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Old 11-01-2012, 04:15 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Default Cat Food Questions

The training center where I work recently got a "facility cat" - a cat who basically just lives at the center, whose main purpose is to desensitize dogs to being around cats. He's extremely good at his job.

The problem we're having with him, though, is that he eats EVERYTHING. Seriously, the cat acts like he's starving all the time. He is - in my opinion - a pound or two overweight, but when we put him on a diet his behavior is even worse: he raids garbage cans, gets into our cabinets of training treats, he even eats (swallows, and then vomits) phone cords and other bits of plastic.

So we're wondering if changing his diet would help him feel fuller. Our vet suggested wet food just because it has a higher protein and lower carb level than dry food, but my boss would prefer finding a comparable dry food instead as dry is cheaper and easier to deal with. So I have been tasked with finding a high protein, low carb dry cat food.

So my questions are:

What are the protein and carb levels that cats should have in their diet?

What is a good canned food - not super-incredibly-premium, but very decent - that I can use to compare nutrient levels with dry food?

Any dry food suggestions?
I think we're willing to feed a super-incredibly-premium dry food, especially as it will most likely be very much cheaper than any decent canned food we could use as an alternative, but we are a nonprofit and price will have to be a consideration.

THANKS!!
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:03 PM
Kilter Kilter is offline
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Depends a lot on the cat, I think. I know our cat did not handle the high protein/fat stuff. She's better on the middle of the road food. Too cheap, doesn't work either.

One thing that did help is she got put in the bedroom for an hour. As soon as she was in the bedroom, I put out 5-10 bowls or stashes of food, in different spots each time. Then let it sit for an hour so it wasn't as easy to find, and let her out. She could scream all she wanted, but that did not get her food. Being quiet and going to look for the food DID work though and she learned to calm down and 'hunt' which helped.

I would chew proof the cords if you can, and make sure the garbages etc. are cat proofed too, so it's not an option.

As for food, we feed kirkland, and a limited amount over free feeding - she can't free feed as she will eat herself sick! Someone across the street used to leave out cheap cat food for their cat outside, and she'd go over, eat the whole thing, and then come back with poop all over her rear from the runs. Not fun.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:22 PM
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JustaLilBitaLuck JustaLilBitaLuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
What are the protein and carb levels that cats should have in their diet?

What is a good canned food - not super-incredibly-premium, but very decent - that I can use to compare nutrient levels with dry food?

Any dry food suggestions?
Cats are obligate carnivores - so, the more protein, the less carbs, the better. There aren't really any specific "levels", especially as most foods don't list the carbohydrate content.

I cannot stress enough the need for cats to have additional moisture in their diet. So many of the kidney/urinary problems that cats have is due to the fact that most cats simply do not drink enough water (they're designed to get their moisture from their food) and they end up chronically dehydrated. I would try to do at least 50/50 dry/wet, but sometimes that's not always possible with clinic/store/facility cats.

As far as dry foods go, Instinct, EVO, Orijen, and Acana all have fairly low levels of carbohydrates - those would be some of my top picks for dry cat foods. Off the top of my head, Chicken Soup and Precise are both reasonably priced canned foods (about $1.00-$1.50 for a 5.5oz can). Dehydrated (like The Honest Kitchen) or raw food is often cheaper than canned food, but still has the moisture benefit, something to keep in mind.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:25 PM
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Even 13.2oz Evo or Wellness would be pretty cheap, especially if you are using it 50/50 with dry food.

13.2oz Evo chicken/turkey and beef run right around $2.00 here.
As for Wellness, the Beef & Chicken (red can) has the least amount of carbs for that company.
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