The Cost of Feeding EZComplete in the U.S.
with cost comparisons to canned
Due to the high bioavailability of homemade food, cats typically eat much less weight compared to canned foods: 25% - 40% less. (You can learn more about bioavailability/digestibility here). So, if your cat eats 6 oz of canned food per day, your cat will likely eat 3.6 to 4.5 ounces of homemade food to maintain current weight.
The 450g bag of EZComplete when used as directed makes 24.2 pounds of food that averages 70% moisture. The final food contains meat, premix and water. The premix is powdered, it contains liver, egg yolk, pork pancreas and green lipped mussels (plus eggshell, digestive enzymes and some vitamins & minerals). Fed fresh, the food ingredients of the premix contain moisture: the water added to make the food replaces the moisture lost from freeze-drying. Just as with canned food or [rehydrated] freeze-dried raw, the water is an essential part of the food your kitty eats. Canned and fresh raw foods are also typically around 70% water.
In the U.S., one 450g bag of premix costs $54.75 + $6.80 shipping, a total of $61.55. Internationally, shipping costs more, and depending on location, the product may be subject to value-added taxes / customs fees. This can make the cost of the premix prohibitive. We address U.S. cost comparisons here.
With one cat eating 4.5 ounces homemade food daily, a 31-day month means kitty needs 139.5 ounces (8.72 pounds) of food. 8.72 lbs of food is 36% of the total amount (24.2 lbs) of food the 450g bag of EZC makes.
The 450g bag balances 16.875 pounds of boneless meat to make the 24.2 pounds of food. As just 36% of that is needed to make one (31 day) month of food for one cat, that is 6.1 pounds of meat (monthly).
At $3.00 per pound for boneless meat, the cost of the 6.1 pounds of meat needed per month (31 days) is $18.24;
36% of the cost of the bag and shipping is $22.18. Thus, the total cost of feeding food made with EZComplete for one (31 day) month (for one cat eating 4.5oz/day) is $40.14 in the U.S. The cost can be higher or lower, depending on your cost of meat.
If you’re able to take advantage of the 20% discount (buying four 450g bags of EZComplete at one time), this lowers the cost of each bag to $43.80 plus $13.45 shipping ($3.36 cost of shipping per bag), for a total cost of $47.16 per bag, including the cost of shipping. The monthly portion - 36% - of the cost of that one-of-four bags is $17.00. This lowers the total cost of feeding 100% human grade homemade food for one cat (4.5 ounces of food per day for a 31-day month) to $35.23.
Compare this cost to canned foods on chewy.com with free shipping (priced July 24, 2018)
The assumption for the quantity of daily food consumption is based on typical experiences of raw feeders that have transitioned from canned: if your cat eats a typical 4.5 ounces of raw food daily, your kitty was most likely eating at least 6 ounces of canned food per day, or 186 ounces per (31 day) month. Calculations are based on consumption of 6 ounces of food daily.
Fancy Feast Classic Pâté
A case of 30 three-ounce cans is $15.89 ($0.53 per can). Two cans (6 ounces) per day costs $32.84 per month.
Purchased in supermarkets at the average $0.65 per 3 ounce can, feeding Fancy Feast costs $40.30 per month.
Hound & Gatos chicken & chicken liver:
A case of twenty-four 5.5-ounce cans costs $33.99, or $0.26 per ounce. At 6 ounces of food per day, 186 ounces per month, that is $48.36 per month.
Nature’s Variety Instinct, chicken cans, purchased by the case on chewy.com
A case of twelve 5.5-ounce cans costs $23.93, or $0.36 per ounce. At 6oz per day this option costs $66.96 per month.
Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken
A case of eight 6-ounce cans costs $19.37, or $0.40 per ounce. This option costs $74.40 per month.
Ziwipeak Lamb (the least expensive option)
A case of twelve 6.5-ounce cans costs $42.48. That is $0.54 per ounce, or $100.44 per month.
Clearly, if you’re feeding mid-to-high-end foods, EZComplete can be quite economical and save you quite a bit of money, even if you use or include some more expensive meats than the $3.00 per pound assumption made here. And for $40.14 (or $35.23) per month, you can feed your kitty truly human grade food with no fillers, thickeners or flow agents. Of course you can make homemade food for much less if you make it from scratch. The recipes we trust are the balanced recipes on this website (for reasons explained below). But if one wants the convenience of an easy, balanced food that takes minutes to make, feeding human grade food made with the EZComplete premix to your cat can cost about the same as feeding Fancy Feast ordered from chewy.com. And it does cost the same as feeding Fancy Feast if purchased in your local supermarket.
For those interested in unsupplemented prey model raw feeding (PMR) and unsupplemented recipes based on Prey Model Raw, it is important you know these will typically be deficient as per AAFCO or FEDIAF minimums in a number of nutrients. This makes sense, of course, because it is a model: the entire animal is not fed in PMR, and most people do not provide neural tissue, hide, fur or feathers. Examples: food constructed using sardines without additional fish oil typically does not contain enough vitamin D; without eggs or egg yolk in the proper ratio, choline will be insufficient; and without supplementation, vitamin E and manganese are almost always insufficient. If using only chicken liver, copper will be insufficient. Many raw feeders are aware of these deficiencies in the diet, but claim that AAFCO / FEDIAF nutrient guidelines are moot due to the high bioavailability of the nutrition when fed raw, and that AAFCO inflates the minimums to account for damage in processing. These are true statements: raw is highly bioavailable, and AAFCO and FEDIAF do build in margins for many nutrients given potential for damage in processing. The problem with this argument is that a team from Utrecht University conducted a meta-analysis of feral cat diets (of which there is a tremendous body of literature), and the data provided for individual nutrients exceeds the AAFCO minimums: the natural diet of the cat is very nutrient dense -- and few of us feed whole animal, let alone naturally pastured, fed and raised meats. This is also an important factor, as nutrition from our meats (and for us humans, from our vegetables) is not what it used to be.
Many pets are thriving on unsupplemented PMR / PMR-based diets. But this website is all about pets with impaired digestive systems, and many do not efficiently process nutrition from food, even when fed raw. So if you opt to make your own food, please know that EZComplete was designed to be highly digestible even for cats with inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis and small cell intestinal lymphoma. To that end, food made with EZC contains not just liver, yolk, and the full daily dose of omega 3, it also contains pancreas, plant-based digestive enzymes, and vitamins and minerals so that food meets AAFCO (and where data is available, the natural diet of a cat).