"sheelagh" > wrote in message
> All this reading about what to feed your cats has got me feeling
> terribly guilty.
So, join the club. I've been feeling guilty for weeks.
> The reason for this is because I put down [email protected]
home complete dry food
> and they all graze as & when they want to. I also feed them 2 cans of
> wet meat a day x 2 daily too, but by the sound of things I am going
> about this all the wrong way..???
> I am reading that most of you are feeding your cats wet food because
> it is better than dry food for them.
> What is the reasoning behind this though?
The main argument is that the wet food is similar to the cat's natural diet.
Dry foods are primarily carbohydrates which the cats don't need and which
makes them fat and causes them to get things like diabetes. Since Alex had
previously been diagnosed with diabetes (he was cured with Lantus insulin)
and now has been diagnosed with CRF (six months after Molly died from the
same condition), and since Alex and Bullwinkle (my other senior kitty),
while definitely not obese, have both tended to be on the chubby side
(although they have both lost weight recently), I have been trying my best
to figure out what is the best thing to feed my cats.
Up until a year ago, the only thing I ever fed my cats was Iams Weight
Control (dry). When Alex was diagnosed with diabetes, the veterinarian put
him on Purina OM (overweight management, which is a dry prescription food)
and she wanted him to eat OM canned as well, citing that canned cat food
would provide a lot of moisture, which would be good for his kidneys and
other internal organs. He refused the OM canned but was willing to eat
Friskies or the store brand canned cat food. The vet said that she wasn't
exactly a fan of supermarket cat food, but she wasn't going to make an issue
of it as long as he was losing weight and not showing any sign of a diabetes
recurrence (I monitor Alex's blood sugar). So far, so good. Bullwinkle was
eating the same as Alex, and both Alex and Bullwinkle were losing weight
nicely. Amanda and Tux were eating the OM dry only. And I was continuing to
feed Daisy (who was a little on the thin side) the Iams Weight Control dry
Then, Alex was diagnosed with beginning CRF, and I started to read
rec.pets.cats.health+behavior (not sure what was the order, but I think I
was reading the newsgroup before the diagnosis). At the suggestion of some
other readers, I read the feline CRF website (also recommended by my
veterinarian) and the feline diabetes website. One of the things I learned
was that cats do not naturally drink as much water as their bodies need, so
(even healthy) cats who are fed a diet of exclusively dry cat food are
actually slightly dehydrated all of the time. There were some theories that
over the course of years, this constant dehydration messes up their kidneys
and may lead to or hasten the development of CRF. You can imagine the guilt
I was feeling. Then, with all the discussions of the animal byproducts and
wheat gluten and other carbohydrates in the canned cat food, I decided that
I wanted a better quality food than the Friskies/supermarket brand, so I
went for the Fancy Feast (trying to pick the flavors that had primarily
muscle protein and not byproducts listed amongst the first three or four
ingredients). In case anyone is wondering, as far as I can tell, the only
flavor that has 3 of the first 4 ingredients muscle protein is the Tender
Beef Feast flavor. Alex liked the Fancy Feast, as did. Bullwinkle (who will
eat any kind of food I put down in front of him). Alex is now losing weight
from the CRF, so I'm no longer so focused on having him lose weight. I would
be happy if he (and Bullwinkle) just maintained their current weights at
this point. Tux was eating the FF somewhat. Daisy developed a taste for it,
and by that point, I had also stopped filling her bowel with the Iams Weight
Loss food because the other cats were eating out of her dish, so I put the
whole family on OM dry food and Fancy Feast. Amanda was refusing the Fancy
Feast and eating only the dry, however.
Then, I discovered Pet Promise, which is made in a human grade food facility
and contains no byproducts, antibiotics, factory-farmed animals, or
artificial dyes or colors, and it costs the same as Fancy Feast, so I
decided to try that. But Pet Promise also contains rice and potatoes, which
again are carbohydrates and not needed for the cats and certainly not a good
idea for Alex. Also, the cats still preferred the FF, paws down. Then, I did
some more research at the CRF website and decided that Wellness would be the
best food for my cats.
I have ordered a case of Wellness, which is also manufactured in a human
grade food facility, but unlike Pet Promise is low carbohydrate. It hasn't
arrived yet, so I don't know what's going to happen next, which cat will eat
it, which cat won't. Ideally, I would like all of the cats to eat only
canned food, but I doubt this will happen. Amanda, in particular, continues
to reject the canned food almost completely, and Tux has been less than
enthusiastic. The other three cats probably could be just fine on an all
canned food diet at this point. I am going to be starting Alex on the subcu
fluids next week. He has been urinating profusely (due to CRF), but overall,
he seems to be perky and feeling much better since I initiated Pepcid, and
I'm supplementing him with Omega-3 and potassium supplements. Someone wrote
(either on this group or on the feline diabetes discussion group) that the
most ridiculous thing in the world is giving a cat subcu fluids for
hydration while simultaneously feeding him dry cat food.
Last night, I read an except from Ann Martin's book _Foods Pets Die
For_(which was recommended by Buglady. This book was written in 1996 - years
before the Menufoods thing). What I read made my hair stand on end. Here's
You would not believe the toxins and diseased animal parts and nonfood items
and other crap that finds itself into most pet foods. That's why I now know
for sure I only want to feed my cats food that's been canned in a human
grade food plant. The dry Purina OM - I can't speak for what's in that. I
don't think I want to know... But that's why I would really like to try to
get all my cats to eat Wellness canned food exclusively. I don't know if I
will be able to make that happen or not.
Anyway, that's what my thinking has been for the past few weeks.