Tuesday, March 22, 2011

78% Moisture

I use to have two cats. I originally kept food out for them all the time. They both got over weight so I invested in a timed feeder that dumped a measured amount of food three times a day. Their weight stablized. When the younger cat went off to Rainbow Bridge to wait for us, the older cat, now 18 1/2, slowed down his eating and went from 16 pounds down to less than ten.  On our last trip to the vet, I asked what should be done.

The vet recommended some expensive canned food and some expensive dry food. I was told the cat needed 250 calories a day and the can had 1200 calories. I may not have been paying attention, but I came away with the notion to feed 1/4 can of food a day. In the course of the conversation the vets receptionist declared the canned food had 78% moisture. As sometimes happens, I heard but didn't pay attention. I did idlely mention that a 5 1/2 ounce can (costing a hair less than a dollar) actually had only an ounce or so of food.

When I got home, I divided a can into eight segments, and gave the cat one segment. He eventually ate this dab. I gave him another segment the next morning. It went more quickly. The evening segment disappeared in a flash. The next morning segment disappeared in a flash. I then put down his supposed whole days ration, two segments. It disappeared in a flash. Next morning I fed three segments to see how long it would last. The three segments, to my thinking, was 1 1/2 times as much as the cat should eat in a day. It was gone as quickly as the others.

So, in about 10 hours time, Cat ate 2 1/2 days ration or 5/8 of a can of food, by my calculation. At the next feeding I put down a half can of food... You know, sort of a "lets see what happens" deal. This disappeared as quickly as Cat could lick it up. Now, Old Dad here thinks "this is not right". What am I missing?

The printing on the cat food can was small enough to make a lawyer jealous. After I got out the magnifying glass... protein: 8.5%... fat: 5.25%... fiber: 0.5% ash: 2.2% Carbs: 6.0%... moisture: 78%... Hey!! wait a minute! 78% moisture!! I was feeding Cat just over 1/4 ounce of actual food every 12 hours. No wonder he was wolfing it down. A closer reading of the can showed it contained 180 calories... about 2/3 of what he should be eating. $1.50 a day for cat food, well, I don't know.

I went to the grocery store and found a large can of cat food... 78% moisture. But at 14 ounces, this $1.13 can of food could feed Cat for two days. 1/4 can morning and evening.

Yep, I bet old Cat thought old Dad had put him on a real diet.

Anyway, now that Cat's food is 78% moisture, instead of the old dry stuff, he drinks a lot less water.

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