canned food

Review: New Weruva Patés

Weruva-pates

This post is sponsored by Weruva and contains affiliate links*

We’ve long been fans of Weruva and consider it one of the best wet foods on the market. Allegra and Ruby eat primarily raw, but they do get the occasional canned meal, and Weruva has always been at the top of their favorites list. We were excited to try Weruva’s new paté style formulas.Continue Reading

Introducing ZiwiPeak: Natural New Zealand Pet Nutrition

ziwi-peak-cat-food

This post is sponsored by Ziwi Peak

ZiwiPeak is one of the brands that has long been included on my list of recommended foods. Today, I’m delighted to offer you a closer look at this brand, courtesy of the folks at ZiwiPeak. Ziwi Peak is a complete and balanced daily diet for all breeds and all lifestages. Their formulas are 95% digestible and palatable to even the most finicky cats (and dogs.)Continue Reading

The Best Food for Cats: Is There Only One Right Choice?

cat_eating

Guest post by Jodi Ziskin

Cats are like snowflakes – no two are exactly alike. And no two households are exactly alike, either. These are important factors I have to take into consideration when helping cat guardians discover the best diet for their cats – and for their lifestyle.

There is a dizzying amount of information out there. There is also a great deal of misinformation. Some of the tips and protocols shared by well-meaning advocates of one type of diet or another may not be based on facts, but rather on interpretation. Think about how many times you have read articles on the “one, perfect diet for humans.” Biological facts about our bodies are often twisted to meet the ideals of the author.Continue Reading

Canned Cat Food May Not Contain Enough Thiamine

cat_eating

When you buy canned cat food – any brand of canned cat food – you will see a statement on the label that says that the food is “complete and balanced” according to AAFCO standards. This would lead you to assume that the food has all the nutrients your cat needs, right? This is not necessarily true.

What does “complete and balanced” really mean?

AAFCO, the American Association of Feed Control Officials, is the organization which is charged with establishing and enforcing animal feed requirements across all fifty state governments.  Its primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of feed for human food producing livestock.  The AAFCO statement on most pet food labels indicates that the food has been tested and approved as “complete and balanced for the life of a pet.”   This is sadly misleading. Continue Reading

5 Tips on Picking a Quality Raw or Canned Cat Food

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Guest post by Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM

For the cat parent looking for commercial raw and ultra premium cat foods, there are plenty of choices, and lots of claims to wade through.  Since these foods are often more expensive, how do you read the labels correctly and make sure you’re getting the right food for your extra cash?

Too often manufacturers throw out the terms “holistic” or “natural” which have little to no regulated meaning. “Holistic” has no definition in the pet food industry and can be used by any manufacturer, while “natural” has limited value since it only means that there are no synthetic preservatives in the food. (Synthetic preservatives are uncommon in the organic and ultra premium market.)Continue Reading

Cats and can openers

cats and can openers

I don’t eat a lot of things that come out of cans. Allegra and Ruby eat mostly raw food, and the occasional canned food they eat comes out of the little flip top cans. So why is it that when I used a can opener the other night to open a can of lentils, both of them came running, even though they had just finished their dinners?

Is it possible that responding to the sound of a can opener is hard wired into our domestic cats’ brains?

Allegra was rescued from a Maryland shelter when she was two or three weeks old and lived in a foster home until I adopted her at the age of seven months, so I suppose it’s possible that she heard the sound of a can opener during the first few months of her life and learned Continue Reading

More Reasons to Stop Feeding Dry Food to Your Cats

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If you could do one simple thing that would improve your cat’s health for the rest of her life, wouldn’t you want to do it? Well, there is. Stop feeding dry food.

Dry food is the equivalent of junk food for cats

Dry cat food, even the high-priced premium and veterinary brands, is the equivalent of junk food for cats. It’s really not all that different from feeding sugared cereals to kids. Cats are obligate carnivores: this means they need meat not just to survive, but to thrive. They cannot get enough nutritional support from plant-based proteins such as grains and vegetables, because, unlike humans and dogs, they lack the specific enzyme that processes plant-based proteins metabolically.  They need few or no carbohydrates in their diet. Feeding foods high in carbohydrates can lead to any number of degenerative diseases, including diabetes, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.Continue Reading

Giveaway: Enter to win Nature’s Logic natural raw or canned food for your cat and your favorite shelter

Nature's Logic on The Conscious CatNature's Logic feline products

I am very careful when it comes to recommending food for your cats. Unless I either have personal experience with a diet, or have thoroughly researched one, I’m not comfortable making recommendations. I like what I feed Allegra and Ruby, and I won’t use them as product testers for testing diets or treats whose claims I can’t verify. However, I can take a close look at diets I haven’t tried and evaluate them based on my criteria for what constitutes a species-appropriate diet for cats.

My first criteria is always that a feline diet must be completely grain-free, and it must be canned or raw. Continue Reading

Product review: New Wellness grain-free canned food

Allegra and Ruby Wellness canned cat food

I don’t usually accept food and treats for review here on The Conscious Cat. I like what I feed Allegra and Ruby, and I won’t use them as product testers for diets whose claims I can’t verify. However, I have been feeding Wellness® grain-free canned food for many years, and it meets my criteria for what constitutes a species-appropriate diet for cats (a feline diet must be completely grain-free, and it must be canned or raw. I don’t recommend ANY dry food for cats).

When a representative for Wellness® contacted me to see whether Allegra and Ruby would like to taste test their new Succulent Cuts with Savory Sauces for Cats line of grain-free canned diets, I accepted their offer (and there was much celebrating on Allegra and Ruby’s part). 

The new Wellness® Cubed, Sliced and Minced canned diets are 100% grain-free and contain no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. For each recipe, Wellness® has paired succulent cuts of wholesome, all natural protein sources like chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna with savory sauces that are designed to please the palate of even the most finicky feline. The new diets come in 12 different sliced, cubed and minced varieties

Finicky is not a word I’d associate with either of my two. Ruby would probably eat just about anything I put in front of her. Allegra is a little more discerning and sometimes needs a little encouragement whenever I present a new brand or flavor.

We tested the Minced Chicken Dinner and the Sliced Turkey Entree. Allegra got the chicken, Ruby the turkey. But why don’t I let the girls tell you what they thought.

Allegra: Finally! I told you about those cans that had been sitting on our kitchen counter last week, and even though Ruby and I tried our best, we just couldn’t figure out how to open them ourselves, and we had to wait for Mom to do it. When she popped the lids (She makes it look so easy – why can’t we figure it out?), the smell coming at me was incredible! I couldn’t wait to taste what smelled so good!

Ruby: I smell food! Woohoo! It’s dinner time!

Allegra: When Mom put the dish in front of me, I wasn’t quite sure at first. It looked really different from our usual raw food, and it looked different from any of the canned food Mom occasionally gives us, too. But boy, did it smell good! So I took a lick – and that was all I needed. I proceeded to eat the entire can in one sitting. Yummy!

Ruby: Food, food, food! Put it down already, Mom! I’m totally starving! I haven’t eaten in hours!!! – Oh. Hmm. This is different from what I had for breakfast. But it’s food! It smells great! I’m going to eat it all as fast as I can!

Well – I told you not to expect much of a review from Ruby.

Allegra eating canned Wellness grain-free food

Allegra takes her product testing duties very seriously!

We were also sent cans of the Minced Tuna Dinner and Sliced Salmon Entree varieties. I only very rarely give the girls fish protein based food, so we’re saving them as a special treat. 

If I were feeding canned food on a regular basis, I would definitely consider adding these new foods to my rotation. I think it’s important to feed a variety of flavors and textures to avoid having your cat stuck on only one diet. The different texture may be an issue for some finicky eaters who are used to the standard canned food texture, for those cats, Wellness®’s regular grain-free canned varieties may be a better choice.

If your cat has tried these new products, let us know how she liked them in a comment!

For more information about Wellness and their wide range of products, please visit their website.

You may also enjoy reading:

The truth about dry cat food

Cats are not small dogs, especially when it comes to nutrition

Feline nutrition: who bears the responsibility?

A Veterinarian’s Thoughts on Cat Food

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I recently posted an article titled “How to Choose Healthy Foods for Your Pets“.  In it, I acknowledged how difficult it is to find the “right” diet for your pet, given the varying and often confusing information available on this topic. 

As a follow up to my article, I’d like to post a comment Paul D. Pion, DVM, DACVIM, left on The Pet Connection Blog.  Dr. Pion is the founder of the Veterinary Information Network, and he is responsible for saving millions of cats’ lives by being the first to discover the link between taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in cats in 1987.  He is also the co-author of “Cats for Dummies“.   This is what he has to say about cat food:

“The only definitive comment I’ll make about the cat food debates is that anyone who tells you they know THE ANSWER is not worth listening to.

Pet food companies want you to buy their food — and for the most part if you stick to a major brand you can’t go too wrong. Still — without doubt, RESULTS WILL VARY 🙂

Feeding from cans and bags is convenient. And since for most it seems to work, that isn’t a bad place to start.

I still believe in mixing up what you feed. But I can’t say that my wife (also a DVM) follows that. But our cats seem happy and healthy and that’s about all you can hope to achieve.

Plant based dry foods are not a natural foundation for a cat’s diet, but for convenience and cost, they are commonly fed and most cats seem to do just fine.

How much commercial foods are at the root of diseases like feline hyperthyroidism and diabetes are intriging questions.

The hard part is sifting through all the opinion, emotion, marketing hype, and researcher bias when trying to decipher the “science.” Suffice it to say I won’t be surprised if we figure out how commercial diets are leading to these conditions in some cats.

At the same time, it is hard to argue with the observation that cats seem to be living longer in the decades since commercial cat food feeding has become more popular. Cause and effect? Who knows.

I won’t get into the raw food debate, other than to say I wouldn’t be happy if my wife (can you tell she does all the pet care) decided to go down that path. Suffice it to say, my concerns are more for human health than feline health. But still, I won’t claim that I know the definitive answer on this topic.

Raw foods, dry foods, canned foods — my observation is that consumer choices are often made more to please the pet owner (influenced by advertising, peer pressure, and pseudoscience) than the pet.

I probably have said too much already. But I’ll end reminding everyone that everything and everyone dies. Somewhere in the midst of spending huges amounts of time, energy and money trying to cheat death, we have to remember to enjoy life and accept imperfection — it’s the best we got right now.

I personally would much rather live well (for me that means purposefully and doing what I believe is right for those I love and all whose lives my actions effect) than long (or even prosperously).

And to set the record straight, although I consume a lot of diet coke, I have not had a devil dog in over a decade 🙂 ”

(quoted with permission from Paul D. Pion, DVM, DACVIM)