Cat feeding questions.

My cats have always had bowls of dry food available at all times. I fill the bowl and refill as necessary. Never had any issues with them eating all of it.

I used to feed a lot more wet food, but then I lost 2 cats in the whole Poisoned Food thing. Took me a long while before I would give my new cat any wet food. Now she gets only about 1/3 to 1/2 of a 3oz can of high quality canned food each day - at about a forkfull at a time.

My cats have always been normal weights - in the 9-11 pound range.

Cats have very different eating habits, just like humans. My cat will just eat until the food is gone; Jim’s cat can have food put down for her to nibble on all day and not get fat. Since they live together now, we have to accommodate both eating styles - they get fed a measured amount of good quality dry morning and evening, and get a small helping of wet for lunch. They also get a small bedtime snack.

I agree with the water for cats - you learn how they want their water, and can give it to them that way. My cat wants hers from a lightly running tap. Jim’s cat loves “found” water - a glass left on an end table or a flower bowl is her preference. Plus they always have fresh water available in a boring old bowl.

OP, your cat does look quite a bit overweight. Jim’s cat visited the vet recently; she looks quite thin, and the vet said that was actually a healthy weight for cats - we’re just used to seeing them much fatter than they should be.

It’s better to feed the better quality wet food, plus a little dry food once in a while.This is so when you have to leave him for a weekend, he’ll still eat the dry.

Suggestions for wet food:

by Nature”
Newman’s own

For dry- Felidae, and the above brands also often make a dry food.
It isn;t dry food so much that makes cat fat, its the grain and carbs in cheaper cat foods. Cats need meat, not grain. The more meat the better. 90% meat is great.

I haven’t had a chance to read all the responses yet, just putting in a pre-emptive thanks for the advice and will take a look at it. Thanks!

Oh, and for the record, (since people have specifically mentioned water) he has a full dish of clean water that I refill daily.

Forgot to add:

I don’t feed him just because he cries. He doesn’t get any extra for crying or ‘acting hungry’. I figured it was probably because of going hungry when he was a baby, before I got him. He only gets the two feedings per day. I gave specific ratios as to what I give, and how I’ve already scaled it back. He gets fed with measuring scoops, so he gets the same amount every time. I don’t eyeball his feedings. I don’t buy cat treats at all.

I’ll have to check into what brands of cat food I can find at the supermarket, and see whether or not I’m going to have to go to a pet specialty store to try a different wet food. I don’t recognize any of the suggested brand names as being readily available at the store, but I’ll take a closer look.

I’d suggest instead of looking at brand names, read the ingredients listed on the package. You want to see a ‘meat’ item high up on the list, if it’s the first item listed that’s best. But if you see grain items as the first several items before it ever lists meat, that’s not the best food for carnivores like cats.

You may remember the recall a couple of years ago of pet food contaminated by Chinese ingredients, after several dogs & cats were poisoned by this. There were 90-some brand names involved, ranging from the cheap Wal-mart store brand to some of the premier brands (including some of those listed in this thread) – turns out that all these different brands were being produced in the same few factories! Just with different labels being put on them. So looking at ingredients is better than looking at brand names.

Well, not with just different labels. Also very different formulations in some cases. The fact that several brands are being manufactured at the same facility does not mean it’s all the same goo extruded into cans with different labels. Rather they set up the pre-specified ingredient list, churn out 10,000 cans of Brand X, then stop, clean, alter the ingredient mix to the next pre-specified formula and the churn out 7,000 cans of Brand Y.

In other words you can have lower quality Ash, Pork Ass and Snouts brand being produced at the same factory as premium Chicken, Lamb and Snouts ( cuz everyone loves snouts ) brand cat food and they truly are different, even if manufactured at the same place. The economy of scale just makes it cheaper for most pet food companies to outsource manufacturing to a few specialist facilities.

But I agree this is very good advice in general.

Fancy Feast, in the Chicken Feast, Beef Feast and Turkey Feast flavors (plus a couple others that I forget, “pate” style only), contain no grain products at all. This is VERY likely to be the only supermarket brand that contains no grain. Actually, I’ve noticed that many of the premium wet foods contain some grain products, and cost a lot more than Fancy Feast.

Be careful as the contents of Fancy Feast vary flavor to flavor; and the more it looks like people food – by being flaked or nuggeted or mixed with spinach or whatever – the less meat it contains

Thanks for all the tips, everyone. I’m trying a new food to see what he takes to. I did find Fancy Feast at the store, but the varieties I can find all have types of grain gluten listed as the fourth ingredients, though broth and meat (beef / turkey, etc) are the first through third ingredients and they do show added taurine on the label. I’ll probably have to do a run to the pet store and see what I can find there.

I had been feeding him Sheba’s ‘Premium Cuts’ type of food, which basically looked and smelled exactly like chicken. When I switched to that food, it was because his bowel movements smelled absolutely awful with the previous food, and they were much better after I switched to the Sheba stuff. I’ve been trying to research on the internet, though, but it’s really hard, because any food I look up has various complaints about it from SOMEBODY. I’ve seen people claim that what I feed him now is not actually intended to be food, it’s supposed to be a treat only, even though it says ‘food’ on it and it has directions for being fed as a nutritionally complete diet, or this person’s or that person’s cat wouldn’t touch it, et cetera.

Plus Sheba has decided to discontinue the type of food I feed him, because of ‘economic reasons’, they’re stating on their website. I pay about 90 cents/can, which seems to be cheap for that brand considering what I’ve read on the internet (some people were paying almost 1.50/can), but the other types some people have suggested as better actually seem to be even less expensive.

I’ve purposely tried to avoid the cheap ‘filler’ types of wet food. If I’m specifically feeding him wet stuff, I definitely don’t want to give him filler. That defeats the whole point :frowning:

I will definitely be checking with the vet too (I have an appointment for two weeks from Monday), since I seem to be feeding him about the same amount and types of food as my sister feeds her cats, and they’re quite lean while mine is very chubby. I think hers actually eat a bit more, because they graze on their dry food all day between wet food feedings, though I can’t let mine do that, or he’ll gorge and get sick. So, obviously his individual needs are different.

Thanks again for all the tips, I really appreciate them. I’m sure we’ll find something that works, I want him to be a healthy, happy kitty.

As long as the can says something about meeting AAFCO standards for feeding, it’s food and not treats.

Just be careful about diet food. I put mine on a diet last year using a higher protein food that may have contributed to #3’s FLUTD, so there is that to consider. Also, kitties that lose weight too fast can develop hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.

Fancy Feast’s Elegant Medley contains no grains. Sheba is no more a treat than Elegant Medley. My neighbor who also feeds Harry and her newly adopted cat refers to Medley as a treat. Some people think any canned food is a treat. Lisa, the person who previously had Harry and his sister, Addie, fed them only dry food. When they went around the neighborhood for food, I began feeding them, thinking they were strays. I told Lisa the cats need wet food too, but she said she’s had cats all her life and they all lived to 12 - which I don’t think is particularly old. Anyway, Lisa moved and took Addie with her. I wish I could get her back so she can have the good life Harry is having here.