Cats Are What They Eat

Just like the big cats in Sub-Saharan Africa, house cats need a 95% protein diet. This means that both big cats and house cats are “obligate carnivores”. Lions don’t graze on the Serengeti. The only grains or vegetables they consume come from the bellies of the animals they kill. House cats are no different, yet we feed them primarily wheat, barley, rice and vegetables with terrible protein sources such as chicken by-products or chicken by-product meal.

As I started to do my research, I came across Dr. Martin Goldstein (Dr. Marty) and he broke cat food down into unhealthy ingredients and ingredients that are best for our feline friends. Here are the unhealthy ingredients:

  1. FILLERS: corn, wheat, soy, barley, oatmeal, white rice. These are all added to cut costs away from adding more protein into the food.
  2. PRESERVATIVES: “BHT” Butylated hydroxtoluene and “BHA” propelyn glycol essentially destroy the good bacteria in the gut of your cat.
  3. MEAT BY-PRODUCTS: You know what this is, right? The leftover parts from meat packing companies and slaughter houses. “The rendered meat used in these products came from condemned animals, ie – animals that were deemed unfit for human consumption. These products normally contain artificial colors, flavors and chemical preservatives” (source). These are not quality sources of protein at all. Sounds like a hot dog. Imagine how your health would be if your only protein source was hot dogs and you had to eat them everyday.

Something I noticed about these unhealthy ingredients is that they are actually close to the unhealthy ingredients in food WE consume. Plus, they kinda trick ya with the fillers because you think, “Rice! Oatmeal! Those are healthy for me. They must be great for my cat.” It’s also tricky because dogs can consume these fillers with no problems because, just like you and me, they are not “obligate carnivores”.

But my cat loves to eat grass from the lawn and that special oat grass cat that I got at the pet store.” Most cats will eat grass from the lawn and then purge it later–especially a chemically treated lawn. DON’T LET YOUR CATS EAT THIS OUTSIDE GRASS. The cat grass grown specifically as a cat treat from the pet store, is non-toxic and aids digestion–it might even help with hairballs (although that is not scientifically proven). You can even plant your own cat grass–it is often called wheat or oat grass.

When I started doing research on how to improve my cat’s diet, the number one thing was protein, protein, protein. Before, I was feeding my cats total CRAP. For example, I bought the big bag of store brand kibble for $10. For their wet “treat” they got just-a-step-up-from-store-brand pate. I thought I was doing right by them with the wet food–the first ingredient was “chicken”, not chicken byproduct or water. What I was feeding them was essentially McDonald’s ever single day. It’s no wonder why they had serious dandruff, were overweight (at 3 years old), had mats in their fur, were throwing up, had smelly stools, and were lethargic. I also think my black cat, Bella, was downright depressed.

Something had to change. Then I watched a video by Dr. Marty and I knew where I had to start. Here is his list of what to feed your cat for optimum health from best to worst. Now, like any good businessman, Dr. Marty created and sells his own brand of cat food. It is in such high demand that it’s actually back-ordered. Dang. That wouldn’t do. I needed cat food that was accessible, convenient, and affordable and contained the following ingredients that are best for cats:

  1. Organ meats such as chicken liver and kidneys. Freeze dried, fresh or cooked.
  2. Prebiotics such as flax, pea flour, carrots, peas, and ginger. This promotes good gut bacteria to flourish in the belly.
  3. Omega-3’s for brain health.
  4. Taurine. Cats require quite a bit of this in their diet for heart health.

So, what do I do? Keep in mind, this is just what I do to feed two american short hair cats. I work full time and I have another small business-second job on the side. I rarely have time to cook for myself, let alone my cats. I also d not like handling raw meat–it literally makes me gag. I cook mostly vegetarian meals. That being said, I can still provide my cats with the diet that is more suitable for their species. Here’s my routine and what I feed my girls, Bella & Stella.

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I buy this at Wal-Mart

BLUE BUFFALO BLUE Wilderness® Indoor Chicken For Adult Cats

“Inspired by the diet of the lynx, a tireless hunter and wild relative of our domesticated feline friends, protein-rich BLUE Wilderness contains a higher concentration of the delicious chicken you know she’ll love, plus other natural quality ingredients and features:

  • Delicious, protein-rich Deboned Chicken
  • Sweet potatoes that provide healthy complex carbohydrates
  • Cranberries, blueberries and carrots that support antioxidant enrichment
  • NO grains or glutens
  • NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals
  • NO artificial preservatives and NO corn, wheat or soy

Our natural BLUE Wilderness is holistically formulated to support the needs of indoor cats. It starts with the carefully balanced calories in our ingredients to help them maintain a healthy body weight.

This is a sensible alternative to raw diets. Raw diets are less convenient to prepare than BLUE Wilderness cat food. What’s more, with raw diets you typically need to provide additional supplements to ensure what you’re feeding your cat is nutritionally complete.” (source)

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I buy this using Amazon Prime.

INSTINCT FREEZE DRIED RAW BOOST MIXERS Grain Free Recipe All Natural Cat Food Toppers

  • “FREEZE DRIED RAW CAT FOOD TOPPER WITH CAGE FREE CHICKEN: Add raw to your cat bowl with Instinct Raw Boost Mixers all natural, grain free cat food toppers. Made with responsibly sourced cage free chicken, organs and non-GMO vegetables and fruits.
  • GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD MIXER: Raw, whole food ingredients are freeze dried to gently remove moisture, locking in nutrients and intensifying flavor. Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.
  • DRY CAT FOOD TOPPER OR CAT TREAT: Add variety & excitement to dry cat food. Raw Boost Mixers are made with all natural ingredients to support healthy digestion and skin & coat.The perfect natural cat food topper or cat treats for picky cats and kittens.
  • POWER OF RAW INGREDIENTS: Our cat food is made with the pure, real nutrition of raw. Raw is natural, made from real meat & whole food ingredients, protein packed & minimally processed. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients from around the world.” (source)
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I buy this using Amazon Prime.

INSTINCT ORIGINAL GRAIN FREE Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

  • GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD WITH CAGE FREE CHICKEN: Instinct Original is made with 95% chicken, turkey & chicken liver, 5% vegetables, fruits & wholesome ingredients. This is high protein cat food with responsibly sourced cage free chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • CANNED CAT FOOD WITH NO FILLERS: Instinct Original wet cat food is high protein cat food. Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, by-product meals, artificial colors or preservatives – ingredients known to trigger food sensitivities.
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: Made from real meat & whole food ingredients, our grain free wet cat food is packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles. Served as a meal or topper, this delicious pate texture is a taste that even picky kitties will love.
  • RAW INSPIRED WET CAT FOOD: Our canned cat food offers complete & balanced nutrition from real ingredients to support your cat’s health from kitten to senior. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients from around the world.

I feed the girls at 8pm every night. Animals thrive on consistency. A break in routine can cause anxiety and to act out. Plus, it’s not fair to make them wait when they depend on us for sustenance.

Here’s what I do: 2 bowls for dry kibble, 2 bowls for fresh water, 2 bowls for “treats”/ wet food–we call wet food “treats” in our household. First, I fill their water bowls. I have a large jug I keep in the refrigerator that is primarily used as cat water. Then I count out 10 of the “Instinct Freeze Dried Mixers” into the dry kibble bowl. Next, I measure out the “Blue Buffalo” dry kibble. Then I take the large can of “Instinct Grain Free Wet Food” and divide the can into four sections. (1) can = two (1/4) servings. That’s it.

I have noticed so many good things happening that I am attributing to this new, grain free, high protein diet.

  1. Sleek, shiny fur. No more matting or dandruff.
  2. More energy. Stella is running around the house like a crack-head now and she never did this before. Bella still does this, but with more vigor.
  3. Less Depressed. Bella was literally depressed in the mornings before I left for work. I would ask her, “Bella are you depwessed?” and she wouldn’t even look up at me from her tuffet. Now, she is roaming around the house in the morning and talking and acting like her old self.
  4. Both cats play with their toys more. They even get them out of their toy box during the day to play with when I’m not there.
  5. Less smelly litter boxes.

Now, with all that I’ve said and the research I’ve done, I still must tell you what my vet said about this diet. She said it all comes down to three things: 1. Do your pets like it? 2. Does this diet fit into your budget? 3. Is it something you can handle doing everyday?

Again, these are just things that work for me. Once I found out about the whole obligate carnivore thing and I started doing more research, I found some good, quality products that I could afford and I went from there.

If your thinking, “Nikole is a total cat lady and I can’t do all this and be with the kids, cook dinner, ect.” That’s is fine too! It’s really just as simple as a quick label check, like we do with our own food. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that the first ingredient on your cat food is a quality protein, whether it be chicken, fish, turkey, duck, or whatever. Not “meat bi-product”. It must be the one word ingredients above. Also check for taurine, as that is a heart healthy vitamin cats must have for healthy heart function. Stay away from fillers: potato, oatmeal, white rice, etc. Feed your cats on time. Love them all the time and you will have healthy, happy cats for years to come.

Questions? Write me a comment below!

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Life Uncommon

Life Uncommon by Jewel

Don’t worry mother
It’ll be alright
And don’t worry sister
Say your prayers and sleep tight
And it’ll be fine
Lover of mine
It’ll be just fine

And lend your voices only
To sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength
To that which you wish
To be free from
Fill your lives
With love and bravery
And you shall lead
A life uncommon

I’ve heard your anguish
I’ve heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary
But we aren’t worn out
Set down your chains
Until only faith remains
Set down your chains

And lend your voices only
To sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength
To that which you wish
To be free from
Fill your lives
With love and bravery
And we shall lead
A life uncommon

There are plenty of people
Who pray for peace
But if praying were enough
It would’ve come to be
Let your words enslave no one
And the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring our clear
With sounds of freedom
Sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers
Move out of the way
There is a new army coming
And we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live

And lend our voices only
To sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength
To that which we wish
To be free from
Fill your lives
With love and bravery
And we shall lead

And lend our voices only
To sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength
To that which we wish
To be free from
Fill your lives
With love and bravery
And we shall lead
A life uncommon

 

5 Things To Like This Week

pablo

  1. Thread Up. This is an online thrift store that is amazing. I’ve been ordering gently used clothing and been very happy with the really high quality items. Jeans, tops with the tags, kids clothes for my nieces and nephews, and even boots. I would highly recommend it. The shipping is fast and returns are quick and easy. Use this referral LINK  for $10 off your purchase.
  2. Brene Brown’s Netflix special: The Call to Courage. The part where she talks about joy being one of the hardest emotions to feel in terms of vulnerability really hit home for me. Sometimes when I experience the best times, especially with my family, I do catch myself fearing the other shoe is going to drop or some tragedy will occur and snatch that joy away. I’ve had to really work and teach myself to lean into joy and not rehearse tragedy. It is now a reminder to be grateful. I start thinking like that and then I start listing 3 things I am grateful for. Works every damn time: case in point–these blog entries.
  3. Zappos New Orleans Style Cajin Dill Gator-Tators. How cool are things from New Orleans Cajun flavored anything?! Then you add dill and it’s just a flavor explosion. So you got the cool dill, right? But then they kick it up with some mild Cajun spices and kettle chips. I found these in a gas station in Wyoming. I’ll include a link to buy them online if ya want to. Plus, gator tators . . .huh, huh. That’s adorable.
  4. Sun Basket. I really liked this meal delivery service. I ordered 3 meals: Fresh spaghetti with pancetta-tomato sauce and arugula salad, Spicy mojo-marinated steak fajitas with guacamole and salsa, and New Orleans po’ boys with cornmeal-crusted tofu and apple slaw. All three of these meals were delicious, more than enough for two people, and really fresh. I think this is a really cool thing to plan if you are having company, a date, or just want a break from grocery shopping. Okay, here is a code for $40 OFF your first order! You’re gonna love it and when you get $40 so do I!!
  5. Magnetic Jewelry Clasps. I have acrylic nails and clasping dainty necklaces without help was a bit of a problem, but I found a solution on Amazon. So, you get these magnetic clasps and all you have to do is unclasp the lobster clasp on them and attach them to the necklace. Uh. Game changer!!

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5 Things To Like This Week

pablo

  1. Harry and Meghan have an Instagram page! I am quite obsessed with the royal family. All of them. And now that there is an American in the mix!? Awesome!
  2. Life of the Party movie. This movie was adorable. It’s about this mom whose husband is a jerk and ends their marriage out of nowhere. So she decides to go back to college and finish her archaeology degree. She does a little partying and may or may not have sex in the library? Haha! It was hilarious!
  3. Robin’s Egg Coconut Cake. My Mom and I made this cake for my sister’s birthday and it fricken took ALL DAY. It turned out really nice though. Here is the recipe.
  4. Aquaman. O.M.G. I just fell in love with Jason again. It cracks me up that he barely had a paragraph of lines in the movie, but I still watched. Def not expecting a compelling monologue for that guy. Shhhhh. Quiet, Jason. You’re so pretty. No talking.
  5. Dark Chocolate KitKat Bar. I like KitKat bars and I like dark chocolate. I like this combo. Shhhh. Quiet KitKat bar. You’re so yummy. No talking.

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5 Things To Like This Week

pablo (1)

  1. In the April 2019 issue of DISCOVER magazine is a fascinating article about the T-Rex. Was this dinosaur really the lone hunter we see on the big screen? Or did T-Rex have a brain big enough/capable enough to run in packs and even take care of each other’s young? These dinosaurs scare the crap out of me. Now wondering if they hunted in packs? Thanks for the nightmares Discover magazine.
  2. I have discovered the coolest cleaning tool. It’s called Pumie Scouring Stick. We have very hard water here and this little thing works wonders on mineral build-up in the toilet, stove burners, and sinks. (I use a separate one just for the toilet, of course.) Today I cleaned all the carbon stuff off my burner covers, the mineral build-up around the faucet of my kitchen sink, and my aluminum tea kettle. It worked so well! Plus, there is no odor and it is non-toxic. I love it!
  3. Beto O’Rourke. He just announced that he is running for president and I couldn’t be more excited. Beto is a fresh start. He listens to people. People keep squawking (mostly Bernie supporters) that he got money from big oil. People! That has nothing to do with NOW. He is running a grassroots movement NOW. OMG he got busted for a DUI when he was in his 20’s. Were you perfect in your 20’s? I know I wasn’t. Anyway, listen to him speak sometime. I did and I was moved. I’ve listened to Bernie too. He is angry, squandered his 20 years in congress, and he is TOO OLD to run for president. Period. BETO FOR AMERICA 2020.
  4. Adrift Movie. First of all, the ocean scares the crap out of me. Second, I love survival stories. This has both. It was an amazing movie and I can’t go into it because you just have to see it to believe it.
  5. Kind Breakfast Protein Bars (Dark Chocolate Cocoa). I love these! They are delicious and they keep you full until lunch. Can’t beat that! Yum!

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