So… Max. You, know, the cat I inherited from the ex back in January? The one that was 22 pounds and needed to lose weight? Yeah, that didn’t happen. His first vet visit under my care, and he’s 24 pounds. I tell the vet what I feed him, and it turns out that mass-produced animal food is all carbs and fillers and additives. You know, like commercial people food. Garbage. Seriously, the food industry will kill us all.
Here are the first 5 ingredients for IAMS “Weight Control” dry food: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Meal, Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum. In other words, you need to get to the 4th ingredient to find food value. On top of that, the suggested serving for a 22-pound cat is 1 1/2 – 2 1/4 cups. Are you kidding me? First, that’s a ridiculously wide range, and second, even the lower number is too much food for a cat. I decided on 1 cup a day (1/2 morning, 1/2 evening), and he still gained two pounds in 9 months. CORN CORN CORN! Time to raze Iowa. Or, short of that, ban the corn lobby.
The mission from the vet: more wet food in the mix, and all food should be high protein/low carb. I had to laugh. PALEO KITTY! We’re in this together now, you fat bastard! The last thing I need is a diabetic cat, insulin injections, etc. He’s only 3 and a half years old!
A lot of internetting later, I had some ideas as to what I was looking for, but I figured my best bet would be to check the crunchy-granola pet store just a few miles from my house, Healthy Pet Center in Troy, past HVCC on Route 4. Pricier than normal stuff, of course, but you know how some people are with their animals. I’m just hoping to do right by Max without tripling my monthly costs.
They have every specialty product you can imagine. They had more “no-grain” and “no-filler” and “hi-protein” and… I couldn’t even keep track. After a lot of paralysis by analysis, I grabbed a bag that had the highest protein content I could find, and started walking toward the register. That’s when I saw what I ACTUALLY bought, the Orijen 6-Fish cat food. Highest % of protein in a dry food by far, and the ingredient list is impressive:
Fresh boneless salmon*, salmon meal, herring meal, fresh boneless herring*, fresh boneless walleye*, fresh boneless lake whitefish*, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), russet potato, whitefish meal, sweet potato, peas, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fiber, fresh boneless flounder*, fresh boneless northern pike*, organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, blueberries, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium.
* DELIVERED FRESH, preservative-free and never frozen.
This reminds me I need to eat fish more often.
The smallest available bag was the 5.5 pounder, and I debated buying that much expensive food at the risk of Max rejecting it, but I did it anyway. I don’t know what I was worrying about. He’s the most slovenly, indiscriminate eater I’ve ever seen (cat division). “Food? YES PLEASE? WHATEVER! GIMME!” He wolfed down his first serving and has been meowing for more since. Success. Apparently the goal is to lose two pounds a year for the next two years, as any more will amount to a starvation diet and will harm his liver and other organs. So the proper amounts of higher quality food, more exercise somehow, and hope for the best. I’ll weigh him every three months and see what happens.