|Our kittens: Galaxy and Ginger|
We have heard it from our vet’s assistant and other pet owners. “You should never feed your cat human food.” We don’t listen to the conventional wisdom because we are smart enough to do the research to see what they can share and what they can’t from our table and that is what they eat. Then I found something about four weeks ago that confirmed we are making the right decision regarding our cats. I am sure some of you remember wondering what "mystery meat" was when seeing that on the school cafeteria menu in school. Well, as it turns out, pets have their own mystery meat. “In a new study that tested 52 pet-food products, researchers found that 20 were potentially mislabeled, and 16 contained meat that was not indicated on the packaging.” Among the stuff included in the mislabeled foods were chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and lamb. Some of the meat in the pet food was not even included on the label, with pork being the worst.
So what do we give our cats if we don’t give them regular pet food? We typically give them tuna, mixed with a little egg and sometimes vegetables, but not as many because they need animal-based proteins that are limited to poultry, rabbit, and fish (stuff they would normally encounter if they were not domesticated) and less carbs. It was recommended to us that their diet only be about 10% vegetables or fruits and 90% cooked poultry, rabbit, and fish. Also note that not all vegetables and fruits are safe. We only give them green beans, peas, bell peppers (except orange), broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, zucchini, apple, banana, blueberry, cantaloupe, mango, pear, strawberry, and watermelon. All vegetables are easier to digest when they have already been cooked and be sure to remove all rinds, skin, seeds, and pits where able with the fruits. Our cats like their food cold so we refrigerate it first. When we make a whole container of it, it normally lasts about a week since they are both kittens right now. We also use a cat supplement to give them the necessary nutrients that they cannot get from human foods. The supplement that we use is a spray-on supplement and is less than $10 a bottle. It lasts them months. Small cats need two sprays for every meal. Three sprays are required for larger cats (over nine pounds). There are also certain herbs that you can use to enhance their food. These include basil, catnip (acts as a sedative when ingested), chamomile (good for anxiety, abdominal cramps, ulcers, GI tract irritation, and skin abrasions), dandelion leaves (good for weight management), ginger (good for upset stomachs), mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and valerian (unlike humans, this acts as a stimulant for cats).
We try not to make a habit out of telling other people what they should feed their pets. If you feed your pet a typical store-bought diet, that is your business and your choice. They are, after all, your pet. I just saw this article several weeks ago, thought it confirmed the choices we make for our cats, and thought that our way of doing things deserved to be shared with some information since people don’t usually feed their cats this way. I pray that this has been helpful to you.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION including sources for material that does not have a link above:
Holistic Pet Center (http://www.holisticpetscenter.com/cat-safe-plants-herbs/)