Need advice on healthy, high-protien cheap canned cat food

phish_gwSeptember 13, 2012

The vet wants to put my kitty on a healthy, high-protien, low-carb, canned cat food. But they all seem so expensive! I'm used to friskies that I can get on sale at Krogers, but I think that is the protien equivalent for a cat of a bag of potato chips. All the ones at the pet store are about $2 for a pretty small can (and that can add up if I want to feed this to my kitty all the time)

Has anyone been able to find a relatively healthy, protien-rich canned cat food that is also relatively affordable?

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Petsmart has their own brand - Authority - that is reasonably priced and good quality. The price right now is $.80 a can. It is far better than any of the cheap grocery-store foods.

I am a total sucker for my cat and I buy her the expensive stuff. But I can afford it. I totally understand how buying good food for your cat can get expensive. Bravo to you for caring enough about your kitty to feed her good food.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:55PM
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If you live near a Trader Joe's, I've heard that their store brand of canned cat food is pretty decent quality for an affordable price.

It's also MUCH more economical to buy 12-13 oz cans than the smaller 5.5 oz or, worse yet, the 3 oz. cans. Some brands, like EVO and Wellness, offer the larger cans. It's also cheaper to buy by the case, and it can be cheaper to buy online and have it shipped directly to your door. Most of the online sellers have frequent sales and promotions, often including reduced prices AND free shipping if you order a certain amount.

Of the premium, high quality, high protein, low carb canned foods, EVO is usually the least expensive.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:34PM
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And this is what irritates me. The local markets used to all sell the large cans of cat food and several brands of that as well, and one by one they dropped those lines and sell only the tiny, tuna can sized meals. Then they started adding the ultra cute, gourmet tiny cans. In addition to the expense of this junk, the majority of them are little shreds of meat floating around in a sea of 'gravy'. My kitties would only lick up the gravy and leave the meat. So many times when chatting with other cat owners at the cat food isle they say the same thing. Why do they insist on producing stuff cats won't even eat? In the assortments, half the time, they'd only eat on variety out of the pack and the rest would go begging. I am down to one store now who will sell the large cans of pate'. Thanks for the tip about pet smart, I'll check it out.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Our last kitty was addicted to Fancy Feast gravy, and when his appetite declined at age 14 due to disease (which FF probably contributed to), we noticed we were throwing away a lot of licked-clean chicken chunks. So we searched for pate styles so he could put on some weight. We discovered Wellness Chicken Formula and Turkey Formula, which both our old and new kitties love. Petsmart sells the 5.5 oz. can for $1.79. They have beef and fish flavors too, but make sure it says "Formula" on the label.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Wellness is good - especially the Wellness Core - but $1.79 is a lot of money for many folks. The Core is almost $2.00. That is why many people feed Fancy Feast or Friskies, or the very weird Meow Mix.

It is good that there are a few affordable alternatives to the not-so-great stuff.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:31PM
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we feed ours the fancy feast garden greens in the teal cans. the quality is visibly better than other supermarket brands, including regular friskies. instead of "meat" floating in gravy, it has a dense creamy texture. i find that this is more filling and palatable for kitties. the small can just contains less gravy.

of course this is not equal to high quality brands like core.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Do you belong to a Costco or Sams Clud? I wonder if their kitty food is any good.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:54AM
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you can usually purchase Fancy Feast in large quantities for pretty cheap (less than 40 cents per can) at Walmart, and sometimes Target. The kind without gravy (the 'feast' forms) are nearly all high protein, low carb and decent fat and salt ingredients and are pretty good diets for cats. The gravy ones have a lot of carbs in them (more than necessary). Some of the Fancy Feast flavors are considered by some internal med professors (mine in particular) to be among the best all around cat foods available on the market (even better than all the fancy veterinary diets per this professor of Veterinary Medicine). But there are many good quality canned foods available. Just try to stay clear of the ones with lots of grains (or any grains if possible) in them.

'By products' however are not usually something you need to avoid as these are still protein sources- just not ones we humans would normally want to eat, but that still have nutritional value. These do make the foods more affordable, but not at the expense of the kitty... not so with all the unnecessary carbs- thosea ARE cheap and unwanted fillers.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:34AM
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I agree about the by products. Organ meat and other yummy things animals love but some humans view as disgusting. Non-skeletal meat (organs and the like) is more nutritious than skeletal meat (breasts, fillets, etc.).

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:28PM
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I'm another fan of the Trader Joe's canned cat food.

Our cats get three of the flavors on rotation and they are happy.

Also, pet supply stores have quality brands at cheaper prices if you buy by the case.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I often wondered why "by-products" are discouraged --- if a cat in the wild where to kill its prey -- would it not eat the organ meat and others?

Unfortunately, we are often restricted to serving what our cats have decided they will eat. For my cat, that mean Friskies shredded canned food -- he won't touch pate'.

Now, I totally agree that corn and the like has no place in a cats diet.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 2:47PM
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I have found this fantastic site by a vet and you MUST go there, too. You will find your answers, and I recommend you share with your friends with cats, and even YOUR vet.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:28PM
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I have 2 diabetic cats. I had to look around to find a good high protein food they would eat. We started out with the RX food which in addition to being costly- they wouldn't eat it. So I did some looking around and found that Friskies Classic Pates are a good high quality high protein food, as are the Fancy Feast Pates.
These are actually higher in protein than the over priced RX foods!

Since putting my cats on the Friskies Pate, they are diet controlled diabetics- no more insulin!

Make sure though that you read the labels as the shreds and slices in gravy are not higher in protein like the pates are.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Interesting what you say about your cats diet controlled diabetes.
I was just now surfing around, to find out if any body has anything good to say about Friskies. My three cats only like Friskies and Petsmarts Grreat Choise. Yesterday I bought three tiny little cans of Max Cat, expensive and supposed to be super healthy. They actually liked it! Hooray, I thought, finally a high quality food they will actually eat.
Then I put on my reading glasses to study the label and congratulate myself for being such a good cat owner, buying food I can barely afford. Real meat, no by-products, blah, blah, blah and - 8% protein!! All three flavors. The Friskies and Grreat Choice have 10%. So I am sticking to those two brands.

Petsmart and Petco have price match, so I pay $0.46 a can, (Friskies 5.5 oz) that is what the price is at Walmart, and then I still get my reward points from the pet store :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:01AM
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I agree on the Fancy Feast addiction. My cats will not eat anything else. They used to eat the healthy Wellness food until I had to feed a sick cat whatever he would eat. I swear they put something in it to addict them, just as it's been discovered they do with people food. I hate these irresponsible companies and their junk food because I can't get my cats to eat anything else now.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 14:45

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 2:44PM
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snookums2, I had to go back to Fancy Feast Turkey Giblets Feast for my 15yr.old. He had eaten dry Meow Mix all his life until he had dental work one year and I offered a wet - the FF. He woofed it down. Now that he is older I started to worry after reading so much online about the evils of this food and that food, ugh, thinking I contributed to his decline, ect. ect. I started to buy the expensive food. And I took in a feral and wanted to give her the best I could too. Well, Kitty wanted FF. He would eat the other but not as happy, lost weight. So recently I went back to FF just for him. At this point, he's got quality of life and if he will eat anything I let him. Except I do sneak in what I feel is healthier stuff now and then. ha.

Petco is the only local store I can find the Turkey Giblet Feast Classic. He doesnt' like the "Turkey Giblet and Gravy".

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 3:14PM
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