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Is Pure Wet Always Better Than Dry?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by Espalia, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Espalia

    Espalia Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    While that chart is an excellent resource, I do want to point out that, as far as I can tell, Dr. Pierson isn't specific about what kind of analysis she is getting from each company, meaning they may not even be comparable. Yes, they are a "typical nutrient analysis" but honestly, I don't know what that actually means or how each company measures their TNA.
    That aside, she even states herself that the values given are a loose approximation, and many foods with rice clock in well under the 10% carb mark - but Dr. Piersons talks in depth about why you shouldn't feed your cat food with ingredients like rice in it elsewhere on the site. The overall point I'm making here is there seems to be nowhere even near perfect an answer as to what we should feed our cats, and no hard and fast rule that you can just apply and say that's good enough.
     
  2. Neo_23

    Neo_23 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I think the argument that canned is better than dry isn't meant to imply that canned is the greatest food out there for cats. I don't think anyone (including Dr. Pierson) would say that. She's just trying to help consumers make informed decisions and I think her chart is a very helpful tool. But, you're right. It's hard to balance calorie ratios with good quality ingredients. I have done lots of research into the lowest carb foods on that chart and most of them have questionable ingredients :(

    For me, my kitten has had urinary crystals and has had a very hard time digesting dry foods (even the highest quality brands that I've tried). It wasn't until I started feeding him Rawz canned that he felt better, so I've made the decision to do a wet/freeze dried raw diet. But that may not be the right decision for everyone.

    I think if you're really concerned about nutrition and feel that you want to have more knowledge of what's in your cat's food then the better option would be to look into homemade diets.
     
  3. Neo_23

    Neo_23 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sorry.. accidentally quoted myself and reposted. Ignore this post :)
     
  4. Espalia

    Espalia Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    It's nice to hear the personal anecdote about your own kitty, I'm glad he's feeling better and I will definitely be trying out RAWZ canned. You're right, I think her chart and the entire site is a great resource to help consumers re-focus their attention on the things that actually matter most when they are making food choices for their cats.

    Alas, I wish I had the time and money to devote to feeding a homemade diet to my kitties. Unfortunately my husband and I are living that grad-school lifestyle: working too hard, sleeping too little, making no money. We buy a pound of meat for ourselves once a week and eat an embarrassing amount of ramen. For me, and I think many cat owners, I am more concerned with the nutritional needs of my cats than myself - but ultimately I am also limited by time and resources. I actually do try to "cook" for the cats on the rare occasion I am also making us a home-made meal, but it's rare.
     
    Elena2915 purraised this.
  5. Neo_23

    Neo_23 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I am in the same boat. Also in grad school and worried about time and money for doing a homemade or fully raw diet. Although, I was at a raw food pet store the other day and the clerk told me that feeding a raw diet can be cheaper than all canned. I think she is right if you just buy the meat and add the supplements in yourself, but I feel like I don't have enough time to actually research the appropriate supplements and I'm also worried/scared I would mess something up.

    Rawz is pretty decently priced and dense in calories so I'm quite happy with it. I feed the turkey and chicken varieties and it actually is my kitten's favorite food. He has never had any leftovers in his plate. I also give him a little bit of Instinct Rabbit once in a while (maybe 4 or 5 cans a month spread over several days) just to give him some protein variety and I'm working on bringing in some Primal freeze dried but I can't do too much of it because it's so pricey.
     
  6. Elena2915

    Elena2915 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I am a major raw advocate I feed my dogs raw. I would feed my cat montieque raw but he flat out refuses to touch the stuff, to much wet food gives him the runs, so he eats a half dry half wet diet. I rotate dry brands, Fromm, Orijen, Acana, EVO, Natures Variety, Blue Buffalo (rare because it makes his poop STINK), and some others. I rotate to not only give Variety because who the heck wants to eat the same thing every day their entire life, but also to avoid him getting picky.
    As for canned he got mostly Tiki Cat as I worked with a rescue who received a 200,000 can donation and gave me some. Now he’s getting Authority, Nutro, Koha.


    We Adopted a new kitty last week on Friday. She’s a special needs girl who’s under weight, has a fractured pelvis, neurological damage, loss of depth perception in her eyes, and partially deaf. The shelter fed whatever was donated so she was eating a mix of like meow mix, friskies , special kitty, 9lives, etc dry. And was on a prescription canned food mixed with friskies. Bleh

    I got her home and had a coupon for a free bag of Simply Nourish a decent food, so I mixed a bag of that with my other Cats bag of EVO and she likes it and is doing well.

    For canned she eats mostly fancy feast right now. And she eats mostly wet food anyway. The reason for this is because she is sickly right now and we don’t want to risk her turning up her nose at her food.

    Now we have given her other higher end canned and she likes them but to avoid anything she will get the fancy feast for another month or two before switching fully onto a higher quality canned food.

    I’d like to eventually get her onto primal but we shall see :)
     

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  7. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    ALL cat foods that meet AAFCO standards are "nutritionally complete" so I think that is why moisture is the biggest discussed issue with dry food. Your cat can get all the vitamins and such it needs from a cheap canned food like Friskies but it can NEVER get the moisture it needs from even an expensive dry food.
     
  8. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    Oops, sorry, yes, I should clarify that it's the pate type canned foods that have a lot of meat; the shreds/chunks/etc. gravy types are often made with soy protein or wheat gluten :/. It's best to stick to the pate types if at all possible.

    Yes, Friskies does have rice but it must be less than what most dry foods have, because canned Friskies (Poultry Platter pate is the one I ran) has only 11% carbs. It's very hard to find a dry food that low-carb, especially in a reasonable price range. Here's the carb calculator if you want to run a few to compare: Cat Food Nutrition Calculator | Elizabeth C Scheyder
     
    riley1 purraised this.
  9. riley1

    riley1 TCS Member Super Cat

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    I saw Catinfo.org listed in many of the replies which is a very valuable source if you plan to feed canned food. When I first got my current cat my vet said if you feed only canned food your cat will never get diabetes. She knew this was my plan so I asked her why she and other vets told people that feeding dry was okay. She said the majority of cats "survive" into their teens and sometimes later eating food that is not appropriate for them. Also, there are far too many homeless cats and if you make it expensive and difficult for people to feed their cats they may not want them. That said I think that dry food is awful for cats regardless of the quality. I am not that wild about canned either! These companies are in business to make money, not worry too much about your cat. Cat food is basically made up of byproducts of the human food production. I asked another vet why peas and carrots were in canned cat foods. He said it is really for the people, not the cat and also is a good filler. I started out with Nature's Variety canned because I though it was a high quality food, then found out that it is 60% fat. Fat is cheap, protein is expensive. I can't say I trust the raw food producers that much more. I ended up going with Rad Cat raw. You can look at it and know that there is just raw meat in the product. If I were to feed canned it would be Tiki Cat chicken or turkey. However, I expect no one to feel guilty if they can only afford dry food for their pet. If they adopted, there is another cat who has a home and is loved.
     
  10. riley1

    riley1 TCS Member Super Cat

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    Friskies in the flat can has meat byproducts as the first ingredient. I am a bit turned off by "byproducts" but if you have every seen a barn cat eat a mouse, it goes down the hatch head, tail and all!
     
  11. Elena2915

    Elena2915 TCS Member Young Cat

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    AAFCO’s definition of “Byproducts”
    Meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”

    To put it another way, it is most of the parts of the animal other than the muscle tissue, including the internal organs and bones. It includes some of the parts people eat (such as livers, kidneys and tripe), but also parts that are not typically consumed by humans in the US. Some by-products, like udders and lungs are not deemed "edible" by USDA for human consumption, but they can be perfectly safe and nutritious for animals not inclined to be swayed by the unappealing nature of these parts of animals. As with "meat," unless the by-products are derived from cattle, pigs, sheep or goats, the species must be identified.“

    “Poultry By-Products must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”

    Similar to "meat by-products," it is most of the parts of the bird that would not be part of a raw, dressed whole carcass. That may include the giblets (heart, gizzard and liver) but also other internal organs, heads and feet.

    “Animal By-Product Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain extraneous materials not provided for by this definition. This ingredient definition is intended to cover those individual rendered animal tissues that cannot meet the criteria as set forth elsewhere in this section. This ingredient is not intended to be used to label a mixture of animal tissue products.”

    May consist of whole carcasses, but often includes by-products in excess of what would normally be found in "meat meal" and "meat and bone meal."


    Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.….{the definition goes on to include the required mineral specifications and required nutrient guarantees}….. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”

    Essentially the same as "poultry by-products," but in rendered form so most of the water and fat has been removed to make a concentrated protein/mineral ingredient.
     
    EmmiTemmi and riley1 purraised this.
  12. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    :yeah: BUT also worth mentioning that "by-product meal" is a rendered (cooked at very high temps) product so it can be made out of 4-D animals (dead on arrival, dying, diseased, down) so it is considered lower-quality than the "fresh" by-products used in canned foods, which must be from animals healthy enough to be slaughtered. Many people prefer to avoid by-product meal for that reason.
     
  13. Elena2915

    Elena2915 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I do myself but wanted to bring that information to the table for those who weren’t aware :)
    I don’t use anything with the word byproduct behind it (except for with my rescue Girl right now which I explained)

    Either spell out liver spleen kidney tripe etc or don’t use it period
     
  14. riley1

    riley1 TCS Member Super Cat

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    Thanks for the reply! You did read about the mouse in my post? I do worry about whether these guidelines are followed.
     
  15. yeva2292

    yeva2292 TCS Member Young Cat

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    As others mentioned above, hydration is one important reason to feed wet instead of dry. You may have seen this paper before, but I'll link the abstract just in case you or others might like to read it :). As a quick summary, scientists found that cats fed a diet hydrated to 73% (compared to 53.2%, 25.4%, and 6.3%) had lower Urinary specific gravity scores, lower calcium oxalate, and significantly more fluid uptake (water was offered for all) than the other moisture percent foods.

    Effect of dietary water intake on urinary output, specific gravity and relative supersaturation for calcium oxalate and struvite in the cat. Buckley CM1, Hawthorne A, Colyer A, Stevenson AE. Br J Nutr 2011 Oct:106 Suppl 1:S128-30

    If you want the full article, I can probably download it and send it to you. I'm not sure if I can upload journal article pdfs to public sites.
     
  16. prairiepanda

    prairiepanda TCS Member Adult Cat

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    It's important to note that AAFCO has multiple qualifiers for a food being "nutritionally complete". It can be complete for maintenance, all life stages, growth, or gestation.
    Maintenance foods only need to meet AAFCO's bare minimum requirements.
    Growth foods need to have a higher density of calories and nutrients required for healthy growth.
    Gestation foods are really similar to growth foods but have an increase in some different nutrients and higher fat (usually foods in this category are also rated for growth and marketed as mother/baby food, since the requirements overlap a lot)
    All Life Stages foods need to meet all of the above requirements, but can have much lower nutrient densities than kitten food if they indicate on the package that kittens must be fed more. Most all life stages foods go this route to avoid problems with obesity.

    That said, the AAFCO ratings don't always correlate with whether a food is marketed as kitten/adult/all stages, so it's helpful to read the AAFCO statement regardless what the food is marketed towards.
     

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