Cat Food — Which to Pick?
Mist and Smoke are now about four and a half years old and, knock on wood, are in good health. Magic and Merlin — Di’s “Burmese boys” — lived to be 18 and 15, respectively, and passed away some ten days apart.
Not being raised a cat person, I purchased what ever food Di wanted or was on sale and didn’t pay particular attention to what was in it or how it was rated. If the cats liked it, I kept buying it. Magic and Merlin did quite well on the regimen of Iams, Nutro, Friskies, Science Diet and Royal Canin. Their diet consisted of wet foods at breakfast and dinner with dry food available 24/7.
With Mist and Smoke, however, I’ve taken a different tack. Di’s inability to shop on her own and my retirement give me both the responsibility for the purchase of cat food and the time to research both brands and individual products.
I’ve continued to feed Mist and Smoke both wet and dry food. Breakfast is at 7 am and dinner is served at 6 pm.
Dry Cat Food
After four years testing what they like and what I’ve researched, I currently feed a combination of Wellness Core, Open Farm and Science Diet Indoor.
Like people, cats have individual likes and dislikes. While cruciferous vegetables and kale might be good for me, I cannot stomach them and just the smell of some of them cooking nauseates me.
Neither cat likes Acana or Orijen, but both happily munch the Science Diet, which I consider to be much less healthy.
So, I’ve settled on feeding the cats with a mixed diet.
I have a large plastic box and periodically pour in a half dozen cups of the Wellness and Science Diet and three cups of the Open Farm. Then, I mix these together and dispense into their bowl when necessary. They “cherry pick” the Science Diet but also eat the rest of the mixture without demure.
I occasionally get coupons for other foods and, after checking the ingredient list to exclude those with wheat and/or corn, may add one to the mix to see how they like it. (Recently got a coupon for a “Free” 4-lb bag of Fussie Cat and got it for the cost of the sales tax. They ate it but didn’t prefer it over the others.) The same goes for samples occasionally given out at our neighborhood pet shops.
Wet Cat Food
Just like our previous cats, we feed Mist and Smoke wet (canned) food twice a day. I give them each about an ounce and a half in the morning and again at night. Brother Smoke, who is a couple of pounds heavier than his sister, would like more, but Mist often leaves a bite or three in her bowl.
Smoke happily gobbles up Mist’s leavings when I don’t pick up her bowl in time, but he tends to throw up the meal when he eats more than his share. I also put away the dry food bowl. About two hours after the meal, I put out the left over wet food, which has been sitting in the fridge, and the dry food bowl from its drawer. Smoke usually eats the left over wet food right away and Mist has a few nibbles at the dry food.
Smoke will eat wet food that has been open and stored in the fridge, but Mist won’t. Neither cares for food warmed in the microwave for a few seconds. Therefore, I purchase most of the wet food in the the smaller 2.8 – 3.0 ounce cans. Yes, it’s more expensive, but the cats eat it and none goes to waste.
Currently, their wet food mix consists of: Wellness Morsels Tuna Entree, Wellness Sliced Salmon Entree, Wellness Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Wild Salmon Entrée in Broth and Wellness Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entrée in Broth.
Neither cat likes any of the patés I’ve tried; so, most of their food is sliced, flaked, cubed, morsels, etc.
They also prefer seafood to chicken, beef and other meats. Smoke will eat some of them but Mist just sniffs and turns away to “bury” her bowl.
I purchased some individual Tiki Cat cans a couple of weeks ago and three of the tuna versions were approved; they are on my next Chewy order. Neither of the cats would deign to even sample the Weruva cans I purchased at the same time I got the Tiki Cats, so they are off all future lists.
As I was about out of wet food and the next Chewy order isn’t due until the end of this week, I bought some cans of Blue Healthy Gourmet at Target the other day. The Flaked Tuna Entrée was quite favorably received this morning by both Smoke and Mist and the others will be sampled over the next couple of days.
Conclusions and “Advice”
I don’t know that there is any one food which will satisfy any cat’s needs or wants over its entire life. Likes, dislikes and needs change with experience and age for our feline family members just as ours do.
I believe that feeding our cats both what they really enjoy (even if it is the feline equivalent of ice cream or french fries) and what they like a little bit or merely tolerate (albeit what I think is higher quality food) will keep them in good health for a long feline lifetime. And, I’ll keep on trying out new/different foods to add into the mix.
If you need “advice” on what to feed your cat(s), go to several different sources. Try your cat’s vet — although, s/he may steer you to what the clinic stocks and sells. Pet shops and markets may stock many foods but be aware that some may be more profitable to them than others; this may influence what they try to sell you. Ask your friends; ask your Facebook friends and groups.
Also, check the Internet. Type: cat food ratings into your search engine and you’ll end up with millions of results — many, unfortunately, will be biased; so, check them out carefully.
I like CatFoodDB (Cat Food DataBase) and read several others.
Read the reviews of the foods on Amazon and Chewy — some of them have got to be legit.
And, don’t be afraid of buying a dozen or three different cans of food from a store’s shelves, your cats may like them. If they don’t like a particular brand you bought several of, give them away. Your next door neighbor’s cat may like them and a local shelter or rescue group will love them.
Yes, I know the Science Diet contains wheat and corn, but the cats love it. I had fish for dinner last night and “chips” and plenty of tartar sauce to go with. I will survive and so will they.