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:
- 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.
- Zuki is feeling much better.
- 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!!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*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.
Hey Vegansaurs, can you help me figure out what to feed my cat? I know normally you ask us for help and stuff, but think of this as charming moment of vulnerability, in which you learn that we bloggers are only human after all. Except Laura, she’s actually a superhero.
I just spent an exhausting night at the vet ER. My poor kitty has cystitis, which makes her pee bloody (Ick, I know! I just keep telling myself it’s worse for her). One thing they told us is we have to switch her to wet food.
I hate wet cat food. It’s disgusting. It smells. It looks like meat. It requires meaty things to end up in my dishwasher. I’ve been doing great at ignoring/accepting the fact that my pet is not vegan, but the bubble has burst (someone told me recently a bunny would be the best pet for me, since they’re vegan already).
We’ve had the “can cats be vegan?" discussion here before. I’m still afraid of the money/work/time/leap of faith/lack of peer-reviewed science involved in that. (Please, send me links to peer-reviewed science if you have them!)
What do you guys do? Is there a brand of food that’s organic and sustainable-ish? Is fish better than animals that probably suffer more?
I’m taking a risk here, asking hard questions in public before I have the answers, admitting my biases and flaws. It’s because I trust you guys to know this is an ongoing process for all of us, and I think you can help me out.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons