Always hard to find an absolutely safe brand anyone?

chenxiaoshuai

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My kitten is 5 month old and following many people's suggestion, I've been committed to feeding him wet food. He still has certain portion of dry food in his diet only because he needs to have access to food whenever he feels hungry. To offset any negative impact, I feed him reputable brands of dried and canned food only (blue buffalo, wellness core etc). 

Problem happened lately when he started vomiting and having lose stool. He has been on wellness core chicken and turkey  (both canned and dried) for a while and we couldn't think of anything wrong with it. One day it just popped into my eyes that cat may have these issues due to food allergy from having the same type of protein over the time. To resolve vomiting, I followed the vet's suggestion and fed him smaller portions of food each time and the trick worked. In an effort to kill lose stool,  I switched him to the white fish and herring version of the same brand for the canned -- however, we got bad diarrhea that night. 

I subsequently read that lots of cats are particularly sensitive to fish, so I immediately switched him onto Natural Balance duck and green pea formula canned. During 3 days he had mostly normal stools but still had once or twice of lose stool/diarrhea. Today I read that pea fiber needs to be avoided from the kitty's diet, and regardless whether it was the cause of his diarrhea, I've decided to have him off from that even though I've already bought a dozen of venison and green pea formula canned besides that. 

Another thing I've been reading about is carrageenan and guar gum's high correlation with cancer and damaged digestibility in cats. Reading the ingredient list of food we've tried (e.g., both flavors of wellness core, both flavors of natural balance and Evo), both are on it neat and clear. Plus Cranberries, which is proven to be toxic according to some sources, is well laid out on the labels too. 

There has been many twists and turns in finding the right cat food and we still haven't landed on a safe choice yet. We've been switching the kitten among different brands hoping for ruling out factors for diarrhea/lose stool, but the kitten still gets that every once in a while on the new food and we are not sure whether this is due to the undefined legacy issue or new ingredient intolerance. 

Anyone feel the same frustration here? 

A question - when switching canned food to rule out reasons for irregular symptoms, how fast can you go? I know it is widely suggested to mix the new food with old for transition but that way, I wouldn't know which food is causing the issues. 
 
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chenxiaoshuai

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Another question - how much should we trust the alarmist words we find on the internet? I mean people are arguing certain ingredients are related to cancer but did anyone whose cat has cancer get any straight scientific proof that the cancer is directly caused by those ingredients?
 

marc999

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To go guar gum and carrageenan free would severely limit brand and protein choices. 

I suppose you could take a look at commercial frozen raw, if you can afford that route  Otherwise making your own chow is the route many are taking, assuming you have the inclination and freezer space for it.  

Others here may suggest probiotics mixed into the cat's food.  The experts on that can guide you on amount of CFUs to look for etc.
 

vball91

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It is difficult find a food that has no objectionable ingredients. There's a good discussion and list of carrageenan free foods here: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/240335/canned-food-without-carrageenan-or-guar-gum

It can be very difficult to isolate the ingredient that is causing the issues. Look for the most limited ingredient novel protein food you can find (and then hope your cat will eat it
). For canned foods, you don't generally need to transition or mix old and new foods like you do with dry foods.

Raw or home-cooked is certainly an option. It's much easier to control the ingredients when you prepare the food yourself. It makes food trials easier for sure.
 

mags

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Another question - how much should we trust the alarmist words we find on the internet? I mean people are arguing certain ingredients are related to cancer but did anyone whose cat has cancer get any straight scientific proof that the cancer is directly caused by those ingredients?
I know what you mean. I love my pets dearly ( I am sure everyone on here does too), and I want to feed them the very best. That said, I have had cats all of my life and I did not know as much then as I do now about potentially harmful ingredients, carcinogenic food additives, ect, so I was feeding them whatever they would eat, which, by today's standards, would be considered garbage foods...grocery store brands, lots of dry and some canned. My oldest cat right now is 22 years old and she's still going strong. My other cats lived anywhere from 18-20 years, which is pretty darn good and they all ate food that is now thought of as junk, so it's so hard to say why certain cats do fine on lesser quality food while others develop health issues. Now, all of my cats are on high quality wet food and I have decided to remove all dry from their diet. I guess only time will tell how well they respond to a better diet.
 

andrya

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lf you must still feed some dry food, why not switch to freeze-dried raw instead of kibble?

l make my own homemade raw, feed canned about half the time, and the rest of the time l've started using Stella & Chewy's freeze dried. lt stays in a resealable bag in the cupboard just like kibble. lt's HPPed so safer than frozen/fresh raw.

l always hydrate it because l'm here to do it. l don't leave grazing food out. But for people who do, l think this is a much healthier alternative.

Here's the composition:



Ingredients:  Chicken (ground with bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Taurine, Tocopherols (preservative), Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis:
crude protein.……min 45.0%
crude fat…………min 25.0%
crude fiber……......max 1.0%
moisture………….max 5.0%
taurine…………..min 0.25%
Calorie Content: (ME calculated); 4,420 kcal/kg; 125 kcal/oz

Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

Feeding Guidelines:  Mix freeze-dried cat food with warm water. Allow food to rehydrate for one minute, mix and serve. Provide your cat access to fresh water. New users: Mix Stella & Chewy’s with your current brand for the first 7-10 days.

Available in Two Convenient Sizes

Single Serve Pouches
(feeds like a 3-oz. can)

12 oz. Dinner Bags
(re-sealable)
 
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hbanan

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I have had a cat with similar problems. Though I can't be 100% positive, I believe she is allergic to chicken, duck, turkey, etc. I have had really good experiences with limited ingredient diets. I know raw is probably best, but frankly, I just can't get it together.

I was using royal canin hypoallergenic rabbit canned and dry food and has great success with my little Effie who had chronic diarrhea for 2 months after I adopted her. However, I recently adopted a kitten and had to switch brands because the prescription stuff wasn't formulated for growing kittens.

I have had good luck with nature's variety instinct canned foods, In particular the rabbit and venison (doesn't contain chicken or eggs). Plus my cats prefer it. They also have a limited ingredient duck. They do contain peas, however.

I know what you mean about being paranoid about every ingredient. I don't mind the peas because the cats eat the food and I don't have poo everywhere. Every cat is different so while most shouldn't be on a certain diet doesn't mean they all shouldn't.

My main concern is that my cats are eating, healthy, and comfortable. I do the best I can by them.
 

hbanan

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Oh and I forgot to mention to try canned pumpkin. It does work.
 
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