Feeding cats

Ok, next question. (I’ve recently adopted two stray cats, Maya
and the as-of-yet unnamed love kitty from hell
, whom I currently call Goblin, 914 calls Orange, and my SO calls Ginger; and so I’m still learning about what’s good for them and all that.)

I bought some “Holistic” cat food at the vet, but it’s not cheap. The cats seem to like it. It’s in semi-soft little “O” rings, and the label goes on and on about all the ingredients in it, like green tea :loco: , which are supposedly good for the kitties.

I also got a giant bag at Costco, which was labeled “Maintenance”, and was the cheapest they had :blush: . I was trying to save money, what can I say? I was afraid they would turn up their noses at it, or that their skin would turn green or something, but they seem to like that too, so far so good.

I’ve also given them canned cat food from the supermarket, but they were much slower to eat it. It looks like it contains chopped up fish, held together with some gelatin or congealed fat or something :sick: . And I’ve given them some tuna and salmon, canned, as well, which they just love. They’re both gaining weight (they were skinny), and their coats are glossy; stool is normal; one cat is lethargic and one rambunctious.

The question is, am I feeding them the right stuff? Is the bulk stuff from Costco good for them? Why do they like the dry food better than the canned cat food which is more expensive, has real fish in it, and would presumably be more delicious? Should I just keep giving them the cheap dry stuff with the occasional canned tuna treat?

And if I follow Stray Dog’s “meaty bones” prescription, what meaty bones are best for cats, beef, chicken, or what?

Do you go to a butcher for your raw meaty bones, or do you just eat tons of meat :laughing: ? Which are the cheapest or most convenient raw meaty bones? Raw wings? Duck heads :astonished: ?

I don’t think I want to find a half-eaten chicken head under my sofa 6 months later… :cluck:

Cats are weird. And stupid. Ours will only eat Science Diet dry pellets and will only drink rainwater – no tapwater, no bottled water. They won’t touch raw meat and they won’t touch fresh fish.
On the other hand, there’s a stray that basically lives in my landlord’s yard and he feeds her, but she’ll ONLY eat fishheads, no matter how starving she is.
Cats are weird.

I bet you could wean them from one food to another by gradually blending in more and more of the new one. Or by flavoring the new one with something tasty like juice from tuna. Now when I open a can of tuna or salmon for myself and pour off the juice, I add it to their food or I pour it into a small jar in the fridge to add to their food later. They like that so much that I bet I could use it to get them to eat any new dry food.

As for cooked bones being brittle, I understand that cooked poutry for dogs is a no-no, but would it be dangerous for cats, or simply not as good? I ask because if I buy a roasted chicken at Costco for myself, I can use the bones (after slicing off the meat for myself) to make a chicken stock, but I could also give the bones to the cats if it’s safe.

Much harder to separate the chicken meat from the bone when it’s raw, so I doubt I’d end up giving them raw chicken bones often…

No cooked bones, especially chicken. Bone splinters are bone splinters, whatever is eating them.

I get the impression that all raw is probably even better for cats than it is for dogs. Housecats still have a lot of predator in them. On the other hand, dogs have evolved both mentally and physically to be scavengers rather than predators, so some argue that they need more carbohydrates than a cat. Our vet is a little uncomfortable about all raw with no carbohydrates for dogs, but his opinion was that cats can definitely go all the way with raw bone and meat. Their guts seem perfectly suited for it.

My brother used to have a cat that lived almost completely on birds, chipmunks and field mice. He took her out to the backcountry in NM for a summer when she was young and after that, she never really ate much dry food. Although she was a moody bitch, she was very healthy and lived for a long time despite the risk of getting diseases from wild animals. Aside from basic shots, she never had to go to the vet.

Commercial pet foods contain many additives to (a) cover up the smell of the rancid meat in them and (b) make the food more addictive.

This is interesting: http://www.homevet.com/petcare/foodbook.html

I doubt it. Cats are picky bastards, and they’ll wise up to the scam pretty quick.

Our cat eats a mix.

He has two brands of dry food that he will eat. We keep the bags/boxes by his feeding area and he chooses which one he wants.

He will only eat soft food if it has gravy, unless it is the high-end fish, and then he usually is more concerned about licking all the gravy up than eating the “meat”.

He has a bowl of soft and dry food out.

He also likes cooked chicken/turkey but only the white meat. He likes Costco roast chicken. He wont eat cooked fish but loves the “juice” from vacuumed packed smoked salmon. He also loves canned corn and grated cheese. He wont eat raw meat that we have put out for him.

His favorite snack is the fish flakes that people here put in their soup. Leave a bag out and he will eat through it to get at the flakes. We put his snacks in different cupboards and when he wants one he goes to that cupboard. Makes life easier in the end.

So yes cats are bastards so best experiment with different things to find out what they enjoy best.

cats are just like little toddlers. If you set down the law, they’ll eventually fall in line. My cats are well trained and will eat any food I give them and always say thank you after they are fed. If I switch to a new food and they smell it and walk away, they will come back and eat it within one hour as hunger pains set in. Dont give in to your cats - always let them know who is boss and things will be much easier for both of you.

I feed mine a 50/50 mix of the Costco maintenance and Royal Canin food. Every other day they get a half can of tuna cat food with a little water added for proper urinary health.

I feed my cat and kitten Hill’s Science Diet. I got the little one, Mariposa, the kitten formula and Isalu has been eating the Hairball remedy formula, but then Isalu decided he liked the kitten food better (a no-no since the vet already said he needed to lose weight and the last thing his 12-pound behind needs is rich kitten food and he’s already broken one shelf and loosen the breakfast nook tables just by jumping on them to get to his favorite spots). Ironically, Mariposa showed no interest in the kitten food and went straight for Isalu’s bowl. Her calico coat (mostly black with orange patches) is gorgeous now although I wish I had known her preferences before I sank all that money into a bag for her. :doh:

I give them canned food, Purina brand, from Costco, but it began stinking up my house. When I walked in with the slight tuna smell to my usually pleasant-smelling home, I stopped the canned food thing. They didn’t eat it very fast on a regular basis (Isalu’s never been much of a canned food fan unless it was canned people food, particularly canned tuna) so I had to throw away a whole portion each time I gave it to them, even with two cats eating it.

Mari is more interested in people food than Isalu ever was. She even nibbled one of my crackers when I was in the other room. I have so many bad habits to break her of. Beginning with using my little toe as a place to sink her claws into and hang from at 4am while I am sleeping.

Panda . . . we probably have a little different outlook and different cats.

If our cat has something he does not like he will not eat it. I tried putting down the law and forcing food upon him that he did not want but he outlasted me around two days several times. I am sure that I could have broken him but in the end I realized that we eat what we want to and what we enjoy so why not offer the same to him so long as he has a proper and balanced diet.

We know now what he likes and dislikes. And we work within that. No extra effort involved and not selling out just means buying one thing rather than the other when we are shopping. He’s a cat not a child and the toughest decision that he will face in life will probably be where to take a nap. And feeding him what he enjoys seems the least we can do after having his balls chopped off.

I remember reading that it is not good to feed human canned tuna to cats. I’ll have to see if I can find any info on that again.

My cats do Science Diet too, but they also enjoy any of the Catsin, Golden Cat, etc. cat food brands. ImaniOU, remember that what looks like just a little bit of Science Diet dry pellets to us is actually a lot for them. My cats couldn’t handle eating the specified (on the back of the packet) amount of dried food, PLUS eating a whole can of cat food. I only give them one or two tiny spoons of canned food every day as a treat, and they seem to enjoy that.
Now when will we see a photo of the new baby?

Yes, please do, since it seems to be a favorite for my cats, and I’m likely to continue feeding it to them unless I see good evidence. And thanks to all above for sharing.

Yes, please do, since it seems to be a favorite for my cats, and I’m likely to continue feeding it to them unless I see good evidence. And thanks to all above for sharing.[/quote]

I would say that where most canned tuna and some seafood is kinda URL bad for humans and even the US govt recommends restricting consumption due to levels of URL mercury and other heavy metals that it is probably not the best things for your pets.

One concern about tuna is sodium. Check the side of the can and you’ll see that most brands of tuna have a good bit of sodium, which may not be so good for a cat’s kidneys.

I can’t remember exactly where I read that, but I remember that mercury was an issue. Also, if you just stuck to tuna the cat would miss out on some important stuff that it needs to be healthy. Maybe I can find a website on it too with Google.

Where do you get Royal Canin?

I feed Mitts Science Diet for kittens, but I have read online that it is probably not the most beneficial as it doesn’t list meat as a primary ingredient for the first four in a row. However, the little man loves it and won’t eat anything cheaper that I’ve bought from the supermarket when we ran out…

Even if meat is first, check what’s second, third, and fourth. If those three are not meat, then meat is a minor part of that food. Cats are carnivores. The only veg they get is in stomach contents. If meat isn’t the bulk of their diet (about 80 percent, I believe), then their health will not be what is should.

Check that the food isn’t bulked out with cheap fillers (grain, rice, peanut shell, etc.).

Cheers!

Sean

Thanks Straydog, but that’s what I meant (although I am inarticulate today! :laughing: ) The first four ingredients should be meat (and not meat by-products) for it to be a really good food.

Nevertheless, I can’t find all these organic foods here and (sorry :frowning: ) I am uncomfortable feeding him only raw food, mostly because I rarely buy meat myself. I don’t want my cat to be a veggie LOL, but I am looking for the best way to feed him! :slight_smile:

Hey, I totally agree it’s a personal choice. If I didn’t feed raw meat and bones, I’d go for an organic, human-grade pet food, with meat as the main ingredient. I’m not sure which that would be, and I would skip the organic if i had to, but the rest would be a must for me. Also as few additives and preservatives as possible.

Good luck with your search, and let us know what good pet foods you find. It’s great that you’re not just feeding your pet blindly. :bravo:

Good night!

Sean