Several months ago Chris went to the vet for a sensitive spot on his back (see here). It was only the second time he visited a vet for a medical issue since we adopted him in late 2009, the first was after we adopted Floki and he picked up Floki’s eye infection. I don’t remember them weighing Chris that time so that means the last time he was weighed was late 2010 when we brought him to Florida and needed proof of vaccinations for the Condo Nazis. (Yes, I am one of those wacadoodles who believe yearly vaccinations for indoor cats do more harm than good).
Anyway, if memory serves me, Chris weighed nine pounds at the time. When the vet tech weighed him recently he topped the scales at a just under 18 pounds. He has doubled in weight. I knew he was getting fat but to see actual proof really hit home.
I know why he is fat. He is a kibble addict. If he was human we would call him a carb addict. That label is even worse for cats because their digestive system is made for a diet high in protein and fat. I have tried to get them off kibble for years. In fact, I was buying raw cat food back in 2010. I was hoping to phase out kibble but it never worked out as planned. Back then we had other carb addicted cats like Tigger and Abbey.
After abbey and Tigger both died at age eight, I was more determined than ever to get our cats to eat healthily and knew the kibble had to go so I gradually decreased how much I gave them. My wife resisted my efforts at first, telling me I was mean to let their food bowl go empty but eventually she came around.
The main problem preventing me from eliminating dry food altogether is Chris. When I feed them their wet food twice a day Chris only eats a very small amount and then walks away. I always have to follow him around with his food in a vain attempt to get him to eat it. Eventually, one of the other cats finishes his bowl and takes over Chris’s bowl. This happens even though the dry food bowl has been empty for hours and Chris is almost certainly hungry. So, like a sucker, I think he is going to starve himself so I put dry food in his bowl.
Recently, Rose suggested that I replace his dry food with Stella and Chewy’s. That is a dry food too but it is freeze-dried raw and not the same. Sure, the dry part is not ideal (it is technically supposed to be mixed with water), but it is better for them than kibble. I didn’t do this before because I often listen to complaints about how much I spend on cat food and replacing kibble with freeze-dried raw would add to that but she seemed okay with it so on January 2, to start the new year off right, I bought an 18-ounce bag of Stella and Chewy’s just as the last of our dry food was running out.
All of our cats love it, which is good and bad. The problem is they eat it as fast as I can put it out which means the food bowls are always empty. That means I have to watch and/or listen to poor, pathetic Chris all day long. He either sits in front of the food bowls and cries, or if I walk into the kitchen, he follows me in and opens the cabinet where we keep the food and looks at me as if to say, “Here is the food, Daddy. It’s time to put it in my bowl.” If I do nothing, then the crying starts. It’s like I’m raising a two-year old child.
It wasn’t very long before the Stella and Chewy’s was running low and it was time to spend another $38. That came up too quick for Rose and she said it was too expensive and she wanted me to buy dry food again. So, as of Friday, they are back to eating kibble but I am going to try to keep it to a minimum and I am still going to give them Stella and Chewy’s too, perhaps I will do half and half. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you have.