Originally Posted by whimsicalator
I have never had a kitten before and recently adopted one. I took my baby to the vet for the first time for his first round of shots and the vets insisted that I feed him "Purina Vet-Approved Pediatric" food. When I countered by saying that I fed him what I had heard was a healthier diet, e.g. grain-free, the vet clinicians responded that the grain-free is better idea is just a myth, that it's better for the kitten to get fed these vet science-y diets (which apparently includes things like corn-meal, gluten, grains, etc.) so that he gets all of his nutrients....
I want my kitten to stay healthy in every possible way for as long as possible. It was tough to believe the clinicians because they really seemed to be product pushing. (I won't go into all the details of our conversation that led me to believe that they were product pushing but I strongly felt that this was the was the case).
Currently, I feed my 14-week old indoor cat the "Now!" brand's grain-free kitten dry food formula (turkey, duck, and salmon...the only kind they have).
If you all have an opinion about grain versus grain-free or know of anything better, please feel free to dole out advice. Again...I've never, ever had a cat before and now I have a (beautiful) little kitten to take care of so I'm a new parent complete with the "am I doing it right?" jitters!
Purina is one of the companies responsible for nutrition research and their foods are good and adequate. Some reasons your vet would recommend it are
1) It is way better than than the cheap junk many kittens are fed
2) If it's on your vet's shelf, your vet gets a cut of the price
3) As it is your first kitten maybe you would not know where to start.
4) Research into grain-free diets, raw diets, herbal/veggie/fruit supplements is minimal, and your vet may be one who doesn't believe anything until it is proven in research.
5) There are, in fact, so many brands and varieties out there that your vet hasn't the time to become familiar with them.
Companies like Petcurean use the research Purina has done to make a food that has all the nutrients your kitten does, and then add in their own features: grain-free, low processing, no artificial preservatives, various holistic herb/fruit/veggie supplements... If you look at the ingredients label on your bag of Now!, you will see a long list of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. that they have added to ensure your kitty gets what she needs. You will also an AAFCO statement, don't feed anything without one on the label.
I do believe that you have made a good choice for your kitten. But keep in mind, every kitten is an individual, if your kitten is healthy, the food is working.
However, if I were you, I would seriously consider a new vet. As a person who is interested in newer ideas, and a more holistic approach to your kitten's health and nutrition, you would be better matched with a vet who is comfortable with your philosophies. I would also have some concerns that a product-pushing vet might also encourage you to do unnecessary tests or procedures, rather than doing what's best for your kitten and listening to your choices and opinions.