IAMS Sends Coupons, Free Food When Your Mom Can't Afford Cat Food

Suzanne writes that when her mother was short on money but needed high-quality food for her sick cats, Iams was a reasonable choice but still outside her budget. So she called the company’s customer service, explained her situation, and was rewarded. She not only received coupons, but she cultivated a friendly relationship with the customer service reps.

Suzanne writes:

I thought I would give you all an above and beyond experience.

My mom had 2 ailing cats and the vet told her that if she can’t afford
the expensive food then go with Iams, but my mom lived on a very tight
budget and couldn’t afford it. So she called up the number on the back
of one of their packages and explained what the vet told her. So the
rep at Iams sent her a coupon for 1 free bag and some $3 off coupons,
and told my mom to call up anytime she needs them.

Which my mom did, every 2 weeks or so. I’m guessing the reps got to
know my mom so well that they started greeting her by her first name
and appreciated her phone calls (asking how she is and how the cats
are), and would always send a few extra coupons then what my mom asked

Recently, my mom passed away, but even when she was the most ill she
would remind me to call the girls at Iams to ask for coupons. She was
that deeply affected by their customer service that she thought of

We’re sorry to hear about Suzanne’s mother’s passing, and it sounds like the customer service team at Iams is, too. Iams is now part of Procter & Gamble, so let’s hope that they continue that generosity toward customers having a hard time financially.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Minneapolis says:

    Proof that there are still a few good people out there.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      And a few good companies. Cheers to IAMS for having a heart.

      • dreamfish says:

        … but equally sad that when a company is even half as consideration or helpful as this we consider ourselves lucky.

  2. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    See? Capitalism does take care of American citizens. Any American that needs cat food, for pets real or imagined, can get it.

  3. Dalsnsetters says:

    As a big animal person, I am always thrilled to hear about companies like this doing their best to help out during these tough times. Good on ya, Iams!

    I had a similar experience with Purina. About ten years ago, I ran a dalmatian rescue organization/facility (out of my home). With seven-10 dalmatians in residence at any given time, I went through some food. I called Purina and asked them if they had any assistance (coupons, free bags, etc.) available. They sent me 25 coupons for free Purina One dog food, which was a lifesaver.

    There are some good ones out there….

    (Our shelters here in Pinellas County (FL) will give you food if you are on tough times and can’t afford to feed your critters. Works out to be cheaper for them than taking in all those animals.)

    • JohnnyP says:

      I just saw a story on my local news station where a shelter took in 103 pets from a home and Petsmart donated a bunch of food and kitty litter. They mentioned that they have a place on their website for these types of groups to request help when in situations like this.

    • BobOki says:

      My cats are doing very well on the purina indoor food (green bag). They have all natural ingredients, and the price is right. It is good ti know IAMS is also stepping up to the plate in customer service, looks like it is time to relook at their food and see if they switched out of the corn meal.

      • Mauvaise says:

        I just looked up the ingredients for the Purina Indoor cat food and if you’re concerned with Iams and corn meal, you shouldn’t be feeding your cats Purina. This was the first few ingredients:

        Corn meal, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), powdered cellulose, salmon meal, animal liver flavor.

        Nothing good in there. Corn isn’t digestible by animals, by-product (and listed a generic “poultry” instead of chicken, turkey, etc) is not good. Neither is “animal” fat (what kind of animal?).

        Here is the first few ingredients from Wellness Indoor food:

        Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice, Whitefish Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Oat Fiber, Chicken Liver, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E)

        Iams, as mentioned below, isn’t much better than Purina, but kudos to them for stepping up.

        Unfortunately, almost nothing you’ll purchase at the supermarket or Petsmart/Petco is going to be good, natural food. Though, I think Petsmart is starting to carry Wellness. However, natural does come at a premium which I realise isn’t always affordable.

        Here’s a good article: http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359

        • Dalsnsetters says:

          Yes, Wellness is a great food. But really, to each his own. Why is everyone so intent on telling everyone else what is best for their animals?

          My cat gets Kitten Chow with Fancy Feast Gooshyfood mixed in. He is doing awesome. My dogs (both elderly, disabled dalmatians) are allergic to 99% of ingredients in most dog foods. They get Nutro Natural Choice Senior. If it works for your critters, and you can afford it, do what you’ve been doing.

          Mauvaise, Wellness may be your brand of choice, but mine can’t eat due to above-mentioned allergies.

          The way some folks around here advocate their own preferences make me wonder if we don’t have dog/cat/rabbit/ferret/whatever food shills around here. Good grief, people, live and let live! Stop judging others because they (may) feed a food **you** feel is inferior. If it works for them and their critters, that should be all that matters.

          (And, actually, I’m glad mine are allergic to Wellness…..that’s like the most expensive food on the shelves today!)

          • Mauvaise says:

            Bob specifically mentioned avoiding Iams because of corn meal, so I was pointing out that the food he did feed them contained that same ingredient.

            I don’t feed my animals Wellness, nor do I work for them. So I wasn’t pushing my brand of choice, just the premium brand I know that is the easiest to get as other brands are only sold in natural pet food stores.

            I also linked an article to what goes into mass market foods for anyone that wanted to educate themselves a little. I didn’t state that anyone should read the article or the are abusing their animals, etc. There was no judgment in my post and if you read judgment then maybe you should look inward.

            • Dalsnsetters says:

              There was only one comment in my post directed at you, Mauvaise. The rest of my post was directed at everyone else saying what sucky foods the rest of it is.

              Perhaps YOU should look inward!

              • Mauvaise says:

                If you reply directly to a specific comment, it will lead one to believe you’re speaking to the person your replying to, else why wouldn’t you just submit a new comment?

        • RosevilleWgn says:

          My two (very picky) Siamese refuse to eat Wellness Core. After a week of barely eating it (And me cursing them because it’s not cheap!) we had to switch back to the green bag.

          You can lead a cat to good food, but you can’t make them eat.

          • Mauvaise says:

            Believe me, I know! I tried every brand of quality food that the natural pet food store near me carries – my cat won’t touch any of it. He will only eat Fancy Feast – seafood flavours, loaf form ONLY.

            I don’t have a choice because cats have to eat every day so you can’t “wait them out” or adopt the “if they’re hungry, they’ll eat” attitude. Because 1) they can be very stubborn, and no they won’t eat if they’re hungry enough and B) they can be susceptible to fatty liver disease if they go too long without food (even as little as 24-36 hours).

            So he gets Fancy Feast, but I feel like I’m feeding him the equivalent of McDonalds every day.

        • sirwired says:

          Rice? Barley? Oat Fiber? Are those really any better than using corn as the food binder? Grain isn’t a natural part of any carnivore’s diet.

          And who cares if the poultry-by-product is from chicken, turkey, or whatever is cheaper from the rendering plant that week? And what specifically makes by-product bad? And what’s wrong with “animal fat”? Again, does it really make a difference what animal it came from?

          • Mauvaise says:

            If you read the link I posted (http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359), you’ll see it does make a bit of a difference:

            “However, about 50% of every food animal does not get used in human foods. Whatever remains of the carcass — heads, feet, bones, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, fat trimmings, unborn babies, and other parts not generally consumed by humans — is used in pet food, animal feed, fertilizer, industrial lubricants, soap, rubber, and other products. These “other parts” are known as “by-products.”

            “James Morris and Quinton Rogers, of the University of California at Davis Veterinary School, assert that, “[pet food] ingredients are generally by-products of the meat, poultry and fishing industries, with the potential for a wide variation in nutrient composition. Claims of nutritional adequacy of pet foods based on the current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrient allowances (‘profiles’) do not give assurances of nutritional adequacy and will not until ingredients are analyzed and bioavailability values are incorporated.”3”

            As to the terms of “poultry” and “animal” rather than specifying a specific animal:

            “Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it. Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat”

            “However, so-called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food.”

          • jesirose says:

            It does if you care about your cat or dog not eating other cats and dogs. If you don’t, you don’t.

        • sinfonian94 says:

          Ok. Pet Nutrition 101. Nothing wrong with corn. It needs to be processed correctly by being ground into a meal or flour first in order to be digestible. After grinding, it is just as digestible as any other starch source.
          By products are not automatically bad. The best meats of an animal are hearts, kidneys, etc. The organ meats. These are, by definition, by-products.

          The only thing that you DID get right is the fact that you want specifically named sources. Such as chicken instead of poultry, or beef fat instead of animal fat.

          I will agree that Wellness is one of the best foods on the shelf at any pet store, but you really need to go somewhere other than websites with no provenance for your pet nutrition information. To really understand pet nutrition, try Hand & Novotny’s Pocked Guide to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition.

        • sinfonian94 says:

          Also, Petco has carried Wellness for almost 4 years. They also have the largest selection of natural foods in the industry. Thanks for trying.

  4. suez says:

    Wow, what a wonderful and reassuring story–and how sad that this sort of thing is so rare it’s considered noteworthy.

  5. pop top says:

    “high-quality food … Iams was a reasonable choice”

    Ha, NO. Iams is a terrible choice. Their most expensive, supposedly top-of-the-line food is their Premium Protection and it’s bad. The top five ingredients are “Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Animal Fat”, and four of those are NOT what you should be feeding your animal. If your pet’s food has corn in it, it is not nutritious for them. There are tons of affordable and GOOD pet food lines out there; Wellness, Chicken Soup, Nature’s Best, Blue Buffalo and Solid Gold to name a few. And yes, the vet may have recommended it, but vets get paid to pimp out pet food (How many times have you seen Science Diet at your vet’s office? It’s a shitty food but they pay HUGE amounts of money to get vets to recommend it.)

    Kudos to Iams for having such great customer service, but it’s still a shitty thing to feed your pet.

    • Tim says:

      I tend to agree with you, but really, the vet told her that Iams was a good choice if she couldn’t afford more expensive food. Therefore, no, in this case, it’s not a shitty thing to feed your pet.

      Plus, something makes me doubt Blue Buffalo or Nutro would be so nice. And even if they were, the amount of money she would save on the coupons probably wouldn’t be enough for the food.

      I’m all about feeding pets high-quality food. But if you can’t afford it, and your vet approves, it might be okay to feed them a lower-quality food.

      • pop top says:

        I’m not talking about this particular story, just Iams in general. It was great that they helped her out, but it’s not a good food by any means.

    • akronharry says:

      Always one fool out there that has to put a negative spin on things.

    • LightningUsagi says:

      That was my first thought too. I knew something was really wrong with the vet/pet food company relationship when I talked to my vet about putting my dog on a ‘real food’ diet, and she was very insistant that it wouldn’t be good for her. I’m sorry, but fresh fruits and meat have to be better for an animal than processed wheat (which most dogs are allergic to) and corn.

      It probably would’ve been better for this lady’s budget to tell her to feed the cats tuna or canned chicken, but then the pet food companies wouldn’t get money so they can put vets thru school.

      Kudos to Iams for looking out for the well-being of these cats, tho. Most companies probably would’ve laughed off repeated calls for help.

      • pop top says:

        Just feeding tuna and canned chicken wouldn’t be a good idea either.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Where did you hear that canned tuna is good for cats? It’s very well established that this can be incredibly bad for them.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Dogs are much more tolerant of weird diets then are cats. Feeding a cat tuna exclusively is a surefire way to kill it.

      • sinfonian94 says:

        The “vets get payed by pet food companies to recommend their food” meme is BS. Vets recommend and sell foods at their clinics that they think are the best for your pet. The reason Science Diet shows up more than any other food in vet clinics, is because they as a company do more research than anyone about what nutritional needs animals have, and formulate their food based on those findings. Personally, I’d much rather see someone using ANY food that is formulated to specific lifestages than ANY food that is “all life stage.” And it’s not a “kick back” when someone sells a product. It’s called commerce.

    • suez says:

      While I agree about the difference in quality of food, you missed the entire point about cost. I would NOT consider most of those other brands “affordable” to someone on a tight budget. At $1.50 a can for Wellness vs. $0.55 for a can of, say, Friskies, that’s a HUGE difference. And as someone who did have a cat once who needed prescription canned food the local stores didn’t carry, I also had to pay additional shipping charged. Ultimately they were eating better than me!

      • pop top says:

        If we’re talking about this specific case where someone had to get free coupons to feed their animals, then yes, you’re probably right about my examples not being good for someone on that kind of budget. But in general, if you look at how much you’ll be feeding your animal versus how much you’re buying, it is usually about even or cheaper to feed a good-quality food because they eat less of the food, so you use less.

        • pop top says:

          That came out a little odd, heh. To clarify, the food will last longer because the animals eat less per day because they can get their nutritional value out of say, 1/2 cup per day instead of 1 whole cup.

          • suez says:

            I think that theory really only applies if you’re comparing dry vs canned food (which tends to be denser and contains more protein). But I think if you’re comparing two different brands of canned food, I suspect the difference is negliable.

            On the other hand, my new kitten won’t have anything to do with the “healthy” ones and turns her nose up at every one of them, including TikiCat (or whatever) in which you can literally SEE the chucks of fish. After throwing out way too much of it, she’s now eating Friskies because I’d rather have her EAT the cheaper stuff than just dump the expensive stuff down the drain.

    • sirwired says:

      Is Iams the best pet food out there? No. But it’s better than many/most of the supermarket brands out there. (The pet-store brands are another step up, but they are universally more expensive.)

      And the corn is in there largely as a binder; if you serve kibble, you are going to be feeding your animal corn or wheat. Again, is that the best possible food for your animal? No. But it’s not exactly poison either.

      The Chicken-by-product meal and animal fat I have no problem with. Actual feral/wild cats generally eat the whole (maybe sans feathers/fur) bird /rodent, including the bits that become fat and byproduct meal. Putting these parts of food animals in pet food is not bad for the pet, and prevents them from going to waste, as they would otherwise be tossed in the garbage, since humans don’t eat them.

      • pop top says:

        “And the corn is in there largely as a binder; if you serve kibble, you are going to be feeding your animal corn or wheat.”

        There are dozens of brands out there that don’t use corn as a main ingredient, and there are several that don’t have it at all.

        • sirwired says:

          Grain/starch is a great binder. (Corn, Barley, Wheat, Potatoes, whatever…) I just checked the website of one of the brands you highlighted, Wellness. Yep, Potatoes. And once those potatoes are processed, they are also nothing more than starch. Potatoes aren’t any more or less nutritious than using corn.

          And no, if granny can’t afford Iams, she isn’t affording cat food that costs $36 for a twelve-pound bag. (Just checked the price for Wellness @ Petco.)

          And what about those other ingredients we “shouldn’t be feeding”? (The animal fat and the chicken-by-product meal) Why are those bad?

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        That’s pretty much my opinion on things. I’ve always considered Iams, Purina, etc. as middle of the road animal feed. My wife and I have several animals (we tend to pick up neighborhood strays and hold them until we can find an owner) and really can’t afford the boutique pet food.

        If buying cheaper food means keeping one less dog or cat from being euthanized, then it’s enough of a compromise for me. We actually use Iams for two simple reasons: our dogs digest it well (no gas) and it greatly reduces the volume of waste left in the back yard.

    • legolex says:

      Glad I wasn’t the first to say it! I’m glad a company would lend a helping hand because ultimately it keeps animals out of shelters when owners have to give them up due to poor finances. However, IAMS is not a quality food, neither is any food bought in a regular grocery store.

      I also agree with the comment of the Pet Food Co / Vet Relationship. They get incentives for pushing their food, and I don’t even consult my vet when it comes to feeding, all they want to do is make you buy Science Diet.

      You can pick up the book The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier. It’s a Bible. Some of her stuff is a little wacky (like getting in the tub with your cat while bathing) but the diet section is invaluable.

      • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

        Yeah, the getting in the tub part with your cat validates the rest of her information.

    • BubDBuilder says:

      Do you, or anyone else, have any proof to back up any of your statements?

      • pop top says:

        All it takes is some basic research. Corn isn’t good to feed animals as a major part of their diet, especially carnivores like dogs and cats. If you want to know more about it, why don’t YOU find the information for yourself? All it takes is a little effort to be educated.

        • BubDBuilder says:

          So you don’t have any proof?

        • aloria says:

          Because if someone is going to make a claim, as you are doing, the burden is on THAT person to back up their statements. If I went around trying to research every claim made by every random person on the Internet, I wouldn’t have time for anything else.

      • julia says:

        “Do you, or anyone else, have any proof to back up any of your statements?”

        I wasn’t going to get into this, because I too don’t much like Iams food, not only because of the ingredients (too much corn and other grains) but because I foster kittens for a local shelter and not one set of kittens (hungry growing eat anything kittens) will eat it. It sits and goes bad.

        but as to proof what cats should eat, check out http://www.catinfo.org a website run by a vet who actually studies feline nutrition. Or read the book “Your Cat” by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins DVM

        as to the “junk” “Adequate” “premium” food issue, yes that is true, but what is horrible is all of the “junk” being passed off as “premium” foods. People trust these companies, and they will tell you anything to get you to buy their products. Foods full of fruits/veggies/grains touted as “good for the cat” simply because we humans have been programed to believe certain foods are healthy – which they are to humans – but cats lack the digestive capabilities to get the proper nutrients from those types of foods. they were designed to eat small rodents and birds, and their “mediterranean diet” equvilant would be high protein, high fat, high moisture content diet low in any carbohydrates at all.

        As someone who has treated a diabetic cat for seven years, and who had two cats block while eating dry food, I’ve seen the dramatic change switching a cat to a proper species appropriate diet can do.

        want more? check out http://feline-nutrition.org/

    • aloria says:

      If IAMS was not affordable for her mom, then “Wellness, Chicken Soup, Nature’s Best, Blue Buffalo and Solid Gold” sure as hell aren’t going to be. I feed my dogs Blue Buffalo and Solid Gold and it sure as HECK is much more expensive than IAMS, and I am lucky enough to have a mother who works in a pet store who can get me a discount.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Interesting how most people will condemn a pet food based on their own tastes and consider them “shitty” if it doesn’t meet their subjective criteria. Chicken and chicken by-product are the two major ingredients in this Iams product. Considering that cats and dogs will eat a dead skunk or another animals turd, it doesn’t sound bad at all.

    • kobresia says:

      Eh, it’s really a matter of degree.

      There are 3 basic types of food (and they apply to humans as well as animals)–:

      Bad/Junk food: Can’t really thrive on it. It’s just plain lacking and it will cause health problems sooner or later.

      Adequate food: Not the best by definition, but critters will thrive on it. One probably will have to keep aware of the occasional health issue surfacing and correct them if and when they do crop-up.

      Premium food: Perfect in every way, probably better than nature intended. You’ll spend craploads of money on this awesome food for your pet, because cost is no object. You won’t have to worry about any health issues related to this diet…and then your pet will probably die prematurely anyway, from some other unforeseen risk factor.

      My point: It’s far from a big deal as long as one is feeding or consuming food that is “good enough”. As far as pet food goes, Iams is WAY better than something like Ol’ Roy, Purina Dog Chow, or Pedigree. The “adequate” foods will also, as you pointed out in another comment, be about the same overall cost as the utterly crap food because not as much of them are required to meet the same nutritional needs.

      Good on Iams for having a heart.

    • JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

      While I am one of those people that feeds my kitties premium pet food (grain-free Fromm 4 Star), I mostly do it because 1) the pellets are small enough so that my not-quite-kitten and my over-the-hill buddies can eat with no problems; 2) it’s cute down on residual puking A LOT; and 3) the stool odor is lessened (not gone completely, but it’s at the point now where if one of my guys drops a bomb in the box and doesn’t cover, I can’t smell it in the living room).

      I also spoil the turds rotten. So big whoop.

    • ajlei says:

      I’ve fed my cat Iams for her entire life. She refuses to eat wet food, or any other dry food for that matter. She is lithe, strong, and at four years old she still acts like a kitten. Oh yeah, she also eats birds, mice, bones, rice, tablefood, etc. She’s perfectly healthy, or at least that’s what my vet has told me for the past four years.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This is such a nice story. I’m glad Iams customer service has a heart. I wish there was an update on how the kittehs are doing though.

  7. Beave says:

    I’ll bite on this one and be the a-hole… At what point does this woman have to just accept that she’s on such a fixed income she can’t afford a pet, let alone multiple cats? I realize pets are family to many people, but at a time when 1/7 Americans is on food stamps maybe we need to start scrutinizing what they’re using the rest of their money on.

    I used to bag groceries in high school, and the things people paying with food stamps spent their money on continually shocked me. I had no issue with the family who used food stamps to buy groceries. It was the family that had to ring through two orders, one in food stamps and one in cash, and the cash order was full of things like expensive pet food, lotto tickets, cartons of cigarettes, and 30 different varieties of frozen pizzas and TV dinners.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Yup, you are the a-hole.

    • dreamfish says:

      She had two cats, not twenty and would anyone begrudge a senior the company of pets? Also, what was she supposed to do when they became ill? Put them in a sack and throw it in the river?

      Your self labelling as an a-hole was spot on.

    • sirwired says:

      She could have had the cats for many years before she went into poor financial straits. Did that thought even cross your mind before you decided to go all judgmental?

      It’s not really fair to the cats to drop them off at a shelter to probably be euthanized, especially if the pet food company is willing to help out. And yes, for many people pets are family… suggesting they drop their pet off at a shelter when it becomes inconvenient is like suggesting a parent drop their kid off at the local orphanage vs. applying for assistance.

    • Mulva says:

      I will never begrudge someone the comfort of a pet. Studies show that being owned by a pet improves your general well-being and mental outlook, increases your longevity, lowers your blood pressure, and it may even decrease your chance of a heart attack.

      I was in Las Vegas recently, and at every pedestrian bridge there was a person begging. Usually, I would buy a bottle of water from a street vendor and give them that, but the one person who got my money was the lady with the big black Lab. I’ve read more than once that the homeless will sacrifice for themselves before they’d starve their pet.

      • Thyme for an edit button says:

        That’s true. In my city, there is a large facility run by a church that serves the homeless, but they are not an overnight shelter. They have a place to board dogs overnight, however, do the people can go to the overnight shelter, which does not allow dogs. The church started offering the service when they discovered the ban on animals at the city’s overnight shelter had a disproportionate impact on women as many homeless women keep dogs not only for companionship, but also protection so they would camp out rather than go to the shelter

    • evnmorlo says:

      After spending more in vet bills than I ever did on my own health-care I gave up…but “waste” is relative and most of what we do doesn’t stand up too much rational scrutiny. Old ladies should probably kill themselves, and everyone in the supermarket should ask why they eat anything–for energy to go to the supermarket?

    • teke367 says:

      Not sure, but I imagine the point doesn’t come before the point where a company sends plenty of coupons to make sure the person can still afford it.

      I imagine the woman called up Iams to see if they have cheaper options, or perhaps if they could offer some advice that wouldn’t require another vet visit. If Iams is going to send her free coupons so the food fits in her budget, why not?

  8. leprechaunshawn says:

    We’ve fed our cat Iams food since he was a kitten. I always felt kind of pretentious telling people what we feed him if they asked. No more, I am proud to do business with a company like this.

    • CookiePuss says:

      You felt pretentious telling people your feeding your kitten Iams?

    • qbubbles says:

      Wanna look pretentious? One of my cats has a really sensitive tummy and the only food we’ve tried that she can digest is Royal Canin. That shit is seriously expensive. $40 for a 5lb bag are you fucking kidding me? Thankfully, we’re doing well and can afford it, and knew what we were getting into when we decided to be pet owners. But for other folks, the price has to be prohibitive.

      • Claire says:

        Yep! I am actually sorta embarrassed when people ask what I feed my dogs. My Siberian Husky has food allergies and a sensitive stomach (in addition to just being an asshole in general) and I have to keep him on a freeze-dried Raw food diet, mixed with things like whole eggs (have to be free-range!) and ground buffalo, venison and duck. Since he eats this diet, my other dog (who doesn’t have allergies and has an iron stomach) has to eat it too, just in case one tries to go over and snatch the others’ food. All in, I spend about $100 per week feeding my dogs. It’s embarrassing, but like others have said, I knew what I was getting into when I became a pet owner — pets cost money, and sometimes have medical problems that cost MORE money. I love my dogs, and luckily I am in a position to give them a comfortable life. If I fell on hard times, I would only hope that the companies I buy food from would be as understanding and helpful as IAMS was for this woman. Somehow I doubt it, though.

      • JixiLou says:

        We feed our cat the Royal Canin, too. In our defense, the vet told us he had four to six months left to live, and his GI tract could no longer digest chicken protein. So we thought we would be feeding him it for half a year at the most.

        And now it’s two years later, and he’s healthier than he’s ever been. Little $@&# isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and every time we try to switch his food, he starts vomiting again. So now our cat is eating better than we are.

    • Taddare says:

      When I worked at a local pet store, we had this very nice man who only bought dog food once a year. He had a silver Shepard who was so allergic the only food he could eat was Iams Venison and Rice that they made in a limited run in the fall. He would come and buy 2-3 pallets of 50# bags to make it til next year. Iams was great about sending him a ton of coupons when he called them up and asked about them making this type more often.

  9. HaveSomeCheese says:

    A customer treated with dignity and taken care of by a company?…….this concept doesn’t compute

  10. Cicadymn says:

    I’m getting a kitten soon.

    Looks like she’ll be eating IAMS exclusively now.

    • twonewfs says:

      Yes, the company was nice – but yes IAMS indeed is over-priced shit food. There are so many good foods out there. Basically, te whole dog Journal guidelines for dog food apply to cat food, except more so. Cats are obligate carnivores. Corn, corn gluten, rice middlings – are not good for them, meat protein is. If you choose to feed low quality food like IAMS, save some money and just get Friskies or Alley Cat!

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Seriously. I was really hoping that the Iams all naturals I saw advertised in various places was really great. But if you turn it around and read the ingredients its the same shit. Corn, by-product meal, processed fats, etc.

        Look, if YOU wouldn’t eat your animal’s food, why do you make them eat it. It’s basically corn cereal coated with meat flavor to make them think its tasty. That’s disgusting.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          My cats eat bugs and often lick eachother’s butts. I’d never do that.. but I can’t make them stop. Just sayin. Also cats in the wild eat whole birds and bugs on a regular basis as their natural diet. A whole bird is probably mostly “bird byproducts”. Iams’s number one ingredient is NOT corn, so it’s not “mostly corn cereal”.

          I feed my cats things I wouldn’t eat, because they’d eat worse things on their own anyway. We’re different, cat’s and humans, so using “if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to them” doesn’t make sense at all.

    • pop top says:

      That’s probably not a good idea if you can help it…

  11. CookiePuss says:

    The free coupons totally offsets their testing on and killing of animals. Nothing like a free bag of food to look the other way. Thanks IAMS!

    • jessjj347 says:

      I agree that there’s no need for a company like Iams to be testing on animals.
      However, if researchers never used animals, then you would be SOL when you need some medications…

      • dpeters11 says:

        There is a reason for a pet food company to test on animals. My company does the same thing. A person can’t eat some cat food and determine that cat’s will like the taste. However they may be a bit different, as they’ll send the samples to people’s homes and request feedback.

      • CookiePuss says:

        I agree testing on animals for medical tests can be needed. As much as I hate it I can understand the logic. It’s just incredibly ironic that a company claiming to have your pets best interest at heart doing this.

  12. qbubbles says:

    Ok that made me cry.

    • BubDBuilder says:

      I got a little verklempt myself.

      And I’m a 6-foot, 300-pound construction manager with a beard and shaved head that enjoys yelling, cussing and throwing my hard hat around.

      I had to tell the subcontractor that walked in on me that I got dirt in my eye from his crew kicking up dust and that I was going to kick his ass if he didn’t get some water on it…

      • qbubbles says:

        Yeah, I’m a 10 months pregnant lady who just wants her kid out, so I’m prone to cry at a squeaky duck toy.

        Crap, just thinking about a squeaky duck toy is making me tear up.

  13. davegins says:

    Pet food is one of those areas where you need to make a compromise between price and quality. I feed my dog IAMS and I would recommend it as a “premium” food that is not too expensive. Of course it is not as good as an organic food like Blue or Wellness that costs $60 a bag. However the #1 ingredient is real chicken which is more than you can say for Beneful. I volunteer with a rescue group and are constantly telling adoptees not to buy Beneful or Meow Mix. If I had a 10 pound cat instead of a 90 pound dog I would just make my own raw chicken blend. My friend kept his 18 year old diabetic cat alive and happy for two extra years by grinding his own chicken!

    • CookiePuss says:

      Theres other food thats so much better than IAMS that doesn’t cost $60 bag. I’ve been having great results with my two dogs on Acana which is $48 for a 30lb bag. If you don’t need grain free a good food to look at is Chicken Soup For The Dog Lover’s Soul. The local feed store sells 35lb bags for $36.

      Even if IAMS/P&G were a decent company there’s still the basic quality of ingredients. Look at the first 6 ingredients of Iams Kitten ProActive compared to say Felidae Grain Free.

      Iams:Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat , Corn Meal

      Felidae: Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb, potatoes, potato protein, peas

      Iams is $33 for a 20lb bag. Felidae is $31 for a 15lb bag. Not much of a price difference at all.

      • sirwired says:

        *sarcasm* Yes, and Potatoes, Potato Protein, and Peas are totally a natural part of any Carnivore’s diet. How is that any better, or worse, than grain? Dry food needs a binder so it doesn’t crumble. Meat isn’t one. Does it really matter from what plant source the starchy binder(s) come from?

        • Mauvaise says:

          It does matter because corn isn’t digestible, while other binders are. But, if you really want to get nit-picky about it – you shouldn’t feed dry food at all. Especially cats should be on an all wet-food diet.

          • CBenji says:

            Older cats maybe, but younger healthy cats do well on dry food. I know my vet recommended the Hills diet for my cats as they were having loose bowels on the canned diet. Also they were acting a bit crazy for me to open the cans constantly.

          • sinfonian94 says:

            Wrong. corn is perfectly digestible when processed correctly (as in ground). If you notice, premium foods that use corn list it as ground. Grocery brands do not. It makes all the difference. Again, Hand & Novotny Pocket Guide to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition.

        • CookiePuss says:

          *not sarcasm* Potatoes, Potato Protein(no starch), and Peas are totally more digestible than corn.

          There’s also a difference between using those ingredients as a binder as opposed to a filler. There’s simply more meat in the higher end foods. Acana, Orijen, Natures Variety, Evo (which P&G just bought out) etc. all list exactly how much meat is in each batch of food. Felidae claims %80 of the protein is meat based. Iams makes no such claim or any mention of meat content.

          To each their own on feeding by-products vs human grade meats. Its by-products from some factory that I’m talking about. Nothing wrong with organs, necks, etc. but when those 4D by-products are coming from a factory sight unseen I’m more comfortable with actual meat. Felidae claims its human grade.

          Iams isn’t as bad as the bottom of the barrel foods filled with chemical preservatives, sugars, and artificial coloring but theres better alternatives for nearly the same price that don’t use corn, sorghum, or by-products and contain more meat.

      • sinfonian94 says:

        Iams:Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat , Corn Meal
        Iams: All named products. By-Product Meal would be rich in nutritious organ meats. Grains are ground, making them perfectly digestible. Fat is from a named source. A perfectly decent food.

        Felidae: Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb, potatoes, potato protein, peas

        Felidae: named meats. Meals mean that the meat is actually more meat than the straight varietal, high quality proteins. Definitely a step up, but the Iams is still perfectly good.

        Iams is $33 for a 20lb bag. Felidae is $31 for a 15lb bag. Not much of a price difference at all.

        Iams: $1.65 a pound
        Felidae: $2.07 a pound

        price difference: + 25%

        If you want to pay 25% more for a better food, great. but there is a difference in price.

        • CookiePuss says:

          That’s why I said not much of a price difference at all. We’re talking a difference of 50 cents/pound on a product that lasts for weeks. Lets take 15lbs of each food at their current prices and see the cost for each over the course of say a month.

          Iams: 83 cents per day over 30 days
          Felidae: 1.03 per day over 30 days

          It would cost 20 cents more per day to feed Felidae, pretty negligible. (I feel like a spokesman for the Feed the Children Campaign. You can feed an entire village for 25 cents per day! :P)

          Like I said, Iams isn’t nearly as bad as the supermarket variety but for 20 cents more per day you can get a food with no grains, less carbs, no by-products, and more meat (both quality and volume).

          I also noticed you mentioned “all named products”. I’m guessing your referring to something being listed as chicken fat as opposed to animal fat, which I agree is a good thing. Heres another Iams wet cat food delicacy:

          Iams ProActive Health Adult Filets with Salmon-in-Sauce-Canned-Cat-Food:
          Meat Broth, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Chicken By-Products, Natural Flavors

          “Meat” and “Meat Broth” is pretty vague. Who knows where it was sourced or what it even is. Reminds me of The Goonies movie and the rust colored water.

          Mouth : Is this supposed to be water?
          Mama Fratelli : It’s wet, ain’t it? Drink it!

    • pop top says:

      Where do you live that Blue Buffalo or Wellness costs $60/bag?

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I might actually be able to afford a cat/dog if the food was free…

  15. Midwest Doc says:

    I believe that animal lovers have a personality traits that are giving, sharing, and less cynical. I enjoy being around cat people and dog people. Many thanks to Iams.

  16. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:


  17. Mulva says:

    The pet food quality debate is akin to breastfeeding vs. formula – don’t judge unless you know the full story. Even then, really, don’t judge, just live your own life and move along.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That’s a very good analogy. It’s amazing how militant and judgemental people can get. With all of the animal abuse and neglect and the thousands (if not millions?) of unwanted animals euthenized each year in our country, somebody choosing to feed their dog or cat any mainstream, AAFCO approved feed is about as big of a non-issue as you can get.

  18. jvanbrecht says:

    *sigh* I wish I could get some discounted pet food.. I go through a 40 pound bag of dog food (Canidae) every 3 or so weeks at $60 a pop… (Dalmatian and a Great Dane)

    But props to IAMS, not the best food out there, but better then starving animals.

  19. colorfulRhyme says:

    I think a lot of people are missing the point of this article. Iams went out of their way to make sure the cats were fed, and even grew to know the customer instead of throwing her aside like anyone else. The company thinks more for the customer and the wellness of the animals, which then spreads the word of the company, and thus leads to more customers.

    And some food is better than no food at all.

    Off-topic and pertaining to the food debate, sometimes the high-end “healthy” stuff simply won’t work. When our cat joined our family over a year ago, my mom shelled out big money to buy high end, healthy food for him, to try and treat him better. Y’now what? He HATED it. Wouldn’t even touch it. Bought stuff from the grocery store, and he’s mowed down on it, and is pretty happy. Actually, he looks (and seems to be) healthier than from when we first received him.

    • pop top says:

      Kind of how humans can eat healthy food but they just don’t? Doesn’t mean what they will eat is good for them…

      • dark_inchworm says:

        Yup, kinda like that. I just finished a roundtable discussion with my cats after a family viewing of Super Size Me.

        Seems like they never have anything to contribute.

  20. dpeters11 says:

    Considering P&G has owned Iams for 10 years now, I think they’d have already made customer service changes if they were going to.

    I agree that Iams isn’t all that great, but it’s not the worst thing out there. It isn’t exactly Ol Roy. Science Diet I think is OK with some of the prescription foods. Some pets need some specific requirements that can’t be easily found in normal foods.

    Personally, I use Wellness, but it is not cheap, even on sale and with a coupon. But then when I had my dog, it was about $30-40 a month. I wish I could eat on that price and be as happy with dinner as he was.

  21. xjeyne says:

    Great story of customer service, but whatever happened to not owning pets if you can’t afford them?

    • Pax says:

      And who says the poverty came before the pets?

      And no, “just gfive them up when you get poor” often is NOT an option. If you thought that, evne just for a second … then you’ve never really had a pet. Or, shouldn’t have, at the vry least.

      It’s not like having fish. Cats, dogs, and the like – they become members of yur family. You could as soon drop your cat off at a shelter and just walk away, as you could drop your eight-year-old son or daughter off at an orphanage and just walk away.

      • xjeyne says:

        With the information from the article, one can assume that the daughter writing in with this story either doesn’t care enough or can’t afford to feed the cats herself instead of forcing her elderly mother to make an embarrassing phone call to beg for cat food coupons, so where do you think the cats are now?


    • JulesNoctambule says:

      You assume she was always unable to afford them.

  22. Pax says:

    Good on Iams.

    We can’t feed our two kitties Iams, though. They’re on a prescription diet, for life; the male had a UTI brought on by a pH imbalance (and it cost us almost $300 to diagnose and treat it).

    So, it’s Hills Science Diet W/D … at $55 per bag, and about one bag per month, it’s hella-not-cheap.

    But they’re our fuzzy little babies, so they’re worth it.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Our vet recently prescribed some kind of medicine – for life. Furball loves it, and I’m thankful it’s not outrageously expensive, but anytime a pet requires something for its entire life, it just makes your brain freak out a little.

  23. SugarMag says:

    Wonderful story. Nice to see a company that truly care about real pets, not just their bottom line. If cost was a real issue and I didnt research pet food much I would feed the kitty crap w/o realizing it. (My last cat was age 22 when she died, yet ate Meow Mix until she was age 18, then we switched to prescription stuff due to illness. This is before I knew better and researched accordingly).

    If you dont know any better IAMS would seem like a quality food. I also havent met many vets that know much about high end food, they just seem to accept “meets nutritional requirments” regardless of quality. Not a put down really, just that I dont necessarily trust a vet’s comments on food brands.

    Current snookems gets Blue Buffalo dry but will only eat Fancy Feast wet food. After spending several hundred dollars on the good stuff that she rejected, I gave up, hoping the quality of dry will override the four bites a day she’ll eat of the canned “McDonalds for cats”. I have a fussy little princess.

  24. HeatherLynn30 says:

    I wish stories like this weren’t the big deal that they are. That’s really, really sweet.

  25. kenskreations says:

    I worry about the “chicken (or other) meal”. That’s the remaining parts of the animal(s) that are ground up (bones, etc) and put into it. Every part of the animal(s) is used in the food. I know not all read labels but it’s a good thing to do. We have lots of cats and dogs (we don’t run a rescue, just a ranch on a dirt road) and some of them are drop-offs from people elsewhere. Maybe I’ll have to contact Iams and Purina. But love the article.

    • Mauvaise says:

      You don’t have to worry about “meal” as an ingredient as long as the meat is spelled out (Chicken, beef, turkey, etc., rather than “poultry” or “meat”

      “Meals consist of meat and skin, with or without the bones, but exclusive of feathers/hair, heads, feet, horns, entrails etc. and have the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio required for a balanced diet.”


      • kenskreations says:

        Thank both of you for clearing up that issue. I had just got home from going to stores and purchasing over $100 of pet food. Enough to last for a short time around here.

    • jesirose says:

      No, you’re thinking of by-product. Meal is just ground up meat (sometimes with bones) and water content removed. Byproduct is all the nasty stuff.

  26. Wombatish says:


    It is 110% a guilt trip/personal high.

    I can afford to feed my cat this fancy shit and you can’t so I’m a better person.

    • Argy says:

      No kidding. After reading through a lot of these comments, I get the impression anyone who doesn’t feed fancy pants food is a terrible pet owner. But I also suspect these elitist pet food snobs are being taken advantage of by the companies overcharging for what is essentially a combination of fairly cheap raw ingredients. $60 for a bag of chicken? Oh, totally worth it!

  27. Thyme for an edit button says:

    It’s a good story. Good on Iams!

  28. AI says:

    After the Menu Foods tainted pet food disaster of 2007, I started cooking for my cat. Nothing fancy, I just buy cheap cuts of meat with low fat and BBQ them or fry them with no seasonings. I then cut them into little cubes and put them in a Tupperware container in the fridge. Takes me 10 minutes. There are a lot of cuts of meat that are extremely cheap, considering the amount a cat will eat. Also, since the meat is regulated for human consumption, I know I don’t have to worry about tainted byproducts.

  29. george69 says:

    i am now sad

  30. tiz says:

    “but needed high-quality food for her sick cats, Iams was a reasonable choice”

    stopped reading after that line…if you want high quality food, Iams is far, FAR from it!

  31. NickelMD says:

    Hey IAMS, you listening?

    My husband’s and my beloved mixed-breed rescue dog loves IAMS. We can afford whatever we want for the dog, but my husband is at heart a cheap bastard and has been nagging me every time we go buy a bag. (You would think being a gay man he would stereotypically want to spend way too much on him, but I buy one stinking doggie shirt that says ‘I

    After reading this, you have warmed my heart, and Pepe will be eating nothing but IAMS for the duration of his years. If the husband bitches, he will be eating IAMS too.

    You rock!

  32. clickable says:

    What a nice story. Suzanne, I’m sure your mother must have been a lovely person, seeing as the people she spoke with were always happy to hear from her and eager to help her. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    And top, top kudos to Iams too. Rarely do we see a company that actually, genuinely cares about its target market, the little four-legged varmints, and won’t let them go hungry if they can help.

  33. Britt says:

    One of my cats has a wicked sensitive tummy, and the one food I’ve found that doesn’t make her barf is Blue Buffalo. I’m broke as all hell, so something like this would be a life-safer. I myself live off Budget Gourmet to feed my cats. They eat like KINGS.

  34. SilentMountain says:

    Start the timer on people abusing this generosity and the resulting directive from management to discontinue the practice in 3….2….1…..