Cat Food Sans-Dye?
November 14, 2011 6:24 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know where to find a list of cat food brands or types without any coloring or dye at all? I've tried a bunch of the natural types, and they all seem to come back up as orange or virulent yellow onto the very light beige apartment carpet, with some regularity.

Canned food helps, but I can't afford to feed them exclusively canned. The cheapest canned is pricier than the most expensive dry food I've seen.

I've started checking labels on food, but every list is 9 billion ingredients long, with some things I can't immediately identify. I'm a bit worried I'm overlooking things used as coloring.

Surely someone else has had this problem as well, but googling brings no solid leads. Care to share your solution?
posted by thelastcamel to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The yellow fluid in the vomit may just be bile.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:26 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

This sounds crazy, but try putting hydrogen peroxide on the stain to clean it. It will bubble and then you can blot it out of your carpet. Try it a few times.

It could be the stomach acid when it is yellow.

As for natural cat foods without dye, have you tried Wellness or Trader Joe's?
posted by Yellow at 6:47 PM on November 14, 2011

My cat used to have a vomiting problem and it always came up the same color as his food. He gets Evo cat and kitten formula. The ingredients, as listed on Amazon, don't list any dyes (scroll down to Important Information).
posted by DoubleLune at 6:51 PM on November 14, 2011

Best answer: Wellness or PetGuard brands seem sufficiently yucky-pale-brown-looking that there can't possibly be any dye or meaningful levels of it in them. I just read my Wellness label and nothing pops out in the ingredients as coloring. Don't have any PetGuard left but PetGuard looks so gross and it's from the local Food Coop that it must be super healthy and dye-free!

I have another suggestion for you that might address the vomiting issue and therefore reduce the need for cleanup: It turns out that cats gulp down yummy food really fast without swallowing properly, and this causes them to throw it up. My cats were vomiting quite frequently until the vet told me to elevate the food bowl so that gravity can help get the food down into their stomachs and make them eat more slowly. It's not foolproof but makes a huge difference.
posted by paindemie at 6:58 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I switched my recreational puker to Natural Balance and a) the food was less day-glo when it made its encore and b) she puked way less. I've also had her on BG (sadly Natural Balance doesn't work for the other end of the other cat) and that also doesn't have any startling colors and she doesn't puke it up all that much.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2011

Try Wellness Core. There aren't any dyes in it, and neither my cat not my roommates cat have had any odd colored vomit. Added bonus: the roommate's cat's coat got waaaaay softer when he started eating Core.
posted by nerdcore at 7:10 PM on November 14, 2011

Also, codices getting senior food (or food with lamb) as it is gentler on the stomach. We have had good results with natural choose chicken & lamb.
posted by HMSSM at 7:47 PM on November 14, 2011

*natural choice
posted by HMSSM at 7:47 PM on November 14, 2011

*codices was supposed to be "consider"
posted by HMSSM at 7:48 PM on November 14, 2011

I only know it from dog vomit, but according to our vet the bright yellow colour might be bile Our vet said it doesn't hurt them just part of the puking if they puke a lot. One of our rescue dogs had major gastric problems from being starved and threw 3 or 4 times a day for 3 weeks at one point. Mixed some oxyclean powder with warm water, after cleaning up all the solids poured some on the stain (or if yo have really good carpets might want to just dampen it) let it sit for 10 to 15 mins and then blot up the stain. Repeat if needed. I got to the point I'd just dump on about a teacup full, let it sit until I remembered and wiped it up with an old towel. I had cream carpets at the time and didn't leave any stains, though they were cheap crap not wool or anything. OK not exactly what you asked but it might help if changing the food doesn't, I can sympathise with having to clean up puke all the time.
posted by wwax at 8:16 PM on November 14, 2011

I gave up with my cat and got a robot to clean up for me.
posted by bookdragoness at 9:02 PM on November 14, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks guys! Some great leads here: I'll start with Wellness since that seems to be popular.

To the "it might be bile crowd": you're female cat does this from anxiety when I don't leave food out, or if the bowl gets down to <1>
Thanks for the extra tip about raising the food bowls! I'll give that one a whirl too. And I'll think about asking for a carpet scrubber for Christmas. ;)

It's a good thing the beasts are so dang cute.
posted by thelastcamel at 10:08 PM on November 14, 2011

If you're a Costco member (or know someone who is and will let you tag along), check out Kirkland Maintenance Cat. Impressively short list of ingredients and pretty affordable.
posted by at 12:52 PM on November 15, 2011

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