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Cat Food Dilemma...Portion Sizes??

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  • Cat Food Dilemma...Portion Sizes??

    I have two indoor kitties who are almost the same age; 7 months (they are about 2 weeks apart). Feta is fat. She spends more time at the food bowl and less time zooming, so her obesity comes as no surprise. Feta is playful, but she tends to play in one place, rather than running around. Brie is the perfect weight. She is lean but certainly not too thin. She eats less and plays like a wild thing. They eat dry food free choice now, but I know I should change. I was reading online that cats should eat high protein, low carbs, so avoid foods with fruits, veggies, and grains.

    Well... I was at petsmart today and I couldn't find anything that fit that description perfectly. Ended up getting grain free Wellness, but it was $1.69/can! Is there such a thing as quality can cat food that doesn't cost so much?? I know I'm going to have to pay more for better quality food, but this seems like so much. I did a search for cat food on here and it sounds like quite a few people on COTH feed a mix of wet and dry food. But what brands and varieties? Or do I REALLY need to feed wet only??

    My other concern is that I will have to split them up for meals because Feta the Piggy will gobble up hers and then go eat Brie's serving since Brie eats slower. Mornings are already rushed, what if Brie likes being a grazer and doesn't eat more than a few bites of wet food at a time...then I have to keep her separated all day??

    Yikes! How to get Feta back to a healthier weight without breaking the bank and having to carry out a complicated food/kitty separation routine?? I could use some ideas.
    Last edited by fivesocks; Nov. 7, 2011, 02:32 PM.

  • #2
    I feed the large cans of Before Grain Chicken, which is actually labeled for dogs, and I have confirmed with the company that it nutritionally complete for cats. It works out to about a dollar per day per cat. I think you can also feed the 5.5 oz cat labeled cans for about that same price.

    I have found that it is far easier for kitties to maintain the "right" weight feeding ONLY wet, I have zero urinary or kidney issues feeding only wet and all of the cats look so much better feeding only wet. I fed dry Innova for years, thinking it was "good enough" to be feeding an ultra premium brand, and I also had a few fountains to encourage them to drink. My kitties are so much healthier now that I've switched to all wet and I really, really wish I'd done it sooner.

    Comment


    • #3
      No ideas on how to separate them for weight health.

      As per food....
      I am thinking mice eat grain, too, so a bit of grain in the diet isn't all bad.
      I feed Friskies(?) but only shredded or flaked, mine won't touch pate.
      I used to be able to get away with Walmart brand, but one time they turned up their noses at it.

      I think in a decent quality can there is not too much grain. Dry is more of a culprit.
      I used Walmart brand, the plain kind, then Friskies meaty selections, the other day it was out and the only think that wasn't glorified polenta was Purina Naturals. Naturally they are not eating Special Kitty anymore, snobs.

      Dry food is tricky, I found that a lot of so called 'premium' varieties are mostly corn....
      Originally posted by BigMama1
      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
      GNU Terry Prachett

      Comment


      • #4
        I feed a mix of wet and dry, and all of my kitties look fantastic and are at great weights. I can tell a big difference with grain-free food, too. I've found that it's cheaper to buy a big bag of really good quality grain-free dry (Taste of the Wild is probably the cheapest...there is also Wellness CORE, EVO, and lots of other ones. I'm currently using a lesser known one, Earthborn Holistic) and split one can of wet food per day between them. Just don't free feed the dry; that is where I think you'll run into weight issues. Mine get 1/4 cup dry + 1/2 can wet each for breakfast and dinner, and then another very small amount of dry just before bed. It works well for us.
        Caitlin
        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
        http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

        Comment


        • #5
          Large cans of wet food are usually MUCH more economical than small cans.

          I also buy all mine from www.petfooddirect.com when there is a good sale, at least 20%, and I buy a lot at one time.

          Yes, you have to either separate them at meals while you do something else like get ready for work, or you will have to find a way to stand there and get something done, like maybe eat breakfast, while they eat.

          The slow eater will learn to pick it up, as you will start feeding at pretty set times, so it's either eat now, or eat at the next meal. It won't take Brie long

          You don't HAVE to feed just wet. Since dry is more condensed calories, you could feed all or mostly dry in the morning when things are rushed, so it will take less time to eat, and all or mostly wet at night.
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            I feel your pain. We have one obese one, one perfect one and one skinny hyperthyroid. We got the weight off the "perfect" one (who used to be a chub) but we're still struggling with how to get the fatty slimmed down without losing condition on the other two.

            If your good-weight one is a good eater you can separate them for feedings. If she doesn't finish in the time allowed, you take the food away. They will usually learn to be business like about meal time. I say "usually" because the old advice of "let them get hungry and they'll eat" can be real BS.

            As for food, good food is expensive. The cheap crap is cheap because it's full of junk filler. I wish it wasn't SO expensive (husband was just commenting today) but the trade off is cleaning up multiple piles of cat puke every.single.day.

            I've found the store discount cards (eg, Petco's PALS card) REALLY makes a difference. The "price with card" specials can be really deep. Stock up when it's good. Bigger cans can be a better value.

            If you can't do quality wet, I'd feed a quality dry before feeding a junky wet. A 5lb bag ($20ish) lasts us about 4 weeks or so with 3 cats.
            "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings

            Comment


            • #7
              Love your cats' names!

              Cats need to eat a balanced diet and that includes fruits, veg, etc. What you want to avoid are those foods with high amounts of corn, corn by products, and corn syrup. All that stuff is sweetsy glop and cats and dogs become highly addicted to it. Sadly, all the good food is expensive (Curse them!)

              You can feed cats separately and it's easy. Food is only served at certain times. There is no longer any more free feed. This will be beneficial for both cats as you can more closely and accurately monitor their intake. Fatty gets diet food and skinny gets whatever she will eat. Keep skinny in bathroom for feeding times and she isn't let out til it's gone.

              Feeding the hyperthyroid cat is no fun. My vet told me to give her whatever she would eat, that he didn't give a fat rat's booty what she ate so long as she ate. That meant sometimes she ate Friskies or 9Lives. They have high calorie content. This is the program I have my sick kitty on - she can eat whatever she wants so I can maintain her weight.

              I also have an - ahem - "full figured" lady who isn't into exercise at my house, too. I have all my cats on Natural Balance low cal and she is steadily dropping weight. Good luck!
              "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
              - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

              Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Cats are actually obligate carnivores, which means they don't *need* fruits and veggies. It also means they really aren't efficient at all in digesting them.

                That doesn't mean they don't like some, or love some so much they'll take your hand off for it LOL
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Even a lower quality canned diet is going to be better than dry for cats, at least for moisture content. Not sure how up to date this website is but it breaks down the good and the bad and gives you an idea of cost. http://www.petfoodratings.net/ There are a couple 4 star cheaper foods.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Try going to the store manager at some of these stores and see if they will give you a discount if you buy in bulk. Likely, the larger stores, like PetSmart and Petco won't give you a discount, but if you can find a local store, they might be more inclined to do so. I did that with my local farm and garden supply store and get Innova Evo for $1.20 a can, if I buy two 24 can 5.5 oz cases at one time.

                    I have two inhalers, and two pickers. At mealtimes, they are separated for at least an hour. When I worked, I managed that by feeding them as soon as I got up, and releasing them as I headed off. Now that I'm retired it's easier, and it's a good thing because one of my cats, as she ages, is getting harder and harder to maintain at decent weight. She's also my worst picker, so, several times a day, we sneak off into the bathroom, where I keep a dish of Evo dry just for her.
                    Last edited by Louise; Nov. 7, 2011, 12:01 PM.
                    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                    Desmond Tutu

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My local fancy pet food place (which is also a feed store--not a shi-shi boutique-y type place) actually has pricing that is usually FAR better than PetSmart/PetCo or even online. It continually surprises me.

                      I've really been able to manage the fat cats and the thin cats with zero effort on my part--food gets put out and they eat what they want. I didn't have to do anything to get weights in line when I switched to wet. It just happened on it's own. You might also get lucky like that

                      If not, it's not horribly hard to teach kitties that a bowl is off limits to one but not the other, as long as you can be around to monitor a little bit. Right now, I have a cat with cancer, and she pretty much gets whatever she'll eat, and however much of it that she would like. When I'm not around, I do have to separate her with her food, but if I'm home, I can put out her dishes in whatever room I'm in, and she eats but the others do not. It only took a day or so of making the "tsssst" noise (backed up with a spray bottle) at the other kitties if they came close to the bowls for everyone to figure out the rules.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks for the great tips Will be checking out those links soon!

                        The past two meals I have mixed 1/4 can wet with their old dry food, but I was just guessing on the amounts. Any suggestions? The can says feed one can per day for every 6-8 lbs body weight. Do I trust the can's directions? What if I keep mixing the wet and dry? Exactly how much dry should I add in?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fivesocks View Post
                          Thanks for the great tips Will be checking out those links soon!

                          The past two meals I have mixed 1/4 can wet with their old dry food, but I was just guessing on the amounts. Any suggestions? The can says feed one can per day for every 6-8 lbs body weight. Do I trust the can's directions? What if I keep mixing the wet and dry? Exactly how much dry should I add in?
                          Here are the calorie requirements for kitties (pdf format).

                          As a rule, I feed about 5.5 oz wet food per day, per cat. My kitties are 8 lbs up to about 11 lbs, and this works for them. I use the large 13 oz cans, which makes things easiest for my household o'kitties. They are all full grown and now tending toward "elderly"--the youngest is 8 or so, the eldest is 14.

                          When I fed both, I was still free feeding dry and just added in a meal of wet once or twice a day, and I did that for about 8 weeks. By the time I switched to only wet, everyone was eating the wet and did not complain when I removed the dry. If you're looking to mix portions for awhile, I would consult the chart linked above and try to get closeish to those numbers. Your food should have calories per cup/oz on the bag or can, or on the website of the producer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another option is Newman's own. Most of Newmans own pet foods, being organic, are very grain heavy and best not fed to dogs or cats, but they carry a few canned cat and dog varieties that are nothing but meat + vitamins/minerals, and these are surprisingly affordable and often sold in grocery stores.

                            for ingredients and calorie content:

                            http://www.newmansownorganics.com/pe...hp#cat_canbeef

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A fun way to feed the dry food portion if you decide to, is to put it in a cat feeder ball they have to bat around to get out the kibble.

                              If you feed wet food, avoid the cans with the pop top lid; something about them = thyroid issues in cats.

                              When I was feeding a high protein diet to my cats, I found the fatty lost weight and the skinny gained weight. Just got too expensive.
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                A fun way to feed the dry food portion if you decide to, is to put it in a cat feeder ball they have to bat around to get out the kibble.
                                .
                                I've never seen one of these. Can you post a link? Our fatty loves to play and this would be great for her!
                                "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                  If you feed wet food, avoid the cans with the pop top lid; something about them = thyroid issues in cats.
                                  I've never heard this, and can't even recall the last time I saw a can that had to be opened with a can opener. Do you have any back up on this?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                                    Cats are actually obligate carnivores, which means they don't *need* fruits and veggies. It also means they really aren't efficient at all in digesting them.

                                    That doesn't mean they don't like some, or love some so much they'll take your hand off for it LOL
                                    THIS!
                                    Cats are true meat eaters, their bodys are not designed to handles fruits or vegitables! Mouse in a can would be the ideal packaged food for cats but most people would not feed it. The petfood companies shove a bunch of the "organic fruits and vegatables your cat NEEDS" BS down the throats of consumers. Cats need MEAT based diet with as little of anything else as possible. If it has fruits or veggies in it I pass!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Treat ball

                                      Originally posted by littleum View Post
                                      I've never seen one of these. Can you post a link? Our fatty loves to play and this would be great for her!
                                      They are cheap and a good way to make them work for every little morsel, haha!

                                      http://www.amazon.com/Go-Cat-Play-N-.../dp/B0002ARRCC

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                        I've never heard this, and can't even recall the last time I saw a can that had to be opened with a can opener. Do you have any back up on this?
                                        All my Wysong and Wellness cans require a can opener. I think the Felidae does too, but I can't see it offhand to tell (it's stacked).

                                        I too would like to see info regarding pop tops and thyroid issues
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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