Wednesday, November 10, 2010

another food post & Maru and her chicken


I've said it before, I'm a huge proponent of raw food.  I think a obligate carnivore should eat meat and should stay away from carbs.


that being said, I do give my kitties dry food as "treats" cause it cheaper then buying commercial treats for eight cats

So when I foster, I do my best to give the kittens the best start in food I can.  I give them a wide variety of canned foods, and usually introduce them to raw - so at least they can recognize it as food.  In that same thread, I do the same with dry food.  I can not control where my foster kittens end up as they go back to the shelter and they are adopted out there.  I can't fathom the frustration of both the new owner and the kittens if I don't introduce them to dry and the new owners feed dry.  (btw, for those of you who don't remember the several stories I've told about dry food, kittens who I have fostered in the past who don't recognize dry food as food often use it as litter) 

Well Juno is very much into her dry food.  Not only that, but she wants the junkiest stuff possible.  Kitten chow was quite yummy, and a whole bowl was consumed in a day.  The super ultra high test premium dry food was summarily shunned.   The original bowl still sits there.

At first I went through a 3.5lb bag of kitten chow in a week.. then I brought home a 7lb bag of it, and she went through that in a week too.

So this past weekend I went to pick up even more, and there was no "kitten" food available.  Yes, I know, there is not much different about Kitten dry food and Cat dry food but the words kitten/cat, so I went in search of what was stored in the back for the cats.  I found a bag of cat chow "indoor" formula.  You know, the one covered in green food coloring?  Well at this point everyone was eating canned food very well, so I figured it would last me a while.

I brought it home, and I had no good place to store it in the kitten room (and there is no storing it in the main part of the house with Jack the treat seeking missile that he is) so I decided to open it up, and pour the whole thing directly into one of the drawers in my plastic tower of drawers I use to store medical supplies.  Juno was IN HEAVEN!! when she saw it.  She saddled right up to the draw and shoved her head right in.

I shooed her away, and filled her bowl and she proceeded to chow down.  The next morning it was empty.  So I filled it back up, that night, empty.  Every time I open the drawer to fill the bowl, she's right there trying to stick her head in to get more.

If I go through that huge bag (what, 20lbs?) in a week, I'm ... well I guess I'll just freak is what I'll do, and go to the shelter and get her another bag.  Anything to get calories into a nursing mom so she doesn't end up a bag of bones - which most do.  Although keeping weight on her with the equivalent (in my mind anyway) of cookies and ice cream isn't my idea of ideal.

Speaking of food... Bringing down pieces of cooked chicken has done wonders for Poe, getting her to come out of her shell and look forward to my "intrusions" into her room.  I thought I'd give it a shot with Maru.  She isn't as shy as Poe was, but she was more into self play then interacting with me.  So I tried to offer her a piece, and since I was "shoving" something at her, she backed away.   I couldn't sneak up on her to get her to smell it, so I nabbed her and put a small piece in her mouth.  She immediately spat it out.  Juno smelled it and came over and snatched it up (so she likes lowbrow dry food and cooked chicken breast, she has diverse tastes!) I tried to shoo her away, but that worried Maru, and she went and hid again.  So I started offering pieces to Poe, and let Maru watch.  Maru watched Poe and Maxie get chicken, so she became intrigued.  She tried to sniff it with out getting tooooo close.  Every time I tried to offer it to her, she took a step back.  So more pieces to Maxie and Poe.  More interest from Maru.  At this point she was on the base of the cat tree, and so I hid most of my hand behind it, and offered the chicken around the post.  That worked.  I got a lick, then a nibble.  She was still unsure.  More chicken to Maxie and Poe, more offerings to Maru.  after about three licks and nibbles, I finally got her to eat a bigger piece, and this time she realized she really liked it and she was NOT about to share, as she growled at Maxie when she came in for a sniff.  I couldn't help but laugh.  I know it is strange, but I do love little growl-y kittens.  I haven't gotten any ferals this year, so this is the first I've heard it.  I wanted to snatch her up and cover her in kisses, but she was enjoying her chicken so I let her have it.

9 comments:

  1. We feel lucky that we found a holistic vet who taught our Mommeh about nutrition. We usually alternate between raw medallions (chicken, beef, rabbit, bison or venison) about 5 days a week, and good canned food 2 days a week. Our current favorite is Weruva Mack and Jack. I am crazy for it! My Mommeh is sad that I ate dry food for the first few years of my life, but she didn't know better then. Your kittens are lucky!

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  2. HI I just came over from the Cat Blogosphere to meet you! And oh I have to say I sympathize about the junk food preference. I have tried to switch my cats to healthier food - they love the dry crunchy stuff that is pretty good (blue buffalo - I haven't been able to get the totall grain free they like lately for some reason) but for canned or raw - forget it. They won't even consider raw (even the young ones who didn't have a ton of canned experience) and even when I try the healthier (and preferably grain free) canned they won't eat it. They just prefer the junky canned (it is my own fault - when their older brother got sick I did switch them to grain free and they ate it, but then when he wouldn't eat it and was loosing I got desperate I got the less healthy stuff and he went crazy for it - and so did everyone else - at least they are back up to fancy feast from the even worse stuff). I am lucky because they do eat the healthy crunchy but oh I wish they would try it when I get them the raw stuff. I can't hate on the less healthy too much, because my cats growing up ate it and lived to be 20+, but still I wish they ate better!

    Anyway, sorry to ramble - if you get the chance please stop by to meet us all at House of Cats - we are doing a commentathon tomorrow to help out shelter cats through the Santa Paws drive - every comment will get a 25 cent donation from us!

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  3. We stopped by from the CB and wanted to follow you so we can learn more about you guys and become friends...Our Mommy just started a new job, so we will usually comment on the weekends, but wanted to meet all you beautiful kitties today...xoxo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

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  4. I also came over from the CB to meet you. I sympathize with you about trying to get cats to eat healthy and failing. Herman has a sensitive stomach and the really healthy canned food makes him barf, so he gets Fancy Feast, but I do give him some high quality dry food and he likes that, as well.

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  5. Me too, I came over from that cat blogosphere as well. I heard you were serving chicken!!!

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  7. We came by from the CB too. Nice to meet you. We all loves chicken here.

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  8. Thank you for putting so much effort in with these kittens. The work you do humbles me.

    When my husband adopted our cat he tried to feed him raw and canned food but he wouldn't touch a bit of it. Even now he will only pick at it. So it's kibble for us, unfortunately. I wonder if that has to do with what he ate as a baby.

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  9. Hi Kristine,

    it absolutely has to do with what she ate as a kitten. Cats have a very small window to learn what is food, and it lasts about as long as mom is bringing home something for them to eat. It helps them learn what is edible in their environment. You can help an older cat adjust to new food, but it takes some patience. The website I linked above (http://www.catinfo.org) has some great tips for transitioning a kitty to a new food.

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