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Old December 20th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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Breezer Breezer is offline
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Chicken soup for the cat lover's soul.

I have been feeding our five cats Eagle pack the pink bag because one cat has a food allergy. Since we have 5 cats we buy the largest bag which is 15lbs I believe. Anyway the Pet Valu we buy our food from will no longer be carrying this size and the other store in town stopped carrying that size over a year ago.

I just bought the next largest bag to get through the holidays and it cost half of what the 15lb bag cost. So not very cost effective with 5 cats.

Now we need to find another food and since I do not know what the cat is allergic to, I'm looking for a decent food on a $50 budget.

Any opinions on this food?

Thanks
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:15 AM
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Breezer,I feed my cats canned Wellness,but a couple of years ago I let them free-feed in between meals on CSFTCLS,the ingredients in it is good IMO,but I would not feed my cats only dry.
At the time I got a huge bag for $41,but it's not available anymore here.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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Is this a $50 a week or $50 a month budget? $50 a month does not give you many options for feeding five cats. One thing I would most definitely do is to get rid of the dry food all together and feed only canned. The worse canned food is better than any dry. Cats need the moisture in canned food.
This is a great site for giving you information on feeding cats.
http://www.catinfo.org/
I know our cat gurus will be along soon to give you some help. Hopefully this will give you a start.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezer View Post
I have been feeding our five cats Eagle pack the pink bag because one cat has a food allergy.
What are the allergy symptoms? Did they go away while feeding Eagle Pack, and if so, what were you feeding before that?

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Originally Posted by Breezer View Post
Any opinions on this food?
Not a fan, but then I'm not a fan of any dry food. Here are the main ingredients for Chicken Soup:

Quote:
NGREDIENTS
Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ocean fish meal, white rice, potatoes, oatmeal, millet, natural chicken flavor, salmon, turkey, duck, flaxseed, sodium bisulfate, egg product, .....
For a cat with allergies, you want to keep things simple, possibly one novel protein source and little to no plant matter. 28% of the calories in this food come from carbohydrates, and cats shouldn't be getting more than 10%. Barley, rice, potatoes, oatmeal, millet, and flaxseed don't belong in the feline diet. There are also too many protein sources: chicken, fish, turkey, duck and egg. Fish (especially unspecific "ocean fish meal") is a common feline allergen.

To echo what 14+ said, I would look into switching all of your cats over to wet food. If canned is too expensive, maybe consider making your own raw meals, which is the cheapest and healthiest diet for cats. It's definitely not as convenient as commercial pet food, but in the long run you will save money on vet bills.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Thanks

Actually $50 every six weeks is what we seem to spend. The first time I took Cole to the vet, I thought one of the other cats either scratched or bite him below the front of his ear. The area where they have sparce fur. It was scabby and then it started on the other side. The vet told me it is a food allergy.

To be honest I can't remember what the cats were on before Cole. I know that I have tried Natural balance and he had a reaction.

We do give them canned food a few times a week as a treat. It is hard when you have one overweight, two that are average and two on the skinny side.

As for the raw diet it is something I could look into, my work schedule is MAD weekly rotation from Midnights, Afternoons and Days.

Thanks for the feedback and I will definately check out the website that was posted. I was just reading that info on the website, I found it very interesting especially that you can freeze it! I will spend more time once I am on holidays come Wednesday morning.

Got the get ready for work.


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Last edited by Breezer; December 20th, 2009 at 08:03 PM. Reason: added more information
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  #6  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:54 PM
echoica echoica is offline
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Thumbs up

I actually just posted a new thread about PC Brand Nutrition First. They just reinvented this food for cats and dogs and really have come up with a very good dry food that is as good as, if not better, than many of the expensive brand name foods in specialty stores. I was so happy about this because, like you, I am on a budget! I can't remember how much I paid for the medium size bag for my cats but I am sure it was cheaper than the dog version of the food which was $40 for a VERY large bag - I have dogs to feed too. Could easily feed 5 cats for at least a month on the big bag. And the nice thing about this is too that you can buy it in the grocery store so that is pretty convenient (SuperStore).

Here is the start of the ingredients listing (copied right from the back of the bag): Chicken Meal, Chicken, Brown Rice, Dehulled Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potatoes, Natural Chicken Flavour, Whole Dried Egg, Herring Meal, Salmon Oil, Tomatoes, Brewers Yeast, Phosphoric Acid, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Whole Carrots, Whole Blueberries, Whole Cranberries, Whole Apples...etc (too lazy to type the rest)

That is a really good protein ratio if you consider the chicken meal is the first ingredient (which is actually dehydrated and actually contains more meat than if chicken was the first ingredient)...but chicken with all the water content is the 2nd ingredient too! The preservative is named (bonus) and it contains no by-products (yay no beaks or feathers! lol)

PC (Loblaws) has not updated the website yet and I haven't been able to find a lot of information about this new food on the internet as of yet. But I have been spreading the word because it is quite impressive what they have done.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echoica View Post
Here is the start of the ingredients listing (copied right from the back of the bag): Chicken Meal, Chicken, Brown Rice, Dehulled Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potatoes, Natural Chicken Flavour, Whole Dried Egg, Herring Meal, Salmon Oil, Tomatoes, Brewers Yeast, Phosphoric Acid, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Whole Carrots, Whole Blueberries, Whole Cranberries, Whole Apples...etc (too lazy to type the rest)

That is a really good protein ratio if you consider the chicken meal is the first ingredient (which is actually dehydrated and actually contains more meat than if chicken was the first ingredient)...but chicken with all the water content is the 2nd ingredient too!
This food is still too heavy on the carbs for an obligate carnivore. And where's the WATER? Cat's need water WITH their food. Dry food, no matter who makes it or how much it costs, is not an appropriate food for cats. Might be a good idea for you to check out this website for more info: www.catinfo.org
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:14 PM
echoica echoica is offline
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Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
This food is still too heavy on the carbs for an obligate carnivore. And where's the WATER? Cat's need water WITH their food. Dry food, no matter who makes it or how much it costs, is not an appropriate food for cats. Might be a good idea for you to check out this website for more info: www.catinfo.org
I do not lead a lifestyle that is conducive to preparing pet food from scratch nor have the budget to feed wet all the time. I am suggesting this food as an alternative for people like me - which the poster stated to be.

You can also add water to dry food...that's what I do. But my cats drink a lot of water anyway outside their food...sink hogs!!
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echoica View Post
I do not lead a lifestyle that is conducive to preparing pet food from scratch nor have the budget to feed wet all the time.
Then I hope you can at least feed wet half of the time. Even a cheap wet like Friskies would be better than a 100% kibble diet. Especially if you have male cats, who are prone to life-threatening urinary tract blockages.

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Originally Posted by echoica View Post
You can also add water to dry food...that's what I do.
You shouldn't. Dry food is a breeding ground of bacteria and toxic mold spores that love a moist environment. From the link I posted above:
Quote:
Speaking of texture, a common question is "can I just soak the dry food in water?" I hedge more than just a bit at this question. Dry food often has a high bacterial content. Mold is also often found in dry food. There have been many deaths of dogs and cats secondary to eating mold mycotoxins, vomitoxins and aflatoxins which often contaminate the grains found in dry food. If you want to try the trick of wetting down the dry food to alter the texture, please leave it out for only 20-30 minutes then discard it. Bacteria and mold thrive in moisture.
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But my cats drink a lot of water anyway outside their food...sink hogs!!
Not a good sign. Cats evolved in the desert, getting all of their moisture requirements met through the fresh prey that they caught. If they were eating a food with 60-80% water, like they're supposed to, instead of the less than 10% moisture level of kibble, they probably wouldn't be drinking at all. The fact that they are means they're likely chronically dehydrated. Another excellent link I recommend reading: http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
Quote:
Cats increase voluntary water intake when fed dry food but not in sufficient amounts to fully compensate for the lower moisture content of the food. In a recent study, cats consuming a diet containing 10% moisture with free access to drinking water had an average daily urine volume of 63 milliliters (ml). This volume increased to 112 ml/day when fed a canned diet with a moisture content of 75%. Urine specific gravity was also higher in cats that were fed the low-moisture food. Decreased urine volume may be an important risk factor for the development of urolithiasis in cats. Diets that cause a decrease in total fluid turnover can result in decreased urine volume and increased urine concentration, both of which may contribute to urinary tract disease in cats. Several studies have shown that dry cat foods contribute to decreased fluid intake and urine volume.
So basically, feeding better food now (which does not include PC kibble) is more likely decrease the amount you have to spend on vet bills later.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 06:46 AM
echoica echoica is offline
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thanks sugarcatmom. i appreciate the information i do give wet from time to time...as a treat. i used to more but after the big menu food recall scare i have been a bit paranoid of wet food to say the least! way more cats die and become ill from contaminated wet food than dry. so indeed the safest would be to prepare from human-quality food yourself!
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 07:02 AM
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way more cats die and become ill from contaminated wet food than dry.
Not true. Yes, the big pet food recall in 2007 resulted in many cat deaths, but there have been numerous problems and recalls with kibble over the years for everything from too much vitamin D, to mold toxins to salmonella to nutrient deficiencies. But even without official recalls, hands down dry food kills more cats on a daily basis than canned food could ever come close to. Number one cause of blocked urinary tracts is kibble. Number one cause of diabetes is kibble. Number one cause of inflammatory bowel disease is kibble. Number one cause of allergies is kibble. Kidney failure? Kibble. DRY FOOD KILLS CATS!

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so indeed the safest would be to prepare from human-quality food yourself!
Absolutely. But barring that, there are things to look for in a canned food that make some better than others. Good info here on how to choose a decent product (and it's also important to rotate brands/flavours so that you mitigate the risk should there ever be a problem with one of them): http://www.catinfo.org/commercialcannedfoods.htm
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