Should a cat graze on food?


Question

I have a 2 year old long haired cat. Due to my hectic schedule with school and work, I leave her dry food down for her to eat all day. Also, she had an issue before where she wasn’t getting enough moist food in her diet and because she was long haired, she had trouble passing her stools. Because of that incident, I have been feeding her wet food everyday as well.

She definitely does not eat meals, as I watch her return to her dry food bowl at least every 1 hour to snack. I always leave her dry food out because I figure she is more of a snacker than a meal eater and I fear picking her food up and then when she returns to her bowl, she would have nothing to eat.

It is important to note that her wet food is not left out all day. I give her wet food around the same time every day, so she is already used to that.

 

What do you recommend? Is grazing bad for my cat? Should I get her accustomed to meals? If so, HOW?
Brittany

Answer

Hi, Brittany!

Getting your cat on some sort of schedule is ideal. Since your schedule changes from day to day, figuring out some times you can stick to may be the hardest part of it. Feeding twice a day should be adequate, especially if you can keep those times close to 12 hours apart (10-14 hours is fine). I usually recommend feeding a little wet food twice a day (at least ¼ of a 5.5 oz can, ideally closer to ½ a can). Put out her daily allowance of dry food after the morning feeding of wet food. If you’re feeding ¼ can, offer up to ½ cup of dry, if you’re feeding ½ can, offer up to ¼ cup of dry. Obviously, keep an eye on her weight and adjust amounts accordingly, but that’s usually a good start for a healthy, average-sized cat. Keep in mind that cats are all about texture and wet food comes in pâtés, minces, morsels, stews, shreds, and flakes. Try them all to see if there’s a texture she prefers before deciding she isn’t motivated to eat a canned food! If you stick to the schedule, she will (eventually) adjust to it.

Making sure she has adequate play time before meals can inspire her to eat as well. “Hunt, eat, sleep” is the basic pattern of a cat’s natural cycle, so getting some good cardio in before meal times can help her get used to the new schedule. If you’re worried about her grazing, consider offering her dry food in a SlimCat Feeder Ball or a Doorway Dangli that dispenses kibble or treats as your cat plays with it. She can still “graze” but will have to work (hunt, catch, kill) for her food. If she isn’t toy motivated, you can also try placing small amounts of dry food in various areas around your home (on top of book shelves, window sills, etc.) so she has to at least hunt for her food. Enrichment, exercise and a healthy diet are huge parts of having a healthy cat and a healthy relationship with our cats. I hope these tips are helpful! If you ever find yourself near a Chuck & Don’s, stop on in to chat with an associate about the variety of food-dispensing and enrichment toys for cats!

 

Food for diabetic cat


Question

My diabetic cat has been eating Purina prescription dry DM cat food. What brand do you carry that is closest in nutrition that would compare to the expensive prescription food? Thank you!
OJ

Answer

Hi, OJ!

Wet food is often the most beneficial to a diabetic cat and it’s far easier to find high protein/low carbohydrate offerings in canned foods than it is in dry kibble (to make a kibble requires binders which, in most cases, means carbs). Getting them as much moisture as possible along with limiting carbohydrates (sugar) can be very helpful in diabetic treatment.

Most dry foods we carry are going to differ in protein content from a prescription food as they contain more protein from meat, but ultimately, less protein than the prescription. The most similar as far as percentage of protein, is going to be Evo’s Chicken & Turkey with 50% protein (as opposed to the prescription’s 51%). Farmina, Tiki Cat, and Orijen also have foods in the “40% protein and above” level with low carb formulae.

I would encourage you to talk to your vet about what specific aspects of the prescription food they find most important and then stop by your local Chuck & Don’s to discuss options more closely tailored to your pet’s specific needs. Best of luck!

 

Cat food for the best price


Question

I have a cat that is 7 and he weighs about 16 lbs. I also just got a kitten that is almost 5 months and weighs about 6 lbs. The people at a different pet store said I could give them both the Nutrisource cat and kitten but that is a little pricey for me and I don’t want my 16 lb. cat to gain any more weight. Is there any food that is a little less pricey?
Abygal

Answer

Hi, Abygal!

 There are a few options out there for foods that could be appropriate for both cats. Taste of the Wild is slightly less expensive per pound than the NutriSource Cat & Kitten, however it doesn’t participate in the frequent buyer program so the cost difference is minimal in the long run. Other great cat food options in a similar price range include Fromm and Pure Vita. If you keep in mind that your cats need to eat less food if it’s more calorically dense (typically if we spend a little more on higher quality food, we can feed less and end up spending less on health care). Stop on in to your local Chuck & Don’s and talk to a team member about the options available in your ideal price range. They will need to know what you’re currently feeding and how much to be able to accurately compare calorie counts and real costs.

 

Return open bags of food


Question

Wondering what your policy is on opened cat food? I bought earth born holistic food for my cats and they absolutely hate it! Wondering if there is anything I can do with the huge bag of food I bought?
Joni

Answer

Hi Joni,

Yes – you can always return your pet food to Chuck & Don’s, even if it has been opened. Thanks!

What can I feed my overweight cat this isn't a prescription diet?


Question

Good day!

I need a recommendation on cat food. I have two 7 year old female litter mates. They are indoor cats. Both need to shed some weight. My vet has them on Prescription Diet, Metabolic, Weight Management, dry cat food. They have been losing weight slowly, but still need to lose more. I used to have them on a Hairball Control food, as one of my cats has longer hair and used to cough up hairballs before the new food.

Honestly, I just can’t afford the cost of the prescription food anymore. But, I need something that is healthy and will help them.

Can you recommend something similar that I can get at your store?

Thanks-

Molly

Answer

Hi, Molly!

For weight loss and hairball issues, we’d consider looking at a low- to no-carbohydrate dry food and adding a wet food into the mix. If your foods are high enough in fiber and moisture, the hairballs shouldn’t be an issue and if we do our best to reduce ingredients that are can pack on the pounds (carbs), we’ll hopefully be reducing weight as well. Next time you stop in, also take a minute to look at some of our interactive toys and feeders for cats that help them “hunt” for their food. Increasing activity and eating healthy are typically the secrets to healthy weight for us and our pets are no different! We look forward to helping you pick out some fun options for your girls!

What to feed a cat with flaky skin?


Question

A long dense haired 5-year-old cat recently moved in with me. I had her first vet check up and she is healthy! She is eating Purina gentle cat chow for a sensitive stomach but she has very dry skin with dandruff. I have started adding omega-3 pet (fish oil) to her diet and her skin is less dry but there is still a lot of flaking. Do you have any food recommendations? I am not scared of raw.
Jackee

Answer

Hi, Jackee!

You’ve definitely started down the right path with the fish oil. If she was an outdoor kitty, even part-time, her dense fur and flaky skin may be part of her body previously adjusting to that lifestyle and being in a home with a steady, quality diet may be the only change she needs. If you plan to keep her indoors, you’ll potentially see her coat thin out and she should shed a bit less which will also cut down on the dander. Feeding her a good quality, high moisture diet will help either way. Adding in canned food (as long as we avoid foods with high carbs and sugars) or raw if you’re open to the possibilities will help her coat, teeth, and internal systems stay healthy. We have a wide variety of canned foods in various textures. If she turns her nose up at a pâté, try shreds, flakes, morsels, stews, etc. Wellness has cans in a variety of textures which would allow you to try textures while keeping the flavor profile similar. Once you’ve discovered what texture she likes, you can explore other flavors in that texture. If you choose to go with raw, it can take considerable time for some cats to get used to, so having other suitable options on hand during the transition is important. For dry foods, sticking with simple diets like Pure Vita’s Grain Free Salmon or Chicken, or Natural Balance’s Duck and Pea formula should help with her sensitive tummy and her flaky skin!

Stop by your local Chuck & Don’s and chat with an associate about the wide world of cat foods. It can feel like information overload, so feel free to take it a step at a time. In the meantime, congratulations on your new family member! We look forward to working with you as you get to know each other.

What is the best litter for a brand new kitten?


Question

I am getting a kitten in about 3 or 4 weeks. It has just weaned off of the mother for 6 weeks or so. My question is what kitty litter you would recommend for a small apartment with just the kitten. Important factors are odor and safety for humans and cats. I’ve seen this stuff called “worlds best cat litter” that caught my eye but I wanted to ask you!

Also! What cat food would you recommend for a kitten?

Thank you so much for the info! I can’t wait to become a frequent customer once I get the kitty!
Scott

Answer

Hi, Scott!

Congratulations on your pending new family member! I hope you’ll bring them in to visit your local store. World’s Best is a wonderful litter that has less dust than traditional clay litters, clumps well, tracks less than most, and is good on odor control (although you will notice the odor while scooping/sifting, it dissipates quickly). It would definitely be on my list of safe kitten litters that perform well in small spaces. Weruva’s litter is super unique, smells wonderful, handles odor well, but it awkward to scoop for some. It’s also a little more spendy than most litters but it’s definitely on my list of good ones. Dr. Elsey’s is probably our most popular seller both for price and performance. I’d encourage you to stop in and look at the options! Many of our team members have cats and experience with a variety of products and can help walk you through the possibilities. Have fun with the new kitten!

How do I get my cat to stop itching?


Question

I’am looking for a flea collar or spray for cats that will work and I mean work. I’ve tried some and yet they continue to scratch all the time.
David

Answer

Hi, David!

There are so many products on the market: dips, sprays, collars, pills, powders, etc. If you can think it up, it probably exists! The first step in the process is to visit your vet and make sure that what you’re looking at is scratching caused by fleas and not by a sensitivity or allergen to diet or environment. Cats can have scratching that is habitual and can be seen even after a flea infestation has been completely eradicated. The scratching becomes a habit, rather than a necessity. In these cases, we need to look to change the behavior rather than further irritating the skin with more and more products.

All of that aside, one of the most popular flea and tick preventatives is Frontline. It has a solid track record of success and I would be surprised if a cat using it monthly had flea issues unless they were being bathed weekly. If your cats don’t have issues with topical treatments, it would be your go-to solution! Bio Spot is less expensive but still has a stellar track record. If your cats spend time outside, I would think twice before going with any of the flea and tick collars, but if you’re confident your kitties won’t get caught up on anything, Seresto’s collar is very reputable. I hope these recommendations are of use! If you have further questions, please call or stop by your local Chuck & Don’s when you have some time to discuss the huge variety of options available to you.

How do I get my cat back on an eating schedule?


Question

My boyfriend made the mistake of feeding my cat ONE time about 6 hours before he normally eats because he had some place to go and I was at work. Ever since then my cat wants his food at 5:30am. He will meow and meow and meow and literally not stop until we get up and feed him. How do I get him back to a reasonable feeding hour? We were feeding him around 10:30am and then again around 6pm and that worked great, but now he won’t have it any later than 5:30am, and makes sure we know.
Alyssa

Answer

Hi, Alyssa,

Cats can be so tricky! I would recommend trying a “tough love” approach. potentially investing in earplugs, which means ignore him as much as possible until such time as you are ready to feed him. With cats, stressors can lead to destructive behavior and (worst case) litterbox issues, but it is worth a try. If you gradually move his feeding time by 15 minutes a day, he may be happier than if you say “it’s going to be 10:30 and there’s no negotiating!” The upcoming Daylight Savings Time change along with the natural adjustment to shorter days that all of us and our pets will be going through will be a great opportunity for you to do this! You can try feeding him a little later in the evenings as well so he feels like there is 12 hours between feedings rather than 8 or 16. Stop by your local Chuck & Don’s and ask one of our associates about the slow feeder toys for cats and other ways to help him stay occupied when he’s up for the day and you’re still sleepy. Best of luck!

Where can I find a cat sitter?


Question

I am looking for a cat sitter, does Chuck and Dons have any list of providers?
Nancy

Answer

Hi Nancy,

We have a list of partners for pet kennels or sitters here on our website:

Friends & Partners

You can find providers in both Colorado and Minnesota.

Thank you!