Raising Kitty: (Chicken) Breast is Best

I’m sure there are some cat moms who will close their browsers once they read just the title of this post. But that’s okay. While what you feed your cat is a highly controversial topic, I think it’s a topic that needs to be discussed–with patience, understanding and an open mind. Maybe if we cat moms owned the topic, felt confident in our decisions about what to feed our cats, we could diffuse the tension and guilt that always surrounds this topic.

Corey was adopted. I don’t know what he was fed as a kitten. Being rescued from the streets, I’m sure he wasn’t raised on organic kitten formula or free-range chicken breast in his youth. Look at him, he’s a healthy adult cat with a life full of watching birds and snoozing the afternoons away.

Multi-tasking: Corey snoozing on his window perch from where he watches birds.
Multi-tasking: Corey snoozing on his window perch from where he watches birds.

The fact that I didn’t control Corey’s food in his early years has opened my mind about the best thing to feed cats. Before I adopted Corey, I had planned to feed any kitten that appeared on my doorstep with only organic, natural, free-range meaty foods that I made myself. Ha! Being a working cat mom makes that difficult. Shoot, sometimes I struggle to feed myself.

Cat food (krunchka) technology has made leaps and bounds since I was a kid. Now, you can find everything from straight-up flavors to hairball or weight control formulas. If your family believes in the benefits of natural and holistic foods, there’s even that for cats. I’ve found Purina One Smartblend foods to be good for Corey. He eats the chicken and rice formula. It gives me the convenience of feeding him quickly, but I’m not sacrificing nutrition or taste. I feel like a good cat mom when I feed Corey krunchkas he loves so much he scarfs them down and I know he’s getting the nutrition he needs.

Of course, I can’t ignore another hot button topic: cat obesity. Surely, there are a lot of factors to consider in this epidemic: snacking too much on non-nutritious treats or a lack of exercise. While I feed Corey a measured amount only twice a day, I do sneak him pieces of ham or turkey luncheon meat, give him cat treats or surprise him with a bit of tuna in his food dish. I also make sure to balance these treats with physical activities like playing with faux mice, feathers and catnip-filled fuzzy balls. I believe in providing my cat a balanced life.

Corey snacking on some cat grass. Such a treat for him!
Corey snacking on some cat grass. Such a treat for him!

All things considered, there’s not one right thing to feed your cat. Each cat has his or her unique nutritional needs. Our families have different financial situations or structures that either allow for taking a great amount of time and care in feeding our cats or require sometimes taking cheaper or quicker alternatives. We all know what’s best for our cats, but I have noticed one common factor. It exists in many families with healthy cats, even though their diets and lifestyles were distinctly different. It’s love–every healthy cat I’ve known is fed with love. What more does a cat need to thrive?

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