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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: MinimalistMoustache on July 26, 2015, 03:38:37 PM

Title: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MinimalistMoustache on July 26, 2015, 03:38:37 PM
Some days, I believe this household's meals provided for felines are more expensive than the food consumed by the human members. :-)  Both cats seem to prefer wet food over dry. And since giving them grain-free, the numerous vet visits of the past are now minimal.

If you have cats, what is your pet food cost per month?


Thanks!

Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: math-ya on July 26, 2015, 03:52:33 PM
I have one cat and spend about $5 a month on food. I make him homemade stuff that is mostly raw chicken thighs, hearts, livers, and supplements. After doing a lot of research I feel like basically all commercially made foods are total garbage. There is a ton of mystery in commercial foods, and making it yourself takes that away
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Rosy on July 26, 2015, 05:25:22 PM
I agree, just cook for your kitties. It's cheaper and healthier. My mom used to do that all the time. We have two kitties and I'm ready to switch from commercial brands to home cooked. Vet just recommended a prescription diet for the old kitty at some insane price. I took the freebies they offered, but when I saw their $5 coupon I knew - nope, not doing that.

I do give mine a raw egg in their cat food every so often, it's good for their coat.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Cassie Hill 2 on July 26, 2015, 05:38:23 PM
What do you cook for your kitties?  Any chance of a recipe?
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: math-ya on July 26, 2015, 06:03:57 PM
You don't cook it- they like it raw. Here's a recipe that I use.
http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/making-raw-cat-food-for-do-it-yourselfers
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: LeRainDrop on July 26, 2015, 06:26:08 PM
I have two cats and feed them Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Adult Cat Food (duck & potato formula).  One of my cats went through some pretty bad skin allergies a few years back, and the vet put her on one of the special vet-only Royal Canin varieties.  That was like $120 per bag, or something insane like that.  Because the two cats tend to share food over the day time, I ended up with both of them on the same food.  Once my girl's allergies were gone for awhile I transitioned to the less expensive brand that I'm with now and can find at any major pet store.  It costs ~$33 per 14-lb bag (though often on sale or coupons available), and I think it's about one bag every two months.  That means about $16.50 per month (to feed two cats).  Easy peasy regimen, happy and healthy cats, and no signs of allergies in a very long time.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Helvegen on July 27, 2015, 09:36:46 AM
I have a single one year old cat. No health issues besides he started to get fat on the regular Kirkland dry food. We switched him to Kirkland weight management and he is back to a normal weight.

I feed him 1/2c of Kirkland Weight Management formula a day and one can of Friskies wet food a day.

I pay .47 a can X 30 = $14.10 + $13.99 a bag /6 months = $2.33 = $16.43 + tax a month on cat food. I can't say he is breaking the bank there.

Of course, he gets a few table scraps every now and again. Occasionally nice ones, like NYS steak, king crab, or smoked fish. Spoiled cat.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Kitsune on July 27, 2015, 10:10:31 AM
Question for those who make their own cat food: I've read in multiple places that homemade cat food doesn't have the necessary nutrients and minerals that cats need. I read a study that said that 90% of homemade food recipes didn't include the appropriate nutrients that a cat needs (sorry, guys, no source right now: it was in a book that is currently in storage, so I don't have access).

What frustrated me at the time is that they said they'd reviewed something like 40+ recipes, and that only 5 or 6 had been acceptable, but they didn't give the recipes that passed the test! So, question: how do you know what the recipe you're using is good? What are the requirements?
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: math-ya on July 27, 2015, 11:47:59 AM
It's very easy to give your cats the right stuff. They need b, e, fatty acids, and taurine. Everything else is found naturally in the chicken parts. You should get blood work done before switching to a raw diet to make sure. My parents cats are 22 and 23, and act like kittens. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they don't process carbs. And dry food dehydrates them giving them kidney stones, diabetes, and makes them fat. They don't understand to drink, so you gotta get the water in their food.
I could talk about raw diets all day, but it's the only way to go if you care about your cat.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: katstache92 on July 27, 2015, 12:07:11 PM
Right now my two get 1 can of Natural Balance Salmon at night and 1/4 cup mix of Natural Balance reduced calorie dry and Taste of the Wild Venison dry in the morning.

I'm thinking about switching to all wet, for the kidney benefits and some other issues they occasionally have.  Apparently the "dry food helps with teeth" thing is not necessarily true.  Unfortunately the wet food, at least the good stuff, is pretty expensive.

For their current diet it costs about $1.25/day to feed both.  If I switch to all wet food that will increase to about $2/day.  Stupidly expensive, but I get pretty freaked out by meat and making food for them is just not going to happen.  The cheap wet food also isn't going to happen since I read about some of the stuff that can go into it.  Sigh.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on July 28, 2015, 12:33:12 PM
I buy a lot of Dave's Naturally on PetFoodDirect.com. It is a wet food that doesn't have any grains or meat byproducts. It costs about $0.50 per cat per day for this food. My cats love it.

I tried feeding my cats raw food, and they had serious digestion issues with it. They started vomiting all the time. It made me vary wary about feeding them raw food, particularly since human-grade meat is processed assuming the meat will be cooked.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MissStache on July 28, 2015, 12:59:33 PM
Following. 

I tried mine on the raw diet once using ground chicken parts and they refused to eat it. Like, days and days of not eating anything.  I eventually had to throw it all away.  I spent a lot on it too (it was from a local fancy-pants farm), so I've been wary of giving it another go. 

Currently I'm just feeding them on regular dry Purina, but I'd like to get them on a better diet. 
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: math-ya on July 28, 2015, 04:09:13 PM
I buy a lot of Dave's Naturally on PetFoodDirect.com. It is a wet food that doesn't have any grains or meat byproducts. It costs about $0.50 per cat per day for this food. My cats love it.

I tried feeding my cats raw food, and they had serious digestion issues with it. They started vomiting all the time. It made me vary wary about feeding them raw food, particularly since human-grade meat is processed assuming the meat will be cooked.

thats why you shouldnt used any processed meats. even ground up chicken at the store shouldnt be used. you gotta get everything fresh and grind (or blend) it yourself.
this is a serious diet change, i would try to ween your cats onto it, so they can get used to it
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: RichWard on July 28, 2015, 06:33:07 PM
I have two cats and feed them Iams and some wet food. Typically ~$30-$40 per month.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on July 29, 2015, 10:15:22 AM
2 cats, 7 and 16 yrs old. They eat Purina One dry food and Fancy Feast canned food. Currently adjusting the balance because the older cat is starting to have kidney problems, so I'm researching the best place to get canned food.

Raw diets are fine if you do them right. Food poisoning can be a problem. The main issue is that if you're doing a properly balanced raw diet it's a lot of work. Most people don't have enough time to devote to it. And it's not necessarily cheaper.

If your cat is getting fat, you're feeding too much. Reduce food a little, see what happens, adjust. I have a baby scale and I monitor weight on my cats (health concerns). Encourage activity as well - play with them! When you pet the cat, you should be able to feel ribs under the fat layer. Also, from above, the cat should have a "waist", though if they're long haired it's hard to tell. The majority of pet cats are overweight in the US per an article I was reading at the vet's.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: thd7t on July 29, 2015, 11:42:57 AM
I have two cats age 9 and age 6.  One eats watered down canned food (2/3 can/day at about $.50/can) and the other eats a mix of kidney formula and mature formula.  Average about $6/cat/month.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: math-ya on July 29, 2015, 11:56:17 AM

Raw diets are fine if you do them right. Food poisoning can be a problem. The main issue is that if you're doing a properly balanced raw diet it's a lot of work. Most people don't have enough time to devote to it. And it's not necessarily cheaper.


It's not a lot of work. You mix a few things together in a big bowl and freeze. You do have to carefully follow a recipe.. I spend 5/ month on my one cat. So that's pretty cheap when you consider it's much better than even the most expensive commercial stuff. Have you ever tried it? Or are you just salty now that you've given your cat kidney issues because of the shit food you've been giving him? MOD NOTE: Violation of two of our very few forum rules including don't be a jerk and attack an argument not a position.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: LeRainDrop on July 29, 2015, 01:11:51 PM

Raw diets are fine if you do them right. Food poisoning can be a problem. The main issue is that if you're doing a properly balanced raw diet it's a lot of work. Most people don't have enough time to devote to it. And it's not necessarily cheaper.


It's not a lot of work. You mix a few things together in a big bowl and freeze. You do have to carefully follow a recipe.. I spend 5/ month on my one cat. So that's pretty cheap when you consider it's much better than even the most expensive commercial stuff. Have you ever tried it? Or are you just salty now that you've given your cat kidney issues because of the shit food you've been giving him?

Gee, judgmental much?  I'd much rather spend my $16.50 per month for basic bags of grain-free dry food that my two *very healthy* cats love -- and that my vet recommends -- than to save $6.50 per month and spend all the freakin time, hassle, and squeamishness of mixing and freezing raw meat and cleaning up afterwards.  Honestly, I value avoiding the process of making their food at significantly more than $6.50 per month

P.S.  I am not in any way putting down the people who choose to go through the process of making their cats' food, but the gross attitude of superiority by math-ya is what irks me.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on July 29, 2015, 01:28:01 PM
Bumping to follow. I have two monster cats that I probably spend ~$40ish a month on (although that also includes their litter and whatever treats/toys I pick up). Monster Cat #1 is 15lbs and is perfectly healthy - sleek, lean, you can feel his ribs. My vet laughed and said she couldn't believe she was saying a 15 pounder was perfectly healthy, maybe even a tad underweight. Monster Cat #2 clocks in at a heft 20lbs, and could stand to lose a few. Vet says he should probably be about 16lbs. They split a can of Sheba (small can) in the morning, a can of Friskies (large can) in the evening, and about 3/4 cup of dry food (in two separate bowls) before bed (if I forget, which I sometimes do, I hear about it at 3-4am in the morning while they're pitifully wasting away).

Here's a question for those of you who have/had chubby kitties. Right now my cats (brothers) are 8 years old, and other than MC#2 needing to lose weight, they're both very healthy (of course, they extra weight could cause problems in the future, hence why we're trying to fix it now). When I tried to reduce their diet, MC#1 (skinny but healthy weight one) lost some weight, while Mr. Chubbs (MC#2) stayed the same. I tried to keep their food in different locations, but they come back to where their food had been and meow pitifully. MC#2 doesn't like to play when his brother is around, but MC#1 will HOWL if he knows I'm playing with his brother and not letting him join the fun. Seriously, my neighbor asked me what I was doing to the poor cat. Anyone have any suggestions how to help one cat lose weight while the other maintains it?
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on July 29, 2015, 02:52:43 PM
I buy a lot of Dave's Naturally on PetFoodDirect.com. It is a wet food that doesn't have any grains or meat byproducts. It costs about $0.50 per cat per day for this food. My cats love it.

I tried feeding my cats raw food, and they had serious digestion issues with it. They started vomiting all the time. It made me vary wary about feeding them raw food, particularly since human-grade meat is processed assuming the meat will be cooked.

thats why you shouldnt used any processed meats. even ground up chicken at the store shouldnt be used. you gotta get everything fresh and grind (or blend) it yourself.
this is a serious diet change, i would try to ween your cats onto it, so they can get used to it

math-ya, please don't make assumptions about what I did. You have no idea what I bought, how I prepared it, or how long I tried it.

Also, for those of you unfamiliar with raw-food diets, please don't read only the Pottenger's cat study cited by proponents of a raw-food diet. I made the mistake of only reading one side of the story before I tried raw feeding, but was surprised at what I found when I dug a little deeper, after my own two cats reacted very violently to raw feeding.

Specifically, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003575/ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003575/) is a good review article that covers many of the more recent studies, and shows that while there might be some benefit to raw-food diets, the evidence of that is pretty weak, while there is a growing body of evidence of the infectious-disease risks of raw feeding.

For example, even if you buy fresh chicken from a grocery store, and prepare it yourself, there is a significant risk that you are exposing your animal to a number of pathogens. One Consumer Reports study of fresh chicken bought at a number of grocery stores found widespread fecal contamination of the meat. (See http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/12/consumer-reports-gut-bacteria-on-97-percent-of-retail-chicken/#.Vbk2Y2RViko (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/12/consumer-reports-gut-bacteria-on-97-percent-of-retail-chicken/#.Vbk2Y2RViko)). Specifically, 43% of it was infected with Campylobacter (which causes diarrhea and vomiting), 11% with Salmonella, and 17.5% with a strain of ecoli known to cause urinary tract infections. More troubling, as the review article linked in the above paragraph discusses, even animals that do not exhibit symptoms may be infected and shedding the virus in their environments. 

After reading the science, I decided to switch back to canned cat food. I choose products that have no grains and no meat byproducts. My cats are healthier and happier than they've ever been!
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on July 29, 2015, 03:01:39 PM
Here's a question for those of you who have/had chubby kitties. Right now my cats (brothers) are 8 years old, and other than MC#2 needing to lose weight, they're both very healthy (of course, they extra weight could cause problems in the future, hence why we're trying to fix it now). When I tried to reduce their diet, MC#1 (skinny but healthy weight one) lost some weight, while Mr. Chubbs (MC#2) stayed the same. I tried to keep their food in different locations, but they come back to where their food had been and meow pitifully. MC#2 doesn't like to play when his brother is around, but MC#1 will HOWL if he knows I'm playing with his brother and not letting him join the fun. Seriously, my neighbor asked me what I was doing to the poor cat. Anyone have any suggestions how to help one cat lose weight while the other maintains it?

Lis,

I don't have a ton of advice for you, but have you tried feeding them at the same time and in different locations separated by a door? I know you mentioned that one of them meowed pitifully, but remember that due to behavior extinction, it takes quite some time for them to realize that you will no longer put their food in the original location. I have to always remind myself (and my significant other) of this phenomenon, because my cats sometimes misbehave when we are changing part of their routine. Sometimes the behavior gets much better if you just stick with the new routine.

Also, do they eat everything at once? If so, sounds like the chubby one might be stealing the skinny one's food. If that's the case, it might be solvable by watching them and moving the chubby one every time he tries to sneak his brother's food.

Another idea is to feed them healthy treats when they are playing, and just make sure non-chubby cat gets a lot more of them. That way you can reduce their meal sizes and hopefully non-chubby cat will stay the same size. Easier said than done, though, I know :).
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Cpa Cat on July 29, 2015, 03:39:39 PM
Following. 

I tried mine on the raw diet once using ground chicken parts and they refused to eat it. Like, days and days of not eating anything.  I eventually had to throw it all away.  I spent a lot on it too (it was from a local fancy-pants farm), so I've been wary of giving it another go. 

Currently I'm just feeding them on regular dry Purina, but I'd like to get them on a better diet.

Don't feel too bad. My cats refuse to eat anything that remotely resembles real food. Including wet food that resembles real food. Except cheese. They will eat cheese right from my mouth, if I was willing to engage in that behavior.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: math-ya on July 29, 2015, 05:23:45 PM

Raw diets are fine if you do them right. Food poisoning can be a problem. The main issue is that if you're doing a properly balanced raw diet it's a lot of work. Most people don't have enough time to devote to it. And it's not necessarily cheaper.


It's not a lot of work. You mix a few things together in a big bowl and freeze. You do have to carefully follow a recipe.. I spend 5/ month on my one cat. So that's pretty cheap when you consider it's much better than even the most expensive commercial stuff. Have you ever tried it? Or are you just salty now that you've given your cat kidney issues because of the shit food you've been giving him?

Gee, judgmental much?  I'd much rather spend my $16.50 per month for basic bags of grain-free dry food that my two *very healthy* cats love -- and that my vet recommends -- than to save $6.50 per month and spend all the freakin time, hassle, and squeamishness of mixing and freezing raw meat and cleaning up afterwards.  Honestly, I value avoiding the process of making their food at significantly more than $6.50 per month

P.S.  I am not in any way putting down the people who choose to go through the process of making their cats' food, but the gross attitude of superiority by math-ya is what irks me.
I really don't mean to be rude. It just irks me when people feed their cats bad food and act like it's not that bad. It's not about saving money, it's about taking good care of your pet. Please don't think that dry food isn't dehydrating your cat. What's the moisture content in it? 10-15%? Not enough.
I feel for you if your cat is picky, but I'm too lazy is a pretty shit excuse. Cats live well into their 20s with a proper diet
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on July 30, 2015, 11:19:40 AM
Here's a question for those of you who have/had chubby kitties. Right now my cats (brothers) are 8 years old, and other than MC#2 needing to lose weight, they're both very healthy (of course, they extra weight could cause problems in the future, hence why we're trying to fix it now). When I tried to reduce their diet, MC#1 (skinny but healthy weight one) lost some weight, while Mr. Chubbs (MC#2) stayed the same. I tried to keep their food in different locations, but they come back to where their food had been and meow pitifully. MC#2 doesn't like to play when his brother is around, but MC#1 will HOWL if he knows I'm playing with his brother and not letting him join the fun. Seriously, my neighbor asked me what I was doing to the poor cat. Anyone have any suggestions how to help one cat lose weight while the other maintains it?

Lis,

I don't have a ton of advice for you, but have you tried feeding them at the same time and in different locations separated by a door? I know you mentioned that one of them meowed pitifully, but remember that due to behavior extinction, it takes quite some time for them to realize that you will no longer put their food in the original location. I have to always remind myself (and my significant other) of this phenomenon, because my cats sometimes misbehave when we are changing part of their routine. Sometimes the behavior gets much better if you just stick with the new routine.

Also, do they eat everything at once? If so, sounds like the chubby one might be stealing the skinny one's food. If that's the case, it might be solvable by watching them and moving the chubby one every time he tries to sneak his brother's food.

Another idea is to feed them healthy treats when they are playing, and just make sure non-chubby cat gets a lot more of them. That way you can reduce their meal sizes and hopefully non-chubby cat will stay the same size. Easier said than done, though, I know :).

Usually they both finish their wet food at the same time, though maybe he's chowing down on the dry food overnight. I'll try reducing that a bit more, though it's already at the vet's recommended amount. I think I have to break them of the habit of feeding them the dry food right before bed. They tend to howl at me while they're staving at 3am, but maybe they'll eventually stop. Hopefully before I go nuts.

I think the biggest problem for him is his activity level. Skinny one will chase every fly, bug, and dust particle and will do backflips off the couch. He could play with the little red buggy (laser pointer) for hours if I didn't put it away. Chubbs can't be bothered with most toys... he might sprint back and forth twice, but then it gets boring or his brother bothers him so it's nap time. He was a vicious mouse killer once in his life (last winter), but he still can't be bothered by most bugs and critters. I have to figure out a better way to make him more active without making it seem like I'm torturing the other one.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: katstache92 on July 30, 2015, 11:57:42 AM
Lis - do you have a cat tree?  I had a cat who needed to lose about 3 lbs after the shelter and he didn't really enjoy a laser pointer.  He does however love to chase a shoe string up and down the cat tree.  This was also good because the other cat had no desire to play on the cat tree - so there was some separation about the level of play.

Other odd toys only one of the cats love - chasing rolling ping pong balls (especially as they roll past the cat tunnel), tackling ping pong balls out of the air, so many shoe strings

Also, he will play for much longer if he has cat nip first.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on July 30, 2015, 12:52:13 PM

Raw diets are fine if you do them right. Food poisoning can be a problem. The main issue is that if you're doing a properly balanced raw diet it's a lot of work. Most people don't have enough time to devote to it. And it's not necessarily cheaper.


It's not a lot of work. You mix a few things together in a big bowl and freeze. You do have to carefully follow a recipe.. I spend 5/ month on my one cat. So that's pretty cheap when you consider it's much better than even the most expensive commercial stuff. Have you ever tried it? Or are you just salty now that you've given your cat kidney issues because of the shit food you've been giving him? MOD NOTE: Violation of two of our very few forum rules including don't be a jerk and attack an argument not a position.

Ignoring the tone, I'll respond to the question.

Actually, no I have not done a raw food diet. My schedule has never permitted it, and I'm also way too lazy. I also consider the work to include researching proper balanced diets (which I understand is harder than it sounds), obtaining appropriate ingredients, mixing, and storage. That's about twice the amount of effort that I currently put into feeding my cats, even with the new 2x daily wet food schedule.

My information source is a conversation between a vet tech and a vet with 30+ years experience. I happened to be there and included. In the process, the vet was pulling out articles and other references. They were discussing pros and cons. I merely stated some of the cons, as I assumed that someone who was considering a raw diet would be aware of the pros.

My cat's kidney problems stem from the fact that she's 16 years old (so, 70s in human terms?) and is simply aging. I'm amazed that she's as healthy as she is given her history, including nearly starving to death as a kitten followed by being overweight most of her life.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: hops on July 31, 2015, 07:58:34 AM
With careful shopping and stockpiling, I'm able to feed my cat Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken for less than $8 per month. It runs almost $40 per large bag at Petco once you factor in taxes, but purchasing 3 to 5 bags per online order from suppliers like PetCareRX (where, unfortunately, that particular brand isn't always in stock) and using coupons can bring the cost closer to $26-ish per bag.

It's filling enough that each bag (which is emptied into an airtight food storage bin) lasts a very long time; my cat eats noticeably less than the cats of friends who purchase food that's loaded with fillers.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: schoopsthecat on July 31, 2015, 12:26:48 PM
Lis,

Have you tried feeding your cats meals and not leaving food out (or at least not much)?  I had the same situation...thin cat and fat cat.  I started feeding them two meals a day and with a little experimenting the fat cat is now normal sized.  One thing to be careful of in putting a cat on a diet is that they should lose weight very slowly....so no crash diets.

I feed my cats Wellness grain free primarily, and I give them a little dry evo every day.  I'd like to eliminate the dry food altogether, because I know it's not healthy.  However, I very regularly have to go out of town and leave them for 3 days or so alone.  On those occasions, I'll just give them a bunch of dry food...the fact that they eat a little every day means they haven't had a problem with getting sick from it.  I have a roommate moving in for the first time in many years, so I may stop feeding dry food at all now that there will be someone home pretty much all the time.

For those who feed homemade food...do you par boil the chicken?  I've considered doing either a raw or cooked homemade diet in the past.  This year, I'll actually have time to make that practical.  Anyone make a cooked homemade food?
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Samsam on August 03, 2015, 12:59:21 PM
I think reading this thread jinxed my cat :(  A couple days ago he wasn't able to pee.  He had crystals in his urine.  The vet told me she sees this a lot with big (not fat) red boys.  Right now I bought some of the prescription urinary tract wet food (http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-feline-cd-multicare-chicken-and-vegetable-stew-canned.html)....its $1.25 a can.  I'm going to phase both of my cats off of dry food as I don't think they are not getting enough water, but would like to find something cheaper.

I'm very interested in either a different wet food that helps with urinary tract problems or even making my own.  Does anyone have any recipes / cost analysis of making it themselves?
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on August 03, 2015, 01:08:06 PM
Lis,

Have you tried feeding your cats meals and not leaving food out (or at least not much)?  I had the same situation...thin cat and fat cat.  I started feeding them two meals a day and with a little experimenting the fat cat is now normal sized.  One thing to be careful of in putting a cat on a diet is that they should lose weight very slowly....so no crash diets.

I give them the amount of wet food my vet recommended for them and they both finish their portions within 10 minutes. I do leave the dry food out overnight (again, the recommended amount) and it's usually gone by morning.

Lis - do you have a cat tree?  I had a cat who needed to lose about 3 lbs after the shelter and he didn't really enjoy a laser pointer.  He does however love to chase a shoe string up and down the cat tree.  This was also good because the other cat had no desire to play on the cat tree - so there was some separation about the level of play.

Other odd toys only one of the cats love - chasing rolling ping pong balls (especially as they roll past the cat tunnel), tackling ping pong balls out of the air, so many shoe strings

Also, he will play for much longer if he has cat nip first.

Hahaha my cats can't be bothered with most toys I buy for them (few exceptions being the laser light and these weird plastic spring things my skinny one LOVES). The funnest toys for them are the hard plastic caps from milk or juice jugs.

A cat tree should definitely be in my future. When we lived with my parents (high school/college for me), they had a cat tree that I know chubby one loved. I just have to find a good place for it in my apartment and a decently priced one. Anyone have any suggestions?

And unfortunately (fortunately?) cat nip does not make him hyper enough to play. He gets very weird - he'll eat about half of what I put down (no matter the amount) and then roll in the rest of it for a few minutes. Once he's covered, and it really sticks to his fluff, he must be off to a comfy place in the apartment for a nap, usually on my pillow so he can cover it with both his dander and the loose cat nip. He's kind of a jerk.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 03, 2015, 09:14:34 PM
A cat tree should definitely be in my future. When we lived with my parents (high school/college for me), they had a cat tree that I know chubby one loved. I just have to find a good place for it in my apartment and a decently priced one. Anyone have any suggestions?

My cats love their tree!  M's favorite spot is top shelf, and R's is the cylinder directly below that.  Otherwise, they take turns with the other shelves and camping out in the drum.  They will also playfully battle each other from the different levels -- M leaning down to paw at R, and R leaning out her window to paw at M.  http://www.overstock.com/Pet-Supplies/New-Cat-Condos-72-Play-Station-Cat-Tree/6230209/product.html?refccid=KXFIR2YNV4ML3J2OXFPN6CLCVY&searchidx=8  Other good toys for their exercise, when I have the time, are the wand toys, such as ones with feathers or sparkles on the end.  Their absolute favorite to chase and jump for is the Cat Dancer -- a sweet $1.99.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 04, 2015, 07:45:15 AM
I think reading this thread jinxed my cat :(  A couple days ago he wasn't able to pee.  He had crystals in his urine.  The vet told me she sees this a lot with big (not fat) red boys.  Right now I bought some of the prescription urinary tract wet food (http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-feline-cd-multicare-chicken-and-vegetable-stew-canned.html)....its $1.25 a can.  I'm going to phase both of my cats off of dry food as I don't think they are not getting enough water, but would like to find something cheaper.

I'm very interested in either a different wet food that helps with urinary tract problems or even making my own.  Does anyone have any recipes / cost analysis of making it themselves?

You're probably right about the lack of water, cats are notorious for it. You can also add a little bit of water to canned food and up the water intake a little more.

Regarding less expensive options, I know that vets and owners often have to get creative when cats refuse the prescription food or owners can't afford it. If you can figure out which brands/types/flavors that is commercially available are a close substitute then that might be cheaper. For example, for diabetes, the classic Fancy Feast are good, but not the other types so much. Explain that the cost is an issue (you don't need to be specific why!) and ask for help in figuring out what to do so that the cat is taken care of. My experience is good vets are willing to work with you to figure out what's doable. You may find that wet food in general will do it and then just experiment to figure out what the cats will like. I'd personally try to stick to widely available brands.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: ChaseMcD on August 04, 2015, 08:22:17 AM
As the manager of a pet store, I get enough coupons that my 2 cats eat for free :)
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on August 04, 2015, 08:32:01 AM
You're probably right about the lack of water, cats are notorious for it. You can also add a little bit of water to canned food and up the water intake a little more.

Fun fact - cats don't like to drink near where they eat. Try moving their water bowl a bit away from their food, it could encourage them to drink more.

We used to have a cat that could not drink still water. At the time, we (my parents) had a leaky faucet in their bath, and we would always find him chilling in the bathtub. When they finally fixed it, they ended up purchasing one of those fountain things for pets. That cat LOVED it. Not all cats do though, so if a friend has one, try to borrow it maybe? One of mine is terrified of it, and the other thinks its a (very messy) toy.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Samsam on August 04, 2015, 08:48:41 AM
You're probably right about the lack of water, cats are notorious for it. You can also add a little bit of water to canned food and up the water intake a little more.

Fun fact - cats don't like to drink near where they eat. Try moving their water bowl a bit away from their food, it could encourage them to drink more.

We used to have a cat that could not drink still water. At the time, we (my parents) had a leaky faucet in their bath, and we would always find him chilling in the bathtub. When they finally fixed it, they ended up purchasing one of those fountain things for pets. That cat LOVED it. Not all cats do though, so if a friend has one, try to borrow it maybe? One of mine is terrified of it, and the other thinks its a (very messy) toy.

I have heard this before.  I bought a stainless steel moving drinking bowl a year ago and put it on the other side of the room from where they eat.  BUT, now that I have been feeding them exclusively wet food they have also started drinking less water from the bowl!  I swear I'm going to hold them down and syringe water into their mouths!

I found the Purina Pro Plane Urinary Tract wet food that is half the cost of the one I'm buying now, and water is the first and main ingredient, but the rest do look a little iffy.

Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: pbkmaine on August 04, 2015, 09:30:29 AM
Our 3 cats drink quite a bit of water. The secret for our cats was using a big glass bowl (2 qt) and keeping it very clean. We have other smaller drinking bowls, but they use the big one exclusively. They like to be able to put their heads into the bowl to drink.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: dcheesi on August 04, 2015, 09:37:47 AM
$8 every 2 weeks, or ~$17.50/month for 2 cats.

I have the 1-skinny, 1-chubby problem as well. The skinny one is finicky and slow to eat, whereas the chubster is a pig who eats right away, so it's hard to limit food too much without the skinny one missing out.

They won't eat wet food (the chubster just licks the gravy, the other turns up her nose entirely), so I buy bags of dry.

I've tried fancy dry foods in the past,  but at some point the chubster stopped eating much at all (very unlike her), and I've found that to be the case with all brands/formulas except the one I now buy (Purina One Sensitive Systems). I'm assuming that she developed a food allergy/sensitivity, though to what I have no idea? I tried no-grain, etc., but nothing else works for her.

I feel bad cause it's not the best food in the world for them, but if it's the only one they can both eat... I guess maybe I could try limiting portions on that one to get the chubster down a bit, while supplementing skinny kitty with some other food? Only problem would be if chubby eats the wrong food and gets sick...
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Cromacster on August 04, 2015, 09:52:14 AM
I buy a lot of Dave's Naturally on PetFoodDirect.com. It is a wet food that doesn't have any grains or meat byproducts. It costs about $0.50 per cat per day for this food. My cats love it.

I tried feeding my cats raw food, and they had serious digestion issues with it. They started vomiting all the time. It made me vary wary about feeding them raw food, particularly since human-grade meat is processed assuming the meat will be cooked.

thats why you shouldnt used any processed meats. even ground up chicken at the store shouldnt be used. you gotta get everything fresh and grind (or blend) it yourself.
this is a serious diet change, i would try to ween your cats onto it, so they can get used to it

math-ya, please don't make assumptions about what I did. You have no idea what I bought, how I prepared it, or how long I tried it.

Also, for those of you unfamiliar with raw-food diets, please don't read only the Pottenger's cat study cited by proponents of a raw-food diet. I made the mistake of only reading one side of the story before I tried raw feeding, but was surprised at what I found when I dug a little deeper, after my own two cats reacted very violently to raw feeding.

Specifically, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003575/ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003575/) is a good review article that covers many of the more recent studies, and shows that while there might be some benefit to raw-food diets, the evidence of that is pretty weak, while there is a growing body of evidence of the infectious-disease risks of raw feeding.

For example, even if you buy fresh chicken from a grocery store, and prepare it yourself, there is a significant risk that you are exposing your animal to a number of pathogens. One Consumer Reports study of fresh chicken bought at a number of grocery stores found widespread fecal contamination of the meat. (See http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/12/consumer-reports-gut-bacteria-on-97-percent-of-retail-chicken/#.Vbk2Y2RViko (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/12/consumer-reports-gut-bacteria-on-97-percent-of-retail-chicken/#.Vbk2Y2RViko)). Specifically, 43% of it was infected with Campylobacter (which causes diarrhea and vomiting), 11% with Salmonella, and 17.5% with a strain of ecoli known to cause urinary tract infections. More troubling, as the review article linked in the above paragraph discusses, even animals that do not exhibit symptoms may be infected and shedding the virus in their environments. 

After reading the science, I decided to switch back to canned cat food. I choose products that have no grains and no meat byproducts. My cats are healthier and happier than they've ever been!

You do realize that commercial pet foods kill thousands of animals every year from salmonella and ecoli poisoning. 

I feed raw and I'm willing to put the time and effort to ensure my dog gets the proper nutrition.  It's really not that much work.  Proper nutrition can easily be monitored by yearly bloodwork. 

Plus, he looks so damn happy while he is crunching on a duck carcass.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Cpa Cat on August 05, 2015, 09:34:39 AM
I find the best way to get my cats to drink more water is to be thirsty, then fill a cup with water and take a sip. As soon as I set it down, a cat will have its head in it, drinking. It's like magic.

The trick is that you have to really want to drink the water yourself. If you don't, the cats can tell and they will knock your cup on the floor instead of drinking from it.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on August 05, 2015, 10:18:11 AM
I find the best way to get my cats to drink more water is to be thirsty, then fill a cup with water and take a sip. As soon as I set it down, a cat will have its head in it, drinking. It's like magic.

The trick is that you have to really want to drink the water yourself. If you don't, the cats can tell and they will knock your cup on the floor instead of drinking from it.

Hahahaha this goes back to my previous statement: cats are jerks. Lovable, cute, adorable... I wouldn't give mine up for anything in the world... but they're still jerks.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: partgypsy on August 05, 2015, 10:33:10 AM
what is the consensus on giving cats milk/cream?
I have an elderly cat, is 15 years old, always been on the small/thin side. Because of a long standing viral issue, gets mouth/throat sores, and so the majority of her food is wet because it feels better to her. We also found out she is down to her last 2 teeth : (.  she is generally not interested in our food, except for milk, and as a treat give her a little every other day or so. I don't want to cause her problems, but she is on the underweight side and really enjoys it, I want to make sure it is OK. I don't give her a lot, 1 or 2 TB each time we do this. 

ETA Our cat also doesn't drink standing water. It is either dripping water or nothing. A long standing drip in our tub was fixed, and realized she really wasn't drinking. So we let it drip. She will also jump in the shower after someone is done taking a shower, to drink the water dripping from the faucet.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Cromacster on August 05, 2015, 10:35:47 AM
I find the best way to get my cats to drink more water is to be thirsty, then fill a cup with water and take a sip. As soon as I set it down, a cat will have its head in it, drinking. It's like magic.

The trick is that you have to really want to drink the water yourself. If you don't, the cats can tell and they will knock your cup on the floor instead of drinking from it.

Hahahaha this goes back to my previous statement: cats are jerks. Lovable, cute, adorable... I wouldn't give mine up for anything in the world... but they're still jerks.

Well if you want to waste 8 minutes today....Cats Being Jerks Video Compilation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1KW3ZkLtuo)
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: pbkmaine on August 05, 2015, 11:06:28 AM
My cat Tess sits on the table beside my chair every night and taps my shoulder until I get her a mug of water.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: katstache92 on August 05, 2015, 01:10:54 PM
I find the best way to get my cats to drink more water is to be thirsty, then fill a cup with water and take a sip. As soon as I set it down, a cat will have its head in it, drinking. It's like magic.

The trick is that you have to really want to drink the water yourself. If you don't, the cats can tell and they will knock your cup on the floor instead of drinking from it.
I have also recently discovered this... at first I tried to avoid it, but hey, if they'll drink it, I'll provide it.  Plus, then I can keep an eye on how much they drink, at least right then and see if anyone is having any issues (I have one with bad teeth.)  The extra at the end of the night goes into their actual water bowl.

Also, as a treat - usually after a visit to the vet - I'll have tuna for dinner and they'll get the tuna water.  They go crazy for it.  It's not good to give too often (high fat maybe? metals? I can't remember) so says my vet, so I usually stick to once/month.

I've heard milk isn't actually good for cats - but I haven't done any research.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Rural on August 05, 2015, 01:34:11 PM
My cats will only drink from human cups (and toilets).
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on August 05, 2015, 01:38:23 PM
what is the consensus on giving cats milk/cream?

Taken mostly from: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-dairy-get-the-facts as well as personal experience.

The amount you're giving her seems okay. I wouldn't go over a tablespoon or two a day, and if she starts having any problems that you associate with lactose intolerance in humans, I'd stop. Cats don't need it, and too much isn't good for them, but if you're viewing it as a treat it's fine. I'd look into other soft foods for her to eat to make sure she's getting enough nutrition. Maybe tuna water (or a bit of real tuna!) like katstache mentioned. I know towards the end of one of our cat's lives, my mom ended up boiling chicken for him and shredding it for him, and taking scraps of roast beef and turkey from delis (second half usually free).

Does anyone know or have experience with cats and pureed pumpkin? I've done some basic reading and it might help with my chubby one's diet, but I'd love to hear someone's first hand experience if possible!
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 05, 2015, 02:05:22 PM
what is the consensus on giving cats milk/cream?
I have an elderly cat, is 15 years old, always been on the small/thin side. Because of a long standing viral issue, gets mouth/throat sores, and so the majority of her food is wet because it feels better to her. We also found out she is down to her last 2 teeth : (.  she is generally not interested in our food, except for milk, and as a treat give her a little every other day or so. I don't want to cause her problems, but she is on the underweight side and really enjoys it, I want to make sure it is OK. I don't give her a lot, 1 or 2 TB each time we do this. 

ETA Our cat also doesn't drink standing water. It is either dripping water or nothing. A long standing drip in our tub was fixed, and realized she really wasn't drinking. So we let it drip. She will also jump in the shower after someone is done taking a shower, to drink the water dripping from the faucet.

Don't. Adult cats are almost always lactose intolerant. Tiny amounts, infrequently as a treat if they really like it.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 05, 2015, 02:12:04 PM
Does anyone know or have experience with cats and pureed pumpkin? I've done some basic reading and it might help with my chubby one's diet, but I'd love to hear someone's first hand experience if possible!

I've tried pumpkin with my fatso, Sibley (now you know where the username came from). Didn't like it alone, would eat happily if mixed with wet food to hide the flavor. It's great because of the fiber, helps them feel full.

However, what really worked short term with Sibley was restricting food to what she actually needed, and ignoring her pitious "I'm starving" cries until her stomach shrank a bit. She'd stretched it out. What worked long term was addressing the emotional side of her overeating (through multiple strategies).
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on August 05, 2015, 02:21:10 PM

You do realize that commercial pet foods kill thousands of animals every year from salmonella and ecoli poisoning. 

I feed raw and I'm willing to put the time and effort to ensure my dog gets the proper nutrition.  It's really not that much work.  Proper nutrition can easily be monitored by yearly bloodwork. 

Plus, he looks so damn happy while he is crunching on a duck carcass.

Yes, I know that there have been outbreaks of salmonella and ecoli in commercial pet foods. The risks of those infections in raw vs. conventional diets is specifically addressed in the article I linked to. Did you read it?

If you do, you will notice that the presence of infectious pathogens is significantly smaller in commercial pet foods when compared to raw foods. Canned food is particularly safe compared to raw diets. This makes sense because, as the CDC explains, cooking meat is one of the most effective tools at eliminating salmonella and ecoli.

Really, the review article covers all of the arguments- better nutrition, infectious disease, etc. If you haven't read it, please do. It is quite informative.

For those considering a raw-food diet, remember that a yearly nutritional panel is not enough to protect against infectious disease risks. You should have frequent testing for infectious pathogens, and should be extremely careful about having your animals around others, particularly the elderly or young, who can die or have permanent health issues upon infection.

I'm not trying to knock on people that feed their animals raw, although I do think they should warn guests of the risks when they enter your home or touch your animals. What does bother me, however, is when people attack those of us who have decided that canned food is better than raw. Particularly when they make scientific claims about raw food that just are not backed up by the science.

Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on August 05, 2015, 02:22:35 PM
what is the consensus on giving cats milk/cream?
I have an elderly cat, is 15 years old, always been on the small/thin side. Because of a long standing viral issue, gets mouth/throat sores, and so the majority of her food is wet because it feels better to her. We also found out she is down to her last 2 teeth : (.  she is generally not interested in our food, except for milk, and as a treat give her a little every other day or so. I don't want to cause her problems, but she is on the underweight side and really enjoys it, I want to make sure it is OK. I don't give her a lot, 1 or 2 TB each time we do this. 

ETA Our cat also doesn't drink standing water. It is either dripping water or nothing. A long standing drip in our tub was fixed, and realized she really wasn't drinking. So we let it drip. She will also jump in the shower after someone is done taking a shower, to drink the water dripping from the faucet.

Don't. Adult cats are almost always lactose intolerant. Tiny amounts, infrequently as a treat if they really like it.

One thing I have done is to buy Lactaid milk, to address the lactose issue. I also, though, only give it to my cats every once in a while as a treat.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Tomacco on August 05, 2015, 03:37:13 PM
Yes, I know that there have been outbreaks of salmonella and ecoli in commercial pet foods. The risks of those infections in raw vs. conventional diets is specifically addressed in the article I linked to. Did you read it?

If you do, you will notice that the presence of infectious pathogens is significantly smaller in commercial pet foods when compared to raw foods. Canned food is particularly safe compared to raw diets. This makes sense because, as the CDC explains, cooking meat is one of the most effective tools at eliminating salmonella and ecoli.

Really, the review article covers all of the arguments- better nutrition, infectious disease, etc. If you haven't read it, please do. It is quite informative.

For those considering a raw-food diet, remember that a yearly nutritional panel is not enough to protect against infectious disease risks. You should have frequent testing for infectious pathogens, and should be extremely careful about having your animals around others, particularly the elderly or young, who can die or have permanent health issues upon infection.

I'm not trying to knock on people that feed their animals raw, although I do think they should warn guests of the risks when they enter your home or touch your animals. What does bother me, however, is when people attack those of us who have decided that canned food is better than raw. Particularly when they make scientific claims about raw food that just are not backed up by the science.

Cats have salmonella naturally in their gi tract.. So putting it in their food doesn't make any difference. If anything some salmonella strengthens their gi tract. Thousands of years of eating raw food makes their lil tummies pretty tough 😃
What they don't like is rendered, processed, chemically ridden, overprocessed, inorganic, grain-based food, which is what has come about in the last 100 years
They can survive on a commercial diet, but not thrive.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 05, 2015, 05:21:21 PM
There are millions of cats being fed commercial pet food and I haven't heard of any huge epidemics of failure to thrive. Clearly, you're a proponent of raw food diets. That's fine, but it's not for me.

My cats have plenty of opportunity to chow down on mice, birds, chipmunks, voles, bugs, and probably many other things I don't want to know about. They don't, so clearly they're feeling satisfied by the food I give them.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Tomacco on August 05, 2015, 05:57:45 PM
Just because your cat isn't sick right now, doesnt mean he is thriving. They just survive on commercial. Just like the millions of other pets eating an improper diet.
Cats love junk food- mine always try to lick the butter, it stays in the fridge now 😁. They are not too smart, I wouldn't trust their judgement on proper diet 😄
You could eat mcdonalds every day, and not be sick. But you wouldn't thrive as a human.
I was a vet for 13+ years before I retired, and I saw countless pets get sick that didn't have to. On the flip side I saw lots of people that really cared to feed their pets properly, and it showed in their behavior, looks, and lifespan.
The good news is it's never to late to start feeding your pet properly.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Valencia de Valera on August 05, 2015, 07:20:50 PM
I have one large-ish (and somewhat overweight despite being on a restricted diet) cat. I don't have his exact food cost breakdown but between food and litter we spend about $12 per month, it's probably about half and half. He eats Science Diet food from the vet. I just looked on the bag and the main ingredient is chicken, although it does have wheat in it too along with a bunch of other ingredients (pork lard, chicken liver... yum).

On the topic of water intake, a vet told me that along with cat fountains and keeping water away from their food, putting out water dishes throughout the house encourages them to drink more. It also helps raise the humidity in your house slightly, which is good for their skin (and yours, but as the vet told me, you can put on lotion and they can't).

I hate to wade into this home-made/raw food argument but I would like to add, according to Consumer Reports testing something like 60% of pork and 97% of chicken sold commercially in the US is contaminated with things like salmonella, MRSA, listeria, E. coli, etc. I'm sure cats in the wild often eat contaminated food as well, but according to the ASPCA feral cats tend to have about a two-year lifespan. Just because that's how things are in the "wild" doesn't automatically mean it can't be harmful to their health. I'm not trying to say that one way is better or worse, just that there are health risks involved either way.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: partgypsy on August 05, 2015, 08:42:13 PM
I personally wouldn't feel comfortable feeding my cat raw meat I got from the supermarket. Factory farming has really increased both drug resistance and also contamination, commercial meat is more likely to be contaminated than what cats in their ancestry would have been exposed to from killing and eating freshly killed animals. I'm sure they have a much higher tolerance than we do, but it can still sicken and kill them.

There are definitely some distasteful things about commercial cat (and dog) food, which I won't get into (can look it up if you want to). Despite that, I know of numerous cats, who lived to 18-20 years of age on commercial cat food. Their vets seemed to think they were doing just fine too. I don't think there are any commercial catfood that are grain-based, which means the majority of calories, etc comes from grain.

I know my lil kitty probably won't live that long. She was a rescue and addition to her mouth issues had pretty much everything you can treat for when we got her, including (corrected - tapeworm), so I don't think she will reach maximum life span. But she has a good quality of life for what she has. 
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Cromacster on August 06, 2015, 07:12:45 AM

You do realize that commercial pet foods kill thousands of animals every year from salmonella and ecoli poisoning. 

I feed raw and I'm willing to put the time and effort to ensure my dog gets the proper nutrition.  It's really not that much work.  Proper nutrition can easily be monitored by yearly bloodwork. 

Plus, he looks so damn happy while he is crunching on a duck carcass.

Yes, I know that there have been outbreaks of salmonella and ecoli in commercial pet foods. The risks of those infections in raw vs. conventional diets is specifically addressed in the article I linked to. Did you read it?

If you do, you will notice that the presence of infectious pathogens is significantly smaller in commercial pet foods when compared to raw foods. Canned food is particularly safe compared to raw diets. This makes sense because, as the CDC explains, cooking meat is one of the most effective tools at eliminating salmonella and ecoli.

Really, the review article covers all of the arguments- better nutrition, infectious disease, etc. If you haven't read it, please do. It is quite informative.

For those considering a raw-food diet, remember that a yearly nutritional panel is not enough to protect against infectious disease risks. You should have frequent testing for infectious pathogens, and should be extremely careful about having your animals around others, particularly the elderly or young, who can die or have permanent health issues upon infection.

I'm not trying to knock on people that feed their animals raw, although I do think they should warn guests of the risks when they enter your home or touch your animals. What does bother me, however, is when people attack those of us who have decided that canned food is better than raw. Particularly when they make scientific claims about raw food that just are not backed up by the science.

I'll start this with a caveat that I have not read the cited sources.  I'm also speaking from my experience with dogs as I don't have a cat.

Nutrition:  This section discussed the poor nutrition as a results from a raw diet.  What I gather from this is the diets given to the animals were completely inadequate.  The cats of focus recieved pig brain and oily fish, one received mainly pork liver, the puppies had 80% rice and 20% meat, the other stated had meat and bone.  A balanced diet will have a good mix of meat, bone, and organs.  If you are feeding an inadequate diet of course there are going to be nutritional deficiencies. 

Diseases:  Yes there is salmonella and ecoli on raw meat.  Part of this is the ways it's processed.  If you butcher your own animals you might be able to limit some of this, but these pathogens do live inside of animals.  The main reason that dogs don't have issues is that their digestive tract is designed to process meat, bone, and animal flesh.  It's a very short digestive tract that is highly acidic (much more so than humans).  It's not designed to process grains and starches.  Even grain free food is full of fibrous vegetable matter that dogs are not equipped to digest well.

Danger to others:  Listed right in your article

Quote
However, there have been no studies conclusively documenting the risk to either pets or owners.

This is just scare tactics.  A dog that eats raw meat isn't going to be anymore dangerous to others.  Clean the surfaces and areas you use to prepare and serve your food.  Wash your hands.  Don't play with the dogs poop.

Then the article nicely ends with:

Quote
What is lacking, however, is level 1 evidence from randomized controlled trials or strong level 2 evidence from large cohort studies to evaluate risks or benefits of raw meat diets in pets.

If I were to write the abstract of this article it would be:

Quote
Could a raw diet be bad for an animal if done improperly?  Yes.

Could the improper handling of raw meat or animals feces be bad for a human? Yes.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 06, 2015, 07:19:00 AM
People, you do realize that this is a first world problem? And really not even then, given the number of stray and feral cats in the US alone. I'm more concerned with making sure animals get an adequate amount of food so they don't STARVE. The nature of that food is really the lesser concern.

And on that note - make sure you get your animals spayed or neutered and choose to adopt rescues.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Samsam on August 06, 2015, 07:38:02 AM
And on that note - make sure you get your animals spayed or neutered and choose to adopt rescues.
+1

I think what I've learned from living with tons of cats as a child, is that the the evil ones live the longest....lol
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 06, 2015, 11:37:36 AM
And on that note - make sure you get your animals spayed or neutered and choose to adopt rescues.
+1

I think what I've learned from living with tons of cats as a child, is that the the evil ones live the longest....lol

I know! My mom had a cat when I was really little, I think I knew by about 1 year old to leave that cat alone. Ghia (the cat) was old, sick, and grumpy.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Tomacco on August 06, 2015, 02:11:45 PM

There are definitely some distasteful things about commercial cat (and dog) food, which I won't get into (can look it up if you want to). Despite that, I know of numerous cats, who lived to 18-20 years of age on commercial cat food. Their vets seemed to think they were doing just fine too. I don't think there are any commercial catfood that are grain-based, which means the majority of calories, etc comes from grain.

You don't think they make grain based cat food? Cheap food is mostly grain based.Check out the ingredients in meow mix. The first 2 ingredients are corn. And cats don't eat corn. You can feed your cat this for awhile, your vet could easily think he is doing fine. But your cat won't live up to their full potential. They will get kidney stones from dehydration, which is very painful for cats, and kills them very quickly without surgery.
you can pay for good food now, or vet bills later
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MinimalistMoustache on August 08, 2015, 12:08:17 AM

[/quote]Don't feel too bad. My cats refuse to eat anything that remotely resembles real food. Including wet food that resembles real food. Except cheese. They will eat cheese right from my mouth, if I was willing to engage in that behavior.
[/quote]

Ha ha ha ha .... please don't tell my cat about this.
He loves cheddar and already quite spoiled :-)
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MinimalistMoustache on August 08, 2015, 12:16:48 AM
Our 3 cats drink quite a bit of water. The secret for our cats was using a big glass bowl (2 qt) and keeping it very clean. We have other smaller drinking bowls, but they use the big one exclusively. They like to be able to put their heads into the bowl to drink.

This sounds like a good idea and worth trying. I keep their food and water bowls very, very clean but have noticed they sometimes rarely touch the water -- which is currently in two small bowls placed aside their food bowls of the same size.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MinimalistMoustache on August 08, 2015, 12:24:02 AM
what is the consensus on giving cats milk/cream?

Taken mostly from: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-dairy-get-the-facts as well as personal experience.

Does anyone know or have experience with cats and pureed pumpkin? I've done some basic reading and it might help with my chubby one's diet, but I'd love to hear someone's first hand experience if possible!

Lis,

My older cat likes pumpkin if it's mixed with his grain-free wet food. He also likes sweet potatoes -- straight up from my plate :-)

This guy is also a big cheddar cheese aficionado; the vet said giving him a little bit now and then is A-okay. I brought him home as a feral kitten. He's now a healthy "old man" and just celebrated his 14th birthday.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MinimalistMoustache on August 08, 2015, 12:29:28 AM
.... And on that note - make sure you get your animals spayed or neutered and choose to adopt rescues.

Yes, yes, yes.
Excellent point Sibley!
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Lis on August 10, 2015, 09:41:37 AM
Haha my skinny one LOVES cheese. My cats usually don't beg, but if I make anything with cheese he's sitting right next to me on the couch and pawing at me. He also loves cheesecake. When he was a kitten, my dad had a plate with cheesecake and left it unattended on the dining room table. Now as kittens, we taught them not to go on the table and didn't give them much human food. My dad returns to the table to find the little fluffball chowing down, happy as could be. Anytime he had cheesecake after that, kitty was like a bird, constantly on his shoulder, swatting at the fork. He was successful a few times too - my dad is not much of a disciplinarian when it comes to pets.

Bacon. Bacon is another with both of them. And shrimp with the chubby one. Oh man, the stories...

For those of you who buy your canned food - where do you buy it, and what do you get? I thought I was getting a good deal from ~$0.47 a can, but I have no idea how some of you are getting by on less than $10 a month...
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Sibley on August 10, 2015, 10:30:37 AM
Honestly, I went the easy route. Ordered 4 cases of Fancy feast from Petco, set up the repeat delivery. So I'll get a $30 gift card for setting that up. I did check a couple other sites, and no one else had a better price yesterday.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: totoro on August 10, 2015, 10:32:58 AM
Our dog has been fed home-made food for seven years and has never had any medical issues.  We started making her (cooked not raw) food plus a marrow bone a day after their was a pet food recall and a bunch of dogs died in Canada due to contamination from melamine.

I'm a fan of making your own pet food but I can see that some people wouldn't enjoy it - especially raw food recipes.  I'm not really interested in grinding my own meat and bone or cleaning the grinder after.

We are planning on getting cats so I've looked into recipes.  For those who don't want to feed raw due to fears about pathogens and grossness there are cooked recipes available for cats too that have supplements like taurine and Vitamin A added at the end.  Given the fact that canned and dried commercial cat foods are cooked and cats survive on this I think this is a good compromise for us.

In my unscientific study of my own experiences with a cooked recipe it is easy, cheap to make in batches, freezes well, my dog loves it and at nine she appears more energetic than her littermates fed commercial food. 
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on August 10, 2015, 01:50:56 PM
Yes, I know that there have been outbreaks of salmonella and ecoli in commercial pet foods. The risks of those infections in raw vs. conventional diets is specifically addressed in the article I linked to. Did you read it?

If you do, you will notice that the presence of infectious pathogens is significantly smaller in commercial pet foods when compared to raw foods. Canned food is particularly safe compared to raw diets. This makes sense because, as the CDC explains, cooking meat is one of the most effective tools at eliminating salmonella and ecoli.

Really, the review article covers all of the arguments- better nutrition, infectious disease, etc. If you haven't read it, please do. It is quite informative.

For those considering a raw-food diet, remember that a yearly nutritional panel is not enough to protect against infectious disease risks. You should have frequent testing for infectious pathogens, and should be extremely careful about having your animals around others, particularly the elderly or young, who can die or have permanent health issues upon infection.

I'm not trying to knock on people that feed their animals raw, although I do think they should warn guests of the risks when they enter your home or touch your animals. What does bother me, however, is when people attack those of us who have decided that canned food is better than raw. Particularly when they make scientific claims about raw food that just are not backed up by the science.

Cats have salmonella naturally in their gi tract.. So putting it in their food doesn't make any difference. If anything some salmonella strengthens their gi tract. Thousands of years of eating raw food makes their lil tummies pretty tough 😃
What they don't like is rendered, processed, chemically ridden, overprocessed, inorganic, grain-based food, which is what has come about in the last 100 years
They can survive on a commercial diet, but not thrive.

Where is the evidence for your statement that cats can't thrive on commercial? People always say that, but I haven't found any raw food proponent whose beliefs were not entirely based on anecdote. And why would someone like me trust someone else's anecdote when my cats have only thrived on commercial diets, and became very ill when I tried out raw diets?

Also, btw, cats most definitely are affected by salmonella.  Just ask any vet.  That is why there are recalls on cat food based on salmonella deaths. The health consequences of salmonella infection in cats is also well documented in the scientific literature.

It is important to remember that just because something may be present somewhere in the GI tract, it does NOT mean it is ok to eat. For example, ecoli is present in virtually any animal's feces, including your own. However, this does not mean that it is safe for you to eat feces. Certain parts of your GI tracts are built to handle such bacteria, and others (i.e., your stomach) are not so well-equipped.

Just like humans, most infected with salmonella that aren't elderly or young will not die, and some may not even outwardly show symptoms. However, that does not mean they are not shedding virus into their environments, or themselves affected internally.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Tomacco on August 10, 2015, 02:41:25 PM
I don't need to ask a vet, because I am a vet (retired) I've treated well over 20,000 pets.
Commercial food is bad because it fills your pet up with things they cannot process. Imagine adding rocks to your food as a filler. That's just what commercial does with carbs. Cats don't process carbs just like you don't process rocks. Carbs turn to fat, and dehydrate your cat, which gives them endless problems
If you can find a commercial food with less than ten percent carbs, then as far as carbs- that's okay. They make some, but you pay through the nose for it.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on August 10, 2015, 03:00:46 PM
I don't need to ask a vet, because I am a vet (retired) I've treated well over 20,000 pets.
Commercial food is bad because it fills your pet up with things they cannot process. Imagine adding rocks to your food as a filler. That's just what commercial does with carbs. Cats don't process carbs just like you don't process rocks. Carbs turn to fat, and dehydrate your cat, which gives them endless problems
If you can find a commercial food with less than ten percent carbs, then as far as carbs- that's okay. They make some, but you pay through the nose for it.

I am quite skeptical that you were a vet, and somehow did not know that salmonella infection can be harmful or even fatal to cats. If true, that is the most shocking thing I have read in a long time. You should know that your own industry disagrees with you, and has done countless studies, published tons of articles, and even written entire books on salmonella infection in domestic animals, all of which discuss how salmonella infection can harm or kill cats.

And, if you are a vet, I would love to see the evidence for your statement that "They can survive on a commercial diet but not thrive."

Surely you wouldn't make such a sweeping statement without peer-reviewed scientific evidence, correct?
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: totoro on August 10, 2015, 03:27:16 PM
Caveat: I am not a vet. 

Here is a statement from one though:

"these potentially harmful bacteria that naturally exist in your petís GI tract are there, whether you feed raw foods or not. Your pet is already contaminated with salmonella. Dogs and felines are designed to be able to handle these bacterial loads that are quite foreign to human GI tracts.

Pets have evolved to be able to handle heavy bacterial loads in food. They are well-equipped via nature to be able to handle heavy doses of abnormal bacteria because they catch and kill live food. Dogsí and felinesí stomachs are highly acidic, with a PH of 1. We know that at that PH level, thereís nothing that can survive healthy stomach acid. That stomach acid is there in such high quantities to be able to effectively remove many of these potentially contaminated meat sources.

In addition, your dogs and felines are wired with a tremendous amount of bile. Bile is also anti-parasitic and anti-pathogenic. Bile is a secondary defense. Dogs and felines have strong pancreatic enzymes that help digest and break down food. Their bodies are given built-in, God-given resources to be able to effectively cope with heavier bacterial loads."

http://felineinstincts.com/dontworryaboutsalmonellawhenfeedingrawtoyourcats/

And another vet stating exactly the opposite:

"Ample evidence exists for the risk of Salmonella contamination in raw food diets; thus, it is advised that pet owners avoid feeding raw food diets to pets."

http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2011/06/salmonella-and-other-risks-of-raw-pet-diets/

Helpful hey?

Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: snuggler on August 10, 2015, 03:28:27 PM

I'll start this with a caveat that I have not read the cited sources.  I'm also speaking from my experience with dogs as I don't have a cat.

Nutrition:  This section discussed the poor nutrition as a results from a raw diet.  What I gather from this is the diets given to the animals were completely inadequate.  The cats of focus recieved pig brain and oily fish, one received mainly pork liver, the puppies had 80% rice and 20% meat, the other stated had meat and bone.  A balanced diet will have a good mix of meat, bone, and organs.  If you are feeding an inadequate diet of course there are going to be nutritional deficiencies. 

Diseases:  Yes there is salmonella and ecoli on raw meat.  Part of this is the ways it's processed.  If you butcher your own animals you might be able to limit some of this, but these pathogens do live inside of animals.  The main reason that dogs don't have issues is that their digestive tract is designed to process meat, bone, and animal flesh.  It's a very short digestive tract that is highly acidic (much more so than humans).  It's not designed to process grains and starches.  Even grain free food is full of fibrous vegetable matter that dogs are not equipped to digest well.

Danger to others:  Listed right in your article

Quote
However, there have been no studies conclusively documenting the risk to either pets or owners.

This is just scare tactics.  A dog that eats raw meat isn't going to be anymore dangerous to others.  Clean the surfaces and areas you use to prepare and serve your food.  Wash your hands.  Don't play with the dogs poop.

Then the article nicely ends with:

Quote
What is lacking, however, is level 1 evidence from randomized controlled trials or strong level 2 evidence from large cohort studies to evaluate risks or benefits of raw meat diets in pets.

If I were to write the abstract of this article it would be:

Quote
Could a raw diet be bad for an animal if done improperly?  Yes.

Could the improper handling of raw meat or animals feces be bad for a human? Yes.

I think you missed a few of the important points:

"There are no published level 1, 2, or 3 studies of nutritional risk or benefit of raw meat feeding to dogs or cats."

For those who don't read these types of articles regularly, this means that there is not any good peer-reviewed evidence showing that raw food is any better for your dogs or cats than cooked food. If anyone tells you otherwise, their belief is probably based on pure anecdote.

"There are several studies that document the presence of infectious agents in raw foods and the potential for contaminating or shedding these agents in the petís environment."

Self-explanatory.

"[T]he study demonstrated that Salmonella can cause disease in pets and that humans in contact are at risk."

"Salmonella present in a petís food can affect humans in the household, with young children being at the greatest risk for exposure."

Self-explanatory.

"As there appears to be strong evidence that raw food can contain Salmonella, it is vitally important, if feeding a raw meat diet to a pet, that hygiene of the food preparation area and the feeding bowls be diligently maintained. This may, however, be difficult to achieve. A recent study found that standard methods of cleaning and disinfecting food bowls were minimally effective at eliminating Salmonella (35). This included soaking with bleach and cleaning in a dishwasher."

This means that not even bleach was able to effectively reduce the Salmonella risk from preparing raw food at home.

"Salmonella infections have been reported in cats (39Ė40). In one of the reports, the infection was associated with raw diet and the infection was fatal."

To help Tomacco start to read the evidence of how salmonella can harm and kill cats.

And the conclusion:

"Clearly, there is some compelling evidence suggesting that raw food diets may be a theoretical risk nutritionally. In addition, raw food poses a substantial risk of infectious disease to the pet, the petís environment, and the humans in the household. What is lacking, however, is level 1 evidence from randomized controlled trials or strong level 2 evidence from large cohort studies to evaluate risks or benefits of raw meat diets in pets. There is, though, sufficient evidence available that veterinarians should feel obligated to discuss the human health implications of a clientís decision to use a raw meat-based food for their pet."

Again, if anyone has any evidence that raw is better, I'm completely open to reading it. But I have been unable to find any evidence of that myself, and no raw-food proponent has ever been able to point me to anything peer-reviewed or trustworthy.
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: Tomacco on August 10, 2015, 04:08:51 PM
While salmonellosis can be fatal for cats, it's usually secondary. It's not something healthy cats have problems with. you don't have to believe me- just google it

http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/spooked-by-salmonella-raw-food

That's a good website for people that don't know much about cats.. Read up! 😁
Title: Re: Pet Food - Cost of Feeding 2 Cats
Post by: MrsPete on August 11, 2015, 11:44:30 AM
This is a bit off-topic because it's about my dog.  I don't have a cat any longer.  Still, I think the point is relevant: 

My dog has a tricky stomach.  It's typical for his breed.  When I buy him cheap food, he throws it up -- aside from the health issues, no one wants to clean up dog vomit.  When I buy him the Blue Wilderness Simple Ingredients dog food, he's FINE.  He came from the shelter about a year ago, and it's amazing to see just how much he's changed since he came to us.  He's the picture of health, super active, and such a loving dog. 

As for cost, each bag is expensive -- $35 if it's full price, but I can usually get an online coupon -- but I noted on the calendar when I opened a bag, and it's lasting him TWO FULL MONTHS.  My inclination was that he was going through it faster, but now that I realize I'm only buying six bags per year, I'm fine with paying for the better stuff.