Monday, May 9, 2011

Healthy Eating is All in the Family!

Meet Sunny, my gray tabby with beautiful blue eyes. He will be six years old in September. And over the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out for the life of me what kind of food to be feeding him.

Once upon a time, Sunny lived with my parents while I was off in college, and before that, he lived with my mother's coworker who had to give him up because her son's asthma flared up around him. My parents adopted him to prevent him going to a shelter, but unfortunately, he didn't get along too well with the other two cats we already had. After I found a full-time job, I took him with me, with a new diet since the vet deemed him overweight.

We used to feed Sunny and the other two cats dry food once in the morning and again in the evening (two different brands, usually, since our cats quickly tired of the same thing over and over and would boycott the food entirely). Twice a week, they would get wet food for dinner instead. When the vet told me that Sunny needed to lose weight, she told me to start feeding him more wet food. So, his diet changed to dry food in the morning and wet in the evening.

As I became more educated on how to eat healthier, I learned that I was feeding my cat terrible, awful dry food. Though I switched up the brands often, they were all the grocery store brands that everyone was saying was not good. Finally, I reached my breaking point, and I asked my coworker what she fed her cats.

She linked me to this article about what to look for when reading the ingredients of cat food labels and brands that are great not only for dry food but for wet food, as well. As I researched places to find these brands, I found that PetCo actually has the best selection of the lot! So, starting this week, I will be buying the smallest bags of each and finding out which dry food will be the best fit for Sunny and me.

Why am I not putting Sunny on a purely wet food diet? Sunny is an extremely ornery cat. I love him dearly, but when I want to cut his claws, I have to wait until he is passed out and snoring from tearing apart my apartment (see above picture) before I can brave it, otherwise my skin gets torn up. I imagine brushing his teeth will be about the same chore. I will be taking him to a groomer sometime soon so that they can do it for me, but I can't afford to pay a groomer to do this once a month, either.

So I can't buy cat food on my grocery store trips anymore, but my little roommate is worth it.

Even if he still hates me for the prank I pull every Christmas. At least I didn't put the Santa hat on him this year!

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