New Adventures in Cat Parenting
Recently I stumbled across this fantastic MetaFilter comment by a veterinarian advocating feeding your cats ONLY canned/wet food. The Snook and I discussed whether it would be a good thing to do for our furballs. They’ve both had UTIs, so anything that gets them ingesting more water is a good thing. The only thing we’ve ever fed them has been Friskies, and they both seem to like that. Amy begs for the occasional bit of chicken fat or bacon rind, but Petey’s never shown any interest in meat or human food. (We even put out raw chicken wings for him a few times, but it’s like he didn’t even know what to do with them.) Anyway, a couple weeks ago I saw that the grocery store had a sale on a case of cat food pouches. I checked the ingredients to make sure that it was high in protein and real meat, which it was. “Why not?” I went for it. We’ve been augmenting their daily food ever since.
We started with just a tablespoon of the meat. Amy woofed it up before Petey even got a sniff. For the first few days, that was the biggest problem – we couldn’t get Petey to eat any because Amy would get to it first. We eventually resorted to locking her in the bathroom so we could try to get him to eat some. Eventually he seemed to realise it was good stuff. Now we’re up to giving them a whole pouch each morning. I divide it into two bowls so they don’t have to fight. We’re still giving them dry food as well, but a smaller amount. The really weird thing is that they both seem to LOVE the gravy. Like, they’ll lick all the gravy out of the bowls and leave the meat chunks. They’ll eventually eat most of the meat, but only if the dry food is gone. Still, getting more water into them is a good thing, right? And I’m sure they’ll eventually transition all the way to the wet, as long as we keep restricting the dry.
To my surprise, we’ve seen some immediate behaviour changes! Especially in Petey. He is being way more playful and affectionate, even going so far as to rub my legs while I’m prepping his breakfast. (Previously he’d never come into the kitchen while we were in there.) Last night we even got him to chase the laser pointer, which is something he’d shown no interest in before. He’s actually behaving like a normal cat instead of nervous, socially-awkward ‘fraidy cat! Amy also seems to be a little more energetic and demanding of cuddles. The experiment is going so well that I picked up another case of the food while it’s on sale. I’ll keep you posted…