Donteatacowman asked in PetsCats · 8 years ago

Least cruel affordable cat food?

I'm planning to be a first-time cat owner in the summer via adoption of an adult cat. Of course I'd start out feeding the cat whatever the shelter fed him/her, but I figured I could ease them into whatever brand I preferred to buy--or try at least, since I hear they're picky eaters.

Thing is, I'm a vegetarian for moral reasons. I had high hopes for extending that diet to my future pets, and there ARE vegetarian pet foods out there--but after a little research it seems like a bad option. I didn't see any solid studies on those foods, and I saw claims ranging from 'this will kill your cat' to 'this food will save your cat's life.' Pff...

At any rate, I wanted to be able to find the best food option for the cat that would be healthy and well-documented to not, you know, be poison... but still minimize any animal cruelty that'd be involved in the process. I'm sure there are expensive options out there but I'm a college student, haha.

From what I've read so far, wet/canned food is the best option, and I should screen the ingredients for unspecified 'meat products'. Do you cat owners have any other advice? Brands, types of food?


I guess I didn't make it clear but after researching it, I do NOT intend to attempt feeding the cat a vegetarian diet.

Right now I'm trying to find a pet-food equivalent of free range or organic or something, but I'm afraid I don't know much about it.

Thanks for the help so far!

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    cats and dogs are carnivores, never feed them a vegan of veggierain diet. Its not only cruel, it causes them to suffer an early death

    I just feed mine a well researched raw diet since that's what they are meant to eat. Raw meat, raw bones and raw organs. No veggies, no fruit, no grains, no rice. They can't digest any of it and gain nothing at all from it so why feed it to them

  • 8 years ago

    This is a link to an organic cat food.

    I have never personally used it, but looking over the ingredients, it seems decent, but you may can ask around and see if anyone has used it.

    Also like someone suggested, your best bet may be a raw diet, however this needs to be researched and done appropriately to ensure the health of the cat. The only thing about that is that you will have to put aside your personal beliefs (which there is nothing wrong with), and buy the meat from the store. If that is outside of your comfort zone, the you may want to stick with a mixture of dry and canned food.

  • A vegetarian diet for dogs or cats is a horrible idea and you shouldn't force that on them. They need meat to survive and be healthy. They can have so many health issues and deformities from not eating meat. They will slowly deteriorate. If you want a vegetarian pet, get a rabbit or something. Dogs and cats are carnivores.

    Wet food is better than dry. You can google high quality brands of cat food like Blue Buffalo, Innova EVO, Wellness, Felidae, etc. Raw fed is even better. If you're looking to save money and get something from the grocery store, there aren't any great brands there, but IAMS and Fancy Feast may be the best out of all of them.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Back in the '60s and '70s there were vegetarians that tried to extend that diet to cats. The cats only suffered one ill effect that I know of: they went blind. Cats are carnivores and if you can't live with that, don't get a cat. Otherwise, cats aren't really picky eaters. They get that reputation because humans try to extend variety to them. They don't care about variety. As far as wet canned food--that gets expensive and it doesn't keep their teeth clean. Plus, the cans are trash. I bought a 16 pound bag of Meow Mix last fall and it'll be spring before she finishes it. Way cheaper. She's healthy. Plus, she won't eat anything else. I fed my other cats random things just for fun once in a while. Beef stew (licked the peas clean and let them lay, just like a little kid). Buttered noodles. Buttered string beans. Potato chips. Macaroni salad (ate the sliced olives from around the pimentos and left them lay). Pumpkin pie (only the custard filling). They love angel food cake. I never made a habit of it. But the cat I have now eats dry food and if I try to put anything else in her bowl, she looks at me like I'm crazy. "Give me my dry crunchies!"

    You're familiar with the concept of "comfort food"? It's an animal urge. When you find something that's safe to eat, you don't go looking for variety that might make you sick unless you get really hungry. It's much better to find a good food and stick with it. Never feed your pet from the table, either. Variety isn't natural; it's something we teach them.

    I'm sure somebody out there makes a vegetarian cat food that's fortified with all they need. It'll probably be expensive, too. But if you want a vegetarian animal, get a vegetarian animal--not a cat. Maybe a Guinea pig or a rabbit. You can feed them vegetable food scraps, too. How does a cat get its complete nutrition in the wild? I've seen it. When they're done with a mouse, there are four paws and a tail laying there. I saw a small female cat that this woman claimed ate only rats, not the dry food they put out for the farm cats. I said, "You mean mice, don't you?" She said, "No, rats. Big ones," turned to the farmer and said, "Isn't that right, she eats big rats?" The farmer said, "Nah, they're not so big. She ate all the big ones." Oh, they can be cute and cuddly and they aren't hunters unless they're taught, but that's the kind of animal a cat is.

    The only exception I make any more is when a cat gets old and stops eating. Then I get the cheapest, stinkiest, whole sardine (including heads and everything) canned cat food I can find. For some reason, that gets them to eat for a while. But it isn't a balanced diet; it's just to keep them going for that last stretch.

    If you're getting a male cat you should go with a low ash food. They tend to get urinary blockages.

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  • Lyssa
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Cats are carnivores, there is no vegetarian diet that is okay for them. They need meat. That said, I would recommend you free feed a couple of dry foods, then supplement every 3 or 4 days with a few tablespoons of canned. Personally I feed Royal Canin Prevention (from the vet... prevents urine crystals), and Royal Canin Special 33 (for sensitive stomaches.) I add a can or so (for all 6) once every 5-7 days, and once a month or so, I put out a big old plate of raw diet. So far this has been working great for me, I have 2 cats that are 15 or so, 1 cat that is 10, 2 cats that are 6 and 1 cat that is 2. None of my cats act old or show age, so I think I am doing something right! Additionally all my cats except for 1 were feral.

    Source(s): 6 cats
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