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Looking for new food

Edgewaters
March 31st, 2007, 02:31 PM
Hi,

Like many others I'm trying to find a new food for our 3 cats which is not connected to Menu Foods in any way, shape, or form.

About a year ago, one of our cats - Zotz - was constantly getting diarrhea and vomiting, and after alot of experimentation and no helplful answers from the vet I managed to narrow down the cause to wheat gluten (this was long before the recall). She would have these problems with any food containing it, without exception. I never thought it was anything to do with the companies etc - a (human) friend of mine once had a medical condition which rendering him allergic to wheat gluten and yeasts, and I figured Zotz somehow had the same problem. Now I'm thinking it was something else ...

It may well have saved her life and her two brothers, though.

Anyway, we need something new to feed them now. They've been on Iams dry and Hill's wet (prescription w/d) and both these companies have been affected by the recalls. Thankfully not the products we've been using, and all our cats are doing really well right now. We haven't got alot of money. It would be alot easier if we did! I need something comparable in price to Iams for the dry kibble - around $6-7/kg at most. The wet food is not as much of a problem, they don't eat that much (just a spoonful at 6pm ... sharp!) Any suggestions?

Edgewaters
March 31st, 2007, 07:27 PM
Well, I went and got a bag of Felidae today. They dived for it, but then ... now they seem disinterested. They go around to the dish but aren't touching it.

The feeding guidelines seem to indicate this is far more filling and rich than the Iams they were getting. I think they may just be going around the food dish out of habit and then thinking "hmm, you know, I'm not really that hungry!"

It's hard to tell what they are thinking ... how do you tell if they like it or not when they're supposed to be eating less of it anyway?

Skryker
March 31st, 2007, 07:34 PM
Wait until the next time the dry dish is empty, and see if they dive in again? I understand your frustration. I've been feeding my cat Felidae for some time now, and she got really finicky at the end of the last bag, but dove in again for the new bag-but is back to being fussy about it. I'm just not sure if she doesn't like it or only likes it when the bag is fresh (even though I keep it in an airtight container).

As for wet, I was feeding her Go! Natural canned and she loves it, but they use Menu foods to produce their canned stuff but in a different facility and there's no wheat in it...but I just don't feel right about buying it now. So, back to Felidae canned, even if it's her 2nd choice, lol! :D

Edgewaters
March 31st, 2007, 08:19 PM
Wait until the next time the dry dish is empty, and see if they dive in again?

Ack, unfortunately the dry dish is hardly ever empty. There is always a bunch of stuff that either isn't fresh enough or is tiny bits that have been broken off, and they won't eat it. The dishes are always at least a quarter full - when they get down to a quarter full, the cats act like they're starving to death and pester me to fill them again. I pour the fresh stuff in and try to mix in the stuff they're determined to waste, otherwise I'd have to feed them 2 or 3 times as much (they're like kids who only want to eat the icing off the top of the cake). Monthly or so I dump it all though, maybe I'll do that and try then. The only thing is I want the Iams mixed in for now so the switch is gradual and less of a shock to their system. I keep the stuff they've wasted in a container in the fridge and feed it to the strays once in a while.

Re freshness of the food from the bag - my cats are so darn picky about how fresh the kibble is, that I have to empty the bag into an airtight container, regardless of brand or bag size. Even then, when they see a new bag, they start milling around, their eyes light up and they all have "Gimme" written on their foreheads.

The wet food change we made a long time ago, though it seems they're due for another change. They were eating bad, bad stuff (Friskies I think) because they didn't like anything else. We managed to get them on Hill's prescription diet with a trick, we'd mix it with some of the Friskies at first and then later we just pretended to mix it, and they ate it. We still have to pretend to mix it - if we just plop it on the plate they turn up their noses. Pick the plate back up, swish it around with a butterknife, and voila, they eat - purely psychological. But Hill's now seems suspect too (can't even trust the vet suppliers anymore) so we're looking into something else soon.

Edgewaters
April 1st, 2007, 10:14 AM
OK, another question.

What is the ... erm ... "ideal" poop?

My own experience only really tells me that dry is good (not too dry just not spongy wet). Other than that I have no idea. Should they float or sink in water? Are darker colours or lighter colours more preferable? Are, erm, "nuggets" that are all detached and apart better than ones that are all stuck together in a, ah ... "log"?

So far - it's only been 24 hours since switching but there are changes already. Felidae is making much darker stool, more of it floats in water, it is a bit dryer, much less pungent, and the little nuggets are much more separated and never stuck together. Most of that is good I think ... but I'm concerned about the darker colour.

Scott_B
April 1st, 2007, 07:47 PM
I dont think I've ever tested to see if stool floated lol

wmarcello
April 1st, 2007, 09:57 PM
Well, I went and got a bag of Felidae today. They dived for it, but then ... now they seem disinterested. They go around to the dish but aren't touching it.

The feeding guidelines seem to indicate this is far more filling and rich than the Iams they were getting. I think they may just be going around the food dish out of habit and then thinking "hmm, you know, I'm not really that hungry!"

It's hard to tell what they are thinking ... how do you tell if they like it or not when they're supposed to be eating less of it anyway?

I'm having a similar experience as you with the Felidae. My boy seemed thrilled when we first got the bag a week or two ago, but now just nibbles now and then. The girl never really gorged in it to begin with, but she also nibbles now and then. Truthfully, the only food they ever gorged in was the Whiskas, but they sure aren't getting that as their main food, and it does take more of that stuff to fill them.

Together, they weigh about 16lbs, so according to the bag they should be eating about 3/4 cups combined per day. I would say they eat closer to 1/2 a cup. I'm pretty happy with that. They both still seem quite energetic and show no signs of being malnourished. I think it also helps that 3 times a week their diet gets supplemented with some wet food. They should probably be eating more wet food than that, but it does get a little expensive, and with all the recalls lately... :yuck:

Do your cats try to bury their food dish? Mine do, but I can't tell for what reason. I've read that their are two possible reasons... either they don't like the food, or they are trying to hide any unfinished portions (like they would do in the wild). I think the latter is true with their wet food, as it's pretty obvious that they are excited to get it and they enjoy it. With the dry kibble I'm not so sure...

Personally I'm going to keep going with the Felidae for awhile and see how they do over a slightly longer term.

Edgewaters
April 1st, 2007, 11:24 PM
Do your cats try to bury their food dish? Mine do, but I can't tell for what reason. I've read that their are two possible reasons... either they don't like the food, or they are trying to hide any unfinished portions (like they would do in the wild).

Do you mean like pawing at the ground around the bowl? No. I've seen other cats do it but never ours. One of our cats has, in all her 8 years, never quite understood that covering her poop requires pawing IN the litter box though; she always leans out and paws at the floor after she's done. I've tried to tell her it's labour in vain, but she insists. :rolleyes:

I'd say you're right, it makes alot of sense that it's some sort of caching instinct. It's the same motion they use covering their elimination, which they are trying to bury, so I'd say they are trying to bury the food, too.