Megali - adjective, noun - adjective 1. great or big in Greek -noun 1.. A nickname derived from my first and middle names

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance Cat food

It's been a few months since I've had the chance to try any products with BzzAgent.  To catch everyone up to speed, I'm a BzzAgent, which means I share information, receive products or test services, and provide my opinion, good, bad, or indifferent.

R and I often joke that we are the proud and crazy owners of a zoo.  We have two kids, two dogs, and three cats.

How sad that the only decent picture we've managed to get of all three is from a camera phone!
Atticus, Finn (Finnegan), Livvy (Olivia)
Every single one of our pets were from a rescue and they are all spayed or neutered.  We adopted Finn and Atticus as kittens in late Spring of 2008.  Olivia was an impulse rescue - R has always wanted a Siamese cat.  She was estimated to be one years old when we adopted her in Spring of 2011; she had been abandoned in a trailer and left to fend for herself.  That gets important later.

Although I admit that we are indeed over the top to have so many animals in our home, I wouldn't change a thing.  Take the cats (and no, I don't mean that like, "take the cats ... please") for instance:  Atticus is my cat.  He shies from the boys and guests, but no matter when I set my head on my pillow or hop on the computer, he comes out of hiding to curl next to me.  Finn is the ideal cat for someone who only ever had dogs before.  Like me.  He is such a dogcat and something of an attention whore.  It doesn't matter who walks in the door, he wants on their lap and to lick them.  My sweet Livvy girl can be occasionally aloof, but is the best with children of all three.  As the smallest of the cats and the one who not only tolerates but seemingly loves Slim and Curly, she is the only one I allow them to carry (after having taught the appropriate way to pick her up, of course.)  I love watching the kids interact with our pets and how the animals all take to them in different ways (sometimes just snuggling together in bed, as the children sleep.)  My life is richer for having so many, with fur and without, with which to share.

Before I get to the review, pictures. 

Very newly home.

About a week into having them and they already looked so much older.  From the time they were brought into the shelter, they had nasty ear stuff going which, thankfully, never recurred once we got it cleared up.

Poor thing was so skinny when we adopted her.

 Finn has grown to be a big boy. 

Atticus thinks the tops of kitchen cabinets and underneath beds make the best out of the way, hiding spots.

Livvy, with her bright blue eyes, usually has this weird cat shiny laser eye/red eye effect in pictures, making this one, where it didn't happen, my favorite by default.

When last I reviewed a pet food for BzzAgent, I questioned the price and ingredients.  Those remain my concerns this round too.

I started the Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance BzzCampaign about two weeks after R was laid off.  I felt incredibly thankful to have the cats try out a 3.5 pound free bag of cat food.

There have been some fantastic benefits in the pro list:
  • In the time I've been feeding them Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance cat food, there have been no hair ball incidents.  Correlation does not imply causation, but if they are related, that's stellar in my books.
  • The first ingredient is chicken, which is important because a "cat cannot sustain its life unless it consumes meat in some form"
  • No corn or artificial colors in the bag I received, though there were whole grains. There is also a Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance Grain Free cat food. 
The drawbacks however:
  • Price. sells the 15 pound bag for $43.99.
  • Whole grains are an ingredient; they serve as filler and are not suitable for a cat's dietary needs.
  • ranks most of the ingredients as desirable, but the fruits and veggies Science Diet touts are listed as less desirable.  This makes sense given that cats are primarily carnivorous.
  • It is supposed to be an easy open, resealable bag.  I felt like a moron, but I could not open this bag.  I wound up having to cut it with a knife, negating the reseal.
What did the cats think?

Finn, Atticus, and Livvy loved the food.  Frankly though, this is unsurprising knowing them.  Olivia, from her time as a stray, has eaten off our plates before (NOT with our permission, but sneakily stealing bites) and will pretty much eat anything.  We have fed them wet food, dry food and a combination thereof.  They have never had issues switching to a new food, as far as finding it repellent.  There have been occasions that they ate a new food too quickly or it disagreed with them and we had to deal with some cat throw up.  None of those issues occurred with the Science Diet. 

Will we feed it to them again?

I'm not sure.  R has a new job now, so our money concerns aren't like they were when he was unemployed, but we do have three cats to feed and the price adds up.  I'd love to find a pet food with an ingredient list I approve at a price point my budget can handle.  As it is, I prefer not to compromise the quality the humans in our family eat, whereas I'm okay to compromise on what the animals eat.

If you are wondering what to feed your feline friend, has a helpful article with tips for choosing a cat food.

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