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Friday, March 24, 2006

The cheaper catfood challenge, continued

The Bargain Queen's been working on the cheaper cat food challenge set by her friend kt. Cheaper cat food has never been a big issue for The Bargain Queen because she has just one cat, and Queen Kitty is tiny. She costs $5-10/week to feed, which is nothing compared to rent, bills and clothing expenses. But The Bargain Queen is always up for a challenge :)

So here's an update on the cheaper cat food options we've tried and how they worked out:
  • Cheaper cat food. We tried a cheaper brand of tinned cat food, and while it looked and smelled awful, the cat seems to really like it. Go figure. The Bargain Queen's still not convinced that it's good for the cat though... surely nothing that smells that gross can be healthy?
  • Fish head. This seemed like a really good idea: feed the cat meat off a fish head. We bought the head off a premium Tasmanian salmon from the fish market for a little over a dollar. From it, we got three meals for the cat (one tablespoon of salmon sashimi, plus two lots of flaked cooked salmon) plus a couple of snacks from the dog since she likes bones and cartilege. The only problem was that the cat wasn't so keen (although she did like the broth we cooked the fish in), so next time we'll just eat the salmon ourselves.
  • Dog meat. The dog gets a lot of fresh meat, so we've been looking for ways to share it with the cat. Since the cat's tiny and the dog's really big, taking a tablespoon of meat from the dog's meal and giving it to the cat works really well. The dog doesn't even notice it gone but it's a big treat for the cat.
  • Egg yolk. We've been making a big effort to give the cat leftovers from our own cooking wherever we can. So when a receipe called for egg whites only, we gave the yolks to the cat. This worked pretty well - she ate a whole yolk and even seemed to like it. But when we gave her a second one, she gave us a look like "enough already" so the dog got it instead. She's a tiny cat though, so it seems sensible that she wouldn't eat much.
  • Prawn (jumbo shrimp) heads. Again in the leftovers department, we gave the cat some heads and shells from prawns we cooked. When we pulled all the brains out for her she had some and seemed to like it, but who wants to handle prawn brains for a cat? So we gave her some whole prawn heads and she's ignored them. Though on the up side, the dog loves them!
So far, The Bargain Queen has discovered that the cat is by far the fussiest eater in the house. If it doesn't come in a dinky little can, she's not interested in eating it.

But while the cat food challenge isn't working out so well with the cat, the dog is having a feast. Whatever the cat doesn't eat, the dog does, with great gusto and appreciation. Gotta love dogs!

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