Saturday, January 22, 2011
Not a cat dietitian ...
I love nutrition. I went to school to study it, I work in nutrition, I read about nutrition, I practice good nutrition. Nutrition is a big thing in my life (and not just because I eat). However, when I say this, I mean HUMAN nutrition ... not feline nutrition.
As of late we have been having feeding problems with our two cats, Mowgli & Bagheera. Bagheera is a 7.5 year old black, short-haired, timid kitty, and Mowgli is a 2 year old, calico, short-haired, energetic monkey of a cat. When we got Mowgli as a kitten, we wanted to be able to feed them the same food, so we found a Canadian-made dry food that is good for cats and kittens alike. They were fine on this food for quite some time, but then Mowgli started having blood in her stools. We attributed it to possible IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and tried adding some wet canned cat food into the diet. Well, Bagheera started sneaking Mowgli's deluxe wet food, so we ended up giving them both a combo of wet and dry food. Wet & dry in the morning, and just dry at night. Breakfast when we eat breakfast, and dry food when we eat dinner.
Since the birth of JC and moving to our new house, the cats have become much more demanding. Bagheera, aptly nicknamed "Bug," SCREAMS at us as soon as my husband arrives home from work. She insists that she must be fed her dinner when he gets home rather than when we eat dinner (grrrr ...). Mowgli has started to come prancing into our bedroom at ~5:30 am most days, mewing and bouncing up on the bed, begging for breakfast. They are driving me NUTS!
We've tried pushing off their feeding times so that they don't associate feeding with us getting out of bed or arriving home, but it's a long process and I don't think we've ever given it a fair trial. Maybe we should try again and try harder?
On the flip side, I tried to research feline nutrition for a few minutes this morning, and now it looks like we shouldn't be feeding them dry food at all! Which makes sense, really ... why are we feeding cats highly processed, dehydrated pellets? Would I recommend that we (humans) all consume a diet exclusively made up of highly processed breakfast cereals??? CERTAINLY NOT! So what are we to do? Do I have to buy a meat grinder and start grinding up raw meat for our kitties? Yikes! I don't know anymore.