Food Fight

Hello!  Remember me?  Maybe you do.  I write about my cats.

The time has come for a fundamental change in the way I care for my cats.  Next month, they’ll be 1 year old and no longer kittens.  Which means… a change in both the dry and wet food that they eat.  Again, if you can search your memory banks for a moment, you may recall that Thor and Loki had a hard time warming up to their wet kitten food.  After a few days, though (and probably because they were very underweight,) they started eating.  This time it’s not so easy.

Currently, I work in customer service at a natural grocery store.  They carry several great types of wet cat food, including a store brand, Wellness (grain-free,) PetGuard, Natural Ultramix and a few others.  I’d love to get them to eat the Wellness brand, as the wheat crops in the US are ~90% genetically modified (GMOs.)  My number-one priority is to feed them something simple and natural.

But… they won’t eat any of these brands.  Each time I presented them the new types of food, they sniffed it half-heartedly and walked away.  Granted, I introduced the food alone and not gradually, which I’ve heard is the key to making a switch.  A coworker of mine put it nicely:  “You have to do it gradually.  Cats are like humans; they hate change.”

Recently, I’ve been trying harder with the Wellness brand, specifically the chicken paté flavor, which they are currently eating in the Iams Kitten brand.  I say to myself: “Hey!  This is the same type of food except BETTER!  Surely they will like it, eventually!”  Not the case.  So far I have tried:

  • Heating up the food (which worked with their kitten food when they didn’t touch it)
  • Mixing it up thoroughly with their current type of wet food
  • Sitting both types next to each other in the bowl (stupid)
  • Letting the food sit for a while in hopes that they will cave (also stupid)

So there you have it.  I haven’t even covered dry food, which I’m pretty clueless about, though I imagine that will be easier… at least I hope.  In any case, I have a pretty decent stockpile of the Iams Kitten dry food.  Do you cat owners and experts have any suggestions?  A cat-savvy coworker of mine recommended that I heat up some chicken broth and pour it over the new food.  I’ll probably try that in the next few days and report back.

I worry about Thor specifically because he has proven more fickle and is a very lean, small cat.  I want to ensure that he stays at a healthy weight and I’m already noticing that he’s probably lost a pound or so.  Loki is a dog and eats all the scraps, so he’ll be alright.

To conclude, here is maybe the greatest picture I have ever taken of my cats:

Image

My cats formed a heart. I solemnly swear that I did not form them like this. Cuteness overloadddddddd #### 101010101

First time at the vet + a food problem

On Monday, Thor and Loki had their first appointment with the vet.  I won’t bore you with the details of what shots they need and their health specs; everything looked pretty good.  We took them to a place called The Cat Doctor, with four veternarians and several technicians all specializing in cats.  They were all incredibly knowledgeable and great with the boys.  I was very impressed.  I got some tips on grooming, behavioral problems and toys.  As a new cat owner, it was nice to talk to a vet.  In fact, it was my first time there as well!  It also felt very strange to take someone else to the doctor.  As someone with a chronic illness and other health problems, I’m used to being on the examination table at the doctor’s office.  I even felt the same nervousness and apprehension.  It quickly faded as I discussed the cats with the tech.  Truly, it was a relief not to be poked and prodded; it also felt nice to care for someone else in that setting.

I mentioned Loki’s mischievous ways to the doc.  She said that it was all pretty normal, but if I wanted to discipline him effectively, I would have to be firm.  His cuteness does get the best of me, I admit.  And I hate to hear them crying.  However, I want them to grow up to be well-behaved and totally healthy.  I’ll just have to let them cry and stand my ground.

The only problem the vet noticed was that they are a bit underweight.  She told me that I should give them some wet food as well as dry food; kittens should gain about a pound a week at this stage.  Both of them are just over two pounds and approaching three months old.  In any case, her instructions seemed simple enough.  I bought them some Iams Kitten Food and brought it home.  I mixed in a little bit with their dry food (Eagle Pack) and I thought they took to it.  But after a few hours, I noticed they weren’t eating at all.  I tried to get them interested in the food and they turned away, meowing.  After a few more attempts, I realized that they simply don’t like it, which kind of sucks because I bought a bunch of cans of that brand.  I’m going to call the vet tomorrow and see what advice she has.  I really want them to catch up on their weight!

Thor and Loki have an appointment in three weeks for some shots and tests.  I’m hoping that goes smoothly.

Oh — I found Loki’s collar stuffed in the cushion of my wingback chair.  Phew.

I don’t have any more pictures of the kitties uploaded yet, so here’s another cat.  His name is Pusheen and has an awesome website:

Probably my favorite internet cat.