Wednesday, December 21, 2016

5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Cat One Brand of Food Exclusively

5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Cat One Brand of Food Exclusively

Those of you who read Stunning Keisha on a regular basis know I blog about different brands of food on a monthly basis in the hopes that you'll get your cat to try something new. I just attended an informative online chat by the wonderful Chloe DiVita of Blogpaws about exclusivity when reviewing pet foods since many of their new campaigns now require it. Some in the pet food industry think that if I talk about Brand X this week and Brand D next week, readers won't trust what I'm saying about either. While I can respect their POV, I'm going to tell you why you need to mix up your cat's diet. Not only is it a good idea to rotate proteins but it's a good idea to rotate brands too even though the larger brands have recipes for practically any dietary need.

It's not relevant anymore but the first cat TW shared a home with, Faith, only ate one brand of food in one flavor. Gramma had to keep the cabinet well-stocked because occasionally the one supermarket in our town would run out. Those were the days before online shopping where you could not only search for the cat food you wanted on unlimited cat food sites but find the best price for it.

When I moved into the condo, I was fed one brand of food—and it was the kind you bought in the supermarket four cans for a buck. TW didn't know better. Then I got sick—very sick—and was switched over to my beloved Fancy Feast. A year later, TW started to read about newer brands of food online. One of my Twitter furrends loved a certain brand which was all natural and didn't contain unhealthy fillers. TW bought some for me. This is still one of my food staples. Now that I'm a blogging cat, I get to sample lots of cat food brands and pass the word onto my readers. There are many reasons why I won't blog exclusively about one brand.

5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Cat One Brand of Food Exclusively

What if the brand suddenly discontinues your cat's most favorite food or treat?

I always loved Greenies' SmartBites Digestion flavor and TW felt it really helped with my digestion. Last year, we discovered we couldn't find it anywhere. We contacted the company and found out they were discontinued. Luckily I get different kinds of treats so I wasn't missing that one kind. TW missed it more since she thought it helped me.

5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Cat One Brand of Food Exclusively

Brand X has a recall or is bought by a larger brand and incorporated into Brand XYZ.

You read the unthinkable. Brand X food has been recalled due to some bacteria in the food or packing plant. You may even have some with that code in your house. What can you feed your finicky kitty if she'll only eat Brand X? Luckily for me, I get fed a rotation of brands and proteins. TW doesn't have to scramble to find some other brand I'll eat.

In the Facebook cat groups I belong too, someone is always in a panicked state because their exclusive small-market Brand X cat food was bought by some large corporation—and it's happened quite a few times in the past 18 months—and they're afraid the larger corporation will cheapen the ingredients or formula. That is a legitimate concern. You fed your cat Brand X because it contained no fillers and now you're noticing subtle changes. More importantly, so is your cat and she's snubbing her nose/scraping the floor at feeding time. I used to like Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain recipe but then we bought a case in which the gravy was thickened and there was less of it. Some may like more meat and less gravy but not me. Since I don't drink water, I need a food with a high liquid content. I wouldn't eat it.

5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Cat One Brand of Food Exclusively

Your cat suddenly develops an allergy to the food she has been eating.

I review different foods so I get to try something new to possibly incorporate into my rotational diet and so you're aware of new foods and know that Brand X isn't the only cat food on the market. There are choices and a happy, healthy cat needs to be eating more than one brand and more than one protein. I love fish but TW is working more chicken and beef into my diet. After all, it IS possible to develop an allergy to a protein or ingredient in a food that you've been eating for years

In a nutshell, here are some reasons not to feed your cat the same food every meal:

  1. Brand discontinues recipe
  2. Brand goes out of business or gets bought by larger brand
  3. Brand changes recipe
  4. Sudden brand recall of your cat's food
  5. Cat becomes allergic to protein or ingredient in food

There is a method to my madness. I'll always be honest in my reviews although I will point out the good points in foods that contain healthy ingredients even if it's not to my liking. Just cos I don't like something doesn't mean you won't. I will not, however, do a review for a food that TW doesn't feel comfortable feeding me. You can bet on that and you can bet that I'll be reviewing some yummy cat food in the coming weeks.

5 Reasons Not to Feed Your Cat One Brand of Food Exclusively
Even though I love the tuna, TW has been feeding me the Tender Liver
& Chicken and the Chicken Hearts & Liver and even some beef.

47 comments:

  1. Thank you!!! I believe in a rotation diet also. would humans like to eat beef stew everyday , every meal? why should your pet?? I agree with your points about not eating the same food all the times.

    i will definitely share this because I want to help educate people too.

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  2. *I* am living proof of what you warn about: I was (sort of) a one-brand guy: Whiska's in the little square trays. And then one day POOF! All gone. Not made anymore. OH no! Now, I did occasionally eat a couple of fancy Feast flavors--and thank Cod for that, because that has become my mainstay. I will eat a lot of the flavors, but *ONLY* the pates. Then the Human branched out into the "better for me" category--Wellness, Royal Canin, Spot's Stew (Halo?) & a few others. Sometimes I will eat all of those, but really FF is my main squeeze (in the food department darling, calm down now XOXOXO)

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  3. We've had our food recalled, discontinued, and eliminated due to allergies. In general, I think the wider variety of healthy foods a pet will eat, the better off they are. Most high-quality foods are well balanced, but there's still the chance of a micro deficiency when feeding one thing exclusively, and all the other things you mentioned. I'm on a restricted diet now, but that's due to food allergies. Hopefully I can branch out to some other foods once we're sure what's safe for me.

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  4. I switch between a few brands for the Farm cats but not many any more because Sherpa has a touchy tummy. He can only eat a few things now without tossing his cookies.

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  5. This is so important! Many, many years ago, Sparkle would only eat one kind of food - and it was one of the brands that got caught up in that big recall! My human had the worst time finding something she would eat. Now my human hunts out all the best quality brands she can afford, and gives us a variety of foods all the time. She figures she would get bored eating one type of food and we would too.

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  6. Good post CK! My human tries to ring the changes with my diet, but I do like Felix Purina fish in jelly and always have! And I won't be palmed off with the senior version!! The very notion!!! We have little chats about it, but if I won't eat, then I won't eat! What I do eat is kibble, but she is very mean with that!! xxx

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  7. We are with you 100%. Both Ruby and Rosie are on a rotational diet. Although they are both pretty good about eating anything (and everything), it still keeps things fun and interesting for them. I only started this about year ago and everyone seems super happy with the variety.

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  8. We're picky. No ifs, ands or buts about it so we'll like a different food the first try, maybe, but then never again. If by chance we eat the entire can and even more of a new food, Mommy goes and buys a case of it so then we don't like it no more. We like Fancy Feast and that's it. Sometimes we turn our noses up to it too. Gotta keep the peeps on their toes!

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  9. You are indeed a wise one CK, great points all!

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  10. Thank you, CK! Great and helpful post. We have been doing food reviews too and enjoy variety now. Cats are known for being picky, but we aren't picky any more. And Jan is happy because the food we review is good for us.

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  11. Well, we DO eat Wellness exclusively, but we get 5 flavors of it. TBT examined a lot of labels of a lot of brands, and then bought some of everything he approved of and we did taste-tests. Wellness was the only one all 3 of us agreed on.

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  12. Excellent points. I wouldn't even consider exclusivity unless it was for one of the two brands that Mudpie eats pretty much, well, exclusively LOL

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  13. Interesting article.

    Convenience and affordability are what I've been reduced to the past year for my girls at Opinionated Pussycat (http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com).

    As much as I'd prefer to keep feeding them Purina One Smart Blend Indoor Advantage Dry...I can only afford Kibble n Bits currently or something cheaper...

    Feeding wet food, especially if what I buy keeps getting rejected, is not affordable and only the two Tuxies like wet.

    I've never been able to get Elvira (the Tortie) interested and don't know why.

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  14. I can not agree more with this article, and add that having a rotation diet helps to cover any nutritional deficiencies we might not know about. We are learning more and more about nutrition every day. Remember when we thought taking calcium was a great thing, but then realized you needed to take it with Vit D to get the full benefits? Giving a rotation diet will help cover any gaps about nutrition we might not know about yet.

    as for exclusivity, yes, a brand can want it, but that does not mean it is in the best interest of you, your cat, or your readers.

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  15. We rotate proteins and oils for Bentley and Pierre. OUr vet told us when we had cats that they need both a wet and dry food.

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  16. Great post ! You're so right, variety is the key to cover any nutritional need. Purrs

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  17. My mum agrees with you, but me not so much. I get Gourmet, Sheba and Purina One which are the only brands I will usually eat. The better quality food I refuse to touch. I will usually eat only one brand at a time, then when I get fed up I will eat one of the others. The only thing my mum can get me to eat at the moment is supermarket own brand. She is not happy about that but says it is better than eating nothing.

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  18. What a wonderful post, CK. You hit the nail on the head and we couldn't agree more. Rotating foods, especially proteins, is really important. We've been learning more and more about this as Katie and Waffles have been seeing their new holistic vet. One of the biggest eye openers to us was how common it is for a cat to develop an allergy to a protein source they've eaten their whole lives. That is what happened with Katie and chicken. Although our vet likes us to stick with one protein source for about 90 days (in case there is a sensitivity it's easier to identify it) but she absolutely wants us to have 2-3 different proteins in the rotation.

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  19. Great ideas for changing foods CK. Mom had a cat thaw would only eat one kind of catfood and it was discontinued. Also when mom and dad went to the states in their RV with their kitties at the time, the food for the kitties ran out and they didn't carry that brand in the States.

    I do have my preferences however...FF!

    Shoko

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  20. CK, this is great info. We LOVE Fancy Feast. It's our food of choice, but Mommy always tries to put something else in the rotation.

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  21. CK, we TOTALLY agree with you. And when we heard that some companies were asking for exclusivity when reviewing their foods, we passed on those opportunities. We eat several different brands of foods. And we're willing to try other brands if we think it is good for us and we might like it. And when we review foods, we always give our honest opinion, though honestly, we will not review a food that we think is not good for us.

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  22. We switch brands too. Sometimes Manna and Dexter get tired of one food and so we switch to something else. I can't blame them. I don't want to eat the same thing for every meal, every day either. We all need to incorporate different ingredients into our diets. You have some great food choices!
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  23. Excellent post. I never thought of some of those points.

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  24. Those are great points. I guess I need to consider switching up every once in a while!

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  25. Great advice. Part of me says that the more brands you feed, the more chance you'll be affected by a recall. But I definitely see the utility in switching things up for nutrition and variety. Not to mention, one might find one's cat does better with a different formulation. The dry food I feed Bear now was chosen because of its high protein content ... there's virtually no other dry food I've found that matches the protein content ... but I'm wondering if maybe I'm worried about the wrong thing. A funny aside ... back when I had Kitty, she ate only ONE flavor of wet food for THREE YEARS ... then suddenly just refused it. I had maybe a dozen cans left and didn't want them to go to waste. So when a certain starving kitten came by ... I figured the cans would be well appreciated. Then the starving kitten stole my heart and everyone now knows him as the Great Bear Cat :)

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  26. Really great points, CK! Not only are you stunning, you're also SMART!

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  27. Good post CK and right on we think. I developed a food allergy or sensitivity to the Hills Metbolic Diet Food I Was on. When M gave me something else, my tummy problems ended for a while until I developed another sensitivity. Now she tries to switch up brands on me, although FF is still my very favorite.

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  28. I totally agree with you! We get food mainly from two different companies and occasionally from the third company. It's not kitty food, but the supply I use for kitty food disappeared from store shelves recently. Online stores that still have supply raise price, like three times higher than regular price. Fortunately, I found other company that makes the same thing before I went in panic mode :-)

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  29. Wow - very informative article. I always rotate my guys food. Variety is the spice of life!

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  30. Thanks for a very good article on something many of our serfs do not really understand. I have educated my siblings that they need to chow down on all the food Dad provides so we are well rounded. Not too much though so not to be too rounded. They used to argue that for some reason they like one way way more than others but I encouraged them.
    Now we all eat many different flavors and may change to different brands. Difficult as there are 7 and a cost factor.
    It is also VERY important to eat wet if you are on a dry diet. I applaud you eating sauce and gravy! Not just Stunning but Smart as a whip!
    Thanks so much.
    Have a Meowvelous Christmas and Happy Mew Year!
    Timmy Tomcat

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  31. BFGF you are one brilliant cat. Rotating food is recommended by most feline vets. That is the reason that Mom has tried several times to get me and TKS to eat a different type of raw food. Unfortunately we have resisted mightily and still only eat Raw Paws Complete CHicken. BUT one day one of us is gonna go "off" that taste and then what? Well, Mom and Dad have continues to once in a while let us have nibbles of different kinds of quality cat canned food so we know we won't starve or get sick. I'm disappointed to learn that Blog Paws has not stood up to the brands and their self focused marketing views.

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  32. We agree - we have definitely found that food sensitivity can be uncovered and then managed by changing brands (once you know the culprit). Our little Lulu can't handle chicken - we discovered that through switching her to beef. But too much beef and she's in trouble. So we switch her around using different brands that have the best ingredients for her. Protein tolerance can be a tricky thing with critters - so it's good to keep an open mind. Thanks for sharing - great POV!

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  33. Great information here, CK. I do try to mix it up when it comes to my kitty's food and treats, but your post is a great reminder of the importance! Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year to you and TW!

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  34. My six cats get fed all sorts of brand food. Some are picky, others aren't, so it works out well. Two of them are house cats and 4 of them were feral, but are becoming tame enough to come in the house once in awhile. Every one is well fed here. Thanks for your post. I like honesty. Peace.

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  35. Interesting to hear that brands that work with BlogPaws are not requiring exclusivity. I haven't had many brands ask me for it but I've been including it in my contract for a while now.

    I agree with you on the cat food thing. I can't always stick with one brand but it's for a different reason. Dachshund are small and hard to fit. A jacket from brand X may fit better but the snap on a similar leash from brand Y is smaller and doesn't hit my dogs in the backside. We're forced to mix and match all of the time.

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  36. Thank you for this! My cat gets gassy with certain foods so I try to keep him on the same diet. But I will be trying to rotate out and mix in other foods to see what he tolerates and what he does not. I had never thought that maybe his current brand would go out of business, change recipes, recall, etc...thank you SO much for putting that bug in my ear!

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  37. I always worry about changing my cat's food and having them barf it up. If I change from a solid wet food to a chopped up, gravy kind they either won't eat it or will eat it and then yak it up. Do you make a switch gradually or just change all at once?

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes she mixes it with my FF but I'm so used to a rotational diet, change doesn't bother me. Of course occasionally I won't touch a new food for a few weeks but suddenly dig into it.

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  38. We feed our dog a fresh made dish every meal - based a lot on what we are having with modifications so yes totally. Also since we travel and you can't cross international borders with large quantities of pet food it makes our life easier.

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  39. We do a rotation diet as well. Makes it handy both for shopping purposes and to make sure he gets a mix of proteins and nutrients.

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  40. These are terrific reasons to not be dependent on just one brand. My dogs enjoy several different brands of food and my cat is not picky at all. He also gets a variety of brands and never even seems to notice the change. I'm not sure if he is still just glad that he didn't have to hunt for his dinner (he was a stray, but has lived with us for the last 14 years) or just more doglike than catlike.

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  41. This is a really great post, and I think so many cat (and dog) parents tend to stick to one brand and/or flavor. Our cat Samantha adds one more reason to the list of why not to do this: Sam is pretty fussy so if we find something she likes, we tend to stick with it. But when we do that, what happens? All of the sudden one day she decides she doesn't like it any more and we have to find something new anyway!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  42. These are such great points! Although Rooster has his favourite brand/flavour, we do switch it up on him, so he doesn't develop an intolerance.

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  43. I believe in a rotational diet too, but more for nutritional reasons. You made a very good point about brand discontinuation and recipe changes! Those are great reasons to do a rotational diet if you don't already.

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  44. Really good points about why exclusively feeding one food can be to our animal's detriment. Thank you for your insight!

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