The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: 24andfrugal on August 28, 2020, 01:00:41 PM

Title: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: 24andfrugal on August 28, 2020, 01:00:41 PM
I searched the forum for advice on cat care, but most of the posts were a few years old so I thought I'd start a new topic.

As I write, my fiance and I are two hours away from bringing our newly-adopted cat home. He is around 11, rescued from a hoarding situation. Beautiful, fluffy, cuddly, and very energetic, especially for his age. We are very excited.

My fiance has never had an animal; I grew up with cats. My family's most recent cat liked 2-3 flavors of Fancy Feast wet food, fed at breakfast and dinner, and supplemented with FF dry food throughout the day. Previously, when I was much younger, we fed our cats Friskies/Meow Mix/etc.

I've been reading a lot on the Internet the past few days and finding a ton of often confusing information. No Friskies, that's bad. Brands are being suggested that I've never heard of, along with the exhortation that "high-quality food is worth it". I agree with that, but there's a fine line between "high quality" and "overpriced for no reason". I'm trying to be a little extra careful, since our boy is on the older side.

He was eating wet and dry food in his cage at the shelter, but I don't know what his diet was like before.

Any advice, food related or otherwise, is welcome!
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Khaetra on August 28, 2020, 01:14:03 PM
I feed mine Purina One for Seniors, both wet and dry.  Costs about $14 for a 7lb bag and $20 for 24 cans on Chewy.  She likes it (which is important) and it doesn't break the bank.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: geekette on August 28, 2020, 01:24:27 PM
When we adopted our two, the rescue had them eating Pro Plan.  They've done fine on that for 10 years now, although we do give them a spoonful of canned tuna or Friskies daily.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Jacy-Lynn on August 28, 2020, 01:31:14 PM
Congratulations on your new kitty!  I, too, have a cat from a hoarding situation.  She's 7 and is a wonderful cat!  I have two cats and they and for wet food they get Friskies Pate - available at Costco - and for dry food (that only one of them will eat) they get the Costco brand dry food - which I'm pretty sure is Science Diet.  I've had several cats over the past 35 years and they've lived long, healthy lives.  I had one live to be 21 - I got her when she was 4 or 5 and I was right out of college.  She ate whatever dry food was on sale and I could apply a double coupon to.  She didn't like wet food!  Enjoy your new kitty! 
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on August 28, 2020, 01:31:39 PM
I donít have a cat anymore, have dogs now, but Iíll share my experiences. With my cat I was a pretty uneducated pet owner, did a lot of things wrong cause I cared for my cat the way we cared for cats growing up, bought them whatever was cheapest and let them do their thing. I was careless and regret that I wasnít a better pet owner. With my dogs I ďgrew upĒ and did my research, invested in training and listened to experts. Iíve gone grain free with them from a brand thatís locally produced. Itís expensive, $35 per bag. I mix that with a little wet food for coating, which I get in the supermarket. I could easily do cheaper but I think, I care about them and what they eat. I want them to have a healthy diet and feel good and have good poops. I never want them sick. Yes, itís a bit of money, but itís what I signed up for. Why give them McDonalds every day when I can afford to feed them healthy meals? Iím hoping Iím doing the right thing. I just know Iím doing a better job than what I did for my cat (who I loved very much).
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: AerynLee on August 28, 2020, 01:33:03 PM
We feed our cats Pro Plan and they have done well on it. Cats are obligate carnivores so the main thing is to make sure that the first ingredients are meat (and doesn't have the work "meal" after the type of meat since that's basically pink slime). And while higher end cat foods can seem expensive, you have to remember they're not eating a whole lot at a time so the monthly cost may not actually be too bad.
We try to give them a (tuna sized) can of salmon once a week or so since it gives their coats a nice shine
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on August 28, 2020, 01:39:34 PM
First, make sure whatever you choose he eats happily. Doesn't matter how good it is if they won't eat.

I'm way too lazy to do raw diets, and they're really hard to do properly. Anyone who doesn't think that probably isn't doing it right. Getting all the trace elements/minerals, controlling the risk of food poisoning, etc isn't actually easy. And frankly, if there's zealots advocating for something then that's a huge turnoff for me. There are people on the forum who will disagree with me. That's fine, I'm still not doing raw diets.

Re all the brands of foods - I see more recalls of the boutique brands, and extremely rarely for the big brands. The big companies have quality control and feeding studies, plus more likely to have their own factories. I don't want to hear the "but it's so good for them" unless you also have the feeding study to back it up.

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they must eat meat. Anything else in the food is a filler. Doesn't mean that filler isn't helpful for some cats, but it's still a filler. Depending on the specific cat there may be things that are problematic or they don't like. Depending on medical conditions, you might need to adjust the diet one way or the other to help.

Wet food is better for cats than dry food. Dry food is better for their teeth. But if the cat wants dry food, guess what. You're feeding dry food.

So, that's all the general stuff. All my cats have thought Science Diet/Hills was cardboard, and not the kind they like. So that's out. Royal Canin was tolerated for a while then rejected with extreme prejudice, so that's out. Sibley, before she died, would periodically reject all the food and I'd take it back to the store and tell the clerk the silly cat stopped eating it again, then go try a new brand of wet food. I went through a LOT of different brands in that period.

Dry food is Purina brand. Currently, Purina One. Though for a while I was feeding Purina Pro Plan the geriatric version. I got there because I was feeding regular Purina One, then Sibley started having problems. So I switched to Purina One mature, which worked for a while then Sibley started having problems. Then I switched to Purina Pro Plan, which worked until she died. After Sibley died, I used up what I had in the house feeding Arwen and switched back to Purina One.

Wet food I start with Fancy Feast. If that one doesn't go well, the next I try is Purina Pro Plan wet. After that, it's a game of what the cat will eat and frankly, it doesn't matter any more you just go with it.

I do a mix of wet and dry. Arwen greatly prefers dry food, and will nibble on wet food periodically. Sibley loved wet food. Current 2nd cat Rosie prefers wet food, but will eat dry food if hungry. Outside the pandemic, I'm gone during the day. They're getting dry food, then I add in wet food when I'm home.

I understand that lots of people say that the food is crap. And it might be. But I respond with well, Sibley was nearly 20 when she died. Arwen is 12 and half. Auburn went from emaciated to near normal weight before his heart killed him. And when my mom's cat developed diabetes, the vet told told her feed Fancy Feast classic, that it was just as good as the prescription food and a fraction of the price.

(Cat guide: Sibley I had for nearly 20 years, she died April 2019 of old age/heart problems. Arwen I've had for 12.5 years, she's healthy minus some asthma. Auburn was a hospice foster kitty, about 12, I took in for about 5 months until he died in November 2019 from hyperthyroidism caused heart problems. Jill, about 10, I adopted in Dec 2019, she died in May 2020 from advanced cancer that came out of the blue. Rosie, 10/12,  I adopted in July 2020 and she's the one who is making it hard to type this. Rosie has acid reflux, but different foods haven't had an impact that I can tell.)

Bottom line: pick something that is readily available in your area and a comfortable price point for you. Try it. If new kitty doesn't like it, try something else. It'll be fine. Just monitor his weight so he stays in a healthy range.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: 24andfrugal on August 28, 2020, 01:44:18 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice, please keep it coming! I'm hearing a lot of good things on Purina, so I think we will start off in that direction.

Based on previous cats, I know part of this will be directed by our kitty - they eat what they like, and they don't eat what they don't like.

For those who mix wet and dry, how often do you feed them wet? Every day, 2x per day, a few times a week?

@AerynLee , I like the idea of the can of salmon for the coat, especially as our kitty is a (not purebred) Maine Coon. Is there a particular kind you buy?
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: 24andfrugal on August 28, 2020, 01:49:03 PM
First, make sure whatever you choose he eats happily. Doesn't matter how good it is if they won't eat.

I'm way too lazy to do raw diets, and they're really hard to do properly. Anyone who doesn't think that probably isn't doing it right. Getting all the trace elements/minerals, controlling the risk of food poisoning, etc isn't actually easy. And frankly, if there's zealots advocating for something then that's a huge turnoff for me. There are people on the forum who will disagree with me. That's fine, I'm still not doing raw diets.

Re all the brands of foods - I see more recalls of the boutique brands, and extremely rarely for the big brands. The big companies have quality control and feeding studies, plus more likely to have their own factories. I don't want to hear the "but it's so good for them" unless you also have the feeding study to back it up.

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they must eat meat. Anything else in the food is a filler. Doesn't mean that filler isn't helpful for some cats, but it's still a filler. Depending on the specific cat there may be things that are problematic or they don't like. Depending on medical conditions, you might need to adjust the diet one way or the other to help.

Wet food is better for cats than dry food. Dry food is better for their teeth. But if the cat wants dry food, guess what. You're feeding dry food.

So, that's all the general stuff. All my cats have thought Science Diet/Hills was cardboard, and not the kind they like. So that's out. Royal Canin was tolerated for a while then rejected with extreme prejudice, so that's out. Sibley, before she died, would periodically reject all the food and I'd take it back to the store and tell the clerk the silly cat stopped eating it again, then go try a new brand of wet food. I went through a LOT of different brands in that period.

Dry food is Purina brand. Currently, Purina One. Though for a while I was feeding Purina Pro Plan the geriatric version. I got there because I was feeding regular Purina One, then Sibley started having problems. So I switched to Purina One mature, which worked for a while then Sibley started having problems. Then I switched to Purina Pro Plan, which worked until she died. After Sibley died, I used up what I had in the house feeding Arwen and switched back to Purina One.

Wet food I start with Fancy Feast. If that one doesn't go well, the next I try is Purina Pro Plan wet. After that, it's a game of what the cat will eat and frankly, it doesn't matter any more you just go with it.

I do a mix of wet and dry. Arwen greatly prefers dry food, and will nibble on wet food periodically. Sibley loved wet food. Current 2nd cat Rosie prefers wet food, but will eat dry food if hungry. Outside the pandemic, I'm gone during the day. They're getting dry food, then I add in wet food when I'm home.

I understand that lots of people say that the food is crap. And it might be. But I respond with well, Sibley was nearly 20 when she died. Arwen is 12 and half. Auburn went from emaciated to near normal weight before his heart killed him. And when my mom's cat developed diabetes, the vet told told her feed Fancy Feast classic, that it was just as good as the prescription food and a fraction of the price.

(Cat guide: Sibley I had for nearly 20 years, she died April 2019 of old age/heart problems. Arwen I've had for 12.5 years, she's healthy minus some asthma. Auburn was a hospice foster kitty, about 12, I took in for about 5 months until he died in November 2019 from hyperthyroidism caused heart problems. Jill, about 10, I adopted in Dec 2019, she died in May 2020 from advanced cancer that came out of the blue. Rosie, 10/12,  I adopted in July 2020 and she's the one who is making it hard to type this. Rosie has acid reflux, but different foods haven't had an impact that I can tell.)

Bottom line: pick something that is readily available in your area and a comfortable price point for you. Try it. If new kitty doesn't like it, try something else. It'll be fine. Just monitor his weight so he stays in a healthy range.

This is great advice, thank you. Like your kitties, all of ours lived to old age, including my family's last cat. She ate Fancy Feast - Tender Beef Feast, and maybe one or two others for variety every now and then. My cousin, who has a cat, experienced the same thing you did...his cat liked this one brand and flavor, so he bought a bunch from Chewy. Cat then decided he didn't like it anymore. That's typical cat behavior...they eat what they eat, they don't eat what they don't eat. In some ways it feels like having a little kid.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Frankies Girl on August 28, 2020, 02:05:08 PM
Long time cat owner. Going to echo Sibley.

TL/DR: feed a decent store brand canned food (Fancy Feast is FINE for goodness sakes!) and a good quality dry that is formulated to protect the urinary tract (Purina One) if you need to include dry food for either cat preference or human convenience.

My cats get Purina One Urinary Tract Health dry food - 1-2X a day (we have to do controlled feeds but used to leave a bowl of dry out for the cats that did not have food issues - can no longer do this). They get a third of a can of wet food 1X daily. The wet food is a local grocery store's brand - it's literally CAT DINNER brand, but it has meat as the main and hardly any filler. They are VERY healthy and 3 of them had major issues with kidney crystals and surgery for urinary tract blockage the first year we adopted them (and they were all young/ish). After switching to this diet - zero issues, shiny coats, healthy as can be.


Long version

What we have been told/learned over time: cats generally will develop either kidney issues or cancer if they live long enough. Not a whole lot you can do regarding cancer, but taking care of kidneys now is going to make sure they avoid serious issues as they age. As your adopted kitty is already a senior, making sure you're feeding enough moisture (via wet cat food) and low phos/ash formulated dry (like Purina One's urinary formula) should ensure a happy, healthy kitty.

Kidney issues are usually due to too much reliance on dry cat food. Cats aren't great about drinking water. They were meant to get their moisture from food. So feeding them a diet that has wet cat food in it is healthier for them. Even if it's Friskies or Fancy Feast. As long as it's formulated for complete nutritional needs, you're fine. I am so sick of the fru fru you don't love your cat if you're not raising your own meat and feeding them a raw diet/gold-plated cans of whatever purchased at the boutique pet stores for $50 a can partyline. It's silly. Cats do not need vegetables or grain or baby duckling meat and all the other twee things added to their food. It's just a money grab. Regular ol' chicken flavor Fancy Feast is fine if your cat likes it.

But folks like convenience, and dislike the smell, mess so dry food is kind of the norm. Remember - dry food is not the best for them - it is so you can throw down food and go on about your day without much effort. So if you're going to feed dry (and I do) get a GOOD one.

Purina One makes damned good dry cat food. We switched ALL our cats to their Urinary Tract Care dry food. If you can afford it, this and a meal of wet cat food (whatever brand) once a day likely will make sure your cat is healthy long term. It's as good if not better than the fancy vet-sold ones at a fraction of the price and my vet actually recommends that or the Purina Pro if you have money to burn.

Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: AerynLee on August 28, 2020, 02:06:48 PM
@AerynLee , I like the idea of the can of salmon for the coat, especially as our kitty is a (not purebred) Maine Coon. Is there a particular kind you buy?
We just buy the "Chicken of the Sea" salmon you can get at the grocery store (pink label)
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: SunnyDays on August 28, 2020, 02:47:29 PM
I currently have 2 rescued strays and  used to have another.  I feed them a grocery store brand (Presidentís Choice if youíre Canadian) salmon and brown rice formula.  They have all loved it.  For wet, mostly Fancy Feast, but also some Friskies and a can of tuna once a month.  Strangely they donít like real salmon.  Dry food is always available and I feed wet about 3 times a day or whenever they start doing circles in front of the fridge.  Also, real meat like chicken, hamburger, other fish etc whenever I cook some for myself.  They go bonkers over chicken liver.  Any dry food that is multi coloured is of lower quality.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: ChickenStash on August 28, 2020, 03:53:27 PM
I've been fortunate that none of my cats have been picky eaters. I usually do a measured amount of Science Diet dry food, twice a day. Occasionally they share a can of wet food or get small meat scraps from my dinner - ham is a favorite. When I lived out in the boonies, they would get to go outside during the day and kill whatever they wanted but they still came in for the dry food.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: PMG on August 28, 2020, 04:25:10 PM
OP, you should ask the shelter what brands and how much heís getting there, buy it and whatever you hope to serve long term and make a gradual shift.  Maybe keep his diet the same as the shelter for a few weeks until heís settled then over a week or so shift to the new food plan.  Cats like routine and familiarity. 

Feliway spray mimics the scent glands on a cats cheek and gives them happy relaxed thoughts. I havenít ever actually used it, but we just bought some for the vet visit.  Wish we had it when we moved our cat and he hid for three days.  Poor fellow. 

I had a Maine Coon (to some percentage, she was dropped by the side of the road). She was beautiful and smart and had such a sweet personality.  I hope your new kitty adjusts well, I am sure he will be happy being well cared for!

I might also say... it might take him time to adjust.  We just adopted a cat in November and the first few weeks were hard!  it was clear he was happy but he was just overwhelming.  I didnít like him very much.  We moved to a new house in February and that was stressful for him, but in about a week he just... settled. I tell my partner that he needed that move in order to feel secure that we were not going to leave him behind, that weíd always bring him along, or come home to him, not abandon him. Maybe I read too much into it, but even if your new bestie might be a grouchy mess for a while, but heíll be worth it. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Cgbg on August 28, 2020, 06:00:16 PM
Everyone else has given you great advice.

I had to switch up dry food last year as my kitty decided she hated the flavor or something like that. We finally settled on a brand/flavor she really likes and the local humane society took the opened bags she turned her nose up at.

Sheís a dainty eater- she gets some dry food in her bowl each morning and will snack on a few times during the day. At 5, she lets us know itís time for her half can of friskies pate.

We used to have two cats; the other one died a few months ago. He would overeat, trying to finish off her food when she moved an inch away from her food. With him gone, we free feed the dry food because she wonít overeat.

(Current dry food is acuna something or other grasslands boutique overly expensive cat food, but it takes her like 3 months to go through a 4 lb bag. Sheís dainty.)
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Frankies Girl on August 28, 2020, 06:07:49 PM
FORGOT TO ADD THIS and think it is important enough to mention:


Some others have mentioned feeding human foods - tuna/salmon either fresh or canned, or scraps like ham. It's fine in moderation as treats occasionally.

Do not feed them regular meals of this stuff tho. Canned tuna/salmon isn't nutritionally complete for cats (they need things like taurine that isn't included, not to mention way expensive vs the cat food versions) and sodium and other preservatives in things like lunchmeats may cause health issues if fed regularly.


OP probably knows this, but as the significant other did not grow up with animals, it's one of those things you may want to mention to them.

Also: milk and cream is no good regularly either. Fine for a few licks occasionally, but tummy troubles and messy poop may be in your future if they get into it often. At the very least, make sure they know cat farts after dairy is foul...   
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Rosy on August 28, 2020, 06:25:54 PM
Lifelong catlover here:).

We feed Rachel Ray dry food and alternate between Fancy Feast and Sheba wet food at present. We switch the dry food to Purina and some fancy brand that is mostly seafood every few months. The kitties seem to like a change now and then.
On holidays they get a can of real tuna in water and both of ours are crazy about a treat called Temptations that my son discovered.

Other than that some organic catnip keeps them happy.

One was a feral maybe six months old and practically dying of starvation when he showed up in our backyard. I thought he might be a hairless cat, but after feeding him a raw egg in a bit of milk every day along with some catfood he turned into a beautiful Russian Blue.
He is such a sweet loving cat, but he still enjoys insists on his freedom via the cat door and loves hunting for rats, mice and frogs at night.
He's a proud hunter named Wolfie because he has eyes like a wolf.

Wolfie showed up in the yard one day around the time that our previous two kitties were within a month of dying.

The new addition named Panda bear I inherited from my son when he quit trucking, his wife already had seven cats at the time. She is a pretty black and white with awesome green witchy eyes and fluffy white whiskers. Probably a senior of about 10 or older that my son rescued and took on the road with him. She isn't bothered by anything, but is not that keen to go outside.
He was told that she lived with an old man who passed away and then she went to the shelter but didn't get adopted for a very long time and her first adoption didn't go well, they returned her.
Probably because she turns all teeth and claws when you want to pick her up.

She likes to lounge about and be petted and her ears perked up when I called her Princess:).
If she were human I'd call her a curmudgeon - I think she's hasn't had a great life and needed a longer time to adjust.

Thankfully, those two got along from the beginning. She likes a garden walk a couple of times a day but she isn't interested in going out to hunt at night.
We have a good size property and she comes out with us into the garden but I guess she is too domesticated and maybe too old to be out on her own at night. She does love to watch the birds in the backyard ...

OP you got good advice, especially about the kitties needing to stay hydrated we even add a bit of water to the wetfood.
Other than that be patient and realize that they do need a little guidance about what is expected from them in their new household.
All kitties have their own personality, some are thickheaded and others are easily intimidated and confused about changes.
Give your new addition to the household plenty of attention and a routine and everyone will be happy.

Oh and you asked about when and how to feed. They get up with Mr. R. at five and he feeds them only dry food in the morning. They snack on that all day long. It isn't usually empty unless one of the raccoons discovers the cat door - easy to spot since they wash their food in the water bowl.
Around seven in the evening they get wet food with a bit of water along with a bit of fresh dry food.
Neither one is food-obsessed and rarely eat all their food except for the wet. 

Now whomever taught that black and white that it is time to get up and yowl like a banshee at 6:45 am every morning ought to be shot - just sayin'.   
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: PMG on August 28, 2020, 06:50:07 PM
Iím also learning a lot from this post.  Thanks yíall.  I may need to upgrade Kitty from Purina cat show to Purina Pro. 

For OP. Our cat doesnít like to drink still water, so we got him a water fountain and he really seems to enjoy it.  Iíve no idea how to tell how much he drinks or how much is enough, but we see and hear him a couple times a day, vs just ignoring still water.  Itís quiet and low maintenance, we just wash and refill it every couple days.

Another food thing I see people be lazy about is storing dry food after itís opened.  We keep it in a big Tupperware container.  And you want to keep it out of heat, no hot garage or it can go rancid and off. 

Our cat is almost due for his first check up since we got him and weíre keeping a list of questions for the vet, like how much should he weigh!? So that we donít forget, but those things areís urgent enough for a visit on their own.

Ok, by now I forget what your questions were and perhaps Iím rambling about irrelevant things.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: PMG on August 28, 2020, 06:54:07 PM
Sorry! I am spam posting. 

If your partner who hasnít had a pet is willing to do some reading and learning that would be good.  My partner needed to learn the right way to pick up a cat... how to (or how not to!) teach a cat, punishment, reward...  I regularly remind him ďCatís donít do logic!Ē

Also, cats are very allergic to lilies, and there is a whole multitude of other house plans that are allergens.  Good to check into that ahead of time!

Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: SunnyDays on August 28, 2020, 08:50:17 PM
Ah yes, Temptations - also known as Crack for Cats!

As far as still vs. running water goes, all of my cats have loved to drink from a dripping or slightly running faucet either in a sink or the bathtub.  One of them will come running from another room to watch the toilet flush.  Heís my little weirdo.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: nalor511 on August 28, 2020, 11:03:08 PM
Feeding a raw homemade diet has really seemed to improve our cats health and energy levels. Costs about $1/cat/day in ingredients, plus 1-2 hours labor every 3 weeks to make the food. https://feline-nutrition.org/html_pages/Recipe_Calculator.html . https://feline-nutrition.org/
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 29, 2020, 07:22:39 AM
One way to give them more water is to have a second food bowl. Use it for dry food with some warm water added.  The food absorbs it.  All my cats have eaten this before the dry food, and it doesn't stink like the canned food.

When I had both a cat and a dog, the cat preferred the dog's water bowl.  Maybe more space for whiskers?  I now have a humane society cat, and next time I'm at Value Village I'm going to look for a big metal dog bowl.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Rosy on August 29, 2020, 08:48:51 AM
Quote
For OP. Our cat doesnít like to drink still water, so we got him a water fountain and he really seems to enjoy it.  Iíve no idea how to tell how much he drinks or how much is enough, but we see and hear him a couple times a day, vs just ignoring still water.  Itís quiet and low maintenance, we just wash and refill it every couple days.

Another food thing I see people be lazy about is storing dry food after itís opened.  We keep it in a big Tupperware container.  And you want to keep it out of heat, no hot garage or it can go rancid and off.

Agree 100% on the water - all cats like access to running water. Some lick the bath tub, balance on the tub surround and fall in:) or lick the faucets - not to mention you might get one who occasionally likes to curl up in the bathroom sink.
Like PMG we had one kitty we got a fountain for - don't get one that is too small and clean it regularly. (cat saliva can clog one of those super small table top fountains over time)

Jimbo, our most beloved cat loved to stretch up to the bird bath in the garden and drink the water... kitties:).

Keeping the food fresh, sealed and in a cool location should be a no-brainer. Still, until one day the ants got into a bag of cat food in the kitchen cupboard we never bothered with a separate container.

Ah yes, Temptations - also known as Crack for Cats!

As far as still vs. running water goes, all of my cats have loved to drink from a dripping or slightly running faucet either in a sink or the bathtub.  One of them will come running from another room to watch the toilet flush.  Heís my little weirdo.

As far as a raw homemade diet I can only say that cats love raw liver from a cow (a spongy, bright red, lightweight, quivering mess). Haven't found a place in the states where I can get that but I wouldn't unless I knew the source and how they keep and feed their animals.
My mom used to "cook" for our cat and I know they much preferred it to store-bought.

When our older cat started fading and hardly eating - I found she liked a couple of dollops of sour cream.

Feeding a raw homemade diet has really seemed to improve our cats health and energy levels. Costs about $1/cat/day in ingredients, plus 1-2 hours labor every 3 weeks to make the food. https://feline-nutrition.org/html_pages/Recipe_Calculator.html . https://feline-nutrition.org/
I'll have a look - thanks for posting the link. I am not entirely happy with the energy level and certainly not with her adding on weight.
I've never had a fat cat before and while she is a big cat compared to our well-muscled, smaller frame Russian Blue I think something if off.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: OtherJen on August 29, 2020, 09:12:31 AM
Youíve gotten a lot of good advice. One recommendation is to find out what the cat has been eating at the shelter, and if you want him to eat something different, transition him from the old to the new diet over a week or so. This will help with digestive issues.

We feed our cat a Blue Buffalo grain-free kibble that he really likes. Itís a bit pricey, but he doesnít eat a ton and we buy it in bulk and vacuum-seal it into smaller bags for freshness. We use those to fill a plastic bin with a tight seal in the kitchen and serve his meals out of that. He also likes wet food, so we give him a half-can of one of the Fancy Feast classic p‚tť varieties (those have little in the way of fillers). This diet seems to work well for him: thick, shiny coat, no hairballs, no dandruff/eczema, lots of energy. Like others have said, whatever you feed your cat, the first ingredients in the food should be actual meat.

About water: sometimes cats get finicky about the location of their water bowl and will not drink from it if itís near their food. None of our previous cats cared, but our current cat would only drink out of the rabbitsí bowl until we moved his bowl to a different room, away from the food dish.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: centwise on August 29, 2020, 04:09:17 PM
This is a very good thread.

As others have mentioned: I've heard that a continuous diet of tuna is not advisable because it can lead to fatty liver disease. I assume salmon would cause similar problems.

So many people have chimed in with good information -- could any of you comment on my cat's diet? Is Costco food terrible? I feed him a combination of the following foods. He is not picky and will eat anything. He's 8 or 9 years old.

Canned food -- Friskies [1/2 can per day]
Kirkland chicken and rice formula (Costco, dry food) -- I gather that the rice is just a filler [1/8 cup per day]
Hills Prescription Diet T/D dental formula cat food (dry food) [1/8 cup per day]
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Frankies Girl on August 29, 2020, 04:19:34 PM
If you add any water to dry food, make sure to not leave it out for long if they don't eat it all within a half hour or so. Water will break down the dry food faster and encourage bacterial growth.

And either store dry food in the original bag in a cool dry place with it rolled/clipped to prevent air from causing it to go stale or rancid (the original bags are made to help keep the food fresh so it's fine to keep it in there as long as you store it folded up/clipped) or else use a air tight container - pet food container, plastic lidded container, etc...
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: OtherJen on August 29, 2020, 04:56:15 PM
This is a very good thread.

As others have mentioned: I've heard that a continuous diet of tuna is not advisable because it can lead to fatty liver disease. I assume salmon would cause similar problems.

So many people have chimed in with good information -- could any of you comment on my cat's diet? Is Costco food terrible? I feed him a combination of the following foods. He is not picky and will eat anything. He's 8 or 9 years old.

Canned food -- Friskies [1/2 can per day]
Kirkland chicken and rice formula (Costco, dry food) -- I gather that the rice is just a filler [1/8 cup per day]
Hills Prescription Diet T/D dental formula cat food (dry food) [1/8 cup per day]

Iíve read that the Costco food is very good quality. If your cat likes what youíre feeding him and doesnít seem to have problems digesting it, then it should be fine.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: centwise on August 29, 2020, 08:35:33 PM
This is a very good thread.

As others have mentioned: I've heard that a continuous diet of tuna is not advisable because it can lead to fatty liver disease. I assume salmon would cause similar problems.

So many people have chimed in with good information -- could any of you comment on my cat's diet? Is Costco food terrible? I feed him a combination of the following foods. He is not picky and will eat anything. He's 8 or 9 years old.

Canned food -- Friskies [1/2 can per day]
Kirkland chicken and rice formula (Costco, dry food) -- I gather that the rice is just a filler [1/8 cup per day]
Hills Prescription Diet T/D dental formula cat food (dry food) [1/8 cup per day]

Iíve read that the Costco food is very good quality. If your cat likes what youíre feeding him and doesnít seem to have problems digesting it, then it should be fine.

Thanks! I started buying at Costco because the dog food had very good reviews on a nutrition web site; decided to grab the catfood too, but I hadn't read anything specific about the cat food. Glad to hear it has a good reputation too. It is a good buy.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on August 29, 2020, 08:52:06 PM
<snip>

This is great advice, thank you. Like your kitties, all of ours lived to old age, including my family's last cat. She ate Fancy Feast - Tender Beef Feast, and maybe one or two others for variety every now and then. My cousin, who has a cat, experienced the same thing you did...his cat liked this one brand and flavor, so he bought a bunch from Chewy. Cat then decided he didn't like it anymore. That's typical cat behavior...they eat what they eat, they don't eat what they don't eat. In some ways it feels like having a little kid.

Sibley ate the exact same wet food (Fancy Feast Savory Salmon) for 15+ years and would be quite unhappy if presented with others. All the changes were due to her having digestive changes as she aged, and more towards the end I don't know what was driving it but it was clearly geriatric related. I switched foods because Sibley, or more rarely, Arwen, wasn't doing well.

I didn't use to think there was a difference between the regular and the mature versions of the cat food. There is. It's subtle, and it's really only a factor when they NEED whatever that difference is. Arwen did fine on the mature food but also does fine on the regular adult formulation. Sibley needed the mature formula once she hit around 16. There aren't very many mature formulas on the market though, which is why I ended up on Pro Plan eventually. It's much more expensive, so it's a secondary choice for me. Until it's clear that it's needed at least, then I suck it up and buy it.


I've been fortunate that none of my cats have been picky eaters. I usually do a measured amount of Science Diet dry food, twice a day. Occasionally they share a can of wet food or get small meat scraps from my dinner - ham is a favorite. When I lived out in the boonies, they would get to go outside during the day and kill whatever they wanted but they still came in for the dry food.

FYI, I had to do some emergency research when a kitty ate a huge amount of ham. Ham itself isn't going to hurt them, but it's got a pretty high salt content and that WILL stress the kidneys. So good idea to limit the ham and encourage water drinking.


Iím also learning a lot from this post.  Thanks yíall.  I may need to upgrade Kitty from Purina cat show to Purina Pro. 

For OP. Our cat doesnít like to drink still water, so we got him a water fountain and he really seems to enjoy it.  Iíve no idea how to tell how much he drinks or how much is enough, but we see and hear him a couple times a day, vs just ignoring still water.  Itís quiet and low maintenance, we just wash and refill it every couple days.

Another food thing I see people be lazy about is storing dry food after itís opened.  We keep it in a big Tupperware container.  And you want to keep it out of heat, no hot garage or it can go rancid and off. 

Our cat is almost due for his first check up since we got him and weíre keeping a list of questions for the vet, like how much should he weigh!? So that we donít forget, but those things areís urgent enough for a visit on their own.

Ok, by now I forget what your questions were and perhaps Iím rambling about irrelevant things.

@PMG regular Purina is fine. If kitty is doing well, don't sweat it.

Re weight - when you're petting them, you should be able to feel ribs under a fat layer without digging hard, but not distinct ribs. When you look at them from above, they should have a distinct waist. If you google the cat weight charts, you can get a visual on what normal vs over/under look like.


@centwise  I would assume that Costco is an unlabeled Purina or similar. As long as the cat is healthy and likes it, you're fine.


And since I saw someone mention it - if your cat is ill, injured, geriatric, or otherwise NOT eating, try meat baby food. Not joking. Gerber pureed chicken is basically kitty crack. It's extremely useful when you're trying to treat something but they're just not eating. The prescription brands also have some version of utterly delicious and tempting yummy wet food that from my experience actually seems to be pretty good. It's not as good as the baby food, but it also nutritionally complete. The down side is if they won't eat the baby food, then there's a pretty good chance that you're calling the vet and scheduling the last visit. Source: I've had to euthanize 3 cats between 2019 and 2020, and all of them struggled to eat at the end.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on August 30, 2020, 06:18:51 PM
Um.... you cat will rapidly tell you what it's going to be eating! If you think you have that big a choice in it, you have not yet been properly catted!

My cat is on mostly raw food, which includes muscle meat, organs (heart and liver mainly, from different critters) and bone meal. He likes Iams biscuits for seniors. He likes one specific flavour of each of about 6 different brands, nothing else. He really only gets canned food for my convenience.

For the raw food, I prep it once a month and freeze it in tubs that will last a day or two. It's no big drama to me. He's currently nearing 15 and has all his teeth, has never needed his teeth cleaning, no issues with eyesight or hearing or his kidneys. I firmly believe that as natural a diet as possible keeps them healthier, especially as they age. They don't feed lions and tigers on canned food, regardless of how well balanced a diet it is, do they? Those cats are worth a LOT of money.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Mr. Green on August 30, 2020, 09:12:54 PM
As a former cat owner (our two passed a few years back) who has been down the rabbit hole and made his own cat food for many years, I will share some broader principles you can use to help guide you, rather than drown you in specific brand information since that stuff changes.

The most important thing you can remember is that cats are more or less carnivores. They kill and eat other animals, and their primary diet is meat. This is also how cats get much of their water intake in the wild.

There is no better diet you can feed a cat than a raw diet. However, you can't just feed a cat chicken breasts or other cuts of meat. There are vitamins they will not get because they're not eating whole animals. Certain organs are high in certain vitamins, etc. If you want to go down this path check out https://catinfo.org/making-cat-food/. It is written by a verterinarian and we used her recipe for many years. Our cats loved it and they thrived on this diet.

As commercial food goes, wet is better than dry because it gives cats water. Cats getting wet food are less likely to develop urinary tract issues, which are common in older cats because humans generally feed them terrible diets as pets. Naturally, wet food is more expensive. If you want the really good stuff, it will cost you just as much as if you were to source your own raw meats and vitamins and make your own cat food.

Dry foods have gotten better since we brought our kittens home in 2005. What you really care about is the ingredients list. Any meat by-product is a total showstopper. It's in the cheapest, poorest forms of food. If you read what meat by-product is made up of you'll be truly revolted that we feed that to anything. Meat meals are middle of the road. You'll find chicken meal, turkey meal, etc. in a lot of your mid-grade foods. The challenge with brands that have meals as the primary ingredient is that those foods are usually accompanied by cheaper filler ingredients that aren't all that great for a cat. Not all fillers are equal when it comes to a cat's digestion. As you get into top shelf brands they will actually have some whole meats in them. They will also used real foods like carrots or sweet potatoes for some of the filler. For instance, the first ingredient in Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food is deboned chicken. If you study ingredient labels across all the cat food you'll find in a store you'll notice that the price goes up as meat meals move to the top of the ingredient list. Brands with whole meats in them will be the most costly.

If you are considering raw feeding, before you run out and buy a bunch of meat to mix up your first batch buy some small cuts of meat and see if your cat will eat it. Some cats when they get older have become so accustomed to a commercial food diet that they won't eat raw food anymore. We fed our cats raw for about 6 years until a suitably healthy commercial food became available. We switched to that because we were honestly tired of having to mix up 40 pounds of meat slurry every four weeks. We fed them dry for a couple years until we realized they were gaining weight. At that point we tried going back to the same raw diet and they simply wouldn't eat it any longer. You mentioned your cat is 11 years old so it may not necessarily eat anything you throw at it.

And of course, just like with humans, genetics play a huge role. Some cats can eat absolute garbage their whole life and live to be 15 or 20. Others might eat top-shelf and have issue along the way. Don't beat yourself up over your choice of food. Most of us can't even feed ourselves optimally!

One last thing I will say, with a cat of advanced age water is king. Your best chance of avoiding costly vet bills and the inconvience of having a cat develop UTI(s) is to make sure they are staying hydrated. On this point, wet food will always trump dry if you can afford it. If you need to feed all dry food do what you can to make sure your cat is interested in the water bowl. Some cats drink significantly more water with a fountain. You might just have to experiment a little.

Edit to add at note on stool: You will find that feeding a cat a raw diet will make your poop scooping experience much more pleasurable. When a cat is getting all it's moisture from a carinore diet and not ingesting a bunch of extra fillers, the stool is drier, more compact, and is almost odorless. If your cat's diet includes fillers, you'll get the normal fragrant poo that most people are accustomed to from litter boxes.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: zygote on August 31, 2020, 10:36:43 AM
Lots of great advice in this thread.

One recommendation I wanted to add was the wet cat food from Trader Joe's. At least where I am, it's cheaper per oz than something like Fancy Feast and has surprisingly good ingredients. Very little filler. It must taste good, too, because it was one of the few brands our cat would eat when she was in the later stages of kidney disease and didn't have a great appetite.

They also sell cans of tuna for cats, which is basically just regular tuna with taurine and other nutrients added to make it a complete food. I wouldn't feed it all the time as a primary food source, but a great option for a treat or a way to encourage eating if your cat is sick.

Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: 24andfrugal on September 01, 2020, 11:35:50 AM
Just wanted to come back and thank everyone for all of the advice. I will update periodically with how our boy is doing.

We've had him about 4 days and he seems to be adjusting well. He likes to sleep under the couch a lot, but spends lots of time with us. Jumped up on the couch and sat on our laps the first night, and has enjoyed lots of cuddles and belly rubs since then. No trouble getting him to use the litter box and he scratches on the post, not our furniture. Our biggest problem is getting him to stay off the counters; we are going to make him a window perch and see if that helps.

We are still figuring out what he likes to eat. He does pretty well with dry food but doesn't like much of the wet food we've given him so far. He does drink water, which is encouraging, though he has had a runny stool or two. And despite everyone's comments about how big he is, under all the fluff he feels a little thin - I can feel his ribs when he gets belly rubs. He has tons of energy, though, so I hope it's just a matter of finding what he likes.

Edit: and we found out from his papers he's actually 13.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on September 01, 2020, 02:11:52 PM
Some digestive upset is very normal. It's stress related - so new place, new people, new food? Pretty much a given.

Enjoy your new kitty :)
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: ChickenStash on September 01, 2020, 02:37:15 PM
<snip>
I've been fortunate that none of my cats have been picky eaters. I usually do a measured amount of Science Diet dry food, twice a day. Occasionally they share a can of wet food or get small meat scraps from my dinner - ham is a favorite. When I lived out in the boonies, they would get to go outside during the day and kill whatever they wanted but they still came in for the dry food.

FYI, I had to do some emergency research when a kitty ate a huge amount of ham. Ham itself isn't going to hurt them, but it's got a pretty high salt content and that WILL stress the kidneys. So good idea to limit the ham and encourage water drinking.
Good to know. I don't give them much more than a few thumbnail-sized pieces of sliced ham or a few little cubes at a time. On the whole, I rarely give them "people food" - I don't want them to get into the habit of begging for it, no matter how cute they act.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: fdubz on September 02, 2020, 11:54:05 AM
Lifelong cat owner/lover, current cat parent of 3.

Just wanted to chime in as a +3 for Purina One & Fancy Feast.  I've always fed Purina One Indoor Advantage, but currently use the Purina One Hairball formula because our boy is long-haired.  We brush him at least 2x a day (thankfully, his highness permits this), but even still, he sheds a lot. He also takes off like a bat out of hell the moment he sees us see HIM with a mouthful of fluff, frantically gulping it down as he runs away like we're trying to take away a delectable treat or something.. typical cat behavior. 
For Fancy Feast, they only like the chicken and liver flavor.

As every one has mentioned, getting cats to drink enough water is vital.  I had really good luck switching from a regular bowl to a ceramic pie plate. I read somewhere they don't like the bowl sides to touch their whiskers?  Who knows, but the pie plate turned water bowl is a huge hit.  One of the girls has very small kidneys, so we did get the Pagoda Pet Safe fountain which 2 of the 3 will drink from, and the other one enjoys for entertainment value.  Our old girl prefers the bathroom sink to be drizzled at juuuust the right speed. This ritual takes up far more of my time than I am willing to disclose. 

I know you asked about food, but in other cat accessories, this litter scoop makes life SO much easier if you use clumping litter. https://www.chewy.com/litter-lifter-cat-litter-scoop/dp/183176
Speaking of which, having tried every litter under the sun, this is my favorite: https://www.chewy.com/frisco-unscented-clumping-clay-cat/dp/169772





Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: BikeFanatic on September 02, 2020, 01:03:42 PM
I like feline pine litter, natural packed sawdust pellets. Cheap and environmentally friendly
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on September 02, 2020, 04:52:03 PM
.....

As every one has mentioned, getting cats to drink enough water is vital.  I had really good luck switching from a regular bowl to a ceramic pie plate. I read somewhere they don't like the bowl sides to touch their whiskers?  Who knows, but the pie plate turned water bowl is a huge hit.  One of the girls has very small kidneys, so we did get the Pagoda Pet Safe fountain which 2 of the 3 will drink from, and the other one enjoys for entertainment value.  Our old girl prefers the bathroom sink to be drizzled at juuuust the right speed. This ritual takes up far more of my time than I am willing to disclose. 
...

Bathtub. Specifically, the shower. Arwen wants me to run the shower briefly, turn it off, then she jumps in the tub and has a good drink. If not the shower, she's going after the toilet water. However, the mud puddle outside is the height of fashion, so that is the most prized and preferred. Water bowls and fountains are occasionally acceptable. Rosie seems to prefer a bowl. Never mind that I have 2 water fountains! I've given up and put the fountains away for now.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: dodojojo on September 02, 2020, 07:24:39 PM
Not going into too many details as all the advice I would give have been mentioned.  Big proponent of wet food being much better for cats.  My cats get dry food as two snacks during the day because they love the kibble and also we rely more on it when I travel. It's no more than 2 tablespoons total on a normal day.

The bulk of their food is from wet food for breakfast and late night dinner.  Very fortunate that my cats tolerate soupy food.  It's a trick I learned as a rescue cat volunteer and I've been able to push it to watery ratios.  If I serve them 2 tablespoons of wet food, I add in at least 3 tablespoons of water.  I leave fresh water out just in case, but my cats get all their hydration from their meals.  When I travel, more fresh water options are left out and my catsitter friends tell me they see the cats drinking from them.

I also serve a wide range of brands for diversity.  In general, we stick to grain free pate. My cats are allergic to red meat and not fond of fish so they are limited to mostly fowl meat.  Due to this limit, I think it's important they have diversity in brand.  It's also helpful in case a brand or line of food folds or falls out of favor.  This happened to our long time dry food when California Nature decided to stop making cat food.  It took over 2 years to find something that worked for both of my cats.  With dry food, we have to find something that works and stick with it.  My cats are really sensitive with kibble and any changes can lead to things coming out wrong on either end for them.

One of cats happily eats everything.  Her sister is far fussier. I keep Friskies and Fancy Feast on hand as enhancers to the other canned food.  When the fusspot refuses to eat for reasons that are non-medical, I break out the Friskies and FF.  I also use them when I'm introducing a new brand--blending new with FF/Friskies. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: RainyDay on September 03, 2020, 06:02:08 AM
Please come back and give us an update on how your new kitty is doing!  What has he trained you to feed him, despite all the advice?? (for the record, I'm an advocate of "as much wet food as possible," especially for an older male cat)
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on September 03, 2020, 06:40:13 AM

The most important thing you can remember is that cats are more or less carnivores. They kill and eat other animals, and their primary diet is meat. This is also how cats get much of their water intake in the wild.



Cats are not 'more or less carnivores'. They are obligate carnivores. They don't have any of the enzymes required to digest anything vegetable. Much like you and I eating polystyrene, pumpkin and grass, and any other crap people feed their cats, goes straight through. Cats will sometimes choose to eat things like grass, but it isn't for nutritional purposes. Sometimes they will make themselves sick, sometimes they use it for roughage in their bowels, sometimes they're just cleaning their teeth. Dogs are 'more or less carnivores'. They should be eating high protein diets but they also do have some enzymes to digest vegetable foods.

You're totally correct about a raw diet for a cat needing to be a properly balanced one. Cats eat whole small prey, and they need the organ meat and the bone. Big zoo cats get their meat with skin and bone, and it's coated in a bone meal and supplement powder. Cats need taurine, specifically, which is found in high concentrations in brains and hearts. Without taurine, they will develop really nasty symptoms in just a few weeks. Like blindness and heart disease. Dogs do not have that same need - or they do but they can produce it themselves to some extent (that's my understanding). Anyway, cats cannot make it themselves and it's essential to their health. Commercial cat food obviously includes appropriate quantities, but the point is that if you decide to feed raw, you do need to make sure that you're doing it properly.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Mr. Green on September 03, 2020, 12:44:20 PM

The most important thing you can remember is that cats are more or less carnivores. They kill and eat other animals, and their primary diet is meat. This is also how cats get much of their water intake in the wild.



Cats are not 'more or less carnivores'. They are obligate carnivores. They don't have any of the enzymes required to digest anything vegetable. Much like you and I eating polystyrene, pumpkin and grass, and any other crap people feed their cats, goes straight through. Cats will sometimes choose to eat things like grass, but it isn't for nutritional purposes. Sometimes they will make themselves sick, sometimes they use it for roughage in their bowels, sometimes they're just cleaning their teeth. Dogs are 'more or less carnivores'. They should be eating high protein diets but they also do have some enzymes to digest vegetable foods.

You're totally correct about a raw diet for a cat needing to be a properly balanced one. Cats eat whole small prey, and they need the organ meat and the bone. Big zoo cats get their meat with skin and bone, and it's coated in a bone meal and supplement powder. Cats need taurine, specifically, which is found in high concentrations in brains and hearts. Without taurine, they will develop really nasty symptoms in just a few weeks. Like blindness and heart disease. Dogs do not have that same need - or they do but they can produce it themselves to some extent (that's my understanding). Anyway, cats cannot make it themselves and it's essential to their health. Commercial cat food obviously includes appropriate quantities, but the point is that if you decide to feed raw, you do need to make sure that you're doing it properly.
Spot on. By "more or less," I meant they don't eat only meat. You hit on grass for roughage, etc. My use of the term wasn't meant to be as loose as it may have come across. If I was being picky, I would call a dog an omnivore, though it seems like that may be an unsettled debate.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on September 03, 2020, 05:25:42 PM

The most important thing you can remember is that cats are more or less carnivores. They kill and eat other animals, and their primary diet is meat. This is also how cats get much of their water intake in the wild.



Cats are not 'more or less carnivores'. They are obligate carnivores. They don't have any of the enzymes required to digest anything vegetable. Much like you and I eating polystyrene, pumpkin and grass, and any other crap people feed their cats, goes straight through. Cats will sometimes choose to eat things like grass, but it isn't for nutritional purposes. Sometimes they will make themselves sick, sometimes they use it for roughage in their bowels, sometimes they're just cleaning their teeth. Dogs are 'more or less carnivores'. They should be eating high protein diets but they also do have some enzymes to digest vegetable foods.

You're totally correct about a raw diet for a cat needing to be a properly balanced one. Cats eat whole small prey, and they need the organ meat and the bone. Big zoo cats get their meat with skin and bone, and it's coated in a bone meal and supplement powder. Cats need taurine, specifically, which is found in high concentrations in brains and hearts. Without taurine, they will develop really nasty symptoms in just a few weeks. Like blindness and heart disease. Dogs do not have that same need - or they do but they can produce it themselves to some extent (that's my understanding). Anyway, cats cannot make it themselves and it's essential to their health. Commercial cat food obviously includes appropriate quantities, but the point is that if you decide to feed raw, you do need to make sure that you're doing it properly.
Spot on. By "more or less," I meant they don't eat only meat. You hit on grass for roughage, etc. My use of the term wasn't meant to be as loose as it may have come across. If I was being picky, I would call a dog an omnivore, though it seems like that may be an unsettled debate.

Sorry to jump on you, but the cat/carnivore thing really annoys me when people get it wrong - and some people in very high places are encouraging that kind of thinking. I've seen Fancy Feast cat food that comes with carrots and beans. As much as my cat is my baby, he's not frickin human! And also not a baby. Reality check: adult male predator asleep on the couch. If he was larger, he'd eat me.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Mr. Green on September 03, 2020, 09:20:40 PM

The most important thing you can remember is that cats are more or less carnivores. They kill and eat other animals, and their primary diet is meat. This is also how cats get much of their water intake in the wild.



Cats are not 'more or less carnivores'. They are obligate carnivores. They don't have any of the enzymes required to digest anything vegetable. Much like you and I eating polystyrene, pumpkin and grass, and any other crap people feed their cats, goes straight through. Cats will sometimes choose to eat things like grass, but it isn't for nutritional purposes. Sometimes they will make themselves sick, sometimes they use it for roughage in their bowels, sometimes they're just cleaning their teeth. Dogs are 'more or less carnivores'. They should be eating high protein diets but they also do have some enzymes to digest vegetable foods.

You're totally correct about a raw diet for a cat needing to be a properly balanced one. Cats eat whole small prey, and they need the organ meat and the bone. Big zoo cats get their meat with skin and bone, and it's coated in a bone meal and supplement powder. Cats need taurine, specifically, which is found in high concentrations in brains and hearts. Without taurine, they will develop really nasty symptoms in just a few weeks. Like blindness and heart disease. Dogs do not have that same need - or they do but they can produce it themselves to some extent (that's my understanding). Anyway, cats cannot make it themselves and it's essential to their health. Commercial cat food obviously includes appropriate quantities, but the point is that if you decide to feed raw, you do need to make sure that you're doing it properly.
Spot on. By "more or less," I meant they don't eat only meat. You hit on grass for roughage, etc. My use of the term wasn't meant to be as loose as it may have come across. If I was being picky, I would call a dog an omnivore, though it seems like that may be an unsettled debate.

Sorry to jump on you, but the cat/carnivore thing really annoys me when people get it wrong - and some people in very high places are encouraging that kind of thinking. I've seen Fancy Feast cat food that comes with carrots and beans. As much as my cat is my baby, he's not frickin human! And also not a baby. Reality check: adult male predator asleep on the couch. If he was larger, he'd eat me.
I definitely hear you on the veggies not having any place in cat food, though as a filler it beats pretty much all the other cheap fillers that go into cat food. Many people simply don't have the funds to feed a cat an all meat diet, and most folks will not undertake the effort of making their own.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on September 04, 2020, 12:53:02 AM

The most important thing you can remember is that cats are more or less carnivores. They kill and eat other animals, and their primary diet is meat. This is also how cats get much of their water intake in the wild.



Cats are not 'more or less carnivores'. They are obligate carnivores. They don't have any of the enzymes required to digest anything vegetable. Much like you and I eating polystyrene, pumpkin and grass, and any other crap people feed their cats, goes straight through. Cats will sometimes choose to eat things like grass, but it isn't for nutritional purposes. Sometimes they will make themselves sick, sometimes they use it for roughage in their bowels, sometimes they're just cleaning their teeth. Dogs are 'more or less carnivores'. They should be eating high protein diets but they also do have some enzymes to digest vegetable foods.

You're totally correct about a raw diet for a cat needing to be a properly balanced one. Cats eat whole small prey, and they need the organ meat and the bone. Big zoo cats get their meat with skin and bone, and it's coated in a bone meal and supplement powder. Cats need taurine, specifically, which is found in high concentrations in brains and hearts. Without taurine, they will develop really nasty symptoms in just a few weeks. Like blindness and heart disease. Dogs do not have that same need - or they do but they can produce it themselves to some extent (that's my understanding). Anyway, cats cannot make it themselves and it's essential to their health. Commercial cat food obviously includes appropriate quantities, but the point is that if you decide to feed raw, you do need to make sure that you're doing it properly.
Spot on. By "more or less," I meant they don't eat only meat. You hit on grass for roughage, etc. My use of the term wasn't meant to be as loose as it may have come across. If I was being picky, I would call a dog an omnivore, though it seems like that may be an unsettled debate.

Sorry to jump on you, but the cat/carnivore thing really annoys me when people get it wrong - and some people in very high places are encouraging that kind of thinking. I've seen Fancy Feast cat food that comes with carrots and beans. As much as my cat is my baby, he's not frickin human! And also not a baby. Reality check: adult male predator asleep on the couch. If he was larger, he'd eat me.
I definitely hear you on the veggies not having any place in cat food, though as a filler it beats pretty much all the other cheap fillers that go into cat food. Many people simply don't have the funds to feed a cat an all meat diet, and most folks will not undertake the effort of making their own.

I was strongly encouraged by my cat to take on a raw food diet. Partly because he refused to eat anything canned. He was a feral teenager when I 'got' him. Partly because one day he lost all patience with me, brought in a huge dead crow and put it in his food bowl. The eye balling I got on his way out of the house made it clear who else might end up in the food bowl in short order!
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: 24andfrugal on December 30, 2020, 01:01:25 PM
Hi everyone! It's been a little over 4 months since we got him, so I wanted to give a little update (and tagging @RainyDay since you asked for one!)

First, the 'bad': this has definitely not been a Mustachian endeavor. In the slightest. Diet wise, we found out he is both picky and digestive-sensitive...we tried a few brands that he'd refuse, then gave him Fancy Feast for a while, which he liked, but without fail gave him pale, runny stools. We tried a couple of different prescription brands, including Hill's, but he refused to eat those - he hates pate, it has to be chunks/morsels, which makes things difficult since most cat food is pate. We are now feeding him a brand called Royal Canin, which he likes (for the most part, it only comes in one flavor so he gets bored) and gives him solid stools. This is, of course, fairly expensive as far as cat food goes. Every now and then we give him a little tuna, which he absolutely lives for. He turns up his nose at any and all other 'people' food, and also doesn't like treats!

Additionally, fairly soon after we got him we noticed a slight wheeze, which got worse over time. To make a long story short, he had an overgrowth of tissue in his nasal passage (likely due to repeated respiratory infections, we were told) to the degree of being 75% blocked (!!). He had to have a balloon sinoplasty and a follow-up procedure, which went successfully but ended up costing us probably almost $4,000. He also has what appears to be a fairly mild form of kitty asthma.

With all of that said, I do not for one second regret adopting this cat. He is a spunky little devil who loves to play and run through the house but also loves to cuddle and be around me and my fiance. He hated being kept out of the bedrooms and now when I wake up he will be either sleeping at my feet or right beside me. We've introduced him to a harness/leash and have started to explore the yard a bit with him (not a ton so far, since it's cold) and he didn't destroy the Christmas tree this year, so that's a plus! My grandmother passed away unexpectedly (not covid, old age) less than a week after we got him, and he's (unknowingly) been a huge source of comfort during all of that. He has been the brightest spot of this dark year.

As a side note, for a brief second when we got him I felt bad - he was described as part Maine Coon, which are popular cats, and I know there were other people interested but we got him because I called first. In my head I always pictured adopting a cat who'd struggle to find a home. But after everything we've been through with him medically, I don't feel bad, since we have the willingness and financial means to make sure he got the care he needed. I haven't tried to calculate how many years this will set us back from FIRE but at the end of the day, I think he's worth it.

Happy New Year everyone!
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: SunnyDays on December 30, 2020, 02:10:46 PM
4K, yikes!  Happy to hear that youíre that dedicated to him though.

As far as food goes, have you tried mixing in a little Fancy Feast with the Royal Canin, just to give him a little more variety in flavours?  Also, my cats go nuts for chicken liver - you could try adding some of that too.  Or a bit of clam juice.  Their fussiness really tries oneís patience, doesnít it?
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: RainyDay on December 31, 2020, 04:48:44 AM
Thanks for the update!  It sounds like this is a VERY well-loved kitty!  (Sorry to hear of his ailments, though...that sucks.) 

I have two rescues, both long-haired fuzzballs.  One is extremely picky and the other would eat fried dirt if it was in his food bowl.  Love them both to pieces!
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on December 31, 2020, 08:54:26 AM
The digestive issues suck! I am also dealing with that for Rosie. Between acid reflux which makes her throw up and I'm fairly sure some sort of food intolerance, my poor carpets.

Glad your kitty is happy and loved. The purrs make it worth it.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: dodojojo on December 31, 2020, 09:50:11 AM
I have cats with finicky tummies and taste too.  One is very finicky and needs tons of incentives to eat her wet food.  Usually crushed kibble or shredded dry chicken as toppers works.  Also sometimes mix in Fancy Feast and Friskies.  I never let her eat these brands alone to keep them as treats/incentives.

Her sister on the other hand will eat anything placed in front of her. She's a gobbler and sometimes it results in vomiting.  I mitigate by feeding her with very large bi-plates and bowls.  This forces her to move around her serving area a bit and slows down her eating.  I then make sure to leave her alone and not encourage any activity on her part. Let her digest in peace.  This has largely fixed the problem.  Sometimes I run out of the big plates/bowls and I will break up her meal into 2 smaller servings.  Let her gobble, take a break while I fix up her 2nd serving.

Both cats are intolerant to almost every single treat. I'm not sure what it is but there must be some ingredient all the companies use in their treats.  The only treat they can eat and luckily, they love, is the Benchfield brand sold at Trader Joe's.  They are also super sensitive to any changes to kibble.  We find one that works and stick with it.  Any miniscule change or addition results in virulent runny poo.  Their original brand stopped making cat food and we went through at least a 2 year trial before we found one that resulted in healthy litter products.  Fortunately, they do not have the same problem with canned food and we have a good rotation of brands.  They are completely intolerant of red meat though and will vomit within minutes of eating any tiny amount.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: RetiredAt63 on December 31, 2020, 11:07:04 AM
You are all making me very happy with Misty.  She was eating Crave, no litter box issues.  I give some with water and the rest dry.  I buy Pure Snacks treats (it comes in freeze dried chicken, shrimp and salmon) and she LOVES them.   It's a bit pricey, but pure meat, no additives.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: fdubz on February 17, 2021, 01:55:00 PM
Great to hear the update!  And I you should certainly not feel bad about adopting an "easily adoptable" cat.  Like you said, he has been a heavy (though of course completely worthy!) financial burden and other adopters may not have been willing or able to do what you have done for him.  I think he found the perfect home!

Sorry to hear about the digestive issues.  I have heard good things about the brand Weruva, but my cats will not eat it. Picky picky.

@Sibley I had to tag you after talking about how our babies love the sink/shower drizzle.  I bought an AquaPurr fountain for their Christmas present. It has been worth every penny!! They love it and drink a ton of water.  I bought it directly from the Aquapurr website (the owner/inventor, Steve was SUPER helpful and responsive).  It's available on Amazon, too.   Best to google it and see it in action, but the gist is, it mimics the dripping/running faucet, but only comes on when the cats are beside it.  My 2 girls know exactly how it works and constantly turn it on for themselves.  And we're no longer wasting water by forgetting to turn the faucet off!
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: partgypsy on February 17, 2021, 06:07:29 PM
I was going to post, but going to echo frankie's girl. My last cat lived to just shy of 20, (from chronic kidney failure).  We didn't know what we were doing so she got almost all dry food (purina) until she started losing her teeth (she had eisinopilic granuloma dx as a kitten) so the last 4? Years of her life pretty much all wet. We now know that having cats be well hydrated is important. With our newest kitty, she gets nulo (cat and kitten grain free turkey and cod) meal for dry food in am, and 1/3-1/2 can friskies pate for dinner meal. The Nulo might be overkill but she loves it and she seems healthy with really glossy fur.  Also we started putting a bowl of water in the bathroom so she has 2 bowls of water
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on February 17, 2021, 06:39:13 PM
Great to hear the update!  And I you should certainly not feel bad about adopting an "easily adoptable" cat.  Like you said, he has been a heavy (though of course completely worthy!) financial burden and other adopters may not have been willing or able to do what you have done for him.  I think he found the perfect home!

Sorry to hear about the digestive issues.  I have heard good things about the brand Weruva, but my cats will not eat it. Picky picky.

@Sibley I had to tag you after talking about how our babies love the sink/shower drizzle.  I bought an AquaPurr fountain for their Christmas present. It has been worth every penny!! They love it and drink a ton of water.  I bought it directly from the Aquapurr website (the owner/inventor, Steve was SUPER helpful and responsive).  It's available on Amazon, too.   Best to google it and see it in action, but the gist is, it mimics the dripping/running faucet, but only comes on when the cats are beside it.  My 2 girls know exactly how it works and constantly turn it on for themselves.  And we're no longer wasting water by forgetting to turn the faucet off!

Good to know. I actually put the fountain away because it was being shunned so completely. Arwen's drinking quite a bit from a bowl, and I'm about to screw up her world again so I don't want to change anything I don't need to (rehoming Rosie on Friday :(, and then at the end of March my parents and their 2 cats are coming to live with me until they find their own place).
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: fdubz on February 26, 2021, 07:29:36 AM
@Sibley I hope your merging of cat households goes smoothly. I know from experience that can be very stressful, for both you and Arwen!
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Sibley on February 26, 2021, 08:15:15 AM
@Sibley I hope your merging of cat households goes smoothly. I know from experience that can be very stressful, for both you and Arwen!

@fdubz thank you. Everyone will arrive in about a month. Luckily, it'll be temporary so if necessary we can keep the cats separated until my parents find and move into their own place. Arwen is currently an only and is starting to realize that I'm boring though, so she might appreciate some company.
Title: Re: Mustachian Cat People - Need Some Advice
Post by: Fomerly known as something on February 27, 2021, 04:44:17 PM
I feed mine fancy feast wet, and young again dry.  (The dry is a small US company that makes one of the few diabetic cat friendly dry foods while I lost my diabetic I feed it to my younger cat since heís been eating it for years.). I do think a high quality dry is generally more cost effective overall.  While you might think sticker shock on the higher quality dry foods, cats generally eat less of a high quality so it ends up being cheaper.