Author Topic: Best grain free wet cat food?  (Read 515 times)

mxmoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Best grain free wet cat food?
« on: August 09, 2018, 07:29:18 AM »
I currently feed my three cats Halo Spot's Pate wet food exclusively. Halo is very pricey - I buy it on Amazon which has it for $21.72 for a 12 pack, $1.81 per can (better than in-store which can be up to $2.50/can). I feed each cat half a can twice a day, so I am currently spending $5.43 on cat food per day, about $163 per month, $1956 per year.

One of my cat requires being on wet food for the rest of his life for urinary issues, and I'm also of the opinion that wet food is better for cats anyway. I also believe that grain free food is generally better for a cat's health, so I'd prefer grain free suggestions. Is there any comparable food that's a bit cheaper? Should I look into making my own cat food with a meat grinder?

Orvell

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2796
  • Location: Wisconsin
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 07:50:06 AM »
I like Dave's wet food. It's 1.19$ per can, slightly cheaper if you buy a 24 flat at my local pet store. Haven't investigated how available it is online, but worth a shot. :)

lindseyb

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 07:51:51 AM »
My cat also has a urinary problem that requires wet food. On top of that he started vomiting after every meal due to an unknown food allergy. Our vet prescribed a science diet canned food, for 1.50 a can, two cans a day for two cats( we feed the same food so the one cat doesn’t get into the others).

We found a brand called pure harmony that is grain/corn/dairy free and it has solved all of our problems. And it only cost $.65 a can. However it is not sold everywhere, you may need to go their website and find a location. In Maryland, we have it at the weis grocery store.

zygote

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 96
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 08:10:49 AM »
The most cost effective way is probably to make your own cat food if you're up for it and your cat will eat it. Just make sure if you do, it's nutritionally complete. Probably the easiest way to do this is to prep your meat (either safe raw meat or cooked) and add a product called EZ Complete. If you search around, you can also find recipes that use organs and bone/eggshell to get you to the proper nutrition.

If you're not into making the food, I'd recommend searching around on a website called chewy. They tend to have great prices, sometimes better than amazon.

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 590
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 08:52:59 AM »
I second Chewy. Our cat has been on a grain-free diet since he started eating solids (we found him as just-weaned kitten in our yard, and he's now 2 years old). This website saves us a lot of money.

We've been happy with the quality of Blue Buffalo's Wilderness grain-free line. Our cat currently refuses wet food, but he previously ate and liked the canned variety. It's $1.29/can in a 24-case at Chewy: https://www.chewy.com/blue-buffalo-wilderness-chicken-grain/dp/36710

RWD

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2448
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 09:01:30 AM »
We've been using Abound. I think it's typically $0.79/can here.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3173
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 09:30:53 AM »
First, talk to your vet.

Second, in general, grains aren't a problem for cats. As long as they're getting sufficient protein, some grain or other stuff isn't necessarily bad. If your cat has a problem with something, of course avoid it. But mine eat grass and drink from mud puddles when cat food and clean water is provided.

Making your own cat food sounds great, but you need to be very careful that you're providing a balanced diet. If what you're making is missing essential vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, then your cat is going to have a problem as some point. Plus, there's the extra effort involved (time is money!), and risk of spoiled foods/food poisoning. Making your own food is a lot of work to do it right, and if you don't, then the animal suffers.

Next, if you buy commercially prepared food, do some research into what kinds of issues they've had. I'm on the FB groups that get all the recalls, and I keep seeing recalls for all the "fancy" brands - not Iams, not Purina, not Science Diet, etc. Blue? Yep. Natural Balance? Yep. Plenty of others that I don't remember. Some of those recalls have been because animals died or had serious illnesses. So do your research.

You want to also find out if your food of choice has done feeding trials. Basically, they've done studies of animals fed exclusively that food and tracked how they've done. If they've done a study, awesome, what were the results? If they haven't done a study, ok. But you need to dig into it a bit more.

Bottom line - fads aren't good. For people or animals. You figure out what is affordable, what you can manage, they like, they do well on, and go with it. And when things change, you figure it out. And it will change. They just have live long enough. And when you're in the vet, you run it by them. A lot of vets won't directly say yes or no, so watch for the subtle signs of approval/disapproval. Ask them what they feed their animals!

Personally, I feed my cats Purina ProPlan, whatever the one for 11+ is (I have 19 yo and 10yo females). They get a variety of ProPlan and Neutro wet foods. I have trouble feeding the 19 yo now, so she gets what she will eat and thank goodness the 10yo is willing to go with it. Last year I had to do 100% food switches, and it's looking like I'll have to do the wet food again soon. Is it ideal? No. But when you're in your 90's (human equivalent), you can eat whatever you please. Vet is happy with ProPlan, seems not so thrilled with Neutro but understands my challenge.

In the past, I've fed Iams, Purina One, Blue, Royal Canin, Fancy Feast, and probably more I'm forgetting. Blue caused gas. Royal Canin got rejected after a while (taste). Iams changed formula or the store stopped carrying it, I don't remember. Purina One they aged out of (started causing digestive problems). Fancy Feast was rejected overnight for unknown reasons and nearly caused a health crisis (silly cat stopped eating).

Oh, if you even consider a vegetarian or vegan diet for cats - NO. Cats are obligate carnivores. If they don't eat meat, they will be malnourished. That is animal abuse. Dogs you can work around it. Cats you cannot. Either suck it up and feed appropriately or rehome the cat. (that's my PSA, because there are idiots out there. I'm not saying you are one)

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 590
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 12:48:17 PM »
Oh, if you even consider a vegetarian or vegan diet for cats - NO. Cats are obligate carnivores. If they don't eat meat, they will be malnourished. That is animal abuse. Dogs you can work around it. Cats you cannot. Either suck it up and feed appropriately or rehome the cat. (that's my PSA, because there are idiots out there. I'm not saying you are one)

Thank you. If you want a vegan pet, adopt a rabbit.

mxmoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 12:50:07 PM »
First, talk to your vet.

Second, in general, grains aren't a problem for cats. As long as they're getting sufficient protein, some grain or other stuff isn't necessarily bad. If your cat has a problem with something, of course avoid it. But mine eat grass and drink from mud puddles when cat food and clean water is provided.

Making your own cat food sounds great, but you need to be very careful that you're providing a balanced diet. If what you're making is missing essential vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, then your cat is going to have a problem as some point. Plus, there's the extra effort involved (time is money!), and risk of spoiled foods/food poisoning. Making your own food is a lot of work to do it right, and if you don't, then the animal suffers.

Next, if you buy commercially prepared food, do some research into what kinds of issues they've had. I'm on the FB groups that get all the recalls, and I keep seeing recalls for all the "fancy" brands - not Iams, not Purina, not Science Diet, etc. Blue? Yep. Natural Balance? Yep. Plenty of others that I don't remember. Some of those recalls have been because animals died or had serious illnesses. So do your research.

You want to also find out if your food of choice has done feeding trials. Basically, they've done studies of animals fed exclusively that food and tracked how they've done. If they've done a study, awesome, what were the results? If they haven't done a study, ok. But you need to dig into it a bit more.

Bottom line - fads aren't good. For people or animals. You figure out what is affordable, what you can manage, they like, they do well on, and go with it. And when things change, you figure it out. And it will change. They just have live long enough. And when you're in the vet, you run it by them. A lot of vets won't directly say yes or no, so watch for the subtle signs of approval/disapproval. Ask them what they feed their animals!

Personally, I feed my cats Purina ProPlan, whatever the one for 11+ is (I have 19 yo and 10yo females). They get a variety of ProPlan and Neutro wet foods. I have trouble feeding the 19 yo now, so she gets what she will eat and thank goodness the 10yo is willing to go with it. Last year I had to do 100% food switches, and it's looking like I'll have to do the wet food again soon. Is it ideal? No. But when you're in your 90's (human equivalent), you can eat whatever you please. Vet is happy with ProPlan, seems not so thrilled with Neutro but understands my challenge.

In the past, I've fed Iams, Purina One, Blue, Royal Canin, Fancy Feast, and probably more I'm forgetting. Blue caused gas. Royal Canin got rejected after a while (taste). Iams changed formula or the store stopped carrying it, I don't remember. Purina One they aged out of (started causing digestive problems). Fancy Feast was rejected overnight for unknown reasons and nearly caused a health crisis (silly cat stopped eating).

Oh, if you even consider a vegetarian or vegan diet for cats - NO. Cats are obligate carnivores. If they don't eat meat, they will be malnourished. That is animal abuse. Dogs you can work around it. Cats you cannot. Either suck it up and feed appropriately or rehome the cat. (that's my PSA, because there are idiots out there. I'm not saying you are one)

My vet tried to put my cat on very expensive "prescription" food - I've done enough research to know that the prescription label is BS and I'm not falling for it.

I need to do some more research on the grain-free concept. All cat food is going to have fillers, unless you make it yourself. I guess my real goal is to maximize protein content since as you mention later in your post, I'm very aware that cats are obligate carnivores.

Thanks for your advice!

MustacheAnxiety

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 12:54:26 PM »
In addition to wet food, please provide a water source that is placed far away from your cat's food (if you do not already).  It really helped our little guy to drink more water (and stop trying to drink out of our glasses or the tub).  We still give him a half can of wet food once a day because he likes it and more water still helps.  He doesn't get grain free though, so I don't have a good recommendation for your actual question, sorry.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 04:34:24 PM »
My cat eats raw meat and offal. There's a specific percentage of brain matter and organ meat (taurine) to muscle meat and bonemeal, in order to keep him healthy. His favourite is a pet food outfit that just minces whole rabbits (less pelt and gut). They're a pest in NZ. Anyway, the fluffster is an ex feral and established early on that he would not be eating anything from a can. Anything leftover, the chickens fight over. And he regularly supplements his diet with mice and birds.

People say grains are fine for cats. They don't process them at all. I don't process polystyrene. Is it fine for me to bulk out my meals with polystyrene?


Lulee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: NH
  • "We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it."
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 09:44:16 AM »
We feed our cats a combination of Iams original adult cat food and 9 Lives Pate wet foods (trying to mostly give them chicken varieties so they don't get too much fish to prevent mercury build up over the course of their fuzzy lives).  It was originally just the dry food as that had worked well for all previous kitties.  All the cats past and present are hunters who supplement what we feed them with the various critters they kill.  The vet suggested cutting back on the carbohydrates which Iams had more of than she liked so after much research and a little luck with our fussy eater, we found the Pate versions of 9 Lives food was meeting what the vet said (avoid anything with gravy added) and cut back some on the Iams so calorie wise we could add in a can of wet food for each one.

It's been cheapest for us to get the food either from Amazon or Chewy.  Chewy usually is a hair more expensive but sometimes Amazon's prices shoot up or they're out of stock so Chewy gets the order instead.

As far as grains goes, one of the cats LOVES breads and the tops of bran muffins so these have to go into safer storage than the counter top to keep him out of them.  Both love potato chips (Cape Cod regular and barbecue ones) which they beg for if we're eating them.  Both love Smart Food popcorn (original white cheddar).

The oldest is 9 and just got a rave "review" at the vets office at his annual physical.  The younger one is going to be 8 this fall and has always aced his physicals.   So barring illnesses like digestive issues, I'm not convinced of the value of the real fancy and expensive wet or dry foods over what we've been buying.  I wasn't very convinced about the need to add the wet food in but it isn't a huge expense and the fuzz butts are getting older so it's hard to not feel like it's worth it.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3173
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 11:31:39 AM »
@mxmoney My older cat has kidney disease. I tried 3 different brands of prescription foods, just to see. She refuses all 3 of them. So I talked with my vet about what to try/look for, etc. A good vet is going to understand that the prescription isn't going to happen and help you come up with the best option that the cat WILL eat. If your vet won't do that with you, then you need a new vet.

Which is also why my vet winces but agrees that the cat gets to eat leftovers from my plate now, a complete change in rules from the first 18 years of her life. When they're old and struggling to eat enough, I'm not arguing about something they will eat.

Fomerly known as something

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 581
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Best grain free wet cat food?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 04:12:29 PM »
I have a diabetic cat.  That being said I feed Fancy Feast and Merrick limited ingredient wet food as they are low carb and grain free (my diabetic also does not do well with grains never has).

ETA:  I also add more "gravy" to the meal by adding about 1/2 a can of water to the pate's.

Dr. Lisa Pierson has developed this wonderful list showing carb counts for cat food in the US.  Anything under 10% is likely grain free.

https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 04:18:13 PM by Fomerly known as something »