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Cat Food Plans + Student Budget

corvidae

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Hi everyone! So I want to preface this by saying I don't yet have a cat but have been lurking on this forum for a while. I am planning to adopt an adult cat from my local shelter when I settle in to my new pet friendly apartment in August! I am a Canadian university student, and have been doing as much research as I can about what foods work best. I'm pretty sure I will be feeding a mixture of wet and dry food.

For dry food, I am looking at Simply Nourish Source (Chicken & Turkey). Here is the link to the nutritional information, and here is what cat food database had to say.

For wet food, I have read a lot on this forum about the classic/pate Fancy Feast being a good combination of affordable and decent quality, so I was hoping to use that mainly. I also have looked into Pet Valu's Health Diet brand, and might rotate that in (I saw it reccommended as a budget friendly food in another thread during my searches). I expect if I have coupons/there are sales I may try out more expensive brands occasionally.

As is, my anticipated food budget comes out to about $35.00 (Canadian) per month for one adult cat. I am estimating this with about 3 oz of wet food + 1/3-1/2 cup dry per day.

What do people think about the combination I have selected? Are there any suggestions on reworking my brand choices at a similar price point if there is a way to do that to provide higher quality foods?

Advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

mikameek

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Hey there! I'm a first time cat owner but I joined this forum when my baby got sick. Since then I have gotten huge into nutrition!

Personally, I would wait until you get your cat to lock in on food brands and what type of food. Some cats do best on wet food; some hate it! Some cats will absolutely love certain flavors of a brand but wont touch anything but that flavor from them. Some are absolute black holes for food and won't care whats put in front of them.
 

sweetblackpaws

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I think 3 oz of wet and up to 1/2 cup dry per day is too conservative an estimate. I would bump that up to 6 oz wet and/or up to 1 cup dry per day. Just to be safe. Also, I assume you have calculated for litter and vet care.

With that being said, my cats love Fancy Feast and I have bought it for years. I think the pate formulas are best since gravy formulas can be high in carbs, but you will see what your kitty prefers.
 

KarenKat

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One thing to keep in mind is if you get your future kitty to like the Fancy Feast, maybe find some similarly priced foods to rotate in. Especially recently I have been seeing a lot of posts about Fancy Feast changing their formula and the cats rejecting the new one. To avoid this, feeding a few brands and flavors helps kitty not be as picky about new foods if there is a formula change.

And I agree on maybe 3oz of wet might not be enough if you are doing 50%. Assuming a 10lb cat, and ~20 kcal/lb that would be 200 kcal per day. Which means that 3 oz food needs to be at least 100 kcal to evenly split it.
 

MissMolly08

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I actually disagree with the PP's about the amount... 1/2 cup of dry PLUS a 3oz can of FF classic actually is TOO much for most adult cats. That simply nourish dry food has 369 calories per cup. Divide that by 2... half cup =182 calories from dry. Most FF flavors have around 94 calories/can. 182 + 94 = 276 calories a day. That would most likely result in a 13-14lb cat.

I have a tight budget and I feed my cat mostly wet Friskies food with a TINY bedtime snack (like 2 tbsp) of dry Purina Beyond. It's less than $20 a month for 1 adult cat. I could feed 100% FF classic for under $35 if I had that budget but I'm in the US.
 

KarenKat

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M MissMolly08 has a good point, I didn't look at the dry food calories. It depends on the cat's weight, activity level, and calorie content of the food for sure.
 
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corvidae

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Thanks for your input, everyone! I definitely think you've made good points about seeing the preferences of my cat and working from there- I'm lucky that out of the two family cats I've grown up with, neither have been picky eaters, so sometimes I forget that's not standard for felines!

sweetblackpaws sweetblackpaws - Yep, vet care, pet insurance, litter, toys, etc. are all under a different section of my budget spreadsheet. I've got it broken down monthly and annually, with some money set away in case of emergency that pet insurance doesn't cover for whatever reason. I'm a bit of a worrywart, in case you couldn't tell ;)

KarenKat KarenKat - Thank you for the suggestion of rotating! I'm working on looking at similarly priced brands and compiling a list, so this makes me feel reassured that I'm going in the right direction :)

M MissMolly08 - I overestimated on purpose because I have no clue how big the cat is going to be :tongue:. I wanted to be in budget for if my perfect fit ends up being a big/beefy cat, and if the cat I adopt ends up being petite, then no harm is done in my budgeting.
 

duckpond

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I was at a petsmart this weekend. And i was amazed at some of the sale prices on some foods. most of these were set to expire in a month to three months, but much of these were less than half price.

We do not have a pet store near me, but if we did i think i would shop those sales weekly, you could definitely get some good deals for the budget!
 

Daisy6

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Sorry to be blunt but your choices are terrible. I am glad you asked before adopting a cat to prevent problems from cropping up. Cats have a low thirst drive and get all of their water from prey in the wild because of their desert origin. Dry food has a lot of cheap fillers and too many carbohydrates, causing weight gain and problems with the digestive system. Without an all-wet diet you increase the risk of litterbox issues in the future.

As for choosing Fancy Feast for the wet food, it is not a high-quality product. You're smart to look for cheap food because college is expensive, but there are better wet food brands under $35. After finding a wet food your kitty loves, you can subscribe to it for automatic shipping on a regular schedule. So it is not necessary to feed the cat a lower quality brand.
 

MissMolly08

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Thanks for your input, everyone! I definitely think you've made good points about seeing the preferences of my cat and working from there- I'm lucky that out of the two family cats I've grown up with, neither have been picky eaters, so sometimes I forget that's not standard for felines!

sweetblackpaws sweetblackpaws - Yep, vet care, pet insurance, litter, toys, etc. are all under a different section of my budget spreadsheet. I've got it broken down monthly and annually, with some money set away in case of emergency that pet insurance doesn't cover for whatever reason. I'm a bit of a worrywart, in case you couldn't tell ;)

KarenKat KarenKat - Thank you for the suggestion of rotating! I'm working on looking at similarly priced brands and compiling a list, so this makes me feel reassured that I'm going in the right direction :)

M MissMolly08 - I overestimated on purpose because I have no clue how big the cat is going to be :tongue:. I wanted to be in budget for if my perfect fit ends up being a big/beefy cat, and if the cat I adopt ends up being petite, then no harm is done in my budgeting.
Definitely better to over than under-estimate! Good call. I just wanted to point out the calorie count because I know many new or soon to be cat owners do not realize that the amount recommended on the cans/bags of food is usually too much! Best to go by weight and calorie needs than what the bag suggests!

As far as the foods you have chosen...As others have said, it will definitely depend on what your cat likes! If your kitty will eat them though, FF is a good budget choice for wet food. Personally, I chose Friskies because the only difference in ingredients is that Friskies contains a tiny bit of rice while FF does not. That just isn't worth the price difference between the 2 for me. They are both made by the same company, both have the same ingredients otherwise, yet FF costs more for half the size!!

The dry food isn't terrible but again, not really worth the price to me. For how much it costs, it contains a lot of filler ingredients... peas, potatoes, flaxseed, chicory root. You could find better quality for that price.
 

Daisy6

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Daisy6 Daisy6 What do you feed Daisy?
I have been feeding her Blue Freedom Chicken Pate, but will start a taste test soon. She does not like it anymore so I need to look for something else.

Because I can't find a wet food she likes, she also eats dry Blue Wilderness. I wish it was not so hard to feed her more wet than dry food.
 

KarenKat

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Lending truth the age-old the best food is the one the cat will eat. :happycat:

I looked at Blue Buffalo LID as an option for my IBD tabby, but I avoid carrageenan because of the potential problem it can cause with inflammation which leaves few choices for the line. My porky cat eats everything, but the two boys have been on dry food all their lives and it's hard to switch them off. We have gotten Gohan to have a little snack once per day, and we are hoping to build up from there.

One might say trying to feed them is like .... herding cats.
 

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I have been feeding her Blue Freedom Chicken Pate, but will start a taste test soon. She does not like it anymore so I need to look for something else.

Because I can't find a wet food she likes, she also eats dry Blue Wilderness. I wish it was not so hard to feed her more wet than dry food.
So honest question... why is it ok for you to feed your cat dry food but it isn't ok for others to do the same? Every time someone mentions not being able to afford better food, it seems you shame them. Just like you can't feed your cat all wet because you can't find one she likes, some people cannot feed all wet because they don't have the money to do so.
 

Daisy6

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Molly, I never said I like feeding Daisy dry food. I just need to make sure she eats a good amount of food each day and unfortunately that requires feeding kibbles now. When she falls in love with a wet food or combination of cans dry food will not be in her diet anymore.
 

MissMolly08

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Molly, I never said I like feeding Daisy dry food. I just need to make sure she eats a good amount of food each day and unfortunately that requires feeding kibbles now. When she falls in love with a wet food or combination of cans dry food will not be in her diet anymore.
I understand that but others are in similar situations. I'm sure everyone would love to feed their cat the best of the best but some cats won't eat it and some owners can't afford it.
I have a tight budget myself and I do try to make it known that an all wet diet is best BUT it's all in the way the info is presented. Yes, it's best but we also need to show understanding when people say they can't or don't want to feed all wet for whatever reason...be that cat's preference or budget. I'm sorry but the way you word things comes off harsh. A lot of telling people they "must" feed all wet and that their food choices are "terrible". Sometimes these options are the only foods in their budget.
 

maggiedemi

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Daisy6-- How come you tell us all to feed expensive canned food, when all you feed is Blue Buffalo dry food? That makes no sense.
 
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Daisy6

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Daisy6-- How come you tell us all to feed expensive canned food, when all you feed is Blue Buffalo dry food? That makes no sense.
I also feed Blue Buffalo wet food - and am trying to find something she will like a lot better so she will eat enough wet to stop the dry.

I totally understand some cats will not touch wet food at all. I also know it is fine to have an opinion that wet food is better if it works for both the person and cat.
 

BonitaBaby

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I was at a petsmart this weekend. And i was amazed at some of the sale prices on some foods. most of these were set to expire in a month to three months, but much of these were less than half price.

We do not have a pet store near me, but if we did i think i would shop those sales weekly, you could definitely get some good deals for the budget!
Really? I've never seen that when I've gone in the store. Maybe it's by store location? The Nutro Perfect Portions used to be on sale regularly until they bought Chewy. Something like buy 12 get 2. Not anymore. =/
 
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