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I am currently struggling with finding a good brand of cat food for my year old cat. I am also struggling with the proper amount to feed him since all the bags of food and cans have different amounts. I feed my cat a mix of wet and dry, and currently he gets 4 meals a day, two wet and two dry. I do not leave his dry food out, but I would like to be able to do this and need help figuring out how to get him to NOT eat the entire bowl at once. Everyone I know who has a cat leaves the dry food out and feeds the cat their wet meals only. It would be so much more convenient for me if I could do this too, but the few times I have tried my cat acted like a vacuum and would have eaten the whole bowl if I didn't remove the food. For his dry food I am feeding him 'I and Love and You Naked Essentials Salmon and Trout Grain-Free'. I like this brand and have no problem with the food. As for the amount I give him daily it is confusing for me because the amount it says on the bag I assume is what you should feed if giving dry food only and not a combo of wet and dry. I have tried to look up this answer online but I can't seem to find a straight answer for how much to feed when giving both wet AND dry. I can see why most cats are overweight, they make it so hard to know the proper amount to feed.

My cat is about 9 pounds, and gets a fairly good amount of exercise. He is a pretty active cat and has an athletic build. I think he might be part Bombay, but I'm not 100% certain of this, but he does have many of the Bombay attributes. For his dry food I have a 1/4 cup scoop that I use to get it out with. His food bag says for his weight he should get 1/2 cup per day, but I give him wet as well so I don't know if this changes the amount. The 1/4 cup scoop I usually fill about 3/4 of the way full, and this is one meal. He gets this twice a day. For his wet food I give him a variety of human grade foods. I started off giving him the 'I and Love and You' wet food but then stopped because I wasn't sure of the quality of the food. So for the past maybe 4 or 5 months I have been feeding him Safe Catch Wild Pink Salmon, Wild Planet Organic Roasted Chicken Breast and Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna. I get the ones with no salt added! I know too much salt is not good for cats. I also give him the package Starkist low sodium tuna and at least once a week he gets some freshly scrambled eggs (no butter) mixed into his food. He has a variety of different treats, but he only gets a certain amount a day, some days he gets less, some more. I do also occasionally give him almond milk as a treat, no carrageenan in it! He gets two wet food meals per day, these are in the middle of his dry food meals. It is hard for me to give an exact amount, but I'd say it might be around 2oz of wet. I use 5.5oz cans, but I do not give him half at a time, it is less than half. I normally get maybe 2.5 meals from one can. I worry I may be underfeeding my cat, but honestly half the can looks like way too much food to me. And they say to give one 3oz can for a meal, which also looks like way too much food. But once again, my cat gets dry as well, so I'm not sure if this amount is for feeding alone or with the dry. In any event, my cat doesn't appear to be too thin and he doesn't seem to be acting starving. His hip bones go in slightly, but not too much.

Another concern of mine though is that maybe he isn't getting all of the vitamins and nutrients he should be since I'm not feeding him cat food. His stools for the most part appear solid, but I still have issues on occasion where I find a spot of liquidy poo on the rug or he gets poo on his tail and ends up smearing it on the walls. I know this isn't normal and I can't help but think it's because of the food I'm giving him. I just want to give my cat the best I can afford and I'm disappointed in most of the choices out there for cat food. I'd prefer to feed him an all natural or organic brand, but I am limited due to the expense of it. Is it okay to continue feeding him this food? Should I switch back to the 'I and Love and You' wet food? Am I feeding him the correct amount? I welcome all recommendations for food brands or even home made cat food options. I'd love to make him my own food if I can. I hate pate and think it's gross, I prefer the chunked or flaked type of food. I want my cat food to actually look like real food and not slop. I have considered the brand American Journey that Chewy sells. It is supposed to be made in America, which I like. Has anyone used this food, is it any good? Does anyone else use I and Love and You, do you like this brand? I appreciate any advice. Thank you.

EDIT; I also wanted to add on the subject of making homemade cat food, is it okay to give different types of food? For example, would it be okay to give him chicken one meal and then salmon for another? I know cats can be sensitive to change, and I think my cat has a bit of a sensitive stomach. But if the food is made fresh and using all healthy ingredients does this matter? I don't want to feed him the same food everyday. This also applies for wet cat food. I read somewhere that you should transition slowly if giving the cat a new flavour, but this made no sense to me. Wet food comes in variety packs, and you can give them a different flavour every meal. As long as it's the same brand of wet food this should not be a problem. Or am I wrong? I never heard anyone say this before, but it confused me and now I'm doubting myself.

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  • I'm not an expert of cat food, but to prevent overeating of dry food, you can put food in certain puzzle toys to make him work for it throughout the day. Also cats are very different from humans in terms of diet, being one of the most obligate carnivores out there so I would personally check with a vet and do tons of research online before feeding him mainly human foods to make sure he gets all of the nutrients he needs and in the proper amounts. I'm not saying its impossible but a lot harder than say doing this to a dog (but supplementing that diet with cat food should definitely help).
    – user25771
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 0:27
  • I have seen the puzzle toys, but I thought they were only for when you actually need to feed the cat. I didn't think about just leaving them out, though I feel like my cat would sit there until all the food was gone inside the puzzle. May be worth a try though. And yes, I am concerned about him not getting the proper nutrients so I'm hoping that I can find answers on here. I switched the food originally because I liked that the human grade food was only one or two ingredients, nothing extra added. I don't want my cat eating low quality food with a bunch of fillers. I don't trust most cat food. Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 1:40
  • I really do commend you on trying to feed human grade food, I don't trust cat food either but I don't have time to try and properly feed a diet of human food. As for puzzle toys, my cat does eat a lot of it in one go but if you divide food into multiple puzzle feeders, I found that slows him down considerably and also hiding the puzzle toys in different locations. But I also know that he does leave some left behind cause he'll go back to different puzzles later in day, so at least for my cats it works to slow down eating, and that's for a cat that doesn't get meals like yours.
    – user25771
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 2:00
  • I have looked up some recipes for home made cat food and I might give them a try. I myself am I vegetarian, and I don't like handling raw meat, but I might try to do this for my cat. What he eats matters to me that much. I could always buy a rotisserie chicken, unseasoned. I think that would be okay. Probably enough meat on there for many meals. As far as the puzzle toys for his dry, I also didn't think about hiding them in different spots. I'm not thinking outside the box. Do your cats only get dry food with the puzzle feeders, or do you also feed them wet food? Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 2:20
  • I only feed dry, but since you also feed wet food too that would make him less motivated for puzzle feeders and so he probably wouldn't (unlike my cats) really go at the puzzle feeders all in one go. So the puzzle feeders might work even better for you and what you want to do (slow down his eating)
    – user25771
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 10:17

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There are a lot of questions here... and most have been answered before.

The feeding guidelines can only ever be rough estimates. Every cat has a different lifestyle that may require feeding more or less than the guidelines. The amount of food I feed my cat even changes with the seasons. You have to observe changes in the body weight of your cat and adapt the amount of food accordingly.

Read more:
My cat is gaining too much weight, how often should I be feeding her?
Should my cat be allowed some wet food every day?

I personally advice against feeding cats "human food". It's by no means more natural than store-bought pet food and probably doesn't save you any money compared to high quality cat food. In nature cats would eat mice, small birds and other small animals whole including all the bones, skin and inner organs. The only thing they spit out is feathers and the gall bladder. That's the most natural diet for cats, but certainly not what I would call human food grade... And on that note: cats don't switch to a different taste of mouse every meal. They are used to eating the same thing every day.

A chicken breast OTOH isn't very nutritious, especially after it's cooked. It's missing vital nutrients like minerals, vitamins, fat and cartilage that are only contained in other raw body parts. Fish is not part of a natural cat diet at all. Sure the food is less processed than canned cat food, but in my personal opinion it's not any healthier. It's good that you also feed commercial dry food, so your cat can get most of the vital nutrients from there. Home cooked food can be fed as a treat, but I wouldn't count it as a balanced meal.

If your local stores don't offer any pet foods that satisfy your expectations of quality (which I can wholeheartedly understand!) then ordering online from a specialized pet food supplier might be an option. If you buy in bulk (cans have a long shelf life) you may be able to save some money compared to buying at a supermarket.

Read more:
How much cooked homemade food do I feed my cat?
Can we feed our cat with a mix of home-cooked and specialized food?
Is it okay to feed my cats canned tuna?

The diarrhea of your cat could be caused by the food you offer, either by a lack of one thing or too much of another. My old dog always got diarrhea after eating fish skin, probably because it was too fatty. Sometimes the simple change in food (like feeding chicken one week and fish the next) can also upset the stomach of cats. It's impossible for me to tell what caused it in your cat and it's worth visiting a vet if it doesn't stop after changing the cats diet to canned food for a week or two. The vet could check the blood for signs of any deficiencies.

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  • I know my post had a lot in it, but I appreciate you taking the time to answer as many of my questions as possible. And thank you for the various links to other sources. I know I am probably overthinking the whole situation, I worry too much about giving my cat the proper food. And I think giving him the same flavour/type of food all the time is boring, but I guess my cat doesn't care, only me. Luckily my local supermarket sells his dry food, otherwise I'd have to get it on Chewy. They also have some wet food options for the brand, which I originally did feed him and may go back to giving him. Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 7:05
  • As far as his stools go, he doesn't get full blown diarrhea, but sometimes it seems he does go a bit softer. I haven't noticed a link to any particular food, but I will need to watch out for this. Once I choose a new food for him and get him switched over I am hoping this will correct itself. And if not I suppose a vet visit will be in order, but I'm hopeful it won't come to that. I'm fairly sure that what I've been feeding him is the cause and switching to a proper cat food will help him. Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 7:11

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