Cheap-er cat food than Big Box?
June 24, 2014 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Is there a cheaper way to purchase kitty food other than PetSmart or PetCo? Or if there's a website that magically sends it to the house? Four kitties who love Blue and Max Nutro are eating us out of house and home.

My google-fu fails me. We feed canned and dry. I feel like we're getting swindled every so often and was wondering if anyone knew any place that's THE place to buy. We live in a smallish town without any local pet food places either. I try to hit sales at PetCo, but is there anything better? Thank you!!!
posted by ashtabula to opelika to Pets & Animals (23 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
If you have a Costco membership, their cat food is very high quality (comparable to Blue) and much less expensive. No delivery though.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:33 AM on June 24, 2014

What about Amazon with Prime? I see they have Max Nutro, but I didn't search for Blue.
posted by kathrynm at 6:33 AM on June 24, 2014

My folks swear by Chewy. Reasonable prices, wide selection, and quick, free shipping on orders over $49.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:34 AM on June 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've had good luck with PetFoodDirect.Com they have an option where if you subscribe to regular deliveries of a food you get a percentage off.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 6:34 AM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also not a delivery service, but if you live in an area that has Tractor Supply stores, they are usually a few bucks a bag cheaper on premium kibble than the pet shops.
posted by workerant at 6:58 AM on June 24, 2014

I use They very often have free next day delivery to my apartment.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 AM on June 24, 2014

I haven't used Chewy personally, but my SO (who is on a tight budget but buys higher-end food for her beasts) uses their at-home delivery pretty religiously.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:01 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Amazon might have it! Amazon also has autodelivery with a lot of consumable items like pet food. If you "subscribe" to your favorite food, you'll get the cheapest price. I've done this before and it's very easy to customize the delivery options.

And yes, Costco's cat and dog food is made by Diamond Pet Food and it's high-quality.
posted by Ostara at 7:17 AM on June 24, 2014

We live in a smallish town without any local pet food places either.

Do you have any farm/ranch stores? (I see Tractor Supply was mentioned above, perhaps you have something similar in your area.) The local home improvement store here also carries cat and dog food.
posted by desjardins at 7:24 AM on June 24, 2014

I also use for my cat's prescription food. Delivery is pretty fast and no-fuss.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:35 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

PetFoodDirect is pretty great unless you are ordering Royal Canin brand, which now ships from Royal Canin's own warehouse instead of PFD's and adds an extra week or two to the delivery time.
posted by elizardbits at 7:36 AM on June 24, 2014

I would recommend against Amazon for the canned food. We have ordered canned cat food from them several times and every time, there is at least one can in the pallet that has gotten smashed somewhere along the line, gone rotten, leaked everywhere and stunk up the entire shipment. I complained to Amazon and didn't get a reply or refund.
posted by joan_holloway at 7:38 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have used both and Costco for dog food. is no cheaper than the big box stores but it is wonderfully convenient (next-day delivery!). Costco food is cheap and high-quality and comes in huge bags so you don't have to buy them very frequently.

I don't suppose you have a Trader Joe's near you? Their pet food is cheap and pretty good-quality, AFAIK.
posted by lunasol at 8:20 AM on June 24, 2014

We used to order canned food from Amazon, and had none of the problems that joan_holloway describes (I assume because we get deliveries from a different warehouse?), but after 2 years of no-problem deliveries, we ordered and were charged for a case of 12 cans and received, instead, one can. We complained, and Amazon responded immediately and re-sent the order again...and again, we received one can instead of 12. We cancelled the order, got a refund, and have resorted to the big box stores every since.
posted by telophase at 8:28 AM on June 24, 2014

Came to recommend We buy a special type of chews from there for a dog with stomach issues. Prices work out about $4 buck saving on something that is normally $16-18. I haven't checked out the bigger food to see if it's cheaper. Free delivery over $50 and I've only have had good & reliable service.
posted by wwax at 8:29 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a devotee, too. I have an autoship set up and I believe that comes with a small additional discount (though I wouldn't swear to it), so if price comparing, that would be something to take into account. I've previously used and was happy with that, as well.
posted by Stacey at 8:45 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

What a terribly useful question this is! I have tried using Amazon and, but in both instances, cans came dented -- and one was utterly revolting inside as a result.

Off to try chewy now!
posted by instead of three wishes at 9:04 AM on June 24, 2014

I am a huge Amazon fan, but I had the same experience as joan_holloway with (owned by Amazon). They really don't care to package those orders correctly for shipment and several cans often end up crushed and render the entire order absolutely disgusting. Last order (described below) they actually put 3 pallets of 24 cans vertically in a single large box with minimal bubble wrap, which to me seems incredibly stupid.

It's happened twice and while I got a full refund both times after complaining loudly, the second time I hadn't needed the food for a couple of days, at which point the mess had soaked through the cardboard box into my (rental) floorboards. The smell was vile (actually that's what clued us in to the problem originally - we thought something died in our apartment). Other items ordered smelled like death and had to be chucked (what a waste). This easily ranks as the worst consumer experience of my life.

So if you do order canned cat food, absolutely check it IMMEDIATELY upon receipt. The second time this occurred was after they sworn up and down that something like this would "never happen again". I certainly rethought the "convenience" of this approach, at least.
posted by xiaolongbao at 9:30 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've had good experiences with both Chewy and Petflow for kibble.
posted by acorncup at 9:41 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use as it's usually the only place I can find our dog food -- one of our dogs has food allergies so I'm restricted as to what I can buy for them.

Wag's customer service has been amazing, in all my dealings with them.

Normally, they ship FedEx overnight, but our FedEx guy is notorious for not delivering packages (from anywhere, not just wag) and not leaving notice, only because he doesn't feel like driving up our road -- so I had Wag note my account to only ship via UPS. I haven't had a problem since then. (I've complained to FedEx several times, and I still have problems with them. But I digress.)

They usually have overnight shipping, which is free if your order exceeds $50.

I don't save that much -- they're usually only a few bucks cheaper than the local mom-and-pop pet store where I can (occasionally) find our brand. I'm all for supporting local small businesses, however, wag is guaranteed to have what I need, whereas it's a crap shoot with the local mom-and-pop.

I see above that people haven't had good experiences using wag for canned cat food though; you may therefore want to try chewy as mentioned above.
posted by tckma at 9:49 AM on June 24, 2014

Or if there's a website that magically sends it to the house?

Nthing PetFoodDirect, specifically their Auto Ship program. I was a very happy customer for two years (until my cat died) and will sign up again as soon as I get another cat. Their customer service is great.

Here are your brands:
Blue Buffalo Cat
Nutro Max Cat

They deliver kitty litter, too!
posted by Jacqueline at 11:00 AM on June 24, 2014

yes,, my dog's food is about 40% cheaper there than anywhere else I've checked and their shipping is super quick and free over $50. They also have a recurring order discount. Plus, they send pet-themed holiday cards every year, which I somehow find really charming.
posted by snaw at 11:37 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have used both petfooddirect and petflow without complaint. I see that other people are recomending chewy so check them out too. Do a price comparison factoring in cost of food plus shipping between all three.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 3:03 PM on June 24, 2014

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