The Best Cat Food in the World: Does it exist and where can I find it?

thumb_img_2113_1024-2I feed a lot of cats.  A LOT.  I feed indoor and outdoor cats.  I feed kittens.  I feed cats with kidney problems.  I feed cats who live in vegans homes and cats that have failing kidneys.  They all eat something different.  Some different ratio of wet to dry.  So who is feeding their cat the best food?

Turns out – all cats are different.  Shocker!   There are so many different diatary and health needs in each individual feline, it is impossible to bestow the title of “Best Cat Food in the World” on just one bag of kibble or can of wet food.  (Imagine trying to choose “Best Food in the World” for all humankind!)

We should all be more aware of what we are feeding our cats (and dogs!), though.  That literally just means read the food label.  If there is something that you have no earthly idea what it is…Google it!  If there is a long list of somethings that you have no earthly idea what they are…it might be time to reconsider what you are serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Reviews.com has a wonderful cheat sheet on what to consider when feeding Fluffy.

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I actually took the time to read the complete article The Best Cat Food: Safe and Healthy Formulas for your Feline Friend.  Lots of information here!  Here are a few random points that I found interesting:

—Reviews.com picked “10 of Our Favorite Cat Foods”.  Again – I think lists like these are so subjective.  Every cat is SO DIFFERENT.  But, I do think these lists are a good place to start your research.  What I found unique about this list is the fact that they took things like past recalls and customer complaints into account.  As someone who obsessively reads reviews for everything online…I found this awesome.  Let’s be real – I care more about what other cat lovers think about a particular food than details about where the grains were processed.

—Rendering facilities.  Y’all.  I was totally ignorant.  This particular article mentioned these plants acquiring “animal products” from other sources including slaughterhouses and ANIMAL SHELTERS.  I wanted to believe this was some sort of scare tactic designed to get me to shell out for pricier foods…so I turned to the world wide web to ease my fears.  After reading many, many things – including this and this – I realized all pet owners should be making a bigger issue out of these “rendering facilities”!!!

—Wet vs Dry?  The age old question…which should you be feeding your cat.  Spoiler – there is no right or wrong answer.  There are so many subjective qualities to be taken into account here.  Your furry family member’s needs are only really known by you.126dd58bc404966894be7f207810f5f3

At the end of the day, you…the wonderful, caring, blog-reading, Google-researching cat parent that you are…have to read labels and ask questions.  Simply being informed will ensure that you are doing all you can to provide the best life for that feline family member of yours!

 

 

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Book Review – Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

Citizen Canine

I can honestly say this is one of the best books about dogs and cats I have ever read (and I’ve read a lot of them!) This book takes on a subject matter that is often touched on in books and articles, but rarely the main focus – pets in society.  More specifically, it analyzes how society’s view of pets has evolved as society itself has evolved.

The book is divided into three sections: “Family” – which outlines how dogs and cats came to be domesticated, “Person” – which explains how the animal welfare revolution brought about changes in animal cruely laws and created groups like the ASPCA, and “Citizen” – which tells of the ongoing legal issues that modern day dogs and cats (and their guardians) are fighting.

Now, most of us dog lovers are at least somewhat familiar with the theories of how dogs and cats went from being wild creatures to living in our homes…so that first section wasn’t really anything special.   The second section, “Person”, is where things really start to get interesting.  It is hard to believe that what we take as common sense respect of animals – the fact that you can’t abuse your pet, for instance – was once political debates.  It was fascinating to read about the legalities of something like this.  To me, these principles are obvious it seems ridiculous that at some point our legal system had to spell them out…yet, in a court of law, if a dog was considered your “property”, why couldn’t you do whatever the heck you wanted with/to it?   Also included in this section were detailed accounts of what happened to pets left behind when New Orleans was evacuated for Katrina and the ongoing efforts to care for them.

“Citizen” really dove into the current state of pets in our legal system – of course it touched on the whole pit bull issue, but also describes how the  field of veterinary medicine has transformed as pets become more like family and less like animals.  He shares court cases where dog mothers and fathers have sued their vets for far above what the animal is actually worth.  Well – in the word “actually”, we get to the heart of the matter.  Would you really say your dog is “actually” worth only what you paid for it?  (You wouldn’t, of course, but what would a court of law say??)  I found all of this incredibly interesting and something that I had never read about before.

I think one of the reasons this books stands out in its genre is the author.  David Grimm (check out his website here) obviously has an amazing analytical, scientific mind.  (And I’m not just saying that because I know he is the online news editor for Science!)  He takes on the topic of pets in our life with as much seriousness as he does when discussing biochemistry.  It is obvious he did extensive research when writing this book – I love how many personal stories of dog and cat lovers he tells.  Grimm writes with a scientific brain and a cat-loving heart.

Have I convinced you to read this book yet?   I said it before…and I’ll say it again – I loved this book!  It is a well written, fascinating read with interesting personal accounts as well as pet related historical facts.  It will help you understand more about our human society by examining the way we have and continue to view our pets.  It will make you think…and help you understand more about that furry creature that has found his way into your home and your heart.

Countdown to Halloween – Pets in Costume!

It’s Monday….the Monday before Halloween.  Hopefully you’ve bought your candy, finished up your costumes, and now are just waiting for Friday.  To kick off this holiday week, I suggest you stop working immediately, and check out these list of pets in costumes.  (Because what is the internet for if not to look at pictures of cute animals??)  While you’re at it, make sure to take our poll and let us know if your pooch or kitty cat will be dressing up this year.

Happy Monday…and enjoy!

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26 Dogs Who Hate Their Halloween Costumes – This list is awesome because instead of focusing on the Halloween costumes…it focuses on the facial expressions of adorable pups who are obviously not thrilled to be dressing up.  Ah, the things that our pets do to make us happy!

 

Freddy Guinea

25+ Terrifyingly Cute Costumes for Pets – I love this list because it has lots of non- dog animals in costumes.  (And not just cats…guinea pigs, horses, lizards….) Make sure to click “show more” when you get to the bottom to check out all the costumes posted.  You can even add a picture of your own pet to the list!

 

Scuba Cat

Adorable Cats Halloween Costumes – Cats in Halloween costumes.  Enough said.

Countdown to Halloween (Poll)

One week until Halloween!!

halloween-dogs

Some people REALLY get into Halloween (Have you guys seen some crazy yard decorations?  I’ve seen people really getting into it this year!)…while other people seem to try to ignore it as much as they can.

I’ve found completely opposing views on celebrating Halloween with pets as well.  Some people buy or make elaborate costumes for their dogs…others seem to think dressing their dogs up is cruel and unusual punishment for their furbabies.

To kick off the Wags & Whiskers Blog countdown to Halloween, we thought we would start with a survey to see how our readers felt about pets and the holiday.   Let us know where you stand – we would love to hear more about your opinion in the comments!

(Be sure to check the blog daily for more fur-based Halloween stories!)

Who Am I?

I have a key to your house.  I know your alarm code.  I know about that squeaky floor board in your hallway and where you like to kick off your shoes when you come home.  I am in your house all the time…but you might only see me once or twice a year. Who am I?

IMG_3920I am your dog’s best friend.

It is an interesting relationship I have with my clients.  The human ones, that is.  I can walk their dogs every day for months on end, and maybe only talk to them on the phone every six months.  Mostly, we communicate via notes.  (SO sixth grade girl, right?  I’m not going to lie, though, it is kinda fun!)  I take on a odd role – I’m not family, but I’m not a visitor either.  No need to tidy up for me, but you might want to put on pants if you know I’m coming.

What I often think about, though, is who does your dog think I am?  I show up when their family is gone (either out at work or away on vacation.)  I don’t have to worry about putting away groceries or taking a shower or picking up toys – I am 100% there for them.  I am not a visitor that will pat them on the head and then shoo them away so I can have a human conversation.  I only have eyes for your pooch.  I am there to walk or play…to scratch behind the ears…to “hang out”, canine style.  I give them treats and love on them.  I might even have a special nickname for them…I might even know their favorite potty spot which even their dad doesn’t know about.  I might even notice if something is bothering them before you – because I am only their for them.

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So what do you think they think?  I like to think dogs don’t know what “dog walkers” are.  In my mind, they just think I’m their buddy.  Like their human brother who has classmates over for play – I believe they think of me as a friend.  THEIR friend.  Not your friend, not a family friend, not little Timmy’s playmate – THEIR friend.  (This is often reinforced by pup’s behavior on the rare days their parents are home when I stop by.  Parents are surprised by how their pets gravitate to me…or at least get ridiculously excited and forget their mom and dad are home.  Come on!  Who would you rather hang out with? Someone who gets worked up when you come in with muddy paws…or someone who takes you out to get those paws wet!)

So from now on I believe my official job title will be “Pet’s Best Friend”  rather than “Pet Sitter” or “Dog Walker”.  Anyone can walk…but only a select few can be a PBF.

Friday’s Fido Film (March 21, 2014)

Surreal Dog

So this Friday…I decided make Friday’s Fido Film about photography instead of informative/often-adorable dog videos. (Remember?)  If you haven’t already seen them, these gorgeous surreal photographs are by Sarolta Bán. Bán is an artist from Budapest who manipulates pictures to create images that are…stunning?  fantastical?…really the only word to describe them is surreal.

In an quest to ensure shelter animals be seen – she created a collection featuring homeless animals.  I love them.  

Not only are the pictures incredible…they convey a sense of wonder rather than one of pity.  (I feel like some rescue organizations post pictures that are heartbreaking and pitiful – not pictures that encourage people to adopt.)  To me (and that’s the beauty of art…isn’t it?…you might feel differently), the images remind me that we will never know the world through a dog’s eyes…that they each have their own personality…that they dream.

Whether you appreciate them for simply their aesthetic or for the greater animal cause they are trying to shed light on, there is no doubt that these pictures are incredible.

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Cats

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Moon

(I wouldn’t even consider myself a surrealist fan – but Sarolta Bán’s pictures are quite amazing.  Check out her website here and more about her work with dogs here.)

Friday’s Fido Film (January 10, 2014)

I’ve read about this…but this video gives a complete and concise explanation of why having dogs and cats around pregnant moms and babies is a good thing.  According to this – Sebastian should be healthy and allergy free for the rest of his life!

Have you heard about the correlation between pets and baby health?  What do you think??  Muddy paw prints, slobber, and hairballs worth it?  (I think you all know my answer to that question!)

Hello 2014

With only hours left in 2013, I wanted to take just a few minutes to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

2013 was a year I will never forget.  Not only was this the year my personal life changed forever (hello baby Sebastian!) but it was also a great year for me professionally as well.  As my company and this blog continue to grow I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to earn a living doing something I love.  I truly love what I do.  I love caring for dogs and cats.  I love writing about the animals we invite into our homes and into our lives.  I love sharing my knowledge with others to help make people’s’ (and pets’) lives just that much more enjoyable.  Thank you for reading this blog and supporting what I do.

As I move toward a new year (and new resolutions, heaven help me!) I strive to appreciate life as it comes.  I want to learn how not to stress out about each and every curve ball that comes my way.  I want to try not to worry so much about what happened yesterday…and what will surely happen tomorrow…and just live in the moment.  I want to take time to smell the roses.  I want to appreciate those who love me – even if I can only show my appreciation in the smallest, simplest ways.  I want to snuggle under the covers.  I want to play more.

In other words – I strive to be more like my dogs!

Happy New Year!

Art for the Animal Lover(‘s Feet)

Miao

Is it a cat?  Is it a shoe?  No…it’s “footwear art”!

This Kobi Levi shoe named Miao “captures the grace and elegance in a cat’s movement” (although I must admit, when I first saw it I thought it was actually a dog.)  The bell on the strap…or should I say collar…does give it a more feline feel.

For a mere $2100, this work of art/shoe could be yours!  What do you think?

Miao