I've been out of the cat world a good 5 yrs now and there are even more products on the shelves. Oy! In a perfect world I would be making my own nutritious meals, but I don't have that amount of time. So I need to buy something prepared and I want to give the kitten a really healthy foundation.
DH and I have been reading up on what to expect and do. Lots to learn...I've gotten more crunchy in the past 5 yrs so things will be a little different this time around.
Ok, gotta go...DD is coming and will be looking over my shoulder. LOL
We do a combo of raw, and I'm crunched for time - so while not "ideal" we do buy preground/formed raw patties from the pet store and I'll try to give them chicken or beef when I have trimmings from our food or giblets from a chicken I'm roasting... We also feed a dry kibble that is grain free.
I think the key is to ensure a grain free diet - as cats are obligate carnivores and do not require grains in their diet (heh heh, I also feel that humans dont need them either, so this was an easy sell! lol).
Good luck deciding on a diet for your new kitten!
Meghan : Kayla~ 10/19/04 Jack~ 5/27/07
We feed her a 100% raw diet and it is SOOOO easy! No food preparation and takes less time than buying and opening cans. Like a PP said, cats are obligate carnivores, which means in the wild they wouldn't eat anything except meat. When she first came to us, she was 1.5 pounds and had very few teeth. She ate the grain-free canned food from the pet store (expensive and hard to find). As her teeth grew in, we switched her to raw meat and cut her food into tiny pieces. As her teeth got bigger, we cut her meat into bigger and bigger pieces. We tried raw bones bashed to bits with a hammer and such fairly early on. She managed a bit of bones in that manner, which is very important for minerals. (NEVER give an animal COOKED bones -- ONLY RAW BONES!!!) Slowly, she was able to handle bigger pieces of meat and bigger pieces of bones. That was a short transition period. She eats whole chicken wings now with zero prep work - skin, meat, bones - all of it. She also eats stew meat size chunks of red meat. She still cannot manage whole red meat bones, though. (She's about 10 months old.) She also eats raw fish - all types, no prep work, bones and all. Whenever we are eating meat, we lop off a chunk for her before cooking and toss it on a plate on her tray. She eats while we eat, although we started off having her eat after us. She is a very social kitty, though, and would stop eating if any of us left the room. When we are not eating meat or fish, we give her a frozen chicken wing purchased in bulk and thawed a few at a time in the fridge. We give her a raw egg every week, too (starting with just a teaspoon of the yolk at first, when we were using eggs for our own cooking).
We spent more money when she was eating the grain-free canned food than we do now that she is eating 100% raw. I keep track of all food versus dining out and do not include non-food purchases (such as toiletries and laundry, etc). Our food costs are fairly consistent this calendar year (before she joined the family and after), IF I keep her grain-free canned food timeframe out of the picture. Those months (2) were the highest.
Everyone comments on how beautiful her coat is and how clear her eyes are. She is very healthy and happy.
Read up on it and feel free to ignore anyone who advocates complicated meal prep for animals. It is not necessary! Nor is it necessary to buy the premade fancy raw food from the specialty stores. Look at a week's worth of food and balance it that way.
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa
There is lots of info out there, just google it.
If you decide not to feed raw, I really like Wellness brand. I use it when I have to board our dog, and my Mom uses it as well. All of our animals do well on it and transition well from raw to kibble with it.
Congrats on the new kitty! How exciting!!
Candace, Married to dh , Mom to ds (8) , Gavin (9/30/10 - 12/19/10) and cautiously expecting our 4-29-12