does the expensive cat food REALLY make difference?

simpleblue

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is there any research that proves that expensive food brands help cats live longer, healthier, and better lives.

For example, these EXPENSIVE brands:

Innova
Natural Balance
Eukanuba
Wellness
Wysong

Compared to these AVERAGE priced brands:

Authority (Petsmart Brand)
Iams
Nutro
Nutrience
Purina One

i studied these brands and compared them. there seems to be only a few differences. the 'average' brands contained corn in some form or another. while the 'expensive' brands contained different fillers such as rice, potatoes, and oats.

sometimes the 'average' brands contained chicken byproducts, but they were further down the list.

the difference in price was is huge. the 'expensive' brands cost about twice or three times what the 'average' brands cost. and the servings are very close to the same.


any input on this?

btw, in the post below i've list the first 5 ingrediants of all the listed brands.
 
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simpleblue

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Innova
1. Turkey
2. Chicken Meal
3. Chicken
4. Potatoes
5. Egg

Natural Balance
1. Chicken
2. Chicken Meal
3. Ground Brown Rice
4. Duck
5. Lamb Meal

Eukanuba
1. Chicken
2. Chicken Liver
3. Chicken Byproduct Meal
4. Brewer's Rice
5. Chicken Byproducts


Wellness
1. Chicken
2. Chicken Meal
3. Chicken Liver
4. Ground Brown Rice
5. Whole Oats

Wysong
1. Chicken
2. Chicken Giblets
3. Poultry Fat
4. Corn Gluten Meal
5. Ground Brown Rice

Authority (Petsmart Brand)
1. Chicken Meal
2. Brewer's Rice
3. Corn Gluten Meal
4. Ground Corn
5. Animal Fat

Iams
1. Chicken
2. Chicken Byproduct Meal
3. Corn Grits
4. Corn Meal
5. Chicken Fat

Nutro
1. Chicken Meal
2. Ground White Rice
3. Corn Gluten Meal
4. Poultry Fat
5. Dried Beet Pulp

Nutrience
1. Chicken meal
2. Ground corn
3. Brewers rice
4. Hydrolysed chicken
5. Chicken fat

Purina One
1. Chicken
2. Brewer's Rice
3. Corn Gluten Meal
4. Poultry By-Product Meal
5. Wheat Flour
 

plebayo

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There is NO proof that a cat will live longer if fed better quality food. Some cats can eat crap and be fine.

However the results are really in the poop. In comparison between Science Diet and feeding my cat a raw diet, my cat pooped less on the raw than on the science diet.

Although the other foods cost more, you can feed WAY less and have your cat maintain its weight.

The price is also higher in better quality foods because the quality control and the way they actually make the food is better. Some companies use fresh ingredients, rather than frozen and some companies also use a meat protein [more expensive] over a vegetable protein like corn.
 

romeoslover

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I asked my vet the same thing. She said that the food I feed my cat (IAMS Indoor-Hairball formula) is fine. Cleo was overweight, but that is mostly due to lack of exercise, which we have increased and she is responding positive to the increase. We cut down the portion of the food too, and I quit free-feeding her. The vet uses IAMS for her cats as well.
 

sharky

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If your feeding grocery or one laden with corn( Ie corn and then further down corn grits ) or by products( chicken and meat or poultry in the first six ingrediants ) and any non natural preserving agents ... You will feed more and the cat will potty more...

I dont like liver in a dry food at all but some think it s okay...

I think look at the mid priced and compare ... see if kitty will eat and do well..
Of your expensive ones only two pass my I would feed and one of the mids I do feed ... Pleybayo is correct on the pooping... My 18 yr old ate crap dry and wet for many years with raw and cooked organs and her only trouble is CRF and a touch of artheritis ... But she was moved to premium wet and dry before diagnoisis and I credit it with keeping her stable and her not progressing further into the disease ... Now she eats wet and raw and is very stable with some improvement ...

Basically give the best you can afford ... and your cat will eat ... Quality is a different issue many companies are good with quality control but use inferior(IMHO) ingrediants yet charge alot.... others use good ingrediants and are reasonablely priced BUYER BEWARE
 

denice

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Price is not always an indicator of better quality. I'm not going to get into brand names, but I know one of the more expensive brands that you don't have listed has an ingredient list that I don't feel reads as well as some more mid-priced brands.
 

sahara

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Some vets recommend brands which they sell in their clinic, just for the sake of money!

I agree ... the most expensive does NOT mean the best...BUTT..... the cheapest ALWAYS means the crappiest to me!! Infact not just to me , ıts quite a basic rule we all have in life. For good quality, we do have to sacrifice some amount of cash............
 

katiemae1277

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You should look into Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, extremely reasonably priced, and IMO has better ingredients than most of your "expensive" brands

Chicken Soup
1. chicken
2. salmon
3. chicken meal
4. chicken fat
5. cracked pearl barley

no corn at all, and no by-products either! (in the whole ingedient list)

ETA: oh and I wanted to add, there's no guarantee that eating a healthy diet is going to make US live a longer, healthier life either, but I think my chances would be better if I did
 

naturestee

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Sometimes it really depends on the cat. Some cats are sensitive to certain brands/ingredients but do well on others. For example, the only food that my parents found that their cat Scooter would not throw up daily on was Science Diet Hairball. Granted, they had much fewer choices due to their rural location. When Scooter passed away my parents switched their other cat Stowaway to Purina One and he got urination problems (looked like a urinary infection) a few days later. A switch back to Science Diet cured him. He's now eating Iams and is doing well.

My kittens were eating Science Diet Kitten dry at the Humane Society. They were both scrawny. I switched them to Eukanuba Kitten Dry and they share a 3 oz can of Nutro Kitten daily. They're now healthy weights, their fur looks better, and my vet said they look awesome. It's only been a week and a half.

FYI, Nutro is often recommended here, and there seem to be quite a few people feeding Iams also.
 

jlphilli

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I don't think premium foods make a cat live longer, I think it improves their quality of life.
 

bella713

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I hate to say this but Vets don't know a lot about nutrition or breeds for that matter. My husband is in the horse business and talks to many animal nutritionists...they are the way to go..my vet says feed them anything they want HELLO...I don't think so. I don't think they are taught nutrition in school!
 

mirinae

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I just feel better about feeding my cats more expensive food, and they both seem to thrive on it.

Over a year ago, Spike started developing dental problems and the vet was talking about the possibility of dental surgery. We switched him and Oz over to Medi-Cal's dental formula (dry food -- they eat different kinds of wet) and not only have the words "dental surgery" been dropped from the conversation, but we notice a difference in their teeth and gums (and breath!). Incidentally, the vet didn't recommend the switch, so this isn't a case of "your cat has bad teeth, use this brand of cat food or we'll have to operate"; the switch was actually a happy accident: the clinic had run out of our usual brand and we couldn't go without dry food, so we bought the dental formula instead and the cats (thank goodness!) loved it.

We probably could get by feeding our cats cheaper food (it would certainly be more convenient -- we can only buy our cat food at the clinic), but I like what the foods we're currently using have done for our cats and I'm willing to pay the extra money for it.
 

karabear

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I have to agree with Bella713. In our case, one time we went to the vet, she asked us what we were feeding. When I said Felidae, she replied that she had never heard of it. I told her we shopped at the one quality pet food store in the city and she had never been there! I found the staff at our awesome little pet food store (Global Pet Foods) were more knowledgable about nutrition than the vet.

I found the big difference between cheap and quality food we have fed our cats is their coat. Now on Felidae, they have shiny beautiful fur. On the cheap stuff, it didn't seem to gleam as much.
 

shambelle

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As said before, it depends on the cat.

PJ can eat anything and everything - but Purina and Nutro made her poop STINK! It was terrible. She now eats Wellness mixed with Royal Canin Hairball -the latter of which is less expensive than the Wellness. Mixing foods cuts down on the costs, and even though she eats quite a bit, it's still less than what she was eating when on Purina and/or Nutro.

She's about 13, and I think she's going to live forever anyway.
 

zak&rocky

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I have been feeding mostly nutro and purina one. My cats seem to be doing very well on this, in fact their coats look shiny and I don't seem to have any health problems with them other than preexisting ones. Also litter box smells okay, no major digestive issues with anyone. My vet says she likes Purina one..
 

etain

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Vets are just as vulnerable to the power of suggestion and advertising as the rest of us. And they get an awful lot of attention from some of the big pet food companies like Hills and Iams, constantly touting their food, they often provide freebies to the Vet's office and/or their clients just like pharmaceutical companies do for your doctor. And unless your vet takes the time and considerable effort to learn about and keep up to date on the nutritional needs of every species they treat, they're going to go with the information that is shoved down their throat ... and that's usually from pet food companies.

Some vets have made the effort to keep up to date on the nutritional needs of our pets, and some have not. For those that have not, I assume that they either don't know better or their approach to practicing medicine is that they are there to treat medical problems, and perhaps don't see the link between proper nutrition and prevention. They're not necessarily bad vets, their focus is just different. Our focus is on the total well being of our pet, their is on the clinical treatment of the problem that is put before them.

I think it's important to pay attention to what kind of vet you have, and if you feel comfortable with them, and they seem to have the best interest of your pet in mind, and they are willing to respect your opinions and your desire to do the best you can for your pet, then you've found a keeper.

Incidently, I have noticed a world of improvement in Etain's over all health by switching her to higher quality, species appropriate foods. But owing to poor nutrition early in life, she is still a small, fragile feeling cat, she doesn't have the strongest constitution, and compared to Midir, who has almost always eaten higher end foods, she just doesn't look as robust and healthy and no wear near as energetic. Part of that is the individual cat, but I also attribute a big part of it to diet, as I have seen the improvement in both of them, even for Midir who was already pretty healthy, he's just been that much better since the switch from Science Diet to Nature's Variety (raw & canned).

I think all cats can benefit from a higher quality food, as long as they will eat it and are fed appropriate portions. But obviously for some cats it will make a bigger difference than others.

The results may not be apparent to you immediately, but over the course of their life, their odds of being healthy, energetic and happy, are just that much better.

Now I have to learn to feed myself as well as I feed my kitties
 
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simpleblue

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Originally Posted by sahara

Some vets recommend brands which they sell in their clinic, just for the sake of money!
i agree and would also like to add,

why would a vet want you to have a healthy cat anyways? they want you back. because they make a living on your money! i'm not saying ALL vets are like this, but many are. and every vet i've seen so far has been dishonest with charges and advice.

breeders may be a more better source for information * shrugs *
 

naturestee

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Originally Posted by DreamingRecover

i agree and would also like to add,

why would a vet want you to have a healthy cat anyways? they want you back. because they make a living on your money! i'm not saying ALL vets are like this, but many are. and every vet i've seen so far has been dishonest with charges and advice.

breeders may be a more better source for information * shrugs *
Wow. You must have had some really bad vets! I've never had that problem. I've even had vets at an emergency clinic help me out by knocking the bill down over $100 on Thanksgiving morning! Maybe it's the difference in the area? My regular vet clinic sometimes has more business than it can handle because it's the only clinic with vets that treat exotics, plus a whole lot of cats and dogs including those from the local no-kill shelter.

I asked my vet about brands of food, and she just said to feed decent food made just for kittens, but not the very cheapest stuff. With the really cheap stuff, you get what you pay for. And that whatever works for them- healthy coat, normal poops, etc- is okay. My vet clinic does offer "nutritional counseling" but it's primarily used for animals that are having health issues, such as my friend's dog that they found was allergic to beef. I'm not sure which of the four vets does the counseling.
 

zissou'smom

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Price doesn't have anything to do with the goodness, just like the clothes at Target aren't much different from the ones at Abercrombie and Fitch. The store brand at my grocery store is better than some name-brands double the price. The store brand at petsmart isn't bad either, and its cheaper too.

Now, what you want to look for in a cat food is one that sells well without doing much marketing. Then, compare the ingredients in them and see if you personally believe that they are good. Alot of people think that foods like 9lives are good, when in reality they're pretty terrible as far as high-quality ingredients go.

Another thing to consider is that ingredient lists do not tell you the percentages. So, Wysong might be 98% chicken meat, and Iams 18%, but both have the same first ingredient (I totally made those numbers up). This is a very frustrating thing in food labels, but you can't make them put the percentages because then anyone could steal the formula. I think that's the reasoning anyway.
 

plebayo

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Just a point, as far as vets carrying Hill's and Iams goes, money has little to do with it. Firstly, most vets already feed their animals whatever they are carrying in their store, secondly they only get $10 per bag of food [IF that] and I know that at our clinic we sell a lot of prescription diets... but not a lot of Science Diet.

Anyway I talked to my boss about carrying better quality foods, and one thing he did point out what would you carry? Big companies like Science Diet and Iams carry multiple kinds of foods, foods for Kitten/Adult/Senior, Indoor Formulas, Hairball formulas etc. There are some select foods, like Canidae and Felidae who do Puppy/All Stages/Seniors. To carry premium foods the vet would have to decide what's the best brands, and carry multiple brands.

Just like it is for us, imagine having to choose what foods to sell, and what to tell your clients. It's the same as it is here, there is no ONE great food. In selling Hill's and Iams and investing in companies like that you can stand by one name and life is easier.

Most of the people I work with have no problems with corn being in food. It has nothing to do with a lack of education, but really, does corn DO anything? No it doesn't. Some animals are allergic to it, but not every animal, and corn isn't going to shorten an animals life span or kill it.

You guys have to realize people like us, sitting here stewing about what foods to feed don't represent the whole world. There are a ton of people who don't care, and have decent resonings why they aren't picky. I choose to feed better foods because it makes ME feel better. Honestly, my dogs and cat would eat anything, they don't care about the ingredients. But I do.

I should also say too, vets endorse foods like the Prescription Diets because they are medically proven to work. The only prescription diets I don't think anyone should waste money on is w/d and r/d because the key to weight loss in your pet is portion control and exercise. Hill's has foods for animals with allergies, cancer, kidney failure, liver issues, what have you, they have a diet for it and it's proven to extend the life of the animal.
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There is no proof or study that says a cat eating Fancy Feast will die before a cat who eats Innova. Cats and Dogs are not like people, this isn't comparing Mcdonald's to Subway. There are cats who have lived well into their 20's on Fancy Feast, so this isn't like people. I just feel if you can, why not feed your pet the best? It doesn't mean the most expensive, but ingredients wise why not choose the meat [a more expensive protein] over the corn, a cheaper protein?
 
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