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Food for felines: Type and quantity matter
by Jessica Garcia
Nov 03, 2009 | 1341 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Maribel Garcia, 18, stocks pet food at Scraps Dog Bakery at the Sparks Marina on Tuesday.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Maribel Garcia, 18, stocks pet food at Scraps Dog Bakery at the Sparks Marina on Tuesday.
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Tribune/Nathan Orme - Scraps Dog Food Bakery at the Sparks Marina has a corner dedicated to man's second best friend: cats.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Scraps Dog Food Bakery at the Sparks Marina has a corner dedicated to man's second best friend: cats.
slideshow
Scraps Dog Bakery owner Kristen Taylor knows how finicky cats can be about their diet. She has three felines of her own and after six years of taking care of them, she changes up what goes in their bowls now and then.

Selecting the right kind of food for a cat, from which brand to dry or wet, is often based on the owner’s budget. But according to Taylor, it’s recommended that owners do a little research and make wise choices for their cats.

“It depends on age, weight, breed, their teeth,” Taylor said. “You have to take all that into consideration. A senior cat is not going to be on the same diet as a kitten.”

Scraps, which has a corner of its store dedicated to cat food, offers only premium food; its products that do not contain any corn, wheat or soy ingredients. According to Taylor, these “fillers” can wreak havoc on a cat’s digestive system.

“You’ve seen the Iams diet,” she said. “It has a lot of filler stuff, a lot of junk, and … you can certainly do much better.”

Scraps feeding philosophy follows the "Whole Dog Journal," its bible for information on dog and cat food. It also receives visits from representatives of various vendors who discuss new foods on the market. Currently, the shop sells Felidae, Natural Balance, Taste of the Wild and others.

“Essentially we go by price,” Taylor said. “If that’s an issue, I have cheaper foods and very expensive foods for dogs and cats. … Cats are finicky eaters. With adult cats, they’re set in their ways.”

Wet food is also preferred, Taylor said, because cats don’t drink enough water, partly because they’re not as active as dogs.

“(Wet food) is a good source of moisture intake for the cats, so I would definitely recommend that for the kitties,” she said.

The choice of produce mixed into the food can also contribute to healthier, smoother and shinier coats, Taylor said. But, she added, the main thing to remember is food with grain is not recommended.

For how much to feed and frequency, Taylor advises cat owners to read the instructions on the can or bag of food.

“I have three cats and put out two cups in their bowls and that’s it for the day,” she said. “I free feed. It’s not highly recommended you free feed. It’s better to feed one meal and then take it away. Cats are different than dogs. … But if you do have a weight issue on a cat, portion it out. Give it a half-cup in the morning, a half-cup at night.”

Taylor said owners do get a sense of how to feed their cats over time but offers a tip on their natural feeding habits.

“Carts are 100 percent carnivores,” Taylor said. “Years and years ago, before we domesticated cats, they ate every part of the animal. They hunted. They weren’t in the cornfields. They were eating the meat, the protein. So raw food is what we advise for dogs as well as cats.”

Scraps is located at 325 Harbour Cove Drive, #107 in Sparks and is open seven days a week.

For more information, visit www.myfavoritescraps.com.

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