Least expensive but healthy food and litter

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June 11th, 2010 17:03
California
Sylvysue
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We have 2 cats in a very small apartment and have tried every kind of food and litter but it is expensive and the litter smells bad so quickly.
   
We do scoop every day. Everything I have been reading seems to say that the cat box should be able to go a week or even up to a month without completely changing the litter. Here it rarely makes it past 4 days before the whole appartment reaks with the disgusting smell!
   
We are on a tight budget due to the recession and really want to keep the cats but must find a less expensive way!
   
I hate the smell and also never invite guests anymore at all becuase I am so embarassed.
   
I have spent hours and hours searching for the answer. Please we are desperate!
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June 28th, 2010 14:45
Maryland
ahtnamas
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LITTER: You have to change a litter box every day, if for nothing else than to keep the cat from going outside it or in your bedroom. You can't let it go a week.
   
I recommend any of the pine pellet litters: Feline Pine or ExquisiCat. ExquisiCat is cheaper than Feline Pine at Petsmart - $8.99 for 25 lbs. (at Petsmart)
   
I have 2 cats. I put a 1 1/2 inches of litter in the box and change it every 24 hours. I never smell the box unless the cat hasn't covered it. You can tell when the litter is totally used up because the pine pellets fluff up into sawdust. The stuff is great. One bag lasts me a long time.
   
Use a larger litter box, so it's more comfortable for the cats.
   
Buy a new litter box about every year; the urine smell gets into the plastic eventually & you can't get rid of the smell when that happens.
   
Don't use clumping litter, it can get into their stomachs & clog up their intestines.
   
Sweep the litter box area when you change the litter. Clean it with a good deodorizing cleaner at least once a week. When changing the litter, rinse out the box, wipe it dry & spray it with a deodorizer (Febreze for Pets is good).
   
FOOD: Go to your local pet superstore, where the prices are best. The best thing is to aim for the center of the price range: Iams, Authority, Hills Science Diet, ProPlan, MaxCat.
   
Royal Canin & AvoDerm is too expensive.
   
Avoid standard Meow Mix, Purina brands, & Fancy Feast (too much junk in them). Avoid anything expensive & "organic" (they're overpriced & over-rated).
   
The larger 5-6 ounce cans are more cost-effective; don't bother with the tiny cans, they're expensive.
   
Note on shopping for cat food: Walmart carries Iams in the larger cans for less than Petsmart, and bags of dry Iams also. Walmart doesn't have pine litter (at least mine doesn't).
   
A good canned food will cost between 90 cents & 1.20 per 5-6 ounce can. You don't have to go above that.
   
If you have a Petsmart, join their card club. You frequently get money off good cat food with it. (Petsmart prices are far better than Petco.)
   
Keep a bag of dry on hand for treats & some meals.
   
Feed the cat at least half canned food - it's better for their systems. I add a little extra water to the cat's canned food & make it more like a stew; it's healthier, as some cats don't drink enough water.
   
If you can someday buy a water-fountain type cat dish, cats usually drink more water from moving-water dishes than just bowls. It keeps their urinary tracts healthier. These fountain dishes are about $35.00 and use charcoal filters.
   
How much to feed: Per day: one 5-6 oz. can per cat in 2 meals.
   
Dry: Substitute 1/8 cup dry for a half-can of wet. It sounds like very little, but dry food packs a lot of calories. This way, your cats won't get fat. (I speak from experience of 30 years of cat ownership & 8 cats with a wide variety of needs, problems & health conditions.)
   
I give mine a few kibbles for a evening snack (like, 10 pieces, no more).
   
Any other questions, just ask.
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