what do we have here?
Fresh Cat(ch).. mmmm
So Melvin has been on a steady diet of raw chicken meat, franken prey style which consists of 80% meat 10% organ and 10% bone. The idea behind this is to model what they would eat in the wild and if you think about say a mouse, the proportion of meat to bone to organ would be something similar.
After the last post on what to feed him, I thought more on the logic and the fact that as humans we also don’t, or at least shouldn’t eat that much canned / processed food. I also like the idea of knowing what exactly he is eating. The raw bit had me a little squeamish initially, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense, cats don’t eat cooked food in the wild.
I first started with just chicken fillets or boneless thigh meat mixed in his favourite canned food and slowly transitioned him to pure raw. It took him about a weekend to start eating raw and another month or do to fully get with the program. The tough part for me was to get him to finish his food within 30 mins cause bacteria multiplies rapidly after that.
After about 1 month I started adding liver to his meals. He loved that from the start. Then I started adding heart and kidneys. Again he didn’t seem to like it at first but I think he is starting to like it, or at least he finishes it.
After about 2 and a half months, I started adding bone to his diet. Took a while but he now attacks the bones most of the time. I’ve also started giving him bigger chunks of meat to force him to chew his food. This sometimes ends up with him throwing up his food immediately cause he was too lazy to chew, otherwise he seems to be adapting well.
Preparing his meals are relatively easy, I go to the wet market and get one whole Kampong (local free range?) chicken with some extra liver, kidney and hearts from the chicken seller. I get them to separate the breast meat, debone the thigh meat and chop the rest of chicken up into small parts. Here are the two bags of chicken, one filled with bony bits, one with meat.
When I get home, I rinse the meat and spilt it into daily portions for the meat and weekly portions for organs.
I am currently feeding him 100 grams of chicken a day, split into two meals. Each box you see is one meal. I will keep about 2 days worth of meals in the fridge and everything else, I freeze.
yes, melvin has one entire shelf for his food in my freezer. hahaha. The other plastic bags are full of random bones / chicken necks/ chicken feet which i sometimes give to him as a snack outside meal times.
His poop (yes I examiner his poop everyday) was initially wet, soft and loose but over time it got better as his stomach got used to dealing with raw meat. At one stage he would have blood and reddish mucous coating it. I panicked the first time and brought him to the vet who said he was fine. I have.since learned not to freak out so easily.
I’ve noticed some behavioral changes in Mel since switching to raw – he is more alert and spends less time sleeping. His fur is softer and his poop less stinky. All in all I’m glad I took the plunge to change his diet.
If you’re interested here are some links on raw diets which I found useful.
the week we were going to adopt melvin, there was the mad rush on our end to quickly go get the house ready for Melvin. The last thing we bought was a cat bed.
A bed that was never used cause SOMEONE doesn’t like it. GRR. Instead Melvin tends to go sleep at various other places such as
the washing machine
the ironing board
on the arm of the sofa facing the planter bed
my bed, including the headboard
on the box next to daddy’s computer
the dining room chair
our bedroom window ledge
Finally one day we decided to take the cushion out of the cat bed since he wasn’t using it. And guess what happened next..
yes the idiot boy immediately went to sit down in the the empty cat bed.
I don’t know what is it with Melvin that he’s always running towards our cupboards the moment he hears them open. One time he ran into Jet’s cupboard in the morning and was shut in cause Jet didn’t see him in it. Luckily I heard him meowing while I was getting ready for work and let the silly cat out.. I swear he’s searching for Narnia..
ah ha! mommy’s cupboard is open!
I’m not here!!
daddy’t won’t notice me here!
THE SPARE CLOSET IS MINE!
I know, sounds like something out of a Dr Seuss book right? It’s the many, sometimes heated, debate on what’s best to feed our cats. After reading as much as I can, here’s a summary of the pros and cons
So, where do we go from here? The more I read, the more I want to transition to fresh cooked food and read up a bit more before I consider moving to raw food. Mel is on mainly canned wet food right now. I am feeding him a variety from wellness and monge. He really loves the Monge brand, he will run to the kitchen and wait then when he sees us walking with it, he will run to the his food area to wait and then eat it like he hasn’t eaten anything in days. Monge is fish based (mainly tuna) which isn’t great for him, so I try to make the meals more balanced by mixing in the chicken or turkey formula from Wellness. Will prob try cooked food in the coming months and if i do transition to raw, I have found a nearby place that sells BARF patties for cats.
And since no Melvin post is complete without a photo of him, here is Melvin sitting in a totally unglamorous “ah pek” (old man) position
After sleeping on it, we came to a decision to get the older male cat and apparently we got his name wrong, apparently the people at the shelter were calling him ‘boy boy’, tommy is a totally different cat. We got him cause he was older and that usually means it would be harder to find a home for him as most people would want younger cats. After making our decision, it was a mad rush to grab all the cat stuff to make the house cat ready. Things on our urgent to buy list were
- Cat litter tray and litter
- cat food bowl
- cat water bowl
- Scratching post
- cat bed (this was completely unnecessary, he refused to even go near it, much less sleep on it. I have since been told that no self respecting cat will even sleep on a cat bed.. -___- )
- cat toys
- cat food
Thanks to Keeve, we managed to bring the cat home from the shelter in a completely fuss free manner. He did freak out a little in the car, but did not throw up or pee or scratch anyone on the way here. Now when we first brought him in to our house, he was naturally freaking out and immediately jumped on my kitchen counters (i totally forgot the first rule which is to keep him confined to a tiny room until he has settled in and gotten used to us). Then he started to explore a bit, got spooked and then hid under the sofa for a good 30 mins. We finally managed to coax him out again, only to have him see his own reflection in the ginat mirror in my hall and run under the sofa again. After getting him out for the third time, I quickly grabbed him and placed him in the spare room with all his cat stuff so that he could have a quiet area to chill. That seemed to calm him down quite a bit. Lisa Foo came over later with a scratch post and the cat promptly adopted that as his new fav thing. I felt that evening sun was coming in quite a bit so I placed a towel over it and he seemed to like hiding underneath it.
All the guides say to keep him in the room for 4 to 7 days so when the cat was meowing pitifully on the first night, we were like, stay strong, must keep him in there. But by Day 2, he had eaten a bit,, was playing with us and decided to poop just when jet was in the room alone with him. AHAHAHAHHAHAH Pooping usually indicated they are relaxed enough to have their scent around so we decided to let him out to explore and he could always run back to the room if he freaked out. Soon enough, he was lying on Jet’s tummy while he was watching TV.
We’ve since renamed him Melvin and in typical cat fashion he does not answer to this name, or boy boy, or truffles (apparently that was the name give to him before boy boy). It’s hard to believe we only had him for a month. Since then he has adjusted very well to us and his new home and seems to come up with a new sleeping area every other day. First it was under the coffee table, then the sofa, then our bay window, then the dining room chair and recently, next to me! I’m so happy to have Melvin in our lives, He and jet are the few things I look forward to seeing after a crazy work day.