My cat is around 9 yrs old. She has eaten Friskies her whole life (fed by me)... I have recently become aware of how bad of a food it is, and thus we are making a lifestyle change.
I have read a lot about how a wet food diet is better for cats, and I would like to put her on a quality food like wellness or felidae, even maybe avoderm.
She is getting matted hair (is a maine coon, so has plenty of hair) and has some dandruff as well. She is just not looking so sharp and I know her diet plays a large role.
I have changed her to, instead of having food out all day, to being fed in the morning and at night, and I am mixing in some wet food with her dry so she will get used to it (using wellness.. but only 1/2 can so far). She eats very little. She probably eats about one 1.5 oz of food in AM and at night. (Like the size of a shot glass) which isn't much, but she is also just getting used to eating meals and not grazing all day.
Advice on kinds of food I should feed, and opinions of the age old debate on "dry food is better for their teeth" vs. "wet food is acceptable as long as they get chunks of meat to also chew" argument. ???
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
I'm against dry food feeding, principally because the grain content is generally too high. Here is an interesting link about dry cat food that I came across a while back that reconfirmed to me that dry food was not the way to go - http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html - the author does touch on the subject in her web page about the difficulty of a cats acceptance of a change in diet and that it can take sometime to successfully make the switch with some cats - I don't believe that should put you off the idea though. There's more work involved than just being able to put down a bowl of kibble in the morning but I think it is well worth the extra effort.
I feed a mix of tinned + raw for my cats and feed them twice a day only (do not have food standing as it always gets eaten!).
I completely agree that your cat needs a better diet than Friskies. But I don't feed wet food and I never have. My cats get it as a treat once a week. And even with four sharing a 3 ounce can, there is some left over because they don't care to eat much. They hate the really good stuff like Wellness so since it's just a treat and not their regular food, mine get Fancy Feast. If your cat has lived her whole life with free feeding of dry, it's a huge adjustment to just have wet food at scheduled times. Mine all eat whenever they feel like it. The brands you mentioned have high quality dry foods as well and honestly, I would just try switching to a better quality dry first. Then if that doesn't improve her health, other options might be necessary. But unless a cat has lost teeth and needs a soft diet, a cunchy diet is better for her oral health as well and contains all the nutrition she needs as long as you choose a good quality food. In my opinion, feeding only wet food is bad for their teeth unless you have annual teeth cleaning done and it also seems to result in a much stinkier litterbox.
Thanks for the opinions. So, how much food should she be eating a day? I know that during this switch, where I am still mixing new wet with old dry... she is eating NOT MUCH! Like I say, maybe a shot glass or less twice a day. That is a total of no more than 3 ounces a day. I was reading the felines pride website (raw, prepackaged frozen) and it said she should eat 3/4 to 1 oz of food per pound of body weight. Even if she weighed 10 pounds that is 10 ounces a day. WAy to much.
How much do your cats eat?
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
It's hard for me to say since they all eat from whichever bowl they want and I just randomly fill the bowls when they start to get low. Mine are Persians and the largest is 8.5 pounds. My food says half a cup a day for that size cat and they seem to eat a bit less than that but it may just be that the others don't eat as much. My 5.5 pound girl seems to eat less but that is not the reason for the weight difference. She is just petite. Nobody is overweight so fortunatley they seem to just eat as much as they need. When I feed a can of wet food, they all go crazy for a taste but they don't eat much at one sitting and the dog cleans up the leftovers. I also noticed with my previous cat Nikita, that as she got older she got lazy with grooming and needed more brushing. She was a short haired cat and never needed brushing before so I am not sure if she was arthritic or got lazy with the self grooming but it wasn't a nutrition problem. She still washed her face but her back got clumpy if I didn't groom her. But with the Persians, I have to groom constantly so their fur won't mat and to keep the shedding down.
I think the amount your cat will need to eat will depend also on the quality of the food being eaten, for instance a cat will get the protein they need from a smaller serving of a premium food with a higher protein/calorie content than with a cheaper higher carb brand. My three cats weigh between 6-9lbs and they eat approx. 10oz food a day (hope thats right we have grams here). They each have their own food bowl and although they may share between the 3 I never let my dogs touch their food. Another factor of how much your cat will need will depend on how active it is too, mine are outside most of the day and as we live in an unbuilt rural area they get plenty of exercise and move around a lot. The only point I would make about free feeding is if your cat is an indoor cat he may tend to feed out of boredom; if he's not overweight though then this probably isn't an issue - I wouldn't recommend leaving wet food out all day especially in hot weather.
Regarding the issue of maintaining your cats teeth on a wet diet there are options available such as a pet toothbrush, a chew or small biscuits to help keep their teeth clean, also depending on which article you read there is still a lot of controversy over how effective dry food is in cleaning a cats teeth. I occasionally give my cats small chicken bones to chew on (raw not cooked).
You will find tons of information on the internet about different types of diets, pros and cons of wet, raw versus dry etc., try and read as much as you can and then make up your own mind as to what you think your cat would best benefit from.
Keep in mind the average "meal" to a cat is a mouse. The average can of cat food is equal to five mice. Don't expect them to eat a lot of it at once, especially if they are not use to it.
I feed mine wet and dry. They split a can every night, and get dry food to graze on during the day. I agree that generally the grain content of dry foods is too much for my liking. I'm feeding purina kitten chow right now. It's not the worst, but not the best either. I like to feed some dry though because it helps with kitty's dental maitenence.
My cats are huge compared to the others from their litter, and they are sleek, shiny, healthy and energetic, so I guess their diet must be okay.
I like most cats better than I like most people. I'll try to be nicer if you try to be smarter.
A cat's natural diet, for example, would be high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Wet food for cats is usually high in proteins, fats and moisture, while dry cat food is often higher in corn-based carbohydrates, something a cat would not normally find in nature. Because dry food lacks much of the moisture of wet food, it is recommended that dry food diets be supplemented with sufficient amounts of water. One of the best Wet-Foods for cats are available over here
With respect to protein content, dry food actually contains a fair amount of protein, but wet food proponents say it is not as natural as the proteins found in wet food. The additional fats found in wet food are also believed to encourage healthy coat growth.
I would like to suggest you for Wet foods rather than Dry one !!!
***Edited By: lpn169 on 10/25/2008 1:45:03 AM*** Reason: *
Masterid there are many high quality dry foods like Felidae and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's soul that have higher amounts of 'good' quality meats in them than wet foods. I think making a blanket statement that all wet cat foods are better than all dry cat foods is misleading.
Not to mention wet cat foods are generally lower protein content (max 10-12%) and far higher moisture content (70-78%) than good dry foods, so you pay more and get less for your money. Chicken soup dry cat food is 30% protein, 20% fat (which is very important in feline diets because cats lack the ability to process fat from vegetable sources) and water 10%.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 10/18/2008 9:28:57 AM*** Reason: add
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
I feed my cats Innova Evo, and even though they are both getting on in age, (14 and 10) they can still eat it because the kibble is tiny. I supplement their diet with fish and other meats, and they look wonderful.
It might make your cat happier if you let her eat all day. Let her eat when she wants to and on her schedule not yours. It's been her routine for 9 yrs. Just switch to a better dry food and keep the rest the same.
I feed my cat dry food because he doesn't like wet food that much. He is eating Orijen at the moment.
With respect to the idea that kibble cleans the teeth, I somewhat disagree. A cat's teeth are not designed to crush kibble; they are designed to tear meat from bones. The kibble may clean the tips of the teeth just from the chewing action. But it doesn't clean right to the gumline; it actually gets pushed up toward the gumline causing plaque and tartar to accumulate. And when the kibble is crushed, little pieces of kibble can get stuck between teeth, especially because they have small mouths.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
Hi, I know I got into this conversation late in the game, but hopefully I can be helpful. I breed himalayans and ragdolls. I have four cats in my home that are permanant. I feed a combo of wet and dry food. We have Nutro out 24/7, It has a high quality protien content. Instead of chicken by-products it has dehydrated chicken meat in it. They also have foods that are age appropriate for our furry babies. I also offer them wet food twice a day (Friskies), I usually split 1 can between 4 of them. Oddly enough I have 2 cats that barely touch the wet food. Also when I buy the wet food I only buy the pate style food as it does not have the added wheat gluten they put in the gravy of the shredded or slices to increase the protien content. Some cats have sensitivies to wheat gluten. Hope I have been of some help. I also agree with the person that said since your cat has been offered food round the clock that you may want to continue to. Oh and one last suggestion. If you feel kitty is not eating well enough try warming food in microwave for just a few seconds. It increases the scent of the food. Sometimes when cats get older their sense of smell decreases and they wont eat what they cant smell.