Tag Archives: Cats

Our Complicated Feeding Routine


Over the years I have been tinkering with the way I feed our cats but the tinkering has mostly stopped and a routine has set in. I am including links to many of the products I use so you can see details about them. Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links but I do not recommend buying pet food from Amazon if you can find it locally because Amazon tends to be overpriced when it comes to pet food.

Here is a photo of all the foods I have right now, although sometimes the brands will change based on availability and price. If a high-quality brand is on sale I may pick up some cans or a bag to try.

For breakfast, they get one 5.5 ounce can of Earthborn Holistic Chicken Catcciatori. Amazon sells a case of 24 for $50, I buy it locally for $1.79 per can which is less than $43. Plus, I get ten percent off when buying a case. The downside is they don’t always have what I want. The last time I shopped there they were out of the Chicken Catcciatori which is why I have none in the photo. They seem happy with other flavors though but I stick with mostly poultry flavors.

I am not I big fan of dry cat food but Chris loves it. The main reason I keep giving it to them is that I have a hard time getting Chris to eat his wet food, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Shortly after breakfast Chris wants dry food and will annoy me until he gets it. I resist for a while and then get up and do something else, like clean the cat dishes, so he doesn’t think the annoying behavior works, and then I will give him, and Frankie and Floki, a few pieces of Stella and Chewy’s. In this rare instance, Amazon’s price is the same as my local price.

I like Stella and Chewy’s because it is essentially a freeze-dried version of a raw meat diet. I would replace the dry food with Stella and Chewy’s except for two reasons. It is more expensive, although not by much if you add water to it, and it might be dehydrating if they eat too much of it dry. They do like it with water added to it but they like it better dry. Plus, it is more convenient that way. Dry kibble is also dehydrating but I suspect slightly less so. I have not researched it so I don’t know that for sure.

They are usually satisfied for a half-hour or so and then Chris starts bothering me again. Sometimes he lies by the empty food bowls and talks to me whenever I walk by. So again, I hold out as long as I can and then give him a little dry food. I usually buy the Rawz brand of dry food. This is one of the best on the market but I sometimes switch it out for another brand, usually when I need food but can’t get to the store that sells it so end up at Petsmart or Petco. When I put down dry food, Frankie and Floki come to get some too. I give them just enough so that the bowls are empty in less than five minutes. Usually, Chris eats his and then takes over Frankie’s bowl. I put Floki’s bowl on the table so that is protected from the Kibble Monster.

I then take care of what chores I have left and get ready for work. When I leave I give them five more minutes worth of food if Rose is home. If she is not home that day I double it. Sometimes I even put food in their feeder ball if Rose is away and I know I will work a full day. The feeder ball, or whatever it is called, lets them work for their food. I don’t always put it in the same place so they have to find it. This ensures that all the kibble won’t be eaten by a certain piggy before I make it out the driveway.

If Rose is home, or if it is the weekend, they get one small can of Fancy Feast or a can or package of another low-cost wet cat food. I use a lower-cost brand because the smaller cans are way more costly per ounce than the bigger cans and I do not have a money tree growing in the backyard. I read somewhere that the worst wet food is better than the best dry food. I agree with this in principle but I think there are some bad wet foods out there that I would not buy. For example, years ago I bought a box of what I am pretty sure was Meow Mix. One of our cats puked it up and we were left with a stain on our carpet that we could not clean because of the food coloring. The fact that it was puked up was another strike against it.

When I buy Fancy Feast, I never buy the pate and I try to keep it to poultry flavors but I sometimes buy fish or beef just for the variety. Our cats prefer sliced or gravy lovers the most. This week I have a brand called Natural Balance which I happened to see on sale so I picked up several packages. Our cats really like it but I wouldn’t get it at full price for their mid-day snack.

Sometime after their lunch and before dinner, I will give them just a small amount of dry food or Stella and Chewy’s to hold them until dinner, which used to be after 5:00 but since Rose is usually home and I don’t work full time anymore, dinner has changed to between 3:00 and 4:00, depending on how annoying Frankie or Chris become.

For dinner, I feed them homemade, raw food made from ground chicken. You can read about how I make it here. I tried turkey and beef but they only like the chicken. I buy the supplement powder from a company called TC Feline. They are a Canadian company that has the best premix that I have found. You can buy the original premix where you just add your own meat, liver, and eggs, or you can buy the premix that already has the liver. That is what I usually get because it is easier but I sometimes like adding my own liver because it adds some health benefits. I just have trouble finding good liver since I moved farther away from Whole Foods.

I keep the raw food in plastic containers in the freezer and make sure I have three in the refrigerator at all times. I then take the top container, which is about the same size as a large can of cat food, and warm it up in the microwave for twenty seconds. While I am doing that, I grab a frozen container and put it on the bottom of the two remaining containers. I know that heating raw food is not good but twenty seconds just takes the chill off. If I have time and remember to do it, I will instead place the container in warm water for ten minutes.

The raw food is the food the cats like best and usually lick the bowls clean. A couple of years ago that was the only wet food that I gave them but they got tired of it and I ended up throwing a lot of it away. So even though I would like to give them only raw food, I have to play the hand I was dealt.

Sometime after dinner they get more Stella and Chewy’s and after that a little more kibble. The bowls are usually empty when we go to bed so I put just a little more dry food in them to end the day.

A word about variety: I know the conventional wisdom is to feed cats the same food or they will get sick. They say if you want to change their food you have to do it gradually. I have no evidence one way or the other but I believe it is a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. I think the reason they get sick is because they have been eating the same food not because they switched. In other words, eating the same food has made them overly sensitive. I suppose it may be related to the fact that kids raised in a too clean environment develop allergies. I am certainly not giving you medical advice since it is just speculation on my part, but I do think it is something you should think about, and research, if you want to try giving your pets a variety. I will say this, none of our cats seem to be negatively affected by the various foods that they get. Frankie does puke sometimes but he has been a puker since we first adopted him and it seems more related to how much he eats and not what he eats.

What do you think? What does your pet’s diet look like?

This Shelter Cat is a Player


I took a couple of videos while I was at the shelter last and forgot about them until yesterday when I copied them from my phone to my computer.

There were a couple of friendly black cats at the shelter that day and this one wanted to play with a cat hanging out in a tunnel but the cat just wasn’t in the mood or he was a bit too nervous to come out with me in the room. If I remember right, that cat wasn’t exactly afraid of me but he was a little leary of me.

The black cat was pretty funny and he worked on getting the cat out of the tunnel for quite a while before I thought to start recording.

A Day at the Shelter


I have not been volunteering much lately at the SPCA because of my job. I work part-time but I rarely know in advance when I will be off. Usually, I come in in the morning and work until everything is done. Sometimes that is all day and sometimes not. When I do work all day I often have to call the next morning to see if and when I should come in. The shelter likes people to sign up a day in advance but I can’t do that so the few opportunities I have to work I sign up a few hours before the shift starts.

Before Covid I had a regular shift every Friday from 1-4 as an adoption counselor. Back then I had a different job and was able to do that. Now I just go in when I can. Last week I happened to have Tuesday off, which is a day the shelter is closed. I decided to go in as what they call a “Cat Cuddler.” It is what I did when I first started volunteering. The idea is to just pay attention to the cats. Many cats need to have human interaction. I think because they like it, number one, and number two, they become less afraid of humans and more easily adopted. The last one applies to some cats but not all. Some are just naturally social or they come to the shelter already socialized.

When I arrived I went first to the isolated cats, which are cats that just had surgery or cats that need to be seperated for some other reason.

The first cat I saw looked like a Persian, which I have never seen at the shelter before. I opened her cage to get a better photo but she kept trying to escape and wouldn’t stand still.

The shelter was less than half full but there was still plenty of cats for adoption. Many were mellow adults.

There were a couple of black cats that were very friendly. I took many photos of them being friendly but none were good enough to show.

Then there were the youngsters.

This one had a littermate but it was difficult to get a good photo of both of them.

See what I mean.

Both of those kittens were shy, as was this one.

Lying in their litter box is a sign of stress and another reason that human contact is so important.

A couple of the young ones were not shy at all.

Then there were the in-between cats. The cats that were not shy but also not eager to come out for attention.

It was nice to get back to the shelter and I am looking forward to my next opportunity to go back.

Photo Friday: Double Bed


I saw Chris and Floki sleeping together in the same bed yesterday and had to get a photo.

I think it is a great picture except the image quality is disappointing. As soon as I downloaded it to my computer and looked at it I decided I should go get my good camera and try again, but when I got up I noticed that Floki had already abandoned his position. I guess I made him nervous taking pictures. Oh well.

At Least There Was a Box


Our water heater, which we just discovered was installed almost twenty-two years ago, developed a small leak and needed to be replaced. A maintenance guy from one of Rose’s properties came on Saturday to help do that. Of course, no home project at our house ever goes smoothly. In this case, the floor was bad and needed repair.

I shut the cat’s in the Florida room at 10:30 in the morning and they were stuck in there almost all day. I think it was after 6:30 when I decided that our multiple trips to Home Depot were over and everything else that needed to be done could be accomplished with the front do shut, so I let the cats into the house. Of course, the huge box in the kitchen caught their attention.

It was actually standing upright first when Frankie jumped inside of it. I tried to coax Frankie to jump out but he wasn’t interested so I turned it on its side.

Chris took it over like the boss that he is so I had to pull out the garbage for him.

Floki enjoyed it from the top.

It was finally finished at around 9:15 which probably means we set a record for longest water heater installation. We felt very bad that we kept the guy from his family for so long but we did pay him more. I also felt bad that we couldn’t keep the box for the cats but it just took up too much room. At least it was fun for them while it lasted.

More Outside Adventures


I want to first thank everyone who wished me well during my Covid adventure. My wife and I are fine now and I went back to work yesterday.

While I was out sick, Frankie hounded me to take him outside. I finally gave in and took him out on Sunday. It is amazing how loud he is until that door opens and then not a peep.

Once we got outside, he first had to inspect Rose’s car.

We then walked around the neighborhood, stopping at every plant that smelled interesting.

When it was Chris’s turn to go outside he did his usual happy roll.

It didn’t take him long after that to find the catnip plant that I am growing.

Now that he knows it is there he will probably make a beeline for it next time he goes outside.