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: November 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. Some of Merrick’s formulas contain carrageenan, so please read labels before purchasing.

ZiwiPeak

Raw diets

Darwin’s Natural Pet Food

Balanced Blends Raw Pet Food

Rad Cat

My Pet’s Pride

Stella and Chewy’s

Nature’s Variety

Raw Paws Pet Food

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.

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

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Photo: istockphoto

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

  1. Rachel
    November 30, 2016 at 10:06 am (1 week ago)

    Hi Ingrid, I just came upon your site and find it very useful. I just adopted two cats from a friend of a friend that needed to rehome them. They are 16 (male) and 6 (female). She has been feeding them Weruva Paella. I cannot afford that brand, so was looking at Hound and Gatos, which you had suggested. She said they do not tolerate chicken well (diarrhea), but you suggest to not feed fish based foods. Should I just slowly try them on the chicken or beef variety and see what happens, or should I just stick with fish since that is what they have been eating?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 30, 2016 at 4:23 pm (1 week ago)

      If they didn’t tolerate chicken, it’s possible that they had a food allergy. I’d probably stick with fish varieties for now, and maybe eventually you can start weaning them off fish and on to something else.

      Reply
  2. Les
    November 26, 2016 at 12:59 am (2 weeks ago)

    Hi Ingrid, I love your blog and read it almost daily! Quick question, my vet is a little concerned about constipation issues with kitty (increasing her risk of developing mega colon). She is on a part grainfree canned and part raw diet, which our vet recommended and is pleased with. Only thing is the lack or carbs end result in a lack of fibre, which leads to some constipation. Our vet recommended Metamucil. I’m concerned about the sucrose in this and wondered if I could use plain psyllium husk powder instead. Also, is psyllium husk powder safe for long term use in felines?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 26, 2016 at 6:41 am (2 weeks ago)

      I’m so glad this site has been helpful for you, Les! Is your kitty truly constipated, or are her stools just smaller and firmer? That would be the normal result of a raw diet – stools become very hard, barely smell, and may be less frequent than the stools of cats on a grain-based diet or a diet that contains a lot of fillers. The reason for that is that with a raw diet, more of the nutrients get absorbed, so there’s less waste. Some cats will still need a little extra help. Have you tried canned pumpkin? My own (holistic) vet recommends Miralax rather than Metamucil.

      Reply
      • Les
        November 26, 2016 at 3:50 pm (2 weeks ago)

        Thank you Ingrid, oh yes I could read your blog for hours if I had the chance. So many interesting links to read -it’s fantastic. Our vet was concerned as the stools were sitting in her colon for too long and I must admit, some of the stools were very hard and too small. The vet is just concerned that it increases her chances of mega colon. I haven’t tried plain canned pumpkin, is that safe for every day and long term? I’m in Australia so just double checking that you mean fresh pumpkin only that has been canned? (No other additives). Could I steam a pumpkin instead and freeze the remainder, defrosting what I need – will that still be effective?

        P.s. Would adding Miralax, Metamucil, psyllium husk powder or canned pumpkin then affect the urinary tract?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 26, 2016 at 4:05 pm (2 weeks ago)

          Pumpkin is perfectly safe, and you can use canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not the pie filling). You could steam a fresh pumpkin and freeze it. You’ll be giving something like 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per meal, so a great way to freeze it is by putting those amounts on a piece of parchment paper and then freeze it. That way, you can always thaw out a few portions at a time.

          None of these additives should affect the urinary tract.

          Reply
          • Les
            November 27, 2016 at 6:51 pm (2 weeks ago)

            Thank you so much Ingrid. I will add a small amount of pumpkin as part of her everyday regular diet and hopefully see an improvement. 🙂

          • Cheri Collins
            November 29, 2016 at 7:13 pm (2 weeks ago)

            My vet recommends Miralax, just a small amount (1/8 – 1/4 teasp.) My 12 year old cat (eats only good quality, high protein canned foods) seemed to be having some difficulty passing her stools, and not going daily. I mix it with warm water to dissolve it before adding to her food. She doesn’t notice it, and passes her stool more easily. I would give her pumpkin if she would accept it the same way. There are now pouches of pumpkin for dogs and cats. A little more expensive, but easy to deal with.
            …. I have offered two different brands of raw foods, made and sold locally, and none of my 3 cats would accept any of it. I was surprised my senior boy wouldn’t even try it — but then he never would try the raw chicken necks, liver etc that I offered — because he used to hung, kill and eat mice. Any suggestions for introducing raw food in a way which might entice a reluctant, skeptical cat? I would really like to get my 5 year old cat onto a raw diet.

          • Ingrid
            November 30, 2016 at 6:00 am (2 weeks ago)

            It can take time and patience with some cats to introduce raw. I know of one cat guardian who would put a spoonful of raw food next to her cat’s canned food for months – and for months, the cat would eat his canned food, and never touch the raw. Then one day, he ate the raw, and he never ate canned food again. You just never know with cats. This article on transitioning (even though written about weaning off dry food) may help: http://consciouscat.net/2011/07/25/how-to-your-cat-off-dry-food/

  3. Marlene
    November 18, 2016 at 1:08 pm (3 weeks ago)

    But a review on Amazon about the first brand recommended here gave kidney failure! So scary, we already lost a cat to kidney failure and we never figured out why

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm (3 weeks ago)

      I understand your concerns, Marlene, but I wouldn’t put a lot of faith into a single Amazon review.

      Reply
      • Jerilin
        November 18, 2016 at 8:50 pm (3 weeks ago)

        I agree with Ingrid. Especially since you don’t know all the details of the situation..Were the people leaving the review feeding fish based foods daily and feeding dry food, etc. Did the cat have other illnesses that contributed? You just don’t know. I only tend to put stock in the reviews if multiple people say something bad over time. (Like about any Wellness brand food causing crystals especially the dry food) What specific Weruva food was that review left on? I have seen bad reviews on some of the very fishy Weruva varieties but again rotation is key with cats and I treat fish more as a treat since it seems to contribute to urinary and kidney issues in cats. I personally feed the following Weruva varieties on a regular basis and highly recommend them: Steak Frites, On the Cat Wok, Cats in the Kitchen Love Me Tender (though does have tuna but also chicken and duck and it’s very low phosphorus), Paw Lickin’ Chicken, Cats in the Kitchen Pumpkin Lickin’ Chicken and as treat Cats in the Kitchen 1 if by land 2 if by sea and sometimes the chicken and mackeral. Also just my personal opinion but I believe fish quality has a LOT to do with how it affects cats so if feeding a very high quality fish food such as Tiki Cat Wild Alaskan salmon I think it can be fed more frequently then say Friskies canned fish just for example. Always opt for wild caught (preferably trout from Canada lake or salmon from Alaska) fish over farmed and high quality you could always email the company to get specific info on the fish used. Other brands besides Weruva I can give seconds to Ingrids rec or give you a new rec for are: Tiki Cat all flavors (I think it’s the best canned you can buy) , Soulistic poultry flavors–although the good karma one gives my cats loose stools so I add psyllium husk, Lotus Just Juicy line (but not any other of the Lotus canned-just the just juicy), Wild Calling (though my cats don’t like it but it’s definitely worth trying). I also only feed about 50% canned–thought it was worth mentioning. I do Raw Feeding Miami homeade raw grinds. They are all ready to go balance wise (meat organs and bone ratio) I just add Alnutrin vitamin mix for cats to them. I also give chicken necks for the teeth. I have also used Hare Today to make the raw instead of Raw Feeding Miami. I like Whole Life, Pure Bites, Orijen or other freeze dried treats that are similar. I have 7 cats and am a longtime cat owner just as a fyi. I also strongly oppose dry food of any kind for cats.

        Ingrid just wondering on another note is there a specific variety of Wild Calling that your cats really like and go for? I have tried the duck and Buffalo and so far no luck with my cats. Also the bravo a specific flavor you’ve had luck with? I think the main issue is texture. My cats (at least the picky ones) only like the shredded foods like Weruva and Tiki Cat vs the pate. So particular are some cats >3

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 19, 2016 at 6:15 am (3 weeks ago)

          My cats only eat poultry flavors, Jerilin – it seems to be what they prefer. Texture is a big issue for many cats. Thankfully, mine seem to like a variety of textures.

          Reply
        • Susan
          November 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm (3 weeks ago)

          Jerilin, thank you for your post. My sweet Violet has an extremely sensitive system and gets diarrhea very easily. As much as I want to, and have tried, it makes rotation diet next to impossible. Right now she tolerates Weruva chicken fric a zee and Stella and chewys duck duck goose. What is psyllium husks? Where do you buy them? Is it just fiber? Are there any drawbacks?

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            November 19, 2016 at 1:34 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I don’t recommend adding fiber. If you’re not already doing this, I recommend adding a good probiotic, Susan.

          • Susan
            November 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm (3 weeks ago)

            Thanks Ingrid. I tried the probiotic by Mercola. As crazy as it sounds, it seemed like that contributed to her diarrhea also. It’s been a while, I will try again

          • Jerilin
            November 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I will try the poultry flavors from those two brands then Ingrid, thanks. One of the two picky cats I mentioned is an “I want chicken only” man so will try chicken and Turkey Wild Calling and Bravo. I have good luck with raw duck but canned duck unless Weruva or Tiki cat doesn’t really go over so thinking texture is an issue since again the shredded ones are accepted.

            I only add the fiber to that one food or give it if the cat has horrible diarrhea. Otherwise I give a scoop of probiotic at every meal. The one I’ve tried after trying a few is PetUltimates Probiotics for Cats. I get it from Amazon. Not sure if available other places. Really seems to work on my cats. The only thing I’ve found to help pretty bad diarrhea which your cat seems to have is two things: 1) Switching to an all raw diet until the diarrhea is resolved. After reading thecatsite website many others have had luck with this as well.
            2) Reintroducing the canned one at a time and keeping a journal to figure out which food causes or contributes to the diarrhea and only feeding the foods that are well tolerated.
            Good luck with the diarrhea issue! How old is the cat? I find kittens have the most issues digesting foods so raw is a really good idea if that is the case.

          • Jerilin
            November 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm (3 weeks ago)

            I use plain Metamucil capsules like for humans. I get the absolutely plain ones. No orange flavoring–ingredients just say psyllium husk powder. Forgot to answer that question.
            Also the chicken frick a zee–if that works for your cat it works. But that line of Weruva has 3 gums high up on the list in each can of food and I’ve found foods with that much gum are almost guaranteed to make my cat have diarrhea and or throw up. So even if the cat doesn’t have diarrhea per se with that food when you feed other foods in conjunction with it the cat may have difficulty digesting it properly. Just my opinion..feed that specific food if you must.
            If the cat has diarrhea that won’t go away with any of the tricks I’ve mentioned or seems to really persist you should probably go to a vet. Some cats have irratable bowel and other issues that need assistance from a vet. Just don’t feed a dry prescription food if they suggest that. A holistic vet would be your best choice if available in your area. It’s not in mine.

          • Ingrid
            November 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm (3 weeks ago)

            Try the Dr. Goodpet product – sometimes, a different formula may make a difference.

  4. Queenie
    November 15, 2016 at 12:56 am (4 weeks ago)

    Hi Ingrid. Need some advise here.

    I am thinking of adopting a couple of cats, but I want to make sure the food that I should feed them. Lotus has been on my mind for quite sometime, but I’m pretty clueless if that’s the best one for them.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 15, 2016 at 6:24 am (4 weeks ago)

      All the brands I recommend are good choices, Queenie. I do not recommend Lotus, it contains more carbs than I like to see in a food.

      Reply
  5. Helen
    November 14, 2016 at 9:57 pm (4 weeks ago)

    I’m from Argentina, and those brands are not available here and I don’t know if it’s possible to buy any of It online. Could I feed my cat other types of food? Maybe cook something that would suit his dietary needs? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  6. Karen from ihomepet
    November 2, 2016 at 7:35 pm (1 month ago)

    I 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. Thanks for shared!

    Reply
  7. lynn
    October 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm (1 month ago)

    First Mate Canned cat food meets all of your criteria and my cats love it!

    Reply
    • Angie
      October 29, 2016 at 5:59 pm (1 month ago)

      Wow, Firstmate looks like great cat food.

      Reply
    • Bodie
      November 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm (1 month ago)

      Could I ask you please…of all the canned cat food you have listed above, which are the least foul smelling? I just got a 6 month old from the animal shelter and he is the most picky thing! I can only get him to eat Nutro Cat dry. He won’t eat fresh chicken, salmon, tuna, bacon, steak, and none of the canned cat food I have tried. The canned smells so bad, I can not leave it out for more than an hour because of the smell. Can you please help me.
      Thanking you in advance,
      Bodie

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        November 2, 2016 at 5:40 am (1 month ago)

        Since smell is subjective, I really can’t answer that for you, Bodie. Generally, anything with fish in it will have a more pungent smell than other varieties.

        Reply
        • Bodie
          November 2, 2016 at 9:28 pm (1 month ago)

          Thank you for the reply. Much appreciated! = )

          Reply
          • Angie
            November 2, 2016 at 9:45 pm (1 month ago)

            try fussie cat or weruva, they both look and smell like people food!

          • Bodie
            November 3, 2016 at 1:36 pm (1 month ago)

            That’s great. Thanks for the recommendation…and I will = )

  8. Jeannie Lindheim
    October 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm (2 months ago)

    I just got Stella and Chewy’s Tummy Ticklin Turkey, Freeze Dried.

    I went to Amazon to see what the reviews were by people who feed their cats this food: I found this one. What do you think? Thanks!

    Customer Review

    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars NEW PACKAGES NOW HAVE THE TOXIC INGREDIENT MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFITE COMPLEX, March 24, 2015
    By chouchou
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner Cat Food, 12 oz bag (Misc.)
    I am changing my review from 5 stars to 1 star as of 9/7/2016:
    Stella & Chewy is now adding the toxic Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (MSBC) in all their freeze-dried products. MSBC is linked to serious illnesses.

    A German research list the following negative effects of menadione:
    • causes cytotoxicity in liver cells
    • damages the natural vitamin K cycle
    • causes hemolytic anemia and hyperbilirubinemia, not just linked to large doses
    • is directly toxic in high doses (vomiting, albuminuria), unlike natural vitamin K
    • has never been researched or specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food
    • FDA has banned synthetic vitamin K from over-the-counter supplements because of its high toxicity

    The material safety data sheet from ScienceLab.com states the following:

    “Potential Chronic Health Effects: CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for human.) by IARC. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”

    Stella & Chewy claims that they use minimal amount of MSBC and that there hasn’t been any scientific study that has found it would be toxic or harmful to pets. However, feeding my cats products containing this ingredient every day for their lifetime and exposing them to cumulative exposure of this controversial substance is not something I am willing to gamble on. And since there hasn’t been any scientific study on the long term effect of MSBC in cat food, I will stay away from any product including it. At one point, this ingredient was deemed safe for humans. It is no longer the case.

    I will leave my older review below. This review is for the 12oz package which did not contain MSBC and is now discontinued. I no longer recommend Stella & Chewy Freeze-dried products.
    My cat loves this. I feed her this, Honest Kitchen Grace and Primal Freeze Dried Turkey. One nugget is approximately 2.7kcal so if your cat is 10 lbs and you want to maintain his/her weight, you should feed your cat 175kcal which means 65 nuggets. If you follow the feeding instructions, you’ll have an overweight cat.
    Help other custom

    Reply
  9. Jeannie Lindheim
    October 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm (2 months ago)

    How is the wet food PARTY ANIMAL for cats?

    Heard from another animal communicator it is fabulous for cats!

    They don’t have it here in MA so my daughter sent it from the West Coast, and my cat ate some! THANKS

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 22, 2016 at 5:23 am (2 months ago)

      It looks good at first glance, but I don’t know enough about the company to be comfortable recommending it.

      Reply
      • Jeannie Lindheim
        October 22, 2016 at 8:15 am (2 months ago)

        Thanks Ingrid~~ appreciate your comment….warmly Jeannie

        Reply
        • angela
          October 29, 2016 at 5:48 pm (1 month ago)

          If it is still canned by Evangers, I wouldn’t touch it!

          Reply
  10. Jeannie Lindheim
    October 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm (2 months ago)

    Finally found a food, besides Wellness, that my cat likes! Primal Freeze Dried Formula-Turkey.

    I don’t see that listed under your Dehydrated Raw Diets. What do you think of Primal Freeze Dried Formula- Turkey? Thanks~

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 19, 2016 at 5:18 am (2 months ago)

      I think Primal is a good brand.

      Reply
  11. Feed My Kitten
    October 15, 2016 at 11:58 pm (2 months ago)

    I had no idea what was in the Iams cat food I’d been feeding my cats until I actually read the ingredients. After doing some more research I decided to try Wellness Grain-free Indoor Formula (for dry) and a few cans of Wellness grain-free wet food.

    However, I have discovered a lot of articles concerning the Wellness dry cat food and urinary crystals. In light of these articles I may just switch my kidlets over to the Wellness canned food only.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 16, 2016 at 5:20 am (2 months ago)

      Eliminating dry food completely is the best thing you can do for your cats’ health. Most if not all of Wellness’ canned formulas contain carrageenan, which is why I don’t recommend it.

      Reply
        • Angie
          October 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm (1 month ago)

          Wellness TruFood in the cups and the Wellness Divine Duos do not have carrageenan in them.

          Reply
  12. Blanca Perez
    October 9, 2016 at 5:20 am (2 months ago)

    We have an 18 year old cat that has IBD and reacts to chicken. Looking at the recommended foods, if I eliminate the ones that have no chicken or fish there’s not much left. She also isn’t to happy with pumpkin. What can you suggest for her?

    Reply
    • Blanca Perez
      October 9, 2016 at 5:22 am (2 months ago)

      Make that “eliminate those that contain chicken or fish”.

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 9, 2016 at 5:39 am (2 months ago)

      You may want to look at some of the limited ingredient lines from either Nature’s Variety or Merrick.

      Reply
  13. Jeannie Lindheim
    October 4, 2016 at 10:42 am (2 months ago)

    I just called Welleness.

    They have 2 wet cat foods without carrageenan- SIGNATURE SELECT- CHUCKY TURKEY AND BONELESS CHICKEN ENTRÉE IN SAUCE and also
    SIGNATURE SELECTS- CHUNKY BEEF & BONELESS CHICKEN ENTRÉE IN SAUCE

    The ingredients for the first are:INGREDIENTS: Chicken Broth, Turkey, Boneless Chicken, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Minerals [Ferrous Glycine Complex, Zinc Glycine Complex, Manganese Glycine Complex, Copper Glycine Complex, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide], Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin], Guar Gum, Magnesium Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate.

    The ingredients for the 2nd are:
    INGREDIENTS: Chicken Broth, Beef, Boneless Chicken, Tapioca Starch, Tuna, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Minerals [Ferrous Glycine Complex, Zinc Glycine Complex, Manganese Glycine Complex, Copper Glycine Complex, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide], Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin], Guar Gum, Magnesium Oxide, Calcium Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate.

    I have tried Wild Calling and Nature’s Instinct and he won’t eat them.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 5, 2016 at 5:24 am (2 months ago)

      Both of these formulas are only 6% protein – that’s too low.

      Reply
        • Crystal
          October 10, 2016 at 1:28 pm (2 months ago)

          Thank you for the information. I really appreciate it. Could you recommend a better option for my CKD cat and other cat that needs a brand with single protein options. Of course I am looking for grain free. I’m able to do high end brands. Thanks much!

          Reply
          • Crystal
            October 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm (2 months ago)

            I have done more research than you can imagine-:). I have also called several of the human grade brands and talked to them about my CKD cat. I have been feeding them exclusively wet food for almost a year. According to this chart, the weruva formulas I am feeding her is OK in protein, but a little high in phos. I’m going to do some research on phosphorus binders.

          • Ingrid
            October 10, 2016 at 2:27 pm (2 months ago)

            I believe you! It’s a shame that this information isn’t more readily available to us.

    • Angie
      October 29, 2016 at 6:33 pm (1 month ago)

      If you are feeding the correct amount of cans per body weight, then I believe it would be just fine.

      Reply
  14. Jeannie Lindheim
    September 27, 2016 at 10:00 pm (2 months ago)

    Thanks so much for your fabulous website!

    I would love recommendations of Raw Diet Brands. They are found in the frozen section of pet stores.

    A pet store near me has the following Raw Diet Brands-in the frozen section- and would appreciate your thoughts on these foods.

    1) Primal Nuggets:
    Chicken and Salmon
    Beef and Salmon
    Turkey Formula

    2) Nature’s Variety- Instinct Raw
    Chicken and Tuna formula
    Rabbit formula
    Chicken formula

    3) They also have Rad Cat:
    Raised venison
    Chicken
    Lamp
    Turkey
    Beef

    4) Stella’s Chewy’s-Freeze Dried
    Chicken and salmon
    Beef and salmon

    Thanks~

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 28, 2016 at 5:48 am (2 months ago)

      These brands are all on my recommended list in this article, Jeannie. If you would like more detailed information, I’d be happy to schedule a consultation.

      Reply
      • Jeannie Lindheim
        September 28, 2016 at 7:21 am (2 months ago)

        Thanks, I thought they were, but wanted to check. Thanks~

        Reply
  15. Maxi
    September 23, 2016 at 1:15 am (3 months ago)

    What are your thoughts on the merrick limited ingredient grain free canned line? Thanks.

    Reply
  16. John
    September 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm (3 months ago)

    Wysong Epigen 90 is grain-free AND starch-free, so should have almost no carbs. Other than the low-moisture content and not being raw, is there anything else you can see that’s wrong with this food?

    http://www.wysong.net/products/wysong-epigen.php

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 22, 2016 at 5:21 am (3 months ago)

      This is a dry food – that’s what’s wrong with it, John! See my explanation in the article why cats should never eat dry food.

      Reply
  17. Ricky
    September 15, 2016 at 2:09 am (3 months ago)

    Hi, I was recommended to read your website by one of my cat friends:)

    Based on my readings, I decided to buy Weruva canned food. But then my vet said the calorie was too low, and suggested me to have something with higher calorie for my 14 weeks kitten.

    So I started to read the “best food list” again, and did some more research.
    Natural Valley’s Instinct jumped to my eyes, and it looks pretty good — until I read about “Montmorillonite Clay” online.

    So what do you think about this ingredient? It is considered as dangerous ingredient for cats (based on online research).

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 15, 2016 at 5:21 am (3 months ago)

      If you scroll through earlier comments, you’ll see that I already addressed this question, Ricky. There is a lot of conflicting information about this ingredient online, much of it incorrect. Montmorillonite clay is used as a natural anti-caking agent. It is also said to improve digestion and act as a natural detoxification agent.

      Reply
    • Laura
      September 17, 2016 at 7:25 am (3 months ago)

      Are any of these recommended canned foods available at supermarkets?

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        September 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm (3 months ago)

        They won’t be available at supermarkets, Laura. All are available online, and most will be available in local pet stores.

        Reply
  18. Leigh
    September 9, 2016 at 10:23 am (3 months ago)

    Such an informative post, thank you! I give my cat Tiki and she only seems to like the poultry based flavors as well. I wonder what you think of Soulistic?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm (3 months ago)

      Soulistic is on the list offered in this post, Leigh.

      Reply
    • Angie
      October 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm (2 months ago)

      Hi Soulistic is a really good cat food, but the problem is it is very low in calories and fat, and at about 1.58 a can, it could get quite expensive. Same goes with Weruva, great cat food but to low in calories and fat.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        October 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm (2 months ago)

        It is true that Weruva and Soulistic are lower in calories than other brands. It just depends on what your cat needs – both brands are ideal for kitties who need to lose weight, but if getting enough calories is an issue, they may not be the best choice.

        Reply
      • Crystal
        October 9, 2016 at 6:42 pm (2 months ago)

        My cat was recently diagnosed with CKD and I switched her to Weruva and she”s doing great. After seeing your comment, I don’t know what to do. I need a food that’s also single protein for my cat with a sensitive stomach. My male cat doesn’t like the good the gel. What do you suggest please?Thank you so much!

        Reply
  19. Bonnie
    September 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm (3 months ago)

    What do you recommend when a cat won’t eat wet food. I have a Norwegian Forest Cat. He will eat any dry food, no matter the quality, but he won’t touch wet food. I have tried all the brands – healthy and cheap and they just sit there in his bowl. I’ve tried the old “if he gets hungry enough he’ll eat it,” but he doesn’t. He will starve rather than eat wet food. Is there a dry food you would recommend that is better than the others? He drinks plenty of water if that’s a concern.

    Reply
  20. Brittany
    September 1, 2016 at 7:24 am (3 months ago)

    I’m getting a highland lynx kitten in about 3 weeks. What are your thoughts on orijen canned food? Any recommendations for a kitten. I feed my dog nature’s variety.i know both are really good choices

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 1, 2016 at 5:17 pm (3 months ago)

      All the brands in this post are appropriate for a kitten, Brittany.

      Reply
    • Angie
      October 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm (2 months ago)

      Does Orijen even make a canned food?

      Reply
  21. marcy
    August 31, 2016 at 2:14 pm (3 months ago)

    How about Tender and True wet food for Cats..grain free and organic

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 31, 2016 at 3:52 pm (3 months ago)

      I don’t know much about that brand, but at a quick glance, it looks like it’s too high in carbs. They use rice, pea fiber, and potato starch in at least some of their formulas.

      Reply
  22. Betsie
    August 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm (3 months ago)

    Hi, I’m currently feeding my cats a dry food by I And Love And You, but since coming to understand that dry foods are not adequately nutritive for a cat’s dietary needs, I’m planning on (gradually) switching them to the wet foods by the same brand (as well as my dog). But I was wondering if you have any input about that particular brand, if you’ve heard about it and if it seems like it is a good food? (http://www.iandloveandyou.com/)

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 28, 2016 at 5:12 pm (3 months ago)

      It’s a decent brand, but I haven’t done enough research into it to be comfortable recommending it, Betsie.

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 28, 2016 at 9:22 am (3 months ago)

      This food contains by-products, artificial flavors and added color. Definitely not something I would recommend.

      Reply
    • Windy City Lane
      August 28, 2016 at 3:29 pm (3 months ago)

      Hi Ingrid,

      How do you feel about Solid Gold as a brand?

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        August 28, 2016 at 5:12 pm (3 months ago)

        It’s a decent brand, but I haven’t done enough research into it to be comfortable recommending it.

        Reply
  23. Fiona
    August 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm (4 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    I have been researching cat foods for a week now and still have more questions than answers unfortunately. I have two adult cats, Oscar and Millie. Oscar had urinary crystals issues a year ago so the vet put both cats on Royal Canin SO dry food to avoid him eating from the wrong bowl. It is quite expensive, the ingredient list is questionable at best and from all the readings I’ve done dry food is the worst option I could choose. I have now switched them to canned food but am not sure what brand is best. Every brand seems to have something wrong with it depending on what reviews you find and although I understand that reviews are always subjective I am worried about doing what is best for my animals. Currently, they seem to like the Merrick’s limited ingredients chicken formula but reviews caution that they have had issues with canning safety and now that they have been purchased by a Purina that quality might not stay as high. I looked into Nature’s Valley Instincts but it contains Montmorillonite Clay which from what I’ve read can be dangerous to cat with urinary track issues. I bought grain free wellness but it contains Carrageenan which I now read is a no no. Sorry for the long post but I’m feeling a little lost in the canned cat food aisle.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm (4 months ago)

      Urinary tract issues are tricky. Depending on the source of the problem, a certain urinary ph may be required, and you’re best served by working with a holistic veterinarian who can steer you in the right direction, Fiona.

      Reply
    • angela
      September 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm (3 months ago)

      my cat suffered from crystals, (he was blocked) and the vet told me to feed him a high protein, low to no carb and fish free canned food. I feed him weruva and fussie cat, but I am going to try the soulistic brand too. We have not had a problem since!!

      Reply
  24. Ashley
    August 13, 2016 at 2:05 pm (4 months ago)

    It’s me again. I am sorry if I ask too many questions, but I curious what you thought of Wysong cat food (canned and freeze dried)? Dr. Wysong has a lot to say about frozen cat food (although does agree raw is the best, but fresh)…not asking you to go into all of that, but noticed Wysong wasn’t on your list.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm (4 months ago)

      I’m not a food scientist, so I can’t really comment on which form of processing preserves more nutrients, but it seems to me that a frozen raw diet is still less processed than any type of freeze-dried raw product, whether it’s Wysong’s trademarked process or another process.

      Reply
  25. LisaM
    August 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm (4 months ago)

    I noticed that Stella & Chewy’s is now adding menadione sodium bisulphate in their freeze dried poultry formulas – a controversial ingredient, previously only used in their fish formulas, an FYI for those who want to avoid this ingredient.

    Reply
  26. Ashley
    August 5, 2016 at 9:43 pm (4 months ago)

    My foster who is currently on a all raw food diet (once she started raw, she had no interest in can food) goes to PetSmart tomorrow for 2 weeks (unless adopted before) and they no longer allow them to feed wet food. I’ve prepared nature’s variety instinct raw boost mixed with probiotics and had already planned to send freeze dried raw as a topper, but would it be healthier for her to just have the freeze dried raw as her food (Stella and Chewy’s and Primal)? It would just be dry without the water added.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 7, 2016 at 7:32 am (4 months ago)

      I don’t think freeze fried raw without adding water to it is a good choice if that’s the only thing she’ll eat. If they will at least feed the dry food you provide, the Nature’s Variety ultimate protein with raw boost is a good choice,

      Reply
      • Ashley
        August 7, 2016 at 11:08 am (4 months ago)

        Thank you for always being so helpful Ingrid! And my kitties thank you 🙂

        Reply
  27. Ryan
    July 29, 2016 at 8:01 pm (4 months ago)

    Hello,

    I am currently feeding my cat the Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet canned food (chicken and turkey flavors) and am thinking of switching to the Nulo Medal Series canned food. What are your thoughts on Nulo?

    Thanks,
    Ryan

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 30, 2016 at 5:39 am (4 months ago)

      I looked at the ingredient list for one formula, and it looks okay to me, but I don’t know enough about this brand to really be able to comment on it, Ryan.

      Reply
  28. Ashley
    July 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm (5 months ago)

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

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 🙂

    • miri
      July 29, 2016 at 8:17 am (4 months ago)

      HELLO Ingrid,
      Have you ever heard of petsmart’s “Good Natured” can cat food? I have my little guy on Natures Instincts can food, went to the store yesterday and saw this brand. what are your thoughts? I’m a little skeptical on the product since it’s so affordable at $1.20 a can and now on sale for .40 cents. hmm would love to hear your input

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        July 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm (4 months ago)

        I only looked at one canned formula, and it looks like it contains carrageenan. It’s also lower in protein than I like to see.

        Reply
  29. Kendra
    July 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm (5 months 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 (5 months 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
  30. Ashley Zarth
    July 13, 2016 at 10:30 am (5 months 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
  31. Michelle
    July 12, 2016 at 9:00 am (5 months 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
  32. Jody
    July 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm (5 months 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 (5 months ago)

        Thank you!

        Reply
      • Jerilin
        July 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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
      • Jody
        August 28, 2016 at 8:42 am (3 months ago)

        Good morning! The good news is my cat loves the Soulistic and scarfs it down! The bad news is, she is still urinating outside the box every other day or so (at night) and I’ve had every test imaginable done…..blood work where they look at the blood under a microscope, another urinalysis (where only white blood cells were found) and a urine culture (where no bacteria was found at all). We are stumped! I saw her scooting on the carpet yesterday so I took her in to have her anal glands expressed. She is on another anti-biotic and my fingers are crossed that this does the trick but I’m not sure. She is completely healthy, from what every test shows yet she has those white blood cells in her urine. Any thoughts?! My next question is this…..she used to defecate “tootsie rolls” and had no problem going #2 but now that I’ve switched her food, she has more like “cow-patties” and only goes every other day or so. Does she need more fiber in her diet? If so, what wet food would be good for that? Sorry for all the questions, I wasn’t sure where else to turn since the vets are stumped. I honestly don’t think it’s bad behavior but w/ ruling everything out….I’m starting to think maybe so?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          August 28, 2016 at 9:20 am (3 months ago)

          I’d be happy to schedule a consultation to address all of your questions, Jody.

          Reply
          • Jody
            August 28, 2016 at 9:51 am (3 months ago)

            Thank you so much Ingrid, that would be wonderful! Do you happen to have anything today?!

    • Jerilin
      July 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months ago)

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

      • Ingrid
        July 10, 2016 at 5:33 am (5 months 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 (5 months 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
  33. Melissa
    June 29, 2016 at 1:06 am (5 months 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 (5 months 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
  34. niren sirohi
    June 19, 2016 at 8:59 am (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months 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
  35. Ashley Zarth
    June 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months ago)

          What is the probiotic you recommend?

          Reply
          • Patti
            June 17, 2016 at 8:10 am (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months ago)

            I ordered Dr. Goodpet’s on Amazon.

          • Sara Thomas
            June 21, 2016 at 11:56 am (6 months 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 (6 months ago)

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

          • Sara Thomas
            June 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months ago)

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

          Reply
  36. Vicki Moore
    June 16, 2016 at 10:57 am (6 months 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
  37. Scott
    June 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm (6 months 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 (6 months ago)

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

      Reply
  38. Linda A.
    June 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months 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
  39. Patti
    June 3, 2016 at 10:24 am (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 months ago)

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

          Reply
          • Patti
            June 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm (6 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 (6 months ago)

            Marlene, what brand do you buy?

        • Ingrid
          June 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 months ago)

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

  40. Heather
    May 25, 2016 at 10:12 pm (7 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 (7 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 (7 months ago)

        Thank you, I will try your suggestions!

        Reply
  41. Ashley Zarth
    May 23, 2016 at 4:51 pm (7 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 (7 months ago)

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

      Reply
  42. Marlene
    May 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm (7 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 (7 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 (7 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
  43. Lorena
    May 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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.

  44. Marlene
    May 20, 2016 at 4:52 pm (7 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 (7 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
  45. adriana
    May 20, 2016 at 4:11 pm (7 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 (7 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
  46. Brandi
    May 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm (7 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 (7 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 (7 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
  47. ro-jean smith
    May 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm (7 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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