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Best Tasting Grain-Free Dry Food

  1. #1

    Best Tasting Grain-Free Dry Food

    Y husband and I have 5 cats. We am switching them all to a healthier grain free diet due to some health concerns. We have a hyperthyroid cat who eats wet food constantly (we cater to him and feed him away from the other cats) but (was) at a skin and bones weight of 4.7 lbs. And our big boy alpha cat has developed what I beleive is a food allergy. He (had) scabs under his thick fur all around his neck and chin. No fleas in our house at all, and he was the only one with the scabs. (We didn't take him to the vet for it because the cats hate every -expensive- food the vet suggest, we wanted to try switching foods first.)

    Mostly because of cost and because of my cat's pickiness we were feeding them fancy feast dry food and friskies wet food.

    Now, after trying some brands with them , we have settled on Merrick brand pate wet food for most of them. (But also Canidae -high protein and fat- for my hyperthyroid cat.)

    They all love the Merrick and it's good for them. My other cat's scabs went away! - soon after completly switching to grain free. And little cat gained 1 whole pound! (I weighed him before breakfast.)

    I need help finding a dry food they will eat. I have read that feeding your cats only wet food is healthiest but truly I can't afford what that would cost with 5 cats and most of my cats do much better getting along with each other when there is dry food out for them for free feeding. (They do love their canned food and eat it all!)

    So far I have tried Canidae (limited ingredient) and Merrick (bistro chicken) dry foods and they don't like them. They are eating the Merrick very slowly but it's obvious they miss their old food.

    I am looking for a high quality dry food that they will like. I'm really tired of wasting money on food they don't like.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Or have you successfully made the switch with your cats to a healthier food?

    I would love to have small samples of different food but is that possibly? The smallest bags I can find are still so much food and money! It's worth it if they would eat it but right now it's such a waste!

    Thank you for your ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    USA
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    Hi and welcome! I've been feeding my cat Blue Buffalo dry food since he was a kitten and he likes it and is doing well on it, it's not grain free though. Here is their version of grain free. https://bluebuffalo.com/for-cats/pro...edom-cat-food/

    The food is expensive, like most higher quality foods these days, but I think it's worth it....but I only have one cat. Besides free-feeding the dry food, I also feed 1/3 can of quality wet food, Wellness, Natural Balance, Avoderm, etc.

    Here's another brand of dry grain free, I haven't used it but I have used their canned often. https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/natural-cat-food/core

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    For years I've fed fromm duck ala veg. my two cats love it, but recently my daughter switched to halo, she gave me a small bag to try and now the cats don't want the fromm they want the halo. I just opened a 15 pound bag of the fromm and they are going to eat it, then if they prefer I will get them the halo. For wet food I feed natural balance packets. That comes in all different flavors and they seem to like them all. But like everything else its expensive 1.19 a packet and they eat three packets a day, the fromm is $45 for a 15 pound bag and the halo is even more expensive at $23 for a six pound bag and that is the only size it comes in.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  4. #4
    Thanks for both responses. I think I definitely need to stick to grain free since my big cat has had such an improvement going off grain. However I do beleive blue buffalo does have a lot of grain free options.

    I'm more inclined to look into the halo however because I'm really looking for a food that cats love in comparison to another food. I feel like most cats will accept whatever food is offered to them since they were a kitten and I wish we had done that, but I was too young and broke when they were kittens.

    Linda, was there a specific halo dry food flavor that she was giving them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Florida
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    438
    Welcome to the forum! I am glad you asked these questions about feeding cats.

    It is true cats should eat wet food exclusively. After running a taste test that works for both cats, you can order subscriptions to save money on each order.

    Fancy Feast and Merrick are not healthy. In fact, they make cats sick because the parent company is Purina. Of course anything is better than nothing, but cats with medical conditions must eat something much better.

    There are 2-3 pound bags at pet stores and online in several brands including Blue Buffalo, Wellness, and Instinct.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raincat78 View Post
    Thanks for both responses. I think I definitely need to stick to grain free since my big cat has had such an improvement going off grain. However I do beleive blue buffalo does have a lot of grain free options.

    I'm more inclined to look into the halo however because I'm really looking for a food that cats love in comparison to another food. I feel like most cats will accept whatever food is offered to them since they were a kitten and I wish we had done that, but I was too young and broke when they were kittens.

    Linda, was there a specific halo dry food flavor that she was giving them?
    Been there, done that. I wish I could have known 23 years ago dry food is junk because my first cat, Emily, refused to eat wet food when she needed it.

    The cat I have now, Daisy, would not even sniff Halo. I don't regret trying it on her.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  7. #7
    Catmom - It's so hard to know what to beleive, and I'm not saying you are wrong, but I thought I had been doing a ton of research before picking the Merrick. So many reviewing websites listed it as one of the best and at the pet store the woman told me it was the best and it was the only thing she would feed her pets even though it was expensive. So I was so happy that my cats loved it.

    And at the same time I've heard so many bad things about blue buffalo about them being dishonest about their ingredients. It's so frustrating because I'm trying to do the best for my cats and I've wasted so much money on the foods my vet has suggested that they wouldn't eat.

    Have you heard anything bad about canidae (high protein). My little old hyperthyroid cat loves it and I choose it after reading reviews online and looking at its label - it has a much higher fat content than any of the other foods I found. And from what I read his condition also requires very high protein.

    I am just at a loss at this point.

    We actually have 5 cats and one of them (unfortunately ) is a mostly outdoor cat. He showed up as a stray 4 years ago and our indoor cats attack him. We tried for a long time to assimilate him but now he just sprays (even though we got him fixed) everywhere when he gets nervous. He will come in our bedroom window and sleep between our heads (to stay safe) but that doesn't always work out well either.

    But anyway he doesn't like the Merrick dry food so for now we've been giving him the remainder of the dry fancy feast we have left. (I never believed it was healthy, but he likes it.) But he often doesn't show up at wet food feeding times and other wild animals will come eat his wet food if we leave it out for him. So I am also concerned about finding a dry food he enjoys that I can leave out for him. (Fortunately he is an excellent hunter so he probably gets additional food on his own - watching him is like watching a wild nature program.)

    I guess I will have to see what I can find (from what is suggested here) for them to try at small quantities at the pet store.

    I also was looking at more reviews online and saw good reviews (for taste) about Addiction brand and also Wild Calling brand. Does anyone know anything about the quality of these?

  8. #8
    Catmom - My first cat (as an adult) was named Emily too. I would have done so many things differently if I had known better!!! She ended up disappearing when I was moving. 😔

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    PA USA
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    WELCOME I found Blue Buffalo to be a great grain free dry cat food. Their food is pricey but my husband and I agreed that they needed to eat a brand that's healthier. It's good to hear from someone else who has many cats. We have 10 and are at our limit but it keeps us going for sure.
    “Save a life and save a stray”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    New Hampshire
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    Blue buffalo has several recalls this year, main problem being lead. check out mr. chewy, there is quite a variety of the halo foods, both wet and dry and have a 4.5 star rating. The one I tried is the seafood medley.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Florida
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    Raincat, the confusion about Merrick probably stems from when you read about it. The most up-to-date information is Purina bought it and consequently its quality deteriorated. That's according to recent Amazon customers who regularly feed their cats Merrick. Purina is notorious for ruining good pet foods.

    "High protein" is a very misleading term on pet food labels. You need to specifically look for REAL MEAT as the FIRST two or three ingredients. "Chicken byproducts" are heads, feet, beaks, feathers, and if the food is cooked, bones. (Same goes for turkey and duck.) Sure, they have protein, but that does not mean cats should eat them on a regular basis. Most of a cat's prey animal is eaten; byproducts of it are what the cat leaves alone after filling all nutritional requirements. I don't even know if all of those things are digestible. This is just one of many reasons I am obsessed about ingredient labels.

    Who said Blue Buffalo is dishonest about its ingredients? I don't think it is the best and Daisy does not like wet Blue Freedom anymore, but the only "red flag" ingredient to me is carrageenan (which hurts a kitty's digestive system and has no nutritional value).

    What are the names and ages of your cats?
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda2147 View Post
    Blue buffalo has several recalls this year, main problem being lead. check out Mr. Chewy, there is quite a variety of the halo foods, both wet and dry and have a 4.5 star rating. The one I tried is the seafood medley.
    Were the recalls for dry Blue Wilderness chicken? That is what Daisy eats.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda2147 View Post
    Blue buffalo has several recalls this year, main problem being lead. check out mr. chewy, there is quite a variety of the halo foods, both wet and dry and have a 4.5 star rating. The one I tried is the seafood medley.
    I think the recalls involved only dog food on the Blue Buffalo.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    I think the recalls involved only dog food on the Blue Buffalo.
    OK good for the OP and me.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  15. #15
    I don't remember exactly what the deal with or buffalo was but it was a number of years ago when it was a huge news story. I was surprised to see it still on the market after that. I didn't use it so I didn't pay it much attention.

    All of my cat are male. I have 2 cats who are brother and are 15 years old, Sprinkles (with the overactive thyroid) and Whitey, who is very cranky and fat but the healthiest of all of them according to the vet.

    I have 2 more brothers who are 6 years old. Their mom showed up on our doorstep pregnant. We took her in our guest room so we could socialize the kittens for adoption but we kept 2 of them, we did not keep her. She was unable to be socialized at all. She was very violent. The 2 kittens we kept are Mini Meow (my husband named him) and Tiger. Mini Meow owns the house. He is the large and in charge and the one with the food allergy.

    Lastly we have our sweet, loving, outdoor cat Alex. It breaks our heart the way our other cats treat him and we tried so hard to help him be able to live inside but it just didn't work. 😔 He is the sweetest thing though and he does come inside our bedroom on cold nights or in very bad weather. And he also has an insulated cat house we had built for him but he doesn't use it. He sleeps on top of it in a box.

    Also Sprinkles tonight is boycotting his Canidae food so I guess I'm back at square one. I figured the extra fat in it might be helpful for him. I'm also crushing up a chewable vitamin on top which he was liking and also giving it a squirt of salmon oil. I don't know what he is looking for tonight. He did steal my husband's taco salad the other day. He was eating the tortilla chips and everything. 😅

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