Friday, October 18, 2013

Ladies, We Have A Winner

Layla Morgan-Wilde of Cat Wisdom 101, which you can find to the right in the "Blogs I Read" section, runs a lot of contests. It's a testament to how well she's respected that companies send her things for her pride to try. She, in turn, passes on the things she likes to her readers. I examine the offerings and only enter what I think the girls might appreciate.

I have no recollection of entering this contest but I did and I won this.

It's a new-ish entry in the cat food arena and they were promoting it by giving away boxes containing a variety of items.

There's dry cat food and a tablecloth. The tablecloth, while cute, is lost on the girls so I added it to one of my sewing boxes. Maybe somewhere down the line, I can come up with a use for it.

We have two cans of wet cat food, one chicken and one beef wellington. The plates are made of bamboo as is the "fork" which you use to remove the cat food from the cans.

Underneath this layer, I found these.

On the left is a stash of coupons. Collars would not be appreciated by either gal. So, right off the bat, if you have a cat who would like a collar, leave an email address and it's yours. Perhaps my girls should be wearing collars, in the hugely unlikely event either gets out and doesn't come back, but I'm giving a lot of thought to microchipping them which would remove the need for a collar.

So, how does the food taste? We started with the chicken wet cat food. Now, it needs to be mentioned that my girls eat dry cat food. Wet is for special occasions. Wet usually gets a look and a taste and then they look at me as if to say, "Is this it?" Wet is not our choice of food. They do, however, recognize the sound of a can of cat food opening and they come running. Mija roams about my legs. Pilchard sits in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room and watches. They were amused that I had to photograph their dinner.

It wasn't as "pate" as I expected. It was kind of runny. I'm used to the Fancy Feast pate that holds its shape when removed from the can. They sniffed it, took a couple of bites and wandered away. I don't know if that is a reaction to the lack of smell, the lack of taste or texture or the fact that it's wet versus dry. They just showed no interest in eating it right away. I left both plates on the floor and the stuff was gone within 4 hours. That's what usually happens with wet cat food.

I waited for two weeks before opening the can of beef wellington.

This is chunky in a strong-smelling gravy. It looked really unappetizing to me. I did not expect it to be even remotely appreciated although, with the strong smell, I knew they would know when I put down the plate that there was something to be investigated. The chicken pate didn't have enough of a smell for Mija to want to check it out. I had to point at the plate, circle it above her head, tantalize her, in order for her to be curious enough to check it out.

Mija checked out the beef, took a couple of tastes, then looked up at me as if to say, "This is is?" Pilchard, on the other hand, dived in with enthusiasm.

She licked up all the gravy first and then ate most of the chunks. Again, I left the plates on the floor for them to eat at their leisure. The beef was gone within 90 minutes.

The last thing to try was the dry food sample.

On the left is what they usually get. On the right is the sample. I had to fight Mija to get a photo. Most of my photos of the comparison looked like this.

To say she likes it is something of an understatement.

Perhaps you've heard me say this before. Cats do not manufacture taurine, a vital nutrient. They must have it from the foods they eat. In the wild, this is not hard to get. House cats, however, must get this nutrient in what we provide them. There is a large contingent who says a raw diet is the way to go. I have a book, buried somewhere in the library, with recipes to make a raw diet for cats. In some cases, where the cat is special needs, it is the right way to go. I don't have the desire to be cooking for myself as much as I should, let alone cook for the girls daily. I also do not want the expense of feeding wet cat food every day. Hence, having cats that will eat dry, and prefer to eat dry is a time and wallet saver.

But many dry cat foods get their calories from grain. While holding the line on cost, grain is just empty calories, kind of like putting Coke on your Cheerios. For Pilchard's long-term health, although she's just naturally large, she doesn't need to be chunky. Some of that can be traced back to her diet. Thankfully, she doesn't like people food, which can add calories without nutrients.

Label reading comes into play as much for my cats' food as for mine. The first ingredient on the package of dry food they currently eat is "corn". Last I checked, that's a grain. The first ingredient on the Merrick chicken dry is "chicken" and not "chicken by-products", but "chicken". Grains of any sort are nowhere to be found in the ingredient list of Merrick cat food. Neither is any kind of ingredient which could be traced back to China, long a problematic source of pet food ingredients.

This does come at a price. A comparable bag of food is twice as expensive as what I'm currently paying. Plus, it's not available at the closest pet store to me. I have to make a trip across town to get it.

Yet, what is their health worth to me? The answer to that question is that I do what's necessary to keep them healthy and happy. They like the Merrick dry cat food so much, Pilchard was licking the empty sample packet. I have a fifth of a bag of Purina Natural Cat to use up but I bought a bag of the Merrick chicken. We're doing every other day. I've noticed they don't seem to snarf down the Merrick like they do the Purina. Perhaps they are filled up more with Merrick.

The bottom line is that I can endorse this cat food. The girls love it. I love the ingredient list on the label. We'll see, in December, at her check up, if it makes a difference in Miss Chunky Monkey's weight.

If you've read this far, I have another give away. I must have a half dozen, or so, coupons for Merrick cat food that expire in December. I'll use one more before then, but I hate to just recycle these. If you want to try it, the coupons are for 40 cents off. Just leave me an email address where I can contact you. Merrick also makes dog food. It's worth your while to head to their web site and poke around. 

Beverage:  Water


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