Cartoon kittens and big-eyed puppies: how we bought into processed pet food


My cat is an alley cat, and she won’t touch people food. My theory is, as a kitten she scavenged a lot of garbage - but if she got lucky she got cat food. So to her, table scraps look like garbage, and those little green pellets are a feast.

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I can’t get over how awesome that Friskies label is.

Flash forward to today:



So, as a cat owner, I’m buying into the manufactured myths of cynical corporatism by…failing to live on a farm with plentiful rodents.



You bastard!

Graphic Design by a Graphic Designer:

Graphic Design by a marketing person telling a trained Photoshop monkey what to do:


I think the article is mostly about historical branding, and the judgmental headline is just for page views. They claim prior to commercial cat food, mouse-less cats were fed bread soaked in milk, which sounds distinctly less healthy for a cat’s digestion than cans filled with meat.


That new label has a certain charm, the cat is apparently tripping balls and seeing ghost turkeys, and the phrase “classic pate’” is kinda funny (oooooh, classy!) Maybe in 50 years we will be nostalgic for this label too.

(Though probably because civilization will have collapsed and we’re nostalgic for anything from the good ol’ days.)

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Natural Balance ftw :thumbsup:

So can someone tell me whether the pet food, specifically for cats, is balanced nutrition, verified through science? Or is it a marketing ploy. I know milk isn’t good for cats, nor bread, but is there something behind the ingredients or is people food just as healthy?

It isn’t entirely a marketing ploy. Cats tend not to get much nutrition out of vegetables and must eat proteins, so they need a different diet than humans.

(I don’t see how to suppress the summary box there, the specific part of the page is more pertinent that what is displayed here)

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Cats are obligate carnivores. They can eat stuff that isn’t meat, and derive some nutrition from it, but then again the same is true for us and Oreos. (Although cats have no actual need for carbs like we do.)

A few years ago I had to track down an allergy in my Russian Blue, so I went through extensive food trials. Did every high-end brand of canned food for months at a time. I finally settled on a solution that is higher quality and cheaper than any of those: once a month I get six pounds of freshly ground chicken (bones and all, everything but the viscera, not just the bits that modern humans eat) from the local butcher. That costs me $1.29/lb. I put that (and 300mg of taurine powder, just to keep the vet happy) in the crock pot for a couple hours and freeze it in one pound blocks. Far, far, cheaper than all but nastiest and grayest of canned cat foods, and is exactly what his metabolism actually needs. He gets ~1.5oz. twice a day, and doesn’t always finish it in one sitting.

The results are stunning. He is the only indoor adult cat I know of that’s not morbidly obese, and his shit is dry and odorless. If he eats any significant amount of carb-based foods, even high quality dry cat food, his shit is soft, wet, and will stank up the house for a full day.

Of course, he still absolutely loves dry cat food. But then again, I love Oreos, too.


However, I’ve read that eating a little grass gives them some B-vitamin supplement that’s otherwise missing. They don’t just do it so they can throw up in your shoes. Dunno if it’s true, but it’s been said.

Thanks. Do you think a supermarket butcher might do the same?

One would hope, but I really don’t know. What I’m buying is human-grade chicken, but ground specifically for pet food because in this crunchy little town I’m not the only one doing such things.

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Do you have any ideas/recipes for fish (not too expensive).

I have a kitten who LOVES pistachio nuts. She is a former feral. I have no idea how this could have happened. It’s nuts.

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I wouldn’t be so sure about that, having met some cats.


I was just reading a few similar articles last weekend. Something had made Ken-L-Ration pop into my head (the primary food for the dogs that I grew up with) and thus started an obligate 3 hr internet time suck.

Mine loves all sorts of crazy shit. When he was younger he would eat steamed broccoli, but won’t anymore. He still loves chips and hummus, as well as cashews and granola. He used to lick the plate after I ate runny eggs, but won’t anymore. So yeah, he gets to snack on very small amounts of things that aren’t pure meat, but his actual meals are entirely carcass.

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