money too.
So how much and what do you guys feed to keep healthy cats and stink reduced litter boxes?


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Sun Sep 22, '13 4:40am PST 
I refuse to feed dry, even to my fosters. I hope that their new parents will educate themselves enough to eat least stick to a cheap wet diet, if not a premium one. My own cats get raw - cheaper than premium canned and no litter box smell at all. My fosters get Friskies because like you, I don't think their new parents will feed raw, and costs add up quickly. In my opinion, the Friskies pate flavors are decent when you're on a budget. One note - you really shouldn't limit kittens' food. They're growing and need a lot of calories to keep up all that energy! Unless they gorge, let them eat.


Purred: Sun Sep 22, '13 7:27am PST 
I normally feed nutro dry and weruva pouches. I'd like to not feed him dry but he is so picky about wet foods, and will easily grow bored of the flavors he will eat.

I work at Petsmart and they have the Authority brand which I believe is very close to a lot of the nutro foods in quality and should be a bit cheaper. I work in grooming so I don't know a whole lot about all the foods and prices per pound. I have purchased some of this food but it has been a while. They have both wet and dry.

Best Feline Friend is also by weruva and is cheaper than their main line of pouches, but it's mostly fish.

The Meow Mix wet food has surprisingly good ingredients for what you'd expect from the brand and the cost (the dry food has horrible ingredients). If you are that desperate I think it's about 60 cents per cup. Also very fishy flavors.

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Sun Sep 22, '13 4:44pm PST 
A lot of pouched foods are mostly water with very little actual food and cost over 41. You're basically paying for water shrug Weruva's pouched foods, even the BFF line, are mostly water shrug You're better off buying an affordable pate style food and adding water yourself.

Buying larger can sizes rather than those tiny 3 oz cans can save money for a multicat household. 5.5 oz is the next size up. Some brands are available in even larger 13 oz sizes, like Wellness and Innova EVO. Buying arge size cans in a case can also save money. Chain pet stores don't usually sell cases of food. Non chain pet store will and sometimes will give you a discount.

Wellness is a good affordable brand. You can't assume that a new family won't feed it. Before the cats go to their new home, can you inform the new owners what the cat has been used to eating and recommend that they continue feeding the food? Maybe even educate them a little about proper cat nutrition? Of course, what the cat ends up eating is totally out of your control shrug

Mama Cat

Purred: Sun Sep 22, '13 5:41pm PST 
Thanks guys for your responses.

I have been feeding the Wellness 12 oz. cans and may look into ordering it online. I think it's cheaper at places like Chewey.com.

Hopefully they will go to new homes soon. I think I will put together a gift bag of good food to go to their adoptive families. Their two siblings were already adopted and both of the families said they are feeding lower quality with dry Meow Mix and dry Purina One. With all this fostering I've been doing I'm learning that few people are as concerned as I am about nutrition.

I'll give the friskies pate another try. Maybe they were pooping so much because they were so young. Now that they are a few months old their systems may work more efficiently. I also tried fancy feast classics, but they weren't a hit.