Canned grain-free cat food w/o veggies

may_flowersJanuary 31, 2014

I'm trying to find a few canned cat foods for our 3 year old cat and 15 week old kitten. Gracie, the adult, is a picky eater. She likes pate style foods, but most have veggies. The most basic pate I've found that they like is Trader Joe's chicken, which only has rice. She didn't like EVO. She likes Fancy Feast Chicken Formula, which the vet calls an occasional McDonald's Happy Meal. They were eating Wellness Chicken Formula, but it has sweet potatoes, squash, and zucchini and smells more like veggies than chicken. The kitten developed loose stools this week, so I have him on Weruva Paw Licken' Chicken alone right now. Vet visit is scheduled for Monday.

The kitten came on a commercially-prepared raw diet, but we took him off it about two weeks ago as Gracie won't eat it and it's too much work to feed them separately. They both eat Paw Licken' Chicken every day, which is shredded white meat in a potato starch sauce. They both love dry food, but we use it as a treat.

Any other suggestions? We have three independent pet stores, Petco, and Petsmart in town, so it's easy to find just about everything, yet it's so hard to find a pate or plain style food without added gravy, veggies, fruit, or grains!

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Have you tried EVO 95% canned food? We fed this to our two until they had to go on an Rx diet. They didn't like the regular EVO canned food either.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:58PM
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I'd just feed them dry if that's what they "love". My cat lived to be 17 years old on dry...he would NOT TOUCH canned food at all. Back in those days we never even heard of these expensive fancy food, he ate something called Kozy Kitten...HA. I think it was about the cheapest food but we didn't know anything different back then and it served him well anyway. I'm beginning to believe all these super high priced foods for dogs and cats are little more than a scam to get our money. My dog got really sick off the high end foods...she now is on DOG CHOW and is healthy and LOVES IT!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Cat_mom, it was the 95%. The funny thing is they loved the 5 oz. can, so we bought two cans of the 14 oz. and they wouldn't touch it! Maybe it was processed differently.

Arkansas_girl, we lost our last cat from kidney, thyroid, and heart disease at age 14. It was expensive and traumatic, so I'd rather pay for good food now than have us and the cats suffer at the end of their lives. Past thinking was that you could feed cats like dogs, but they know more about cat nutrition now. I've had cats on dry food my whole life and they've had grain-related skin allergies and diabetes.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:34AM
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Fancy Feast = McDonalds Happy Meal?? Could you (or your vet) be more specific, what exactly does that mean? By my reading of the labels its just meat and by-products + all the usual assorted additives.

Besides the expense of FF I am getting sooo tired of all those blasted little gold cans - really pile up fast when you have 2 cats.

Back in the day we fed our cats table scraps and milk from the cows. Then they invented catfood, which was not designed for cats, but they simply took the formula for dog kibble and made it small for cats. Dog kibble may be OK for dogs (omnivores) but not so good for cats (obligate carnivores, which means they are made to eat meat almost exclusively).

Obesity and diabetes in both cats and dogs is skyrocketing due to their modern high-carb diets. All it takes is one heartbreaking experience with a diabetic cat before you decide you're not going thru that again, I'll do whatever it takes to prevent it.

Back in the day people didn't care about quality of cat food because cats' life spans were so short - things like CRF and diabetes didn't have time to develop. Back on the farm our cats never lasted long - they'd get hit by a car, or one day you just never saw them again. A bad diet was the least of their worries! And, being free to roam they supplemented their diet with good stuff like mice and rabbits.

Things are different now - with good care cats and dogs can and are living 10, 15, 20 years, which is to say the length of their natural life span.

THAT SAID... it really shouldn't cost people an arm and a leg to feed their cats well. Wish manufacturers would do better and make more cat-specific foods. A lot of that high priced so called "gourmet" stuff is made to sound appealing to the person buying it, and not to the cats. Canned mousie would be what my guys want, not a squash or veggie stew or eggs florentine with garden greens or whatever!

On the other hand some of the high cost all meat canned foods that SHOULD be good smell so vile that my cats wont eat it, make the burying motion (which means in cat language "this is s***)

After doing a ton of research, Ive found some of the online raw recipes can be made cooked or semi cooked out of low cost ingredients (eg ground chicken thighs including bones) and then frozen. Think I'll try making a batch and see how it goes. Re: dry food, Taste of the Wild is more affordable than some and although it has some vegetable in it, my cats do NOT do the same binge eating of it that they do if its the type with grain or corn. I just use a little bit of dry to supplement the wet food.

BTW, going grain and sugar-free works wonders for human weight control as well.

This post was edited by kashka_kat on Sat, Feb 1, 14 at 14:37

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 2:31PM
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"Canned mousie would be what my guys want, not a squash or veggie stew or eggs florentine with garden greens or whatever! "

LOL! I know what you mean. When I took in a young feral cat three years ago I decided to begin feeding both she and my older cat "good" food. Then it was just the one cat, and now this stray tom cat too. After trying several brands,they've settled on Great Life Essentials as their favorite. It runs into some money every month though. I call it FF with blueberries!

I buy several cans of "Paw Licken' Chicken" every once in awhile, and they really like the PLC too.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 4:03PM
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I've had vets specifically recommend Fancy Feast as a good mid-priced food. While not as high quality as some of the super premium foods (at a super premium cost) it is fine for daily feeding.

If that vet thinks Fancy Feast is a Happy Meal, wonder what they consider 9-Lives - heroin?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 4:15PM
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Our old cat Toby ate Iams dry food and Fancy Feast. Our vet said FF is okay on occasion, just like McDonald's is okay on occasion. My objection to FF is the addiction factor, the small cans, and the gravy and sauce. I want to spend my feeding dollars on good-quality protein that fills them up, not on gravy, grains, fruit, and veggies. They also seem to get addicted to the flavor enhancers in FF and dry food, and then when they need to go on a special diet, good luck.

I buy large cans whenever I can, and we get a 10% case discount at one store and a 10% senior discount at another. I won't pay $2 for a 5 oz. can of cat food and avoid the 3 oz. cans all together. I compared price per ounce on the large cans (11-14 oz.) with our discount and Weruva PLC, Wellness Chicken Formula, and EVO all cost around 20 cents an ounce. Fancy Feast is 15 cents an ounce. The real deal is Trader Joe's for 69 cents a 5 oz.can. I'm trying to give them some variety though as they do get tired of the same thing.

Kasha_kat, I have also read a lot about nutrition and disease. You probably know you need to add taurine to homemade food. I read on the website of the commercially-prepared raw food the kitten was eating that it's the organ meats that provide taurine. Cats will eat the brains and heart of their catch and not so much of the muscle meat. I can confirm that as I saw Toby crunching on a mouse head.

Schoolhouse, I haven't seen Great Life Essentials but I'll look for it. Thank you!

Mdln, I have read that the cheapest canned food is healthier than most dry foods. The basic FF "Formula" varieties are the best. They're pate.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:56PM
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Agree, the cheapest can food is probably a lot better than any dry food. Have spent a lot of time working with many different vets.

As my favorite feline vet says, "cats are not little dogs."

Here is a link that might be useful: Great cat feeding article

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Have you tried Tiki Cat? I just bought a can of the Puka Puka Luau. Just chicken and broth. All four of mine go crazy for all their flavors. Not cheap so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tiki Cat

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:10PM
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@ glaserberl - Does it meet AAFCO nutrition standards?

Here is a link that might be useful: feeding cats

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:16PM
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@mdln - I believe so.
From their website:
Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Fish Oil.
Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate Heptahydrate, Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate Monohydrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Calorie Content:
Calories: kcal/100g -107
Calories from fat: kcal/100g -27
Calories per 2.8 ounce can: g/can - 85
Calories per 6 ounce can: g/can -182

Grain Free
Gravy Free
Omega Rich

Guaranteed Analysis:

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:50AM
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Really good articles, mdln. Learned a few new things. Thanks!

Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken is comparable to Tiki Cat, but not quite as "pure"--it has starch and gums. It's shredded white meat chicken, but it's also sold in 10 oz. cans for around $3 a can. Note that Tiki Cat is only a 2.8 oz. can!

Ingredients for PLC:

Chicken, water for processing, potato starch, sunflower seed oil, xantham gum, vitamins and minerals.

However, Tiki Cat is 14% protein, which is rather high. PLC is 10% and most others are 9-10%, and moisture is 85%. So more water, less protein in PLC. It also meets AAFCO's standards.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:35AM
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@glaserberl - if it meets the AAFCO standards, it usually says so on the can.

While the Zoran article was written for vets, I think non-vets can get a lot out of it. It is one of my favorites to pass on to cat owners.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:12PM
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may_flowers brings up a good point about FF that I share. The cans are small and at $.60 a can (on average or on sale) around here, I end up feeding more cans a day compared to one larger can.

Kind of OT, but I also feed "Orijen" dry food......yep, $23 for a 5lb. bag.....I know, but the cats love it and it appears SO healthy. Anyway, this payday I spent a total of $74 on two cats. A case of canned (24 cans) a bag of dry, and the worm med. Even the cashier said "That sounds so high" and did the figures again. True story. I'm thinking of dropping my cell phone so I can afford the cat food! Is it really all hype like one poster suggests? And yes I tried switching to a less expensive "healthy" dry but the cats just nibbled at it but I refused to buy more until it was gone. I might add the stray tom cat ate most of it. Should I go back to Meow Mix??? ha.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:16PM
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The Tiki also comes in a 6 oz can. I know 6 oz is 6oz but it sure seems to me that there is more in those cans. At least he portion size seems bigger when I divvy it up. The Tiki is an occasional treat. I feed them a variety of grain free canned food, a little dry (grain free) and throw in some raw once in a while.
Schoolhouse- I have wondered if it is worth it but then I have not had any vet bills other then check ups and shots in the last several years. The vet always comments on how healthy my four are and how shiny and soft their fur is. They are no spring chickens either, ranging in age from 3 to about 16.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Thanks glaserberl. Makes me feel better.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:30PM
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I just wonder why it is if they are so much better at making cat food these days and they just know SOOOO much...then why is it that the cat foods are all full of fillers even the expensive stuff. Why do they think cats need vegetables? If they know so much then shouldn't they know that cats don't eat vegetables? I really only have to go by personal experience with my old cats and they just ate dry cheap grocery store foods and they all lived to be really old and had no health issues. In a perfect world I suppose cats would eat mice and birds.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:51PM
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My picky cat likes Halo chicken pate canned (not the Spots Stew) food best - and we have tried many of the better foods. It has some finely ground veggies in it but I think that helps keep it moist and soft. Many of the premium foods are very dry and hard. My girl tends to like the softer, wetter foods. She also gets some Pure Vita dry food.

For good prices check Amazon. It can vary, and they may not have all brands. but I get Halo for $.70 cents LESS a can than at Petco or Petfooddirect.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:39PM
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I found something good! It's called First Mate and made in B.C., Canada. It's pate and is minimal ingredients--chicken, chicken broth, potato. No gums or carrageean. $1.75 for a 5 oz. can--less than Wellness. Both cats like it. It's only sold in the western states and Canada, but I think I saw it on Amazon.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:19PM
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I buy Merrick 96% meat canned food to add to the dried food my dogs eat, so seeing your need for a mostly meat food for cats caught my eye. I pay $2 a can for 13 oz or so at our bargain-basement independent pet food store. It is 9 % crude protein, 7 % crude fat, 1.2 % crude fiber, 78% moisture. It does not have the added taurine that cats need, though their cat food does have it. I have no idea what the cat food costs. You might want to look into it, though. I see it does have Guar and carrageenan, though.

Merrick Before Grain Salmon Canned Cat Food

Salmon, Water for Processing, Whitefish, Dried Egg, Yeast Extract, Glycine, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Guar, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Carageenan, Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Complex, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin, Lecithin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Cobalt Glucoheptanate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein (min.) 10.00%
Crude Fat (min.) 4.50%
Crude Fiber (max.) 1.40%
Moisture (max.) 78.00%

Here is a link that might be useful: Merrick

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 12:52AM
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Thanks, Nancy. I think we tried the Merrick chicken last year and Gracie didn't like it. She's so picky with wet food. She was a rescue, so she shouldn't be complaining about good food served up warm!

I am also using NutriSource Chicken and Rice. I like what I've read about the company. They also make Pure Vita, which Gracie doesn't like (though she loved the sample of their dry food that the pet store gave us). No veggies, no carageenan, but rice and alfalfa meal? $1.35 for 5 oz.

You talkin' about me?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:08AM
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You could try woody's from woody's pet food deli.
Personally I've given up on commerical cat food, the cans are redictiously $$$ and dry causes a lot of issues. UTIS. teeth issues/ ect.
with Woodys i spend around $29 every 2 weeks on 2 cats. You get around 7 1lb frozen containers that you thaw out in the fridge. and a bag of little plastic cups you use for serving size.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:12AM
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