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Old 04-27-2012, 12:46 AM
 
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I think catsmom21 said, they're BPA free. Also, she's the leader w/ this brand to me, so I'll ask everyone but know she'll clarify.

I bought a few cans (been using the dry Chicken but will stop asap) & so wanted to try flavors. I got the Chick., Tuna, Salmon, Quail & Chick. and Turkey flavors. Can anyone review these as to what is best for your cats?

Also, got 3 flavors to try. The Mackerel & Sardine, Chick. & Chick. Liver and the Turk./Salmon/Chick. flavors. Does anyone have opinions on these flavors pro or con?

Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:55 AM
 
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I feed three flavors of the Merrick Before Grains in a rotation with other brands. Beef, chicken and turkey. I don't feed any fish flavors. Only one of my three cats gets this food, because it contains carrageenan, and two of my cats are sensitive to carrageenan. It is moderately high in calories and the batches are inconsistent, texture and color (and I am guessing flavor or at least aroma) are different from batch to batch. This does not bother the cat who eats it. I am still working on batches purchased early last fall, so I don't know what the newer batches may be like.

I will be needing to replenish soon, because I like to buy well in advance of needing it. This way, any recall issue is likely to be found out before I start feeding the new batches.

I use Natural Balance plateful pouches as an interim snack for one of my cats, my Little Cat who goes on I-won't-eat-anything-you-offer-me phases. When she is having one of those spells, I give her the Platefuls. They are low in calories, 70 calories a pouch, and they contain spinach.

I feed her the Chicken & chicken liver in gravy "indoor"formula and the Chicken giblets in gravy formula. Neither contains carrageenan or Menadione bisulfates.

She prefers the the first one, but there are almost as many carrots and potatoes as there are "meat" chunks, by the time I pick them all out there isn't much left, so this is not a cost effective food, which is one reason I only use it as described.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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catsmom- do you get your before grain in bulk on line? where? how much do you pay?

what are symptoms of carrageenan sensitivity? many thanks.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
catsmom- do you get your before grain in bulk on line? where? how much do you pay?

what are symptoms of carrageenan sensitivity? many thanks.
Yes I buy by the case. When I am ready to purchase, I compare prices, free shipping promos and coupon codes among a variety of stores to find the best price. It takes some figuring because some may offer free shipping but charge a higher price.

The online stores I use for cat food are amazon, petco, petfooddirect, nationalpetpharmacy (affiliate of PFD, but often has better prices and better deals), and heartypet

The two cats who cannot have carrageenen exhibit different reactions. My Little Cat, is suspected to have nutrient absorption issues. With a probiotic and limiting the variety she eats to only two or three foods, she does okay. When she eats a food with carrageenan in it she has massive poops three or four in a day, so I conclude that the carrageenan is affecting her nutrient absorption, when she has it, she just poops everything back out again. When she does not eat foods with carrageenan, she poops normal Little Cat sized poops every 18-36 hours.

The other cat has a very sensitive digestive system due to many years on corn laden c/d kibble. She can tolerate no variation in her diet at all. She gets one (canned) food only. When I was first transitioning her off the c/d kibble, and gave her foods with carrageenan she regurgitated them. Every time.

All of this is conclusion based on my own trials of course. I keep a cat journal so I can find patterns.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 49,886,313 times
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Thank you for this explanation. I was wondering if the sensitive ones had IBD or any testing which gave you that diagnosis.

Oscar barfed almost every day and sometimes several times a day. he is a Ragdoll with long fluffy fur and it took me awhile to realize how much weight he was losing. We sent him to Vet School at NC State where he was diagnosed with IBD and put on Hills RX z/d. He has done well on that but trying to keep him out of the Before Grain he was used to eating and which his brother still eats is making me a nervous wreck. lately he is trying more and more to get to forbidden food..

I am hoping I can give him some variety and still keep him healthy. I would get tired of eating duck every meal too.

Anyway thanks for the info.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:11 PM
 
8,519 posts, read 16,164,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Thank you for this explanation. I was wondering if the sensitive ones had IBD or any testing which gave you that diagnosis.

Oscar barfed almost every day and sometimes several times a day. he is a Ragdoll with long fluffy fur and it took me awhile to realize how much weight he was losing. We sent him to Vet School at NC State where he was diagnosed with IBD and put on Hills RX z/d. He has done well on that but trying to keep him out of the Before Grain he was used to eating and which his brother still eats is making me a nervous wreck. lately he is trying more and more to get to forbidden food..

I am hoping I can give him some variety and still keep him healthy. I would get tired of eating duck every meal too.

Anyway thanks for the info.
I remember your trouble with Oscar and his trip to the Vet school, and diagnosis. I'm so glad he is doing so much better. The z/d isn't duck though, it is hydrolyzed chicken or chicken liver (depending on the canned or the dry). This means the proteins in it are broken down already, so the body doesn't have to work so hard to digest it. The d/d has the duck formula and venison, in the canned.

My Little Cat, who is not even 2 years old yet, had many tests done, and IBD was tentatively ruled out. She does not have the symptoms of IBD anyway. Just those gigantic excessively frequent poops when she eats cat foods containing carrageenan.

My other girl was on Hills c/d kibble for 6 years. That she was eating kibble was bad enough (she wouldn't eat the canned c/d) but all that corn and junk took it's toll on her. She began regurgitating daily and was having serious trouble with constipation. Her coat was rough and constantly shedding. It took her body a long long time to recover, once I took her off the c/d kibble, and even now she cannot tolerate any variety in her diet, though I know she would like to eat other foods.

When I was trying to find foods that would work for her and not raise her urine pH (so to prevent forming struvite crystals) anytime I tried a food with carrageenan in it, it would come right back up.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 49,886,313 times
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Of course you are right. Vet school sent us home with d/d and z/d and that is where I zeroed in on duck. glad to know what is so special about the food he is on.

Do you realize how much you add to this forum? I am so grateful and I know so many others benefit from your wisdom and experience. many many thanks.
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