Friday, July 31, 2009

Whats the Best Cat Food & Best Litter?

Whats the best cat food out there? What do you feed %26 what cat litter do you use?
Well, the best cat food will always be up for debate. As long as you avoid corn, wheat , soy, and by-products, your choice in cat food should be fine. Personally, one of my cats is raw fed, and the others are on Innova Evo as I attempt to convert them into raw fed cats. When I got my first cat I fed Natural Balance, which I still think is a great food.
Some will say raw is best, others canned, others high quality dry. I think all are fine, but I do believe it is a good idea to at least mix in some canned if you feed dry.
Some good brands of cat food are
Natures variety
Solid Gold
Chicken Soup
Eagle Pac Holistic
Natural Balance
As far as cat litter, I use clumping clay litter. I have not found a huge difference between brands of clumping clay, and my cats could care less if I switch brands. So I usually use what ever clumping litter is on sale.
What is best for your pet,is generally what brand it got as a kitten,but you can compare the ingredients on the side of the package,and pick one that has the best protein ratio.Usually pet stores have generic versions of the name brands.
You can choose a new food and slowly mix the two until it is all the new brand.Be sure to always have fresh H20,even if you give the cat wet food,too.If the cat stool is not too loose or hard is a good sign of quality food.I like "Fresh Step"litter.
As far as litter goes, I used to mix regular clay litter with crystals and that got me by, but that was expensive.
Now I get these little pine dust pellets that disintegrate when they get wet. It's called Feline Pine.
And it's like recycled and biodegradable and all that.
The best food for your cat is the one that your cat will eat and meets his/her dietary needs. As long as the cat is happy and healthy, brand does not make a difference. The cheaper foods, like the store brands, can be harder on the digestive system. The same can be true for the pricey brands. They may be too rich for the cat and can cause loose bowels. The best food will keep your cat's coat shiney, hair balls at a minimum, and teeth in good shape. Feeding wet food, and only wet food can damage the cat's teeth because they need the crunch to help clean their teeth. A cat also will not eat what they cannot smell. If the food is not fresh, they won't eat it.
As for litter, it is actually a cat's preference. Most people choose the one that they like and try to make their cat conform. If the cat doesn't like the litter, he/she won't use it. Some cats do not like the scoopable because it gets stuck in their paws. Others do not like the clay because it turns to mud. There are others who do not like some of the newer products because of the smell.
So there is no one BEST brand for every one. Just like people like different foods, so do cats. Just like people like different toilet paper, so do cats. You have to find out what the cat enjoys and keeps her/him healthy.
The term "best" is open to interpretation depending on your circumstances and what you want for your cat. Just about any well-advertised brand of cat food has adequate nutrition for your cat. However, dry food promotes better muscular development and is better for the cat's teeth (and is much easier to clean up and cheaper).
I feed my cats IAMS, which is considered a premium food. There are a lot of different formulations for your cat's needs. My cats are very healthy, have bright eyes and shiny fur and are very active, without bad breath. Their litterbox doesn't stink as much when using IAMS (for me that's a definite plus). My husband fed our cats a nationally advertised brand when I was out of town and the whole house smelled like litterbox when I got home (yes, he had scooped every day). I switched them to IAMS and within 24 hours, the house smelled better.
For litter, I use crystals in the house because they are dust free (I have allergies). Some of our cats in the "cattery" use Tidy Cats scoop for multiple cats, which clumps hard. Kittens like the scoopable best because it is kinder to their paws. Some of our cats will only bury their leavings when the litter is softer. However, if you're going to dump the litter weekly, plain old clay litter is the best and cheapest. There is no such thing as a litter that doesn't smell. It just depends on what you can stand.
Not sure aout the food, there are plenty good ones. But I LOVE the litter we use. It is made of pine (called Feline Pine)..Doesnt smell at all, and u can flush it down the toilet, which is super convenient. used it with 4 cats, and no issues. And clay based litters are really bad to inhale. This is an all natural alternative, and you can get it anywhere.Good luck!
The first poster had a great list going. I"ve not checked them all out but most you can't go wrong with.
My cats are on Wellness. One of them is incredibly picky and doesn't like change in his food AT ALL so we're sticking with Wellness.
In the massive confusion of trying to find the best food I learned to look at the first few ingredients (as well as the recommendations of others, like you). Nothing with "meal" or "by-products." Run from those. The first 2-4 ingredients should be actual meat from actual animals (including fish). At least 3 out of the first 5 ingredients should be real meat from real animals. Everything else should be natural except for a few key ingredients toward the end. Cats need a lot of minerals and amino-acids that just won't be supplied by most foods in a non-wild environment. These are added as supplements.
Which ever brand you choose please use primarily canned food. The dry foods don't supply the water cats need no matter how much fresh water they drink.
As far as litter goes, really, I think any will do. If he, she, or they are still kittens go with a non-clumping until they are 6 months to a year (when in doubt go a year). Kittens take time to learn to use a litter box well and can even eat some of their "results." The clumping litter can expand in their tummies or intestines and cause problems.
I've read all the research and it seems that, barring digestive concerns, any litter is as good as any other.
Most importantly, do take your cat to the vet every year for a check up. I only let my vet give vaccines every three years because it really isn't needed, even for outdoor cats, every year and can cause more problems. A yearly check up is important, though.
So many cat people, so many opinions on this....
As for food, I think raw meets the cats natural needs best (they are carnivores ;)) but it's not always practical for everyone. If there is no ready-composed raw food available to you, it's best you don't go that route if you don't know exactly what you're doing.
The next best option is to look for a food high in protein and fat, but low in carbs. Carbs will get a cat hooked on his food, will make it want to eat more often and is the component that does most of the "fattening" in cats. Fibre really doesn't do much for cats, they can't digest it because their digestive tract is too short.
Most of the brands of the first answerer will meet up to this; high in protein and fat, low in carbs.
Look at the label what is used to preserve the food, if it says etoxyquine, stay away from it (this is farming poison, for real!).
Whether you want to feed canned or kibble is up to you, but remember that cats are in need of a lot of moisture but don't tend to drink that much. Canned food can help a little better in this department. Do have multiple bowls of fresh water out spread over the house at all times.
My cats love running water best, so I got them a special drinking fountain (cat-it or freshflow are two brands)
When you first get your cat, slowly change it over from the food it was previously getting to the food you want it on; take about two weeks to complete the transition, by slowly mixing more and more of the new food in with the old.
As for litters, regular clay litters often contain silica dust, which can cause lungcancer on prolonged exposure, and can cause problems with the urinal tract.
The clumping clay litters tend to have less silica dust, and are handy, but are very dangerous for small kittens that still "taste" everything, they might get their digestive system blocked. This type of litter is often scented or contains babypowder, and not all cats like that.
Silica litter ( e.g. litter pearls) really has no downsides, as long as you clean it often enough and turn it often. If you don't, the pellets stop absorbing the urine, which will run straight to the bottom and stay there. This means wet feet for your cat the next time it goes potty- ew. But it holds the smells well and I must say I like using it.Those are the white "balls" or glass-like pellets, often blue or see-through too. It's very light in weight.
Don't let the name confuse you, this litter doesn't contain silica dust. After some time after disposal, it turns back to sand.
It's a little more environment-friendly then the clay litters.
And then you have the wood-pellets or broken wood-pellets, cats really enjoy the use, it doesn't contain anything harmful, it smells pleasant and is light (you're going to be carrying a lot of bags/ packages of kittylitter in your lifetime, before and after use) the only downside is you have to refresh a little more often; as it gets "wet" the quickest.
It is biodegradable though, so most environment-friendly.
For all litters goes: the smaller the grain of the pellets, the better cats tend to like them (it enables them to dig better) but the more messy it will be around the litterbox ;)
When you first get your cat, start him on the litter he was used to, and when you know he's got the picture, you can slowly start mixing in the new litter if you're gonna change it.
Always keep a layer of the old litter on top at first.
Good luck with all those choises, and don't forget to enjoy your kitty :)
I have given my cat Purina Cat Chow Complete and my cat is very happy with it and I have spoken to the People that run Purina on several times about their cat food and it is a very good food for cats. The litter I use for my cat is Tidy cat crumble free for multiple cats and it does not smell after the cat has used it and it works good. I only have 1 cat.
Try these sites for cat food.
Try these sites for litter.
Tell me if any of these sites work.
My personal choice for the best canned cat food is By Nature Organics, with the second choice being Nature's Variety Instincts.
As for cat litter, I use Fresh Step. I don't have strong feelings one way or another, but I refuse to use clumping litter.

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