For the past 2 years, I have first struggled to replace their beloved Max Cat food, then due to a urinary crystals incident, I had to re-evaluate the food again with an emphasis on good nutrition and low ash content.
It's hard to believe that it's been almost 2 years since I first started noticing that Max Cat canned food was becoming harder to find and frequently "Out of Stock." Max Cat was definitely my cats favorite food. It's taken a long time to find other foods that they like. Recently, one of my cats was diagnosed with crystals in his urine, and I cannot help but wonder whether the diet changes since Max Cat have impacted his condition. I noticed Nutro's Perfect Portions is higher in ash content than the Max Cat canned food. I'm no longer using Nutro's food at all at this point.
They are now getting 3 canned food meals, one raw meal (Small Batch Chicken is great), and one snack of "dry" which is a small mix of Dr Elsey's Clean Protein Chicken kibble, Vital Essentials freeze dried chicken, and dental treats. Most dry foods are high in carbs and ash so they are no longer getting that.
Although my cats really like American Journey and Merrick Backcountry, the 2 winners since Max Cat was discontinued, I have been recently exploring other options that are low in ash and use less fillers. I contacted Merrick to ask them to rethink the ash content and they were open to feedback. We'll see.
For the wet food, Tiki Cat after Dark is a new favorite. I also use Rawz, Koha and Weruva Classic (poultry only) foods. The cats eat them. I like that Koha has some interesting flavor options in pate which my cats eat, though pate is typically not their favorite. I do add water and mash up the pate some which they seem to like.
One of the Tiki Cat after Dark flavors is Chicken with a Quail Egg. Sure enough, when you open the can, there is a half of a small hard boiled egg right there along with shredded chicken. The first day I put the egg on a dish, no one ate it for a few hours. I'd love to know which cat was the first one to try the egg. The 2nd and third time, the egg was gone almost instantly. Luke definitely ate one, and I think Lily may have eaten the other. I'm always dividing up different foods into their dishes so they have a choice each meal, so there's always only one egg, but I've been alternating which cat's dish I put it on so they all have a chance to eat the egg.
I hope, after almost 2 years, you're finding food that your cats eat. Max Cat was really hard to replace, but we're finally in a good place with food.