What's the best diet for cats? I know kibbles aren't the best, but I'm not up for a raw diet. Should I feed a mix of kibbles and canned food, or just canned food? What brands? I tried doing my own research, but it's all super complicated and there's little agreement. It'd be nice if you could tell me why a diet/brand is better than everything else.
Right now, I'm feeding my cat purina one kibbles with two cans of blue buffalo canned food a day. I know purina one isn't that great, but it's the least shit thing they had there.
I was thinking more along the lines of something commercial. I'm not the smartest and I don't want to fuck up, plus it would probably take a lot of time to plan out and put together. I'm just trying to avoid feeding my cat the equivalent of McDonald's for the rest of his life.
Ive read a few times that freeze dried is the best for cats, because there isnt the danger of raw and the nutrient loss of cooked. whatever u feed it, just remember to have little to no grain or fish. theres a type of canned food i get off the walmart online site because they never have it in stores called variety homemade.
There's very little value in dry food, especially Purina. Some people claim it helps keep their cats teeth clean, but the sugars from grain are the worst thing for teeth, human and cat, so you're better off just brushing their teeth yourself.
cats digest grain about as well as humans do, but not as well as dogs.
they digest it even more efficiently when it's ground into flour and/or cooked, just like humans.
all that "grain-free obligate carnivore" stuff is bullshit.
I don't know, you could probably google it.
Since domestic cats digest grain with 95% efficiency I sincerely doubt they evolved the ability recently or something though. I'd bet wild cats would digest grain with 80% efficiency or better.
Carnivorans in general digest grains just fine, even though animals like cats or seals won't encounter grains that often in the wild. Presumably the ability is ancestral.
Call me a redneck but my ole Guili never ate canned cat food,
She have a kibbles plate for snack time, mostly ignored it, a bite sometimes.
just our leftovers:
Reliefs of :
pasta, rice, vegetables (cooked for us or boiled skin of eggplants/carrots/leeks)
any relief of meat, fat or blood or sharpless bones of chicken,rabbit,beef, lamb etc.
soup mixed with bread crumbles and even
old dried fruits, olives, cheese crumbs and skin; sometime an egg, a old yogurt, the grease of smoked fishes.etc...
And since we have a somewhat large backyard : countless mice squirrels,moles, slugs,birds
>If you want your mouse clean of rats, don't feed the cas too well.
Did my whole family abused that cat by feeding it that way?
Are we really that bad for considering our lovely kittycat as a way to cull varmint in our land?
And using it as a way to dispose the byproduct of our alimentation?
Pay in mind the cat is actually 17yrold
Bait, but there's a difference between a redneck and an actively shitty pet owner.
Does that necessarily make it good for them, though?
Every other cat food brand says "VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED!". What are good brands specifically and what should the dry food to canned food ratio be approximately?
>Does that necessarily make it good for them, though?
you'd have to define what you mean by "good for them."
simply put, most pet cats eat a constant diet of mostly grains and live long and healthy lives.
there is no evidence that not feeding them grains makes them live longer or healthier.
so it's probably fair to say grains are good for them? They certainly don't seem to be bad for them.
yes, but most people don't live to 90 while smoking and drinking or by eating McDonalds every day.
Most pet cats however DO eat grains every day and live long healthy lives.
so pretending that grains are terrible for them doesn't actually agree with reality.
>most cats go outdoors and die.
and those ones probably don't eat as much grain.
so there would seem to be a correlation between not eating grain and early death.
just one of the problems with the appeal to nature. Natural behaviors aren't usually healthy.
>we're talking about outdoor cats, not ferals
one of those is a scientific term, one is something you made up to fit whatever you think it means.
and I wasn't actually talking about either one.
I said most PET cats eat grain every day.
your silly claim that most cats go outside and die doesn't really have anything to do with that. And it's not true anyways.
I'm not talking about food that says veterinary on them. I'm talking about food your vet recommends. Like an actual vet, not one you hear about from a marketing campaign. I don't know the brands in your country, but a vet will know.
Use your brain.
OP here. Thread went downhill. I'm looking for what's best, not what "most cats eat and are fine." I'll clarify:
Question I asked: What's the healthiest kind and brand of food for my cat?
Question I didn't ask: What can I feed my cat that won't kill it?
there is no answer to your question, there's no such thing as a "healthiest diet" for cats or any other animal.
No particular diet that's approved for feeding to cats has ever been shown to be healthier than any other.
the cheapest shit food you can buy is going to keep your cat just as alive as the most expensive or best diet ever.
>one of those is a scientific term
felinocology, the study of outdoor cats.
>I said most PET cats eat grain every day.
most PET cats are severely neglected compared to other pets.
their 'average lifespan' is held down by people neglecting them, we don't know their lifespan in captivity with a proper diet and excercise.
the public in general, the internet in particular, and the readership of /an/ without a doubt.
>there's no scientific study of pet cats
there are literally thousands of scientific studies on diet in cats.
>and all of them have different conclusions.
>so we don't know.
non sequitur. conclusion does not follow.
we DO know. the problem is what we know doesn't fit your preconceived notions so you reject it.
what we know is that a high-grain diet is no worse for cats than a grain-free diet or anything in between.
the least-bad diet for cats with the lowest general opportunity cost in terms of price and time spent in preparation is MOST LIKELY exclusively high-quality (read: expensive) canned, wet cat food. a cheaper alternative is a lower amount of high-quality wet cat food interspersed with the inherently much cheaper dry kibble to make up for the caloric deficiency
the only real "bad" diets are ones which are exclusively kibble (of any quality), or any meal by virtue of its ingredients. you want to stay away from grains and look for meat products which are specifically listed on the label so you know you aren't feeding your cat processed roadkill. grains in particular can cause digestive problems for cats, who are obligate canivores
the absolutely optimal diet is feeding your cat exclusively on healthy, live prey because (BIG SURPRISE) cats evolved hunting live prey and their digestive systems and nutritional needs have developed accordingly.
quality control though. it's hard to get raw meat products (at least in the US) which are safe/clean enough to eat raw. i'm going to put words in your mouth for a second and say
>but wild animals
many of which, like humans, can become ill and even die from ingesting tainted meat.
true, i guess. i'm not a scientist, i've just done a lot of research. my opinions represent the common "wisdom" of the cat community as best i can. if you wnat to actually say something maybe we can talk about it
if you're jumping my shit about the grains, oops. but everything else is (as far as i know) as close to fact as you can get.
your opinions are indeed current and trendy.
it's just an appeal to nature though.
nature kills cats in less than 2 years, so why you'd want a natural diet is beyond me.
if i have to point it out, a cat's natural DIET isn't necessarily what kills it in nature. as evidenced by the mortality rate of indoor vs. outdoor cats, you can attain somewhere close to a cat's "natural" life expectancy in the wild by just letting it go out the door whenever it pleases, regardless of whether or not you feed it properly. nobody is trying to say you need to simulate the actual EXPERIENCE of a cat living in nature, you just need to provide it with the nutrients it has evolved to depend on in a fashion in which it can easily acquire them via digestion. this is not a blind "appeal to nature," but you can try to oversimplify it like that if you want to.
i believe that's called a "straw man"
>if i have to point it out, a cat's natural DIET isn't necessarily what kills it in nature.
you've provided no evidence that it isn't.
science doesn't support your views, there's literally no reason to think they're better or even safe.
though you should be aware that in nature a cat's diet isn't easily digested, in fact it's about half undigestible parts. Cats evolved to eat junk and filler.
so when you give your cat nothing but the nutrients they just walk around hungry all the time. You're torturing your cat or making it obese just because the diet you propose is too nutritious.
>you've provided no evidence that it isn't.
no one needs to.
it's your claim.
>science doesn't support your views
outdoorcatology isn't a thing.
>Cats evolved to eat junk and filler.
their lifespan in the wild isn't very high, what they eat in it is meaningless.
>it's your claim.
go back and read your posts.
>their lifespan in the wild isn't very high, what they eat in it is meaningless
I'm glad you agree with me now.
a prey model or raw diet isn't better because it's natural. If anything it's worse.
>you've provided no evidence that it isn't.
sorry, the burden of proof is on YOU when you say something outlandish like implying it's a cat's natural diet which is more likely to kill it than the myriad environmental stressors that could (vastly more probably) kill it instead.
i don't think you understand what i'm trying to say. when i am talking about a cat's ideal diet, i am talking about something that doesn't strictly exist. imagine a biological mouse (or any substitute geographically appropriate prey item) which is anatomically a gelatinous glob of flesh, muscle, and viscera. THIS is what a cat has, evolutionarily speaking, been optimized to ingest. i guess it needs to be said, but when i try to talk about the optimal diet for a cat and refers to its natural diet, i'm not trying to talk about sub-optimal, opportunistic requirements like eating an entire carcass -- bone and all -- to try to survive. i'm trying to talk about what a cat would eat if it had an endless pocket dimension of healthy prey items to kill and eat at its leisure. this is essentially what cat food tries to do (to varying degrees of success).
regardless, i have a very, very hard time believing that if you decided to feed your cat exclusively on field mice (carefully vetted) for the rest of its life, it would be killed, strictly by virtue of its diet, within two years. however, if you'd like to point me to a study which says that the prey items cats have evolved alongside actually don't provide it with the nutrients it requires, i'm definitely open to it
also, the idea that giving your cat "nothing but the nutrients" leads exclusively to starvation or obesity (you understand that as a cat's caretaker, it's your responsibility to monitor its caloric intake, right?) is pretty retarded. protien is a nutrient. fatty acids are nutrients.
i can't believe you actually made me type this out. i ran out of space
>THIS is what a cat has, evolutionarily speaking, been optimized to ingest.
and that right there is your error. and the public's which agrees with you.
evolution doesn't optimize animals for anything.
it allows them to scrape by long enough to reproduce and THAT'S IT.
cats aren't optimized to eat mice. Nothing about nature is optimal. It is ONLY AS GOOD AS IT NEEDS TO BE TO REPRODUCE AND NOTHING MORE.
Once that's understood, the rest of the appeal to nature falls away on it's own.
>is it evolution's failure to optimize or nature's failure to provide sufficiently for the optimization?
they are the same thing.
even if something was somehow magically optimized, nature would change and it would cease to be optimized.
The Red Queen rules.
>not strictly true
it's true by definition, anything caused by humans isn't natural, you can't have natural selection with humans involved.
>here's nothing optimal about feeding a natural diet to an animal you say isn't shaped by nature.
it's shaped by nature, it just doesn't continue to be shaped by it, again, the only thing dometic about most domesticated species is a coat color.
cats are one of those species, they're a coat color that doesn't continue natural selection.
we are talking about biological composition though, since this discussion is pretty firmly established to be on the merits of a cat's DIET. i'd have to look into it, but i'd be willing to wager that the actual nutritional content of cats' prey items (barring exinctions, availability, etc.) in the wild had remained relatively constant up to and past the point of domestication. we're not talking about viruses or anti-biotic resistant bacteria, we are talking about complex biological machines which have enormous evolutionary dependency on the composition of their structure. i mean, i understand your point, i'm just not getting how it connects to the actual nutritional composition of prey items changing so rapidly that cats can't themselves evolve alongside any changes
>you can't have natural selection with humans involved.
you're ignoring the possibility of both natural and artificial pressures on an organism.
you can put your trip back on if you like.
in nature one cat's diet is going to be little like another's. There's no standard diet, no set prey availability that applies across the board.
so the digestive system is adapted to a broad range of preys, and indeed it has to be able to survive a lack of food as often as not.
You can't model a natural diet simply because that's not a thing. Too variable. But even if you could, there's no reason to think it's best. Cats die of malnutrition in the wild ALL THE TIME. And even if we pretend the problem is just one of quantity, we still don't have a clear view of what cats eat, or what they're SUPPOSED to eat. Because that depends entirely on where they are and when.
so I'm not saying cats can't adapt, I'm telling you they adapt by not adapting to any particular thing.
this is an interesting post and i need to do more reading. from just a couple preliminary searches, there are studies of cats' prey items in certain specific locations. i'm going to guess nobody's really gone in-depth and assessed nutrtitional value of prey items across different ecosystems, which is a shame. i'm willing to bet that there is at least something approaching a broad commonality in cats' prey across their habitats, but i'd guess there's no way to know based on current data, which is kind of your point.
Hi OP, sorry your thread turned into a shitshow.
Feed wet over dry. Cats evolved as desert-dwelling carnivores designed to meet the majority of their moisture requirements via prey ingestion, so kibble works against their biological processes in spite of its convenience to us humans. Canned food is also generally just higher-quality food than dry. It's fine to feed kibble on a supplementary basis, though, and can be used to offset costs of feeding a largely-wet diet. My own cats are on about a 70-30 wet/dry diet and get a little water mixed in with their wet food. Some canned fanatics will make it sound like all kibble is evil but really, it's not unless you're feeding bottom-barrel garbage like Science Diet. (My dry is Canidae Pure Elements grain-free.)
Some of the best canned brands money can buy will include Weruva, Tiki Cat, Wellness CORE, Merrick, Nature's Variety, Innova EVO. With pet food you generally get what you pay for - and you WILL pay for these brands, like $1.50-$2.00 per can. Not everyone can afford it and that's okay.
I hear you that you're overwhelmed, so I'm going to simplify the process down into general rules of thumb:
1. Avoid foods with soy, corn, and wheat products, and artificial colors/preservatives.
2. First ingredient must be a meat.
3. At minimum 2 of the first 5 food ingredients should be meats. More is better.
4. "Formulas" (indoor, hairball control, kitten) typically contain only slight differences and don't matter. Ignore 'em. -c
5. Avoid vague ingredients, such as "animal liver/poultry by-product" vs. "chicken liver/turkey by-product". Sketchy shit.
6. Minimize or avoid foods that rely on ocean fish as a protein source, especially tuna. Possible mercury content.
Personal opinion: grains also aren't the devil, but should be listed further down the ingredient list (outside first 5 ingredients). People don't like grains because they increase carbohydrate content, but a lot of grain-free foods are loaded with potatoes and shit that isn't much better instead.
My go-to "middle of the road" quality/price brand recommendation is Taste of the Wild, which has both wet and dry. Grain-free, not hard on the wallet.
>you're ignoring the possibility of both natural and artificial pressures on an organism.
irrelevant, when humans are involved it ISN'T natural, you can't have both by definition.
>so the digestive system is adapted to a broad range of preys
wouldn't count on it, most predators have 'preferences'
we don't even know the ideal diet for ourselves yet.
Thanks, anon(s). I think I'll switch to either wellness core or taste of the wild. I'm not too big on taste of the wild, it has a lot of cheap fillers, but I might switch to it for cost reasons. If I do, I'll substitute with higher-quality canned food. Whatever it is, it's gotta be better than what I'm currently feeding. Also, can I give him a bit of squirrel or some shit? I kill a lot of them regularly and I'm wondering if he'd enjoy it/it'd benefit him. He does get tablescrap raw chicken sometimes.
I also never did understand the stereotype that cats like fish. I've never met one that liked fish, plus they did evolve as desert predators.
>Also, can I give him a bit of squirrel or some shit? I kill a lot of them regularly and I'm wondering if he'd enjoy it/it'd benefit him.
Yeah, that's cool. Might wanna cook it first since I cats can get worms from rodent hosts, afaik including squirrels. Either that or regularly deworm.
Personal experience is a high protein wet food avoiding rabbit or duck with kibble sprinkled on top. Squirrel might upset his stomach but if he's used to variety mix it in and see how he does.
Those flowing water bowls are good too if you're worried they're not getting enough water. I know plenty cats that will only drink moving water.