The Best Food for Your Cat: My Recommendations

cat with food bowl

Editor’s Note: Even tough this article was first written in 2012, I periodically update the information to keep it current. Most recent update: April 2016. I try to as many general questions in the comments as I can. If you’d like individualized advice for your cat, please schedule a consultation

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet.

Never feed dry food

Cats shouldn’t eat dry food; even the grain-free dry varieties are too high in carbohydrates.

And contrary to the myth that just won’t die, dry food does not clean your cat’s teeth. Most cats don’t chew their kibble long enough for any of the scraping action that is the theory behind this myth to kick in. What little they do chew shatters into small pieces. Some pet food manufacturers offer a “dental diet” that is made up of larger than normal sized kibble to encourage chewing, but in my years at veterinary practices, I’ve seen many cats swallow even those larger size pieces whole. Additionally, dry food leaves a carbohydrate residue in the cat’s mouth that actually encourages growth of tartar and plaque.

Articles about feline nutrition, and one-on-one consultations

You can find many of the articles I’ve written about this topic in the Feline Nutrition section right here on this site. I also provide one-on-one consultations if you need help with transitioning your cat to a healthier diet.

What I look for in a food

  • Protein is listed as the first ingredient on the label, and the meat/poultry used is fit for human consumption. If the meat is organic, that’s even better.
  • The food is grain-free (no rice, barley, or any other grains. Even though these are considered healthy in human nutrition, cats’ digestive tracts are not designed to digest the unnecessary carbs).
  • The food does not contain by-products, corn, soy, or any other fillers.
  • Ideally, I’d like to see no carrageenan in the food. Some of the brands on the list below have carrageenan in some of their flavors, so check labels carefully.
  • Ideally, I’d like a food to be GMO-free. Some of the brands on the list below may contain GMO’s.

Avoid fish-based foods

A word about fish: most cats love fish-based foods. I recommend using them sparingly or avoiding them altogether. Sadly, much of the fish that goes into pet food is contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins. (On a side note, that is also true for fish sold for human consumption.) Fish used in pet food manufacturing often contains whole fish, guts and bones, which can increase phosphorus levels of the food. This can be a problem for cats with kidney disease. Some cats are sensitive to fish-based diets and develop urinary tract problems that resolve when fish is removed from their diet. Additionally, fish based foods may contain menadione, a synthetic form of vitamin K, which has been banned by the FDA for use in human supplements.

My recommendations

I am often asked what brands I recommend. Unfortunately, there are many diets on the market that sound good based on what the pretty packaging says, but when you take a closer look at the label, you realize that there’s not much substance behind the marketing claims. The brands listed below are foods that I either currently feed to Allegra and Ruby, or have fed to them in the past. This list is not meant to be exclusive, and it does not mean that there aren’t other really good diets out there. It just means that these brands are the ones I’m comfortable with after doing thorough research.

I recommend the following (listed in no particular order):

Grain-free canned diets

Weruva. Read my full review of this brand here.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Canned

Bravo Canned

Nature’s Logic Canned

Hound and Gatos

Tiki Cat. I only recommend the poultry-based flavors.

Soulistic. This brand is exclusively sold by Petco (and also available from Amazon), but is produced under the same processing standards as Weruva.

Addiction I only recommend the carrageenan free formulas. They are a bit higher in carbs than I like to see, but I still consider it a good brand.

Wild Calling

Merrick Merrick was bought out by Purina in 2015. Company representatives assured me that they will continue to operate independently, and that the sourcing and the formulas will not change. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this brand, and will remove it from this list if I no longer feel comfortable with it.

Ziwi Peak

Raw diets

Primal Pet Foods I like these diets, but I have found that the formulas seem to vary a bit from batch to batch. If you have a finicky eater, this may become a problem.

Rad Cat This is hands down (paws down?) my favorite raw food, and my cats seem to agree

Darwin’s

Feline’s Pride

Stella and Chewy’s

Nature’s Variety

Dehydrated raw diets

The Honest Kitchen

Stella and Chewy’s

Additional Reading

How much should I feed my cat?

How to wean your cat off dry food

How to get finicky cats to eat

How to read a pet food label

Feeding your cat: know the basics of feline nutrition by Dr. Lisa Pierson

Feline Nutrition

Cooking for your cat: how to make a balanced homemade diet

Kidney failure and diet in cats

New Dr. Goodpet banner

Photo: istockphoto

717 Comments on The Best Food for Your Cat: My Recommendations

  1. Ashley
    July 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm (4 days ago)

    Hi Ingrid, Do you approve of Primal’s freeze dried nuggets cat food?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm (4 days ago)

      I think they’re a good choice if your cat will eat freeze dried food.

      Reply
      • Ashley
        July 25, 2016 at 6:06 pm (4 days ago)

        Thanks! I have one cat that so far has only been willing to eat Stella & Chewy freeze dried (I was finally able to get him off of dry food), but they don’t seem to be consistent enough for how picky he is so I was looking for another freeze dried option to see if he would eat it.

        Reply
        • Jerilin
          July 25, 2016 at 7:14 pm (4 days ago)

          There is also Whole Life Pet Products Life Bites that come in chicken, duck and salmon for another freeze dried option. Also Nature’s Variety has a new chicken freeze dried product called raw market. I haven’t tried those yet but I have tried the nature’s variety regular frozen raw bites and my cats were very so so on but your mileage may vary. The only thing I don’t like about the Nature’s variety regular raw bites and Primal raw and freeze dried is the amount of vegetables and fruits contributing to the carb content. Overall Stella and Chewy’s and Whole Life seem cleaner but any of them are better than dry! =)
          If you want to eventually jump in all the way raw I would recommend buying muscle meat, bones and organs from haretoday website and mixing a vitamin supplement like Alnutrin along with salmon oil or other omega 3 and probiotic. It is VERY economical but takes a lot more time to do. There is a lot of information on thecatsite website as well as other sources on how to use haretoday and get the muscle meat, bone and organ content balanced for healthy cats. I have used Hare Today and highly recommend! I have also bought off of Raw Feeding Miami and recommend!! Haven’t used radcat or Darwin’s yet but heard nothing but good things!
          Ingrid have you tried Rad Cat or Darwin’s or Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried? Would you recommend?
          Good luck 🙂

          On a side note I decided to try Merrick Backcountry pouches and my cats LOVE all the flavors even though it is chunks. I just mash them or cut them up a little and feed on a saucer or plate and they seem to have an easier time. Highly recommend! Especially the rabbit.

          Reply
          • Ashley
            July 26, 2016 at 4:17 pm (3 days ago)

            Thank you Jerilin. I’m sure I’ll end up trying several freeze dried foods for my picky cat even if just as a back up for the times I end up with bags of Stella and Chewy he won’t eat. I have considered making my own cat food especially since he is more than happy to eat half cooked baked chicken as a snack…goes crazy for it! I have given my other cats the raw Rad Cat and Darwin’s and it works well for them…2 of my cats act like the raw food is still alive haha I’ll keep trying 🙂

  2. Kendra
    July 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm (1 week ago)

    Hi sorry to bother you if you’ve already discussed this elsewhere. Is the cat food you recommended also okay for kittens? I have a 3 month old kitten and I’ve just been feeding him iams kitten proactive health which is what his foster place fed him. I really want to start him on canned food. I do have a really limited budget but I’m willing to splurge probably more than I should in my situation for him. Would I just be looking at the brands you recommended but look for “kitten” in the label or is there even any difference with canned food?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 22, 2016 at 5:39 am (1 week ago)

      Yes, all the brands and foods I recommend are okay to feed to kittens. They’ll just need to eat more frequently and need more calories than adult cats.

      Reply
  3. Ashley Zarth
    July 13, 2016 at 10:30 am (2 weeks ago)

    Ingrid,

    I am hoping you can help me. I worked so hard to get one of my dry food only cat to eat wet food! He finally took to Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried (he likes both the Duck and Chicken that I have introduced him to), BUT the last bag of Duck, Duck Goose I got him was different. I noticed that the food was softer than usual and would immediately be ready to serve once water was added. He and my other cat that isn’t picky refuse to touch it! I then got a new bag of the Chicken to replace the “defective” one…the new bag of chicken is harder than usual and takes for ever to get soft enough to be ready to serve. He will not eat that one either, but it is because there is something different with both bags that I can even tell the difference. I don’t know if the brand is usually this inconsistent (my first about 5-6 bags of food were fine). Are there any similar brands I can try for my cat or should I just contact Stella and Chewy and buy other bags assuming these 2 are just “defective”?

    Reply
  4. Michelle
    July 12, 2016 at 9:00 am (2 weeks ago)

    Hi, thank you so much for recommending Rad Cat for my kitty that has GI problems. He has stopped barfing his food! however, he will occasionally cough up a hair ball, wonder if his digestive track is off and needs some help in the healing process? Would he benefit from a probiotic/digestive enzyme supplement?

    Reply
  5. Jody
    July 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm (3 weeks ago)

    Hello! I have an almost 13 year old cat that has been diagnosed w/ a kidney stone. The vets keep trying to push the Hill’s or Royal Canin Urinary food but I know that those foods are full of corn, gluten and by-products. Are there any of the wet foods in your list (found at Petco) that you would recommend for kidney stones/urinary issues?

    Thank you!

    Reply
      • Jody
        July 9, 2016 at 6:03 pm (3 weeks ago)

        Thank you!

        Reply
      • Jerilin
        July 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm (3 weeks ago)

        I’m sorry. Now that I refresh the page again my original comment says awaiting moderation. For some reason a minute ago the comment was completely gone so I thought it had been deleted when I checked in on the site. I apologize if it was just a mistake.

        Reply
    • Jerilin
      July 9, 2016 at 6:16 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Are you sure it’s a kidney stone vs a bladder stone? Is it a calcium oxalate stone? Did they say how big and give you any surgical options to consider removing it or breaking it up? Here is an article about the surgical options available if it’s indeed a calcium oxalate kidney stone: http://www.2ndchance.info/oxalatecat.htm
      Unfortunately despite what the vet might have told you a special diet won’t dissolve the stones. A diet for the obligate carnivore (see Ingrid’s list here or the Natural Cat Care Blog recommended food list) is what I would recommend. Canned or raw cat food only. No dry. No Hill’s or other prescription cat food. If you feed this type of diet and the stone is very small it should flush itself out naturally. However, if with xray or radiology you find it is large I would consider having it broken up with a minimally invasive surgery or one of the other recommended routes in that article linked. Be sure to find out the size of the stone if you haven’t already and discuss with your vet. Good luck! 🙂

      Reply
      • Jody
        July 10, 2016 at 8:46 am (3 weeks ago)

        Yes, it is a kidney stone as she had an ultrasound. They said it’s only one and said nothing about surgery so I guess we’re just waiting for it to pass. She received a steroid shot to help w/ the inflammation. She is still urinating outside of her box, I’m assuming b/c she is in pain :(. They did not advise me the size of the stone, should I call and ask? And, would they know what kind of stone it is from an ultrasound?

        Reply
        • Jerilin
          July 10, 2016 at 9:25 am (3 weeks ago)

          Yes I would definitely call back and find out the type and size of the stone. If it is a struvite stone you have non surgical options if it’s a bit bigger. You can use urinary acidifiers such as methigel or GNC Urinary Tract support Gel available at Petsmart.(make sure it is the gel that has DL Methionine in it) Only use these if it’s struvite and be sure to do it slowly and monitor the cats ph using checkupkit for cats or just hydrophonic (sp?) Sand and Solid Gold urinary ph test strips. You don’t want the cats ph to get down below 6 or as low as 5 because then the cat could get calcium oxalate crystals and or stones. The ideal ph would be somewhere between 6 and 6.5. At a ph of 7-7.5 is typically where my cats have formed crystals in the past before I fed a species appropriate diet.

          If the kidney stone is calcium oxalate in nature diet alone will not dissolve the stone unless it is very small. If it’s calcium oxalate find out the size and discuss methods to mimimally invasively break up the stone or remove the stone if it isn’t small enough to pass with an appropriate diet. I will leave a separate comment with my specific diet recommendations.

          Reply
          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 9:40 am (3 weeks ago)

            Thank you again! I will call tomorrow and find out the size and type of stone it is and report back.

          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 11:23 am (3 weeks ago)

            I’m also concerned b/c the vet told me she has “sludge” in her bladder. Do you know what that means? This has been going on for about 4+ weeks as the first vet didn’t catch the kidney stone. I feel like she should have passed it by now. I guess I just need to find out what kind of stone it is and go from there. I hate that my kitty is in pain 🙁

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 11:34 am (3 weeks ago)

            No I don’t know what sludge means. Could she have meant crystals? I would call and find out. It is very important to know what kind of stone and or crystals you are dealing with and the location of them. I would make sure kitty doesn’t have crystals and or stones in her bladder either.
            Good luck with the food!

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 11:57 am (3 weeks ago)

            After doing a little research sludge is sediment in the bladder which is very similar to crystals but in a slightly different form. I would definitely find out if the sludge is too acidic (calcium oxalate in nature) or too alkaline (struvite) in nature. I hope you get answers so you can get your poor cat feeling better!!

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 12:06 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I would also be concerned with this much going on in your cats urinary system that she could have an infection (either urinary tract, bladder or kidney) A simple blood test would be able to rule this out. If she does have an infection I would get an antibiotic and also use a product called Animal Apawthocary Tinkle Tonic which is an herbal blend that naturally helps support and fight urinary tract distress. Good luck!
            If your cat is in a lot of pain I would get her some pain medicine such as Buprenorphine and maybe use a heating pad near her kidney to help relieve discomfort. Puppy pads near her litter box will make clean up easier until she is well for you.

          • Ingrid
            July 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm (3 weeks ago)

            “Sludge” is generally the precursor to crystals. It’s a sand like substance in the urine. It sounds like your cat has multiple urinary tract issues going on. I would recommend working with a holistic veterinarian to address all of these issues, including diet. As Jerilin mentioned in one of her earlier comments, urinary ph is key to preventing certain types of crystals and stones, and not knowing what particular type your cat is dealing with, I’d be hesitant to recommend a specific diet and/or supplement. I would also caution you in using supplements without the advice of a holistic veterinarian. Some supplements can interact with others, and it’s best to work with someone who understands how it all works together.

          • Ingrid
            July 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I, too, am concerned that your cat is in pain, and I’m surprised your vet didn’t give you any type of pain medication or at the very least, a medication to relax the bladder.

          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I know, I feel so bad for her. When I asked the vet if she was in pain, she told me probably not. But, how could she not be? The only thing they gave her was a steroid shot to help w/ the inflammation and said to come back in a month for another ultrasound. I don’t have a holistic vet in my area, as I live in a small town. I found one but she too sells the Hills and Royal Canin, so I feel that will be pushed on me again. I’m so frustrated/stressed/sad for my kitty and I don’t know what to do! On a happy note, she loves the Soulistic Good Karma food, hurray!

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm (3 weeks ago)

            What state do you live in if you don’t mind? I live in small town Iowa so I feel your pain. No Hollistic vet. You just say NO when they tell you to feed the Hill’s. Be strong and firm. Since you are in the same situation as me you must take your cat to the regular vet to find out more such as the type of stone and sludge and or crystals, if the cat has an infection and what the ph of the cats pee is. Also find out if the cat has elevated kidney protein or function as this is very common with urinary issues and something you need to be aware of. The checkupkit also has an indicator for this.

            Only after the vet visit can we give you specific advice. The hills food has DL Methionine a natural amino acid that when given to a cat with struvite crystals or stones breaks them up so they can safely pass out of the cat. While giving the product such as the GNC urinary support gel I advise you to take it slow and constantly monitor the cats urine ph using hydrophobic sand litter and urinary ph strips. The two products you would need to do this are checkupkit for cats available on Amazon and solid gold ph strips available on chewy. Amazon also sells the sand litter separate from the checkupkit. I would buy these ph monitoring items now even before you know which type of crystals and stones. As Ingrid said do not give the DL Methionine gel until you get more information from a vet on the type of stone. Be aware the vet will NOT have the DL methionine outside of the cat food so if you don’t want to feed the hills you will have to administer the gel with it in it and check the ph carefully on your own to get it in the right range. Be sure to take your cat in to verify your at home results. It is extremely frustrating living in small town USA and constantly having Hill’s and Royal Canin shoved at you.

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 5:30 am (3 weeks ago)

            While I agree with Jerilin that the prescription diets are not a good choice, I do not recommend attempting to try to treat urinary tract problems without the guidance of a veterinarian. Even if you can’t find a holistic vet locally, you may be able to find someone who will advise you remotely.

          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm (3 weeks ago)

            Thanks Jerilin! I live in southern SC, close to GA. I believe the closest holistic vet is about 2 hours away. I just had her at the vet on Friday for the results of the ultrasound. I can call tomorrow and ask the questions you both have advised on. Once I have that info, I’ll report back! Both of you have been so much help, I can’t thank you both enough! I’m so happy that there are cat lovers out there like you both that have the knowledge of this kind of thing. I’m not sure how or why she has these issues – we’ve had a LOT of bouts of cystitis in “our lives” but never to this extent. She gets stressed easily if I go away on vacation or being around kids but that always clears up in a week. The first vet told me nothing was wrong w/ her even though her blood work showed low white blood cells and low platelets. I knew something wasn’t right b/c of the blood work and from her urinating outside of the box and so frequently. She was put on anti-biotics for 2 weeks and it didn’t help so I knew it wasn’t a true UTI or bladder infection since they didn’t help. And now I find out she has a kidney stone and her bladder has that “sludge”. I never feed her people food and she was on a wet food diet w/ just a little bit of grain free dry food at night for a snack. I’ve always been very cautious about what she eats and try to play w/ her too.

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm (3 weeks ago)

            That is unusual to have so many crystals in a female cat. All 4 of my cats are male. I would stop feeding any amount of dry even grain free. What dry were you feeding her out of curiosity? In my opinion the grain free ones cause even more problems because they are smaller companies and don’t get their products mineral content balanced like some of the other bigger names might. I wouldn’t recommend the hills or Royal canin dry either though because the urinary science diet actually made my male cat that had crystals worse when I tried it once! It has horrible ingredients and ANY dry is going to send your precious cat in the wrong direction to getting well. Let us know how it goes Monday with your call. Hopefully you could stop in and get some pain medicine soon too.
            I have had one cat that had crystals on the milder side several years ago from feeding Merrick Purrfect Bistro chicken dry along with canned then fed classic Fancy Feast pates which I still recommend to those on a budget for a long time then Orijen and fancy Nature Variety dry with freeze dried came out and I had to try it even though I should have known better. I only fed 40% dry and 60% wet. One of my male cats Toulouse got a complete urinary blockage and had to go to the emergency vet. We thought all was well because he was peeing well and took him home. My small town vet missed he was toxic and kidney stressed due to being plugged for 12 hours while my vet was closed due to holiday. He had to go in again emergency and be hooked up to an iv with saline to be flushed of the toxins. Scary!!!

            Ingrid: would it be normal that a few weeks after going through this he is still showing elevated kidney function/protein on the at home checkupkit? Maybe takes awhile for his kidneys to completely flush everything out and recover?
            Also the Merrick Backcountry wet cat food–have you tried with your cats? Did they like it? My cats didn’t like the lid Merrick and I don’t like that they’re owned by Purina but I would be willing to try. Thanks!

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 6:29 pm (3 weeks ago)

            Nvm on the Merrick Backcountry. Looked at the ingredients. It contains sodium phosphate which is a food additive similar to salt and animal digest that is added to entice pets to eat and is also a non digestible form of phosphorus. Shame. That is the only bad ingredient but still.

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 5:36 am (3 weeks ago)

            If he’s still showing elevated kidney levels, there may have been some permanent loss of kidney function. I would eliminate all dry food.

            My cats didn’t like the new Backcountry line due to the texture. They don’t care for chunky foods.

          • Jerilin
            July 11, 2016 at 10:36 am (3 weeks ago)

            I am not feeding anymore dry for a week or two now. I fed Royal Canin SO for only a day or two because when he was first sent home I couldn’t find the Methionine anywhere but in the food and they kept pushing it. It gave him diarrhea though and I obviously wasn’t comfortable with it and around this time I found the paw gel that had methionine in it. I tried to get guidance from my small town vet by sending him an email which is what the receptionist suggested but he never responded. He doesnt probably know how to administer methionine if it isnt in the food. All the vets around here just use the food with it in it so what would you suggest? Wouldn’t I be fairly safe to keep checking his pH and then giving the paw gel as needed? He needs to go in for a follow up checkup anyway soon so I would be getting him double checked at the vet. I may be looking for a better vet but the ones around me are all virtually the same. Are the holistic vets all veterinary school trained vets that offer herbs and other natural solutions and advice or do some only offer the herbs and supplements and advice with no western medical care such as pH test, blood test?
            Could the kidney damage also be temporary and show normal levels after feeding him wet for quite awhile? If he does have some permanent damage was it caused by him being toxic and having the vet miss it? ( :/ ) His ph is still high (around 7) from feeding the urinary dry a little bit ago so this could be contributing to his elevated kidney protein reading on the at home kit?

          • Marlene
            July 11, 2016 at 10:49 am (3 weeks ago)

            I can offer my experience. Holistic veterinarians are licensed vets. In my experience, it’s a traditional vet with additional training in natural / eastern techniques. When my cat had cancer, she still went to the regular veterinary oncologist and the holistic vet for supplementary care.
            My current cat has Feline Hyperestesia Syndrome, which is managed through a combination of diet and natural therapies. My vet was open to pharmaceuticals, but we agreed to try homeopathic methods first. A regular vet would go right to pharmaceuticals. This is the key difference here. No vet that I know of would withhold proven treatment in favor of eastern medicine.

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I’m just now seeing this after answering the question earlier. That’s a great explanation, Marlene, thank you!

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 11:58 am (3 weeks ago)

            Holistic vets will all have had the same training as conventional vets, but they have additional training in holistic modalities such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeoapthy, etc. Different vets will specialize in different holistic modalities, some will do a little bit of everything.

            Theoretically, your approach with using the methionine should be safe, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it without veterinary guidance.

            I would definitely keep a close eye on your kitty’s kidney values with bloodwork every six months.

          • Jerilin
            July 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm (3 weeks ago)

            He is peeing beautifully now after being wet food only for several days. No blood in urine or straining or multiple trips to litter box. I did test the pH and kidney protein during the middle or later part of the day and now that I look at the checkupkit card instructions again it does advise to do it in the morning about 2 hours after the morning meal? So the results could have been off? It says on the card you can refrigerate and take to your vet for further analysis within 48 hours so I’ll be doing that with the next test.
            I was only able to find one hollistic vet that is 50 min away from me and uses essential oils which like you said are controversial so I’m unsure about going to her.
            I was able to find Pawsitive Pet Care though in Waterloo and they have glowing reviews and I think they are actually hollistic even though not on that site because they came up using this locator: http://www.vetlocator.com/holisticandalternative.php and their website has this to say about their services? http://ppcvets.com/services.html

            “Alternative Medicine for Pets

            Our clinic embraces the holistic approach to pet health and wellness. We offer nontraditional forms of therapy for those who wish. Therapeutic laser, acupuncture and chiropractic therapies are available.”

            They also say ..”For those who would like, we also offer vaccination titers as an alternative to annual vaccinations. Vaccine recommendations are based on each individual and the risk of exposure.”

            I like the sound of all that. But what is a vaccination titer?

          • Jerilin
            July 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm (3 weeks ago)

            Toulouse is scheduled to go in Thursday. When I called back to see if they needed me to bring a urine sample they said they don’t accept urine samples and use an ultrasound to test the bladder’s ph?!!

            On a completely separate note how would you suggest brushing my cats teeth? When I have tried there is growling, hissing and attempts to bite. How often should I do it if I’m even able to do it? I am concerned if they don’t let me do it that their annual or 6 month vet cleaning isn’t enough. I’m also concerned about putting them out with anesthesia every 6 months? I have very similar concerns about getting hurt trying to cut their front claws? And then what about the back ones? Yikes haha. Thank you.

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm (3 weeks ago)

            They will probably do an ultrasound guided cystocentesis to collect urine – this ensures an uncontaminated sample.

            You’re asking a lot great questions, and I’d be happy to answer them, but it’s really more than I can answer in comments or even emails, and it’s off topic for this thread. I’d be happy to schedule a consultation if you’d like. You can also find a lot of this information by utilizing the search box in the sidebar on this site. 🙂

          • Jerilin
            July 14, 2016 at 11:00 pm (2 weeks ago)

            Ok thanks! I will search your site for more dental and nail trimming info. After taking Toulouse to the vet a lot of questions were answered but quite a few were left unanswered. His ph was high today. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a holistic vet who could remotely through phone or email help with Toulouse’s diet and supplements to help prevent future struvite crystals. He is an easily stressed kitty and I definitely think that isn’t helping anything so a holistic vet who has a lot of nutritional experience and knows about urinary issues and stress induced urinary issues would be preferred if you have any to suggest. Thank you heaps!!
            Is the catinfo (.org) lady a dvm that could help remotely?

          • Ingrid
            July 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm (2 weeks ago)

            I believe Dr. Pierson from catinfo.org does remote consultations, Jerilin, and yes, she is a DVM.

          • Jody
            July 11, 2016 at 8:55 am (3 weeks ago)

            Thank you for that website Ingrid, she could very well have that.

            As for the stone info, I called and the vet is going to call me back. However, they said they cannot tell what kind of stone it is by the ultrasound, that it would have to be removed to know for sure. Is that correct? They also do not know the size.

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 9:29 am (3 weeks ago)

            It is correct that the only way to tell for sure what type of stone it is is by removing and analyzing it. With bladder stones, vets can sometimes tell from the crystals that are in the urine, but this is not usually the case with kidney stones. Unless the stones were perfectly positioned during the ultrasound, it would also be hard if not impossible to measure the exact size.

          • Jerilin
            July 11, 2016 at 10:46 am (3 weeks ago)

            Oh wow. My cat had struvite crystals and a urethral blockage so I don’t know where you would go from here. I don’t know what options you would have outside of some type of surgery then for her kidney stone. I am outside of my league here. Maybe Ingrid will have some further information and suggestions on how to proceed next. I definitely wouldn’t give the paw gel then with methionine if you don’t know the type of kidney stone. It is only for struvite. I am only familiar with struvite and oxalate and not anamorphic. It makes perfect sense though that bladder stones are much easier to diagnose the type based on the surrounding crystals.

          • Jody
            July 11, 2016 at 9:53 am (3 weeks ago)

            Thanks Ingrid! The vet had told me before she had amorphous crystals, I just remembered that. So, when I speak to her again, I will ask about the urine pH and possibly about some medication for her bladder and/or pain meds? I can’t find much info in regards to amorphous crystals.

          • Ingrid
            July 11, 2016 at 11:48 am (3 weeks ago)

            Amorphous just means that they didn’t have a clearly defined shape and/or that they couldn’t interpret the type.

        • Jerilin
          July 10, 2016 at 9:31 am (3 weeks ago)

          These are all (canned or pouch) foods I feed my own 4 cats that are very clean in which the companies have responded to my emails about and are constantly improving the formulas on.

          1) Tiki Cat (any of their canned including gourmet carnivore, the fish flavors as a treat only) so mainly:
          -Puka Puka
          -Koolina
          -Napali (chicken and salmon)
          -Chicken and Duck Gourmet Carnivore
          -Chicken and Turkey Gourmet Carnivore
          -they also have beef in gourmet carnivore but my cats didn’t care for the big liver pieces
          -Hanalei Luau
          2) Weruva cats in the kitchen pouches: Love Me Tender, Pumpkin Licken Chicken, Chick Magnet (more as a treat). The other CITK pouches have synthetic vitamin k in them or heavy fish. I very occasionally buy 1 if by land 2 if by sea for a treat only.
          3) Weruva canned: Regular Line: the only one I get is Paw Lickin Chicken TruLuxe: Steak Frites, On the Cat Wok (the fish ones have vitamin K) Cats in the Kitchen canned: Fowl Ball. I don’t like that the cats in the kitchen canned has so many gums plus a lot of the others besides fowl ball has fish.
          4) Wild Calling:: Magic Meadow (buffalo), Trot N Tommy turkey, the duck one the majority of my cats didn’t like. I don’t like that Wild Calling is SO high in fat. I would like to see them offer a lower fat food. Feeding this in a rotation with a much lower fat food like weruva a day tiki cat is great though.
          5) Nature’s Variety canned regular: Rabbit, Duck. I don’t feed beef or venison because of fat content but my cats like the beef especially if I do buy. I tried the limited ingredient turkey but my cats didn’t like.
          6) Soulistic canned: Good Karma, Golden Fortune, Harvest Sunrise is high carb
          7) Soulistic pouches: Autumn Bounty, Good Karma
          8) Soulistic cups as treat only: tuna dinner in gravy, salmon & tilapia dinner
          9) Against the Grain: Carribean Club, Chicken and pumpkin samba, tuna mango tango as treat, lamb cucurbita as treat, shrimp daddy as treat
          10) Addiction canned caraneegean free only: Hunters Venison stew, Rabbit and blueberries, turkey and cranberries
          11) Lotus Just Juicy turkey stew and pork stew. A little higher in carbs than I would like but my cats love it. Not as high in carbs as harvest sunrise by soulistic though which is recommended all the time but I skip for a lot cleaner chicken foods (no carbs, gums, veggies)
          12) Pure Vita canned: Beef Stew my cats love, Turkey stew my cats did not.
          13) Wellness Morsels pouches, but only some of my cats like. (2 out of 4)
          14) Petcurrean Go! Shine duck pate: my cats didn’t like but I would try. Cleanest of their offerings. Some of the others had more fruit/veggies than I would have liked.
          15) Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice canned
          –My cats hated Impulse by Halo and Merrick Limited Ingredient, which I don’t mind since Merrick was bought by Purina.
          Looking into Earthborn Hollistic.
          Best of luck!!

          Reply
          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 9:41 am (3 weeks ago)

            I’m taking this list w/ me to Petco today! I tried the Nature’s Variety last night and she didn’t touch it. I’ll try the Soulistic today and see what happens. Fingers and paws crossed!

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 10:08 am (3 weeks ago)

            The only one available at Petco off that list is Soulistic. I would get the Good Karma Chicken cans and Autumn Bounty pouches. The Golden Fortune contains Tuna and could be given very sparingly only like one meal a week. Hopefully your furry one likes!!

            I get all the rest off of Chewy.com using their autoship feature to save money. They have the best prices around!! Also if your cat doesn’t like it Chewy will let you return the partially used case of food no questions asked. So do not worry about your cat not liking it! Chewy is the only site you will be able to find some of those foods and have them easily sent to you.

            The Life’s Abundance food is only available on the Life’s Abundance website.

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 10:33 am (3 weeks ago)

            Which Nature’s Variety did you try?
            There is one other food on there at Petco. It’s the Wellness Morsels. They are in pouches not cans. Only 2 of my 4 cats eat it. It’s a weird texture sort of. They are chunks. If your cat doesn’t end up being such a fan you could try smashing the chunks into more of a pate. The two ones I would try are Chicken and Turkey morsels in gravy and Chicken and Duck Morsels in Gravy. I think there is also a chicken and chicken liver one. You will have to look. Just get any of the ones without fish though the chicken and salmon one could be used as a weekly fish treat..hope your peanut likes something!

          • Samantha
            July 10, 2016 at 10:41 am (3 weeks ago)

            My Theo doesn’t like the natures variety any more either, he loved it when he was smaller and I was trying to get him to gain weight (gave him chicken, duck, and lamb varieties) but he’s not a fan ever since. Now I have them both on Soulistic and they both love it- I give them good karma and autumns bounty or I’ll add the pumpkin purée from time to time. I’m still trying to find something else to put in rotation that they don’t turn their noses up at.

          • Jerilin
            July 10, 2016 at 10:52 am (3 weeks ago)

            See my list above. My cats eat all those I listed. Have you tried Tiki Cat? That is my cats paws up favorite! For non chicken I would recommend Weruva Steak Frites, Pure Vita Beef Stew, Wild Calling Magic Meadow and Trot N Tommy and Addiction carageenan free. Also my cats LOVE Lotus Just Juicy Turkey Stew and Pork Stew. Hope you find something else they like!

          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 11:24 am (3 weeks ago)

            Thank you for the info about Chew.com, I’ll be sure to check it out! This is all great info and I so greatly appreciate it. I hope she eats the Soulistic that I just got 🙂

      • Jerilin
        July 10, 2016 at 9:39 am (3 weeks ago)

        Also as a side note I would definitely feed very minimal fish food at this time and feed at least 90-95% land animals (chicken, beef, turkey, duck, buffalo, venison. etc) Also be aware that the Nature’s Variety and Wild Calling canned have slightly higher magnesium and phosphorus levels which can slightly contribute to crystals and or stones forming because of the mineral content. Because it is a wet food though the risk will be slightly minimized. My advice when feeding these foods if you are dealing with struvite issues vs calcium oxalate issues is to add plenty of water to the NV or Wild Calling and also a little bit (1/8 tsp) of Solid Gold’s product called Berry Balance.

        Reply
      • Jody
        July 11, 2016 at 10:50 am (3 weeks ago)

        I know, I’m not sure what to do either! I think we’ll just see how she is in a month when she gets her next ultrasound, blood work drawn and a urine culture. I’m going to continue to feed her only wet and hope that this passes (not sure cats pass kidney stones?) or that she just starts feeling better w/ the better diet.

        Reply
    • Jerilin
      July 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Why was my comment deleted and not approved? This has happened to me more than once on your website and it is very frustrating as it takes a long time to type that much out. Jody said the cat had kidney stones NOT kidney failure/disease which are two completely different conditions. Now she will no longer be getting important advice. I’m sure you won’t approve this comment but at least you will read it.

      Reply
      • Jody
        July 9, 2016 at 7:43 pm (3 weeks ago)

        Jerilin, did you have some wet food recommendations for kidney stones? My cat is currently on canned grain-free Wellness Chicken and Herring formula. I think I definitely need to give her something w/o fish after reading this blog. But, not sure if I should continue w/ the Wellness or try another brand?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          July 10, 2016 at 5:35 am (3 weeks ago)

          I don’t recommend Wellness, but all the brands listed in this post should be appropriate for your cat, Jody. You may also want to consider working with a holistic vet who can help you formulate a homemade diet.

          Reply
          • Jody
            July 10, 2016 at 8:43 am (3 weeks ago)

            Thank you so much! I’ll try a brand you recommended above!

      • Ingrid
        July 10, 2016 at 5:33 am (3 weeks ago)

        It wasn’t deleted, Jerilin, I just approved it. All comments with links are held for moderation – unfortunately, this is necessary to help us prevent spam.

        Thank you for sharing the resource about kidney stones!

        Reply
    • Crystal
      July 10, 2016 at 5:40 pm (3 weeks ago)

      I apologize as I’m not sure who this information-:). I’m getting mixed up on the names. Anyway, the information I want to share with you all is to consider checking out AnimalEO. It’s a vet line of essential oils. They have blends for stress, UTI and a lot of blends to support all body systems. I have incorporated them with a specific species diet along with other things with great success. The best to all of you-:).

      Reply
  6. Melissa
    June 29, 2016 at 1:06 am (1 month ago)

    Hi,

    After reading your recommendations, I bought the Lamb, Venison & Fish, and Venison foods from Ziwi Peak. At first, I bought a single can of each and let my one-year old cat try each, and she seemed to take to them fine. I primarily feed her kibble, but I am trying to transition her out of that. But now, whenever she eats food from the Ziwi Peak can, she throws it up.

    Should I try another brand of wet food, or do you think it is just because she is not used to eating wet food? When she eats, she doesn’t gobble the food too quickly, but she throws up the Ziwi Peak food almost immediately after eating it.

    Any advice you have would be great, thank you!

    Melissa

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 29, 2016 at 5:46 am (1 month ago)

      If she’s throwing up every time she eats, something is not right, Melissa. It could be that she’s reacting to one of the proteins in the food, but if this happens on another brand, I’d take her to your vet. There may be something else going on.

      This article may help with weaning her off dry food: http://consciouscat.net/2011/07/25/how-to-your-cat-off-dry-food/

      Reply
  7. niren sirohi
    June 19, 2016 at 8:59 am (1 month ago)

    Hi Ingrid

    Based on your website i feed my cat only Weruva. He used to love having paw lickin chicken but earlier this year after 1 full week of nothing but Paw lickin chicken he completely refused to have it. So now the only food he is having is splashdance (oceanfish and chicken) and two tu tango (sardine, tuna, turkey) and he will eat a little paw lickin chicken/grandma chicken soup. I am worried i am feeding him fish and am planning on stopping the two tu tango. Your thoughts on the fish? He is 14 years old

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm (1 month ago)

      A regular diet of fish is not ideal. I’d try reintroducing some of the non-fish flavors. Maybe try Fowl Ball? It seems a little less “bland” then Paw Lickin’ Chicken and he might like it better.

      Reply
      • niren sirohi
        June 19, 2016 at 6:47 pm (1 month ago)

        Thanks Ingrid. We will remove the two tu tango and reintroduce fowl ball (this was something he used to love but gave up). We ran into the brand Earthborn Holistic that has a chicken product as well that is grain free and carrageenan free so will give that a try as well. Will continue with splashdance for some time since he likes it so much

        Reply
  8. Ashley Zarth
    June 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm (1 month ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    I read that varying the type of meat fed is recommended. I did not think of this until I saw that someone else posted they fed 2 types of food to their cats. Can you help me out a little with what you recommend? For example, should I feed my cats a chicken product 2x a day if that is what I feed now (I currently feed Soulistic Good Karma Chicken at least 3x per day) and then just 1x a day feed them another meat like turkey/duck/rabbit? Do you think there are advantages to also making one of their meals from another brand or use the same brand (for me that would mean Weruva since there is only one Soulistic product recommended). If another brand is good then I think I will try to make it a raw food if I can get them to eat it since a raw food diet is my ultimate goal 🙂

    Reply
      • Ashley Zarth
        June 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm (1 month ago)

        I cannot thank you enough for providing ALL of this amazing information and help to everyone and their cats! My cats wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for making choices a lot easier when there is so much confusing information out there….I have purchased the probiotic linked on your page and a new food (listed on your page) to add to their diet.

        Reply
        • Patti
          June 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm (1 month ago)

          What is the probiotic you recommend?

          Reply
          • Patti
            June 17, 2016 at 8:10 am (1 month ago)

            Should I be giving them the digestive enzymes daily as a preventative measure? They presently have no issues. Is it sprinkled on the food? Thx!

          • Ingrid
            June 17, 2016 at 8:25 am (1 month ago)

            I recommend probiotics (the Dr. Goodpet product is a blend of probiotics and digestive enzymes) as a daily supplement. Probiotics are a great immune system booster. It’s a flavorless powder and you can mix it in with food.

          • Ashley Zarth
            June 17, 2016 at 11:52 am (1 month ago)

            Ingrid,
            What do you think about “Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Probiotic Cat Supplement?” This is what I was giving my cats and they LOVE the flavor.

          • Ingrid
            June 17, 2016 at 11:55 am (1 month ago)

            I do not recommend Fortiflora. The first ingredient is animal digest. Animal digest is a flavor enhancer (it’s what’s sprayed on dry food to enhance palatability) and is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition. Sound disgusting? It is. It’s also why cats love the flavor.

          • Ashley Zarth
            June 17, 2016 at 11:58 am (1 month ago)

            I’m glad I ordered Dr. Goodpet’s product, but I wish FortiFlora wasn’t the one that the vet’s recommend and is so easily found when you are not sure which one to get 🙁 Thank you again for helping!

          • Patti
            June 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm (1 month ago)

            I ordered Dr. Goodpet’s on Amazon.

          • Sara Thomas
            June 21, 2016 at 11:56 am (1 month ago)

            Just curious…may I ask why cats need digestive enzymes? (My shelter adopted cats were fed Orijen Regional Red, now Farmina Wild Boar along with Weruva or Tikki Cat wet – – granted their not hunting for themselves.)

          • Ingrid
            June 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm (1 month ago)

            Cats don’t need digestive enzymes, Sara, but they can help with nutrient absorption.

          • Sara Thomas
            June 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm (1 month ago)

            Also, I do not understand how the Mercola product can help both a cat and a dog in one formulation. Can you help me understand?

            (Also, in my previous comment, my cell phone keyboard auto corrected “they’re” to “their”; I meant to imply, my cats are not getting natural enzymes from their prey.)

            Thanks in advance for your advice 🙂

          • Ingrid
            June 21, 2016 at 3:29 pm (1 month ago)

            Probiotics are probiotics. There’s no difference between human products and pet products, and certainly no difference between cat and dog products. The only difference between different brands and formulas will be in the concentration of live bacteria or the type of strains they contain. I don’t recommend probiotics made for human consumption because many formulas add in other supplements, such as FOS.

        • Ingrid
          June 17, 2016 at 5:55 am (1 month ago)

          I’m so glad this information has been helpful, Ashley!

          Reply
  9. Vicki Moore
    June 16, 2016 at 10:57 am (1 month ago)

    I adopted two full grown Egyptian Mau’s from a breeder several years ago when they were four. I had an older Main Coon and the vet advised to “feed for the neediest” so I switched them from their normal Royal Canin to Science Diet. One of the cats has struggled with constants respiratory issues, and I recently switched them to Origin Cat & Kitten, which amazingly seems to have alleviated his respiratory issues somewhat. I just bought Weruva canned food from Amazon based on your recommendations. Do you think his respiratory issues could be linked to food?

    Reply
  10. Scott
    June 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm (1 month ago)

    Hi Ingrid-

    After full checkup and bloodwork, my cats are fortunately healthy, but the vet wants to try a limited protein diet to try to ease their sensitive stomachs. She wants to prescribe Royal Canin Pea and Rabbit, but I worry that there are better options out there that are also less expensive (and available w/o prescription). I want to do what’s best for them, so I was hoping to get a 3rd party opinion. Thank you for all you do Ingrid!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm (1 month ago)

      Unless your cats have a true food allergy, there’s really no reason for a limited protein diet, Scott.

      Reply
  11. Linda A.
    June 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm (1 month ago)

    Sorry, but there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with feeding a cat dry food! I’ve been feeding my cat dry food (Purina SmartBlend with real poultry as the first ingredient) since I’ve had her, and she THRIVES on it! She’s sleek and slender, and her coat is beautifully shiny! And carbs or not, kibble is STILL better for her teeth than that sticky wet food!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 16, 2016 at 6:00 am (1 month ago)

      I encourage you to do more research about why dry good is not good for cats in the long term, Linda. If this article didn’t convince you, please visit Dr. Lisa Pierson’s site, catinfo.org.

      Reply
    • Ashley Zarth
      June 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm (1 month ago)

      To specifically address what is good for their teeth (I initially learned this from Jackson Galaxy’s website, but did a simple google “what food is best for cat’s teeth?” and found this website/article that says the same thing in more detail:

      Raw food is what is good for their teeth (dry is not).

      “When eating raw meat and bones, the act itself of chewing and gnawing serves as a polisher of the surface of the teeth preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar.
      Read more at http://feline-nutrition.org/answers/answers-what-dry-food-does-to-your-cats-teeth

      Reply
  12. Patti
    June 3, 2016 at 10:24 am (2 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid….. Boy, do I ever need help! I have completely taken your advice and feed my two cats only wet food. I’m actually a neurotic now :). Avoiding carrageenan and guar gum has led me to Tiki Cat, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and Weruva pouches. They get 1/2 6 oz. can each Tiki ( only the two chicken varieties) in the morning, 1/2 5.5 oz. can of NV (I rotate rabbit, venison, and lamb) in the early evening, and a half 3 oz. pouch of Weruva Cats in the Kitchen chicken with pumpkin sauce right before bed time. I do give my Bengal 1/4 c of Orijen on occasion because she prefers dry over wet, and I do believe Orijen is the best dry food out there. My problem is the cost of all this food. I am spending over $200 a month on wet food because I can’t find food that compares to the quality of the food I buy them. I am getting another kitten at the end of this month and this means by food bill will jump to over $300 a month. I just can’t do it. I totally trust your advice so I am asking you what higher quality/less expensive choices you can recommend. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 3, 2016 at 10:51 am (2 months ago)

      I’m so glad you transitioned your cats to wet food! I know premium diets are more expensive than others, but you’re going to save money on vet bills in the long run, Patti. I really can’t in good conscience recommend any of the brands that I believe are of lesser quality. I recommend price-shopping, watching out for sales and buying larger quantities when your brands are on sale or when you find a good price. Companies like Petfooddirect.com frequently have sales. If you’re shopping at a local pet food store, they may offer customer loyalty discounts. You may also want to consider making your own food – that’s definitely less expensive, and you control the quality.

      Reply
      • Patti
        June 3, 2016 at 12:04 pm (2 months ago)

        Thank you, Ingrid. It’s hard to compromise when I know I’m feeding the best. How do you feel about substituting one meal with Orijen dry? It may stretch my budget a bit.

        Reply
        • Marlene
          June 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm (2 months ago)

          I was successful using Amazon prime pantry. It’s 15% off.

          Reply
          • Patti
            June 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm (2 months ago)

            I just checked…it’s still about what I’m paying at $2.79 a can.
            Thank you.

          • Patti
            June 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm (2 months ago)

            Marlene, what brand do you buy?

        • Ingrid
          June 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm (2 months ago)

          If you absolutely must feed dry, I’d go with Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost or Instinct Ultimate Protein, Patti.

          Reply
          • Patti
            June 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm (2 months ago)

            Thanks. I’ll try to stick to only wet…just trying to stretch a dollar 🙂

          • Patti
            June 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm (2 months ago)

            You don’t care for Orijen kitten and cat dry? I read somewhere that it’s one of the best dry foods.

          • Ingrid
            June 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm (2 months ago)

            Orijen’s cat and kitten formula has too many fish ingredients, and is lower in protein than Nature’s Variety.

          • Jerilin
            June 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm (2 months ago)

            Be very careful with any of the natural dry foods unless you carefully check the magnesium and phosphorus levels and add a little Wysong Biotic Ph- or DL-Methionine. Especially with male cats. Crystals, especially struvite, and stones and blockages on dry food is a big concern. I was feeding my cats part dry part wet including nature’s variety ultimate protein and orijen dry cat and kitten and one of my male cats got a complete struvite crystal blockage and bladder infection. So actually if you must feed dry Royal Canin Veterinary SO Index labeled diets are the way to go unless you want to meticulously compare their SO Index phosphorus and magnesium levels with the natural dry food label of the food you want to feed. If not feeding a urinary formulated food you must also use a dipstick and plastic bead cat litter (so the pee doesn’t soak in) to closely monitor your cats urine pH and adjust accordingly (with the Wysong pH product or other product with DL-Methionine)

            I would feed my blocked cat the wet canned offerings of these urinary diets but he will not touch any of them with a ten foot spoon.

            This is the second of my cats who has gotten blocked on “natural” dry food. Wet is FOR SURE the best option or raw. If,however, you have a cat who must be on a urinary diet and only eats the dry offering and your other cats are eating his food anyway be sure to feed the food formulated to not cause problems (must have low mag. and phosphorus and DL-Methionine in it) to all your cats to avoid high vet bills. If you just feed it to the sick cat who needs it and not the others be prepared for a lot of work as the sick cat may just sneak the other types of food your other cats eat.
            Again as a preventative from not having to do any of this just never feed dry!! But if you must urinary formula only especially with male cats. My cats like Royal Canin over hills and the ingredients are a little better.

          • Samantha
            June 3, 2016 at 4:32 pm (2 months ago)

            I had the same issue, my little man was developing crystals on his dry addict diet (natures variety instinct Raw chicken) and the vet put him on hills rx s/d, but I’ve since switched him to all wet and I’m monitoring him this way. My fat girl is losing weight and they both seem to enjoy their wet foods 🙂

          • Patti
            June 3, 2016 at 4:40 pm (2 months ago)

            Wow!!!!! Thank you. My male only eats wet. It’s my female who haunts me for dry, but I give very little.

  13. Heather
    May 25, 2016 at 10:12 pm (2 months ago)

    Thank you so much for your article! I have a two year old cat that we fed Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s soul. She’d get 1/2 can of wet food in the morning for breakfast and dry food at night. She’d throw up the dry food so I went with all wet food. It got to where she couldn’t keep the wet food down. After some research we switched to Weruva Funky Chicken. We tried the different chicken kinds and she really liked the peas and carrots in the funky chicken so we’ve stick with that. She’s about 8 pounds and we feed her 3 oz in the morning and 3 oz at night. She seemed to be hungry all the time, so we decided to add a third feeding and space them every 8 hours. That helped with the hunger but the other day we got woke to a kitty that had pooping issues all over the house and she just didn’t seem to feel well. We’ve cut back to 2 feedings again and she’s back to normal, except she’s hungry mid day. My daughter wants to use a dry food to supplement her mid day but I don’t want to do that to her again. Any recommendations for what we can do to help with the hunger?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 26, 2016 at 5:28 am (2 months ago)

      I would increase the amounts you feed with the two meals, Heather. Alternately, you could offer her some freeze dried meat treats mid-day.

      Reply
      • Heather
        May 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm (2 months ago)

        Thank you, I will try your suggestions!

        Reply
  14. Ashley Zarth
    May 23, 2016 at 4:51 pm (2 months ago)

    For Soulistic, is “Good Karma Chicken Dinner – In Gravy” the flavor/option you would recommend? One of my cats is eating the Weruva “Peking Ducken – With Chicken & Duck in Gravy,” but I plan to switch her due to the cost (I have several cats and several sick pets).

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 23, 2016 at 5:07 pm (2 months ago)

      Yes, the Karma Chicken is the Soulistic flavor I recommend, Ashley.

      Reply
  15. Marlene
    May 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid, what is your opinion on Pure Balance, which as I understand is Walmart’s brand? The ingredients list on the wet food looks pretty good.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm (2 months ago)

      Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about this brand, Marlene (where it’s sourced, manufactured, etc.) It does look like the canned food contains carrageenan, so I would not recommend it.

      Reply
      • Marlene
        May 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm (2 months ago)

        My goodness! I don’t know how I missed that when looking at the Pure Balance food in the store. Back to the drawing board on something my kitties will enjoy that I will feel good giving them.

        Reply
  16. Lorena
    May 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid. I’d love to hear your opinion about the wet food Lotus and Addiction. These are two nearly new brands and I just purchased some for my cats.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 23, 2016 at 1:22 pm (2 months ago)

      Addiction is on my list, with a caveat that it’s a little higher in carbs than I like to see. I don’t like Lotus – too many veggies added.

      Reply
      • Jerilin
        May 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm (2 months ago)

        What’s wrong with Lotus? Most of their food I agree wouldn’t be my top pick..but they do have Turkey stew for cats and pork stew for cats under their “just juicy” line. This line is their best option. These have very few veggies. (Only carrots) and very simple ingredients. They are slightly higher carbs but still less or equal to Soulistic chicken and pumpkin and the like. It’s a very good option in my rotation and all 4 of my cats love it.
        A new one I’m trying from Chewy is Petcurrean Go! Duck. Trying this to replace Merrick L.I.D. Duck which my cats hate.

        Also frustrated with Weruva. I feed several of their varieties but why is synthetic vitamin k in several of their cats in the kitchen pouches and then the canned cats in the kitchen ones have three types of gums?! So frustrating. I feed Steak Frites from Tru lux line and pumpkin licking chicken and love me tender pouches to try to avoid these issues. I hope other customers are complaining and they will clean up their ingredient list. Also TOO MANY fish flavors from Weruva (and Tiki Cat) I feed the fish occasionally but avoid as a regular staple for thyroid and then the mercury issues.

        I was looking into those bravo canned foods on chewy but am concerned about their recall history? Have you tried these?
        Love your site and reading the comments here!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          May 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm (2 months ago)

          The last time I looked at Lotus, I found that it’s higher in carbs than what I like to see in a food. You are correct that menadione (vitamin K) is a controversial ingredient in pet food. I only recommend the Weruva poultry flavors. Bravo’s canned formulas are on my recommended list.

          Reply
          • Jerilin
            May 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm (2 months ago)

            Did your cats like Bravo canned? Is their a specific flavor you’d recommend?

            Do you know what the carb percentage is in Go! (Petcurrean) Shine Duck pate? It lists the as fed carbs as 2% on their website and the dry matter as 9%. I forget if dry matter is the one that matters but do have the coversion formula from G.A. to actual percentages written down somewhere haha.

            Do you know anything about Against the Grain canned cat foods? The ones I was specifically looking at on chewy were the chicken club and Chicken samba.

          • Ingrid
            May 23, 2016 at 6:52 pm (2 months ago)

            You can calculate approximate carbohydrate contents by adding all of the listed nutrients and subtracting the total from 100% – this will give you a fairly accurate number.

            I don’t recall without looking what flavors Bravo offers – I never recommend fish flavors for the reasons outlined in this post, but all other proteins should be okay.

  17. Marlene
    May 20, 2016 at 4:52 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid. I feed my cats Rad Cat currently. They love it, but it’s pricey. My vet is not comfortable with homemade raw. Do you know if my cats would get the same benefit if I went with half high quality canned and half Rad Cat?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 21, 2016 at 5:44 am (2 months ago)

      You may want to give Darwin’s a try, Marlene. It’s half the price of Radcat, and my girls go crazy for it. And it’s certainly okay to feed half raw and half canned, but I wouldn’t mix the two together. You could feed one meal raw, and one meal canned.

      Reply
  18. adriana
    May 20, 2016 at 4:11 pm (2 months ago)

    Hello I was just want to start off by saying what an interesting article. I really learned a lot! Ok to my ?, I have a 13 year old kitty/best friend has been struggling with constipation on and off for about 6 years now. Most recently (about 4 years) the vet had to perform an enema and suggested I started feeding him Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat. It “worked” as he got better but had to perfume another anema last year about this time. come now 2016, I just had to take him again to the vet for another anema as he was not going to the bathroom to poop and I saw him struggling to defecate. Lost story short lol they are now telling me he has Megacolon. I am freaking out and doing as much research as I can as this vet doesn’t seem to put me at ease about all this. I keep coming back or reading about a raw food diet. I was wondering what you recommend, suggestion any advice you can give me would be much appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 20, 2016 at 4:27 pm (2 months ago)

      A grain-free canned or raw diet can help some cats with megacolon. I would also try adding a good probiotic to his food. You can also try canned pumpkin – it helps some cats with constipation. Here’s more information on megacolon: http://consciouscat.net/2013/08/05/megacolon-in-cats/

      Reply
  19. Brandi
    May 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm (2 months ago)

    I need advice. We adopted a male cat that is about 5 years old, a few months ago that was to strictly be on a raw food diet. He is being fed Rad Cat raw food. When the shelter had him he had diarrhea and they started him on Rad Cat, at the same time he was on some short term medication. His poop went back to normal and we were allowed to adopt him with the terms that we keep him on this food. Now two month later he is either refusing his food of throwing it up immediately after eating. He’s got diarrhea too. He otherwise is very happy and seems fine but I don’t know what to do. Before we got him he had one last vet visit and they said he got a clean bill of health. Everything I read says raw food is the best so I’m not sure where to turn now 🙁 Any advise or direction for me to go next?? Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm (2 months ago)

      You need to take your kitty to a vet, Brandi. A lot can change for a cat in five months, and what’s going on may have nothing to do with his diet.

      Reply
    • Amy
      May 20, 2016 at 4:53 pm (2 months ago)

      Hey Brandi, that sounds like what was happening with my boy cat, Jasper. He may be nauseous and not want to eat because of that. I took my cat to an internal specialist who diagnosed him with IBD and prescribed him cisapride and zantac 2x daily. The cisapride, while usually intended to treat megacolon, helps keep his gut motility up instead of vomiting his food back up. The zantac helps reduce his build up of stomach acid (he was frequently vomiting his breakfast up). As Ingrid suggested, I would take him to a vet! My boy Jasper also seemed fine and happy based on appearances, except for his frequent vomiting.

      Reply
  20. ro-jean smith
    May 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm (2 months ago)

    I have 5 cats, one is 25+ years old; another weighs nearly 30 lb; another has an Oedipus complex; one is very jealous of another, and one (the mother) who is the only normal one, ha. Plus one feral male that comes and goes where and whenever he pleases and is the healthiest of all. Diet is my main concern because it is affecting each one, except the feral. If I start preparing their food, will I be able to purchase taurine and, if so, how do I measure it to be safe?

    Thank you for your website.

    Reply

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