Mix it Up: Canned and Dry Cat Food Together

Feeding cat wet and dry food together

I received an email from Susan, a listener to my radio show CAT CHAT® who asked the following question:

I’ve read over and over (and I see on your site you feel the same) that wet food is far superior to dry food and that dry food can cause urinary tract and kidney problems down the line. But I cannot afford to feed only canned food. I’m using Halo Spot’s Stew for my kitty – both wet and dry mixed together. I wonder whether dry food is bad because it’s dry – or because of the process of making it? The ingredients are superior and whole for both the wet and the dry food. I mix the dry and wet food, and add warm water in order to soften the dry food and make a sort of gravy. I’ve done lots of research and can’t seem to find the answer to this question. I make sure my kitten has lots of water (she has a kitty water fountain) and rarely serve dry food “dry.” But I can’t afford to feed her exclusively wet food so I’m trying to find the best of both worlds.

Susan has found a great solution to the quandary of how to feed your cat well and still keep your bank account in a healthy condition, too! You can save money and still approximate a natural “species appropriate” diet by mixing a high quality canned food with a dry food, also made from optimal ingredients. Adding extra water ensures that the kitty is taking in ample fluids – add to that a premium canned food and you’re providing the high protein a cat’s digestive system needs.

Dry food leaves cats dehydrated. A cat’s natural meal in the wild (rodents, birds and insects) would have about a 70 % moisture content, which is sufficient to hydrate a cat without drinking. If kibble is the main food for a cat it can leave her with urine that is too concentrated, which contributes to various medical problems like urinary stones, urinary tract infections and other bladder problems. With a moisture content of around 10%, dry food goes against the basic design of a cat’s digestive system since it is not instinctual for a cat to drink water. Therefore, if you are going to use kibble as part of your cat’s diet, you need to supplement with water the way Susan does and make sure that a portion of the kitty’s diet comes from canned food. Canned food is still the best choice for a cat’s nutrition and long time health, but we also live in the real world and, like Susan, you may want to do right by your pussycat but also have economic challenges.

Feeding a cat only dry food is to blame for many of the serious health problems that plague cats, who are “obligate carnivores” with digestive systems designed to process a naturally high protein diet with very low carbohydrate content (i.e. a mouse!). Although many cats can tolerate an exclusively dry food diet for years, the highly processed carbohydrates in kibble cannot be efficiently digested by the feline digestive system and eventually this will catch up with those cats and can cause the serious and overlooked health issue for today’s cats: obesity. A cat who is fat can become a diabetic cat (diabetes in cats being a “man made” disease linked to obesity) and the cascade of other problems that stem from it. But also keep in mind that “free feeding” a cat is unnatural (cats are not “grazing animals”!) so food should not be left down for any period of time: feed the kitty twice a day and pick up and refrigerate any food she doesn’t eat within 10 minutes.

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

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Warren Eckstein on Best Pet Food for a Sensitive Stomach

Warren Eckstein, host of The Pet Show, is an internationally known pet and animal expert. Warren has devoted over thirty years to teaching both pets and their people to live happily together through his unique “Hugs and Kisses” approach to animal behavior, care and training. He recommends Halo pet food to all of his listeners.

Listen to this audio clip of a listener asking Warren about any suggestions on a pet food for a German Shepherd with a sensitive stomach. He replies, “If it is a matter of food…you may want to try Halo’s grain food variety.” He also adds how to properly transition your pet to new food.

 

 

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Cat Saves Litter of Puppies

Cat mom nurses nine puppies

People joke about cats and dogs being enemies, but pet lovers know that’s not the case. In fact, one feline recently was a hero to a litter of canines in need. Having just been rescued herself, this calico cat in Sevierville, Tennessee paid the favor forward and rescued nine puppies.

According to Local 8 Now, Pets without Parents Shelter, Inc. found the calico cat wandering after a recent wildfire. After Pets without Parents took the pretty cat in and named her Cali, she gave birth to four kittens. On April 18, while Cali was nursing her kittens before they could become available for adoption, a situation arose. Nine newborn puppies needed to nurse, but didn’t have their own mother. “We really didn’t know what to do,” Daniel Langston, director of Pets without Parents, told Local 8 Now. “But then it just popped in my head, ‘well, we have a mom cat.’”

Read the complete story.

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CATS RULE! Announcing the launch of the NY CAT FILM FESTIVAL!

cat in a barn

The day has finally come when all you patient, pleasantly persistent feline advocates, who have been asking “But what about the kitties up on the big screen?” are going to get your very own NY Cat Film Festival! This new festival embraces films that honor these mysterious creatures, who have fascinated mankind for centuries and continue to enchant us.

The first NY Cat Film Festival™ will premiere in New York City November 5 2017 alongside the 3rd Annual NY Dog Film Festival™,  and then the festivals will travel together around the country to reach as many “crazy cat people” as possible! The annual NY Cat Film Festival™ will enhance our appreciation and understanding of who cats share our world, while benefiting local animal welfare groups and saluting those who work and volunteer on behalf of the pussycats., sponsored by Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat.

Cats have their own unique and indescribable bond with the people in their world and this festival will celebrate that mysterious, intense attachment, while giving back to animal welfare groups that protect cats and elevate their status in the world. In New York City the Alliance or New York City’s Animals will be the beneficiary of a portion of every ticket from both festivals, since they represent all the rescue groups and shelters in the city, giving equal importance to both species of pets looking for adoptive homes.

The Cat Film Festival is looking for submissions of feline-themed films (preferably short) – documentary, animated or narrative – made by people that have something to say about cats, whether from a philosophical, practical or hilarious point of view. This Festival is not about “cat videos” which tend to passively record silly or foolish random things that cats happen to do. Films are welcome which are made with an intention, concept or story to convey something essential about cats. We’ve already gotten submissions of diverse and impressive films and cannot wait to see more.

A great example of a fine movie-in-the-making that has come to me is “The Cat Rescuers,” a work-in-progress documentary about several different “angels” who are doing amazing rescue work in Brooklyn. The film has been several years in the making and is just winding up a crowd funding campaign to finish production, which already surpassed its goal of $50,000 with a full 7 days left! You can view the trailer on the campaign and get a sense of how eager people are to support and watch quality film depictions of cats’ lives, which will certainly be welcome in the 2nd Annual NY Cat Film Festival in 2018.

We hope filmmakers will want to honor cats and raise awareness for their needs and qualities – and have fun doing it. The NY Cat Film Festival™ is an exploration through film of the fascinating felines who share our lives, creating a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains.  For far too long, felines have been the “invisible” part of the human-animal bond and it’s time to shine the spotlight on these magnificent creatures and the humans devoted to them. The NY Cat Film Festival™ is a way for those who admire and are fascinated by cats to bring their films in front of like-minded cat aficionados.

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

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Iceland Dog Saves Unconscious Bird from Freezing

Gunnar the dog and the bird

Many dogs will bark when they see a bird fly by. One dog in Iceland didn’t bark, but made sure his owner noticed a small bird who had gotten knocked out.

According to the Iceland Monitor, Gunnar Kr. Sigurjónsson was sitting at his computer with his balcony door open when his dog, Tigull, began to whimper. Gunnar told the Iceland Monitor that Tigull “wouldn’t stop until I followed him onto the balcony.” Once outside, Gunnar saw a small redpoll stunned and still on the floor. Fearing the worst, Gunnar picked up a straw basket and placed it over the bird.

Suddenly the bird “started fluttering about and sat down.” Gunnar brought the bird inside to warm up and gave him some water and seeds. Soon the bird began to tweet so Gunnar brought the bird back outside and placed him on the balcony railing.

After an hour Gunnar noticed that the bird was still sitting on the balcony. Gunnar said, “It was pretty cold outside so I decided to bring [the bird] back inside for the night.” The bird spent the night with Gunnar and Tigull, resting inside in the straw basket.

The next morning Gunnar saw that the bird was much more lively. Around noon Gunnar released the bird back outside and he flew away. Gunnar was happy Tigull had noticed the stunned bird and that he had let the bird spend the night indoors. We bet the bird was grateful, too.

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