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High quality canned cat food on a budget

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  • High quality canned cat food on a budget

    That about sums it up---I now have four cats, and they all get canned food (Fancy Feast Fish Pate is popular, but the 8 cans a day is not a good thing). Any suggestions for a large canned product which won't break the bank? I'm trying hard to reduce waste and still feed a decent quality canned food. Atm it costs me 1.32 per cat per day, which adds up!

    We've been down the road of frozen raw, and it's not a great answer here atm. And it's very pricey around here.

  • #2
    I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the answer to your question, as I have a lot of cats. Fostering for years left me with quite a few cats that failed to get adopted. Safeway has a store brand of cat food that looks to be good quality, ie, doesn't have glutens, and some is grain free. However, I don't find it feeds very well. Friskies isn't top quality, but some flavors feed pretty well and it comes in big cans. Popular flavor with some of my cats is Tuna and Egg, and it is arguably more decent than some of the other flavors. You have already found what is overall my go to food, and that is Fancy Feast pates. Small cans, I know, but a consistent favorite and you can't beat the price for a grain free food. My cats like the non fish flavors, such as Liver and Chicken, Turkey and Giblets, and Beef. Fish and Shrimp is popular with cats that life fish, but not all of mine do.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses


    • #3
      I switch between Fancy Feast and Friskies pate. I used to feed Wellness, Merricks and several others, but over the years they stopped eating it. They'll eat a can or two and after that, nada. I'd rather them get some wet for the extra moisture, so I gave up and feed what they will eat.


      • #4
        My local pet food store has a clearance shelf where little cans are 50 cents and 5.5 oz cans are a buck--including the 95/98% meat brands. Not all my cats are cool with rotating proteins/brands, but it's awesome for the ones that are. Maybe you have something similar nearby?

        I've also used the large 13 oz dog food cans, and added taurine. Worked fine, had the vet's blessing. Was necessary for a cat that needed a specific hard to find protein during a cat can supply shortage.


        • #5
          Originally posted by rubygirl1968 View Post
          I switch between Fancy Feast and Friskies pate. I used to feed Wellness, Merricks and several others, but over the years they stopped eating it. They'll eat a can or two and after that, nada. I'd rather them get some wet for the extra moisture, so I gave up and feed what they will eat.

          Agree Friskies is a good choice. You can get the big (8oz?) Cans too.
          i also add water to their food to fill them up and keep them hydrated.

          Remember, cost per cat has to include vet care, and key to keeping those vet costs down is decent food and good hydration imo
          Avoiding diseases and uti's etc saves money.
          Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014


          • #6
            I supplement the cheap canned (Friskies, Safeway, Tractor Supply) with boneless chicken breast. I buy it on sale, freeze small portions, and pop in the micro for a few min. By weight it is much less expensive than canned, but of course it is not a complete food. One cat will eat anything raw while the others will not but all three will eat the lightly cooked & cooled chicken.

            Congratulations on your new kitty. It's kind of like realizing that you've gone a long time without a fall, say. I am just so due for another one...


            • #7
              My old cat is a BIG eater so I buy big cans of food for her. I use and order either American Journey or Dave’s.


              • #8
                I try to buy the better brands but my cats won't eat them. The first can or two they scarf down and then they refuse to eat it. I try to remind them they are all dumpees and there are starving cats elsewhere that would be overjoyed to eat it......................................... I get irritated when my Chewy's bill is $$$ and I have all this stuff they won't eat. I am NOT feeding the local possum premium cat food.

                So I think I am going to stick to Fancy Feast occasionally and Friskies and supplement it with real meat. I try to buy chicken livers every week or two, add in canned people salmon and I buy marked down Walmart chicken thighs and poach them. I alternate these and add them to the Friskies. Sometimes they will eat the better TSC food but not for long periods. Sigh!!!!! My horses will eat anything!


                • #9
                  I'm glad I'm not the only one that gives their cats the starving cats lecture when they turn their noses up at the good stuff.

                  It's completely useless but makes me feel better as I wind up feeding the possums and raccoons since the outdoor cat won't eat it either. Lol


                  • #10
                    OP, I also have 4 cats. And am in the same boat as you! I have found that SHEBA - perfect portions - is exactly
                    that. It’s inexpensive, portion sizes are just right, all 4 cats eat it well. You can bulk order thru Chewy and most stores carry it. It also has a decent ingredient list for a less expensive food.


                    • #11
                      I did a ton of research a couple years ago when I adopted a young cat with recurring UTIs on kibble. Found out that keeping cats hydrated is key. So switched to cans. It's not the brand of food, but ratio of protein to carbs, phosphorus, moisture, etc. , etc. I remember finding a cat food and UTI website that had a HUGE list of foods by brand and individual flavor/type recommended for each. Can't remember it now.

                      But...Friskies, 9 Lives and another no-frills brand had as good ratings as the more expensive ones based on content. So I use Friskies and 9 Lives but will ONLY feed the Chicken, Seafood or similar PATE version. No "meat cuts with gravy" or some such. Haven't had a UTI since, and if you buy the variety16 or 32 pack of cans, it's about $.45-$.50 cents/can. You can also get the bigger 15 oz cans for $.99 on sale, but I only have one 7 lb cat to feed.
                      Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...


                      • #12
                        Following closely as my 2 thrown away, spoiled furbags just this week turned their noses up on 3 cases ultra premium canned connesuer catfood. Dave's Cat's Meow, Natural Balance and Fussie Cat. All a no go.
                        So back to supermarket Fancy Feast we go. even the premium catfood all had excellent reviews on Chewy. Do they
                        throw out the bad reviews? I can't afford to test all these foods. Especially when I have to buy it by the case.
                        "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                        • #13
                          The website has some good information about feeding cats. Basically, the conclusion is that the worst wet food is better than the best dry food.

                          Funny Marla 100 you mention Dave's Cat Food. My local feed store carries that and my cats think it is absolutely horrible and won't eat a bite. Same with Natural Balance. They do like one of the varieties of Fussie Cat, but only one. I think I have tried almost all brands of wet food on the market, and most of them fail the taste test. And so they struggle on with Fancy Feast, Friskies, and sometimes Weruva varieties when I'm feeling generous and we need a change for awhile.
                          Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                          • #14
                            Marla 100 , clint , mine used to eat Dave's no problem. I ordered a case from chewy last month and now apparently it's poison and they won't touch it.

                            Do you guys remember the blended tuna cat food by Solid Gold? Mine would go absolutely bananas for it, but I can't find it anywhere now.


                            • #15
                              Besides FF, my 2 BOTH love cheap human tuna fish. But they need variety so we keep buying FF. Even there they only eat certain flavors. Somebody could make a killing if they would sell catfood that ALL cats love.
                              "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                              • #16
                                I find that removing the option of walking away to = better food acceptance.

                                I crate my cats for meals. I started because I had cats requiring separate special diets. But it's really awesome for making sure everyone is eating, making sure everyone gets what they're suppose to, and making sure everyone EATS, period.

                                I use 24" wire crates. It doesn't take long for them to figure out the drill.


                                • #17
                                  I have tried many premium canned foods and guess what...Fancy Feast pate wins the day.

                                  For years I fed a commercial raw food which they ate heartily then poof, the company went out of business. OMG, my two put me through cat food hell. One would not touch any other kind of raw. She ate Wellness turkey pretty well until they changed something. Same ingredients listed but in a slightly different order. She would not touch it. She will also eat Sheba turkey pate. Oh and in the midst of all this she went hyperthyroid so trying to get some meat on her bones has been difficult because until about 6 weeks ago, she just wasn’t eating well. Her hyperthyroid is now under control with methimazole. I broke down and found a premium dry food she likes so she gets a bit of dry (less than 1/4 cup) just to get more calories in her. So she gets Sheba, Fancy Feast creamy pate and the Essence Air and Gamefowl dry. If I crated this cat to eat, she would be crated a good portion of the day. She doesn’t have many teeth left and she eats s l o w.

                                  The other cat isn’t as picky but still gets primarily Fancy Feast Pate with a small scoop full of freeze dried raw (Feline Natural).

                                  If you get FF from Chewy, it gets the cost down to about 57 cents/can.

                                  It just seems to depend on the cat. Wellness pate does come in big cans and despite what my cat says I think is a pretty good food and not too badly priced.

                                  Good luck.



                                  • #18
                                    Two days ago I made my first trip to Tractor Supply. I bought a few cans of their brand of cat food, as it looked like it had pretty good ingredients. I have several groups of cats I feed, and not one of them liked it. I feed my hens left over cat food, if that happens, and the hens were circumspect about it. So scratch another inexpensive, decent quality cat food of the possible list.
                                    Mystic Owl Sporthorses