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Feeding Recommendations

This list is not complete and is likely to not be up to date, but it is a place for you to begin.  You need to learn to read pet food labels and to make your own decisions. 

Although I've listed a number of foods, it may interest you to know what I actually feed my cats.  I feed commercially prepared raw frozen Rad Cat and home prepared raw (usually rabbit).  Raw food resources are listed on the "links" page.  They also get canned food on the rare occasion, usually Fancy Feast in the flavors listed below or Tiki chicken flavors.

In late 2011, I switched from a combo of canned and raw to virtually 100% raw.  Kittens born here are weaned directly on to the same food the adult kitties eat.

Below is The List.  Most cats should do well on an all canned, meat-based diet or a combination of canned and raw.  I do not feed, nor do I recommend, dry food.

To give you some frame of reference when you attempt to read those labels -- a cat living off the land (in the wild, as it were, with no PetCo around the corner) would be consuming a no grain, meat-based, wet diet consisting of approximately 45 - 55% animal protein, and less than 3 - 5% carbohydrates.  This, then, is our goal in choosing foods for our carnivorous friends.  If you can get their protein intake around 50% and their carbohydrate intake under 10% (on a dry matter basis), you are doing fairly well.   A wet food that lists approximately 75% - 78% moisture and 9% - 15% protein is going to have about 45% - 55% protein on a dry matter basis.  Accurately calculating carbohydrates based on the sketchy information found on the pet food labels is virtually impossible, however I believe the foods below to be low in carbohydrates and are grain free but, again, check labels as manufacturers are continually changing their formulas and their marketing ploys, and new foods also come on the market.

Here is an excellent reference compiled by a veterinarian listing the levels of protein and carbs in most of the canned foods on the market as of 2013:

http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

Current list of commercial foods I recommend to my kitten buyers:

**NOTE: It's a personal preference of mine to avoid foods with fish as a main ingredient, so I try to stay away from those flavors in any given group.  Fish is a flavor enhancer for cats and can cause them to become addicted, plus fish in general, is not particularly nutritious for cats.

Darwin's Natural Pet Products: www.darwinspet.com an excellent commercially prepared raw, frozen food.  They are based on the west coast and ship to your door.  Darwin's has a great sample shipment plan so you can give it a try first.  This is one of the more affordable raw diets available if you live in their shipping area.

AllProvide: http://www.allprovide.com/ an excellent commercially available raw diet, shipped to your door, frozen -- shipping is free to many of the mid and eastern states.  A small fee for western states.

Rad Cat: www.radfood.com commercial pre-mixed raw food. Another excellent raw frozen food.  Look for it in a freezer at Pet Food Express.  It may also be carried by other stores, so ask if you don't see it.   Only Natural Pet  based in Colorado, will ship Rad Cat, frozen, to your door.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw: this is raw frozen and comes in several flavors and nugget or patty sizes.  Look for it in a freezer at Pet Food Express, and PetCo is now carrying it.  This does show some veggie content, but it's not much.

Primal Feline Raw Frozen: Is probably on par with Nature's Variety above.  It comes in bags of nuggets and is found in the freezer section of some pet stores. Only Natural Pet  based in Colorado, will ship Primal to your door.

Before B.G. Grain (by Merrick): B.G. I like the ingredients of this product - all meat based with a little bit of egg and no by-products.  You can buy it at PetCo.

Innova EVO: cat and kitten food

Tiki: chicken flavors (there are only two)

Nature's Variety canned: All flavors

Wellness canned:  Chicken and/or Turkey flavors – kitten Wellness is even better and  good for all ages. 'Wellness Core' canned is also now available and a good choice, as it is higher in protein.

ProPlan: Chicken and Liver Entrée - both in adult and kitten variations (This is the only flavor I’ve found that is grain free.)  Note that the kitten variation has rice in it, but in a small quantity as its quite a way down the ingredients list.  It's a little higher in protein, than the adult variation.

Fancy Feast - "Classic" flavors only:  Fancy Feast has a surprising number of flavors that are grain free.  The food is very palatable to cats and reasonably priced.  The only draw back - if you consider it a draw back - is that it includes meat by-products.  In general, I don't consider this a deal breaker. The following flavors are grain/veggie/fruit free (these flavors are meat based & low carb – stay away from the other flavors)

1. Turkey & Giblets Feast
2. Tender Liver & Chicken Feast
3. Gourmet Chicken Feast
4. Tender Beef Feast
5. Tender Beef & Chicken Feast
6. Tender Beef & Liver Feast

7. Chopped Grill Feast


** When pricing pet food, my first goal is to save money down the road on veterinary bills and the heartache of chronic illnesses that may be related to diet.  Feeding a high quality diet is not inexpensive and it is not always the most convenient way to feed your pets, but can be worth it in the long run.  Each pet owner will have to decide for themselves.

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