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Sunday, March 05, 2006

The cheaper cat food challenge

In response to kt's cheaper cat food challenge, The Bargain Queen has been experimenting with ways to feed Queen Kitty more cheaply.

The first idea that's worked out, is feeding the cat a little bit of our food. In theory, it would cost a lot more to feed the cat expensive organic chicken than it does to feed her cat food. In practise, the chicken is free but the cat food isn't.

This only works because we buy chicken anyway, and the cat eats a lot less than we do - so little, in fact, that we don't notice it gone. Say we buy a half dozen thigh fillets to make a big pot of soup. For a 3.4kg cat, a heaped tablespoon of raw chicken with dry food on the side is a day's meal. That's less than a quarter of a thigh fillet, which makes no detectable difference to the soup.

So the cat is thrilled, we used one less tin of cat food, and we still had a great meal that night. This is one idea we'll definitely keep using.

Here's some other ideas we're intending to try:
  • Asking the butcher if they'll sell us some cheap offcuts when we're there next
  • Looking for cheap fish next time we're at the fish markets (those little tins of cat food work out at $10/kilo so anything cheaper than that is a possibility)
  • Comparing the price of small and larger tins of cat food, and switching to bigger tins if they're cheaper
  • Finding a cheaper source of her dry food, or switch her from Royal Canin to something cheaper as Choice magazine suggest there's not much difference
Stay tuned for updates on these!

And speaking of kitties, there's a great article on keeping animal costs down on Frugal For Life, via ReadyMade blog

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  • At 10:55 am, Blogger kt said…

    Ok, some good suggestions here, but feeding them fresh meat that we would eat isn't an option. I don't eat meat, the occasional bit of fish but that's it. Sometime when my boyfriend has some bacon or something they get a bit of that but that's usually in addition to regular meals.

    I've been buying meat such as protacat or some other brand of pet mine (not VIP) which I then divide into smaller containers and freeze. I'll defrost one of these every so often and feed the cats this as an alternative to canned food.

    Now the issue we have is that we have not one, but THREE cats. Lucy is still classed as a kitten so she's eating whiskers kitten food, fresh meat and kitten biscuits. We stopped feeding the older cats whiskers biscuits because they are mostly cereal based and we've switched to a different brand.

    Vlad (4 yrs old) occasionally supplements his diet with mice and rats; we find leftovers in the garden every once in a while.

    At least we don't have to buy kitty litter! :)


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