Tuesday, April 24, 2007

They're forcing me to it

I'm sure most everyone has heard of the vast pet food recalls in the US in the last month. It turns out a factory making wheat gluten, corn gluten and rice protein had contaminated these common pet food ingredients with melamine. This is a good site keeping up with the news on this.

Anyway, I had noticed Chloe was not altogether herself a couple weeks ago, when I started her on the newest batch of food I'd bought. Fortunately, it seems to have passed and she's fine. Even though her food isn't on the recall list, the company who makes it, Hill's, has recalled some of its products, and the recall widens all the time.

This recall has led me to revisit an idea that, I'm sure, is guaranteed to add the 'crazy' to my existing 'cat lady' moniker: a home made all raw food diet.

See, the thing is, pet shops in Ireland don't really carry decent wet food. They carry the low-end, supermarket crap like Whiskas or Frisky, or whatever. I refuse to feed this stuff to Chloe, and, in the past, when I've been in a pinch and run out of her normal food, I've given shit I've bought in Tesco to her, and she either refuses it (difficult to imagine her refusing food, but it happened) or she ate it and threw it up a few minutes later. On my bed. Some pet shops do sell the somewhat nicer Royal Canin or Eukanuba stuff, but here's the kicker: only the dry food. Dry food is bad for cats, m'kay? Chloe got bladder stones twice on the stuff. The second time was totally my fault.

After the first $1200 bladder stone incident, the vet told me no more dry food. This was fine, as it was easy to get stuff like Hill's tinned wet food at the pet shops at home. When I moved her over to Ireland, I found it was impossible to buy decent wet food at the pet shops here. They don't sell them and UK internet shops won't deliver pet food to the Republic of Ireland. I could only get it by special ordering it from the vet. It was a pain in the ass. I was ordering from a vet in Malahide, who after a few months, stopped doing it. In addition, higher end brands like Wellness, California Natural, Innova, Evo and others which specialize in quality pet foods aren't sold here, so I went back to the dry food. Sure enough, a few months later, more bladder stones and another €1000 at the vet.

So, now my vet special orders tinned Hill's food for Chloe. This was okay by me (though I'd prefer something nicer than Hill's) until this recall business. I haven't spent thousands of dollars/euros on this cat to have her die on me from kidney failure. So, since I can't buy food from a company whom I trust to have the health and welfare of pets as their goal (honestly, big pet food manufacturers don't- they want to make as much money as possible, and the fillers and crap they put in their pet food is disgusting), I'm just going to have to do it myself. So from now on, the damned cat will definitely be eating better than I am.

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