Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Effect of Starvation

I would like to feed all my cats only soft-food, good quality tinned products. That’s not going to happen. Some will simply not eat the best that I can provide (Cammie). Some eat too little soft-food (Tungsten). Some eat soft-food today but not tomorrow, but maybe the next (Renn). I have attempted to give them different brands, different flavours. If I had fed them only soft-food from the moment they had come to me, perhaps I would have succeeded in keeping them on such a diet. However, that was not the case, so I do now what I can.

And what I can do is try another experiment. When I get home each day from work, I feed the beasts a soft-food dinner. I give them a similar meal, which they know as ‘snack’ about eight o’clock. In the interval, they are free to nibble on the hard-food. I have now removed this option. It has resulted in a better and fuller consumption of the soft-food I give them at snack-time. I am only into the third day of the experiment, but I like what I see. I may extend the experiment to other times.

But what a fuss it has created. The period between dinner and snack-time is now filled with prowling carnivores seeking a kill with which to slake their hunger; cringing mendicants grovelling at my feet, begging for scraps; vultures swirling about looking for scant pickings in a land of immortals, and self-pitying whiners who bewail the skeletal remains of once sleek and stout bodies. You would think these cats were Oliver Twist in the workhouse.

And when, after the snacks have been disbursed, after time has been given for digestion, I put the hard-food bowls back down, they have the gravitational pull of red giants on tiny asteroids. Last night, I observed something I had never observed before. Have you ever seen pictures of a family of cats, all eating at once, all from bowls arranged in a close-set line? Perhaps that is your family. It’s not mine. I feed my animals practically in separate rooms. But last evening, Tucker and Renn were too hungry to wait, too hungry to dislike one another’s proximity.

You can see how I am abusing the cats by the gaunt and boney form that Tucker has become. He’s virtually a stick, and I am being made to feel appropriately bad for it. But starvation loves company - and company loves its food.


  1. We eat soft food and kibble and fortunately Sister Zoe is eating again.

  2. hahaha....well said. we are having this issue with Coral - like it today, not so much tomorrow, maybe later lady. sigh.....

  3. They're almost as gaunt and bony as Nicki and Derry. :-P

    I feed almost entirely canned because of Derry's chronic cystitis issues, but I swear those two have packed on the pounds since August's start of their food "restriction."

    So if this works for you and they do lose a bit of weight, awesome! I wish mine would too.

    P.S. When I'm home (weekend, vacation day, holiday) it's like I have two vultures circling every hour or so, expecting food. Oy!

  4. I'm all for keeping the dry food a little treat, only. Mine get soft food throughout the day and just a 1/4 c of dry each throughout. If I leave dry out the one cat devours it. I do believe it is what makes our pussycats pudgy.

  5. You have made my entire day with this post. I loved every word!

  6. i hope the hungry beasties don't start you as a tasty snack. Jessie loves her wet food ( now that we have stabilized her thyroid levels) but she won't eat her dry food any more. She too, has become quite vocal in her demands for more food. From Eileen and Jessica

  7. Oh my you made me smile and giggle with this one :) Glad they are eating more wet food for you too. Have a great week-end!

  8. We've never eaten together...I eat on the floor, Wally eats on the counter and Zoey eats in her room. It would be a miracle to have all of eating together. ~Ernie

  9. You are a very good writer! I know what you are going through to try to get them to eat something healthy. It can be more difficult than feeding human children

    Debby in Prescott Valley, Arizona

    1. Thank you for the compliment. It's all in the inspiration, and these beasts certainly give me that.

  10. My kitties are the "line up" eaters. All in a row each eating canned foot from a biodegradable paper plate. This is the way we roll for breakfast and dinner. Dry food is put down before I retire for the evening. I've found out that we've had less kidney problems with my oldsters since I've restricted access to dry food.

  11. The kitties here are the same way. Every time I stand up, they want to eat. So I just have to ignore them. I try to give them just canned food but it is hard with so many so they do get dry food every now and then. But good job weaning them off the dry food all the time. And thanks so very much for all the purrs for Mew Mew. She is much better thanks to all those wonderful purrs.

  12. Oh My Cod!! Too funny...
    Yes a shadow of the cat he once was... A mere bone hung with fur...
    We went through the same here when Buddy went on a program after I saw him limping after a jump down from the table. He is now 4 years past that and a trim 14 or 14.5. (Down from 20+) and can run like the wind.
    It did take the kibble detox which was some couple months. They never did take to Raw which was another experiment.
    They all get a tiny bit of kibble as a treat at night which Buddy screams for but that is his way. I think you are on the right track but it does take time.
    Dad Pete and Timmy

  13. Sasha is my skinny cat so I leave the dry food out, with the hopes he'll eat between meals, though I suspect it is the other two who are munching. They get wet food only once a day and they love it.

    I laughed out loud at your description of Tucker! Some stick...