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Dry food - yes or no?

(26 Posts)
Sunshine49 Mon 29-Jan-18 17:39:56

Hello everyone! My two very nervous but lovely rescue cats are currently eating two wet food pouches of Royal Canin gastrointestinal food per day each (or one pouch plus half a boiled chicken breast each) plus a few dry treats.

They're one-year-old cats (a brother and sister) and I'd say they're on the small side as cats go - particularly the girl. They had runny tummies when we collected them from the shelter, which is why the lady there suggested feeding them boiled chicken.

This now appears to have cleared up (from what I can discern from the amazingly good clumping litter, at least hmm) and so I'm looking to move them off the boiled chicken and onto two wet food pouches a day per cat plus a handful of dry food each. I'd also like to improve their nutrition as Mumsnetters have advised in previous posts that boiled chicken and Dreamies do not equal a balanced diet!

I bought a small pack of Go-Cat before we got the cats but subsequently read on here that it's not very good for them, so am considering ordering a bag of Royal Canin dry food for them instead, as their wet food seems to be really good quality.

I'm just worried as advice on dry food seems to be very conflicting - some people say they need it for their teeth, while others say cats should get no dry food at all as it causes urinary infections.

Is it a good idea to feed cats a mixed diet of wet and dry in your opinion - or is it best to stick to wet food only? Also, does two pouches of wet food plus a handful of dry each sound about right for their daily diet? They do get very excited around meal times and wolf down their food, but also seem to be very playful and energetic (they had a pretty boisterous two-hour play session earlier today before their afternoon snooze, and are playing again now!)

Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Mon 29-Jan-18 18:41:29

I don't think royal canin is that great tbh. Check if it has cereals in it as ideally grain free is best. I currently give AVA dry food from pets at home (60% chicken) but have just ordered some Thrive stuff from zooplus that says its 90% meat.

Mine get 2- 2 and a half pouches a day plus dry food left out all the time. They are 1 year old

Toddlerteaplease Tue 30-Jan-18 04:08:34

My girls have Royal Canin Persian. They love it. They have half a wet pouch as a treat occasionally. One of them is a bit chubby but they are indoor cats and she is very lazy. Her sister is ok though. If you are worried about their teeth you can buy granules to put on wet food.

lizzlebizzle33 Tue 30-Jan-18 04:38:12

Our vet told us the opposite when our cat had a bad UTi, he recommended only dry food as it makes them drink more water and helps prevent the build up of crystals in the bladder.
We get a special Royal canin high dilution cat food. It's about 25 pound for a 3 kg bag which sounds a lot but it lasts about 6 weeks and is actually less than we were spending on pouches of wet food.

ChocolateHelps Tue 30-Jan-18 05:19:56

My 2 cats had dry food for 17 years. One cat was susceptible to cystitis and had special cystitis dry food for about 5 years and but her sister never had any urinary problems. Had to have the poorly one PTS just before Christmas and she'd been having wet food plus dry for about 3 years but only to get her to take all the medication she was on. Now I've just got my very robust cat left and she is on as much dry food as she wants and a 1/4 of a small pouch of wet food a day to give her some extra potassium. Teeth always been great and robust cat at 17 1/2 is healthy

Vinorosso74 Tue 30-Jan-18 08:48:17

We're going for a mix of wet and dry with out new lad which seems a good option.
Our old girl had IBD (amongst many other things!) so am going grain free with a decent meat content. We're currently giving him Lily's Kitchen wet and dry, tried Country Hunter wet but he is less keen.
He is going to the vet later in the week so I'll ask her thoughts.

LadyKyliePonsonbyFarquhar Tue 30-Jan-18 08:53:27

Our 15 yo cat eats only dry food and is in great condition. I think it is much more convenient than wet - you can leave it out longer and it doesn't smell as strong as wet food. Just make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water.

Pleasebeafleabite Tue 30-Jan-18 13:20:11

My dcat has had royal canin dry food only for years she is 13 now, has never been ill (touch wood) and the vet always says how great her teeth are

I asked vet if she needed some variety the answer was no

Sunshine49 Tue 30-Jan-18 14:50:06

Thanks for the replies everyone. I've ordered a bag of Royal Canin dry food, so will be feeding each cat two pouches of Royal Canin plus a handful of dry per day from now on (with boiled chicken and Dreamies as occasional treats).

The male cat won't be happy I'm sure - as I was preparing his chicken last night he actually brushed past my legs and purred, which was very sweet!

OP’s posts: |
EachandEveryone Tue 30-Jan-18 15:16:46

I dont think its awful if its a treat like dreamies just nit for tea every night. I dont know anyone has warned you but dont go mad buying huge bags as they can go off food in a blink of an eye. Zooplus is your best bet theybalso have healthy treats on there. One of mine wont touch wet at all but i hav a water fountain which she uses alot so im not concerned. The other loves her wet so she gets half a pouch twice a day. She loves Sheba or James beloved and she has dry down all the time. Its so handy when you are out for the day.

You never did post any pictures, did you? You will have to soon you knoe thems the rules!

Sunshine49 Tue 30-Jan-18 15:25:12

Hi EachandEveryone! Oh dear, rookie error - I've just placed an order for a massive bag of Royal Canin dry food plus 24 days' worth of pouches. Hope they keep eating it! In terms of dry food, I've fed them a portion of Go-Cat plus a portion of Royal Canin so far, and they definitely seem to prefer the Go-Cat. I'm keen to give them something that's a bit better quality though, although given the cost of Royal Canin, my bank manager/DH might not agree hmm They also drank two bowls of water after eating the Go-Cat, whereas normally they barely touch their water. It goes to show how dehydrating it is!

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Tue 30-Jan-18 17:02:53

Which dry royal canin is it? They don't have that much meat in them considering how much it costs. Go cat has cereal as the first ingredient which is really bad for a cat that is supposed to be a carnivore. I've ordered a bag of thrive dry which is 90% meat so hopefully they like it

SanFranBear Tue 30-Jan-18 17:21:07

My boy has a mixture - high meat/grain free wet from Zooplus (currently Animonda Carny but whatever is on offer) and urinary dry (Royal Canin). He did have crystals when I first got him - his previous owner fed him utter shit - but this dry food is working well and you can buy in bulk to make it much cheaper.

I would try and avoid Go Cat - although sounds like you know that. It's like McDonald's for cats which is probably why they loved it.. but not for everyday!

Good luck - until I joined here I had nonidea it was such a minefield but my cat is definitely in a much healthier place with his mix.. his coat is glossy and soft whereas when he came to me, it was brittle.. poor lad!

DeleteOrDecay Tue 30-Jan-18 17:26:01

We use dry food but quite sparingly, a small(I do mean small) handful mixed in with his usual wet food with his evening meal. We don't leave bowls of it out for him or anything.

We are currently using Applaws for his dry food but have also used Purizon which was good. Both grain free with a high meat content.

Pleasebeafleabite Tue 30-Jan-18 17:28:23

You could mix in the go cat with the royal canin until it is used up to get them used to it

Sunshine49 Tue 30-Jan-18 17:38:05

Thanks for the replies! DementedPixie - it's the gastrointestinal dry stuff from Royal Canin, as they seem to have quite sensitive tummies. I thought it would be best to start with that until they settle a bit more. I should have checked the meat content before ordering though - I will take a look!

SanFranBear - yes it really is a minefield. When I was growing up all our cats were fed exclusively on Go-Cat, which is why I bought it in the first place. I'm glad there's so much useful advice on here, as I'd never have thought twice about it otherwise!

DeleteorDecay - mixing the dry stuff in with their wet food sounds like a good idea, I hadn't thought of that. They both (particularly the male cat) wolf down their food at meal times, so perhaps giving them a mix will help them slow down a bit!

Having got to know the cats a bit better over the last few days, I'm not sure whether leaving down a bowl of "grazing" food would work with these two. When I tried that, the male cat just finished his dinner and almost immediately polished off the handful of dry in the grazing bowl!

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Tue 30-Jan-18 17:44:13

I think they meant mix the new dry food with the go cat so they get used to the new food more gradually. I keep the dry food topped up as mine aren't greedy and stop when full

dementedpixie Tue 30-Jan-18 17:47:40

m.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/dry_cat_food/thrive/adult/574356 this is what I've ordered for mine to try

bushtailadventures Tue 30-Jan-18 17:53:14

Our cats have always had just dry food (although they did use up the pouches we were given when my DMs spectacularly fussy cats went off the flavour/make she was giving them). The 15yr old will eat wet food if given it, or anything else for that matter, the 6yr old won't even entertain the idea.

Should say that we have a water dispenser thingy available at all times too, so they can keep hydrated.

EachandEveryone Tue 30-Jan-18 17:59:12

www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/dry_cat_food/purizon/adult_cat/407549 mine get on really well with that and its not a bad price.

FoamRoller Tue 30-Jan-18 18:13:39

Cats need dry food for dental care if nothing else as the crunch helps to remove plaque off their teeth. To be honest royal canin is a pretty terrible food but with a big marketing budget making them seem better than they are.

Have a look on petfoodexpert.co.uk and it explains what good food is and why - their rating system is pretty transparent 😊 for cats they are carnivores so need a high meat diet with limited fillers such as rice/grain, preferably none just meat and vegetables... some good brands to look at are Canagan, Orijen, MORE and Applaws.

When looking at ingredients you want a named meat source (not animal derivatives or meat meal as this can mean anything) and recognisable ingredients. Food with terms like cereals, oils and fats or animal derivatives can change their recipe depending on what the cheapest filler is at that moment in time as there is little regulation in the pet food industry. For cats meat MUST be the first named ingredient on the packet/sachet/tin to be catering to their diet requirements!

FoamRoller Tue 30-Jan-18 18:17:54

The other thing to note is better food seems more expensive to look at but because they get more from the food as there’s less filler you don’t have to feed so much of it making it cheaper in the long run

Sunshine49 Tue 30-Jan-18 18:53:22

Thanks so much FoamRoller for your incredibly informative post. Although I've just remortgaged my house spent a fortune buying a load of Royal Canin...! I almost went for Applaws as well, but I will know for next time. At least it's a step up from Go-Cat I suppose - and it's what they were being fed at the shelter, so they're used to it.

It's all such a learning curve!

OP’s posts: |
PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 30-Jan-18 18:55:13

Hmmm, Harry was on dry food only for years and has very few teeth so it doesn’t always follow that it works for dental care!

FoamRoller Tue 30-Jan-18 19:13:08

Dry food won't do everything in terms of dental care, to do the very best teeth brushing, raw bones and plaque off works well but some of those are obviously easier than others in cats! What I was trying to say was having at least some dry food in their diet is better than purely wet food 😊

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