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Old December 1st, 2010, 03:55 PM
jencell jencell is offline
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Are your cats grazers?

Hello everyone

i've been reading a lot about cat food, so much information here!!

I have two Siberians (2 years old). I've been changing their diet lately (they were fed Royal Canin..until I found out it was bad food)....

I give them wet food 2 times a day (welness, evo,almo nature) and leave a small amount of evo dry (1/2 cup for both cat) during the day...
They really like to have small meals during the day..they don't eat a lot each time..is it ok to leave food out all day?
I know that dry isn't the best for hydratation but they eat wet also and drink a lot. And Evo dry has no grains.

They don't seem to overeat, they are both 10 lbs, gets a lot of exercice.
They seem to self regulate well on this regime.

I've read on some sites that cats are not grazers and on other sites that small wild cats like to have many smalls meals during the day...

What are your toughts?
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Old December 1st, 2010, 04:05 PM
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jencell,I have one cat(Chico) who is a grazer,another(Vinnie) who gulps it all down and often times if I don't watch,there is nothing left for the grazer..
They only get fed twice daily(canned Wellness),but I give them a little something around 3pm,just a handful or less of Orijen dry,more like a treat.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Well, unless you are talking about my Sweet Pea, then yes, in general cats are grazers. Most would spend their day catching small prey, unlike pack animals that take down a large prey that they gorge on. Sweet Pea has been my only cat who is a chow monster.

As for the kibble, please feel free to eliminate it all together if you cats will eat canned. I feed my cats half raw/half canned and feed them 3 times a day. The canned food is left out from 5AM until we get home at 5PM. Now that is not to say that there is food left when we get home, it's probably gone by noon . I have never had a problem leaving canned/raw food out. Cat's sense of smell is so incredible that they would not eat spoiled food. They also have more acidic digestive juices than humans that keep the reproduction of bacteria down to a minimum.

Here is a very informative website on feeding cats:

http://www.catinfo.org/
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Old December 1st, 2010, 04:35 PM
jencell jencell is offline
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it's just that they are picky about wet food. They likes it very fresh and if it sits along too long they won't touch it. it dries and I have to throw it out.

...so I came up with this wet/dry food combination so they eat enough.....and if i'm not a home early at least they have a little something to eat. I don't leave too much so they don't overweight....

i know it's not perfect because I still give them a little dry...;(
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Old December 1st, 2010, 04:49 PM
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My 2 are grazers.

I have one(casper) that can't have canned. Even a tiny bit makes him throw up. He's been like this since a kitten. And trust me, test have been done. He has a very sensitive tummy to wet food. Dry is the only thing he can eat.

Winnie gets canned. But she's not a big eater. She has a tsp and she's happy. Dry is left out. So when I'm gone all day, which can be as long as 16 hours, I know they will not starve.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:09 PM
jencell jencell is offline
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thanks for your answers!

Do you leave food during the night also or free-feed just during the day? (those of you who free-feed)
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:23 PM
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I have 4 cats that free-feed (wet only) both night and day. I put food out at 5:30am and 5:30pm, and they all chow down for a few minutes, then nibble the rest until it's gone several (like 6-7) hours later. One thing about free-feeding multiple cats is that it's important to try to keep track of each cat's appetite. What you don't want is one of the cats to go off its food and you not notice, since appetite is often the first thing to go when a cat is sick.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jencell View Post
it's just that they are picky about wet food. They likes it very fresh and if it sits along too long they won't touch it. it dries and I have to throw it out.
Couple things you can try:
1) add some extra water to the food so it takes longer to dry out
2) freeze some canned in an ice-cube tray and plop a couple cubes out into a bowl to slowly thaw for snacks later
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Old December 1st, 2010, 09:15 PM
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I free feed. I leave the dry out. Same with the dogs dry.

My cats are not hoovers. So when they go to the dry, they nibble a bit and that's it. When I go to bed, they come with me, along with my dog. They will get up a couple of times to nibble. They are great for drinking water.

I have healthy cats. Always have. And none overweight.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:58 AM
jencell jencell is offline
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I've read the book by Elizabeth hodgkins and she says that it's not natural for them to nibble all day, the feasting-fasting is more natural..
I don't know what to think, she must know what's she's talking about....

anyway I've read so much that I don't know what to do anymore...eheheh
The dry seems to be very bad no matter ''how healthy'' it appears to be according to a lot of sources....even Evo has to much carbohydrates compared to wet food...
what to feed, how to feed? it drives me crazy..ehehe
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jencell View Post
thanks for your answers!

Do you leave food during the night also or free-feed just during the day? (those of you who free-feed)
Yup, I leave mine out all night too. They get their last feeding before I go to bed.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
I have 4 cats hehehehe, sorry couldn't resist the giggle that free-feed (wet only) both night and day. I put food out at 5:30am and 5:30pm, and they all chow down for a few minutes, then nibble the rest until it's gone several (like 6-7) hours later. One thing about free-feeding multiple cats is that it's important to try to keep track of each cat's appetite. What you don't want is one of the cats to go off its food and you not notice, since appetite is often the first thing to go when a cat is sick.
Good point about watching their appetite.
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Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jencell View Post
I've read the book by Elizabeth hodgkins and she says that it's not natural for them to nibble all day, the feasting-fasting is more natural..
I don't know what to think, she must know what's she's talking about....

anyway I've read so much that I don't know what to do anymore...eheheh
The dry seems to be very bad no matter ''how healthy'' it appears to be according to a lot of sources....even Evo has to much carbohydrates compared to wet food...
what to feed, how to feed? it drives me crazy..ehehe
General rule of thumb is a quality canned that used human grade meat, no by products, no wheat, soy or corn, or flour. The meat listed on the can should be specific, such as Chicken, beef, not just "meat".

Here are some of the best canned foods that I feed my cats:

Wellness, grain free
Nature's Variety, Instinct
Organics by Nature
Fromm's 4 star, grain free
Go!, grain free

I do feed a variety because it minimizes the risk if one manufacturer has an issue with their product. Also I make my own homemade raw that I mix with their food and that way I know what they are getting in at least 50% of their food

If you are interested in the technical side of cat nutrition here is an excellent website:

http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

To me, it really boils down to common sense, cats are carnivores, they require meat and bones to thrive, they are not humans, they are not rabbits. Their digestive tract from their mouth to their colon is made to digest raw meat and bones, not veggies and grains.
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Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jencell View Post
I've read the book by Elizabeth hodgkins and she says that it's not natural for them to nibble all day, the feasting-fasting is more natural..
I very much respect Dr. Hodgkins on many cat health issues, but I think she's wrong on this point. The feast-fast concept is more applicable to the big cats (lions, tigers, etc), not our smaller domestic cats. The metabolism of small cats doesn't down-regulate during times of fasting, which is one of the reasons they're so prone to developing hepatitc lipidosis when they don't have food for a certain period of time. Plus, you just have to look at the way a feral or barn cat eats to see what's more natural for them: many small catches of prey throughout the day: rodents, birds, insects, lizards, etc., as opposed to the gorge-fest a big cat has when it catches (far less frequently) its much larger prey.

Something else you have to watch out for with domestic indoor cats and free-feeding though, is eating out of boredom. It's a considerably different lifestyle to be out hunting for your food then it is to be able to stuff your face at any time without any effort. The reason why house cats become fat is the tendency for people to leave out the bottomless bowl of kibble. If one insisted on feeding dry food (and there certainly are many reasons not to), then it should only be a measured amount based on the appropriate number of calories that the cat requires.

I also think cats should get a little hungry now and then. If someone isn't going to be home in time to feed them, whats the big deal if they have to wait a while for dinner?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jencell View Post
...even Evo has to much carbohydrates compared to wet food...
It also doesn't have enough moisture, and it has a huge number of calories. And the phosphorus levels are way above normal.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:11 AM
jencell jencell is offline
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thanks for your answers..
hmm...I guess I will forget about the dry food....my female really like everything I put down for her, she likes Evo and Welness.

I will put down wet in the morning and night and leave that out for them if they are hungry.

My boy is very kibble addicted, I have to put a small amount next to his wet food so he will eat the wet...he does't eat much on the wet...maybe he doesn't like Welness. I will try nature variety. I would like to try Merrick but I can't find it...(if anybody knows a petstore that carries it around montreal let me know..)

so I will continue reading on the subject. I will also try to find an holistic veterinarian. I want the best care for my cats.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:22 AM
jencell jencell is offline
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one more question to you experts..

if I change between brands and flavor do I have to do like with dry food, go slowly over a fews days?
and once they are used to different brands, is it ok to switch between them each day?
What do you do as a rotation?
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:36 AM
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I had to do the switch very slowly but that was only because of my kibble addict, Puddles who wouldn't eat the quality canned, not because of any tummy issues.

Any extreme change in diet, whether it be for human, dog or cat can be a shock on the digestive system, but the level of shock depends on the body. I have found with cats that I have fostered from the Humane Society that they have an issue going from quality canned/raw to their not so good food filled with grains to be more of an issue than going from crappy food to quality food.

My cats can get up to three different brands a day, plus they have raw added on top of that, no issues at all. The only issue I have is with Kibble.
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old December 4th, 2010, 07:16 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Ha, ha on me. I thought, from your title, that this was going to be about cats eating grass. All of ours do and we just got the cat grass going so they can have access to it all winter, inside.
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