Tag Archives: diet

Another Change in Our Meal Plan


Chris’s addiction to kibble has always been a real problem. I have not eliminated kibble because he eats very little wet food, even when faced with starvation. Instead, I buy the highest quality kibble that I know of, a brand called Rawz, and try to keep it to a minimum. I have also been giving them homemade raw cat food twice a day that I make using chicken and a premix from a company called TC Feline.

The problem has always been getting Chris to eat the homemade food, or any wet food. I usually give him about half of what I give Frankie and Flokie, who both love the homemade food, but typically he only eats about half of what I give him before one of the other cats come and take it away from him. Sometimes he leaves his food before anyone shows up and I have to follow him around with his plate. I might also put some on my finger and feed it to him like a baby. That usually works once or twice before he turns his head and refuses to look at my finger.

Not long after I feed them, Chris is hungry and wants dry food but the bowls are empty, so he lies down next to the bowls and talks to anyone that will listen.

Sorry about the quality but I accidentally under exposed it.

My wife and I joke that he is “holding vigil at the food bowl.” When this doesn’t work he comes and annoys me in hopes that I will give up and put food in his bowl. Sometimes it works.

Lately he has been eating even less of the homemade food. Sometimes he wouldn’t take even one bite. I did not want to stop giving them the homemade food because it is the healthiest option and Frankie and Floki love it, but I did want Chris to eat something besides kibble, so I decided to split the difference. I decided to give them a can of food in the morning and the homemade food in the afternoon.

Since Chris is also picky about canned food I decided to go back to a food I found after much experimentation years ago that seems to satisfy everyone. It is a food from Earthborn Holistic called Chicken Catcciatori. This is the most universally accepted canned food I have found that is also somewhat healthy. While it is not as healthy as homemade, it is better than kibble.

Please note that the above link and that of the Rawz food are Amazon affiliate links. I included them because there is a lot of information about the products on Amazon but I would recommend that if you are interested, check your local pet supply store first because both products are overly pricey on Amazon.

It has been over a week and I can report that Chris is eating a fair amount of the canned food. Not as much as I would like but much more than he was eating before. He is even eating slightly more of the homemade food. Perhaps he just needed the variety.

The Failure of Puck’s Special Diet


Puck has had a problem with his skin since not long after we moved to our new home at the end of May. The first vet said he was having a reaction to flea bites, even though she could see no fleas and gave him a flea treatment as well as steroids and antibiotics.

That didn’t work and I didn’t want to subject him to more drugs so I put off doing anything for a while and finally brought him to another vet who said he thought it was a combination of nervousness and an allergy, possibly a food allergy. The only way to know was to put him on a 90 day limited ingredient diet that did not contain the proteins that he was already eating, such as chicken, beef and salmon.

I bought a Feliway diffuser to help with the stress and changed his food. The vet wanted me to give the diet 90 days to work because it could take that long for the old proteins to leave his system but after about five weeks Puck was making no progress and actually seemed like he might be getting worse.

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I decided to abandon the diet early and try something else. Of course, I didn’t know what to try and thought very hard about what could be different about our new home. The only thing I could think of was the water.

We had bottled water in our other house and I gave the cats spring water in two of their three water bowls. The third was a larger bowl in the back room that was mostly in case something unforeseen kept us from coming home for a night or two. When we moved, I decided to not keep the water delivery service and instead I would buy a Big Berkey Water Filter. They are close to $300 with the Fluoride filter, which we couldn’t afford at the time since the cost of moving was so great.

Since then, something was always more important to spend our money on, so I am still buying water by the gallon at the supermarket. Since that is such a hassle, I have been filling the cat bowls with tap water. I know, that sounds selfish to be drinking spring water while the cats have tap water but most of it gets dumped out every morning and I always thought it was temporary. So a week or so ago I started filing their bowls with spring water.

Another thing I wanted to try was to eliminate cleaning chemicals, at least for a while, after learning that some cats are allergic to them. I tried this before and even have a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water under the sink but Rose is one of those people who thinks the smell of chemicals is a sign that the house is clean.

To my surprise, she was willing to go along with the chemical free cleaning so last week I cleaned the floors with vinegar and water. When she came home she immediately commented on how the floors didn’t feel right. They felt like floors to me. I don’t know what she was talking about but the next day she re-moped the floors with a nice, comforting, harsh chemical. So much for that idea.

It has been over a week that the cats are off the tap water and I sometimes look at Puck and think he is looking better and sometimes I’m not sure. I guess I will know in a few weeks. Wish us luck.

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