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Grain Free, Pea Free, Bean Free, White Potato Free Dry Food?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by sarah430, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. sarah430

    sarah430 Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Feb 13, 2017
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    Does such a dry food exist? No soy, wheat, corn, rice, peas, lentils, chickpeas or white potatoes?

    I saw an old post that said Nulo Freestyle just has meat and sweet potatoes (plus all the minerals, etc.) but all the varieties on Chewy have peas too.
     

  2. IndyJones

    IndyJones Adopt don't shop. Top Cat

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    Where do you think?
    I'm not sure such a thing exists. With dry food some kind of starch is needed to hold it together.
     

  3. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Young Again Cat Food, ZERO Formula

    My problem is finding a no chicken food so they don't work for me.
     

  4. sarah430

    sarah430 Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Thanks. Looks interesting.

    I was hoping there was something with just sweet potato or pumpkin as the binder.
     

  5. sarah430

    sarah430 Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Feb 13, 2017
    Pacific Northwest
    So of the grain free varieties, which binder is the lesser of evils ----- pea, lentils, chickpeas or potatoes? Or should I be looking at overall lower carbs instead? My kitties aren't allergic to anything that I know of and I'm transitioning them to mostly wet food. But I don't think I'll be able to totally eliminate dry. Because it will be a lesser amount, I'm willing to spend more to get the best possible. Thanks!
     

  6. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    It is really debatable and more of a pick your poison type of thing. Potatoes can spike blood sugar and lead to weight retention like grains. Too much peas (specifically pea protein) can cause intestinal problems. For both position on the ingredients and how much also plays a factor (which most pet food manufactures don't mention). You can focus on getting a higher protein, lower carb food but the type of protein matters but pet food companies don't differentiate between meat and plant based proteins.

    But, there are other factors too. I avoid cranberries too because they have a form of acid that cats can't process well and a chemical aspect similar to aspirin (which we also know cats can't handle well). I try to keep the amount of fish low. Mine can't have chicken. I feed dry and wet. It all means I end up doing the best I can and make compromises between wants and needs. So I am going with Only Natural Pet PowerFood Feline even though it has peas and potatos because chicken and cranberries are both on the have to have none list for us. It is higher protein, lower carb and meets a good portion of my needs. If it wasn't for the chicken I would do Young Again. Evo looks decent. Orijen and Acana I am a little concerned about the changes in factory location.

    I really wish there was a different option. I personally prefer tapioca as a binder but it isn't used as frequently and for some reason food companies keep putting multiple binders instead of just one.
     
    red top rescue purraised this.

  7. sarah430

    sarah430 Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Pacific Northwest
    Thanks kieka! I was wondering about cranberries (and blueberries and other fruits/vegetables) too. Why do companies have to include so many extras.

    Thank you for the suggestions. I'll check them out. I'm trying to avoid fish too.
     
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  8. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    As a side though, have you thought about one of the dehydrated, freeze dried or air dried foods?

    ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Lamb Cat Food, 14-oz bag

    You have to research them but many are limited ingredient and complete diets. It doesn't work for me because of the cost for 3 cats plus how our household runs I just can't commit to scheduled meals outside of dinner. But I have heard good things from people it does work for. You can add water to rehydrate some if I remember right.
     

  9. sarah430

    sarah430 Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    No I haven't considered that option, but I'll take a look. Thanks!
     

  10. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I think pet food companies have three main failings.

    1) The mindset that dogs and cats are two sides of the same coin. Nutritionally they are different and cats tend to be more sensitive to the extras. But if you look back at societies in general dogs have more value so they get the advances first. It wasn't until recently that a shift to looking at them as two biologically different creatures really started. Even in vet practices cats are typically less understood and undervalued by some vets.

    2) People who don't do the research don't realize cats are so different. They think that we can eat it so they can eat it. Garlic isn't poison to humans so why would it be for cats? But garlic is deadly to cats. It's ignorance. So those same people see a lack of veggies and think something is wronging with the food. So pet food manufactures add in veggies and fruits to make those people happy. Because if humans need them for a complete diet then ours pets do to.... right?

    3) Money. It is cheaper to buy vegtables and fruits then meat. Add in some fillers of vegtables and fruits that may or may not be suitable for sale or use in human foods and it costs less. People are getting more picky about the quality of meat and want named meats instead of mystery meat in pet food. So it costs more. Offset it with named veggies and fruits to fill out the food batch and produce more for less. Plus they provide some nutritional value without having to pay for supplements and mineral adders which cost a little more too.

    At least those are my theories. If you can't tell this has been something I have thought about in trying to find sutible foods for my guys.

    Edit: I should add ignorance as a fourth reason. The long term research into cat nutrition and the effects of some of those ingredients just doesn't exist. We can theorize and guess and draw conclusions. Like with cranberries we know that it has a chemical similar to aspirin. We know that one of the acids doesn't break down well in cats. But there isn't a solid long term study to show what a diet with cranberries actually does. The general accepted theory is that long term over exposure can reduce lifespan or can create a fatal level of the acid or side effects. But there are also those who say low levels help urinary health because it does in humans. No one really knows. But the aspirin like component is what makes me avoid it. If aspirin is bad for cats then an aspirin like chemical should also be avoided. I'd rather just eliminate it and not take the risk instead of hoping it doesn't build up to a fatal level or my cats are ones more sensitive to it.
     

  11. mizzely

    mizzely TCS Member Super Cat

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    Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog & Cat Food, 5-lb bag


    These have potato protein but none of the others you mentioned:

    Wysong Epigen Starch-Free Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog & Cat Food, 5-lb bag

    Wysong Epigen Venison Starch-Free Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog & Cat Food, 5-lb bag

    And I believe all of the ZiwiPeak Air dried are free of them:

    ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Venison Cat Food, 14-oz bag

    As are the Real Meat air dried foods:

    Real Meat Pet Food

    Air Dried/freeze dried will give you the most dry options without those binders. Obviously wet is even easier to find
     
    sarah430 purraised this.

  12. maryah

    maryah TCS Member Young Cat

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    I don't remember where I found this Dry Food Comparison Chart, but it's been very helpful! (Might have been here!) Dry Food Comparison Chart | Zero Carb and Grain Free Cat Food

    I'm trying to transition my 1-year-old cat to Nature's Variety Ultimate Protein... it's touch and go at the moment, because she misses the flavor additive coating on the Royal Canin kitten chow she was raised with. But I will persevere. :) And the next step will be to gradually convert her to mostly wet food.
     
    walkingrock purraised this.

  13. sarah430

    sarah430 Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    That's a great resource. Thank you!
     

  14. kalebkat

    kalebkat TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Kieka thank goodness you mentioned all of these things! My vet told me that sticking to one brand is better in the long run. Now, I knew he loved some of weruvas selections but I saw that the Natural Balance Duck & Pea had cranberries and I thought that was great because hes a boy and boys are prone to urinary problems. Now that I know it can be bad on an ongoing basis I definately won't give it to him! He doesn't seem to enjoy eating it anyway. He leaves it there for more than a half an hour.

    Also I was deciding for higher quality over raw but now Im terrified of the fillers. I guess I was already but your posts put it more into perspective so I do know he likes them and I will have to see about getting a bag.

    As a food suggestion, my vet also told me about The Honest Kitchen. That might be a great one to to try.
     

  15. IndyJones

    IndyJones Adopt don't shop. Top Cat

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    Where do you think?
    Funny how different vets say different things about food. My vet said it was good to rotate the canned food so they don't develop food addiction or allergies.

    It was also my vet who switched Hector to the Primal pheasant when she had food sensitivity which is a raw food puck.
     

  16. NewYork1303

    NewYork1303 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I think Nature's Variety instinct is, at least in certain flavors/varieties.
     

  17. thegreystalker

    thegreystalker TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    It's a learning process. Feed your cat the best you can afford and then watch for any consistent troubles like diarrhea, horrendous gas, or really strong odor from the litter box. And of course when you find something she devours, make that meal a regular part of her/his menu.
     

  18. minttulips

    minttulips TCS Member Kitten

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  19. minttulips

    minttulips TCS Member Kitten

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    May 3, 2018
    Watch out for legumes: Disappointing Trend In Rising Pet Food Market
    Cats can't digest lectins. Neither can we humans unless they are pressure cooked and treated correctly. Have you ever seen wild animals eating beans? Even if they grow in someones garden?
     

  20. minttulips

    minttulips TCS Member Kitten

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    May 3, 2018
    Health Extension Kitten and Adult Cat Dry Cat Food-- no peas and a pretty good mix. available at concord pet online.
     

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