When we adopted the skittish but loving Roxy-cat, we wanted her transition to a new home to be as smooth as possible, so we asked the folks at the cat rescue shelter what she'd been eating (I'm not going to shill for anyone, but we'll just say it's a slightly pricey brand of kibble that claims veterinarians feed it to their pets). We picked up some of that, just so she'd be able to experience something familiar, and she dug right in.
Roxy is an unusual cat, in that she prefers dry kibble and will only nibble halfheartedly at wet cat food. (My theory is that dry kibble provides her with both dinner and entertainment -- she likes to paw individual pieces of kibble out of her dish and chase them across the bathroom floor before she pounces on them and devours them, leading us to dub her game "kibble soccer" -- but who knows what goes on in that little brain, really?) However, Miss V is often on the lookout for new food, treats and toys for Roxy, and on Monday she remembered she had a $20 coupon to visit a local shi-shi pet store not far from home.
This particular store (no, I'm not shilling for them either) was full of all kinds of expensive canine and feline goodies: premium raw dog food and frozen bones, homeopathic pet meds, pricey collars and toys, and an entire wall of little tins of fancy-pants cat food. When one of the employees asked what our cat ate and we replied honestly, she gave us a look of mild dismay. "That stuff isn't very healthy for your cat," she warned us, indicating that it was partly formulated with grains and vegetable proteins that cats couldn't properly digest. She eagerly directed us to their own wide range of tinned wet organic cat food (most of which cost more, ounce for ounce, than premium canned tuna for human consumption), helping us select half a dozen cans for Roxy's dining pleasure. These, she assured us, would be so much better and healthier for our cat than the questionable dry kibble she'd been consuming since kittenhood.
Optimistic and armed with lots of advice and tins, Miss V immediately opened a can of healthy wet cat food for Roxy almost as soon as we got home, spooning it into her dish. It gave the entire bathroom a noticeable reek of organic animal protein for several hours. Roxy sniffed the stuff dubiously and walked off. We didn't give the matter much thought (although we gave it several more sniffs) until Tuesday morning, when we discovered Roxy's final verdict: after nibbling a bit at the pungent new food overnight, she'd barfed up some healthy organic protein on the living room carpet. After some quick carpet cleanup, her dish was cleared out and filled with a daily serving of her usual kibble. Roxy immediately and happily began chowing down, apparently none the worse for wear from her little experiment with bulimia.
It occurred to me that "healthy" pet food is only truly healthful if your pet will eat it (and keep it down). Although many other cats love and beg for fancy wet cat food, Roxy obviously finds it disgusting. (Having smelled the stuff, I can't blame her.) And frankly, despite the advice we were given at the store, Roxy seems much more capable of digesting kibble than the premium wet food. So we're just going to keep on feeding her kibble, giving her plenty of fresh water, and making sure she gets lots of time to exercise, play, nap and cuddle.
And these cute little tins of organic whatsit? They're going to the cat rescue shelter.