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  #1  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:56 PM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Does expensive cat [food] mean less cat poop?

Tittle says it all. I currently feed my critters Meow Mix. I let them "free feed" (By that I mean I keep a big bowl full at all times.) I figure this is OK as neither one of them are over weight.

But man, that said, these guys can fill up a litter box in no time flat. I bought a self cleaning litter box recently. The thing works great. The only problem is, the box claims that for two cats, I should be able to go 10 - 14 days between cleaning.

I'm currently doing twice a week. Something aint right here.
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:03 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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Ok. They title made me giggle. I'd buy an expensive cat if it would poop less....


(real answer: in my experience, yes. High quality food = less poop).

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 05-22-2012 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:03 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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Why would you want to wait 2 weeks to clean a two cat box?
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:08 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Are you talking about actually washing the box and replacing the litter? Or just scooping? Because twice a week is too often for the former, and waaaaay too long for the latter.

We have 7 cats. We feed them good but not super expensive food (Iams), scoop the litter boxes once a day, and clean them...oh, every 3 weeks to a month each (that much litter is expensive, so too-frequent full cleanings aren't really practical). We've asked friends to tell us honestly if our house smells like cat and they tell us no, so I guess we're okay.

And to answer the question I think you're asking: yes, more expensive food leads to less poop, because there's less filler and undigestable stuff in the higher quality food.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:09 PM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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LOL! Dang it! Tittle does NOT say it all.

Mods, could you fix it for me please?
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:14 PM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
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I have a cheap cat. He poops like crazy and pees like a Russian racehorse.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:19 PM
HazelNutCoffee HazelNutCoffee is offline
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I feed my cat EVO and she doesn't poop a lot. For some reason, though, wet food always gives her the runs. Even the expensive stuff.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:41 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Consider that cats are obligate carnivores, and their ideal diet is whole mice, whole birds, small reptiles, bugs, and occasional grass or leaf nibbles here and there. Dry kibble-style cat food containing fillers such as rice, wheat, corn meal, and other things not animal-based is going to produce plenty of stuff the cats can't digest out the other end. So the higher-quality foods with less fillers and more stuff cats are supposed to eat should produce less waste. It's a theory, anyway. Talk to anyone who had fed the gamut to a multitude of cats, and the reality answers vary widely.

What I'm wondering is what kind of self cleaning box is it, I haven't encountered one that requires emptying/cleaning so infrequently? I also haven't looked into them as I'm content to scoop daily, so I just don't know about them. I'm curious as to whether you've inspected the collection container to see just what it's full of. Maybe it's somehow collecting a bunch of unused litter and filling up prematurely? If it collects clumping litter, is there a ton of urine clumps in there, disproportionally so? A kitty with diabetes or kidney problems will drink a lot and urinate a lot. Part of why I prefer to scoop daily is that I can track whether someone's peeing a lot or having trouble with poo (too loose, too firm, not going [and yes, I can tell which poo belongs to who, and generally where in the boxes which cat likes to pee - it's the technician in me!]). I collect with a doggie-poop bag, so can tell whether there's a larger or smaller amount per day than usual.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:42 PM
brainstall brainstall is offline
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The first ingredient in Meow Mix is corn, the second ingredient is corn gluten meal, which provies protein, though not in a particularly digestible form for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, so corn is not really high on he list of stuff they need. So, yeah, a more expensive, meat based food, rather than a corn based food would most likely result in more of said food being digested and less of it being passed through the cat essentially unused and ending up in the litter box.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:48 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Originally Posted by brainstall View Post
The first ingredient in Meow Mix is corn, the second ingredient is corn gluten meal, which provies protein, though not in a particularly digestible form for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, so corn is not really high on he list of stuff they need. So, yeah, a more expensive, meat based food, rather than a corn based food would most likely result in more of said food being digested and less of it being passed through the cat essentially unused and ending up in the litter box.
We switched to catfoods that don't have corn as any of the first four ingredients a couple years back, but I haven't noticed less poop output. Happier cats, though.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:58 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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Their kidneys will thank you if you switch to wet food. Cheaper vet bills too.

I have a dog that helps clean the box (yum, crunchy treats) - you could consider adding one to your menagerie...
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:58 PM
fachverwirrt fachverwirrt is online now
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My cat is diabetic and thus very expensive. She definitely does not poop less.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:01 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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I feed my cats and dogs raw animals only, so they produce very little waste (and what they do hardly smells). The cheaper the food, the more 'filler' it includes generally, none of which is digestible and which leads to voluminous stool.
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:25 PM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Originally Posted by Infovore View Post
Are you talking about actually washing the box and replacing the litter? Or just scooping? Because twice a week is too often for the former, and waaaaay too long for the latter.

We have 7 cats. We feed them good but not super expensive food (Iams), scoop the litter boxes once a day, and clean them...oh, every 3 weeks to a month each (that much litter is expensive, so too-frequent full cleanings aren't really practical). We've asked friends to tell us honestly if our house smells like cat and they tell us no, so I guess we're okay.

And to answer the question I think you're asking: yes, more expensive food leads to less poop, because there's less filler and undigestable stuff in the higher quality food.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
Consider that cats are obligate carnivores, and their ideal diet is whole mice, whole birds, small reptiles, bugs, and occasional grass or leaf nibbles here and there. Dry kibble-style cat food containing fillers such as rice, wheat, corn meal, and other things not animal-based is going to produce plenty of stuff the cats can't digest out the other end. So the higher-quality foods with less fillers and more stuff cats are supposed to eat should produce less waste. It's a theory, anyway. Talk to anyone who had fed the gamut to a multitude of cats, and the reality answers vary widely.

What I'm wondering is what kind of self cleaning box is it, I haven't encountered one that requires emptying/cleaning so infrequently? I also haven't looked into them as I'm content to scoop daily, so I just don't know about them. I'm curious as to whether you've inspected the collection container to see just what it's full of. Maybe it's somehow collecting a bunch of unused litter and filling up prematurely? If it collects clumping litter, is there a ton of urine clumps in there, disproportionally so? A kitty with diabetes or kidney problems will drink a lot and urinate a lot. Part of why I prefer to scoop daily is that I can track whether someone's peeing a lot or having trouble with poo (too loose, too firm, not going [and yes, I can tell which poo belongs to who, and generally where in the boxes which cat likes to pee - it's the technician in me!]). I collect with a doggie-poop bag, so can tell whether there's a larger or smaller amount per day than usual.
I have a Scoopfree litter box.

I have to empty the litter twice a week as the amonia smell and poop smell become too much. I use crystalls too if that matters.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:34 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Mods, please don't change the title, I fell out of my chair.
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  #16  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:06 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
I have a Scoopfree litter box.

I have to empty the litter twice a week as the amonia smell and poop smell become too much. I use crystalls too if that matters.
Are you re-using it by emptying it and replacing the litter (I read a few reviewers who were doing this), or are you doing the complete switch-out, throwing out the whole under-thing and replacing with the proprietary pre-filled tray? If the latter, something's not right, but heck if I would know what - maybe the crystals don't agree with your particular cats and their chemistry or something, and they're not deodorizing properly. Different cats also use the litter trays differently. I have one who digs an empty spot through the litter and pees directly onto the surface of the litter pan. If your kitty does this, scratching into the cardboard at the bottom and then peeing directly onto it, I would think the litter isn't going to deodorize that. It looks like the poop-trap part is also cardboard - I can't imagine it has much of a seal - I'm not sure how it's supposed to lock in odors!

I tell people about the "system" I use - I collect with biodegradable doggie poop bags, and then use a Diaper Champ diaper pail lined with a bigger biodegradable kitchen trash bag. Tie the doggie bag shut, place in the Diaper Champ, and take that out when full. With four cats that's about every 10 days.

So, I dunno. Maybe this just isn't a system that works for your particular cats. Something else - some cats pee against the side of the litter box - I had one that went right on the edge and over to the outside occasionally, even with high-sided litter boxes. If urine is getting anywhere but in that catch-tray, there will be smell. Also be sure they're really both using it consistently. Maybe one isn't, and is going nearby instead. I've heard of the motorized trays causing litter box aversion in some cats. Maybe set up one plain litter box nearby? I know that defeats the reason for getting the automatic one in the first place, but if a cat isn't liking it, it doesn't matter.
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:24 AM
ShelliBean ShelliBean is offline
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My cats were free. The little bastards head to the litter box about 153 times a day with a cup of coffee, the newspaper, a bran muffin and a cigarette.

I think I'll try the more expensive food.
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:56 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Sooo...

Do you take the newspaper back?
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:48 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Mods, please don't change the title, I fell out of my chair.

Seconded.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:49 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Originally Posted by jasg View Post
Their kidneys will thank you if you switch to wet food. Cheaper vet bills too.

I have a dog that helps clean the box (yum, crunchy treats) - you could consider adding one to your menagerie...
Both cringe- AND giggle-worthy; I give it a 9.
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  #21  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:50 AM
ShelliBean ShelliBean is offline
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
Sooo...

Do you take the newspaper back?
Oh hell no! No bathroom papers or books for me!
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  #22  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:44 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cub Mistress View Post
I have a cheap cat. He poops like crazy and pees like a Russian racehorse.
I've got two cheap cats. Man, I thought I was saving money by getting cheap ones, but it's costing me in food and litter.
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  #23  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:51 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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We had a cat that needed to be fed an expensive, high fiber, prescription diet. It seemed that for every pound of food that went in, five pounds of shit came out.
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  #24  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:54 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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My cat shits like a trooper and it is a stray. He dropped 40 lbs of toxic mud the other day- birds were falling dead from the sky.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:11 AM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
LOL! Dang it! Tittle does NOT say it all.

Mods, could you fix it for me please?
[moderating]
Sure. Happy to. Title changed from "Does expensive cat mean less cat poop?" to "Does expensive cat [food] mean less cat poop?".
[/moderating]
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  #26  
Old 05-23-2012, 09:18 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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What if you butt-sail your expensive cat?
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  #27  
Old 05-23-2012, 09:21 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
[moderating]
Sure. Happy to. Title changed from "Does expensive cat mean less cat poop?" to "Does expensive cat [food] mean less cat poop?".
[/moderating]
Darn.

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  #28  
Old 05-23-2012, 11:52 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
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Originally Posted by Infovore View Post
And to answer the question I think you're asking: yes, more expensive food leads to less poop, because there's less filler and undigestable stuff in the higher quality food.
If my dog is any guide, the expensive food also remains so tasty that it's worth re-eating. Which reduces net waste.
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  #29  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:35 PM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
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I feed my cats and dogs raw animals only, so they produce very little waste (and what they do hardly smells).
I've found feeder mice to be really expensive per ounce. Where are you getting your raw animals?
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:57 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Darn.

Seconded!
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  #31  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:23 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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If the only thing you're feeding your cats is Meow Mix dry food, they probably will be "expensive cat[s]" in the long run.

Aside from the issue of poop volume, if you are only going to feed dry food, it really is important that it be high quality. Cheap dry food such as Meow Mix is acceptable as a "free feed" for people who also regularly feed wet food, which is generally of much higher nutritional value.

I only (free) feed my cat dry food (because, oddly, he doesn't really like wet food) but not only do I get the more expensive stuff, I also rotate and sometimes mix between different dry foods with high protein and fat content.

And here's the thing with "expensive" foods - yes, they cost more per pound than the cheap stuff, but your cats will learn to eat less of it because it's much more nourishing. So, it's not really as expensive as it seems based purely on cost by weight.

Last edited by voltaire; 05-23-2012 at 01:28 PM..
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  #32  
Old 05-23-2012, 03:59 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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In my experience, yes. When I fed my cat Evo dry food (now he's on some exotic urinary health food, but that's a whole 'nother story), I ran out once and fed him some cheap Purina stuff for a couple weeks (it's hard to find Evo around me). I had to feed him literally twice as much, which he wolfed down happily - I think the equivalent would be feeding a 7-year-old child pizza and ice cream. No lie, the volume of his poop probably increased by a factor of 4!
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  #33  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:15 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Actually, "pizza and ice cream" is a pretty good analogy for Meow Mix. You won't keel over from malnutrition right away (calcium in ice cream & cheese, some vitamins & protein from pizza toppings depending on what they are, antioxidants in the tomato sauce, etc.) but I'm fairly certain most people would agree that a diet of nothing but those two things would be, at minimum, sub-optimal.

It's generally agreed that if you cut costs in food up front, you'll pay for it down the line in vet bills. Also, pay for it up front with ... more poop to scoop!

One more vote for "feed the best you can reasonably afford." When you upgrade, you can use the remaining Meow Mix for treats.

Last edited by purplehorseshoe; 05-23-2012 at 04:15 PM.. Reason: one letter makes a lotta difference sometimes
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  #34  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:34 PM
ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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Re the thread title change:
DANG!
I would pay any amount of money for a cat that didn't poop at all!
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  #35  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:36 PM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
Are you re-using it by emptying it and replacing the litter (I read a few reviewers who were doing this), or are you doing the complete switch-out, throwing out the whole under-thing and replacing with the proprietary pre-filled tray? If the latter, something's not right, but heck if I would know what - maybe the crystals don't agree with your particular cats and their chemistry or something, and they're not deodorizing properly. Different cats also use the litter trays differently. I have one who digs an empty spot through the litter and pees directly onto the surface of the litter pan. If your kitty does this, scratching into the cardboard at the bottom and then peeing directly onto it, I would think the litter isn't going to deodorize that. It looks like the poop-trap part is also cardboard - I can't imagine it has much of a seal - I'm not sure how it's supposed to lock in odors!

.

Oh hell. Ya know, when I bought this litter box, I had no idea the damn replacement trays cost 20 bucks a pop! I was pissed. But I found an after market bottom tray on Amazon. It's made of plastic and reusable.

Update: I bought a bag of Iams today. Sat the bag down on the kitchen counter and the cats were pawing at it before I even opened the damn bag! They never did that with Meow Mix.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes.

Last edited by Shakes; 05-23-2012 at 04:36 PM..
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  #36  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:00 PM
Hanna Hanna is offline
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In my experience, it isn't the price necessarily as much as the form.

I have 4 cats and I feed canned food most of the time. The litterboxes are scooped 2x a day (mostly because they are in my computer room and I'm right there), and when I feed canned they aren't too bad or smelly. However, when we go away for the weekend I have to feed them dry. There is a huge increase in both odor and amount of poop when my cats eat dry food. Feeding canned means I can't free feed and I need to feed them all separately, but we have a routine and it goes well. Plus, I can tell immediately if any cat isn't eating.

Canned is more expensive, but less odor+less poop+potentially less health problems make it worth it for me.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:43 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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In our expensive experince, the better grades of cat food- the more meat and less grain the better- not only reduce poop, but reduce smell too. And increase health.
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  #38  
Old 05-23-2012, 10:04 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Oh hell. Ya know, when I bought this litter box, I had no idea the damn replacement trays cost 20 bucks a pop! I was pissed. But I found an after market bottom tray on Amazon. It's made of plastic and reusable.

Update: I bought a bag of Iams today. Sat the bag down on the kitchen counter and the cats were pawing at it before I even opened the damn bag! They never did that with Meow Mix.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes.
Fingers crossed for you. Don't forget to gradually change the food by mixing increasing ratios over a week or 10 days or so.
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  #39  
Old 05-23-2012, 10:10 PM
slightly askew slightly askew is offline
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What if you butt-sail your expensive cat?
That's just beautiful. *applause*
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  #40  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:57 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Update: I bought a bag of Iams today. Sat the bag down on the kitchen counter and the cats were pawing at it before I even opened the damn bag! They never did that with Meow Mix.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes.
Kudos to you for taking steps to improve your cats' diet!

Until very recently, different varieties of Iams dry foods (regular, Premium Protection, Healthy Naturals - the latter being my preference, and his) were what made up the bulk of my cat's diet. I would often try to feed him more expensive stuff with even higher animal protein and fat levels, but he was pretty much hooked on Iams and didn't seem to be interested in much else. I was satisfied that Iams was healthy enough compared to most of the other stuff that's full of mostly grains like corn.

Then I discovered a BJ's Wholesale Club brand ("Berkely & Jensen Holistic" Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe) priced similarly to Iams, with roughly the same protein content, but significantly higher fat content. The first four ingredients are "Chicken, Chicken Meal, Herring Meal, & Chicken Fat" and it has no by-products, no artificial preservatives/flavors/colors/dyes, no corn/wheat/soy, and no hormones or steroids used in the chicken.

He loved it! In the ~month I've been feeding it to him, his coat has gotten shinier and softer, and it seems like he sheds a lot less. That last bit with the shedding, if true, would be worth twice the price to me!

So, if anybody reading this is looking for a change in cat foods, and has a BJ's membership, I recommend trying out that food. I'm hoping it sells well, because I'd hate it if they were to discontinue it.
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  #41  
Old 05-24-2012, 04:52 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Iams isn't that great, and their policies on animal testing is disgusting. I would go with Hills Science Diet, or Purina One. We also feed our cats Friskies canned food as well.

(I can't reccomend Science Diet enough)
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  #42  
Old 05-24-2012, 04:57 PM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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I can only answer from my experience and my experience is 'yes'.
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  #43  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:19 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Iams isn't that great, and their policies on animal testing is disgusting. I would go with Hills Science Diet, or Purina One. We also feed our cats Friskies canned food as well.
Wouldn't you want your pet food tested on animals?

I mean if this is the only issue:
In 2002, a film by animal rights organizations PETA slated Iams for the way the company conducted animal research at external laboratories. Iams ended its relationship with the Sinclair Research Center in 2003, stating that the filmed activity was contrary to the company's strict, long-standing animal studies policies.[16] Since 2006, studies are conducted in pet owners' homes, P&G Pet Care's Pet Health & Nutrition Center and locations where dogs and cats are already living such as assistance dog organizations. This center and studies are subjected to unannounced examinations by the ASPCA.[17]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iams

I have only two things to say- if PETA is against them, they can't be very wrong; and they have apparently changed their ways anyway.

More or less y infallible guide for animal welfare is- whatever PETA is pushing, the best thing for the animal is the very opposite.
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  #44  
Old 05-27-2012, 04:48 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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Originally Posted by The Devil's Grandmother View Post
I've found feeder mice to be really expensive per ounce. Where are you getting your raw animals?
I order a fair amount from hare-today.com, they offer whole ground-up carcasses of various species, which is a balanced diet and saves me a lot of labor. I also source cheap 'waste' animal parts, and organs, from local butchers and farmers.
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