Fancy Feast

duajonesJanuary 31, 2008

We have 4 cats and have been feeding them this brand both wet and dry. After reading through many posts here, I decided to look into possibly a better food. I picked up some Chicken soup dry and some wellness wet and while the cats will all eat the dry, they wont touch the wet when given the choice of it versus their normal Fancy Feast. I was just wondering where it compares to others as far as overall quality in food. I tried using the search function but evidently all the posts concerning this variety are expired

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I think the FF ingediants vary according to the variety...some are better than others. I remember doing a google search and a lot of info came up on the subject.

Wellness gets a major thumbs up from humans (who don't have to eat it) because of the excellent human grade ingredients but varying reviews from cats(like yours). You might try to integrate the Wellness V-e-r-y gradually into your cat's Fancy Feast, which is what I did. My cat now eats her Wellness...on the few occasions she shows signs of dis-interest (I buy the 12 oz cans for economy sake and divide them into 2 oz servings that I keep in the fridge til an hour before serving time.), I take 1/2 a soft Friskies treat and sprinkle it over the Welness to get her started...then she slurps it right up.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 5:38PM
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I only feed my cats dry. I bought Iams for years. I recently tried Eagle Pack Holistic Select chicken dry food...The cats love it. I picked up samples from my local pet food store. They gave me many brands Inova, Core, Wellness etc. My cats fell in love with Eagle Pack. I don't know if it is the best food out their but I can't tell you how much my cats love it.

Maybe you should visit your local store and load up on samples and see what your cats like. My store was very generous. They understand how finicky cats can be.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 5:45PM
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One food that I have heard very good taste reviews for is Merrick. It's a very good food, I would say it's on par with Wellness. They also have neat formula names like Grammy's Pot Pie and Cowboy Cookout.

It appears they only carry canned cat food at this time, no dry, but it might be a good thing to try instead of the Wellness.

BTW, don't give them a choice of foods. When given a choice between a healthy meal and McD's, most kids will choose the latter too. ;) As long as they are eating the food well I wouldn't be doing taste comparisons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Merrick web site

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:02PM
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I had a heck of a time trying to "wean" our 4 cats off Fancy Feast...Besides the cost, I heard, it is like giving kids candy or McDs....In our house, it's like a kitty buffet...We have the 4 inside and 3 semi ferals that we take care of and trying to please everyone is not an easy chore....We have 1, I think, would starve before he would eat dry food. 2 others would rather have the dry...I laugh when someone will say to us, having cats is so much easier than dogs, just leave the litter box and food and they're OK....Boy not our's, worse than kids.....

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:23PM
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Actually I like Fancy Feast (or similar wet foods) for cats. Cats are carnivores and cannot process or use protein from soy or other vegetables. Fancy Feast is mostly meat and vitamins. Plus it is mostly water, which may help protect cats' kidneys since they don't generally drink much. Dry food is so processed it doesn't even resemble real food. Although an animal won't suffer from malnutrition if they eat dry food exclusively, you can't expect optimal nutrition from the equivalent of beef jerky and a vitamin pill. The less processing the food goes through, the more like what cats evolved to eat, which is the best possible diet for them. Same applies for all species- eat what you evolved to eat without processing out the nutrients, and you'll be as healthy as possible.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 7:25PM
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I was hoping to find the ingredients for Fancy Feast on line for comparisons to good brands, but Purina is very coy about posting their ingredients. I couldn't find the information on their website.

My vet called Fancy Feast "Kitty Crack" because it's so addictive to cats. I fed it to one of my cats for a while when she became anorexic, and it was the only thing I could get her to eat. (I'm talking about the canned). Anyway, I didn't like the "natural flavors" and the artificial flavors and the by-products I saw on the list of ingredients, and was anxious to get her back on real food after she got her appetite back. What I did was start mixing real food (meaning quality foods such as Eagle Pack and Precise and EVO, which don't have artificial flavors or by-products) with the fancy feast. I did this for quite some time and gradually reduced the amount of Fancy Feast. It worked. I have found, though, that my cats prefer Eagle Pack's canned food over the other premium brands. You might consider trying to switch your cat over to the better foods this way, too. Also, I have heard it suggested that with the dry, you can at first toss a few kibbles to them like they're a treat. Then they'll think they're getting a treat at every meal time. At least, that's the theory.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Sally, you can find most food ingredients on, I guess they get them off the packaging cause I couldn't find it on any Purina website either.

Here's the first bunch of ingredients for Fancy Feast "Chopped Grill Feast":
Meat By-products, Meat Broth, Poultry, Poultry By-products, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Guar Gum...

For comparison, here is the beginning of Merrick's "Cowboy Cookout" ingredients:
Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Fresh Sweet Potato, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Snow Peas, Fresh Whole Granny Smith Apples, Potato Starch-modified, Dried Egg...

Note that they specify what type of meat they are using - in this case beef. If the ingredient only says "poultry" it means it can be any poultry or mix thereof. If it says "meat", as in the first example, it could be beef, chicken, even a skunk (seriously). I'm not saying that Merrick is the best food in the world, it's not, but it's much better than most and I just wanted to stick with the same example. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Pet Food Direct

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Here is a link with the healthier Fancy Feast cans - lower carb, grain-free.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fancy Feast Low Carb No Grain

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 6:08AM
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I can relate to the "Kitty Crack" issue. When the pet food scares came out last spring, I tried diligently to wean my two cats off their daily fix of Fancy Feast. I spent a lot of money and ran around town buying more nutritious brands, introducing them slowly, etc. They absolutely refused to eat any wet food but Fancy Feast! Finally, I gave up, but I limited their portion to splitting one small can per day between them. The rest of the time they get Wellness dry, which they do also love.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 6:58AM
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"For comparison, here is the beginning of Merrick's "Cowboy Cookout" ingredients:
Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Fresh Sweet Potato, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Snow Peas, Fresh Whole Granny Smith Apples, "Potato Starch-modified, Dried Egg...""

Why in the world would a cat need snow peas, apples and sweet potatoes? I don't know any cat in the wild that eats those things.

I guarantee my cat doesn't beg for veggies when we are eating....

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 9:03AM
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The sweet potatoes are for fiber, the apples probably for fiber as well, and because humans like them. The peas are actually good for cats with kidney problems. My co-worker had a cat with congenital kidney disease that the vets gave up on. She put the cat on a diet of baby food peas, along with baked organic chicken and rice. The peas helped because they were alkaline, or made her system alkaline, or something like that. She was able to bring her cat back to full health, and her cat lived for a long time. Yes, the cat had some continuing problems with her kidneys, but lived a lot longer than the vets expected.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 9:42AM
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"Here is a link with the healthier Fancy Feast cans - lower carb, grain-free."

It's not just about the carb level and grains. I was talking about the quality of the ingredients, which you have to admit is rather scary. BTW, the formula I quoted above is on the list you posted (Chopped Grill Feast) so I don't think I'd use that list as an indicator of quality.

"Why in the world would a cat need snow peas, apples and sweet potatoes? I don't know any cat in the wild that eats those things."

Would you rather have the Fancy Feast then? I hear you on the appropriateness of the diet (my dogs eat a prey-model raw diet) but I think if folks can improve the quality of the foods they are giving, it's a good starting point. Very few people would be willing to go from FF to raw, but they may be open to going to a better quality food, and then keep learning as they go.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 10:27AM
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My cat will only eat the Fancy Feast with gravy. I've tried many better brands from our local healthy pet food store, and always end up throwing them out.

She gets EVO for her dry food but likes a little canned food for breakfast and dinner. I even add a little warm water to the empty can and that makes a bit of extra "gravy".

All those healthy human grade ingredients are useless if she doesn't like the flavor. Brussle sprouts, anyone?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 10:46AM
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I picked up a bag of EVO yesterday and 3 of the 4 cats will eat it, while one wouldnt touch it. I also have 2 dogs, a shih tzu and a lab mix. I have been slowly incorporating the EVO into their diet for a week now and they seem to like it. I have already noticed a difference in the amount of poop from the 80 lb lab mix. My goal is to at least supplement their diet with better overall foods.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:03AM
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I think the big issue is getting your cat to eat more wet food...and less dry. I always fed my cats dry food. They liked it, and it was convenient for me. And I never had a cat who lived longer than 13 yrs due to kidney failure, thyroid problems, etc. Dry food is much too high in carbs for a matter what the source is. Certain carbs (corn, grain) AND proteins (soy) are just plain bad for cats. And a diet that is most or all dry food cannot give a cat necessary levels of hydration. Remember that mice(and people) are ~75% water.

When I took Odessa to my vet for her 1st visit after adopting her from the ASPCA, she was shedding like crazy, had dandruff, and had bowel problems. At the shelter,she had been on a diet of primarily IAMS dry with a couple TBLS of canned. When I got her home she showed no interest in the IAMS wet. My vet told me to get her off the kibble and feed her Fancy Feast canned if necessary. Thats where we started, and eventually I got her off the FF and onto a diet of 6 oz of Wellness canned plus 3/4 oz of Royal Canin dry (grain free)rabbit (an Rx food the vet recommened for her sensive stomach) a day. I did want to keep a little dry food in her diet for snacking and this is working out well. I also add 1oz (3x a day) of water into her wet food meals to give her extra fluid since she doesn't like drinking water from a bowl. I have read that this is normal for cats since they natrually get most of their fluid from a diet of live prey. And I do add canned pumpkin to her canned food for fiber. Wild cats do seek the form of grass, in addition to undigested contents of their prey's digestive tracks.

I'm not touting Wellness or Royal Canin...there are other foods with similar ingredients. And I know the dangers of mis-applying cause and effect. But so far, Odessa (at 8 yrs) is the healthiest cat I've ever had: Virtually no shedding. No dandruff. No barfing. BMs went from horrendous to normal. No neurotic begging for food between meals. No urinary problems.

So far, the minimal additional expense of the food (compared to Purina Cat Chow) and the small amount of time involved in the preparation has paid for itself...time saved from scrubbing barf stains from saved from vet visits and tubes of Petromalt.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:16AM
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I present fresh water to the cats every day, sometimes more than once, and they all drink plenty of water. That may not be the norm for most cats but it is for mine anyway.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Our cat who died in September ate a diet of Iams and Fancy Feast. He lived to be 17 and died of kidney failure. If I had known what I know now about cats, I would have given him a much better diet, and I believe he would have been happier and lived a lot longer.

I was hoping to get our two shelter cats that we got in November into eating more wet food and less dry. They got only Science Diet at the shelter. They have loved everything I have given them, but one of them eats so fast that when I give her more than about a teaspoon of wet food at a time, she promptly throws it up. (She does everything fast!) If the other cat doesn't finish his pretty quickly, she pushes him aside and eat his. I keep an eye on them while they're eating, and if he leaves some of his wet food I put it in the refrigerator and give it to him later.

So I've been giving them Blue Buffalo dry food -- about a cup each per day, half a cup at a time. They will nibble on that throughout the day. When I get home from work, I give them each a spoonful of high quality wet food (so far, I've tried -- let's see, I think Weruva, Wellness, Evolve, and Innova, and they have liked all of them). They do drink quite a bit of water, so I think they're okay with that. They eliminate well, and their fur looks good. They don't beg or act unhappy.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 12:10PM
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"I present fresh water to the cats every day, sometimes more than once, and they all drink plenty of water. That may not be the norm for most cats but it is for mine anyway. " are absolutely right. My past cats (that ate 100% dry food) always drank lots of water from their water bowls, too. Once I successfully converted Odessa (my present cat)to a diet of 75% canned food, I noticed that she never drank from her water dish. I was a little concerned. Several articles I read, and my vet confirmed that this is not unusual if the cat is getting appropriate moisture from her diet. I stir extra water in with her canned meals just to make sure she is consuming enough to cover the small amount of dry I leave out for snacking.

The problem may be, that a cat cannot/will not drink enough to make up for the low moisture content of an all dry diet...felines aren't programmed that way as dogs are. Ei:One article pointed out that lions hang out at water holes not to drink, but to stalk prey that drinks. If you see a wild cat drinking it is likely that they haven't eaten in a while.

This low level of dehydration will not cause any immediate isues, but over the years may take a toll on a cat's kidneys, urinary track, etc.

You are doing the right thing by trying to get you cats to eat a little less dry and a little more canned. BTW...I always leave a water bowl out for Odessa, just in case.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 4:31PM
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Livvysmom is correct about questioning the inclusion of sweet potatoes etc in cat food. Cats CANNOT digest ANY plant materials, period. Therefore all you are doing by giving a cat food with plant products is wasting your money, and not helping your cat.

To those who want to know,
The definition for meat by-products by the Association of American Feed Control Officials is:
The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.

Carnivores, including cats, eat WHOLE prey, which of course includes lungs, liver, spleen, blood, bone, fat, stomach, and intestines. There is no good reason in the world to exclude these HEALTHY and NATURAL parts of animals in pet food.

Now that is not to say that any particular company lies about what a meat by-product is. And pets with food allergies should not get foods with meat by-products listed as an ingredient because the food could contain a protein source that the animal is allergic to. But there isn't a reason in the world why a healthy cat can't or shouldn't consume by-products. In fact, they SHOULD eat these items because that is how cats evolved- eating WHOLE prey. The bones and brain contain the most taurine, an essential amino acid which can cause blindness and heart disease if not included in the diet.

IMHO, any food such as FF that does NOT have items such as sweet potatoes and whatever IS a step up from any food that does contain those items. I'm not saying FF is the best cat food out there- frankly if I had a cat I would feed it WYSONG as I do my dogs when they are not getting homemade food. But I think that FF and similar all-meat diets are better for cats in particular than any food containing waste products such as sweet potatoes and carrots that cats cannot use at all. Only if they do not also include artificial preservatives and flavorings. I don't like guar gum in pet food either. But better a little guar gum than a bunch of veggies and fruit in cat food.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 7:37PM
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I'm not endorsing FF, but sometimes a cat will eat only what they will eat. I only posted it as the person seemed interested. One of my three cats had a problem recently and it is the only canned food he will eat. There is no way I'm feeding a cat dry food unless I absolutely have to, and I don't have to with this cat. With one of my two IBD cats I don't have a choice - he can't tolerate any canned foods. Dry food lacks moisture that cats need and even the high protein ones are higher in carbs than the good canned foods. As for Wellness, I see debate all the time about it's veggies - however, I know many, many IBD and CRF cats and others that do really well on it - including my other IBD cat. There are so few only meat options out there - and I won't feed this cat FF because of the meat byproducts might make him very sick and the high phosphorus on the better ones.

A little thought on the veggies...I have two cats on digestive enzymes..Interestingly enough, it is the plant based enzymzes that are supposed to, in most cases, be more effective than animal based enzymes because they don't break down in the digestive system (unless they are coated). I can attest to my cats doing really well on the enzymes.

So, my point. If you can skip dry completely, do it because you aren't doing your cat any favor with it. But if you have a cat that gets really sick on any canned food - well, then feed it dry. As for canned, look at the whole picture. Wellness for example is high protein, low carb, and much lower in phosphorus than the grain-free FF. It also has a very good reputation - much better than many after all the recalls last year.

I've learned one thing since I became a moderator/member of a feline IBD forum - cats are so individual as to what they can tolerate or do well on. There are general rules, but it doesn't help to say 'you should always do this'. By the way, Dr Lisa Pierson is very well known in internet circles and Wellness is one of her fovorites.

As for meat only canned foods that don't contain byproducts...there is ByNature, EVO 95 % meat, Wysong but you need to add supplements...

Here is a link that might be useful: Feline Nutrition

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:33PM
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My cat is 16. She started acting sick and losing weight about a year ago. I took her to the vet, who drew blood and diagnosed bad thyroid,liver and kidneys. Wow-multiple organ failure. The cat refuses to take pills, but eats two cans of Fancy Feast every day, but only the sliced flavors with gravy. I am convinced it's keeping her alive. It costs me $1.50 a day to feed her, but that's okay with me. She also eats a little Meow Mix original formula dry, and drinks lots of water every day.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 5:10PM
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