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Cat food - balance of cost to quality

(38 Posts)
Yogamatcat Sun 31-Dec-17 08:51:32

We’re needing to economise and having cut back on our food bill I’m now looking at how much we spend on catfood.

2 big cats, 10 and 7yrs old. They have felix pouches, previously had tins when we had a 3rd cat, but too much was going to waste with just 2.

I worry about quality, but equally not convinced felix is any better than own brand.
The guilty part of me says they should have ‘vet food’ or raw diet and I’m feeding them junk anyway.

What’s the balance between good quality/healthy for them and price?

OP’s posts: |
BluebellTheDonkey Sun 31-Dec-17 08:58:37

I'm not sure about the answer to your question, but mine are on Felix pouches and a few biscuits for supper, both the rescue and vets have said this is absolutely fine. In an ideal world every cat would have a perfectly balanced nutritionally sound diet, but you have to be realistic about it. Personally I'm not a fan of a 100% dry food diet as I don't think they get enough moisture- not all cats are natural water drinkers.
I know some posters have previously recommended Lidl or Aldi pouches, might be worth looking into.

Middleoftheroad Sun 31-Dec-17 09:05:37

My two are on Whiskas or Felux pouches and dry cat food. I try to get deals so its about £2.50 a box of 12 - though if you buy more you can get a deal.

How much do they get? Mine share a pouch at breakfast and one at dinner so I guess its roughly 50p a day on wet - £15 a month and a £2/£2.50 bigger box of dry cat food a week so about £25 a month/£6 a week.

You can lead a horse to water but IME you can't necessarily lead a cat to own brand or dry food. Mine turn their noses up because I have spoiled them. This has been the case with every cat we have had.

firsttimer12345 Sun 31-Dec-17 09:05:58

We use a mix of whiskers dry and Sainsbury's finest wet as that had the highest meat content we could find without paying out for Lily's or another premium brand.

Middleoftheroad Sun 31-Dec-17 09:08:05

They have refused to eat Lidl, Aldi or Tesco brands. What the hell do Whiskas and Felix add to make their pouches so addictive? Their faves are the creamy soups but they are so rich and messy to open - it's a special treat

BluebellTheDonkey Sun 31-Dec-17 09:09:54

Middle no idea but you're right! And mine only like the fish version...hmm

Austentatious Sun 31-Dec-17 09:12:04

Mine have hill's and when I can't get it / it's too expensive, Iams. There is a marked difference in their coats when they're on the Hills - much softer / glossier. They're 16 now and have passed their geriatric cat blood tests with flying colours (kidney function) and I'm sure it's down to the fancy diet. I haven't spent anything on vets other than for a cut in 15 years either - again convinced that he food has helped their teeth and health. Reading what middleoftgeroad says above about cost of wet and dry feeding, the difference in price for premium is not substantial and feels like it's been absolutely worth it

KatyMac Sun 31-Dec-17 09:13:07

mine is a fussy bugger and will only eat his dry food from the vet plus the former beef cake sad which has virtually no beef in at all and very little meat

Yogamatcat Sun 31-Dec-17 09:14:56

I’ve never really worked out the cost of their food, or how much they have. Should do that today. We get the pouches from wholesale place so price is good as it can be for brand.
I should have said older cat only has a couple of teeth left and doesn’t get on with dry food. Neither drink water in the house, only scabby puddle water is good enough grin
Will have a proper look at meat content and Lidl/Aldi too.
They had gourmet pearl on xmas day - cat crack!

OP’s posts: |
AnnaMagnani Sun 31-Dec-17 09:16:43

Zooplus. Learned about it from other posters here.

Has all sorts of foreign brands which are much higher quality than Whiskas and Felix, you can join up and get an annual discount, if you cat likes something you can bulk buy and get a bigger discount and it all gets delivered to your door. They also regularly send you discount codes or have sales on.

Kittens are on Bozita wet food from them - grain free, 88% actual chicken, Lily's Kitchen standard. I know a few other regulars on here are fans of Animonda Carny for the same reason.

For a multi-pack saver pack it's £3.29 a kilo compared to £8.35 for Lily's Kitchen. Felix is only £2.99 a kilo but you have to feed them more pouches a day as it's not made of much.

Have tried a few brands and been really happy as ideally I want to feed grain-free but not at Lily's Kitchen prices. Sanabelle dry food is kittens favourite.

Aurea Sun 31-Dec-17 09:17:00

I am minded to think poor quality food may equal increased vet bills as they age.

Yogamatcat Sun 31-Dec-17 09:18:00

My aunt has a 19yr old cat who has always had dry ‘vet food’ and is in perfect health, all teeth etc.
My 10yr old lost almost all his teeth at about 4yrs. He is in good health otherwise, vet thinks it could have been nutrition as a kitten (he was a rescue)

OP’s posts: |
thecatneuterer Sun 31-Dec-17 09:19:10

The one important, indeed vital, thing to do is to avoid cheap dry food. Especially if you have boy cats. There is a direct link between cheap dry food (including Whiskas etc) and blocked bladders in male cats.

Our vets recommend Butchers Classic tins. They are cheap but cereal-free. It's the only thing I feed all my (25 or so!) cats (apart from occasional treats).

LikeTheShoes Sun 31-Dec-17 09:19:41

I think most vets agree that a Raw food diet is really bad for domestic pets, so don't worry about that.

We feed ours iams, they used to get a pouch of whiskas between 2 but they would either eat it in 2 seconds and then be sick or ignore it all day and then it would be wasted. We used "normal" catfood biscuits for a while but we found they demolished them and were still hungry. Since they switched to iams they seem to last longer (I did the maths at one point and it worked out the same as buying cheaper biscuits as the portion is smaller. We buy a big bag online every few months.) Ours also started drinking more when they stopped getting wet food (makes sense!).

Is their water bowl by their food bowl? Apparently they don't like that. (Fussy little monsters!)

Yogamatcat Sun 31-Dec-17 09:19:55

I should say we don’t have to cut the cost of their food, budget isn’t that tight. But I want to know I’m getting quality for the money I’m spending

OP’s posts: |
AnnaMagnani Sun 31-Dec-17 09:26:32

Our vet pointed out that cats want to eat meat. Cereals and grain aren't in their natural diet and any mention of tasty herbs or nutritious veg is to appeal to the human shopper, not the cat.

Thegiantofillinois Sun 31-Dec-17 09:26:45

Was just coming on to say Butchers. We have 3 fussy buggerd, but they seem to like that one. They have kitekat dry food too.

PricillaQueenOfTheDesert Sun 31-Dec-17 09:33:16

Harrington’s dried food is great quality. It’s all my cats ever had as I have 3 and one is a Persian who gets diarrhoea if fed cheaper food.

Sadly we lost Ronnie this year but we got a replacement young cat who has settled in well with the remaking two old cats. She was very underweight so we started feeding her pouches of meat alongside the Harrington’s dried food. All good as she has gained weight but now all three cats ‘demand’ their breakfast meat.
I’ve been feeding Tesco pouches as they refused whiskers! My Persian is ok on the Tesco own brand, no diarrhoea so I’m hoping that means it’s fairly good quality.

AnnaMagnani Sun 31-Dec-17 09:37:33

Yogamatcat we are in same situation - we don't have to cut cost but neither do I want to be taken for a mug either. And I want my cats to have a healthy diet, not grow up to have diabetes or be monitoring their weight all the time, worrying about stones etc. Beloved cat who died this year really focussed our minds and now little kittens are just starting out.

The cats don't care about the advertising. As far as we can make out their preferences are based on: dry food - the crunchier the better, wet food - individual texture preferences, old one likes jelly, kittens like chunks, snacks - they all go crazy for Cosmas Snackies.

So the cats basically don't care that I am concerned about their diet hmm or whether in comes in trays, tins, pouches or claims to taste like homemade. I just have to find high quality, not extortionate things that meet their whims and demands. or let them live entirely on Snackies

OrangeCatnip Sun 31-Dec-17 09:47:03

Why don't you just buy in bulk? We used to use tinned food for our big ginger Tom (17 years old) but following a bladder crystal problem he now needs a medicated food. Since then we use Royal Canid and buy it from Amazon in massive 6/7kg bags. Its dry so it doesn't smell, we can leave out two or more bowls if we are away for a day or two and he actually chooses it over his old soft food (it is apparently very high quality and has a higher meat quantity) the vet recommended it.

It comes in non medicated packs too plus lower calorie etc for what your needs are. A 6kg bag from amazon costs around £42-45. We give him about 50g of food a day (as recommended on the pack) that is 120days worth for £42-45 which works out at about 35-37p per day for really high quality stuff as a high estimate it is probably more like 32-35p. depends how good a price we can find online.

Pouches cost
tescos own are about 19p per pouch
Whiskers (on offer) are 25p per pouch (29p not on offer)
felix 31p on offer -37p not on offer

It depends how much your cats eat. this si the cost for one pouch, if you cat eats more then this then you will need to calculate that. it will be more then this per day though.

So this shows that even the normal pouches (if one per day) are roughly equivalent cost wise to buying large amounts of really high quality stuff, plus you get the advantage of using dry food (we are never going back) plus our cat prefers it (and he is not the only cat i have seen that has liked the transition to dry food)

Hope this helps

NeeChee Sun 31-Dec-17 09:51:00

My two are on James Wellbeloved. 1 wet pouch each half in a morning, half at teatime, and biscuits twice a day.
The kitten was on Whiskas when I got him but he kept getting diarrhoea, so I got him grain free, and he's fine now. His coat is also much shinier. He loves biscuits, wolfs them down.
With them both being male, and the older one already having had a bladder blockage, I'm mindful to keep them on good quality food, and make sure they have at least some wet food. I'd give them more wet food, if it wasn't so expensive. Whiskas and Felix only has about 4% meat on the ingredients. JBW has 40%.
I use zooplus, it's £24.99 for 48 pouches, and I get 3% discount. You can also get cash back from TopCashback, so I'm effectively saving 6% smile

OrangeCatnip Sun 31-Dec-17 09:54:05

With the dry food we just have a couple of massive tubs in a cupboard that we decant the food into which avoids having an open bag. this then goes into a smaller tub that lasts a couple of weeks which we keep access too for his daily feeding. I have marked a small tub with a line to show how much he gets in a day (he used to lie about having breakfast and so he often got two feeds in the morning) that way we know that he has eaten. The dry food is much more compact then wet so you need less equivalent space. using individual pouches and tins are messy, smelly and have sooo much packaging. With the big bag we get it is just the one foil bag that we decant and then throw away.

Jellybean2017 Sun 31-Dec-17 09:54:28

Our two have royal canin urinary food, they share a wet pouch morning and evening and then have the dry version to top up. They are both boys and one had crystals in his urine earlier this year, possibly due to low quality food according to vet. No problems since we switched to this food but it's expensive so we bulk buy from Amazon.

AnnaMagnani Sun 31-Dec-17 10:37:59

Big girl has just turned her nose up at James Wellbeloved. She just licks the jelly off and leaves the rest. I've got 50 fucking pouches of it just as well she's cute

Thankfully one of the kittens is a walking dustbin and scrounges the lot.

Still in search of the magic senior food for her nibs.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Sun 31-Dec-17 10:50:00

Harry has been off his food since Wednesday. He’s picking at things but not stuffing his face like normal. Yesterday James Wellbeloved pouches were great, today there’s barely a hole! Luckily I only bought a box of 12!

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