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Readers Respond: How much do you know about your cat's food ingredients?

Responses: 67


A recent survey discloses that many pet food consumers do not know as much as they think they know about the food their cats and dogs eat. The pet food recalls of 2007 caused more consumers to investigate the ingredients in the food they buy for their pets. Have you changed your own cat food purchasing habits? Share your experiences here. Share Your Experiences

Very Concerned About Ingredients

When I adopted my first two cats, I started researching food choices, mostly here in the forum. At that point, I knew very little about cat food. I thought that if it was fairly expensive, it must be a good food. After much research, I made the decision to only feed foods that fell under certain requirements. The food may not contain any by-products, and the first ingredient must be a specific source of protein. I also look on the ingredients list to see how far down the first filler is. I try to feed the least amount of grain as possible. My cats get at least 90% of their diet in the form of canned food. Overall, I would say that I am fairly well educated about the ingredients in my cats' foods. As well as reading and researching on this site, I bought and read "Foods Pets Die For," by Ann Martin, which completely changed the way I thought about food. Luckily my cats will eat anything I put in front of them, so I can feed high quality foods.

Trying hard to keep my gang healthy.

When I got my first cat, it was just after the recall. I started feeding him Science diet, then a few months later found out how bad it ws. Lots of fillers, such as grains and by products. In my journey, I am now sharing my home with 5 wonderful cats. I have been feeding them Wellness grain free, something which they are turning their noses up to since I get the feeling they did alter their formula. I am now switching to EVO, which according to what I've read and have been told is a very high quality food which is very close to their natural diet. This for me seems to be the best option for my gang. I'd love to feed them raw, yet I feel I don't have enough knowledge of how to give them all of he vitamins and nutrients they will need. I'm still learning, but am hopeful. There are pre-packaged raw foods yet they are more than I can handle monetarily at the moment. But for now, I'm confident EVO will be what's best for them for the moment.

I'm Another Who Tries Their Best

I have learned SO MUCH from the members on the About.com Cats forum about food. I read labels, I understand some about what is good, and some about what is bad, but do NOT understand everything on the ingredients list 100%. I am feeding mid- to high-quality mostly canned food to my 5 girls...Well... Except for one. I needed PH lowering food FAST, and the most readily available was Friskies and it was on a great sale. It's worked and I'm afraid to switch...I DO want to get to more pet supply stores and see what else is out there that will help keep the PH low. For almost 2 yrs. I was a dry-food-free-feeder. It was difficult switching my oldest girl to the canned food, but she finally accepted several varieties. Now I feed 2 scheduled, measured canned food feedings and two very small dry food snacks of decent quality dry. I was commended by my vet for her weight loss and beautiful coat!

Compromises sometimes needed

I read labels. I can't say I totally understand them, and it's easy to get some of the terminology confused, but I know most of the red flags. My Raleigh is a picky eater who rejects many of the better foods. Sometimes in order to get her to eat anything at all I have to feed, or mix in with better food, some inferior foods that she likes. She also has some health issues, and my vet recommends prescription food, so I do some balancing to address the health problem, keep her eating, and still hopefully have decent quality of food for her to eat. I find it very frustrating that there is so much conflicting info out there. Some "experts" say high protein makes kidney problems worse, but without it there is muscle wasting. Other "experts" say protein is fine, only phosphorus is a problem. Many vets just know what prescription food companies with good marketing tell them. I guess all we can do is try to be informed, and then make the best choices we can.

I know enough, but my cats choose

I try very hard to buy foods that have real meat listed at least twice in the first 3 ingredients. I also try to feed mostly wet. I'm pretty choosy about the dry food I feed. The first 3 ingredients of their dry are meats: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal. For their wet, I do the best I can, but if they won't eat it, it doesn 't matter how good it is.

I try my best

I never understood cat food labels until I joined this Forum. Now I read the labels all the time. I always look if meat or fish are listed as the first ingredients. The TV commercials about supermarket food being natural and healthy are a joke if you read their ingredients. I feed both wet and dry and am trying to do my best for all my kitties.

I have 2 Special-Needs Kitties

I feed my two 11 year old Siamese girls a homemade raw meat diet, with 5% ground veggies and oil, supplements and broth added in. I make it up in largish batches and vacuum seal and freeze. I now have it down to a routine when I make their food to where it takes me only a few hours to make a couple of months' worth of food. One of my 2 had IBD, and is showing signs of chicken allergies, so I have switched them over to a ground rabbit diet ( I buy the ground rabbit pre-ground from Tenn.) I vary the veggies used, and then add in Taurine and the extra supplements my other girl, who has RCM (severe heart disease, probably genetic) needs. They eat 4 small meals a day, to help the RCM girl lessen the stress on her heart. I use a grainless kibble for their first "meal" of the day, and only give them less than a Tablespoon each, the IBD girl often gets less. When they get picky, I use tempting toppers . They seem to be doing well; worth it~

homemade cat food

my oldest cat became very ill and could not chew food so I took chicken and boiled it until was coming apart then I took the chicken cooled it and added to the blender with broth and ground it very fine making it really liquid he loved it and it really helped him to eat and get fluids also

Changed to raw

I changed my cat to raw after I lost one of them to kidney failure. My vet was so impressed by how she seemed much younger than her actual age. I researched and prepared my own food and she was very healthy until she had an injury. Once her body adjusted, she preferred the raw meat to anything else. She had no health problems in 17 years. We only just put her to sleep this week and I still can't believe she's gone. She ate raw to the very end and loved it. I must do research on raw for kittens in preparation for a new cat. It feels empty without one.
—Guest Dukestreet

So much to learn!

This is a great site! Maybe I can help with some questions from my experience. After much studying, I was determined to switch by 14 cats to a raw diet. Keep in mind the following: 1) vets know little about nutrition; 2) an all canned food diet is better than any dry food; 3) cats are carnivores and do not need vegies; 4) fillers, vegies, grains, salt & sugar in dry food cause health problems even top brands; 5) kittens love raw diets; 6) for success with a raw diet, gradually mix chopped up turkey or chicken thigh with kitty's current food, even a minute amount to get them started; increase it a little at a time. It could take a while, especially in older cats. Remember, they are used to eating "McDonald's" every day and are hooked! Watch them use their whole mouth to chew (cleaning their teeth) instead of swallowing kiibble whole to throw up later. Start small! Have patience! 7) Availability! You can find raw chicken at any store. Buy a whole one for the heart (taurine). Try it!

My Vet says only dry food

I took Sassy to the vet from the time we found her. After reading the forum I got her good food, but when I took her to the vet he recommended that I feed her dry high quality food as it was better for her teeth. He said that wet food leaves a film on their teeth that leads to tooth decay. So to make my cats happy I now feed them wet and dry, hoping that they will still be ok. My 2 older cats are 10 & 11 yrs and were hard to switch to better food they loved their Friskies. Nutra has some good quality food that has for seniors and kittens. I'm surprised that there's not much food for kittens. We just found a Pets Suplies Plus near us and they have everything so I'm still experimenting to find the right foods.

HELP my cat wont eat.friskie's wet food

My cat ws used to eating those little cups of wet food.9 lives now do to health an lost job i cant afford to buy them 3 a day for 12 at 6 $ every 3 days.i got wet friskies she is 11,long haired finicy .dry food she wont eat.prob hs teeth missing but i wet it still she wont and its good dry food what should i do????
—Guest tiger lily

the 95%, 25%, 3% rule is helpful in rea

the 95%, 25%, 3% rule is helpful in reading the label and know content but what are the %s representing?
—Guest donna

Offering the best I can afford

In febuary we adopted 2 kittens from the shelter, they'd been rescued from a hoarders house, so they would eat anything as long as it's food (they still raid the bin every now and then) but, they have sensitive tummies and were prone to diarrheoa, i looked for better quality food and it helped their tummies settle, their gums look healthier and they have bundles of energy. About a month ago, we rescued my mum's cat (12 yo male) and I was a little scared of his condition : greasy coat, lots of dead skin and quite overweight. I immediately switched him to a high quality senior combo of wet and dry food : his coat is now shiny and has lost the greasy texture, and there's much less dead skin and his eyes looks shiner again and I noticed he has a visible waist once again. I live in germany, so the brands of higher quality food here are : almo nature, real nature, select gold and others that contain high amounts of named meat, and no artificial additives.
—Guest Sophie

Only best for my cats! 2/2

I mean 10 months old cat should be jumping and climbing all over the place but this one was acting more like 20 years old senior. He had problems even with jumping on a sofa! It was like there was no power in his hind legs. Im not a vet but Im pretty sure that one-sided diet had caused some kind deficiency and his hind legs muscles were not fully developed. Today Jytky's fur is in very good condition, he is more active and can make pretty nice jumps. Cats are carnivores, don't ruin your cats health with veggies, grains and sugar!
—Guest Tiuski

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