Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Obsession, part 1: cat food

Readers of this blog will know that I have a bit of an obsession with my cats. And while it may make some readers look away, that's just too bad. And while I do try to keep the cat-oriented entries to only once every other week or so, sometimes I exceed my quota. It happens. I'm fond of my cats.

So fond, indeed, that the obsession goes way beyond posting pictures of them. On my computer desk, for intance, I have a printout of canned cat food, arranged in ascending order by phosphorous content. (You can get your own printout here.)Also included are the percentages for protein, fat, and sodium.

I keep it on my computer desk so that I can ponder it from time to time before ordering a new batch of cat food every few weeks or so. The phosphorus numbers (along with the protein numbers and, to a lesser degree, the sodium numbers) are important for cats in renal failure, and Clyde is in the very early stages of what can be a pretty awful disease. (It's CRF that led to Kitty's death last December.)

So I've been obsessed with the right food for CRF cats for some time. Last fall, in addition to the CRF catfood obsession, I was deep into research on hypoallergenic food. Casey came to us with various ailments (the details of which I'll spare you), and the diagnosis was food allergies. Cats apparently can develop food allergies after repeated exposure to some food ingredient. The trouble is, it's hard to know which one. So the strategy is to feed them food that isn't commonly included in cat food: used to be lamb, but that's become too common. Now it's venison or rabbit. And even the carbohydrate ingredient needs to be unique. So, here's what I found:

That's right: venison and green pea. Hey, it's better than the original Prescription Diet hypoallergenic formula, which contains something called "hydrolyzed chicken," brougnt into being through "a process that eliminates animal intact proteins and significantly reduces the possibility of an adverse reaction to food." Yeah. I may be a vegetarian, but I'd prefer my cats get real protein, thanks. (And Hill's, the maker of Prescription Diet foods, has recently introduced D/D: Rabbit and Green Pea. So maybe they had the same thought.)

All right, then. That's one obsession. Cat food. Maybe I'll blog about another obsession in the future. (Hence the tantalizing title: Part 1.)I know my readers will be holding their breath. The anticipation.


Zil said...

At the risk of becoming tagged as the person who only comments on cat posts:

This reminded me of a time back in distant yore (okay, when I was in high school) when our family cat developed a lot of allergies. My mom began making the cat special non-allergenic homemade food--lamb and rice--and keeping it in the fridge. After my mom and I were away one weekend, we came back to find the whole bowl gone. It turns out that my dad had been busy working on his textbook and hadn't felt like cooking, so he just ate the cat's food, figuring it, at the least, would not trigger any food allergies.
Moral? Don't write textbooks. They take up way too much of your time.

Donna said...

It's ok, Dr. Mama. At least I know my cat blogging is not going unappreciated.

And, yeah: homemade cat food. I may love my cats, but I haven't taken it that far. The first cat book I ever bought (ok, yes, that suggests I have additional cat books...) advocated serving raw foods to your cat--a homemade mixture of raw meat, egg, some cooked vegetables, and other stuff. I apparently studied the recipe, thinking I might. But no. That just seems like too much. Plus: raw meat? Ew.

(But I'm guessing the lamb was cooked?)

Marcia said...

Your post reminded me that I've been meaning to ask you about the shelter you volunteer at. Can you share that info with me? I might be interested.

Donna said...

Interested in getting an animal or interested in volunteering? In either case, I can talk to you about it when I see you. I had a kind of negative experience with them this summer, so I'm not necessarily inclined to give them a whole-hearted recommendation.

Salena said...

Thank for your comments.Cat food contains both animal and plant material,supplemented with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.An important nutrient is the amino acid derivative taurine, as cats cannot synthesize the compound.teach a cat

Anonymous said...

I may love my cats, but I haven't taken it that far. The first cat book I ever bought (ok, yes, that suggests I have additional cat books...) advocated serving raw foods to your cat--a homemade mixture of raw meat, egg, some cooked vegetables
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