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#1
Old 06-12-2013, 10:26 AM
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Consequences to feeding my cat Fancy Feast?

When our previous kitty was sick, we tried feeding her all kinds of things to get her to eat, but Fancy Feast was strictly taboo. But, I have forgotten why.

Now we have a new kitty (who has not yet been properly introduced). She is fine, but needs to take some medicine which we mix with something yummy to get her to eat it. Well, I picked up some Fancy Feast and she gobbles it up without complaint.

Is there anything wrong with Fancy Feast? Am I putting our new kitty on the road to ________?
#2
Old 06-12-2013, 10:41 AM
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Actually, the "classic" style is one of the better cat foods that's available in grocery stores, defined as being mostly meat. The chunked up ones have lots of filler, but generally "classic" varieties have meat as the first several ingredients and no corn.

I don't have a problem with "meat by-products" - Cats eat the tail, bones, fur and all of a caught mouse; some bone meal and organ meat wont hurt em a bit.

Last edited by Hello Again; 06-12-2013 at 10:44 AM.
#3
Old 06-12-2013, 11:46 AM
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My vet feeds her own kitties Fancy Feast. She can afford it; I can't.
#4
Old 06-12-2013, 12:11 PM
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Just don't put it in a Waterford crystal goblet unless the cat is a Persian.
#5
Old 06-12-2013, 12:12 PM
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I think also, feeding a cat purely wet food like Fancy Feast might promote poor dental health. It doesn't give the abrasive, 'cleaning' action of crunchy, hard food. But if I think a mixture of wet and dry food is actually more ideal for cats than just pure wet or dry.
#6
Old 06-12-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
Actually, the "classic" style is one of the better cat foods that's available in grocery stores, defined as being mostly meat. The chunked up ones have lots of filler...
By 'classic', do you mean patÚ?

PatÚ is better for mixing crushed pills into, IME.
#7
Old 06-12-2013, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
I think also, feeding a cat purely wet food like Fancy Feast might promote poor dental health. It doesn't give the abrasive, 'cleaning' action of crunchy, hard food. But if I think a mixture of wet and dry food is actually more ideal for cats than just pure wet or dry.
Plus wet food makes their poo unbelievably stinky.
#8
Old 06-12-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
By 'classic', do you mean patÚ?

PatÚ is better for mixing crushed pills into, IME.
Yes. Their pate style foods are currently branded "classic."
#9
Old 06-12-2013, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
When our previous kitty was sick, we tried feeding her all kinds of things to get her to eat, but Fancy Feast was strictly taboo. But, I have forgotten why....
Urinary issues? Some foods are formulated to be less conducive to causing ... kidney stones IIRC but I could be wrong. Anyway, that's the only reason I can think to exclude a particular type of food.
#10
Old 06-12-2013, 03:20 PM
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Fancy Feast is terrible and will murder your pet. Please buy the brand I sell, instead.

Wet vs. dry: I have heard multiple recommendations. For now, I believe the needle has swung in the direction of wet food. Aside from dental issues, it's supposed to be "better." I think some of each is probably best.
#11
Old 06-12-2013, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AngelSoft View Post
I think also, feeding a cat purely wet food like Fancy Feast might promote poor dental health. It doesn't give the abrasive, 'cleaning' action of crunchy, hard food.
The counter-argument to that one is that cats don't really chew all that much - their dentition isn't designed for it. So the abrasive function gets only a limited play, one or two crunches and its gone. Plus dry particles can stick between teeth as well or better than wet particles.

Lately, as thelurkinghorror notes, wet food seems more in vogue due to issues of hydration primarily, but also some other arguments.

Please note - I'm not stating any of the above as fact as I'm not qualified to do so, simply noted their are differences of opinion floating out there.

I feed all wet due to urinary issues in one of mine ( crystal formation ) and ultra-premium because I can afford it, but note my last cat muddled through on an all-cheap, all-dry food regimen for 17 years.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 06-12-2013 at 04:04 PM.
#12
Old 06-12-2013, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Is there anything wrong with Fancy Feast? Am I putting our new kitty on the road to ________?
(filling in the blank) "catastrophe?"
#13
Old 06-12-2013, 04:25 PM
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My last cat more or less lived off three cans of fancy feast salmon a day. Ate the dry food as a snack, too. And we grew him fresh grass in the solarium year round so he had roughage.

Some people have likened it to feeding a child an all McDonald's diet, but he was in very good health up until very close to the end. So I'm not sure I buy it.
#14
Old 06-12-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Is there anything wrong with Fancy Feast? Am I putting our new kitty on the road to ________?
Catatonia?
#15
Old 06-12-2013, 04:35 PM
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Sounds like a cataclysm.
#16
Old 06-12-2013, 10:13 PM
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Well I'm glad I asked. The wet food has been used as a treat/trojan horse for her medicine. Mostly she eats dry food. I'm curious to see if more people think a combo is really best.

Our last kitty had kidney disease, which eventually took her out. Very sad. Anyway, my gf (the owner of that cat) simply forbade Fancy Feast. Maybe because it has too much protein?

And no, I'm not feeding it to her in Waterford crystal. I put it in a rather old ashtray that I keep around as a sort of trophy from quitting smoking years ago.
#17
Old 06-12-2013, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
Lately, as thelurkinghorror notes, wet food seems more in vogue due to issues of hydration primarily, but also some other arguments.
I have read that hydration isn't the issue, protein is. Animal protein, to be precise. Cats are carnivores, not omnivores. They have evolved around eating fast, little furry animals, not corn or wheat. The only plants they eat are those that happen to be inside the digestive tract of the little furry mammals they consume. As Hello Again noted, cats eat the whole mouse and they have been doing this for as long as cats have existed.

The urinary tract problems and other health issues are a result of modern dry foods. Special versions of dry food are not the answer. Animal protein is the answer. Hence, wet canned food made out of animals.

This book discusses the dry versus wet cat food issues very decisively.
#18
Old 06-12-2013, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Well I'm glad I asked. The wet food has been used as a treat/trojan horse for her medicine. Mostly she eats dry food. I'm curious to see if more people think a combo is really best.

Our last kitty had kidney disease, which eventually took her out. Very sad. Anyway, my gf (the owner of that cat) simply forbade Fancy Feast. Maybe because it has too much protein?

And no, I'm not feeding it to her in Waterford crystal. I put it in a rather old ashtray that I keep around as a sort of trophy from quitting smoking years ago.
Too much protein? What are the fast, little furry animals they have evolved to eat made out of? Remember, cats are meat eaters. They don't eat veggies.
#19
Old 06-12-2013, 10:38 PM
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Wet food is a catalyst to an improved relationship between you and your kitty.
#20
Old 06-12-2013, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by toofs View Post
Animal protein is the answer. Hence, wet canned food made out of animals.
The problem ( sorta ) with that argument is a lot of cheap wet food use carb fillers like wheat and corn and you can find a few premium dry foods with decent ( on paper ) protein counts and ingredient lists. Of course one problem with the better stuff protein-wise is that higher dry protein count can also drive greater dehydration.

The issue with hydration is supposedly the domestic cat's wild ancestors/relatives are not big drinkers. So while some domestic cats will happily lap up all the moisture they need, others are less prone to do so. Among other things in male cats in particular ( with their 'narrow urethras' to quote Hank Hill ) this can exacerbate any tendencies towards struvite formation and urinary blockages.

But again, I'd hesitate to claim any of the above as gospel. You can find every opinion under the sun espoused by one online vet or another.
#21
Old 06-13-2013, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Our last kitty had kidney disease, which eventually took her out. Very sad. Anyway, my gf (the owner of that cat) simply forbade Fancy Feast. Maybe because it has too much protein?
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofs View Post
Too much protein? What are the fast, little furry animals they have evolved to eat made out of? Remember, cats are meat eaters. They don't eat veggies.
While I tend to share your view on wet food/protein (I just wish my dry-food addicted, wet-food hating cat would agree with us!), you should note that the cat T2BC mentioned had kidney disease. Avoiding foods (Fancy Feast?) with high levels of protein would typically be necessary with such a diagnosis. For healthy cats, the notion of "too much protein" might be nonsense, but with CKD it's a tough, but necessary, balancing act in order to preserve kidney function.

So, it's possible that the GF is remembering Fancy Feast as a food to avoid for the previous sick cat, and unnecessarily avoiding it now for the healthy cat.
#22
Old 06-13-2013, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofs View Post
I have read that hydration isn't the issue, protein is. Animal protein, to be precise. Cats are carnivores, not omnivores. They have evolved around eating fast, little furry animals, not corn or wheat. The only plants they eat are those that happen to be inside the digestive tract of the little furry mammals they consume. As Hello Again noted, cats eat the whole mouse and they have been doing this for as long as cats have existed.
The best diet is just to get a bunch of mice and put them in a blender.
#23
Old 06-13-2013, 12:38 AM
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As far as canned food goes, I usually tell people to aim for the "pate" style of any brand, as it's less likely to contain too much extra grain filler. As opposed to the chunky stuff that's called all variations of fillets, shreds, diced, cubed, and whatever else I can't think of right now, those are all formed shapes, and made from wheat gluten. I don't tell people their cat will die if they feed the cheap stuff, but do be mindful and choose pate whenever possible. I feed mine the cheap stuff, and also add water to it. Some of the Fancy Feast seafood selections are good, because they are mostly real fish and sometimes shellfish. So those are good for treats and hiding meds.

The thing about feeding dry food (kibble) is that it doesn't make a lick of difference on their teeth. If you ever really watch a cat eat kibble they either break it into a couple of pieces, or swallow it whole. Neither of these things does anything for the teeth. The only kibble that does clean the teeth is the prescription veterinary kibble. There's a big difference between the veterinary diet and the stuff from the store. The veterinary kibble is much bigger in size, to start. It forces the cat to try to chew it, as just swallowing whole is uncomfortable. (I had one toothless cat who loved her kibble, she ate it just fine until I tried some Hill's t/d that was for another cat. She licked the coating off, but could not eat it. At all. And she tried valiantly.) The second difference is in how the kibble is extruded. Regular store stuff is packed together like a meatball. It crumbles when tooth pressure is applied. That makes it easier to eat and therefore more palatable to cats. The veterinary kibble is pushed through a shaping mechanism and then cut, making the fibers line up. This makes the kibble keep its form through the bite and makes the kibble scrape the length of the tooth before breaking apart, therefore helping keep the teeth cleaner.

As far as the veterinary circles I run in, we feed mostly canned and recommend canned to people who ask. Our shelter even has a "fat camp" room for obese cats (and a couple with urinary issues), where they are fed all the canned they want, but no kibble at all. The fatties lose and maintain weight, and the urinary kitties remain issue-free. The rest of the shelter gets kibble free-fed in communal bowls, and meal-fed canned food twice a day.
#24
Old 06-13-2013, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
As far as the veterinary circles I run in, we feed mostly canned and recommend canned to people who ask. Our shelter even has a "fat camp" room for obese cats (and a couple with urinary issues), where they are fed all the canned they want, but no kibble at all. The fatties lose and maintain weight, and the urinary kitties remain issue-free. The rest of the shelter gets kibble free-fed in communal bowls, and meal-fed canned food twice a day.
I see. The new kitty is a fatty. Apparently she got stressed out living in the shelter and overate. I've wondered how to get her to slim down, thanks.

My gf is telling me the kibble is grain-free. Blue Wilderness High Protein - Grain Free. Duck recipe. I'm not selling the stuff, but how does this stuff rate against the canned?
#25
Old 06-13-2013, 02:02 AM
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Eh, kinda six of one, half a dozen of the other. Sure, the Blue Buffalo is "grain" free, but it's not carbohydrate-free. It's a bit of a buzz phrase that keeps people from delving too far into the ingredients list or what ingredients their cat's really should be eating. To me, it's just as silly and counter to a cat's digestive system to feed sweet potatoes, carrots, and berries to an obligate carnivore as it is to feed rice and barley that's found in some cheaper canned products.

Read labels. Many of the Fancy Feast selections don't have any grain in them, nor to they have any other carbohydrates, save for guar gum which is a binder used to keep the pate looking like a pate. Yep, it's a bit of a pain at first, but soon you'll settle on just a few "flavors" you know she likes and stick with them, so not so bad in the long run.

If you want to go ahead with the Blue Buffalo, there's a recommended feeding guideline at the bottom of their page. There is mention of adding water. You could certainly try that and see if your kitty finds it palatable that way. Depending on her current vs. ideal weight, she may need anywhere from 200 to 400 calories a day. A cup of that kibble is 391 calories, and their chart looks right for that calorie count. Don't restrict any calories at first, and you want her weight loss to be very slow. Fat cats are at high risk of fatty liver syndrome if they are too calorie restricted/lose weight too quickly. If you've taken her to a vet yet, he/she can calculate calorie requirements based on current weight, age, and activity, and recommend a weight loss schedule you can follow at home, gradually restricting calories based on 391/cup. If the shelter you adopted her from has a vet on staff, you may be able to get that information from him/her, but be patient, they're very busy and it may take a few days for that doc to get back to you.
#26
Old 06-13-2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
I see. The new kitty is a fatty. Apparently she got stressed out living in the shelter and overate. I've wondered how to get her to slim down, thanks.

My gf is telling me the kibble is grain-free. Blue Wilderness High Protein - Grain Free. Duck recipe. I'm not selling the stuff, but how does this stuff rate against the canned?
Think about the fast, little furry animals cats have evolved to eat almost exclusively. Really. Think about them. Mice, rats, squirrels, voles, and even birds. Cat digestive systems have adapted nicely around processing them efficiently.

The last mouse I stomped on was all wet and gooey. That little guy had nothing in common with kibble made in a cereal factory.

Remember, cats are not omnivores. They are carnivores and they do not have the same nutritional flexibility an omnivore has. They eat cute animals. Wet, juicy animals that are made out of meat. SeaDragonTattoo described the urinary kitties remaining trouble free after switching to wet food. Wet food gets you much closer to providing food that is a proper match to feline digestive and nutritional needs.
#27
Old 06-13-2013, 02:25 AM
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Your cat will become snobbish and conceited.

You won't notice any difference.

Last edited by njtt; 06-13-2013 at 02:27 AM.
#28
Old 06-13-2013, 10:03 AM
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Well, it all seems so obvious when you guys say it that you'd think I'd have thought this through properly in the first place. Thanks for all the advice.
#29
Old 06-13-2013, 03:56 PM
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No worries, it seems it should be obvious, but it's really not. I'm constantly educating people on feline diets, and helping with overweight, diabetic felines and their owners to get on track after diagnosis. I was in the business, and wasn't much educated on feline dietary needs until one of my own cats ended up diabetic. It's a process, and asking the question in the first place is a step further than most people take.
#30
Old 06-13-2013, 05:25 PM
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I feed my cats Medley (a Fancy Feast), which is more expensive than the regular Fancy Feast, twice a day. (I have two cats and each gets half a can morning and evening.) The first few ingredients are meat, chicken, or fish product. It does contain some grains, but they need that both for tartar control and fiber. I free feed them a dry cat food. I use several varieties, but I find that Purina Smart Blend, Salmon & Tuna flavor, is the one they like the best. I also give them Whiskas' Temptations, which has meat products as first ingredients, and helps with tartar control.
#31
Old 06-13-2013, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
It does contain some grains, but they need that both for tartar control and fiber.
No, they don't. Read post #23, second paragraph. Cats are carnivores. They don't eat grains.
#32
Old 06-13-2013, 10:39 PM
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I hadn't realized there was a separate 'classic' style of Fancy Feast at all. I was at the store so I picked some up. 3 seafood flavors (chicken may or may not agree with her)... She takes one pill on an empty stomach, so I will have to wait another half hour before I put the question to the ultimate test and feed her the rest of her meds in some Fancy Feast pate.
#33
Old 06-13-2013, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
(filling in the blank) "catastrophe?"
In the sense of apostrophe? Yes.
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