Tag Archives: feeding

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?

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Seven Days of Ferals


Lately, I have been taking pictures of the feral cats at work almost every morning when I feed them. Of course, this isn’t everyday because I work four days a week, sometimes five. Also, there are not always cats around when I put food out, but I wanted to share with you some of the pictures I have taken recently.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 – These two usually hang out together but not always.

Feral Cat

 

Thursday, March 3 – I often see this one waiting under the palm tree when I arrive at work.

Feral Cat

 

Monday, March 7 – The cat to the far left of the picture below is the shyest of the three and is difficult to photograph because he is usually, but not always, too far away.

Feral Cat

This one is the easiest to photograph.
Feral Cat

 

Tuesday, March 8 – There seems to be a territorial dispute here even though I put down two piles of food.

Feral Cats

 

Wednesday, March 9 – Everyone was around for their picture that day. I especially like the photo of the gold cat.

Feral Cat Feral Cat Feral Cat

 

Thursday, March 10 – The bulls-eye tabby sometimes is waiting along the fence about 100 feet away when I arrive while the gold cat is waiting closer. After I go inside to get their food, she moves in closer.

Feral Cats Feral Cat

I think he was talking to me here, telling me to hurry up.Feral Cat

 

Friday, March 11 – I put food down and then stayed where I was and called this cat to come to me. I could tell part of him wanted to but he wasn’t quite ready for that so I backed away.

Feral Cat

Well, that is how my morning at work starts. What do you think?

Three Feral Cats Now Wait For Breakfast


For over a month now a tabby cat that I have called “My Little Buddy” has been waiting for me almost every morning when I get to work. I don’t feel that name fits that cat anymore because I get the feeling that she is female. I’m not sure why I think that, perhaps it is because she reminds me of my cat Abbey, shy but not fearful. I feel like I need to name them all but without knowing their sex, it is difficult.

Until a few weeks ago, three cats would come around to eat but only the one tabby would be there waiting for me. A fourth cat joined the group a few weeks ago (See There’s a New Feral in Town) and about two weeks ago the white and gold (ginger) cat joined the regular breakfast crew.

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Do you see the second cat in the grass?

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Sometimes now the gold cat is close and the tabby is in the distance and doesn’t come closer until I put the food out. I am not sure what the dynamics of their relationship is yet. I do know that the gold cat is the least fearful of humans, or at least me, and lets me get pretty close before backing away.Feral catFeral cat

A week ago the new Tabby was there waiting for breakfast when I got to work and I have seen him once or twice more while I was putting food out.


Feral CatFeral Cat

The pictures above are screen shots from a video that was too shaky to show here. I noticed the other three cats are ear-tipped but I did not see it on this one until I looked at the video. I did manage to put together another video that is not too shaky, although it could be better.
 

There’s a New Feral in Town


I have been feeding the feral cats near my work for a few months now and I thought I had the social structure figured out until this week. I’m starting to think that the inner workings of a feral community is as complicated as a human community.

Here is what I thought I knew: Cat number one, who I will just refer to as my little buddy, has been the reason I continue to put food out. He (or she) is the only one that comes around consistently. Almost every morning I can expect to see my little buddy waiting for me to bring out food. I have recently learned he hangs out near the tire store about 100 yards to the south. Sometimes when I pull into the parking lot, I will see the outline of a cat’s face and ears in the distance. I then go inside, grab some food and come back out.

Feral cat

By then he has moved closer and he waits for me to put the food down. I usually put it on a Verizon box that makes a good platform. He then waits for me to go back into the building. Once I close the door he moves to the food. Occasionally, one, or both, of the other two feral cats that I know of will be around. One is a gold and white cat and the other is white and black. I determined these cats are friends or mates because when I first saw them, one ran away toward the other and they both disappeared behind the building to the north together. If they are around, my little buddy will submit to the other cats.

20150807_Feral cats_895 Feral Cat

Lately, instead of bringing out a handful of food, I bring the entire bag. If I see another cat I will put an extra handful of food behind the dumpster so both cats can eat.

The other day I did not see another cat so I put out one handful of food and went inside. I watched the cat head toward the food and then suddenly stop when he reached the dumpster. I assumed another one of the two feral cats showed up to eat the food so I grabbed the bag and went out to put some food out behind the dumpster. To my surprise, I saw a cat that I had not seen before. That means my little buddy is shy and submissive to all cats.

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Thursday, when I brought out food I saw my little buddy to my right and the new fellow to my left, near the Verizon box. I first put a handful of food behind the dumpster and when I did the gold cat ran out from behind there toward my little buddy. So much for knowing who is friends with whom.

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I made sure there was plenty of food for everyone and went inside.20151014_Ferals_011

Yesterday I saw the new cat to the north and my buddy to the south but when I came out there was the gold cat waiting for me, who turned out to be far less timid than I originally thought. I put out three piles of food and the gold cat ate all of it. The other two cats never showed up. I put more food out but it didn’t get eaten before I left.

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I guess I will never understand what is going on in the mind of my feral cats but at least I know what is going in their stomachs.

Feral Waits for Me


When I first started feeding the feral cats at work, I never saw them, I just saw they ate the food. There are three cats that I know of but one in particular shows up regularly after I get to work.

I always look for him when I get there but usually I don’t see him until I go inside, put my lunch in the fridge and then come back out with a handful of food. That is when I see his head poking out from a mound of grass or somewhere else not too far away but far enough to be safe.

Feral cat

 

Lately he has been getting bolder and I have seen him waiting behind our dumpster, which is a lot closer than usual. So far I have seen him that close twice and just a little farther a couple of more times. I can’t help but wonder if he was there waiting when I pulled into the parking lot and I just didn’t see him or did he move in that close during the three minutes it took to go inside and come out again.

Feral cat

September 2

Feral cat

September 23

Wherever he is, he waits for me to go back inside and shut the door. I usually leave it open a crack and watch him walk toward the food as soon as the door is shut. The front door is a fair distance away and it is not in a sight-line to the food but he still waits until I am inside and the door closes.

Thursday the ginger and white cat was there instead of my usual little buddy, but he stayed a bit farther away. It is possible the ginger intimidates the other one but I don’t know that for sure. The funny thing is, he waits for me to go inside and shut the door just like the other one.

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This picture is from August. I didn’t have my camera Thursday.

I hope these kitties won’t be upset with me when I return from vacation.

Feral Cat Update


Since my last post on the subject, I have seen the feral cat that has been eating the food I put out at work two or three more times. It is strange that I put food out for a month or more without seeing who was eating it, but now I see him almost every day I am at work. I call it “him” because it sounds better than “it” but I don’t know the sex of the cat. I know there have been other cats in the area. One even looks like a skinny Chris, but they have either moved on or are much shyer than my new friend.

The last time I pulled into the driveway at work, he was nearby. It almost seemed like he was waiting for me. I quickly went inside for the cat food, put a handful in the usual place, backed away to a safe distance, set my camera to “video” mode and waited for him to move to the food, but he didn’t move. He stood there waiting for me to leave. It was just as well. The camera lens had fogged up due to leaving the air condition truck to the warm, humid Florida outdoors.

I walked inside my work and wiped the fog off the camera lens. I then looked out the door to see he was no longer in sight. I walked outside and quietly walked to the edge of the building while zooming out the telephoto lens. I peeked around the corner and saw him eating the food I put out. I then pointed the camera in his direction and got off a couple of shots. I even made a noise so he would turn around and look. People driving by must have thought I was some weird voyeur or something.

Feral Cat

Feral CatI can’t wait to see if he is waiting for me on Monday. Maybe I should bring him a treat like sardines or something. What do you think?

Feral Cats at Work


We have feral cats that hang out behind where I work. I don’t see them very often and when I do it is from a distance. There is a large fenced in area that has been abandoned for about a year now, although the cats have been there much longer. Because seeing the cats is rare, I thought there was no colony of cats, just a few loners who’s territories intersect near my work. If there was a colony, I thought, my work is at the outside of their territory.

About a month ago I saw a cat walking the perimeter of the fence behind my work and I thought maybe the cat has a routine. As an experiment, I brought some food to work and put a handful near the fence, on a plastic Verizon cover. By the end of the day the food was gone so I decided to continue to put food out.

I don’t want to feel responsible for these cats because I only work four days a week, but I thought a handful of food three times a week would be more like a treat for them. I have been doing that for a month now, never seeing the cat, or cats, that have been eating it.

Yesterday morning, to my surprise, I went out with the food and surprised a beautiful feral cat that was walking across our parking lot. I don’t remember if it was the same cat I saw last month, but it could be. It immediately ran to the tall grass to take cover. I said some friendly words to it and then set down the food and went back inside, but I peeked out the door and watched the cat walk toward the food. I then quietly walked back outside and saw the cat eating the food I put out.

Feral cat

Later I went out again to empty the trash and saw the cat not far from the dumpster, watching me. He made no attempt to run away as a dumped the trash inside. 20150706_Feral cat_1809I went back inside and about ten minutes later I decided to bring out another handful of food. My hope was that the cat would see me as a friend, but when I got outside, a man on a riding lawn mower was outside and, of course, the cat was gone.

As I edited these pictures, I noticed the cat had its ear tipped, which means he is probably part of a TNR program. If that is the case, perhaps there is a colony nearby and perhaps someone is looking after them. I hope so.