Friday Food Storage Quickie

Sharon November 14th, 2008

It has been a bit since I’ve done a Friday Food Storage Quickie.  I think we can all see that the economic situation is deteriorating – the good thing about the deflation we’re facing (if there is a good thing) is that prices are coming down quite rapidly.  So now is the time to make purchases if you’ve got the money – especially if you are concerned about an impending job loss, or about loss of access to retail.

 That last is something that most of us haven’t thought much about yet, but I think we should.  Most retailers are facing major economic shocks – most have purchased their holiday inventories, but can’t get credit at this point to buy more for the New Year.  That means their survival depends entirely on their sales – sales that are dropping like a stone.  Barring some major shifts, we can expect to see retailer bankruptcies and emptied malls after the holidays – and since we know that, there’s a lot less incentive to be things at retail prices, since they’ll shortly be 70% off.

But that comes with a price – for those in population centers, it may simply mean a longer bus ride to the nearest grocer.  For those is rural and exurban areas, it may mean that we have to travel long distances to buy goods that we’ve been able to acquire locally.  And relying on the internet comes with difficulties as well – the DHL’s pull out of US deliveries, and the postal service’s layoffs suggest that getting something to your door may get pricier and harder not very long from now.  Add to that the decline in overall shipping, and the problems shippers are having getting credit, and it may not be very long before many of us find empty shelves and storefronts, and long trips to meet basic needs.

That means that now is a good time, if you can afford it, to build up your pantry and basic resources.  While gas prices are down, it isn’t so cheap we can afford to take long trips often, I suspect, particularly given cutbacks in jobs, hours, etc…

If you check out the other posts in this category (check the sidebar) you’ll see that we’ve been working on the basics of a good diet in our storage.  This week I want to focus on two things: food for your pets, if any, and peanut butter for yourself.  We’ll also talk about those little things that send us running to the store – and how to avoid that.

1. Pet foods – I’m going to do a post soon about feeding your pets and livestock without the grocery store, because I think that the cost of commercial pet foods is increasingly a barrier for families.  That said, however, for all their limitations, the pet food companies have done a lot of research into animal nutrition and the easiest way is to store commercial pet food.  The food can be easily stored in 5 gallon buckets, and most commerical dry dog and cat foods will keep for a year or more.  It is also worth taking a look at the actual recommendations for the amount of food an animal of your pet’s species and size requires – a lot of us overfeed our pets, and that’s not something we can afford even at the best of times (because it isn’t good for them). 

Canned wet food should stay good for several years.  Generally speaking, most vets I know don’t recommend an all dry-food diet for any animal, but wet food is more costly, so you could probably supplement your animal’s diet with meat scraps or milk you have for yourself.  If you are feeding your animals a homemade, BARF or other special diet, you’ll have to decide which elements you can store and which you can’t.  I don’t generally recommend filling a freezer unless you are absolutely sure you won’t have power outages.  If you are storing dry food, while feeding another kind of diet, it would be wise to add a little dry food to your pet’s diet now, so that they don’t have to have an abrupt dietary shift.

I find the cheapest sources for pet food to be large bags at Costco or feed stores.  Check the dumpsters also for broken bags.  I generally believe that high quality pet foods, particularly made from organic meats are better for the animals and much better for our food system – because feedlots are able to sell as many as 1/7 of all their cows that are too unhealthy for entering the human food chain (and that alone should scare you) to pet food makers, that helps keep the feedlots profitable.  Add to that the tendency to use euthanized pet corpses as part of the feed for cats and dogs, and you’ll see that commercial pet foods are not a good thing.  But if you can’t afford better, feeding an animal you’ve taken responsibility for is essential.  

2. Peanut butter or peanuts and something to grind them in.  Yes, I know some people can’t eat peanuts.  For those folks, sunflower seeds or sesame butter will have to take its place.  But for the rest of us, there’s nothing like peanut butter – cheap, widely available, delicious (yes, I know that a lot of non-Americans find peanut butter just as weird as we find vegemite and the equivalents – you are welcome to stock up on marmite instead, but I’ll pass ;-) ).  Even better is fresh ground peanut butter – so the best way to do this is probably to store whole, raw peanuts (which keep about 2 years in a cool, dry place), and grind them daily. But hand grinding peanut butter is a chore not all of us want to take on.  So now is the time to add protein rich, tasty peanut butter.  The only difficulty with this is that the kind of peanut butters that are best for you are not the best keepers – so you might want to throw some of the generic, shelf-stable supermarket brand into your storage, even if you usually use the natural stuff.  You can always donate it to the food pantry if you don’t want to eat it and no emergency arises. 

Finally, as long as we’re stocking up on basics, now is a good time to think about the little things we all need for our projects whether building a chicken tractor out of scrap wood, repairing your sandals, helping the kids with a school project or mending a pair of jeans.  At least in my house, these are just the kind of small things that require a special trip to some out of the way store – for nails, appropriate thread, glue, posterboard, the right screw, duct tape, etc….

We probably will lose some of the chain hardware and craft stores, while those same chains probably already drove our local resources out of business.  So now is the time to stock up – to buy extra needles, a spare role of tape, an extra blade for the exacto knife, another tube of shoe goo or a few extra hooks and eyes.  Don’t buy out the hardware store – they aren’t things you need zillions of, usually.  But remember that most of these things are shipped from far away, and when you see a bargain, or pass a yard sale table with a few boxes of nails on them, think about the fact that it might soon be a project in itself to get those small things that are so necessary, and so easy to forget.  And if you don’t have problems getting them – you’ll still save yourself some time and energy the next time you go to fix something. 

 Sharon

43 Responses to “Friday Food Storage Quickie”

  1. Karin says:

    We have enough hay for the winter for our sheep and goat. But animal feed is another thing. We buy it in 250 pound lots because we can get a deal on it. We are stocking up on birdseed for our chickens and local oats to stretch feed. It was our hope that we would be able to trade eggs for feed at the local feed store this coming spring;so that our ladies would be earning their keep.

    Next year we will be going completely local with our animal feed needs. There is a farmer that grows barley and oats and an other dry bean farmer that sells culled dry beans.

    We will be pasturing our chickens ala Joel Salatin and completely pasturing the ovine. So that summer feed needs will be minimal. If we can make it that far.

    Strange times indeed.

  2. Jena says:

    Thanks for the great info! I really enjoy the Food storage posts.

    A couple comments on the pet food part of it. The clinic that I work at does recommend a dry food diet in most cases, especially for little dogs because they are more prone to dental disease. The crunching of the food helps clean plaque and tarter from the teeth and tends to build up less than wet foods. If a dog has a hard time chewing the dry kibble we usually suggest wetting it with a little water. We’re definitely not against wet foods, just prefer dry as a general rule.
    I haven’t tried making a homemade food for my dogs or cat yet but if anyone is interested Fake Plastic Fish has a post or two about homemade cat food. You’re right on that a higher end food is best if affordable, the cheap foods just have more fillers so the pet doesn’t get as much nutrition. Just make sure cats get cat food and not dog food, as they need the higher levels of taurine.

    Hope that helps! :)

  3. Verde says:

    On pet foods, remember that commercial food is a new invention and that domestic cats and dogs have been with us a long time. Dogs especially have similar diatary needs to humans. It is worth looking at some home made recipes – especially for dry food made at home. Dogs too love peanut butter, and there are some recipes for peanut butter biscuits that my dogs flip for (when I get around to making them).

    And if you are one of the ones that can spare a few bucks, do buy an extra jar of peanut butter for the food bank. There are a lot of folks falling through the cracks who need quality proteins too. Volunteering at a food bank I was amazed at the amount of garbage food that gets donated: ding dongs, candy and chips, fruit gummies, and white bread – more than 1/3 of the food we sorted were empty calories that get passed out to fill hungry bellies.

  4. dewey says:

    Is deflation making food prices drop? I sure haven’t noticed any of that here.

  5. Gina says:

    I second Dewey, although a lot of prices (fuel, even electricity!) have dropped around here, food prices just seem to continue to climb. I noticed a giant increase in bean prices of late and even the “sratch and dent” food store prices have gone up. Maybe it hasn’t reach those avenues yet.

    My chiropractor is having a food drive this month, for two bags of groceries you get free initial visit, consultation and xrays. I noticed today (I am trying to correct a back issue I recently was blessed with) while waiting that the sacks were full of processed junk and paper towels. I also noticed cases of beans (good). I agree about the peanut butter for the food banks!

    This was an excellent post and great reminders. I am desperately trying to fill in the gaps in my preparedness, but have been slacking off the last few weeks. Thanks for getting me jump started again!

    Oh, and I used to work in the vet field for many years and agree that a dry diet is ok. However, that being said, I want to add a bit. A year ago I canned beef with my inlaws and they wanted it to be as fat free as possible. I carefully cut the fat off the chunks in order to keep as much of the meat as possible, but my MIL was much quicker and less selective. I took all the scraps and canned those as dog food. It was the same meat we would be eating (a pasture raised 4-H steer), albiet fatter. I use it sparingly to supplement my dogs’ dry food. It helps stretch the higher quality dry food. You may check with your local butcher about buying locally raised ‘scrap meat’ to can up as dog food (plus, no euthanized carcasses-yuck!).

    Yikes, I’m making this comment long, but off topic, I picked up a book at the library yesterday called the _Parable of the Sower_ (Octavia Butler). Good, but scary read about possible future events! I see striking parallels to now in the story (although it takes place in 2024).

  6. DEE says:

    With all the dog food recalls…and people food for that matter..we have taken to making our own dog food and it is super easy. We cook rice,brown or white. I stick it in the rice cooker as I’m making dinner so takes no time at all. To this (usually make 8 cups at a time) I add one can canned carrots and one can canned g.beans…from Aldi’s l lb. cans are 45 cents; far cheaper than fresh and I use the juice,too. This is the base. Then the dogs get either scrambled eggs if the chickens are laying,cottage cheese when it is on sale which they adore or meat scraps including all the stuff we don’t like from butchering like liver and tail and such. In the summer they get other veggies…they love zucchini!

    With this diet we have reduced a fat Corgi to normal wt. in 6 months and keep our 12 year old English setter as a perfect weight for her. Vet says they are in excellent health. We do make big batches of homemade dog biscuits or give safe bones for their dental health but don’t notice any tartar building up.

    As to peanut butter have stored a number of jars but we rarely eat it…affects DH’s gout. Occasionally make cookies from it but figure it should keep; we found it in glass jars. Don’t know if the plastic would store long term as well. DEE

  7. [...] Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » Friday Food Storage Quickie It has been a bit since I’ve done a Friday Food Storage Quickie. I think we can all see that the economic situation is deteriorating – the good thing about the deflation we’re facing (if there is a good thing) is that prices are coming down quite rapidly. So now is the time to make purchases if you’ve got the money – especially if you are concerned about an impending job loss, or about loss of access to retail. [...]

  8. Rebecca says:

    Skippy has a natural, fairly shelf-stable peanut butter that also tastes good and does not have to be refrigerated. It also tastes good. I’ve been buying it and I like it.

  9. Susan in NJ says:

    Thanks for another food storage post Sharon. A good reminder to rotate some peanut butter into the house to house can drive in my neighborhood tomorrow. We were at a different supermarket last weekend where the boy scouts were collecting cans with the explicit requirement of “no canned vegetables.” They weren’t getting much joy.
    One of the big family owned grocery chain’s weekly flyer had an article this week by their consumer writer about how some food prices were starting to drop and that shipping prices were expected to fall but that on some things like flour for the bakery they had “stocked up” while the price was high fearing even higher prices, BUT they were going to bite the bullet and start passing on anticipated savings early. One alleged reason which I thought was interesting was that they were lowering the cost of baking supplies because it was baking season and they had already noticed an increased interest in home baking from previous years of declining interest.
    There’s been a lot written recently about how food prices are sticky, at least in the shorter term, I do think prices on some things will fall (but not back to where they were, all those packagers aren’t going to retool back to slightly bigger packages).

  10. Matriarchy says:

    Thanks for the lead to the cat food recipe at Fake Plastic Fish, Jena. I just started reading that blog, and didn’t read backward yet. It’s harder to find recipes for cat food than dog. I have a cat that only seems to like dry food, but I happen to have cooked chicken and sweet potatoes right this moment, and I am going to try them on her. I do have two big buckets of cat food, but I like having options.

    On the “miscellaneous” front, we have long had a habit of collecting fabric, craft supplies and hardware at yard sales. But I need GLUE! Wood glue, super glue, white glue, epoxy, glue sticks, rubber cement. Thanks for the reminder, Sharon!

  11. Emily says:

    How shelf stable is the new organic peanut butter that’s made with palm kernel oil? It doesn’t separate but contains no hydrogenated fats, and it tastes more like Jif than “natural” peanut butter.

  12. Maddie says:

    Since losing a cat to the pet food poisoning, my cat only eats a home cooked diet. It is hard to get older pets off the dry food. It’s carbohydrates and they crave and like them just like we do (g). As far as milk for dogs/cats — they don’t need it and it’s not good for them. My vet says, if the milk didn’t come from their mother, don’t do it.

    But thanks for the great reminder to stock up on other items besides food. Looks like I’m going shopping tonight.

  13. Chile says:

    I used to cook for my dogs years ago, combining rice and chicken with some oil and dry supplements (like bone meal and kelp). They thrived on it. When I quit doing this, my vet recommended a particular brand of dry food that is made with human-grade ingredients as many commercial brands are made with the slaughterhouse dregs. It’s expensive, though, which is a great motivator to keep from over-feeding the pooch now.

    I foresee a time when I’ll be back to making the food, though. Since we’ll probably have chickens for pest control, the dog(s) would get eggs and the occasional chicken along with a grain or starch like sweet potatoes.

    Re the little things, I’m still using staples I picked up at a yard sale some six years ago!

  14. dewey says:

    Maddie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Can you tell me what/how you cook for your cat? My kitteh gets a low-magnesium prescription food because she suffered from FUS, about the same time as the pet food nightmare in fact. We feed mostly the dry food because it’s so much cheaper, unfortunately, even though we know the canned version is better. Our vet, who seems ignorant but contemptuous of the “biologically appropriate” movement, wants her on that stuff for life, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she and most other allegedly susceptible cats would do fine eating nonstandardized food if it were evolutionarily appropriate food rather than the usual corporate [email protected] Need I say that even the expensive prescription diet is full of “byproducts.”

  15. Lisa Z says:

    Rebecca and Emily, I admit I love the new Skippy natural peanut butter. I grew up on Skippy and it’s still my absolute favorite. I’ve also eaten a lot of organic, peanut only peanut butter and it’s good, but this food storage thing has given me a great excuse to buy my Skippy again!!! (bad, methinks, b/c it’s not organic, but oh well)

    It does come with an expiration date, so I’d say it’s as least good for that long (at least a couple years, if I recall right).

  16. Shamba says:

    thanks for another quickie food post, sharon.

    For making cat food: I would be interested, too, in recipes for making cat food. I’ll check that site that Jena wrote about.

    Every time I cook meat my cats–7 of them–get some of the meat. Otherwise, Ifeed them a mix of dry food and some canned food.

    thanks for the posts today,
    Shamba

  17. Isis says:

    Dewey said:

    “Is deflation making food prices drop? I sure haven’t noticed any of that here.”

    Boy, let me second that!

    See, I’m not planning on making any big purchases in the near future (although I did just buy a new computer: I need it for my work, and the old one – about five years old now – is giving me more trouble than I’m willing to tolerate), but apart from that, I’m not planning on buying anything big in the next year or so. I might or might not get an item or two of clothing from a second-hand store, but other than that, I’m pretty much just looking at food, rent (my utilities are included in rent), basic hygiene products (no make-up for this girl!), and a book here and there. No going out; no eating out.

    So food is a big part of my budget. I’m by no means a great cook, but I still cook from scratch (it’s healthier that way, plus I quite simply couldn’t afford to do it any other way). For breakfast and dinner, it’s usually either quinoa or oatmeal. And the price of quinoa has doubled in the past few weeks! (I refuse to cut it out of my diet: eating oatmeal three to four times a week is fine, but when I do it every day, I wind up with an acidic taste in my mouth; I don’t have a similar problem with quinoa.) So this is something I’m quite concerned about. If the price of non-essentials is going down, that simply doesn’t do much for me since I haven’t been buying many non-essentials to begin with…

    Oh well… I don’t think I’m in a real danger of going hungry or homeless. But last year over the summer, I was so short on money that it actually came close to that, so with food prices going up, I just can’t help worrying…

    But then again, that particular summer taught me how to make ends meet with very little cash. First of all, eating out was out (and has since stayed out), and so were the $2-something energy bars (also stayed out). Those two were actually easy enough, but what hurt was that I also had to cut back on fruit and vegetables a fair amount (but I did start eating a fair amount of those again, once my financial situation improved). So I think I’ll be able to weather the increases in food prices without severe hardship. (But I still can’t help worrying…)

  18. freeacre says:

    We have a large dog, so feeding her in a real crisis is a tad daunting. So, I have been supplementing her high end dog food from Costco with basically any type of meat that is $2 per pound or less. I often bake her a turkey, or a pork roast. Soon we will be adding home raised rabbit. I bought an old fashioned meat grinder to mince the meat. It makes it go farther and mixes easily with the dry dog food. In the summer, she also likes raw snow peas from the garden, and even broccoli! I no longer give her grain (especially barley) because it may cause allergic reactions, like ear infections and hot spots.

  19. Ani says:

    Haven’t noticed food prices dropping out here particularly.
    Stocking up on peanut butter is an essential to me- gotta admit my fave is Skippy Honey Roasted Super Chunky- I just don’t read the label……

  20. It is possible to slowly stock up on sewing supplies by salvaging useful items from clothes or other cloth items destined for the shop rag box. Cut off ALL the buttons (they never go bad! and check those inside seams for extras), sew-on snaps, hooks and eyes, sewn on patches, applied laces and other trims, buckles, and working zippers. It is worth the trouble to rip up old, torn up worn out backpacks to salvage those heavy duty zippers. I have also trash picked children’s slumber bags to rip off the zippers. The bag gets washed and becomes a couch blanket or if it is in bad shape, the polyfiber fill can be removed and reused to stuff pillows or soft toys.

    I have started repairing garments that I would previously discard to the shop rag box just to get the practice. Repairing clothes isn’t taught anywhere and every single one is unique and requires something different. Being able to repair stuff also means that you can take damaged clothing that other people pass over.

    If you are going to do this, get the very best seam ripper because you will use it! I use surgical steel razor blade types from http://www.chestnuttools.com but I actually bought mine from Lee Valley tools and gardening supplies. Buy extra blades when you do. The other very useful tool is a snap replacer. This is a kind of giant pliers that lets you place snaps on baby clothes and shirts. Every fabric store carries these and the replacement snaps in various sizes. They are easy and cheap to get now but that will change.

    Don’t dissect the stuff if you are going to pass it along elsewhere of course.

  21. Joyce says:

    As I understand it, the tricky bit about making your own cat food is the taurine, which is available in any useful amount only in freshly-killed raw meat (aka. mousies and birdies).

    I compromise by feeding homemade food about one-third of the time, and commercial food two-thirds of the time. The cats have dry food available free choice.

    You can buy taurine to add to homemade food. You’d have to do some research to find the right amount.

  22. Joyce says:

    BTW I should have mentioned in my comment above that of course all cat food manufacturers include taurine in their products. Apparently they didn’t know about the significance of taurine when they first started producing cat food, and indoor cats were known for going blind young. Once the connection was made, the problem was quickly corrected.

  23. Andrea says:

    Just a quick note…I *have* noticed a drop in some food prices….milk for instance…from 4 dollars a gallon down to less than 2.50. Big drop! That combined with lower gas and heating oil prices, we’re actually beginning to (*gasp*) have a little breathing room in our budget.

    I can’t help but think this is just a big game to boost consumer confidence before they rake us over the coals again.

  24. In our area (Portland, OR) you can go to the Cash & Carry wholesale/restaurant supply house if you use cash. It is supposed to be for restaurant owners or groups, and they used to require ID, but if you go in with cash and act like you know what you are doing, they could care less. It is a great place to stock up on bulk items. Large cans of olive oil, gallons of PB, etc. It is a great place for bulk buying for a group, since it is hard to find some items in regular stores in large quantities.

  25. Colleen says:

    Sharon may have mentioned this in another post but here is a resource folks may want to make use of while they have access to places to make photocopies (or at least can stock up on gelatin. : )

    http://www.energyconservationinfo.org/printflyers.htm

    They offer a variety of mostly 1-2 page printable flyers on many of the same topics that Sharon covers here including ‘Keeping Warm in a Winter Weather Emergency’, ‘Managing Winter Enegy Bills’, ‘Disaster Preparations on a Limited Budget’, ‘Food Preparaton and Safety’, ‘Hygiene, Trash, Human Waste’, ‘Building Community During a Major Disaster’, and even one on making a hectographic duplicator { a non-electric, gelatin based copy maker}.

    Consider making copies for family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and folks you worship with.

  26. Rebecca says:

    Lisa, I also am rather fond of that Skippy natural. They could only make it better by making it organic, but it is good enough for now, as I can’t afford organic anyway. I have several big jars of it in my pantry, all with expirations dates in 2010.

    How to feed my pets in the event of disaster is something that worries me. The dogs can pretty much eat anything I can. But the cats have to have enough meat. I’ve long figured that if anything ever drives me to butcher my own meat, it will be a certain Siamese.

  27. Michele P says:

    Hi Sharon –

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. I’ve made my own cat & dog food for years. I haven’t found it to be cheaper, it’s more work and about the cost of premium pet food, but the health benefits are definitely there. Mine are all older (9-10) , and everyone says that they look maybe half their age. Course I don’t immunize either past their first shots and that has something to do with it as well, I believe.

    For me, I have to figure out what to store for my critters – easy for the first year of an emergency, but past that, what to do if a downturn continues and food supplies aren’t available. Thanks for the reminder, Sharon, I will start on this as soon as I finish paying for my 1/4 beef – picking up today.

    I wanted to comment about cats, though – if you decide to switch them to a home cooked (or raw) food, don’t do it if they’re quite old (I switched mine at age two and had an almighty battle on my hands), definitely do your research, as they’re not as easy as dogs nutritionally, and if you still want to go ahead, take all the kibble out of your house. Mine found a way into a locked crawlspace in order to eat kibble and not the nasty stuff Mom was putting in front of them.

    Oh, and Taurine is found naturally in the hearts of whatever you’re feeding. So if you’re doing chicken, find chicken hearts, beef, use beef heart, etc. You don’t need much – maybe 3-4 ounces for every 2 pounds of meat. Use about the same amount of liver for the vitamins naturally found there.

  28. anonymous says:

    I intend to do my best to provide for my two cats, including stocking up on food and first aid. However I have to admit that in a long term emergency, my first priority will be the health and well being of my human family. I am pretty poor and already freaking out about feeding and sheltering my children and non-prepared extended family. Cats go feral quickly, and I suppose that is what may happen with mine, worse comes to worse.

  29. Here’s the link to my cat food recipe, which was created by petdiets.com:

    http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2008/10/less-impact-cats-eat-homemade-food.html

    With this recipe, the cats will get all the essential nutrients they need because you add a powdered supplement to the mix. So taurine is not an issue.

    I buy ground chicken from the butcher who puts it in my own stainless steel container.

  30. Tonight we fixed a birthday meal for my father in law. I made hashbrown casserole, caesar salad, and we grilled steaks. The cost of the meal for 7 of us (4 adults, 3 kids who did not want steak): $76 and that didn’t include the wine I had on hand.

    And, I bought generic everything for the casserole!

    Food prices are continuing to climb, climb, climb in my area. gas is back down, but that is about it.

    (it was a good meal though, so I’m not complaining…but we might have been cheaper to eat out at Cracker Barrel!)

  31. Sharon says:

    Re:food prices, I agree they aren’t coming down very quickly, but I do see some declines, at least in the bulk goods I’m purchasing – certainly flour and wheat are down, and so is powdered milk and a few other items. Soybeans, on the other hand are still very high, and most things that depend on them, including meat, remain expensive.

    Thanks for all the useful commentary about pet food and feeding.

    Sharon

  32. Lisa Z says:

    I just scored a few more jars of the Skippy Natural p. butter at my local scratch and dent bargain store. They are $1.70 for a 15 oz. jar there, at least $1 off normal price, and don’t expire until Oct. 2009. I feel happy!

    It looks like the bargain center gets that stuff pretty regularly, so I’ll be able to keep stocking up for cheap. Yay!

    And Rebecca, I hope it’s not the Siamese itself that you’ll be “driven to butcher”. Sorry, that’s not funny at all. But it’s kind of what your post implies…:-(

  33. Rebecca says:

    Goddess no, Lisa. That cat is my daughter.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    On the flip side, we have a 15 year old cat that looks 6 or 7, and my husband has been feeding him the cheapest dry cat food made since he was a kitten. So ya never know ; )

  35. dewey says:

    Anonymous – Depending upon a cat’s age and early experiences, it can be VERY difficult for her to suddenly find territory and food while coping with new dangers such as inclement weather, vicious dogs, vicious humans, and SUVs. Many don’t make it even in the short term. If you’ve got a young former stray and expert mouser, she might be okay on her own; if you’ve got a 10-year-old indoor cat, you would be kinder to shoot her. Also, if your cats love or trust you, being abandoned to fend for themselves would be a painful betrayal that they would have no way of understanding, and I wonder if witnessing it wouldn’t create more fear than comfort for your children in a time of hardship. If the time comes when you feel you cannot feed your pets, I beg you to do everything you possibly can to find them a new home, even as barn cats, rather than putting them out the back door on the presumption that they will just “go feral” and be okay. A lot of Americans have made many commitments during these last free-spending years that they may not be able to live up to long term (witness the mortgage bailout), but when the commitment represents a living creature who has been led to rely upon us, we have a special duty to deal with that burden in some honorable way, even if we can’t carry it ourselves any longer.

  36. DEE says:

    But please don’t think taking those unwanted pets to the country means some nice farmer will take them in….we’ve had to deal with this situation too many times. We have two barn cats,males who are neutered and stay home doing their job. We don’t need unfixed males,kittens or mamas. Most will end up hit by a car, food for a bigger animal or shot by someone; especially dogs if they join together and run as a pack. Perfectly legal here in the Ozarks if running your stock. DEE

  37. dewey says:

    OTOH some rural folks seem happy to see their dogs run around killing cats on or off their property. It’s proof of their aggressiveness. No, certainly nobody should just dump animals outside of town on the assumption that they’ll find a home on a farm somewhere! Some other sleazebag’s doing that is how we wound up with our kitteh, in fact. But she was lucky. She might just as likely have been eaten alive by a local dog. That is not a fate to inflict on an animal one cares for.

  38. Maddie says:

    Dewey

    My cat eats Urban King. There is also an Urban Wolf formula for dogs. Her coat is so soft, so shiny, and she has more energy then I would like
    Google Urban King and you can read all about it. I think they even address the FUS cats. You add your own meat so there is no taurine problem.

    Good luck!

  39. dewey says:

    Thanks!

  40. cat foods should always be high in protein and also in dietary fibers so that they are always healthy ;~’

  41. we have a restaurant in LA and we usually got our restaurant supplies from a quality retailer :~-

  42. Pandora 2009 says:

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