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Cat Food

New Dry Food Formulas to Suit Any Cat

Grain-free, high-protein formulas lead new releases.

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When looking at newer releases in dry cat foods, a few trends appear that have been making gains for the past few years: recipes that focus on grain-free, high-quality protein, with a move toward introducing new or novel protein sources, and staying away from relying heavily on chicken/poultry. You’ll also find some new diets specially designed for different ages/stages and unique needs: from kittens to sensitive stomachs to indoor-only formulas.

 

$ <$2/pound | $$ $2-$3/pound | $$$ $3-$4/pound | $$$$ $4+/pound

Adirondack Grain-Free Indoor Whitefish & Lentils
Bright Pet Nutrition Group

KEY FEATURES: Featuring whitefish, it contains omega-3 fatty acids from coconut oil and flaxseed for healthy skin and coat, berries for antioxidants and a unique probiotic blend.

SALES TIP: Slow cooked for maximum nutrient retention and enhanced flavor.

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adirondackpetfood.com, (888) 843-1738

$$

Grain-Free Kitten
Halo Purely for Pets

KEY FEATURES: Only humanely sourced proteins and non-GMO vegetables. New dry foods include its first-ever kitten formulas (chicken and seafood).

SALES TIP: Ethically minded customers will get behind the brand’s broader mission “to change the way companion animals are fed and farm animals are raised … for the better!”

halopets.com, (800) 426-4256

$$$$

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Free-Range Chicken
Ziwi Peak

KEY FEATURES: With New Zealand free-range chicken, organs and green-lipped mussel. Air-drying preserves nutritional value.

SALES TIP: Can be used as a complete meal or food topper.

ziwipets.com, (877) 464-9494

$$$$

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Turkey Complete
Sojos

KEY FEATURES: Just add water and this turkey-based recipe of freeze-dried meat and air-dried fruits and veggies springs to life. GMO-free, no fillers, preservatives or anything artificial.

SALES TIP: Raw has been trending with dog foods. Your cat-loving customers will appreciate having an option for them.

sojos.com, (888) 867-6567

$$$$

 

Pheasant & Whitefish Dry Food
Evanger’s

KEY FEATURES: A low-grain super-premium food for all life stages.

SALES TIP: Novel protein sources like pheasant and whitefish can appeal to finicky felines.

evangersdogfood.com, (847) 537-0102

$$

 

Wellness CORE Indoor
WellPet

KEY FEATURES: A salmon and herring meal recipe, in a protein-rich and poultry-free food made specifically for indoor cats.

SALES TIP: With added glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as omega fatty acids and probiotics, it’s got what an indoor kitty needs to stay healthy.

wellnesspetfood.com, (800) 225-0904

$$$

 

Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Sensitive Stomach
Merrick Pet Care

KEY FEATURES: Crafted with easily digestible protein and includes prebiotics and probiotics to support optimal digestion.

SALES TIP: Contains antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system to keep kitty at the top of her game.

merrickpetcare.com, (800) 664-7387

$$

 

Orijen Six Fish
Champion Petfoods

KEY FEATURES: Contains Pacific pilchards, hake, mackerel, flounder, rockfish and sole, two-thirds of which are fresh or raw at the time of processing. The remaining third is dried, for a more concentrated protein source.

SALES TIP: Great choice for cats with poultry allergies/sensitivities.

orijen.ca, (877) 939-0006

$$$$

After 15 years working for newspapers across the US (and even Alaska), Melissa Hart is now freelancing, working for a variety of publications and trade organizations. She specializes in content for the small nonprofit and business owner, in fields such as pets, IT, grocery and other retail. Melissa is based in Upstate NY with her husband, twin daughters, two rescue dogs and rescue cat.

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Cat Food

9 Organic Solutions for Cats

The benefits of going organic are many.

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RECALLS HAVE LEFT some wary pet parents turning to all-organic diets. Others are looking to align their cats’ food with their personal values. Whatever the case, the benefits of going organic are many: from cleaner eating to quality ingredients. Whether your customers are looking for dry or wet food, or just a healthy meal booster, we’ve selected a few strong options. Group them together and include signage and labels to make it easy for customers to identify them as organic. 

Dry cat food price key: $ Less than $2/pound | $$ $2-$3/pound | $$$ $3-$4 | $$$$ $4+/pound
Wet cat food price key: $
$ 5-15 cents/ounce | $$ 16-30 cents/ounce | $$$ 31-50 cents/ounce | $$$$ 51+ cents/ounce

 

Kinder Kibble

When it comes to the centerpiece of kitty’s meal, sustainably sourced proteins are front and center of these formulas. Think free-range poultry fed an organic, antibiotic-free diet, and wild-caught salmon. Add to that antioxidant-rich superfoods and your health-conscious and environment-minded customers will have food they’ll feel good about.

Very Berry for Cats
Smack Pet Food

KEY FEATURES: A dehydrated raw recipe that can be fed like kibble or with added water. Featuring USDA-certified organic chicken and wild salmon for protein, packed with antioxidant-rich organic cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, and herbs.

SALES TIP: This “lip-smacking good” food is handmade in small batches in Winnipeg, Canada. The next best thing to making it yourself!

smackpetfood.com, (844) 737-6225

$$$$

GATHER Free Acres
Petcurean

KEY FEATURES: Made with certified organic, sustainably raised, free-range chicken as the single source of poultry protein. Recipe also includes organic peas and flaxseed, blueberries and cranberries for extra nutrition.

SALES TIP: Even the packaging is sustainable, with a third of the bag coming from plant-based material.

Petcurean.com, (866) 864-6112

$$$$

Grizzly Super Foods
Grizzly Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Wild Alaska salmon is first and main ingredient in this new formula with seven ingredients. Contains organic coconut meal and sprouted organic quinoa for fiber and additional nutrients. Well suited for diabetic and overweight felines.

SALES TIP: This high-protein, low-fat and low-carb formula can stand alone or be used as a food topper.

grizzlypetproducts.com, (888) 323-5575

$$$$

Positive Pâté

Nothing gets cats purring like a plate of pâté. The rise in people eating organic, humanely raised meat has helped the pet industry find new sources of human-grade protein as well as keeping prices affordable. Which is something to purr about! Help your customers share the love with organic options that can be part of a full line of foods or stand alone.

ORGANIX
Castor & Pollux

KEY FEATURES: Made with 95 percent or more USDA-certified organic ingredients.

SALES TIP: Great opportunity to build a lifetime of brand loyalty. Start your customers on the kitten food, and then they can graduate to the full line of adult recipes, including seven new pates and new dry formulas.

castorpolluxpet.com, (800) 875-7518

$$$

Organic Braised Chicken Dinner
Evanger’s

KEY FEATURES: Two flavors — Braised Chicken Dinner and Turkey and Butternut Squash — certified organic by USDA and Oregon Tilth.

SALES TIP: Your customers who have been faithful to this 85-year-old company will be celebrating. Newcomers will be impressed with these grain-free formulas served in BPA-free cans.

evangerpetfood.com, (847) 537-0102

$$$

Organic Turkey & Liver
Tender & True

KEY FEATURES: Grain-free, GMO-free, made with organic, humanely raised antibiotic-free turkey source from U.S. farmers. Also comes in chicken and liver flavor and in dry formulas of both.

SALES TIP: This food packs a lot of perks into an affordable price point, proving organic doesn’t have to be expensive.

tenderandtruepet.com, (877) 616-4455

$$

Top It Off

Sauces, broths and purées, oh my! Organic supplements can be used as a treat or to boost a meal, turning dry kibble even more palatable and giving an extra incentive to dig in, while maintaining healthy eating. These will also appeal to your budget-conscious customers, who want to give their pets the best but are wary of the higher costs of going all-in organic.

Raw Organic Grass-Fed Kefir
Open Farm

KEY FEATURES: Made from the same stuff as kefir for people — organic raw milk, turmeric, cinnamon and cultures — with the same benefits: Promotes healthy digestion through probiotics.

SALES TIP: A little bit goes a long way, with just 1 to 2 ounces a day needed per cat.

openfarmpet.com, (833) 399-3403

$$$

Organic Chicken Stock
Raw Paws Pet Food

KEY FEATURES: Human-grade stock made from USDA organic chicken, veggies and herbs. So good you’ll be tempted to add some to your food, too.

SALES TIP: Your customers will see this as a great way to give kibble a boost and add moisture and essential nutrients. Make sure they “stock up!”

Rawpawspetfood.com, (866) 368-3369

$$$

Pamperin’ Pumpkin Blend
Nummy Tum Tum

KEY FEATURES: Just three organic ingredients: Pureed pumpkin, apples and cranberries, for adding extra fiber, vitamin C and other minerals.

SALES TIP: The squeezable, resealable BPA-free pouch works well for a quick treat while traveling or on the go.

nummytumtum.com, (800) 644-7462

$$$$

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Cat Food

9 Cat Food Choices for Senior Cats

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In recent decades, pet parents are spending more on veterinary care, ensuring their animal friends are able to lead longer and more fulfilling lives. As a result, we’re seeing cats living long beyond their nine lives. As they achieve senior status, many cats rely on canned food for extra hydration. Keep the Golden Girls happy by working a few of these varieties into your wet food offerings, which provide softer textures with easy-to-digest proteins. 

PRICE SCALE: $ .05 to .15 per oz   | $$ .16 to .30 per oz  | $$$ .31 to 50 per oz  | $$$$ .51+ per oz

No filler food for senior cats

No Fillers 

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats become mature between 7 and 10 years and “senior” from 11 to 14. Like people, as cats age, their appetite and digestion slows down, hampering their ability to absorb all the nutrients from their foods. For elderly cats, maximizing nutrition means serving high-calorie, high-protein foods without grain fillers.

Wilderness for Mature Cats 
Blue Buffalo

Key features: High-protein, low-carb, in chicken flavor. No poultry by-product meal, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy.

Sales tip: An alternative to a raw diet because of its high concentration of chicken. 

bluebuffalo.com, (800) 919-2833 

Nutro Soft Loaf Pate 
Nutro

Key features: Smooth texture designed to go down easy, for cats with sore teeth and gums. Comes in chicken or cod flavors.

Sales tip: Grain-free helps with digestion for older cats with sensitive stomachs.

nutro.com, (800) 833-5330 

Freestyle Minced 
Nulo

Key features: Technically not a senior formula, but contains many of the characteristics of one: grain-free, with high-quality protein in a palatable, easy-to-digest gravy. Six varieties. 

Sales tip: Made with free-range beef, chicken and turkey and wild-caught fish.

nulo.com, (512) 476-6856


Fortified food for senior cats

Fortified

According to one estimate, the population of senior cats has doubled in recent years. With this rise comes increased attention on the special dietary needs of older felines. Even healthy kitties can develop joint problems like arthritis or dental pain that makes eating hard food difficult. These formulas provide extra fortification to help with the aches and pains of aging.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Healthy Cuisine
Hill’s Pet

Key features: Seared tuna and tender carrots in a formula full of nutrients to support eye, heart, kidney and joint health.

Sales tip: Flavor combination stands apart from the usual chicken and poultry.

hillspet.com, (800) 445-5777

Aging 12+ Joint Health 
Royal Canin

Key features: Thin loaf slices in gravy, designed to go down easy, formulated with nutrients to support joint health.

Sales tip: Finally, a cat food for elderly cats that’s tailored to cats ages 12 and older. 

royalcanin.com

Weight & Mature Formula 
Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food

Key features: With Omega 6, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, zinc and selenium. 

Sales tip: Slow cooked to lock in flavor. 

chickensouppets.com, (800) 658-0624 


Protein packed food for senior cats

Protein Punch

When it comes to protein, quality counts. Cats with inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, and kidney problems all need highly digestible protein sources. These foods put the meat front and center and also include the vitamins and minerals kitty needs to stays healthy.

Precise Naturals Senior Formula
Precise Pet Products

Key features: Chicken-based formula chock-full of vitamins and minerals for aging kitties.

Sales tip: Packaged in a BPA-free can for added health benefits.

precisepet.com, (888) 477-3247

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+
Purina

Key features: Available in two flavors: chicken & beef and salmon & tuna

Sales tip: Affordable option from big brand.

proplan.com, (800) 776-7526 

Tiki Cat Grill & Luau
Tiki Pets

Key features: Whole meats and mercury-tested seafood in 22 flavors from ahi tuna with crab to seabass, topped with prawn, crab surimi, calamari and lobster.

Sales tip: Technically not just for senior cats, the emphasis on gourmet-quality protein will appeal to pet parents.

tikipets.com, (866) 821-8562


This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of PETS+.

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Cat Food

Nine Eating Options for Cats With Allergies and Other Sensitivities

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Feline owners are paying ever-closer attention to the diets of their pets. Symptoms that used to be dismissed as the moods and whimsies of a “finicky cat” are now seen for what they are: food allergies or sensitivities. Inflammation, infection, surgery and some medications may also cause dietary disturbances. Consider carrying these formulas for your customers who need to address their cats’ special dietary needs.  

PRICE SCALE: $ $0 to $2 per lb / $$  $2.1 to $3 per lb / $$$ $3.1 to $4 per lb / $$$$ $4.1 + per lb

Tummy Pleasers 

Cat lovers who have been feeding their felines tuna fish, take note: it is actually one of the three most common causes of food allergies in cats, along with beef and dairy products. Other offenders include lamb, corn, soy and wheat gluten. Typical reactions range from itchy dry skin or skin rashes to vomiting and diarrhea. Plenty of gentle formulas avoid ingredients that trigger food allergies and insensitivities and help kitty stay healthy. 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
Hill’s Pet Foods

Selling Point: A precise balance of nutrition for sensitive digestive systems and to improve skin and coat health. 

Best for: Smart shoppers seeking an all-around solid choice from a respected brand.

hillsretailorder.com, (800) 354-7817

Blue Sensitive Stomach Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Blue Buffalo

Selling Point: Fortified with probiotics for an additional immune boost. Features deboned chicken and “LifeSource Bits.”

Best for: Cats that need easily digestible proteins.  

bluebuffalo.com, (800) 919-2833

Feline Selected Protein Adult PR
Royal Canin

Selling Point: A rabbit-based formula for cats suffering dermatologic or gastrointestinal problems. 

Best for: Adult cats who can’t keep their food down.

royalcanin.com, (800) 592-6687 


Back to Basics

When trying to determine whether a cat has food allergies, veterinarians recommend pet owners put their animals on elimination diets that feature novel proteins, which are protein sources not typically found in commercial formulas, such as duck and venison. If improvements are seen, they start to appear after four weeks. These formulas also are well-suited for cats with a variety of sensitivities.

Limited Ingredient Diet Line
Natural Balance

Selling Point: Four varieties of dry and canned food, plus three treats: rabbit/potato, salmon/potato, and chicken/potato.

Best for: Kitties on a limited ingredient diet.

naturalbalanceinc.com, (800) 829-4493

Instinct
Nature’s Variety

Selling Point: A limited dry food diet, available in rabbit and turkey, paired with 3 oz and 5.5 oz cans in duck, lamb, rabbit and turkey.

Best for: Pet owners looking for raw food options.

instinctpetfood.com,  (888) 519-7387

Blue Basics Line 
Blue Buffalo

Selling Point: This line of four varieties of dry and canned food uses a single animal protein source plus easily digestible carbohydrates like peas, potatoes, pea fiber and pumpkin.  

Best for: The cat who requires meals that go down easy.

bluebuffalo.com, (800) 919-2833


Seniority Rules 

Food allergies and food intolerance can occur at any age, but mature cats can be affected more due to their senior status. Also, certain breeds — i.e. Siamese — are more likely to develop sensitivities. Depending on your customers’ needs, you may want to consider adding some additional foods to your inventory that cater to these populations.

Pure Meadow Senior Cat Formula
Canidae

Selling Point: Limited ingredients, including chicken, turkey, lentils, chickpeas, peas, sun-cured alfalfa, plus vitamins, minerals and live probiotics.

Best for: Pet owners looking to keep things simple. 

canidae.com, (800) 398-1600

Nutro for Seniors
Nutro

Selling Point: The canned loaf is extra soft, making it easier for older cats to eat and digest. High in protein and available in two varieties of grain-free dry and canned food. 

Best for:  The senior cat who might have problems chewing. 

nutro.com, (800) 833-5330

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition
Royal Canin

Selling Point: Formulas designed specifically for pedigree breeds like Persian, Maine Coon, Siamese, and Ragdoll.

Best for: Owners of older cats (12 and older) with special dietary needs. 

royalcanin.com, (800) 592-6687  


This article originally appeared in the Jan-Feb 2017 edition of PETS+.

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