Dangers Of Canned Cat Food

An Ode to Grumpy Cat

I just read that Grumpy Cat passed away.  I was saddened along with many others that this hopefully happy underneath Grumpy Cat face is no longer here, except in spirit and many, many photos.

Besides being sad about her passing, I was also reminded of my own problems with our Rude Kitty, Cuddles.  He also has problems with his urinary tract.

At first, I was just worried about the awful, overpowering smell of pee in my laundry room.  I couldn’t keep it clean enough to be able to do laundry without nearly suffocating from trying to hold my breath.

After a month or so, I decided that the problem was not me unable to keep the litter box clean and not Cuddles ‘marking his territory’ on my Christmas boxes that were also stored there.

So I called my friend, who is an expert in cats as she has spent most of her adult life volunteering at animal shelters of every sort.

She said that some canned cat foods (or too much of some) can cause urine to crystallize.  “Cut back on the canned cat food” Was her advice.

I looked up urinary crystals/stones.  There is an great deal of information and theories about it.  But there doesn’t seem to be an agreement about what causes wet cat food to contribute to it.  It could be magnesium, ash or the pH.  Theories change and I don’t feel comfortable repeating what can easily be wrong or found on the net.

I trust her.  I knew that she was probably right, but canned cat food was a nice part of our day.  Cuddles was happy to eat it, I was happy that he was happy and he didn’t seem sick.  But, as I couldn’t think of a good reason not to do as she said, I decided to stop feeding him canned cat food.

It worked. Our laundry room smell returned to soap and fresh kitty litter.

One solution that is recommended by the articles that I read says that always having fresh water available for your cats is important.  But that is important for every pet ALL the time.  And I always keep at least four dishes/waterers available for our pets.  I knew that was not a problem.

We have three cats: Cuddles, Fluffy and Max.  I used to buy each one the canned cat food that they liked but Fluffy and Max decided that they didn’t like canned cat food any more.  I may be a dedicated Cat Mom but I do not taste their food.  I took them at their turned up noses and uneaten food.

Max used to like it, but decided that he didn’t at just about the same time I began smelling a strong urine odor in our laundry room where the upstairs litter box is kept.  

Then I noticed that Cuddles wouldn’t eat some types of food, not even his favorite expensive ‘treat’ brands.  It seemed like there would be batches of food that they ate fine then wouldn’t touch.  I was wasting money and making my cats sick.

My solution was to once again go back to the sensibilities of  my childhood on a Midwestern farm; before corporations took over and when life was more easily understood.

My Grandfather told me if I had ever gone to a canning factory, I would never eat apple sauce again.  My mother told me that she didn’t eat ground turkey because there weren’t many pieces of  turkey left over to grind up…and NONE of them were pieces that she wanted to eat.

Thinking about this, I thought about what was probably used for cat food.  Certainly not even the pieces that my mother didn’t want to eat.

I decided that I could also go back to the days when my mother made dog food for our dogs.  It smelled good enough to eat for dinner back then, although, I didn’t want to eat potato peels. 

I decided to give Cuddles only People Food.  I also began pulling a cat-sized portion of  unseasoned (not spaghetti or taco meat, etc.) chicken, turkey or beef leftover from dinner and giving that to him.

He loves it and I do to!  I save money and I know that, because we eat non-processed foods, he is also getting good, wholesome food.

It has been two months since I began feeding him people grade food and Cuddles has not had any difficulties with his urine.  

And Max has started eating meat again.  He loves turkey.

We don’t feed them raw food and we are careful about what we feed them.  Nothing with heavy spices, preservatives or processed foods like bologna, pepperoni, or reconstituted chicken nuggets.  

 I offer them cooked fish as a treat (mostly because it is also a treat for us.  We don’t have it on a regular basis either.).  Raw fish is dangerous and could give them worms.

None of our cats like eggs, but eggs are safe for them to eat.  Don’t think because they like bacon or ham, that is a good thing.  Salt and preservatives aren’t good for either pets or humans!

It is not a good thing to feed them dairy (think diarrhea).  Some foods are poison like onion, garlic, and chives.  Grapes/raisins are poisonous for dogs and so, just to be safe, it is recommended not to feed them to cats either.  

Cats are not vegans.  But they do eat a variety of vegetables.  I feed ours cooked/steamed vegetables like peas, green beans, corn, carrots, sweet potato, rice, or oatmeal.  

If you choose to go our route, I suggest going on: www.ASPCA.org/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets 

Look up things to double check if you are uncertain about what to feed your cat.  

Cuddles is 19 years old this year.  He is surprisingly healthy and my vet says that he is in good shape for a cat much younger.  He has had scraps from our table for years.  It is just recently that we removed canned cat food from him completely and he isn’t unhappy at all.

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Think about it, not many people want to eat cat food, but most cats are happy to eat people food.  

All of our lives are better when we eat local foods with a minimum of preservatives.  It is better for everyone when conserve/have low waste for ourselves and our pets.

If you think that your cat has been poisoned call 1-888-426-4435 Animal Poison Control Center.

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