Spike the Cat was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2003, and I was told there was no effective treatment, but that he would probably live another month or two. He was 13 years old, lean and frail, his fur falling out and eyes full of pain. Switching him to a raw diet seemed to give him another chance at life, and motivated me to learn more about nutrition and pet food.
Here he is in mid-winter 2004 with his beautiful coat full of static, about a year later. He'd had no medical treatment, only a change of diet to Spike’s Chicken Salad. On this easily digestible and highly nutritious food, Spike’s thick, plush fur grew back in full, his eyes were bright and sparkly, and he lived another 1.5 years.
On his first day home here at the DogTown Lounge, in early 2006, Fletcher Lou had raw chicken for dinner. He was 9 weeks old then, and has never been shy around food. He and Annie enjoyed Spike’s Chicken Salad about once a week, when they caught up on trace minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other necessary nutrition they might have missed otherwise. Other days they ate big chunks of meat and bone, usually chicken, but also pork, venison, or fish.
The Lounge dogs also enjoy a few meals of Charley Chow every week, by itself or with added meat and veggies, at a rate of about 2% of their body weight per day. In the heat of the summer months, dogs usually drop to 1.5% and occasionally fast for a day, but drink more than twice as much water. Most of her adult life, Annie was about 80 lbs, and ate 1-2 lbs per day, fasting every 14 days or so. Fletcher weighs around 135 lbs, eats around 2 lbs per day, and only fasts when it is very hot.
Update 7/13: Poof is now 7, still 9 lbs, extremely consistent in weight, appetite, and activity level.
The kittens were introduced to Spike’s Chicken Salad at 4 weeks. As their demand for food soared between 6-12 months, they also free-fed Kirkland Chicken & Vegetable kibble, but Spike’s Chicken Salad has been their primary diet outside of those few months. They’ve grown into big, healthy cats, with beautiful soft coats and shiny white teeth, and each one is quite different with a unique personality.
Josef is extremely active and adventurous, always climbing to new heights, and rarely relaxed, so he needs a lot of protein, and usually eats at least 6 oz a day. That works out to over 3% of his 11lbs of tightly wound energy.
Update 7/13: At 5 years old, Josef has settled into a solid 16lbs of muscle, and his activity level has remained high. His prey drive is also very high, and although he sometimes prefers whole raw chicken drumsticks or thighs for dinner, the volume of food he eats is still around 6 oz/day.
His brother Chauncey is very laid back, prefers to snuggle on a lap or doze in sunlight, and he usually eats a little less than 4 oz per day, or about 1.5% of his plush 16lbs.
Update 7/13: At 5, Chauncey remains sedentary, but is very playful and can be seen racing around like a kitten occasionally, especially when it's raining. He's still not a heavy eater, but his large frame is now well clad in dense muscle at around 20lbs.
Vela may have been left to fend for herself as a stray at a young age, so food had been a point of contention for her. Now that she's beginning to understand that there will always be enough food, and pets, and belly rubs, she's able to relax and settle in more. She's gained much needed muscle tone, found a new friendship with Poof, likes to play very rough with Fletcher, and is enjoying having a regular routine. Her protein needs are quite high, and although she is about 85 lbs, she's eating 2-3 lbs/day while her body recovers. Isn't she lovely?
DogTown Lounge pet food recipes are readily digestible, efficient meals with plenty of bio-available nutrition, so pets don’t need to eat very much to stay sleek and healthy. Please use the Feeding Calculator above as a basic guideline for how much volume to feed your pet.