As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Cat Question (Diet)

LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
This is a pretty straight-forward question/advice needed.

My family has had two cats for the past twelve years, unfortunately my sister's had to be put down last month due to long illness. My cat is healthy and happy, but we've come to question what she should be eating during the day. Normally we would put down both wet and dry food for both cats, the male would eat the wet food and my cat, the female, eat mainly the dry but sometimes the wet food.

Since the male was put down we've given her both wet and dry food but she will only eat the dry. Should we try a different brand of wet food or is it not really a problem that she's only eating the dry cat food? She's not lost her appetite or anything like that.

Thanks H/A :)

Mandatory cat pictures:
2002_0519_140337AA.jpg

2002_0928_160003AA.jpg

Liiya on

Posts

  • Options
    ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    pic # 2 is simultaneously the cutest and most depressing thing i've seen in h/a

    ascannerlightly on
    armedroberty.jpg
  • Options
    DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Try a different brand or flavor of catfood. Cats can be extremely finicky about what they eat - our cat will only eat one flavor of one particular brand of cat food. Keep experimenting, you may find something she likes.

    Also, kitty picture #2 looks so sad...

    Duffel on
  • Options
    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If your cat seems happy eating just the dry food you won't be hurting her to continue dry food only. If you are certain you want to keep her on a wet/dry combination you should be able to grab a sampler pack at a PetSmart or PetCo. If you get lucky and find a new favorite before going all the way through the pack any local shelter will be more than happy to take the remainder of the cans off your hands.

    jclast on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    For a 12 year old cat, you're probably going to have a hard time switching her food. A better question is does she seem to be OK eating it, and then pooping it OK? Is she peeing normally? Does she seem to have energy, or does she lay around all day and never want to play?

    A good diet will give even an old cat a good amount of energy, and "good" doesn't necessarily mean "wet." What brand of food does she currently get?

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Options
    desdinovadesdinova Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    It's not really a problem that she only eats dry food. Cats are "supposed to" get the majority of their water from the food they eat. As long as she's got fresh water to drink and the vet says that there isn't a problem with dehydration, her eating only dry food is fine.
    Although, 12 years, she's getting older. Especially with the loss of her long time companion you want to make sure she's getting a good diet. I'm not one of those crazy go spend more on the cat than you would your own food, but consider an Elderly/Mature formula.
    Always slowly change a food because their digestive systems can be sensitive, especially in older cats. Mix new food in with the old, increasing over the course of a few days.

    The eldest cat my family has had lived into his twenties. Keep her healthy and she might have years left in her.

    desdinova on
    wat
  • Options
    LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    EggyToast wrote: »
    For a 12 year old cat, you're probably going to have a hard time switching her food. A better question is does she seem to be OK eating it, and then pooping it OK? Is she peeing normally? Does she seem to have energy, or does she lay around all day and never want to play?

    A good diet will give even an old cat a good amount of energy, and "good" doesn't necessarily mean "wet." What brand of food does she currently get?

    She's going to the toilet fine. She's a bit of a lazy cat (has been for years) though she can certainly run and jump onto high surfaces when she wants to or when I call her to me.
    She's currently on Go Cat dry food which she eats happily, the wet food we gave her is Whiskas, she used to eat that when we gave it to the other cat. You're right, she is rather stuck in her ways with her age. She's a very healthy cat though.
    desdinova wrote: »
    As long as she's got fresh water to drink and the vet says that there isn't a problem with dehydration, her eating only dry food is fine.

    Yeah, she has a lot of water access, she has fresh water everyday next to her food and she sometimes drinks out of the pond in the garden even though she always have lots of water in her bowl. She's shown no real signs of aging, she doesn't bounce around like she did when she was a kitten but she's no problems with movements and doesn't lay around all day.



    I think that I'll get a few samples of wet cat food and try her on them, if she doesn't like them then I guess its not doing her any harm. Thanks guys, I feel glad to know she's not going to get ill from it.

    Liiya on
  • Options
    Unearthly StewUnearthly Stew Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I might have to use pic 2 as a new av. I'm very entertained by the cat's expression.

    I'd say if the cat is healthy and seems to be happy eating dry food, then stick with it. My cat has never actually had anything but dry, and hasn't really had any problems from it.

    Unearthly Stew on
  • Options
    LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I might have to use pic 2 as a new av. I'm very entertained by the cat's expression.

    Haha no problem, made me laugh to see her as your avatar :D

    Liiya on
  • Options
    Aurora BorealisAurora Borealis runs and runs and runs away BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Aw, you have an orange classic tabby with white paws just like mine!
    My vet told me that it's better for them to eat dry as long as they get plenty of water. It helps keep their teeth clean and it's usually less fattening. My cat only get wet on special occasions. Like if I'm going away for a week and I want her to not hate her catsitter (she thinks the wet is more tasty). I say that if your cat prefers dry and is healthy, let her eat dry.

    Aurora Borealis on
  • Options
    YamiNoSenshiYamiNoSenshi A point called Z In the complex planeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm trying to find a good food for my cat as well. We started him with Purina Indoor because that was what he was eating before, but when I looked at the ingredients it contained mostly rice and grain and very little meat. So we switched him to Authority brand, which had chicken as four out of five of the first ingredients. But when I looked online it seems that Authority had a recall not too long ago. I assume the stuff I bought recently is safe, but I don't want to take that risk with my beloved kitty. So now I'd like to find something new. my kitty Keller is four years old and indoor only. He's very laid back but he does like to play, so I know he does have energy. He's completely healthy with no complications, so he can eat anything. We only give him dry food (and a ton of water, with bowls in various places.) So is Authority fine, or what should I switch to?

    YamiNoSenshi on
  • Options
    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    We feed our cats a mix of Origen dry food, which is high quality, and Weruva wet food (which looks like people food). The dry is for one of our cats, the wet is for both. The advantage to the Weruva is that since it's actual chunks of meat, they have to chew it to eat it, which is also good for their teeth.

    We also feed the non-dry-eating cat raw food nuggets, but as they're very rich, some cats don't like them.

    Do you have a decent pet food store in your area? Unfortunately, a lot of the big chain stores just carry the cheap food -- the equivalent of eating twinkies and hot dogs as a diet -- and getting higher quality food is generally better for the cat overall. But since she's old, she may not dig it. She may also like the change -- cats are finicky not in that they're stuck in their ways, but that you can't predict what they'll do ;D

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Options
    phoxphyrephoxphyre Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    We have 2 Burmese cats. One (Oscar) is very trim, and throws up occasionally. The other, Lily, is "pleasantly plump" and on a diet.

    Previously we fed them both Hills Science Diet. Lily is now on the Hills Prescription Diet (she's down to a healthy 4.8kg!) and Oscar is on Felidae. Wow, what a difference that food makes! He likes it, his coat has gone *very* glossy, and he hasn't thrown up yet!

    I did a bit of research after reading on the PA forums that Hills ain't the be-all-end-all of cat foods, and this was the best one I could get in NZ.

    After my experiences, I would recommend investigating other foods if you're worried about your cat -- bearing in mind that cats just like some flavors, and if she doesn't like it she will go *very hungry* rather than eat! :P

    phoxphyre on
    Remember the Slug; They have all the disadvantages of Snails, but without the benefit of home-ownership...
  • Options
    WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    From my experience with cats you're better off with dry food over wet. Our old cat would only eat wet food and as she got older her teeth got worse and worse. She ended up having to get most of them pulled. The dry food is much better for the teeth and is fine to stick to. As long as the cat has water available, they will drink to hydrate themselves fine.

    Weretaco on
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • Options
    OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Weretaco wrote: »
    From my experience with cats you're better off with dry food over wet. Our old cat would only eat wet food and as she got older her teeth got worse and worse. She ended up having to get most of them pulled. The dry food is much better for the teeth and is fine to stick to. As long as the cat has water available, they will drink to hydrate themselves fine.

    I've read that a lot of cats won't drink enough water, since they're expecting to get it from their food. Also, I bought an electric cat fountain a year or so ago, and my cat and my roommate's cat are drinking a lot more as a result, I'd say 50-100% more based on how often I have to refill the thing compared to how much I had to refill the old water bowl. Plus one of the neighbor cats comes in to drink from it, and just parks himself in front of it for 10 minutes at a time. So I'd recommend getting one if you're going dry food only (I generally do, wet food is used as a treat once or twice a week).

    Orogogus on
  • Options
    AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Both my cats only eat dry food and they're perfectly healthy. They drink a lot of water though, so watch for her water consumption to go up.

    Also that second picture is the saddest cat in the world. I wanna give it a hug.

    Asiina on
  • Options
    EntriechEntriech ? ? ? ? ? Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Cats have a very weak thirst drive. While it's true that a cat who is fed dry food will compensate by drinking more water, a cat on wet food will on average remain more hydrated on a regular basis. You can see this just by the urine output of the animal. Keeping the cat well hydrated can help prevent the bladder and kidney problems which are common in felines.

    Dry food being beneficial for a cat's dental health is a myth. Most cats will swallow kibble whole which has no effect, or if they do chew at all the kibble tends to shatter into pieces, so the only plaque/tartar stripping will occur at the points of the teeth, not down at the gum line where accumulation is really the problem. It'd be like cleaning your teeth by eating hard pretzels. You can purchase a small toothbrush or finger brush and cat toothpaste for a very small amount of money. It can be tricky to actually brush their teeth yourself, but it's doable. Vets are also capable of doing a thorough job cleaning your cat's teeth.

    Regarding actual diet composition, cats are obligate carnivores and receive little to no benefit from carbohydrates in their diet. All dry foods have significantly higher carb content than wet foods. As well, the protein in dry foods is typically more plant than animal based, and plant-based proteins do not contain the full spectrum of necessary amino acids. In addition, dry foods are produced by cooking at extremely high temperatures which destroys additional nutiritional content. Despite how nutritionally void some of these dry foods are, cats end up prefering them because they spray a nice coating of flavour on them which smells delicious. In a lot of cases this would be like feeding a kid a plate of twinkies every day.

    Definitely start reading the labels on pet food. Ideally you want to see the first ingredient listed be some sort of muscle meat (rather than organ meat or something that isn't meat). A muscle meat will just be listed as "chicken" or "turkey". If you're buying wet food, look for an indication on the can that the food is grain free. The labeling system for pet food does a terrible job of telling you exactly what the breakdown of carb/protein/fat is, which is why there's a great website with info for canned and dry which is maintained by people who have gotten more accurate information from the companies.

    Personally, I feed my cat a 5.5oz can of Wellness canned food (grain free varieties only) daily, half in the morning and half at night. Other brands which I've heard good things about are Nature's Variety and Innova EVO. This gets him around 200 calories (appropriate for a 10 lb cat), with the majority of those being from protein, then fat, and less than 10% being from carbs. He's sleek, and lean, with excellent coat quality.

    Initially when we got him from the shelter, he turned his nose up at the canned food, and the specialty low-carb dry food. He was addicted to the cheap purina food he'd been fed at the shelter. Fortunately he was quick to transition. We started out just feeding him low quality dry, then started adding a quarter can of the Welness mixed in, then within a week we were able to switch him over to canned food completely. We did have a few up and down days figuring this out, but it all worked out in the end. If your cat is being picky about food, it's important to make sure that it's eating something within 48 hours. Any longer than that and the animal can develop fatty liver disease, with very serious consequences.

    To summarize, I'd reccomend a high quality canned food with very low carb content, fed on a restricted basis. This should do a fine job of keeping the cat at a healthy weight, nutritionally satisfied, and protected against a variety of common cat health problems.

    Entriech on
  • Options
    DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Our cats currently get half a can (3 oz) of the Wellness grain-free canned food, twice a day, and we leave out a dish of the Wellness Core low-carb/high-protein dry food for them to free-feed on....No problems at all in any of their recent vet appointments, our girl actually lost a couple tenths of a pound.

    This is compared to the Fancy Feast she was getting before we knew any better, where she was eating 2 full cans per day and starting to edge towards being overweight - the better food may be more expensive, but the quantity savings make up for it somewhat.

    Deathwing on
    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Entriech wrote: »
    Dry food being beneficial for a cat's dental health is a myth. Most cats will swallow kibble whole which has no effect, or if they do chew at all the kibble tends to shatter into pieces, so the only plaque/tartar stripping will occur at the points of the teeth, not down at the gum line where accumulation is really the problem. It'd be like cleaning your teeth by eating hard pretzels. You can purchase a small toothbrush or finger brush and cat toothpaste for a very small amount of money. It can be tricky to actually brush their teeth yourself, but it's doable. Vets are also capable of doing a thorough job cleaning your cat's teeth.

    I'd assumed that the idea wasn't that dry food was good for their teeth, but that wet food was bad since it does get chewed and usually not cleaned out.

    Having the vet clean a cat's teeth is pretty expensive (I think about $200 where I live), but they sedate the cat first and do a thorough job, whereas when I do it myself my cat squirms, eats the toothpaste and is generally uncooperative.

    Orogogus on
  • Options
    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If you want to keep your cat's teeth clean, give 'em some Greenies. A no-carb, all-meat-based diet will keep your cat's teeth healthier simply by not having any sugars to corrode the teeth (sugars the cat can't even taste).

    edit to add: Feral cats keep their teeth "clean" by nomin' on bones to get the meat/gristle off. The bones rub against their teeth/gums and clean away bad stuff. Although there's usually less accumulation of bad stuff because if you're just eating mice, rats, and birds, you're eating all protein.

    For fun, we sometimes give our meat-loving cat a raw chicken wing. You know, like the kind you grill/fry up and have with sauce. I give him a drummy and let him go to town. He's slow getting started but eventually it's just a bone left, and he's the happiest cat around for the rest of the night.

    Our other cat doesn't really care for raw meat, though. So it's not for every cat.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Options
    LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Okie dokie, update.
    The general consensus seemed to be that as long as she's got plenty of water it won't be a problem for her to eat dry food only, but that I might as well try her with wet food to give her a bit more balance.

    When she came into the kitchen to eat her food I replaced her dry with wet food (an average priced one), she licked the gravy-stuff off it for a long time (I think she likes saltiness) and ate a few mouthfuls before pushing some of it off her plate and walking outside. I put her dry food besides it and she came back choosing the dry. I think what I'm going to do is start giving her a small amount of wet food for her to eat but mainly keep her on the dry, shes got lots of water. I think she's just fussy as I've heard some cats can be.

    Thanks everyone for the response!

    Liiya on
  • Options
    GafferGaffer Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Entriech wrote: »
    Cats have a very weak thirst drive. While it's true that a cat who is fed dry food will compensate by drinking more water, a cat on wet food will on average remain more hydrated on a regular basis. You can see this just by the urine output of the animal. Keeping the cat well hydrated can help prevent the bladder and kidney problems which are common in felines.

    Dry food being beneficial for a cat's dental health is a myth. Most cats will swallow kibble whole which has no effect, or if they do chew at all the kibble tends to shatter into pieces, so the only plaque/tartar stripping will occur at the points of the teeth, not down at the gum line where accumulation is really the problem. It'd be like cleaning your teeth by eating hard pretzels. You can purchase a small toothbrush or finger brush and cat toothpaste for a very small amount of money. It can be tricky to actually brush their teeth yourself, but it's doable. Vets are also capable of doing a thorough job cleaning your cat's teeth.

    Regarding actual diet composition, cats are obligate carnivores and receive little to no benefit from carbohydrates in their diet. All dry foods have significantly higher carb content than wet foods. As well, the protein in dry foods is typically more plant than animal based, and plant-based proteins do not contain the full spectrum of necessary amino acids. In addition, dry foods are produced by cooking at extremely high temperatures which destroys additional nutiritional content. Despite how nutritionally void some of these dry foods are, cats end up prefering them because they spray a nice coating of flavour on them which smells delicious. In a lot of cases this would be like feeding a kid a plate of twinkies every day.

    Definitely start reading the labels on pet food. Ideally you want to see the first ingredient listed be some sort of muscle meat (rather than organ meat or something that isn't meat). A muscle meat will just be listed as "chicken" or "turkey". If you're buying wet food, look for an indication on the can that the food is grain free. The labeling system for pet food does a terrible job of telling you exactly what the breakdown of carb/protein/fat is, which is why there's a great website with info for canned and dry which is maintained by people who have gotten more accurate information from the companies.

    Personally, I feed my cat a 5.5oz can of Wellness canned food (grain free varieties only) daily, half in the morning and half at night. Other brands which I've heard good things about are Nature's Variety and Innova EVO. This gets him around 200 calories (appropriate for a 10 lb cat), with the majority of those being from protein, then fat, and less than 10% being from carbs. He's sleek, and lean, with excellent coat quality.

    Initially when we got him from the shelter, he turned his nose up at the canned food, and the specialty low-carb dry food. He was addicted to the cheap purina food he'd been fed at the shelter. Fortunately he was quick to transition. We started out just feeding him low quality dry, then started adding a quarter can of the Welness mixed in, then within a week we were able to switch him over to canned food completely. We did have a few up and down days figuring this out, but it all worked out in the end. If your cat is being picky about food, it's important to make sure that it's eating something within 48 hours. Any longer than that and the animal can develop fatty liver disease, with very serious consequences.

    To summarize, I'd reccomend a high quality canned food with very low carb content, fed on a restricted basis. This should do a fine job of keeping the cat at a healthy weight, nutritionally satisfied, and protected against a variety of common cat health problems.

    This is an EXCELLENT post and covers everything I was going to say and more. Extruded feed < wet feed if you take the time to do some routine dental care on your kitty (which you should anyway.) I say this as a Major in Animal Science / going on to Vet School (soonish, I hope.)

    Edit: Try speaking to your vet about nutrition the next time you're in for a visit. He/she will probably reiterate the benefits of a wet food diet and the pitfalls of excess carbs, and can likely point you towards quality feed/feedstuffs and a strategy for shifting your cat onto it. Fatty Liver disease (caused by lack of glucose intake + rapid mobilization of lipids to glucose in the liver) is a concern and tends to be fatal as noted before. Make sure your cat transitions slowly and feed less of the old stuff over time as you go. Not going to happen in a few days.

    Gaffer on
  • Options
    ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Asiina wrote: »
    Also that second picture is the saddest cat in the world
    why%5B1%5D.jpg

    ascannerlightly on
    armedroberty.jpg
Sign In or Register to comment.