vegansaurus!

05/10/2012

Follow-up: What should we feed our cats?  »

My cat now eats lots of fish.

A couple months ago, in the wake of a late-night vet visit, I asked what kind of wet food I should be feeding my cat. Fifty-five comments, three emails, and several experiments later, I can report the following:

  1. Vegansaurus readers are awesome! Thanks so much for all your thoughtful, insightful comments. I highly recommend anyone with or considering a cat read the thread.
  2. Zuki is feeling much better.
  3. Boulder, CO, where I am lucky enough to work, has two hippie pet stores in the same shopping center (Only Natural Pets and Whole Pets). Obviously there’s a Whole Foods and a bike shop there as well. It’s ridic, like the town’s trying to make fun of itself. How do these stores not put each other out of business? They’re 100 feet apart!!
  4. My cat doesn’t like nice things. First, she rejected a fancy heated cat bed. Now, she won’t go anywhere near the lovely raindrop water fountain we got her (I think the low hum bugs her?). Luckily, the store has a fantastic return policy. Move four times in a summer and she comes out unfazed, but plug in a trickly water burble that every other pet on the planet goes ga-ga for and it’s like someone turned on a vacuum cleaner or something.
  5. It’s really hard to find solid information about where the meat in pet food is sourced. Can labels? No way. Company websites? As if. The guy at Only Natural Pets (a vet tech at a holistic vet for 6 years, he claimed) was really informative and very nice when I told him I was a vegan on a mission, but I only trust him about 60% of the way. That said, his top brands for conscientious sourcing: Addiction, ZiwiPeak, Evangers.
  6. My husband, my cat, and I have settled on what we think is our best option for feeding the cat wet food: Evangers Whole Mackerel with Gravy. We are now purchasing it by the case, and Zuki is a fishatarian. 

Here’s why we chose the Evangers:

  • It’s all fish, and wild-caught at that (Evangers told me it comes from the Pacific Ocean). Thus the suffering packaged in our 100% recyclable steel cans is much less than say, food with factory-farmed pigs or even cows or chicken. Environmentally, mackerel is a “species of least concern" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [Ed note: damn IUCN, you’re cold!].
  • It’s produced in the USA. The foods from New Zealand seem to be the very most sustainable/responsible, but they’re from New Zealand. Not only is that a long-ass way to ship pet food, it makes it really, really expensive.*
  • Zuki likes it. Obviously key. And because it’s whole fish, I like to pretend she’s having a fun cat experience getting to devour something. 
Anyway, there you have it. I still wish I could go back to the easy days of no-mess dry food, but I’m getting used to scooping out little fishes, and the cat seems much happier and healthier. 
Bizarre side effect: Now that she’s more hydrated, she drools when she’s happy. Drip, drip, drip. Weird. But cute. But also gross.
Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts, let me know what you think of our solution!

*Not that Evanger’s is cheap: It’s costing us about $1.13 a day to feed the cat now. It was WAY cheaper with dry food.

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