a message from okc-misandry
not at all! I was just not-on-the-internet.
Context: that post was made in line at Target, where I was behind two women with a cart full of white wine, nail polish, and half the clothing section who were kvetching about their $40 industrial size bag of Meow Mix— which is more than 60% corn, contains no actual meat (just animal fat and animal by product meals and some bone meals), and is made from the lowest quality of ingredients that you can legally use as pet food.
Something folks don’t realize about low-quality food like that is, because there are relatively few nutrients in the food itself, cats have to eat three times as much volume of food to get their most basic nutritional needs met. Beyond it being terrible for their cat’s sensitive digestive systems and general quality of life, folks end up spending just as much— or in many cases MORE— than they would if they sprang an extra $10 a bag. Hand-in-hand with the need to eat more to get enough nutrients, cheap foods make your cats eliminate WAY more. That increased elimination is harder on their organs, especially their kidneys, and on a more superficial level leads to more, smellier poops and stronger urine smells—since there’s so much more unusable garbage for them to process out—and it makes you go through litter faster. But we’ll talk about litter another day.
First, I don’t do raw feeding because it is virtually unstudied because, since science diet started running its racket sponsoring vet schools and their nutrition programs, there are hardly ANY modern animal nutrition studies being run. The raw feeding movement came from are a handful of dated studies that show cats with cooked food aren’t healthy, but this was done before we knew taurine was essential for cats and taurine is destroyed by heat but it’s now added to cooked foods and we know taurine is more bio-available when processed in this way… so that’s a non-issue. Anyway. The bigger reason I don’t raw feed is that my cats don’t like it even after a lengthy and methodical transition. When we tried it (for about three months) I spent about $40 a month for three cats using mostly chicken thighs, lamb breast/belly, and turkey. I also used a lot of hearts and liver which are basically free, and gave them hardly cooked eggs. All antibiotic and hormone free. Organic, free range, whatever when I could get it. If it works for you and your pets, that’s great!
I am a huge fan of grain-free kibble. It’s easy, there isn’t the same risk of parasites and bacteria, my vet (who is not in the pocket of Science Diet) encourages it, and my cats will actually eat it. I am also a fan of free-feeding cats (not dogs, though!!) because my babies are rescues and cats that spend time in shelter environments often have some food issues. Keeping food always available has made them less protective of their dishes, less likely to fight with each other, less prone to over-eating and then barfing, and makes Pete waaaaaay less anxious, in general.
I am loyal to EVO (and related brands like California Naturals), and Taste of the Wild (despite the recent recall). EVO runs about $27 a bag and lasts just over 2 months for two cats. Taste of the Wild is a slightly smaller bag that lasts my two cats a little over a month and is between $12 and $22 depending on where I buy it and my cats are way more into the way it tastes. They’ll root around in a bowl when transitioning between the two and pick out the Taste of the Wild kibble first. They’re assholes. Both brands are made with human consumption grade meats and ingredients. Both brands are grain-free. Both brands use actual muscle meat and responsibly use bone meals. Neither brand uses animal by-product meals. If you have a Kriser’s in your area (if you’re in Chicago, you do.), I recommend going there. All of the brands are tested and meet these same standards. Also, they’re always run by really, really, really nice folks and have good resources that they share freely.
If you like wet food for your pets, I am a big, big supporter of BFF canned food. It works out to about $2.50 per cat per day if fed alone and is otherwise pretty in expensive. It’s, of course, grain free and uses human consumption grade ingredients. I normally give them a can as a treat a few times a month, because for whatever reason— even though they freak out and get excited about canned food— they won’t eat enough to make it their primary nutrient source.
Since switching from shitty food, my cats are more active, less grumpy, shed a MILLION times less, have healthier teeth, and are in over-all better shape. Also their fur is like angel fur and they are so soft and fluffy. Before you switch your pet’s food, take them to the vet for a checkup. Let them know your intent, and be sure to go to the follow up visit. Your cat may have different needs and require a specific diet.
Also worth mentioning in this long rambly post is how fucking important WATER is for cats. Doubly if dry food is their primary food source. Investing in- and regularly cleaning- a water fountain can be one of the best things you can do for a cat. They don’t like still water, and they won’t drink what they don’t like.
Did I answer your question? I don’t even fucking know anymore.
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- okc-misandry said: Oh, this is all great, encouraging information! I didn’t realize they ate less with better food. I think gradually switching them onto a quality dry food and supplementing their diet with eggs a few times a week (I’ve got ducks) is very doable. Thx!!
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