The veterinarian made an interesting statement the last time we took our cat to the vet. It went against everything we had ever heard about what to feed our cats for optimum health. If we chose to follow the vet’s advice, it would completely change what our cats eat, as well as how much we paid each week for cat food. The veterinarian told us the opinion among experts had shifted, and cat owners were now being encouraged to feed their cats high protein soft food instead of the hard food that for years was pushed as part of a diet that maintained healthy teeth. The vet told us that soft food was better than hard food for our cats.
We asked our vet for more information. She went on to explain that for years, scientists thought that the crunchy, hard food would help pets maintain strong teeth. Recent studies show that there is no correlation between cats eating hard food, and having healthy teeth. However, there is a correlation between a high protein diet and increased health. For that reason, it is now being recommended to feet cats high protein, meat product based food.
I wanted to know how this would affect how much we spent on food each week, so I did a price comparison:
- Hard food: This is what we’ve been feeding our cats (we have two). They generally would eat 3-pound bag of food a week, for a cost of $3.99.
- Inexpensive Soft Food: One can find cans of soft food for as little as $0.33 a can. If we fed the cats each 1 can of soft food per day, that’s a total of 14 cans per week or $4.62.
- Expensive Soft Food: If we really wanted to spoil our feline friends, we could buy them Fancy Feast, which can cost $1.25 per tray. To get the right amount of calorie intake, I’m told we’d have to feed them 3 of these trays a day. That’s 42 trays a week (2 cats x 3 per day x 7 days) for a total of $52.50 a week.
As illustrated, there is a wide range in how much one can spend feeding their cats. One could also take a hybrid approach and feed some hard and some soft, which is likely how we’ll do things since our cats have been eating hard food for 14 years.
How about you, Clever Friends, what do you feed your cats? Will the shift in recommendations change what you feed your cat?