Dry Food Only - Is That Ok?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by sarahlou34, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. sarahlou34

    sarahlou34 TCS Member Kitten

    15
    2
    Aug 28, 2016
    Im looking into my cats overall health, given a few behavouir issues!

    He's an indoor ragdoll, aged 4 years old. I was advised by the breeder to give him Royal Canin indoor adult cat food which is out all day for him, and lots of water.

    Im moving to timed feeding now so just wanted to check that dry food is ok on its own.
    thanks x
     
  2. cheeser

    cheeser TCS Member Alpha Cat

    603
    174
    Aug 2, 2013
    Well, some people say their cats do quite nicely on a dry food only diet. We just haven't been that lucky. Every one of our cats over the past 30+ years has developed some kind of major health issue, which with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, many of which could have been prevented if we had only known that cats are obligate carnivores, and don't have a strong thirst drive to keep themselves adequately hydrated.

    There are many excellent posts on this site about the benefits of wet food if you browse around a bit, and I found this info at catinfo.org most helpful when I was still new to the concept. :)
     
    PushPurrCatPaws, LotsOfFur and lisahe purraised this.
  3. sargon

    sargon TCS Member Alpha Cat

    377
    116
    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metra Area
    Dry food is probably fine if your cat is healthy, drinks well (use a cat fountain, it is worth its weight in gold with most cats), and you feed a quality grain free food like nature's variety.

    Royal canin is, unfortunately, as food that is, as I recall, high in grains, so it is generally not recommended.
     
  4. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    2,038
    634
    Aug 22, 2008
    Texas
    I'm not a fan of kibble and only offer it to a cat who is refusing to eat anything else. Kibble requires around 50% carbohydrates to manufacture, whether that is corn, wheat, and rice, or peas and potatoes. Carbs are converted to sugars which can lead to health problems later in life. Cats can't efficiently process carbs. Like cheeser noted...hindsight is 20/20.
     
    LotsOfFur purraised this.
  5. thegreystalker

    thegreystalker TCS Member Alpha Cat

    363
    51
    Feb 23, 2016
    My gal started out on kibble 90% of her meals. She has been very healthy since the day she came home with me from the shelter. For about the last 10 months she gets at least 1 can a day, often two. Fortunately she a big drinker, too. I choose her dry bands carefully. Specifically I avoid corn, wheat and soy ingredients. I am not crazy about potatoes, but like I said I choose carefully. Potatoes, Tapioca and Pea are not deal breakers for me. There are many decent brands that are reasonably prices. Your mileage may vary.
     
  6. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Super Cat

    1,098
    434
    Apr 9, 2017
    Arizona
    I am the opposite of most people here. I have only fed dry food, except to one cat. They have all done well, stayed healthy and lived into the high teens even 20's. The one cat I didn't feed solely dry to, died (unknown reasons) at 9. I just make sure it has no fillers and is gluten free.
     
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.
  7. xcourtney3

    xcourtney3 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    307
    38
    Aug 17, 2010
    That's not true. All of the grain free dry foods I've looked into have less than 30%. The two I feed are 22% and 25%. Not ideal, obviously, but one of my cats has IBD and can't eat a lot of foods.

    @sarahlou34 If you want to feed dry food, I wouldn't recommend Royal Canin. I would find a higher protein, grain free food that your cat will tolerate. With my cats, I add a little water to their dry food. It is ok to do this because my cats eat it all within about 3 minutes so I'm not worried about bacterial growth. If you do this, make sure your cat eats it in one sitting - don't leave out wet dry food. The best food for your cat is one which they will eat and can tolerate (no vomit, diarrhea, allergic reactions, etc)
     
  8. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

    10,674
    976
    Aug 13, 2009
    Arizona
    Maybe this article will help you in choosing a new dry food, if that's what you decide to do: How to choose the best dry cat food?

    Also, if you ask 10 people about which is best, wet or canned, you'll get 10 different answers (probably) :wink:
     
    dustydiamond1 and PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.
  9. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    2,038
    634
    Aug 22, 2008
    Texas
    The bag of grain free kitten food I have looks pretty good for kibble, but contains carbohydrate ingredients which boost the protein numbers printed on the food, even though high-protein chickpeas, potato proteins, and peas do not contribute to the protein my kitten's system can actually assimilate. Just like corn though, those high-protein carbohydrates make the numbers on the bag look impressive.

    What brands are you feeding that have only 22% and 25% carbs? It's my understanding that those numbers would be too low to physically get kibble to stick together in dry crunchy pellets.
     
  10. sargon

    sargon TCS Member Alpha Cat

    377
    116
    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metra Area
    Young again has a 1% and a 5% carb kibble that they sell. Sadly my cat doesn't like it (She does like the nature's variety ultimate protein duck, which is about 16.5% carbs). YA also has a nice carb calculator you can use to see how many carbs are in a given food.most premium grain free dry foods that I've calculated out are 18-25%, with some lower.

    A few decent grain free foods that cost less than royal canin : Canidae pure elements, Nature's variety instinct chicken meal (the ultimate protein series is a little better, but is also significantly more expensive(though not much mree than royal canin)), and taste of the wild.

    If none of those work, you could try solid gold Indigo moon (which is a bit less healthy than the previous ones, but is very popular with cats, and is still worlds better than the corn and soy based junk royal canin sells.)
     
  11. xcourtney3

    xcourtney3 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    307
    38
    Aug 17, 2010
    I'm using Pro Plan True Nature and Nature's Variety LID Rabbit.

    Some other lower carb options:
    Simply Nourish Source Rabbit & Chicken (only at Petsmart) ~19%
    Simply Nourish™ Source Adult Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free, Rabbit & Chicken | cat Dry Food | PetSmart

    Simply Nourish Source Chicken & Turkey (only at Petsmart) ~19%
    Simply Nourish™ Source Adult Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free, Chicken & Turkey | cat Dry Food | PetSmart

    Taste of the Wild ~22%
    Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken ~21%
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck ~21%
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Merrick Purrfect Bistro Chicken ~20%
    Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

    Wellness CORE Original ~16%
    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food

    Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline ~16%
    Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline Grain-Free Natural Dry Cat & Kitten Food

    Merrick BG Chicken ~25%
    Merrick Before Grain Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, 11.1-lb bag

    Wellness CORE Turkey/Duck ~22%
    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Turkey, Turkey Meal & Duck Formula Dry Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan True Nature Natural Chicken & Egg ~23%
    Purina Pro Plan True Nature Natural Chicken & Egg Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe with Chicken, Duck & Quail ~22%
    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe with Chicken, Duck & Quail Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    I and Love and You Nude Food Poultry a Plenty ~17%
    I and Love and You Nude Food Poultry a Plenty Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, 5-lb bag

    There are probably others, but here's a carb calculator Carbohydrate & Calorie Online Calculator | Feline Nutrition Awareness Effort
     
  12. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    2,038
    634
    Aug 22, 2008
    Texas
    Your cat not liking Young Again might not be a bad thing. The top ingredient, hydrolyzed pork protein, is chemically treated pork skin. Hydrolyzation pulls out the protein molecules with the end product being a crystalized powder (no resemblance to fresh pork) which is 90% protein. I can see how a chemically-rendered, powdered protein would allow a manufacture to boost protein numbers in a food and use fewer carbs to glue the dried bits together at the same time.

    Thanks! I learned something new.
     
  13. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    2,038
    634
    Aug 22, 2008
    Texas
    Here's an example to help people understand dry kibble labels:

    I'm going to make a pet food which contains rocks (protein) and feathers (carbs).

    My recipe is one cup of rocks and one cup of feathers. I need that volume of feathers so that the rocks stick together.

    The cup of rocks weighs nine times as much as the cup of feathers.

    By volume, my delicious "Premium Rock and Feather Blend" pet food's ratio is 50%/50% or 1:1.
    By weight, my scrumptious "Premium Rock and Feather Blend" pet food's ratio is 90%/10% or 9:1.

    So is my food 50% carb content, or is it 10% carb content? The answer is that it is both.

    AAFCO requires that I list the ingredients by weight, not by volume, so I will list rocks as the number 1 ingredient in my food because it is 90% rocks by weight.

    If I want to boost the protein content, then I can use hydrolyzed rock powder. The powder weighs 19 times what the cup of feathers weigh (19:1), so then my pet food would have 95% rocks with a starting recipe of 1 cup of each ingredient.
     
    goingpostal and basscat purraised this.
  14. thegreystalker

    thegreystalker TCS Member Alpha Cat

    363
    51
    Feb 23, 2016
    Canidae Pure Elements Chicken, Purina Beyond Chicken & Oatmeal, and Purina Pro Plan True Nature Chicken & Egg have worked well for us. I would like to give Solid Gold kibble a try but it's too pricey. Solid Gold fish recipes tend to cost less but I do not feed my cat tuna, and I give her salmon infrequently.
     
  15. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Alpha Cat

    558
    354
    Dec 29, 2015
    I think my cat likes rocks.
     
  16. sargon

    sargon TCS Member Alpha Cat

    377
    116
    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metra Area
    my cat LOVES rocks.. little rocks. it is why I believe she likes kibble so much :>
     
  17. sarahlou34

    sarahlou34 TCS Member Kitten

    15
    2
    Aug 28, 2016
    Oh dear I seem to have asked quite a polarizing question! I was only ever going by what the breeder advised me... I will do some more research. Thanks everyone x
     
  18. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    2,038
    634
    Aug 22, 2008
    Texas
    LOL....You ask for an opinion....you get plenty of them here, in wide range. :blush:

    At the end of the day, we all feed a diet that we think will keep the healthiest, happiest cat(s) for the most years possible.
     
  19. sarahlou34

    sarahlou34 TCS Member Kitten

    15
    2
    Aug 28, 2016
    Its great to get the opinions, thanks! sorry i wasnt being rude at all I just hadnt realised that I should have considered wet food. My breeder is really good so just followed that advice really but will definitely do some more reading.

    thanks again x
     
  20. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    2,038
    634
    Aug 22, 2008
    Texas
    You weren't being rude at all. I love a good, old-fashioned debate. :wink:
     

Share This Page