Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Randy Cat needs more meat.

However, my kitty, Randy Cat, has been eating plain, cheap, dry cat food all his little cat life.

Randy, began his kitten life in a British home. Harvey was from England, and was my ex-husband's best friend back in grad school. (This was years before we were married.) Harvey, while a graduate student in Albuquerque, NM owned Randy and then called him, "Tabahsco". (said with a British accent) I thought "Tabasco" was a very gay name so I had to pick a new name for him.

I got Randy when he was a year old. At the time, I was living in the small west Texas town of Canyon, the county seat of Randall County. I decided to name him Randall. (or Randy for short)

Randy's official name is Randall P. Cat. Only Randy's Gammpaw (my dad) calls him "Randall" though.

Harvey and his fiancee' Lan, fed Randy Wal-Mart Brand cat dry cat food, "Special Kitty". When Lan and Harvey got married and moved to England, I took Randy from them because the tax and quarantine on pet cats coming to England was too immense for their budget.

I originally bought Randy the same cat food that he was accustomed to, but one day I did a taste test. I bought him a name-brand cat food instead and he would never eat the "Special Kitty" again. When I gave him the Special Kitty, he would look up at me, and say in cat expression, "You've GOT to be kidding!" Then I tried to mix it in to use up whatever was left and to "fool" him into eating it and not wasting it. Randy ate around every stinkin' kernel of Special Kitty-- leaving them in the bowl for me to witness.
I had to give whatever "Special Kitty" was left over to the dog. Not kidding.
How they sell cat food in Istanbul

Randy is practically human. He knows when I am supposed to get up to go to work, he knows to let me sleep later on weekends, he knows when I am sick, he knows when something is amiss and he tells me.

I think he appreciates that I took him out of a relationship with my ex-husband, who abused him.

Randy loves me.

If I am snoring too loudly in the middle of the night, he will gingerly put his paw over my mouth to quiet me. If he runs out of food, he comes and gets me and leads me to the empty bowl so I can see it for myself.

I think he understands English.

So Randy is indeed a special kitty and I want him to live a long, good kitty life.

So over the years, I tried many times to get him to eat healthy and expensive cat food or at least "wet food" every now and then.

Nope. Every time this attempt ended in failure.
He will have nothing of those foods.

Randy is an odd cat. When I buy him canned, stinky cat food, he runs into the room yeowmering and yammering like only a hungry cat can do. He is drawn to the sound of the can top popping open as he bucks around my legs in impatience.
Then when I put the food on the floor for him, he takes two sniffs, perhaps a lick, then jumps back and does and about-face as though I just gave him the most horrible thing he could ever imagine.


But still I try, I try at least biannually and always get the same result.

So I was reading the ingredients on the package of the Purina "Indoor Cat Formula" which seems to be his favorite variety right now. ( I do taste preference tests with Randy from time to time).

The first five ingredients of Indoor Cat Formula are in order of decreasing percentage:
  • Corn Meal
  • Poultry by-product
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Soy flour
  • Animal fat

Hmmm. Too much corn and not enough meat.
The label for Purina Indoor Cat Formula

As stated before, cats (ALL CATS) are obligate carnivores. This makes an almost all vegetarian diet tantamount to animal cruelty.


I have always known that the dry cat food I was giving Randy was insufficient for optimal health. It was basically FAST FOOD for cats. Something that tasted good, but had almost no nutritional value for a carnivore's exclusive diet.

I reasoned that since Randy has always had issues with hair balls, and goes outside to eat grass and then puke (to rid himself of hairballs) that maybe a bit more fiber in his diet wasn't so terrible.

But I am neglecting his other diet needs in doing so.

But then, Randy is so dang picky about his food. He should have been introduced to a variety of food types when he was younger. (just like you prevent from having picky kids)

My darling fiance' Ed, called me the other day and bated me with this question.

"What do cats eat?"

I said, "Meat. Is this a test? I am a biologist, you know.... They're carnivores. A member of the Order Carnivora".

Ed had seen a commercial for a cat food that tickled his funny bone. It said something like, "with all the fruits and vegetables your cat needs!" or some such lunacy. He was just reinforcing that he wasn't off his rocker. THEY WERE.

"Okay", he giggled. "Just checking".

But that got me thinking again about cat food and a cat's requirement for meat to THRIVE, not just survive.

I did a Google search. My search terms were, "what cat food has the most meat?"

That's how I found EVO - the grain-free pet food. Their website's banner reads, "The ancestral diet meets modern nutrition." This piqued my interest, making my animal physiology notes from 1993 come to mind. Hmmm!

So now I am on a hunt to find this ancestral nutritional diet and try it out on my feline with the "fast food" appetite. (like mother like "son")...... But he has no choice and is therefore better off, he can't run to the Taco Bueno whenever he his resolve weakens..... but I digress.

Here are the EVO dry cat food ingredients:


Click on an ingredient to learn more.

Chicken Meal
Herring Meal
Chicken Fat
Turkey Meal
Natural Flavors
Potassium Chloride
Alfalfa Sprouts
Herring Oil
Cottage Cheese
Ascorbic Acid
Dried Chicory Root Extract
Rosemary Extract

Yeah, some of the ingredients are ridiculous. I think maybe to give taste or sweetness maybe they work as natural binders, or maybe to make it interesting to these American cats who have been eating Purina and Whiskas all their lives. Who knows?

But what makes this food appealing is this:

Well, that's something.

This made me think of something entirely different but not too far off topic,

I would guess that a vegan cat diet would be animal cruelty. I would have to say that feeding your cat nothing but plant parts would merely be survival, then. Not thriving, not at all-- like a human living on bread and water. Great for third-world prisoners and it can be done with
enriched bread, but what a horrible diet! But that brings out the obvious irony and absence of logic to a vegan pet lifestyle....

How could you endorse a vegan cat or dog diet and be against animal cruelty and a supporter of PETA?

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