Tag Archives: Cat food

NomNomNow Cat Food Review


A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Caren from Cat Chat with Caren and Cody. The folks at NomNomNow were looking for recommendations for a couple of bloggers that could review their premium cat food in exchange for some food. She thought I would be good for some reason. I don’t know why but I appreciate the confidence.

I told her I didn’t want to do it. I tend to be too honest and I didn’t want to be disappointed and have to give a bad review after getting free food. I did reconsider after reviewing their website and the ingredient list and committed only to talk to their rep.

So a few days later I spoke with Kevin. He was very nice and talked about the veterinary nutritionist that formulated the recipes and about how the food is made fresh and shipped overnight to your door. In addition, the quantity of food is based on the current weight of your pet and the ideal weight that you want your pet to be. I got the impression that it was a small operation staffed by people who really care about the health of my pets so I decided to give them a try.

I told Kevin about my cats and gave him the information about their weights. There is a pretty cool tool on their website that does the math and figures out portion size. If you have more than one pet the packages are numbered so you can tell which one is for which pet. They also sell food for dogs so you could probably order both at the same time but I am not sure about that.

As of now, they have five recipes for dogs and two for cats. I chose the
“Chicken Chow-Meow” because all my cats love chicken and I didn’t want to take a chance with the uncertainty of the “Flavorful Fish Feast.”

It should be noted that the way I feed my cats doesn’t fall into their carefully calculated meal plan. I usually give our cats one 5.5 ounces can of cat food and follow that 10 to 30 minutes later with about the same amount of homemade raw food. They seem to like the variety and I like them to have a variety. My feeling is that I can replace the canned food portion with the NomNomNow food.

I think the cost is similar to that of a high quality canned food but the ingredients are better. I compared their ingredients with that from a can of Earthborn Holistic Chicken Catcciatori, the canned food that is most common in our house.

Earthborn Holistic Chicken Catcciatori:

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Tricalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Iron Proteinate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Biotin.

NomNomNow Chicken Chow-Meow:

Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liver, carrot, asparagus, spinach, cantaloupe, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, citric acid (natural preservative), taurine, choline bitartrate, zinc gluconate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, copper gluconate, manganese gluconate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), selenium yeast, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement, cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), sodium iodide.

Since ingredients always start with the largest ingredient and end with the smallest, it is the first few that are most important. That being said, some chemicals can be unhealthy in small amounts so they should all be considered.

In the Earthborn food, the first five ingredients are Chicken Broth, Chicken, Potatoes, Sunflower Oil and Natural Flavors. Chicken broth is okay but I never saw a broth as the first ingredient before. I don’t consider potatoes to be a very healthy food for humans and less so for cats but it is number three on the list. Sunflower oil is not considered a healthy oil. Number five is “natural flavors.” When you see this on the list, be wary.  A natural flavor starts out natural before being sent to Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. Considering that Earthborn is a premium cat food, I don’t even want to know what is in Cat Chow.

The NomNomNow Chicken Chow-Meow has Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liver, carrots and asparagus for the first five ingredients. It isn’t until the eighth ingredient that I found something I didn’t recognize, dicalcium phosphate. I looked that up and it is a calcium supplement, which is necessary because there are no bones in this formula.

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The food arrived the other day while I was at work and my wife opened the box and put the food in the refrigerator.  I saw the empty box so I knew it was here but I didn’t have time to do anything with it because our cats are trained to expect food as soon as I get home and any delay results in a meow-fest. So I gave them a can of food and then took a shower.

When I got out of the shower I grabbed three bags of the food and placed them in warm water for a few minutes before scooping it onto their plates. I didn’t see any directions so I just winged it. I took a video of this so that the cats could do the review for me.

They all seemed to like it. Even Chris who I struggle with to get to eat wet food. Floki especially liked it but Chris and Frankie stopped before they finished. That was probably because I gave them too much. It didn’t look like there was much food in the bags but once I scooped it onto their plates I could see it was way too much considering they already ate some canned food.

Also included with the order was a flavor packet and a container of beef broth.

I saw the beef broth in the fridge but didn’t know what it was for until later when I found the instructions and the card with the flavor attached. Both are to help finicky eaters. I moved them to my desk to take the above photo and returned the broth to the fridge but left the flavor pack on the desk. You can guess what happened. The next morning I saw Frankie licking the desk. It was still too dark to see what he was licking but I felt something gritty so I turned a light on and saw this the torn up flavor packet on the floor.

Nom Nom Now flavor packet

Also included in the order was a sample of chicken jerky.

cat treat

It was well received by our boys but our carnivores can be like little babies sometimes. I needed to break them up into smaller pieces to make it easier to eat.

cat treats

We also received a sample of the Flavorful Fish Feast which our boys gobbled up.

As of now, it looks like I found a great replacement for our canned food but I still plan on also feeding them the homemade raw food as well. I think if I were to give any advice to the company I would recommend grinding the vegetables into smaller pieces so it is more difficult for the cats to avoid.

What do you think? Is this something you would be willing to try? If you are interested, click here for their website and more information. They have a special offer that gives you 50% off your first order. I am not compensated in any way for this post except for the food I already received.

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Turning the Cat Feeding Rule on its Head


The following post in my unprofessional opinion and should not be considered advice.

I know the rule. When changing your cat’s food you should introduce it slowly while gradually reducing their current food. Everyone knows that a sudden change in diet will cause intestinal problems for your cat that include vomiting, diarrhea and possibly other problems.

That rule always seemed wrong to me. I learned long ago that for humans, variety is healthy and necessary, as long as the various food is not junk food. Cats, too, do not always eat the same food in the wild. A wild or feral cat might eat a mouse for breakfast, a bird for lunch, and a lizard for dinner. They might even have a bug or two for a snack. Why don’t they get upset stomachs?

Maybe eating the same food day in and day out, over and over, may be the cause of the problem and not the solution. It could be like a drug addiction and change could induce withdrawal symptoms. I’m just guessing and I have no evidence but logic tells me eating the same thing all the time is not what nature intended for cats.

I have gradually moved our cats from sameness to variety with no abdominal distress except for Frankie who has been a puker since we adopted him. I think he just eats way too fast and then pukes it up.

Currently, I feed them high quality, grain-free canned cat food as well as homemade raw cat food. I also give them dry kibble but I limit that to a small amount per day in an attempt to break Chris’s addiction to dry food.

I had been feeding them the same canned food and homemade raw food but I would buy a different dry food. I always chose a high-quality food but bought what was on sale at the time. Recently, I started changing the canned food as well because the Earthborn Chicken Catitorrie suddenly became less desirable to our cats. Perhaps they became bored with the same flavor.

I chose several different brands and varieties and decided to do a test to see which ones they liked and which ones they didn’t like.

canned cat food

Our boys seemed to prefer the two b.f.f. varieties shown above. The chicken and lamb and the chicken and turkey were a big hit even though they seemed quite watery to me. They liked the Dave’s almost as much but they left the Tender and True almost untouched. The other foods fell somewhere in the middle.

The important point here is that during this trial none of our cats got sick. In fact, I don’t recall Frankie puking at all during this period.

So my feeding routine now starts with a can of B.F.F. in the morning but since one of the pet food stores I shop at doesn’t carry it, that will change from time to time. Next, after they digest their food a little and start looking for more, I dish them out some of my homemade raw cat food. This is usually made from chicken thighs or chicken breasts and it does not change because they won’t eat it if I use beef or turkey.

During the late morning, if I am home, I try to avoid going in the kitchen because I have to listen to Chris’s pathetic cries for kibble. Sometimes I feel bad for him and give him some and other times I wait but they always get a small amount of kibble between meals. If I go to work, I give them a small amount of kibble when I leave. I do this because Chris does not eat as much wet food as Frankie and Floki do. For dinner it’s the same thing; Canned food and then raw food. Then it is a little more kibble before bedtime but not too much.

This is my experience with my cats but this probably won’t work for all cats. I am curious, though, if anyone else feeds their cats a variety and how do they do with it?

Cat Food Too Good to Buy


I have been buying our cats the same canned cat food for a few years now, Earthborne Hollistic’s Chicken Catcciatori, but I have been wishy washy about choosing a good dry food. Lately I settled on the Earthborne Hollistic’s brand but a few weeks ago the store was out of it so I bought another brand that happened to be on sale during the month of January. What I bought is called Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken.

cat food 20170130_cat-food_0804

I soon discovered there is a major problem with this food. The cats like it way too much. In a similar situation many years ago, our cat Tigger almost died because I bought a new food that was too good. He ate so much food so fast that a clump of it had become stuck in his esophagus and he was having trouble breathing (see story here). We had to find an emergency vet open at night. The difference between then and now is that the food I bought back then was a much lower quality. It should be noted here that I was not paid nor did I get free or discounted food for talking about this product (although I am an Amazon affiliate).

cats Floki and Chris

I don’t worry so much about another vet visit but I do worry the cats will get fat(er) eating so much food. I did buy a second bag hoping that they would get used to it and like it less, but that hasn’t happened yet and the bag is almost gone. Since I already let their food bowls remain empty for parts of the day, I think I can get around the problem buy not giving them more food They will just have to deal with having empty bowls for longer parts of the day. Another possible solution is to try a different flavor that they might not like as much.  I could also go back to the last food I gave them. What do you think?

Making Homemade Raw Cat Food: Batch Two


When I made my first batch of raw cat food, I was afraid the cats wouldn’t like it, which is why I bought only a small amount of the premix from TCfeline. I needn’t have worried because they loved it. Granted, I started with only two ounces mixed with a 5.5 ounce can of cat food, but it was a better start than I expected.

I made a second batch last Sunday and decided to photograph the process because I forgot to do that last time. This time I decided to give them variety and used beef instead of chicken. The decision was also helped by the fact that I had a $5 off coupon for two pounds of beef at Whole Foods using their app.

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I thought I would cut it into chunks instead of having it ground so I went home to do the work myself. Often, the way I envision things going are very different from the way things really go. This is one example.

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Even though I am no chef, I am still embarrassed to say that I didn’t have a knife sharp enough to cut two pounds of beef. With much effort, I was able to cut this hunk of meat into slices but then gave up.

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Instead, I pulled out my Ninja blender and stuck the pieces in there. I don’t think it was designed for grinding meat but it did a good job cutting it up and it worked quite fast too.

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A meat grinder may have been more suited to the task but I noticed one advantage to this method. The Ninja didn’t do a very good job of cutting up the gristle which made it easy to pull those pieces out of the mixture.

I then put the beef into a large mixing bowl.

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I added two egg yolks, but not the egg whites since they are bad for cats.

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The instructions then call for a cup of water (I use spring water) and a quarter cup of the TCfeline premix, which I then added to the bowl.

 

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All that was left was to mix it up.

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Put it into containers.

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And stick them in the freezer.

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I still had some of the chicken mixture left and wanted to use that while I let the beef mix freeze for at least 24 hours (three days is ideal) as an added precaution against parasites.

I didn’t fill the containers as high this time. Part of the reason was to allow room for expansion when frozen. Another reason was because I wanted to increase the raw food to caned food ratio by using the entire container per meal instead of half the container. Before taking that step, I needed to make sure they liked the beef mixture, so I continued to give them only half.

The first feeding of the beef went well, at first, but when everyone was done eating there was still food left in the bowls. That told me they weren’t crazy about the beef but as the week progressed, the amount of food left over decreased. The last couple of days there have been no food left over so, it seems, they are happy with the beef now.

I have to make another batch today so I will probably go back to chicken, or maybe turkey, if they have it. I also have to buy more of the TCfeline premix. This time I will buy a bigger container. I will also have it ground at Whole Foods which will cut the prep time in half and make my work much easier. Who doesn’t like easier?

 

Making Homemade Raw Cat Food


I have been talking about making my own raw cat food for a while now but there has always been one thing or another that stood in my way. I could have done it much earlier. I think fear that they wouldn’t eat it was one reason but there were others as well.

The first thing I had to resolve was which meat grinder to buy. I read various reviews and one stood out as a possibility; The STX-3000-TF . It is affordable and many people wrote that it does a good job grinding chicken bones but the manufacturer warns against it and that concerned me that it would void the warranty. Of course, there are very expensive grinders out there for that purpose but I don’t want to spend a boatload of money to make cat food.

Despite the warranty concerns, I was still considering buying the grinder but my other major concern was finding a good source of fresh organic meats. A Whole Foods store opened near us about a year ago and I just didn’t think about them at first for some reason. I considered another health food store nearby but they didn’t have the organs, like heart and liver, which are so important.

I put the issue on the back burner until we started thinking about adopting a kitten. I then began looking into grinders again. I soon became frustrated with that endeavor and a thought occurred to me.  I thought about Whole Foods and asked them, via email, if they had organic chicken, including organs and bones, and could they grind it for me.  I was contacted by the local meat manager and it surprised  me to learn the answer was yes to all those questions. The only condition was that I give them 24 hours notice because they “need to take certain persuasions in grinding bone in poultry.”

Now that I didn’t have to worry about the grinder or meat, I just needed to find a good source of supplements. When I first considered making food in 2010, I did not see anybody selling all the necessary supplements in one package. There also seemed to be disagreements about which supplements to use and how much. The whole thing seemed risky, like choosing the wrong religion.

A while ago I read about certain companies that provide all the nutrients a cat needs in one package, for meat with or without bones. I didn’t save any of that information but I knew they existed so I search for them again. There are now many companies that make supplement packs for people making their own cat food. Some are for with or without bones and some are for cooked or uncooked. There are also some that require organs and some that do not.

After looking at many reviews and checking the ingredients, I decided a company called TCfeline made the best raw food premix for my use. The company was making cat food premixes in 2010 but I was not aware of it then. I decided to purchase it from The Total Cat Store, which I believe is in Pennsylvania.

Just before buying, I changed my mind and decided to start with the food that I thought my cats would be most likely to eat. Therefore I chose a mix that didn’t require bones and organs. I only needed to add boneless meat.

TCfeline raw diet premix cat food

I contacted our friendly neighborhood meat manager again and asked him when organic chicken was delivered to the store. He told me Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, which was good because that means there is a high turnover rate there. My goal is to buy the best quality meat that is safe for my cats and prepare it as quickly as possible and freeze it.

The concern many people have about a raw food diet is the risk of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella and e. coli. I was concerned too, and still am. That is why I want to buy organic meat that is as fresh as possible, and then grind it, prepare it and freeze it as quickly as possible. The truth is, the majority of cases of food poisoning come from animals that are improperly raised and slaughtered, like those in a so called concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). Cats also have a digestive system that is short and highly acidic. This kills off most pathogens and gives the rest very little time reproduce in their systems.

Parasites are another common concern but I don’t recall ever reading about this being a problem. It seems that parasites are mostly found in the intestines of prey animals. Since we don’t feed intestines to our cats, the risk is pretty low. Freezing lowers the risk even more because it is known to kill at least some of the parasites.

I decided Sunday was a good day to start so I went there on Sunday afternoon and spoke to someone in the meat department. He asked me if I wanted white meat or dark meat. That was something I didn’t consider. He said the dark meat had more fat than the white meat. I didn’t know if a little extra fat was bad for a cat. I hoped it wasn’t because the dark meat was about half the price of the white meat. I decided that variety was good so I bought a pound of each, which, if my memory isn’t too faulty, averaged about $10 per pound. I planed on cutting it in small chunks but Rose thought having them grind it would be better. I thought a little chewing would be good for them but I agreed that this first batch needed to be as easy for them to accept as possible.

I also bought fresh, organic eggs while I was at Whole Foods because the premix no longer has dried eggs in it’s ingredients. According to The Total Cat Store website, the owner “could not continue to buy dried egg yolk powder for the premix because all that was available came from battery caged hens. She could no longer support such treatment or behavior towards chickens and now provides a product that will ‘be free’ of all animal cruelty.”

I believe it was this statement that convinced me to spend a little extra money and buy this product over another that I was considering. There are good, caring business owners out there and good deeds are not always a marketing gimmick. That fact was confirmed to me when I started working at my current job. They make herbal health products and the owner goes out of the way to make sure all of the ingredients are the best quality possible.

When I got home I put the meat in a large mixing bowl along with two egg yolks (raw egg whites are bad for cats). I only bought one sample package to try and was about to dump it into the mix when I decided to read the directions first. Fortunately I did because there was enough in the package for three batches.

I measured out the appropriate amount and mixed everything up well. I then started scooping it into four ounce containers that I bought for this purpose. It was at this point that I remembered that I wanted to photograph the entire process.

That didn’t go as planned but here are pictures of the finished product.

TCfeline raw diet premix cat food - finished product

TCfeline raw diet premix cat food - finished product

I put one container in the fridge and froze the rest.

TCfeline raw diet premix cat food - finished product frozen

As you can see from one of the containers, I didn’t account for expansion and overfilled it, which caused the top to pop off. Lesson learned.

I have been mixing half a container (2 oz) with a 5.5 ounce can of cat food and they love it. I expected it to be a struggle but even Chris likes it. Usually he eats a few bites of his wet food and walks away but now he seems to spend more time at the bowl. He still walks away from it too soon but Rome wasn’t built in a day. At least he is eating a little more wet food, which I hope translates into a little less dry food. Soon I will increase it to 3 ounces, if that goes well I may start buying the smaller cans of cat food, which I don’t want to do because the cost per ounce is so much higher. I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.

I will be making another batch tomorrow and plan on using beef or turkey to give them a variety. I also need to reorder the premix soon. I may get the one that needs fresh liver, but if that tastes different, it could be a problem.

What do you think? Do you feed raw? If so, do you use a premix? Do your cats like it or do you mix it with wet food?

Tigger’s Near-Fatal Binge Eating


Tigger is no longer with us but his memory will always be here. I was thinking about Tigger today and how we almost lost him due to a new food that was so good but so bad. Let us get into the way-back machine and travel back to Thursday, March 22, 2007. Wait…No! Let’s go back about a week or so before that.

Cats Tigger and Alex

This is Tigger with his buddy Alex taken shortly before the indecent, Feb 24, 2007

cats on bed

Princess, Tigger, Abbey and Flash, Jan 28, 2007

I got a coupon for a free bag of a new cat food called The Good Life Recipe. This was back when I thought Iams was a relatively healthy cat food and that is what our cats were eating. This new food was like giving popcorn to a seagull. They loved it and ate like there was no tomorrow.

Even though I wasn’t as knowledgeable about cat food then as I am now, I knew it was too good to be good for them. I figured I would let them finish the bag. Later I would buy the small bags of it and give them out like kitty treats. It worked and it was way cheaper than real kitty treats.

Now, getting back to the story. Rose and I had met our mortgage broker after work and then had a late dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the way home. We both had our own cars so when we left I followed Rose home. I was delayed in traffic and when I got home I saw Rose’s car in the driveway with the lights on, the engine running and the driver’s door open but there was nobody in sight.

I don’t know what was going through my head at the time but I would imagine it was nothing good. Inside, Rose was frantic. Tigger was having trouble breathing and we needed to get him to a vet right away. Our kids, Chris and Nick, were just about to bring him to the vet but they didn’t know where to go so they called Rose shortly before she got home.

We didn’t know where to go either. This was before we could open our phones and ask Google. Rose drove and I held Tigger on my lap. He was really struggling to get air and I worried we would lose him.  Rose was even more worried than I because she kept repeating that he was going to die.

She called her sister, Felice, who knew of an after hours vet in Port Richey but that was too far. We headed that way anyway and I tried calling information to see if I could find one closer. At that time, information had transitioned from a real person to a worthless robot that was no help at all so we made the trip to Port Richey.

They did several tests and found that Tigger had a large blockage in his esophagus so they put a long instrument down his throat and pushed it into his stomach. We will never know for sure what that blockage was, but since he was found at the food bowl, I’m sure he ate that new food so fast that it got caught in his airway. At $500, that was the most expensive free bag of cat food in history.

Nowadays I feed them a much higher quality dry cat food that they like but not enough to binge eat it. I would get rid of it completely if not for Chris’s stubbornness about eating wet food.

So that’s Tigger’s story. I like reminiscing. I think soon I will write about how we came to adopt him and his brother, Flash.

Wysong Epigen 90 Pet Food


I have changed our cats food again. I keep discovering undesirable things about their dry kibble food and then switch to something that I think is better, only to discover that is not so good either.

I have known for at least five years that kibble is bad for them. I tried to switch them to a raw food diet and started buying frozen raw cat food but they didn’t like it. Chris was the only one who would eat it and even he was not impressed. I started mixing it with canned food and that worked until I tried to go beyond a 50/50 ratio and then they didn’t eat it. I experimented with different canned foods but it seemed that the worst quality canned foods had the best results which just seemed to work against what I was doing so I eventually gave up.

I did start feeding them more wet cat food though, eventually settling on Earthborn Holistic Chicken Catcciatori and other flavors. I give our three cats one 5.5 ounce can in the morning and another in the evening. On weekends or when Rose works from home they get a third can.

I have wanted to get rid of the dry food for a few years now and just give them wet food but Chris won’t eat the wet food. He has become addicted to the dry. I made this video two years ago,  It shows how Chris will eat very little of his food before abandoning it or allowing another cat to take it. He hasn’t changed since then. He may even be worse.

I still put dry food out for the cats, mostly so Chris won’t starve but I have been only putting small amounts in the bowls and I allow them to remain empty for a fair amount of time before I feed them wet food. My hope is that Chris will be hungry and eat more wet food but that never seems to make a difference. Lately I have been putting even less dry food in their bowls but still Chris won’t eat the wet food.

I recently started working for a company that makes herbal health products. I commented to one of the owners that one of their products might help my cat (Puck) with his skin condition. He said I should look up a Dr. Will Falconer, which I did. Dr. Falconer has several good articles on his website, most of them confirming what I already knew and some expanding beyond my knowledge.

For example, he says cats should never have dry food. This I mostly knew but he makes you realize how important it is. He talks about how a dogs tongue can curve like a spoon and lap up lots of water but cats can’t do that. They are designed to get most of their moisture from their prey, which is 80 – 90 percent water, but now eat kibble that is 10 percent water.

Another problem with dry pet food is that they all contain starch. Even a food that is grain free contains loads of starch. It is the glue they use to hold the pieces together and it is not good for your pet. Dr. Falconer recommends Wysong for dogs because it is starch-free, among other reasons. I read that it was the only starch-free, dry pet food on the market but I don’t remember where I read it.

Even though he doesn’t recommend it for cats, I picked up a bag anyway. I figured I would try to give them the healthiest food available until I can transition them off the dry food. I purchased a five pound bag of Wysong Epigen 90 for dogs and cats. Yes, this food is for both dogs and cats. That is the first time I ever saw that so it must be different.

All of our cats seemed to like the taste of the new food, so that is a start.

This is certainly not an advertisement for Wysong, nor did I get any free products but do have an affiliate account with Amazon so if you purchase anything through my link I will get a small commission (very small).  I will say that I noticed some bad reviews on the product from 2014 that were related to a change in the formula but since then all reviews have been good so I assumed any problems have been addressed. The problems at that time seemed to be intestinal related, like diarrhea, hopefully that won’t be an issue now.

My ultimate goal is to start making my own raw cat food. I need to get a good meat grinder but before I do that I need a good source of quality meats and organs that I can’t find near me. I don’t want to give them raw meat from a sick, industrial animal. There are some places that sell organic meats but I also need things like heart and liver which they don’t sell. If anyone has any ideas or comments, please enrich me.

Adjusting to a Limited Ingredient Diet


A couple weeks ago Puck visited a new vet for his over-grooming problem. The vet said it was probably partly due to stress but he was also having an allergic reaction to something. The vet recommended a Feliway Diffuser for the stress and he recommended switching Puck’s food for three months to see if the problem went away. The vet had food that I could buy but they didn’t push it on me. The dry food was $64 for an eight pound bag. I decided to try my luck at a local natural pet food store where I buy the cat’s current wet food, Earthborn Holistic Chicken Catcciatori.

The Feliway was expensive, over $50 at the pet food store, but I did find it on Amazon for Under $30 so I ordered it. The food was also expensive but getting it at the pet food store was cheaper than getting it at the vet.Limited IngredientLimited Ingredient

I needed to buy a food with a single protein that was unlikely to be in our cat’s current food. The vet suggested rabbit or bison but he did not limit it to those two. He said duck was okay but sometimes an allergy to chicken can cross over to duck since they are both fowl. The woman at the pet food store helped me and we found a dry food with rabbit as the main protein from Nature’s Valley called Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meal Formula. I shared an Amazon link to the food so you can see what it is but in this case it was cheaper to get it at the pet food store.

While the dry food was more money than normal (I don’t remember what I paid), it was not unreasonable. The Instinct wet rabbit food, however, was too much to justify buying, especially considering that I have to buy it for three cats since I don’t want the trouble of trying to separate them for meals. I don’t know the exact price but it was around $3.50 per can.

The pet food woman found another brand of rabbit food called Wild Calling: Rabbit Burrow, for $1.89 a can. That was just a little more than I was already spending on wet food so we added a few days worth of that food (about 6 or eight cans) to my order. I didn’t want to buy too much in case they didn’t like it.

Finally I picked out a cat treat that was also rabbit. This was yet another brand called Vita Essentials Freeze Dried Rabbit. The one I bought was labeled “for dogs.” It was a larger package then the one for cats but had the same ingredients. The entire order was just under $64.

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They loved the dry food and the treats, but unfortunately, they were not crazy about the wet food. When I would open a can they would all get so excited and then Frankie would give me this “What are you trying to push on us?” look.

20151219_084515After a couple of days of that I went back to the pet food store and we decided that I didn’t need to feed them just rabbit. The goal was to avoid the proteins that Puck was eating such as chicken, beef and salmon. With that in mind I bought food from a company called Mauri. They use a single protein, New Zealand sourced meat that is unlikely to be in American pet food. Their website even says it is great for pets with allergies. I bought New Zealand Unagi, Wild Brushtail, New Zealand Venison, New Zealand Hoki, and Australian Wild Kangaroo.

These are mostly pâté type foods that our cats are not crazy about but they seem to be okay with this food. Chris does not generally care about wet food, he is more of a dry food junkie (hence the girth) but yesterday he would not give up his Venison to Frankie. Usually Puck or Frankie scarf their food down and then take what is left of Chris’s food. Chris usually takes a couple of bites and is done by then anyway or he walks away when he sees another cat coming his way, but this time Frankie had to force his head into the bowl because Chris would not walk away.

20151227_Cats_516The Feliway showed up about a week later and I plugged it into the bedroom where Puck was spending much of his day. He was in a self-imposed exile until Rose’s son left the day after Christmas. I then moved it out into the living room near the door to the patio.

It’s been a couple of weeks now and Rose seems to think Puck’s fur is looking a little better. I am not sure I can see a difference yet. The vet did say it could take eight to twelve weeks because certain allergens can remain in their system for that long. If it doesn’t work, I don’t know what else we can do.

Related posts:

New Vet, New Hope

Puck’s bald spot returns

Puck’s Vet Adventure

 

A Healthy Alternative to Cat Treats


If your cats are like mine, they love their cat treats. For years I was buying very small packages of treats for three to four dollars each to help bring a little happiness to my furry friends. I’ve also known that they were not exactly a healthy food for my cats but I figured the small amount once or twice a day wouldn’t hurt them.

I have since changed my thinking. For several years I have been learning about natural health for humans and have tried to apply some of that knowledge to our cats. It has been a slow process. I spent a few years buying frozen, raw food and then struggling to get them to eat it. My plan is to buy a meat grinder and make it myself but I’m not sure that will be any more successful. In the meantime, I feed them a quality, grain-free canned food (Earthborn Holistic) and a quality, grain-free dry food (Blue Buffalo Wilderness) but I could never find a healthy treat that they all enjoyed until I stopped looking for treats.

Stella and Chewey's cat foodMy alternative was to buy freeze-dried raw cat food and give it to them without adding water. I started using Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw and then switched to Stella and Chewey’s because I could get it in a larger package which brought my cost down to about what I was paying for the unhealthy treats, perhaps even lower. The best thing is, the cats love it.

A word of caution if you plan on trying this with your cats. It is meant to be mixed with water so don’t give them more than a few dry pieces so they won’t get dehydrated. Our cats seem to drink plenty of water so I don’t worry too much about that, but some cats don’t drink enough water. If that is the case, they shouldn’t be eating dry kibble either.

Our cats like both the Instinct Raw and the Stella and Chewy’s but they prefer the latter a little more. The down side to the Stella and Chewey’s is that it breaks into pieces easier than the Instinct Raw and you end up with a bunch of crumbs when you get near the bottom of the bag.

Stella and Chewey's cat food inside bag

When I have nothing left but crumbs, I add water to it and give it to them as cat food. The reason I don’t feed it to them as their regular cat food is because it is a bit expensive to feed them that much (although it may be worth it) and, for some reason, the cats seem to prefer it dry.

Let me know what you think. Do you have a healthy alternative to treats in your home?

Meal Time


Meal time for our cats has become very predictable in our house. They all become very excited when I walk in the kitchen. Puck jumps on the counter along with Chris or Frankie until I take the can out and then whoever is on the counter with Puck jumps down but Puck remains and starts eating as soon as I put the food in the nearest bowl.

Chris takes a few bites from his bowl and then walks away. I then have to move his bowl to where he is, sometimes more than once. After a couple of minutes Puck leaves his bowl, before he finishes, and heads out to look for Chris and his bowl, just in case his food is better. When Puck approaches, Chris just walks away and lets him have it.

This is unusual for Chris, who is so dominant, but I think he is just addicted to dry food and does not care much about wet food. That is why I have been searching for a canned food that all the cats like, especially Chris. It is difficult because I want to feed them healthy but it seems they tend to shun the healthy food for the more moderate quality choices.

I was mixing raw food with their wet food but I have temporarily given up on that because too much was going to waste. I would like to get a good meat grinder and try to make the raw food myself. For now I am giving them Stella and Chewey’s Raw Freeze-dried Dinner as a treat instead of the unhealthy cat treats they were eating.

Recently I found a good quality food that is grain-free and everyone seems to like it. It is  Earthborn Chicken Catcciatori Dinner. I have not tried all the flavors but the two others that I did try (which I foolishly did not take note of) were liked by two out of three cats. I would like to find one more flavor that they all enjoy so I can mix it up a little.

Let me know what you think. Has anybody else tried Earthborn or another high quality food that your cats really like.