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Wet (Canned) Food questions

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by poppy2507, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
    3
    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    I posted an update on Poppy in another forum. Poppy has been with me since January 2011. Poppy was a shelter cat, came with "issues," most of which have resolved. She will always be on wet (canned) food, tho', because of a tendency toward constipation. 

    I'm a pensioner, so on limited income. Poppy has always done well on a few flavours of Fancy Feast, but has recently stopped eating FF Chicken, which is fine with me, 'cause I don't like the texture of this. I've tried Wellness and Merrick ... Poppy won't eat those brands. I recently tried her on Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Chicken, which she ate, but it's expensive. 

    I have a few questions re canned cat food:

    (1) I'm wondering if boredom sets in and do cats really need multiple flavors of food? I rotate flavors in case of boredom, and in case they stop making one or more of the flavors. 

    (2) What is the BEST canned cat food, given Poppy's history of constipation?

    (3) What is the best, INEXPENSIVE canned cat food, given my budget restraints? 

    (4) What do people here think about Fancy Feast as a long-term diet, assuming the cat will eat most flavors? 

    Would appreciate any comments re above questions, and I hope everyone, and everyone's cats, are doing well!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016

  2. LotsOfFur

    LotsOfFur What greater gift than the love of a cat. Top Cat

    1,621
    618
    Jul 13, 2015
    Texas
    I also have a cat who is prone to constipation that is on an all wet diet.

    I rotate brands of foods and personally stick with turkey and chicken and a little lamb because that's what my crew prefer. I read labels and avoid grains although rice is sometimes hard to avoid. I mostly use pate style as the gravy types seem to have more carbohydrates.
    I use fancy feast, Sheba, Friskies, Tiki Cat (chicken only- puka puka luau ), Weruva (chicken frick a zee), Hound and Gatos (chicken), Natures Variety, Wellness, Nutro, and on occasion PetSmart brand Grreat Choice & 9-Lives. I'm always looking for other brands and reading labels so I will try a few cans and if I like the ingredients and my cats like it I add it to the rotation.

    My cats aren't super picky but they don't like to eat the same thing for 2 consecutive meals. I don't rotate on any given system other than that.

    I do add in freeze dried raw but the bone content isn't great for cats prone to constipation, so use it mostly as a topper instead of a meal.

    I always add filtered water to the food and my constipated guy gets 1/4 tsp Miralax twice a day.
     

  3. molly92

    molly92 TCS Member Top Cat

    1,261
    817
    Jan 8, 2016
    Michigan
    My kitty also has chronic constipation. She likes most canned foods, but prefers pates so that's what I stick to. I like Holistic Select because you can get it in 13 oz cans so it's a pretty good deal for a food of that quality. It says it contains all sorts of things for "prebiotic support," but I'm skeptical about that. I sadly did not notice any improvement when feeding it compared to foods like Wellness, but it's cheaper and healthy. I stopped feeding Wellness because I was worried about the carrageenan. She also likes Whole Earth Farms. I did try Hounds and Gatos, but that one she wouldn't touch and I don't know why.

    I did start feeding Nature's Variety Instinct recently, and I think that may have helped a little? Her stool was still drier than I'd like, but it was consistently in the litter box which means she felt comfortable going! I think it might be the clay in the ingredients. But it is expensive so it's not something I'm going to feed exclusively. 

    I add water to every food regardless of how moist it is. It doesn't help that my cat won't drink any water normally. I also add probiotics to every meal, and Miralax and acacia fiber occasionally. Still trying to find the perfect balance of supplements and medicine and etc.

    I think rotating foods and flavors is a good idea, whether a cat gets bored or not, because cats might develop an allergy or a sensitivity to a protein or other ingredient if they're only fed one food. I don't feed Fancy Feast, but it seems like a pretty good option to me.
     

  4. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
    3
    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks to those who've responded.

    I've spent a fortune on water fountains and driven both of us mad over the years putting bowls of water around the place before accepting that Poppy will never be a water drinker. I still put out fresh water daily—tried next to her food dish and away from it—she still won't drink. So I do add extra water to every meal, and occasionally slippery elm bark tea. Pumpkin mixed into her food worked for a time, but stopped working to help with the constipation after several months.

    A few days ago, Poppy ate the first tin of Blue Buffalo chicken as if she'd been waiting for it all her life. Today she went up the cupboard door beside me while I was dishing up her breakfast, a sign she definitely was hungry and attracted by the smell of the Blue Buffalo. But she wouldn't touch the new food once I put it down. Sigh! I tried mixing a bit with the Fancy Feast chicken she's been used to. Still no go. After a while, I gave her only Fancy Feast chicken, and she ate about half of that.

    I should have mentioned she will also only eat pate. She eats the broth around any other texture and leaves the food, so we stick to pate.

    She will still eat the Fancy Feast Turkey & Giblets, Salmon, and Liver & Chicken. I considered the Nature's Variety Instinct—it does look healthy—but it's almost $3 for a 5.5 ounce tin here—way too expensive for me.

    Poppy has a long history of behavior around the constipation. She was sent home from the shelter on Restoralax (what Miralax is called here in Canada) "forever" but neither of us liked the effect the laxative had on her even in small (= 1/8 tsp) doses. She panicked every time she had to "poop" and ran through the place trailing feces behind her. I didn't like cleaning up after what always hit her as a surprise all over the apartment. A few years on, she still won't use the litterbox for "poop" but goes just outside the box. I finally accepted that, and routinely clean up and disinfect her preferred spot. When I calmed down about it so did the cat, and at least she's consistent where she goes. The panic is gone and she does use the box to urinate.

    I haven't tried her on lamb, so will look for it next time I'm in the store. And I haven't tried Friskies. Guess I'm scared off by the ingredients label showing "by-products" and carageenan and rice as first ingredients in some flavors.

    I fed probiotics mixed into her food for a while. I hadn't thought of this but will go back to using this as a supplement.

    I've always wondered if Fancy Feast is a good enough food. My previous cat was diabetic, and a diabetes group recommended certain flavors of Fancy Feast as being acceptable amongst inexpensive foods. So that's what I started Poppy on when I got her.

    I guess there's no one answer, no one inexpensive cat food that's good to feed.

    I appreciate your input. Thanks, Molly92 and LotsofFur!
     

  5. misspurrfect

    misspurrfect TCS Member Young Cat

    20
    7
    Mar 19, 2015
    The thing that I've consistently read is that the best food is the one your cat will eat. My cat can be a bit fussy so Fancy Feast Classics are in our rotation along with Fussie Cat, Weruva, Nature's Instinct.

    Even though I'd like to be exclusively wet, o sometimes have to sprinkle a little dry food on top to encourage her so all this to say do the best of what you can afford and try to worry less!
     

  6. laura mae

    laura mae TCS Member Alpha Cat

    494
    264
    Jan 1, 2016
    I think trying different brands is the only way to find out what your cat will like.  I use the Fancy Feast pate varieties. My cats are not gravy cats. And the gravy is really wheat gluten anyway. At 60 cents a can (sometimes less), two cans = 1.20 which would be what you'd want to spend on one large can which is .5 oz less than two small 3 oz cans. That can be difficult with a lot of the premium brands.

    You can try heating up some water and mixing a tablespoon or so to the canned cat food and really mixing it up. That will increase your cat's water intake .

    I've found that sometimes the more expensive the food, the less my cats will enjoy it. And as you have found, every cat is different.
     

  7. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
    3
    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    misspurrfect and Laura Mae:

    Thanks for responding! I'd never heard of Fussie Cat ... I guess that's another cat food not available in Canada, like the Sheba brand. We do get Whiskas and other cheap brands, but I don't like the ingredients listed on those. I do have access to the more expensive Weruva and Nature's Instinct, but Fancy Feast seems to be the only inexpensive food we get here. Last time I picked up Fancy Feast (a week or so ago) in the grocery store, where it's a little less expensive than in the pet food store, the FF was 79 cents a 3-oz tin. The pet food store gives a discount on cases of the more expensive foods, but not on Fancy Feast. 

    I guess you're right, Laura Mae: trying different brands is the way to go, to find out what the cat will eat. I'm learning to read labels, to cut our choices down to the foods I'm willing for the cat to choose from. I do wish she'd cooperate by liking the second tin of something as much as she likes the first tin, tho'. LOL. 
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

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