I feed my cats a mixture of dry and wet cat food. They get dry once a day and canned once a day, no free feeding. I've tried free feeding but the cats eat WAYYYY more then they should and then barf it all over the place. I'm looking to switch my dry food to something of higher quality but not too expensive. Can anyone make any suggestions?
I have one skinny older cat I'd like to put some weight on and one fatter younger cat I'd like to shave some weight off.
I am not interested in feeding just canned food or switching to a raw diet.
Go with a low carb, grain free. Two of the cheaper ones I've used and liked very much (and so have the cats ) that haven't had recall issues are Earthborn Holistic (the Primitive ones are grain free) for ~$30/14 lbs and Wysong Epigen, which is ~$16/8 lbs. Then you get into the more expensive Acana and Orijen, but those are going to be in the $40-50 range. Awesome foods though.
Taste of the Wild is grain free and relatively cheap, but has been recalled in the past.
Oh, and it's usually cheaper to order online. Try wag.com or chewy.com.
Dry food only, yes, horrible for cats. But once you get to wet making up at least half of the diet? There's no way I'd go with all cheap wet food vs a very high quality 50/50 wet/dry diet. Have you ever seen a cat fed only Friskies wet food? I have. Couldn't say much for his coat or general health.
Both of the foods referenced above contain over 60% meat. The Epigen is only 11% carbohydrate, while the Earthborn is 16%. Combine that with a high quality grain free wet food, a water fountain, and it's pretty darn good, IME...all four of mine now are in great health with no medical issues, as are my oldest kitties from when I lived with my parents, all in their late teens, still living at my childhood home.
An all canned diet is too expensive and not something that I believe is necessary. My cats were fed all dry for years anyway and have remained very healthy and it's only within the last 4 months that I've switched to feeding them 50/50. My male cat isn't to terribly fond of all wet food anyway. My female cat would rather eat wet.
They get 1/2 can each in the morning and 1/4 cup of dry in the evening, sometimes I split the dry so they get fed three times a day.
Anyhow, I made a trip to Petsmart and I ended up picking up Blue Buffalo Mature grain free so I'll try that out and see how they like it.
My cats all go bananas for dry food, just like a room full of 14 year olds will mug you for cheetos and ignore the nice salad & grilled chicken.
I only feed dry when I'm going to be out of town and don't want to pay the sitter to come to the house 2x a day.
My cats (all cats I have met, actually) will overeat free fed dry food.
Until I got my cats off dry, they had dandruff and greasy coats, and were overweight almost no matter what I fed. On all canned they are all a correct weight (vet is thrilled), lovely coats, good energy, good kidney values.
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
I've had the opposite experience, using high quality dry food. All of my cats have had nice coats, bright eyes, and good weight. Of course mine also are outdoor (with a bit of indoor time for the tiny cat) and so hunt for the "wet" part of their food. I haven't had problems with overeating, unless you count the layer of fat they build up right when the weather turns cold in the fall. But they quickly lose that once the cat beds get plugged in and the temps are consistent.
dry food is REALLY bad for cats. The cheapest, lowest-quality canned food is healthier for them than the highest-quality dry food. Consider again why you are feeding dry food?
I can't speak for the OP, but one of my cats has to eat primarily dry food because he's a neurotic mess who will only eat a few bites of food at a time. Leaving wet food out for him is simply not an option, since it would not remain safe to eat at room temperature for long enough. He has to be free fed to stay a good weight. Yes, he's had blood work and had his teeth done. They're fine. He's just a very nervous cat who feels compelled to run and hide after every other bite. And as a bonus, he consistantly vomits if he goes for too long between meals.
My other kitty eats Rx wet food and gets medication 3x a day. He would be a sausage if he could eat whenever he wanted, but since he has a big metal plate and screws in his pelvis (from before I got him) he can't jump high enough to get to the other cat's food.
So please do consider that there might actually be good reasons for why the OP is feeding dry food.
Neurotic kitty loves Orijen, but it's pretty pricey. He didn't like Fromm at all, and he was okay with the Wysong Epigen. Since mealtimes are apparently traumatic enough for him already, I just suck it up and buy the Orijen.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
The 4Health brand by TSC is actually a decent and affordable dry food. I've fed it a couple of times and my cats really liked it. It *is* manufactured by Diamond, though. But it is one of the only foods my colitis cat has done semi-well on, so take that FWIW in regard to your kitty's stomach troubles. Good luck.