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Just How Bad is Purina ProPlan for Cats?

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  • Just How Bad is Purina ProPlan for Cats?

    In my never ending search to find a reasonably priced wet cat food that all five of my cats will eat, I have only ever found one brand -- Purina Pro Plan. And, it's not even that reasonably priced. There is a type within this brand, the Classic type, that looks to be grain free, and, every single one of my cats just sucks it down.

    My mad searching skills have failed me and I can't find anything about what the experts say is good or bad about this line, so I'm coming to you. The fact that nobody here has ever suggested it has me a little leary, but, let's see what you cat people have to say.
    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
    Desmond Tutu

  • #2
    PREFACE: This is not meant to snark at OP - I think she is simply asking for opinions, which is the purpose of a board like this, I figure. I just find it weird that so many other people are willing to offer their $0.02 when often their opinions are just that - opinions - and probably not even worth the $0.02.

    Why on earth do people assume that if it is a well known brand it is bad? It is one of the brands of food that actually DOES the AAFCO testing (instead of just some calculations), that brand is the first to incorporate any new research (before Purina One and their other brands), and the Pro Plan manufacturing facilities are pristine.

    Re: grain free...there is no need for your cats to be on a grain free food since, if you're concerned about carbohydrates, the carb count in the most of the canned foods (when comparing regular to regular, kitten to kitten, light to light, etc.) is virtually identical. You're already dropping the carb count a LOT by feeding canned food over dry food.
    If you go to pet stores and look at the nutritional analyses, I know of at least one brand of dog food where the grain free food is actually HIGHER carb than the same brand's regular food. (This was initially surprising to me, but then I realized it made sense - the only difference between regular and grain-free is that somewhere along the line the public decided it was okay for pet foods to contain potatoes and yams but not wheat.)

    I'm not a Pro Plan rep, but I am educated beyond what one can read on the internet. I have also actually met with one of the small animal veterinary nutritionists (so a DVM and then a nutrition specialty) at Purina.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't have any experience with Purina ProPlan but my cat (now my sisters cat) has done very well on Fancy Fest Classic which is cheap cheap cheap and grain-free.

      I think people are leery of big brands because they feel that they are more likely to look at the $$$ and compromise on quality. Purina also produces some really terrible food so I think it is difficult for some feel to accept that any of their food is acceptable. Of course you can get into sourcing of ingredients, preservatives, dyes, sustainability, etc. but at the end of the day your cat needs to eat. If the ingredients match what you are looking for and they haven't had any recalls on that specific line before then I would give it a shot.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by cleozowner View Post
        PREFACE: This is not meant to snark at OP - I think she is simply asking for opinions, which is the purpose of a board like this, I figure. I just find it weird that so many other people are willing to offer their $0.02 when often their opinions are just that - opinions - and probably not even worth the $0.02.
        Absolutely NOT taken as a snark. I am very grateful for your comment, as I am the comment of GraceLikeRain. One of the major reasons why I am asking is because I am not educated in this field. Ask me about the field I spent my working career in and I can give you a good answer, but my science skills are nil.

        I am smart enough to realize that an opinion is just that, however. I've been on this forum practically since the beginning, and I have formed my own viewpoint of the value of certain poster's opinions. I tend to ask a general question, hoping that the posters that I have come to respect will answer. cleozowner, you have just managed to get yourself on my "watch for" list with your answer. GraceLikeRain was already there. I truly appreciate it.

        I am one of those people who worries constantly that I am doing the best I can for my animals. The four cats who have been with me for years are healthy and fit (well, except for Rachel, who I swear gets fat on air). Their coats are shiny and soft to the extent that their vet comments on it whenever they go in, as she comments on the fact that the old girls are in remarkable shape for their age. The fifth cat just joined the pride a couple of weeks ago. I'm hoping that, over time, her truly terrible coat will improve.

        I have fed EVO for years, but, a few months ago, the two old ones started turning up their noses at it. They've always been my fussy ones, and it has been a real struggle to find some kind of wet food that they will eat, and than doesn't stretch my fixed income to the max. It's very important that one of those old girls eats her wet food, because she gets L-lysine for a viral dry eye condition. Basically, I just want to make sure that they're not getting something awful that will affect their health in the long run and that I'm not aware of.

        I did, by the way, try the Fancy Feast Classic for a bit. What I found was that, while they ate it, when one of them barfed it up, it stained my carpet, something the more expensive foods did not do. I figured that it's got some kind of dye in it to make it more visually attractive.
        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
        Desmond Tutu

        Comment


        • #5
          My .02 is that if it is working for your pet, then it works! My lab could eat any food on the market and be fine. My coonie has had trouble with Blue, Nutro, Authority but seems fine on Tractor Supply's 4-Health. He also seemed to do fine on Back to Basics but I could not afford it! My mom's vet recommended Purina One for her dog and he has lost weight and looks good! We all want to do what is best, and what is best is what works for your pet and wallet!

          Comment


          • #6
            So...your .02 is worth it but nobody else's is, because you're "educated beyond what one can read on the internet"? But not to be snarky, not at all...

            People don't assume that a well-known brand is "bad"; they often read the ingredients and believe it or not, are sometimes as well educated as you consider yourself, and make decisions based on the knowledge they've gained. Things like they learned in kindergarten, that cats are carnivores.

            I don't remember folks being concerned about their cats being low carb, I believe the idea is that they need protein and not CORN for dinner. Who's counting carbs for their cats?

            That Purina Nutritionist must have been in used car sales before becoming a vet; s/he made a believer out of you! I can't believe you "actually" met a real live Purina rep that convinced you that their food is really really good for animals and the silly people that don't just believe what they say obviously have opinions that are not worth .02. No bias there!
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

            Comment


            • #7
              Some flavors look better than others.

              Comment


              • #8
                FWIW, feeding homemade raw costs me 25 cents per cat per day.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I keep thinking about raw, or at least freeze dried. The problem with raw is that I travel several times a year, and I would worry about how sanitary my cat sitter would be in handling any raw that I froze and left behind. Heck, I worry about how sanitary I would be.

                  Do you use grocery store meat for your raw diet, or do you have a special supplier, Marshfield?
                  If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                  Desmond Tutu

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Louise View Post
                    My mad searching skills have failed me and I can't find anything about what the experts say is good or bad about this line, so I'm coming to you.
                    The problem is that many of the "experts" you find online bashing pet foods are hardly experts at all.

                    Can't help you with the cats, but I've had great success with working dogs with Pro Plan. They thrive on it. Purina "green bag" dog chow I would never feed, but ONE is decent and Pro Plan Sport (used to be Performance) suits very active dogs quite well.

                    If your cats love it and are in good health, weight, and coat, stick with it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This won't answer your original question, but have you tried the Fancy Feast Mornings (meat and egg), or the flaked dinners? (Trout and tuna are my cats' favorites in the flaked dinners.) They're not THAT cheap and they come in small cans, but they are the only canned cat foods my 2 cats will reliably eat.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        The two old girls say that they will only do pate or ground. Sigh.
                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                        Desmond Tutu

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Louise View Post
                          The two old girls say that they will only do pate or ground. Sigh.
                          to bad you are not closer...DH bought pate and my cats look at me like I am trying to poison them....
                          Originally posted by BigMama1
                          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                          GNU Terry Prachett

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My take is this: if the cat eats it and is healthy and staying a consistant weight, it's fine. I feed Friskies to my herd, usually something with small pieces and gravy as Louie can't manage pate style very well unless it is a very loose pate because he has no bottom lip - he came to me as an itty bitty with a huge scab where his bottom lip should have been and in the interest of getting something into him while it healed, shreds and gravy style foods and CatMilk were the total of his diet and he got kinda spoiled but the shreds are easier for him to manage. Is it great food? Probably not, but the senior food smells great to me, just like chicken stew.

                            Purina, like any food giant, has good and bad. Look at the human side of those companies: Kraft, for example, has wonderful things (Mmmm KD, aka Kraft Mac and Cheese) but please don't feed me that syrupy mess called peanut butter or their rubber cheese. Same applies to pet foods.
                            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                            Member: Incredible Invisbles

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                              to bad you are not closer...DH bought pate and my cats look at me like I am trying to poison them....
                              Did you steal some of my cats??ROFL Louie really doesn't do pate and neither does Blue. Hmmmmmmmmm I got it, they go see you when I feed 'bad' stuff that the rest like!!!!
                              Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                              Member: Incredible Invisbles

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Why on earth do people assume that if it is a well known brand it is bad? It is one of the brands of food that actually DOES the AAFCO testing
                                no one assumes it's bad just because it's a "well known" brand- we read the ingredients first.
                                AAFCO testing is a joke- it doesn't tell you anything about whether the food is actually complete and balanced or not, and it doesn't tell you anything about the long-term effect on your cat's health of feeding the food.

                                My approach, I first consider the company- is it reputable, or does it have a track record of recalls, poor quality, and a trail of dead pets? you can look up the company yourself and make up your own mind about this particular one.

                                then I look at the guaranteed analysis. I'll pick purina proplan adult beef n cheese entrée in gravy as an example.
                                Guaranteed analysis:
                                Crude Protein (Min) 10.0%
                                Crude Fat (Min) 2.0%
                                Crude Fiber (Max) 1.5%
                                Moisture (Max) 80.0%
                                Ash (Max) 2.8%
                                Taurine (Min) 0.05%

                                I calculate the % calories coming from protein, fat, and carbohydrates: 54% from protein, 26% from fat, and 19% from carbohydrates. That's very high in carbohydrates for a cat- a cat on its "natural" diet of dead critters would get less than 10% of calories from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are very bad for cats- cause all kinds of chronic health problems. That would be enough to convince me to put it back on the shelf.
                                But the usual next step, then you look at the ingredients:



                                Water sufficient for processing, beef, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, corn starch-modified, cheese, artificial and natural flavors, salt, spice and coloring, sodium caseinate, calcium phosphate, soy protein concentrate, soybean oil, potassium chloride, dried whey, taurine, choline chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, Vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, sorbic acid (a preservative), calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.
                                A-4692


                                Wheat gluten and soy proteins- that means the protein in this product is mostly low-quality plant protein. That will damage your cat's kidneys. Note the meat by-products: that's random dead animals, including euthanized pets and horses full of poisons, sick and dying livestock, dead fish from fish farms full of lead and antibiotics- basically it's a very unhealthy substance you really don't want your cat to eat. Then corn starch, probably added to make the gravy, and the rest is just vitamins and such.

                                This is a very poor-quality product, designed to maximize profits for the manufacturer (who is using cheap garbage as ingredients rather than healthy real food as ingredients) at the expense of the health of your pet.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                                  Did you steal some of my cats??ROFL Louie really doesn't do pate and neither does Blue. Hmmmmmmmmm I got it, they go see you when I feed 'bad' stuff that the rest like!!!!
                                  I think my Tom came to see you this morning...
                                  I didn't even bother with the pate, since the bowls were half full from last night...but even the tuna was not to his liking....

                                  shredded, flaked or bits....NO PATE...

                                  sigh...
                                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                  GNU Terry Prachett

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    is that if it is working for your pet, then it works!
                                    unless your pet has some kind of health issue and you've tried all kinds of diets and none of them "worked", this is really stupid way of approaching food selection.

                                    MOST animals appear to "do well" on any or most diets- for a few years. Until the animal hits middle-age, and starts to develop chronic health conditions. Poor-quality and species-inappropriate diets strongly contribute to the development of health problems of middle- and older- age. You won't know if your diet is "working for your pet" until it's too late and now your pet has X health condition.
                                    Some animals are far more resistant to long-term impact of poor diet than others, and may indeed do fine on anything, but you have no way to know if your pet falls into that category until it's too late. And of course some animals are genetically predisposed or just unlucky and will get illnesses even if fed the best diet. But you don't know, and the best way to stack the odds in favor of good health life-long is to carefully select the best diet you can afford to feed.

                                    I know it's not a popular approach with cats, but we used to get cats into rescue and we didn't know what they ate before, and we'd give them what we had, and they could either eat it or die. Not one chose to die. Yes, cats sometimes develop liver problems from not-eating, but usually those are cats who are refusing to eat due to health problems. I've never seen a healthy cat choose to starve itself to death.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                      no one assumes it's bad just because it's a "well known" brand- we read the ingredients first.
                                      AAFCO testing is a joke- it doesn't tell you anything about whether the food is actually complete and balanced or not, and it doesn't tell you anything about the long-term effect on your cat's health of feeding the food.

                                      My approach, I first consider the company- is it reputable, or does it have a track record of recalls, poor quality, and a trail of dead pets? you can look up the company yourself and make up your own mind about this particular one.

                                      then I look at the guaranteed analysis. I'll pick purina proplan adult beef n cheese entrée in gravy as an example.
                                      Guaranteed analysis:
                                      Crude Protein (Min) 10.0%
                                      Crude Fat (Min) 2.0%
                                      Crude Fiber (Max) 1.5%
                                      Moisture (Max) 80.0%
                                      Ash (Max) 2.8%
                                      Taurine (Min) 0.05%

                                      I calculate the % calories coming from protein, fat, and carbohydrates: 54% from protein, 26% from fat, and 19% from carbohydrates. That's very high in carbohydrates for a cat- a cat on its "natural" diet of dead critters would get less than 10% of calories from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are very bad for cats- cause all kinds of chronic health problems. That would be enough to convince me to put it back on the shelf.
                                      But the usual next step, then you look at the ingredients:



                                      Water sufficient for processing, beef, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, corn starch-modified, cheese, artificial and natural flavors, salt, spice and coloring, sodium caseinate, calcium phosphate, soy protein concentrate, soybean oil, potassium chloride, dried whey, taurine, choline chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, Vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, sorbic acid (a preservative), calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.
                                      A-4692


                                      Wheat gluten and soy proteins- that means the protein in this product is mostly low-quality plant protein. That will damage your cat's kidneys. Note the meat by-products: that's random dead animals, including euthanized pets and horses full of poisons, sick and dying livestock, dead fish from fish farms full of lead and antibiotics- basically it's a very unhealthy substance you really don't want your cat to eat. Then corn starch, probably added to make the gravy, and the rest is just vitamins and such.

                                      This is a very poor-quality product, designed to maximize profits for the manufacturer (who is using cheap garbage as ingredients rather than healthy real food as ingredients) at the expense of the health of your pet.
                                      boy, there's a lot of misinformation in the above....
                                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by cleozowner View Post

                                        Why on earth do people assume that if it is a well known brand it is bad? It is one of the brands of food that actually DOES the AAFCO testing (instead of just some calculations), that brand is the first to incorporate any new research (before Purina One and their other brands), and the Pro Plan manufacturing facilities are pristine.
                                        I almost never step into food for pets threads, they turn heated and I feel like you do, the bigger food manufacturers put a HUGE amount of money into research. I value research and I just can't imagine that the pet food companies are out to kill my animals. They know more than I do about what different species need, and different species have different nutritional needs. I also value the fact that a vet has expert knowledge and a veterinary nutritionist probably knows more than the general public.

                                        all that said, if the cat(s) will only eat one brand, well I guess you just don't have much choice now, do you? Cats are not dogs (?!!) and you can't just let them get hungry enough as cats will become anorexic.

                                        Comment

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