There was a day I put out water and filled one bowl with kibble. Spoiled them with many choices of boxed kibble. The first bunch of cats were not fussy, and they ate when hungry. Just monitored the bowl and everyone was a happy camper. Simple enough. Their favorite, Meow Mix… or was it just that commercial that made me believe it was?
Of course, they had roasted turkey and other special dinners from the kitchen. It was never only dry cat food. Some liked a few tasty bits of cheese, bananas, cantaloupe. Eager and present to see the menu.
Alas, I proceeded up from resilient cats into the more fragile princesses, the cat food improved to the more expensive kind. Now they were eating Hill’s and then on to Blue Buffalo. But they ate dry kibble, and most did well on it.
Food never motivated Molly, our last cat. She had food allergies, causing us numerous trips to the vet. Tried many canned foods and ended up narrowing it to 2 from Blue Buffalo. Those 2 and the ID Prescription Diet canned were the ones she could tolerate. Even those caused vomiting and bowel issues in the last year of her life.
The ‘two felines’ Lily and Lucy arrived. “We don’t do dry food” is an understatement. Tried 2 kinds for kittens and they walked away.
Not about to toss out the bags. Now reconstituted as part of a mixture for breakfast. Small handful of dry, hot water, ground sirloin or cooked chicken, canned cat food mixed. That combo met their approval.
Cats have to eat meat. They need enough meat daily to stay healthy. They can’t live on canned tuna. I believe in leaving nutrition to the scientists. What is in a whole mouse? My alley cat ate rodents. He consumed every body part. Never saw even a tail when he finished munching on his prey. Before people took in cats, they survived by what they could catch. I am not interested in providing rodents for my cats or duplicating bones and body parts in one to make sure they get the nutrients required for good health. Taurine is essential for cats and is only in animal-based protein.
Look at the ingredients on the package. There is spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and rice. Most of the food is meat. Would they benefit better by a raw natural diet? May be so, but unless one meets their nutritional needs for optimum health, it’s a daunting task to achieve. But you don’t have to just give canned or raw bought diet, supplementing them from your kitchen is doable. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Freeze Dried Morsels are a favorite for Lily and Lucy.
Supplemental Foods to Canned Diet
Cook up chicken thighs in the oven. Cut them up into bite-size pieces and freeze in small quantities. Add ground sirloin in small amounts to their meals. Chopped cooked carrot, squash, green beans, peas, broccoli, rice, are fine to add. Plain canned pumpkin, a tablespoon or less, is a significant source of fiber. It can help if they have stool issues. (Wish I had known that when Molly was going through loose or firm stools.) I give the new kittens pumpkin occasionally. Freeze small quantities to have on hand.
Feeding a cat healthy food shouldn’t break the bank. Our joke is “We eat beans and pasta, so our cats can have filet mignon.”
Your finicky cat may not be so finicky. The same old meals may bore them. Cats are true carnivores, which means they require the flesh from animals to thrive. Although they can eat finely chopped vegetables, it must be a tiny portion of their daily intake of food. When purchasing cat food, think of a variety. Your cat will appreciate the change from the same old offerings. This makes it easier when your cat isn’t feeling their best. We may love ice cream and brownies, but do we want it for breakfast? Sometimes your cat needs a meal change to whet their appetite.
One note on food: Kittens need higher nutrition just as human kids need for growth. Not more food, but food that will sustain their growth spurt. When they become a year old, they can have adult cat food, not crucial they switch immediately. Since Lily and Lucy are 6 months apart, my focus is on Lucy getting the kitten food. Once Lucy is a year old, I will use up the kitten food.
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