View Poll Results: Are those so-called "premium" pet foods worth it?

Voters
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  • Absolutely.

    5 13.16%
  • It depends -- some of them are, some of them aren't.

    22 57.89%
  • The super-premium ones, not at all -- but you should shell out a little extra for a good-quality food.

    8 21.05%
  • Nope, not even a little bit -- you've been duped by the pet food industry, xuli.

    3 7.89%
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Thread: cat food

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    cat food

    OK, so I know this was covered recently in another thread -- as a hijack -- but I think it deserves its own thread. Basically, I'm in the market for a new cat food for my boy. I'm trying to decide if I should go with

    a) A super-premium food like Nutro or Science Diet or Solid Gold.
    b) A sort-of premium you can get at the grocery store, like Purina One (but NOT Iams!).
    c) A regular food that can be bought at the grocery store.

    Background: I lived with a roommate's cat for a few years, and she fed him only super-premiums (Solid Gold and Nutro). This cat had a very glossy coat and very good intestinal/urinary health. When I got my kitty a few years ago, my vet (an official Science Diet vendor) told me Science Diet isn't necessarily any better than the better foods at the grocery store like Iams and Purina One. So I went ahead and had an Iams-only baby, and he too has had a glossy coat and moderately good intestinal/urinary health (he did have one urinary tract infection, more than three years ago now).

    Only since then I've found out about the evils of Iams animal testing, so I switched him off Iams and decided to go super-premium to Eukanuba. My cat loved it, loved it, loved it. Went nuts over the stuff. Turned into a big purry love-ball every time we fed him. His coat did start looking prettier to me, but the boyfriend says I'm only noticing a difference because I want to. Well -- then we found out Eukanuba is owned by Iams, so our big switch was all for naught. Now we don't know what to do -- continue the super-premium and switch brands, or go back to the food available at the regular grocery store?

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  3. #2
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    once i got a kitten. i gave him kitten chow. he had HORRIBLE nasty stinky gas and poo. turned out he was a third generation trader joe's cat food eater. put him back on that and he was just fine. my mama kitty was exclusively TJ's fed until we moved to a TJ-free zone. pure hell. nasty poop. unfortunately i can't exactly afford to feed anyone in the family premium anything.... so i just know which brands to avoid. surprisingly, a pretty inexpensive off-brand, the name of which i can't remember as i am on vacation, has worked out the best.

  4. #3
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    I used to feed my cats regular cat chow until a friend of mine said, "you eat so well, but you feed your cats the cat food equivalent of doritos" which pissed me off at first and then a light sorta went off. I started researching it and talking to other pet owners, etc. and decided on the Prairie Brand Organic cat food. Since switching, they seem healthier, slimmer and their poo doesn't smell nearly as bad. My friends have even commented on the non-stinky poo.
    I sometimes get in a cash crunch and feel bad for spending the extra money on cat food, but honestly I would rather spend a little extra in hopes they feel better. I would hate to have to eat doritos every meal...

  5. #4
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    I hope I'm a better human mama than a kitty mama. In the morning I feed them generic dry food with 1/8 a can of Friskies wet food. They snack all day on the leftover dry food. Then they get little bits of whatever I eat (usually just bits of my lunchmeat or the meat I'm making for dinner). At night I just replenish the dry food. The vet says they are super healthy and their coats are so soft and shiny. Kiska is getting kind of porky but her sister is a sleek little panther. I did give them Science Diet once just because the bag was free from a friend who was moving to another state. The only difference I saw was that they ate it faster than the other dry food.

    I say feed them what they will eat, but in moderation. I do make sure it isn't the equivelent of fried lard, but my babies are healthy and spunky so I must be doing something right!

  6. #5
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    I've always fed my kitties the dry Meow Mix w/ seafood middles or whatever it is. Our remaining kitty, Otis, just had his vet visit last week. He weighs in at a very healthy 9.1 lbs. and the Vet said his teeth look excellent for a cat of his age. And his coat is nice and shiny. So we must be doing something right.

  7. #6
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    it's usually a bad idea to feed neutered male cats cheap cat food. they tend to end up with horrible urinary tract problems.

    there's always exceptions, so if your cats have been eating Friskies for 18 years and they're fine, that's cool, but there's a strong correlation between cheap cat food and urinary tract problems in male cats.

    plus, "meat byproducts" can have *anything* including roadkill and euthanized horses, and that's just gross. basically any dead animal that's not either people food or cremated gets sent to the tallow plant and processed into tallow (cheap soap and candles) and meat byproduct. and that's just gross.

  8. #7
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    I found a brand called Exclusive, and my cats absolutely LOVE it. I think it might even be cheaper than Science Diet...if it's not it's right at the same price.

    It's made from real chicken...maybe it tastes better? I had been having problems with one of my cats not eating because he had gotten sick w/ hairballs...so even though we got rid of those he still didn't feel good most of the time. He even eats it as soon as I put it in the bowl.

    I gave some to my mom so she could try it w/ her picky cat, who's been on Prescription Diet for allergies for a couple years (and STILL throws up every other day) and he likes it too. We'll have to see if it helps keep him from throwing up.

  9. #8
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    Thanks, everyone, for your replies! I wanted to ask about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by stella
    it's usually a bad idea to feed neutered male cats cheap cat food. they tend to end up with horrible urinary tract problems.
    But how do you define "cheap"? Like, I would never give Aslan store-brand cat food, but what about Fancy Feast?

    And for the 50% of you who say some premium brands are worth it, some aren't .... which ones are, which ones aren't? That's what I'm trying to figure out.

    Oh -- and what about those indoor-only formulas?

    This is the friggin' problem with American consumer culture -- too many options!! Too confusing!!

  10. #9
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    Fancy Feast is definitely cheap cat food.

    basically, anything you can buy at a grocery store is going to fall under the "cheap cat food" umbrella.

    i just asked my mom (she's a vet tech) and she said it has to do with the urine pH it creates in the cat's bladder. more expensive foods are designed to keep their urine at an acceptable pH, and cheaper ones aren't. cheap foods also tend to have high ash content, which is also bad for the urinary tract.

    i think of it like this: it's really cheap to eat at Burger King every day, but you're probably going to end up with some pretty nasty and expensive health problems. a bag of Royal Canin cat food may seem really expensive, but it can help prevent a lot of veterinary issues down the line.

    ETA: cat foods i feel are worth the extra cost are pretty much any super-premium food.

  11. #10
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    I feed Lex Natural Balance or Wellness. It's a little pricey, but 12lbs lasts him 3 months. If the food has better ingrediants, they eat less.

    Cats are obligate carnivores so they really can't digest corn and the other fillers that they put in cheap food. I wouldn't consider Nutro or Science Diet super premium foods because they have corn and by products in them.

    Here's a link to a bunch of articles on cat food (I admit I am a nerd, okay!):

    http://cats.about.com/od/catfoodandnutrition/


 
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