Should I change 11yr old to grain free

CatLover49

All Cats Are Special
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
3,642
Location
Reidsville NC
Alot of u already know of my boy Snowball on here...Im really confused n concerned whether I should switch to grain free n keep him on it ...Ever since he was a kitten up to around maybe a yr or so ago..he WASN'T on grain free...to be honest he was on FF FOR GRAVY LOVERS...POULTRY N BEEF FLAVOR...After I got on this site n read some members post about grain free n how its healthier...And also how FF isnt great...Say the pate is ok..but he wont eat pate...Im just wondering what type of advice anyone can give me on what to do...Is it ok to continue feeding him FF GRAVY LOVERS???Or shud I try n transition him to something else..BTW all this time hes been on FF his bloodwork n BM were ALWAYS ok.or GOOD..Mainly GOOD...So should I try n fix something that isnt broken...???Or should I try n prevent it from breaking...Talking in reference to his health...Cause im really getting confused on what to do ...Please ya help me to decide...For my boy Snowball SAKE...:(:disappointed:
EFFECTS.jpg
 

SpecterOhPossum

spec's pet human
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
588
Reaction score
709
If he's doing okay, I'd say it's really up to you.

The perfect choice in my opinion would be a natural, grain free, home made diet consisting of what exactly a cat requires: meat & vitamins/minerals. Raw or home cooked.

If you're looking to change him from what he's eating, the best commercial food I can offer you to try with him would be https://www.chewy.com/tiki-cat-after-dark-variety-pack/dp/139631 or this one, which is slightly worse but okay overall. https://www.chewy.com/sheba-perfect-portions-grain-free/dp/119123
Sheba offers pate and chucks in gravy; Tiki offers shreds and broth only; I believe.

As always, make sure to transition slowly, though, especially with this cats age. Personally, I would suggest feeding several brands if doing commercial diet, as some brands can discontinue and you don't want to be stuck.

Another point I'd like to point out, is that cat's don't require grains, despite what a lot of people are spreading due to taking an FDA statement out of context, not sure if you've heard of that specific drama yet; but I'll just say this: Grain free food won't give your cat heart disease; this myth came from a out-of-context FDA dog food warning.

For my cat, I have always avoided grains; and her health is normal. I'd say it is very dependent on the individual cat, however, it's important to know that cats are strict carnovores and don't need vegetable matter, and often thrive best on a filler-free-meat-only (or meat heavy, at least) diet. HOWEVER, all cat's are different!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

CatLover49

All Cats Are Special
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
3,642
Location
Reidsville NC
If he's doing okay, I'd say it's really up to you.

The perfect choice in my opinion would be a natural, grain free, home made diet consisting of what exactly a cat requires: meat & vitamins/minerals. Raw or home cooked.

If you're looking to change him from what he's eating, the best commercial food I can offer you to try with him would be https://www.chewy.com/tiki-cat-after-dark-variety-pack/dp/139631 or this one, which is slightly worse but okay overall. https://www.chewy.com/sheba-perfect-portions-grain-free/dp/119123
Sheba offers pate and chucks in gravy; Tiki offers shreds and broth only; I believe.

As always, make sure to transition slowly, though, especially with this cats age. Personally, I would suggest feeding several brands if doing commercial diet, as some brands can discontinue and you don't want to be stuck.

Another point I'd like to point out, is that cat's don't require grains, despite what a lot of people are spreading due to taking an FDA statement out of context, not sure if you've heard of that specific drama yet; but I'll just say this: Grain free food won't give your cat heart disease; this myth came from a out-of-context FDA dog food warning.

For my cat, I have always avoided grains; and her health is normal. I'd say it is very dependent on the individual cat, however, it's important to know that cats are strict carnovores and don't need vegetable matter, and often thrive best on a filler-free-meat-only (or meat heavy, at least) diet. HOWEVER, all cat's are different!
Yea I kinda figured they dont need grains...Just was wondering if grain cat food is BAD???I read alot of material on it..but to BE honest it gets confusing...And some just dont understand in their terms..U know
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
7,110
Reaction score
12,401
I'm looking at the ingredients for the FF for Gravy Lovers.

This is the turkey flavor.

Poultry broth, turkey, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, chicken, corn starch-modified, artificial and natural flavors, soy flour, salt, tricalcium phosphate, MINERALS [potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide], natural and artificial roasted turkey flavor, taurine, added color, choline chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, VITAMINS [thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin (Vitamin B-7), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 supplement]

Out of that, I see what? wheat gluten? corn starch? soy flour? Yes, of course it's going to have all of these to create a gravy and not just a broth. Is it a lot? Probably not much at all. Well, the wheat gluten being ahead of meat by-products (unnamed organs) and chicken is slightly concerning. But there's still named meat (turkey), moisture, and liver ahead of the wheat gluten.

My point is, you can do worse! If your cat is happy and healthy on this, it's a lot better than many of the foods which use grains, peas, legumes, and the like as protein sources. When I think grainy vs grain-free, I mostly think dry foods.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
7,110
Reaction score
12,401
There's also no reason why you couldn't mix in a "better" food, whatever you might think that is or might want to try with him as guest star meals. When you find another food you and him are both happy with, you could make it a regular part of the rotation. This would protect you from, say, Fancy Feast changing the recipe and him no longer liking it or doing well with it. There's no one perfect food.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

CatLover49

All Cats Are Special
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
3,642
Location
Reidsville NC
There's also no reason why you couldn't mix in a "better" food, whatever you might think that is or might want to try with him as guest star meals. When you find another food you and him are both happy with, you could make it a regular part of the rotation. This would protect you from, say, Fancy Feast changing the recipe and him no longer liking it or doing well with it. There's no one perfect food.
Wouldn't having a rotation mess up his stomach..by u know giving him one meal this n one meal that..look like that would mess up his digest system n BM
 

Uncled

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
360
Reaction score
532
Location
Connecticut U.S.A.
We all want the best for our animals, the only thing I can add is at least he is eating wet food,as others have said you can do a lot worse than Fancy Feast gravy lovers,the best wet food sometimes is the one that you can get them to eat. Mine eat Friskes pate and that is fine by me.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
7,110
Reaction score
12,401
Wouldn't having a rotation mess up his stomach..by u know giving him one meal this n one meal that..look like that would mess up his digest system n BM
I think having a rotation helps him have a more flexible and robust digestion. But some cats tolerate it better than others. What I would suggest is if he’s fed twice a day, give him an extra snack and that snack meal you can try different foods. In small quantities. With or without his current food. I think as long as you keep the quantity of the new food small at first, that’s probably more important than mixing it with the old. It’s not like digestion is a lock that only the old food has a key for. It’s that whatever is new could be a bit of a shock. Don’t thrust it all on him at once. But as long as he still has his other meals the same as he’s expecting, there’s no reason a mouser might not occasionally stray off normal and eat the random bird or lizard.
 
Last edited:

SpecterOhPossum

spec's pet human
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
588
Reaction score
709
Yea I kinda figured they dont need grains...Just was wondering if grain cat food is BAD???I read alot of material on it..but to BE honest it gets confusing...And some just dont understand in their terms..U know
I think cats don't require grains, that's the clearest answer I can give. Personally, I avoid grains at all costs, and have yet to see a cat require or thrive off of grains compared to having no grains. I have only ever seen improvement when removing grains from a cat's diet, just as I have only seen improvement when removing other fillers from a cat's diet. Removing grains won't hurt them, however, a diet heavy in plant matter is arguably not-very-great in the longrun. :dunno:
 

Lalka

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
318
Reaction score
183
Location
Quebec, Canada
The way i see it is to compare with the food we eat. We are omnivores but some of us eat too much salt, sugar, gluten everyday...Most ppl will be ok and stay healthy but others, as they age, will develop health problems. It won't hurt your baby to remove all grains or add no grain food to her actual diet so i think it's a very good idea because cats don't need it. Like other ppl mentioned, have a rotation if going grain free is too expensive and your cat is ok with the change.
 
Last edited:

1 bruce 1

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
5,948
Reaction score
14,417
My eyes lit up when I saw a picture of your cat. I grew up with an all white cat with one blue eye, and one amber eye, and have always been very partial to them :petcat:
You could try adding some pate to a can of the regular food, just a tiny bit (1/8 of a teaspoon to start) to see if it's accepted. I would rotate brands, too. As many have said, the best diet is the one they eat readily and do well on.
 

bitkit

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
137
Reaction score
64
A good alternative to Fancy Feast might be Tiny Tiger chucks in gravy or extra gravy, the carb count is under 5% for both, 2.5% for the extra gravy. I guess the only questionable ingredient is potato starch.

From youngagain website -

Why Potato Starch?

When pet food manufacturers first created kibble in 1956, they discovered that it needed some sort of binder to hold it together. Starch worked best, so they used starch from grains such as corn, wheat, or oats.

Today’s pet foods, however, have moved away from grain products. Rice, potatoes, and peas are popular substitutes, but they still contain plant proteins. Peas, for example, contain up to four times as much plant protein as corn.

Young Again dog and some of our cat foods, include a purified potato starch as a binder (our ZERO line of foods contain none). Purified potato starch does not contain plant proteins. Without plant proteins, only the carbohydrates/starch remain. And because potato starch molecules are large, they are an efficient binder requiring a lot less quantity- 2/3 lower inclusion rate. Young Again cat kibble, for instance, is comprised of less than 6% starch, as opposed to the 20 to 30% starch used by other companies.

Purified potato starch has proven to be an efficient, low-carbohydrate binder. It is one more way that Young Again offers the best products for your pet’s continuing health and happiness.
 

lisahe

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
4,843
Reaction score
3,311
Location
Maine
A good alternative to Fancy Feast might be Tiny Tiger chucks in gravy or extra gravy, the carb count is under 5% for both, 2.5% for the extra gravy. I guess the only questionable ingredient is potato starch.
I most definitely agree with "questionable" for describing potato starch in cat foods! Potato made one of our cats horribly gassy (really smelly) and barfy.

Potato starch may be the "efficient, low-carbohydrate binder" Young Again calls it, but it's not very good for cats. Other people on the site have mentioned that their cats have had similar symptoms after eating foods with potato. (When I told our vet the Edwina couldn't tolerate potato ingredients, the vet said potato doesn't belong in cat food to begin with.)
 

jen

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 27, 2001
Messages
8,501
Reaction score
2,997
Location
Hudson, OH
I will just add in that "grain free" is a great marketing ploy since it is trending and what people are looking for. However, the grains are usually just replaced by carbs and starches which along with grains all turn to sugar and are all the same issue in that cats don't need any of them! They just are replacing one carb with another carb.

I love fancy feast pate bc it is low to no carb. If you can rotate a can or two of that in a day, even by mixing it with the gravy lovers, or adding water to it that would probably be the way to go. Don't get all caught up on the grain free bandwagon. It means little when it is simply replaced with other bad ingredients for cats.
 

lisahe

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
4,843
Reaction score
3,311
Location
Maine
Don't get all caught up on the grain free bandwagon. It means little when it is simply replaced with other bad ingredients for cats.
I just use grain-free as a starting point: all the foods we feed are grain-free and low-carb, meaning they also have to be potato-free and legume-free. (Among other things!)
 
  • Purraise
Reactions: jen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

CatLover49

All Cats Are Special
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
3,642
Location
Reidsville NC
I will just add in that "grain free" is a great marketing ploy since it is trending and what people are looking for. However, the grains are usually just replaced by carbs and starches which along with grains all turn to sugar and are all the same issue in that cats don't need any of them! They just are replacing one carb with another carb.

I love fancy feast pate bc it is low to no carb. If you can rotate a can or two of that in a day, even by mixing it with the gravy lovers, or adding water to it that would probably be the way to go. Don't get all caught up on the grain free bandwagon. It means little when it is simply replaced with other bad ingredients for cats.
My boy wont eat pates..even when I added little water to try n make it gravy like u know..He would sniff n walk away...but I put down some FF GRAVY LOVERS N HE CHOMP DOWN...Im just thinking that FF GRAVY LOVERS May NOT be healthy from what I hear on here from some members...And may NOT feel him up and keep him full as long as like the healthier brands...Ok..its gotten in my head from listening to ALOT of things about FF NOT THE PATES...BUT SOME OF THE OTHER FF ...THAT FF ISNT A GOOD FOOD FOR CATS N NEITHER IS FRISKIES..WHICH I DONT FEED FRISKIES NO WAYS...AND THAT GRAIN FREE IS HEALTHIER...AND MORE FILLING..MEANING KEEPS THE CAT FULLER LONGER...THAT FEEDING FF GRAVY LOVERS IS LIKE ME EATING JUNK FOOD...AND GETTING HUNGRY AN HR OR SO LATER...WHICH I DONT DO CAUSE OF MY HEALTH...IM SORRY ITS JUST IM RIGHT NOW JUST CONFUSED ON WHAT TO FEED MY 11 YR OLD BOY...THAT WOULD BE HEALTHY FOR HIM...CAUSE I ALSO NOTICED WHEN I DID TRY N FEED HIM SOME WELLNESS GRAIN FREE CHICKEN FLAVOR IN AMPLE BITS OF GRAVY...HE STARTED TO NOT HAVE BM AS OFTEN AS HE DOES WITH FF GRAVY LOVERS..ACTUALLY HE WENT FOR 2 DAYS WITHOUT BM ON THE WELLNESS..GAVE HIM SOME PUMPKIN...N MIRALAX..AND HE WENT NEXT DAY...IM WONDERING IF THAT BM ISSUE COULD HAVE BEEN THE DIET CHANGE???
 

darg

Gizmo
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
382
Reaction score
320
I switched my cat at 12 years old, but he was eating a dry kibble for sensitive stomachs that wasn't working well for him at all any longer. My cat has food sensitivities and IBD. He's now eating high quality canned and homemade/raw. No grains, no legumes. He's doing really well now.

If you cat is doing well, and he seems to be, then there isn't any imperative need to change his diet. Like others have suggested, you can try to introduce some grain free wet food and see how he takes to it. There are certainly better quality foods than what you are feeding but there are also foods that are a lot worse. Too bad that he doesn't like pates. The Fancy Feast pates are very decent foods and they are all meat as well, no grains or legumes. At least that's the case for the turkey and chicken varieties. They do have some byproducts but that's not neccesarily a deal breaker. I'd still probably be feeding some of the FF Turkey pate but it contains some chicken which I've found out my cat doesn't tolerate well.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

CatLover49

All Cats Are Special
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
2,228
Reaction score
3,642
Location
Reidsville NC
I switched my cat at 12 years old, but he was eating a dry kibble for sensitive stomachs that wasn't working well for him at all any longer. My cat has food sensitivities and IBD. He's now eating high quality canned and homemade/raw. No grains, no legumes. He's doing really well now.

If you cat is doing well, and he seems to be, then there isn't any imperative need to change his diet. Like others have suggested, you can try to introduce some grain free wet food and see how he takes to it. There are certainly better quality foods than what you are feeding but there are also foods that are a lot worse. Too bad that he doesn't like pates. The Fancy Feast pates are very decent foods and they are all meat as well, no grains or legumes. At least that's the case for the turkey and chicken varieties. They do have some byproducts but that's not neccesarily a deal breaker. I'd still probably be feeding some of the FF Turkey pate but it contains some chicken which I've found out my cat doesn't tolerate well.
What canned food is he eating???And how DOES the Raw cat food go???Ive heard about but never tried....
 

darg

Gizmo
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
382
Reaction score
320
What canned food is he eating???And how DOES the Raw cat food go???Ive heard about but never tried....
He's eating Rawz Turkey and Stella and Chewy's Turkey. They are both pates. The Stella and Chewy's does have a morsel and gravy style food as well but the ingredients do contain some vegetables in those. Still, no grains or legumes.

As far as the homemade food, I feed turkey thighs that I buy and then then grind at home. I don't grind the bones. I use a pre-mix supplement called Alnutrin with eggshell calcium (to replace the calcium that would come from the bones if I ground them) and I use freeze dried turkey liver in the recipe since my cat doesn't do well with chicken liver and I cannot get fresh turkey liver here locally. I bake the turkey thighs in the oven but just long enough that the surface get's mostly cooked. It sounds like a lot of work and it definitely is compared to just opening a can of food. But, it's really simple to do. It's just time consuming.

He gets the canned in the mornings but he's really taken to the homemade and it's all he wants in the afternoon and evenings. He was lukewarm on the homemade at first and it really took him a few months to really get to like it. But I can't complain as he's a stubborn boy who had been eating dry food only for 12 years of his life. Right now he's eating about 50/50 canned and homemade which was my goal when I first started making him some homemade. I wasn't sure I'd ever get him there but here we are.

If you want to get some tips about making your own cat food at home, start a thread over in the Raw and Homemade subforum of this forum. Lots of members will be glad to share their experience and tips.
 
Top