Friday, October 7, 2022

PLAYING CHEF TO FINICKY CATS

Some cats won't eat anything new; some want it all.

Why are cats so finicky? Or, I guess I should say, why are domesticated cats so finicky?

I mean, feral felines do just fine scrounging for scraps and hunting for mice and birds. In fact, they establish vast colonies that become problematic in cities and on islands, making it necessary for humans to trap and neuter them to reduce their number. So, why must my fat, lazy and lovable companion animals demand that I search the earth for the most select morsels of tasty delights to place in their dishes before they will deign to eat?

Now, to be fair, it’s only my younger cat, Flash, who is the picky eater. Shadow, my older cat, will eat anything. She’s lived on the streets and eats like every meal is her last. That’s the problem. She’s overweight and has health issues, so she needs “special food” (read: expensive food) to manage both.

For a while that meant actual diet food, which she happily ate, but it did nothing for the health problems. So, I switched to “fresh food” for both cats, which I buy on subscription and arrives frozen. Shadow scarfed it up, so no problem there. And it helped. She lost some weight and her health issues improved. Hurrah!

Flash, though, doesn’t like change. The transition to the new food was rough. She turned up her little nose at the new food in her bowl. I mixed it with her old food. Nope. I put salmon flakes on it. Some interest. Beef was a complete no-go. Turkey was only occasionally okay. Chicken was acceptable.

Oh, but then there was an interruption in shipments from the food supplier! (There was a mix-up with an order.) To keep the flavors and texture similar, I ground up canned salmon and chicken for the cats until the cat food folks could get back on track. All well and good; the cats ate it. The fresh food has arrived this week from the cat food supplier, but now I’m back at square one with Flash, who won’t touch the “new food” again. AAAGGH!

My daughter, whose cats willingly eat plain kibble, thinks I’m crazy. Maybe you do, too. But “free-feeding” isn’t an option for my cats, since Shadow would eat her food AND Flash’s food all at once, then throw up. I have to measure out her food in three feedings and monitor the meal so she doesn’t eat more than she should. Plus, wet food is better for elderly cats, who need more water to avoid kidney problems. Yeah, I know, the things we do for our pets!

On the other hand, my daughter’s cats aren’t the least bit friendly. They hiss and won’t let me pet them. Mine, meanwhile, like to cuddle and purr. Shadow seeks out pets from our guests, and Flash likes to play with the dogs. So maybe all that fussing over their food has some benefits, after all.

Cheers, Donna

 

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