Pets, and Foods for Pets

 

Charlie Cat

Photo, right, by Catherine Haug

This menu includes the following categories:

  • Foods for Cats and Dogs
    • Commercial Cat Foods
    • Homemade Foods for Cats (still experimenting)
    • Homemade Foods for Dogs (not yet)
  • Homemade Remedies, Treatments for Cats, Dogs
  • Risks and Other Info For/About Pets
    • Sodium Selenite in Pet Foods
    • The Problem of Tap and Distilled Water for Cats
    • Carcinogenic Glyphosate in Pet Foods
    • Other Risks, Info (several links to articles

NOTE: Cats are obligatory carnivores (they only eat meats, and can be harmed by a diet comprised mainly of plants/herbs; exceptions include catnip and slippery elm syrup). Dogs are also carnivores, but not obligatory, and can tolerate more plant foods.

Commercial Foods

Canned Cat Foods

For canned food, I use Friskies (5.5 oz cans) and Fancy Feast (3 oz cans) brands because they do not contain toxic sodium selenite; see my article Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic for more about this. Canned foods offer more needed moisture than dry kibble offers. 

Daily amount of canned foods for adult cats

(from Purina, re their Friskies brand): 

“Feed adult cats 1 to 1-1/4 oz per pound of body weight daily. Divide into two or more meals. Adjust as needed to maintain ideal body condition. Kittens need up to twice as much food as adult cats and should be fed all they will eat two or three times daily.”

  • My new 1-year old Teddy weighs about 8 lbs (Oct 2020), so needs 8 – 10 oz (up to two 5.5 oz cans).
  • My 16+ year-old Charlie has early-stage kidney disease and other health issues. He used to weigh about 11 lbs but I think he’s lost some weight because he doesn’t eat much. As of Oct ’20, he eats ½ – 1 can of Fancy Feast (1.5 – 3 oz). Nov ’20 update: turns out he had a sick tooth which is why he wasn’t eating much; it finally fell out and now his gums are healing and he eats more canned or homemade cat food (sodium-selenite-free). Hooray!

Kibble for Cats

For your pet’s health, kibble should NOT be their primary food. I feed them raw-frozen food and sodium-selenite-free canned foods if I don’t have any homemade food on-hand, as their primary food, but keep a bit of kibble in their kibble bowl for snacks (stirred with some fresh, filtered water).

I use Orijen and Acana brands of kibble because they do not contain sodium selenite; see my article Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic for more about this. And also because they are grain and soy free. My cat’s favorite is Orijen’s Cat and Kitten kibble, but I also give them other Orijen and Acana kibble mixes.

The first ingredients in Origen’s Cat and Kitten’s kibble are: “Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, cage-free eggs, Atlantic flounder, whole Atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, whole Atlantic herring, chicken heart, turkey heart.” It also contains some fruits and veggies, including:whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash…kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, apples, pears,” as well as various seeds and herbs.

For info about Acana ingredients, see Paw Diet: Acana Cat Food Ingredients site.

I keep about 1 small handful of kibble in the kibble bowl (stirred with some fresh, filtered water) for them to snack on throughout the day, in addition to the canned  or raw, frozen foods.

Homemade Wet Foods for Cats

I want to come up with some recipes using raw or lightly cooked meat or fish, but am still experimenting.

Homemade Wet Foods for Dogs

  • (not yet)

Commercial Frozen, Raw Foods for Cats

A new pet-food store recently opened in my small community, and they carry frozen raw foods for cats and dogs, so I will start introducing my two cats to this option that is far better than canned or kibble foods. See The Spruce Pets for the 8 Best Brands of Raw-Frozen or Freeze-Dried foods.

Commercial Freeze-Dried Foods for Cats

Most brands suggest using these dried bits as snacks. Unfortunately my cats don’t like the ones I’ve tried, except for Cat-Man-Doo, Life Essentials brand of Freeze-Dried Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon which they LOVE. See The Spruce Pets for the 8 Best Brands of Raw-Frozen or Freeze-Dried foods.

Homemade Remedies, Treatments

D-mannose for a cat’s urinary tract health.

My cat Charlie is 14 years old and has early-stage kidney failure. I use D-mannose in my morning smoothie every day, for my own health. So on 3/24/21, I looked it up online:

  • vetinfo.com (check out Carollynn Rohr’s comment on that page). They recommend 1 tsp of D-mannose powder/day (about 2 g), mixed in water which can then be added to the cat food. Carollynn’s cat had some type of blockage in his urinary tract, so she mixed 1 tsp D-mannose powder with 1 Tbsp water and mixed that into her cat’s wet food, hourly, 4-times that day. It resolved the blockage.
  • SweetCures recommends a daily dosage roughly based on 1g per 10kg of the animal’s weight. My cat’s weight is about half that, so his dose would be about 0.5 g/day.

My digital scale doesn’t measure less than 1 g, which is about 1 tsp of D-mannose powder, so the two recommendations (above) match. Here’s what I will test: Dissolve ½ tsp (1g) in 2 tsp water, and mix 1 tsp of that mix with 1-day’s worth of cat food; this equates to about ½ g/day. I will test this for a week or so, and update this posting with my findings.

My articles on other health issues for cats:

Articles on Other Sites:

 Risks and Other Info for/about Pets

Sodium Selenite:

The problem of tap and distilled water:

See VetWater (vetwater.com): I found this site when looking for water filters for my cats’ water dispenser; I’ve not yet tried it (3/16/21), as I use water from my reverse-osmosis filter; however, its pH is not slightly acidic, so I will figure out how to correct that.

VetWater’s product, “CATWATER,”  is available on Amazon (code: B08BJ85RMV), and is intended to help your cat’s urinary tract health. From their site:

  • “Helps increase water consumption in cats. CATWATER is ozonated and chlorine-free with a light rate of acidity which encourages cats to drink more.
  • Helps promote an ideal urinary pH; CATWATER has a perfectly balanced pH between 6.2 and 6.4 that suits cats need [Cat’s note: this pH is slightly acidic – less acidic than distilled water]
  • Helps minimize the presence of the minerals responsible for causing crystals and stones in the bladder…. CATWATER contains no minerals associated to urinary problems.”

Carcinogenic Glyphosate in Pet Foods

See Mercola-Health Pets article: Carcinogenic-Glyphosate in Pet Foods for more detail. From the article [or my notes in square brackets], the following foods are in order from best-to-worst:

    • The best food for cats and dogs is fresh raw meat;
    • Next is freeze-dried raw meat;
    • [Lightly-cooked fresh meat];
    • Mostly-raw homemade pet food; however, avoid cooking oils that contain corn or soy products, even if they’re organic;
    • Certified Organic canned pet food [choose sodium-selenite-free, menadione-free];
    • Non-organic canned pet food [choose sodium-selenite-free, menadione-free];
    • Regular dried kibble;
    • The worst is grain-free kibble (especially if contains oats or legumes such as pea-protein, chickpeas, and/or lentils)

Other Risks, Info

    • Pet Health Secrets Most Vets Won’t Tell You (From TTAC for Pets) discusses 4 main topics:
        1. Do Pet food Standards Provide a False Sense of Security?
        2. The #1 Thing You Can Do: Read a Pet Food Label
        3. Are Your Pets Drinking Enough Water?
        4. Pet Obesity and Health: The Problem with Overweight Pets
    • How to Help your Cat Live a Longer Life (Mercola article); here’s highlights of the top 8 ways:
      1. Species-specific diet: Cats need a high moisture, high protein, low carb diet;
      2. Maintain a healthy weight – don’t overfeed, especially with carbs. “Calculate calorie requirements for your cat’s ideal weight, measure his food portions using a measuring cup or scale.” [link goes to another Mercola article].
      3. Consistent daily exercise: “includes at least 20 minutes of high-intensity activity such as playing and chasing will help your cat burn fat and increase muscle tone.”
      4. Indoor living: even tho it is not their native habitat, cats have evolved, and an indoor life has far fewer health risks.
      5. Environmental enrichment: The more comfortable your feline family member feels in your home, the lower her stress level.
      6. Crate training isn’t just for dogs; being crate-trained helps when you have to take your cat to a vet, for example.
      7. Grooming: while your cat is naturally a good groomer, “it’s a good idea to teach your kitty to accept regular gentle brushing or combing.”
      8. Veterinary health checkups: most young healthy cats only need a checkup once a year, cats 7-years or older, or those with chronic health issues should have two visits annually.
    • Supplements “Potentially Lifesaving for You, Poison to Your Pet” (Mercola’s Health Pets site)
    • Synthetic vitamin K (Menadione or K3) may be Toxic to your Cat’s Liver (Mercola’s Health Pets site); from the article: Menadione (synthetic vitamin K), widely used in all types of pet food, has been identified as a liver toxin, even in very small amounts. Check labels, even in raw pet foods, for presence of this nutrient; look for menadione, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (MSBC), or vitamin K3. I just checked the 2 canned cat foods I use (Friskies and Fancy Feast); both use MSBC. Fortunately, the 2 kibble brands I use (Orijen and Acana) do NOT contain either form of menadione.
    • Many cat and dog foods contain grains or soy as a first or second ingredient; yet cats are obligatory carnivores, meaning their diet must be animal-foods (meats, organs, etc) and  dogs are regular carnivores, meaning they can utilize a small amount of carbs, but rely mainly on animal foods. One brand that breaks those rules is Hill’s Science Diet, which they tout as “Veterinarian Recommended.” Their foods also contain sodium selenite, a toxic form of the essential mineral, selenium (see my article: Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic for more). See Hill’s Science Diet website for list of ingredients in each of their pet foods
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