So I finally did this thing with canned cat food…I had come up with the idea a while ago, but I never thought I’d actually DO it. I work with cat owners in the veterinary clinic every day. Feeding our pets is one of the most important things we do for them every single day, so many of the questions that pet owners ask the vet staff are related to food.
Consulting with clients about feeding is something we do during wellness visits. It is important to bring your cats to the vet every year. You want to be sure you’re feeding the correct amount of the right food.
I do lots of other things too, but we’ll talk about those tasks in other posts.
Guess what some of the most common cat feeding problems are?
- I don’t know what to feed my cat
- My cat won’t eat the food I bought
- They won’t eat the prescription food it is supposed to eat
- They won’t eat anything that isn’t ___ texture
Okay. These things happen every day to thousands of people all over the world, not just you. We can’t change the cat’s preferences-but we can change the food.
Here’s What We Can Do
For felines who prefer chunky food, you can use a butter knife or a cheese knife to cut a block of pate into small pieces.
For those who refuse to eat anything but a perfectly smooth paté, what I’ve told people that they can put the wet cat food into a blender or a food processor to make any chunky or shredded food smooth.
Although I know doing this is not for everyone. SAVE all of your receipts for pet purchases. Many stores will allow a return or exchange for unopened cans. Exchanging the cans of one texture for cans of a different texture can be the easier option for some of you if you don’t want to mess around in the kitchen.
It’s Tool Time in the Kitchen!
Are you ready to blend? I actually did this myself a few times recently and I have some tips to help you. This technique works well with pretty much any brand of wet food.
I prefer to use a Vitamix 3 horse power blender because it is so powerful yet easy to use.
Since wet cat food has a high water content and does not contain real bones, you can probably still get a good result using a cheaper blender too. Any type of food item that is hard or tough can potentially damage the blender.
Things like nuts, seeds, and dates are tougher to blend and require a stronger motor, especially if you’re trying to make paste and don’t add any water to it.
What Foods to Use
You can probably do this with any type of wet cat food, whether it comes in a can or a pouch.
Wet cat foods that have a chunkier texture usually contain starches like tapioca starch or potato starch and/or gums such as xanthan gum to create the chunks. Shredded muscle meat and small chunks of potatoes and carrots, like what is in the Petite Cuisine shown below, blend pretty easily.
I also like to do this with Tiki Cat. It often goes on sale on 1-800-petmeds. Who doesn’t love sales?
Fancy Feast Gravy Lover’s is another one I like to blend, so that they don’t just lick the gravy and leave the chunks behind. It is a pain to have to scrape dried chunks off of the plates all the time.
You’ll need at least two 3oz cans or more of food to blend at the same time. I find with the blender model I’m using, there is a good amount of empty space both under & around the sides of the blades. If I try to blend only one 3 oz can by itself, it just sits in that empty space while the blades spin, and nothing gets blended.
I find I also need something like spatula to stir it up as I go to ensure that it all gets mixed well.
- Add food to carafe, then either continuously blend or use the pulse button.
- Scrape down the sides of the carafe (the blender container thing), stir, and then blend again.
- Repeat as necessary.
I don’t recommend adding much if any water, unless your cat has had a nasogastric (NG) tube placed and needs to be fed through the tube. Luckily, there are prescription liquid diets available from companies like Royal Canin for those situations. Your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic can hook you up with those.
I found that even a few tablespoons of water quickly turns it into a soup! Some cats are picky enough that they won’t touch a soup, even if they’re they type of cat that loves the ‘gravy’ part of canned food.
Here’s How it Turned Out
My cats would not touch the soupy version I made. However if I accidentally make soup in the future, I’m going to try pouring a small amount of it on top of their non-blended wet food and see if they think it’s a new type of gravy.
If you add water, go slow and add a tiny bit at a time.
Also, I realize some people are grossed out at the thought of putting cat food in the same blender that you use for your own food. Don’t worry about that. You can purchase extra carafes online for your blender.
I put a sticky note that says “CAT ONLY” on the one I use for cat food.
It is always a good idea to wash the empty carafe out with soap and warm water when you’re done using it anyway. So if you’re too cheap to buy a second carafe, I still wouldn’t worry about it. Just clean it after using it.
The same goes for plates in my house. I’m fine with eating off of the same plates I use to feed my cats; I just wash them after each use so the cat food doesn’t get people food on it, and the people food doesn’t get cat food on it. Ta da!
Make It More Enticing
Some cats are extra finicky. You can add tuna juice instead of water. Just be sure to buy tuna that is packed in water (not oil) because too much oil or fat can negatively affect their pancreas. Pretty much all dry & wet cat foods on the market contain plenty of dietary fat, so there’s no reason to add more.
Feel free to garnish your freshly made gourmet delicacy before serving. Fortiflora probiotic powder and bonito fish flakes are popular garnishes. Most cats really like Temptations treats, even though they are not the healthiest, so try crushing some of those up and sprinkling on top. There are endless flavors!