Quantcast

What Do You Feed Your Feline?

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

ThatFatGirl

Why am I still here?
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
3,514
Location
, undecided
Dry kibble or canned? Both?

I thought a high quality mostly protein diet was the way to go, so I've been giving my girl Nutra brand Natural Choice dry food in the morning and the same brand canned in the evening. The loose poo to diarrhea-esque poo has been an ongoing issue since the first day of switching her food which as I understand it is fairly normal for awhile when kitty's diet changes, but I'm starting to feel there may be no end to this. As recommended on a kitty forum, I've given my kitty a teaspoon or so of natural pumpkin with her canned meal to help firm things up, but this doesn't always make much of a difference. The folks on that forum are mostly canned food or raw food devotees. They encourage these diets. They agree my cat's poo situation doesn't sound normal.

I emailed my vet with a long message saying all of the above and the reply was to wait until all of her food changes are complete and see if the loose poo is still an issue before bringing her in. She's still getting a bit of her old brand of dry food today, but she is essentially switched. The vet said to keep an eye on her behavior and make sure there's no blood or anything else in her poo (all of that is fine), but lastly she asked why I wanted to switch her food to canned? :doh: After the nastiness I cleaned from the box and then had to clean from my long haired kitty's rear end this morning, I'm starting to wonder myself.

If the vet - though probably not the vet directly - doesn't know of the benefits of canned food, are there really any? My last cat had to be put down at 14, which isn't exactly a late age for cats. She had kidney disease though and was peeing regularly a very sick kitty's watery pee on our rental apartment carpeting. She only ever had dry food and apparently, like most cats, never drank enough water.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions or feel strongly one way or another about this?

Anyone read through all of this and really only come to Dims for the naked fat chicks? Didn't think you'd be reading about cat poo here, did you? :)
 

Dr. Feelgood

intellectual nerd
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
4,677
Location
,
Our two cats are basically dry food guys, but my wife -- on vet's advice -- gives them Fancy Feast canned glop, too. They'll eat it -- some of it, anyway -- but what they really get excited about is kibble ... and the cheaper the brand, the better they like it. I suspect this is kitty junk food, but they thrive on it. No problems with constipation, diarrhea, or anything else, as far as I can see... or smell.
 

Jes

is oddly aroused
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
12,517
Location
,
Tending to my sick (but still going strong) cat's GI tract has become my specialty. I would start trying to write down everything you notice and think of. I've heard of the use of pumpkin more for constipation than the other, so keep that in mind.

I would start first with some tests looking for parasites/bacteria. Very often, in a cat with poopy probs, that's the culprit. It'll be easy to rule out those things at the Vet.

Consider that your cat might be allergic to a protein. If a cat is allergic to a protein, beef seems to be a repeat offender. Personally, and I don't nkow what's in the food you mentioned, I don't feed mine anything with any kind of grain at all (including rice)--it's just a bad situation waiting to happen.

If you want to pursue this as a possible allergy, consider narrowing down her protein choices one by one and seeing if that has any effect. One of the best ways is to try a novel protein--if she's never eaten rabbit or lamb or venison, try giving her one, and only one, of those and seeing how that works out.

There's also an Rx food that contains a hydrolized protein (one so processed and broken down that it doesn't require the cat's system to do much work to digest it, which gives kitty a break) that you can try, with a Vet rx.

Finally, I know that raw foodists have a lot to say, and sometimes it's worth a try and on target. But if you have a cat that has possible (or, if you find out definite) bacterial issues, you don't want to be feeding her raw food.

the end. vagina.
 

cinnamitch

nope
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
3,002
Location
,
Blue Buffalo dry food and Friskies wet food in the pouches. They seem to like this and Blue Buffalo is supposed to be pretty good for them
 

Lamia

Like OMG!!
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
1,624
Location
, female
Whiskas dry food it's dry with a soft center. They are very picky and this is the first dry food they seem to enjoy,...other than Deli Cat which they love, but it's too hard for them now. The dry food is available to them around the clock. As soon as it's empty I fill their bowl back up. They are 18 and 19 years old. I also divide up one whiska's pouch a day for them and add water to it. They drink up the gravy which also helps hydrate them. Their poo is normal. I also give them kitty treats once in a while. They are both normal weight. Actually maybe a little under weight, but that happens with older cats. I also feed them pinches of my food while I am eating....a little piece of chicken here and some cream cheese there.

When they were younger they were outdoor/indoor cats and ate a diet of birds, mice, bugs, the blood of moles along with Deli Cat which is what i fed them primarly and canned food once in a while.
 

Emma

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
3,863
Location
,
My cats have dry complete food and we free feed them. They also get a wee bit of fish every day as my husband eats it for lunch. They also get cooked meat whenever I cook it too. Not too many human treats though. My cats are healthy as hell, well built with good coats. very full of life.
 

JoyJoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
3,327
Location
,
My cat had bad skin problems last year, as well as bad hairballs, so I switched him to Avoderm Hairball Care formula dry food. It's helped considerably with both issues. He also gets Avoderm canned food once a day. He's a pretty picky eater, and won't eat treats of any kind for some reason. I have three bags of old treats in my pantry that the goof won't touch.
 

Dmitra

Drawing down the moonpie
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
1,279
Location
,
My two cats currently eat only dry kibble (meow mix or purina regular) and they drink fairly often. The older one was an outdoor cat before I rescued her so in the past she ate mice, voles, birds, et cetera, and liked a bit of canned food once she was with me. She doesn't like it anymore, though, and her kitten has never eaten it when it was offered. They both will sometimes like little handouts of people food meats (younger cat LOVES ham but I quit eating pigs so she's SOL) and drink the rare saucer of milk. They are lactose intolerant, as most adult mammals seem to be, so maybe what you're feeding yours now may have milk products (whey or such) that is prompting part of the diarrhea problem.

From what I remember, the thinking with a mix of dry and wet is so that there is less of a chance of crystallization of the urine, thus leaving them unable to pee. This is more a problem for male cats, I believe, and sometimes is only alleviated with the removal of the penis (sorry, boys lol).

Hope she gets to feeling better asap!
 

ThatFatGirl

Why am I still here?
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
3,514
Location
, undecided
Thank you, everyone for the replies! I know it's a kind of silly thing to inquire about here, but I felt advice from "the real people" vs. the cat people from the other place would offer some more diverse, realistic replies.

Our two cats are basically dry food guys, but my wife -- on vet's advice -- gives them Fancy Feast canned glop, too. They'll eat it -- some of it, anyway -- but what they really get excited about is kibble ... and the cheaper the brand, the better they like it. I suspect this is kitty junk food, but they thrive on it. No problems with constipation, diarrhea, or anything else, as far as I can see... or smell.
That is very good. I'm glad to hear there are plenty of cats who have both wet and dry food and can handle it w/no problems. Also, Fancy Feast was my cat's favorite wet food! She turned her nose up at several of the more expensive brands, but always devoured the FF. Her poop was really bad w/this brand unfortunately.


Tending to my sick (but still going strong) cat's GI tract has become my specialty. I would start trying to write down everything you notice and think of. I've heard of the use of pumpkin more for constipation than the other, so keep that in mind.

I would start first with some tests looking for parasites/bacteria. Very often, in a cat with poopy probs, that's the culprit. It'll be easy to rule out those things at the Vet.

Consider that your cat might be allergic to a protein. If a cat is allergic to a protein, beef seems to be a repeat offender. Personally, and I don't nkow what's in the food you mentioned, I don't feed mine anything with any kind of grain at all (including rice)--it's just a bad situation waiting to happen.

If you want to pursue this as a possible allergy, consider narrowing down her protein choices one by one and seeing if that has any effect. One of the best ways is to try a novel protein--if she's never eaten rabbit or lamb or venison, try giving her one, and only one, of those and seeing how that works out.

There's also an Rx food that contains a hydrolized protein (one so processed and broken down that it doesn't require the cat's system to do much work to digest it, which gives kitty a break) that you can try, with a Vet rx.

Finally, I know that raw foodists have a lot to say, and sometimes it's worth a try and on target. But if you have a cat that has possible (or, if you find out definite) bacterial issues, you don't want to be feeding her raw food.

the end. vagina.
You brought up a lot of good points, Jes. I'm glad to hear Pilar is still going strong. She's in very good, loving hands with you. I read pumpkin can be helpful in both diarrhea and constipation too. I'll try skipping it for a few days and see how that goes. Things really can't be that much worse. A vet visit early next week will be the next step for us, I think. If she's healthy, then I'll start trying to figure out what it is that isn't agreeing with her. That process could be complicated since her current food (and most others) has a mix of meats.


Blue Buffalo dry food and Friskies wet food in the pouches. They seem to like this and Blue Buffalo is supposed to be pretty good for them
Blue Buffalo is one the kitty forum people recommend too. Also good to read of another kitty eating both wet and dry with seemingly no issues. My cat loves the Friskies pouches too, but it was not very agreeable to her.


Whiskas dry food it's dry with a soft center. They are very picky and this is the first dry food they seem to enjoy,...other than Deli Cat which they love, but it's too hard for them now. The dry food is available to them around the clock. As soon as it's empty I fill their bowl back up. They are 18 and 19 years old. I also divide up one whiska's pouch a day for them and add water to it. They drink up the gravy which also helps hydrate them. Their poo is normal. I also give them kitty treats once in a while. They are both normal weight. Actually maybe a little under weight, but that happens with older cats. I also feed them pinches of my food while I am eating....a little piece of chicken here and some cream cheese there.

When they were younger they were outdoor/indoor cats and ate a diet of birds, mice, bugs, the blood of moles along with Deli Cat which is what i fed them primarly and canned food once in a while.

18 & 19 is awesome. I hope my cat is able to live so long. Glad to hear about another mixed diet that works.


My cats have dry complete food and we free feed them. They also get a wee bit of fish every day as my husband eats it for lunch. They also get cooked meat whenever I cook it too. Not too many human treats though. My cats are healthy as hell, well built with good coats. very full of life.
Good to know... bet they love the fish each day. I'm a little jealous of that.


My cat had bad skin problems last year, as well as bad hairballs, so I switched him to Avoderm Hairball Care formula dry food. It's helped considerably with both issues. He also gets Avoderm canned food once a day. He's a pretty picky eater, and won't eat treats of any kind for some reason. I have three bags of old treats in my pantry that the goof won't touch.
Good to hear about yet another successful mixer and wonderful you were able to improve the skin/hairball problems. Avoderm's another brand I've heard recommended.

My two cats currently eat only dry kibble (meow mix or purina regular) and they drink fairly often. The older one was an outdoor cat before I rescued her so in the past she ate mice, voles, birds, et cetera, and liked a bit of canned food once she was with me. She doesn't like it anymore, though, and her kitten has never eaten it when it was offered. They both will sometimes like little handouts of people food meats (younger cat LOVES ham but I quit eating pigs so she's SOL) and drink the rare saucer of milk. They are lactose intolerant, as most adult mammals seem to be, so maybe what you're feeding yours now may have milk products (whey or such) that is prompting part of the diarrhea problem.

From what I remember, the thinking with a mix of dry and wet is so that there is less of a chance of crystallization of the urine, thus leaving them unable to pee. This is more a problem for male cats, I believe, and sometimes is only alleviated with the removal of the penis (sorry, boys lol).

Hope she gets to feeling better asap!
I'll check the ingredients list for milk.. hadn't thought of that. It could be anything not agreeing with her. Hopefully, it's the pumpkin causing the looseness now. Thanks for the good wishes!

If things get too complicated or expensive, I may scratch the wet food/dry food idea.
 

cinnamitch

nope
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
3,002
Location
,
Oh and I forgot to add, and I will take a pic of it sometime, my cats are total water snobs. We spent money on all sorts of contraptions to make the water more appealing. We bought the water dish that made a waterfall, the one that keeps it aerated and they still didn't drink enough. One day they saw me getting some water out of my culligan dispenser and drank out of my cup. Well that did it, now as long as i give them Culligan water, they are fine and will drink it well. They will stand on the counter and wait for their dish to be filled and they have to see you do it before they will drink out of it( just to make sure you aren't sneaking in regular water i guess). So yeah they are spoiled but worth it.
 

Saoirse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
3,087
Location
,
Wet food is terrible for dogs and cats. It just stays on their teeth and rots their mouth.
 

CAMellie

Gabriel Spencer
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
3,959
Location
,
Fred and Kiki eat dry food only, they're free fed, and they'll only eat Iam's indoor cat formula. They look at people food like the poison that it is.
 

ThatFatGirl

Why am I still here?
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
3,514
Location
, undecided
Wet food is terrible for dogs and cats. It just stays on their teeth and rots their mouth.
That's what I used to think, but cats are different. I think there's a definite benefit to a diet that includes both wet and dry food. The only real benefit of dry is the convenience and natural teeth cleaning, but if you brush your cat's teeth and get dental attention as needed, I think an all wet food diet is great.

Cats are natural carnivores and dry food contains lots of unnecessary fillers (corn, wheat), carbs that raise glucose levels. Wet food generally contains more protein, fats and oils that are good for their systems and skin. Also, the benefits of the water in canned food can't be disputed. Cats are inherently desert creatures. Many will not drink enough water to keep their kidneys healthy throughout their lifetime and they're prone to urinary crystals and infections, etc.

My goal is to find a wet food that agrees with her for dinner each night, but I want to keep the convenience of dry food in her diet too (for when she's left alone for the weekend). The poo situation is getting to me. Like I mentioned earlier, her long hair (which I've crudely cropped around her butt) gets stuff caught in it quite often or she steps in it and tracks it all over the place. She's still quite skittish from her early days on the streets and freaks out when I try to hold her still to clean her up. She's such a little problem child. We'll see.
 

Saoirse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
3,087
Location
,
.Dry and canned is one thing but I've never met a healthy cat that lived on canned alone. And I've never met a pet owner who consistently brushed their pet's teeth.
 

frankman

The Eternal Cowboy
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
2,467
Location
,
I don't have a cat, but I'll be damned if I don't post here before you, Lainey.
 

CastingPearls

Go Big Or Go Home
In Remembrance
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
15,157
Location
,
I have four cats and their ages range from 1 year to 8. Two males, two females. Both males had bladder crystal problems which did not require surgery, thankfully, but extensive hospital stays. I lost two other males at the same time the ones I have now were sick as they all got very sick very fast with almost no symptoms ahead of time and the two died within hours of discovering them sick and rushing them to an animal hospital.

Our vet suggested they eat a dry science type diet so they all eat Hill's Science Diet Optimal Care which addresses the bladder crystal issues. They refused to eat the prescription food offered at the veterinarian. Also discouraged was switching from one brand to another abruptly because it can cause stomach upset. (and has with furkids)

Their doctor said it's not necessary to give them any wet food at all unless they won't drink water because it contains a lot of moisture and as mentioned upthread, it causes tooth decay, but as a daily treat which they really REALLY look forward to, we split a can of Friskies between the four of them which amounts to a spoonful apiece. I've noticed that if Nacho scarfs down more than his share he'll vomit it up so I usually distract him while the rest get a chance. One cat who's since died (he was 20) didn't like wet food at all.

Our vet also said plenty of clean water is important re avoiding bladder issues with males, so we bought them an operating fountain that has a strong steady running stream. It has a charcoal filter, not to mention that our well water is filtered both at entry to the house, and at the sink, so their water is triple filtered. They all love their fountain (a little too much I think--they're always dropping their toys into it or running to find me when the pump starts sucking and they sit and patiently wait for me to fix it or change the filter)

Bottom line, they don't need wet food per their vet, but we're reluctant to stop a little treat and DO watch their teeth..so far so good. They all have regular visits to the doctor which I know can be expensive (we have a multi-pet discount) but is SO important because there's a record of their health, and the vet 'knows' them and me and has on more than one occasion gone the extra mile when I had a nagging suspicion but there was no initial evidence to support my concerns.
 

PamelaLois

ILL-INI
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
2,401
Location
,
My kitteh eats Fromm food, currently she's eating the surf and turf formula, I switch protein sources every time I get a new bag of food to prevent allergy issues. She is free fed the dry food, I keep her bowl full all the time. Every day when I get home from work she gets her "treat" which is a small spoonful of Friskies canned food. She is very picky about the canned food, will only eat beef, and only the chunky variety. But this is just a treat, a small spoonful only. One can lasts me a week. But God forbid I forget her treat when I get home, she'll follow me all over the house and complain til she gets it.

As soon as Stella & Chewy's Kitty Raw diet is released this month, I will be changing from the canned to the raw food. I work in a pet store, the owners are big proponents of high-quality diets for dogs and cats. I also have a degree in Animal Science:Companion Animal Biology and animal nutrition was a huge part of my education.

It's important to know that cats are known as Obligate Carnivores. They can't live on vegetarian diets and can't easily digest vegetable matter. If you read the labels on most grocery store dry cat food (Iams, Friskies, Meow Mix, etc) you'll find they are mostly corn and grain based. Cats are not able to digest this stuff and it will usually lead to loose and smelly stools because the carbs in the grains ferment in the gut. You should definitely look for a food that has a meat source listed as the first ingredient and doesn't have a carb source listed til well down the ingredient list.

While canned foods can be bad for the teeth if that's all a cat is eating, canned foods are mostly fat, protein and water (about 80% water). In fact, if a cat is having a weight issue, the vets and nutritionists will actually recommend wet food as sort of a CAtkins Lo-Carb Diet.

It's also important that your cat does not go without eating. Unlike dogs which will do very well missing a meal or two, cats can't. If they don't get enough calories they will develop hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) which can be fatal. If your cat doesn't like it's food and won't eat, it's important to see the vet.

All things being equal, and affordable, the best diet for a cat is a "Raw" meat diet. These are becoming much more popular and available. A higher-end pet food store (not pestmart or petco) should carry Raw food, which is usually provided as a frozen patty or nugget, or freeze-dried. It has mostly been available for dogs, but raw cat diets are becoming more available.
 

JoyJoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
3,327
Location
,
My son was feeding my cat tuna meant for humans, and I remembered hearing that it wasn't safe for cats. When I went to look up the info online, I found this site, written by a vet: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood#Making Cat Food - Quick Summary

Laura, it sounds like a pretty involved process, but she does discuss how her cat's feces is now dry and has very little odor. I don't know it you have the time or means to invest in this sort of thing, but if you do, it might be worth it.
 

ThatFatGirl

Why am I still here?
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
3,514
Location
, undecided
Just a wee update on the kitty - things were better this morning! Shaped more like it should be (still softish, but at least it had the proper form) and she did it without stinking up the whole apartment/waking us up. Her behind is clean. All I did was skip the pumpkin last night. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Thanks, all, for the replies.
 
Top