Caturday felids: Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2010 • 5:04 am

Three videos for the holiday. First, big cats play with pumpkins:

A cat dressed up like a banana split noms a banana:

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And a cat is scared by his owner’s cat costume:

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16 thoughts on “Caturday felids: Happy Halloween!

  1. That’s amazing, cats like pumpkin. How did anyone even find that out? Do ordinary kittehs in the US try to eat the halloween decorations?

    1. I had a cat who had an inordinate fondness for pumpkins.

      At the L.A. zoo they give them to all the animals that enjoy them– it’s fun to see an elephant pick one up and eat it like it’s a kumquat.

  2. Umm… Aren’t cats strictly carnivores? I mean, they get vegetation, but it is usually in the stomachs of their prey. They can’t extract nutrients from it, and will perish on a vegetarian diet.

    OTOH, One of my grrrls gets a medicine that is banana flavored.

    1. Cats do eat a very little bit of grasses, but, yeah. Their biggest source of plant matter is the stomach contents of their prey.

      It tears my heart out to see the list of ingredients on so many high-end canned cat foods. They read like exactly what a human would want in a stew: a generous amount of meat but also lots of rice and veggies. And they’re marketed that way.

      If you don’t know any better, they sound fantastic. But cats have no business eating anywhere near that much carbohydrates, let alone all the other things in grains and vegetables.

      If you want the ultimate in cat nutrition, give ’em feeder mice like what snakes get. There are lots of practical problems with that, of course. Your next best bet is a commercial raw diet, available in the freezer section of your high-end pet food store. (Actually even better would be preparing your own raw food, but that requires a meat grinder that can grind up raw bone.) Barring raw food, pretty much anything canned that’s grain-free is just fine. Wellness and Evo are excellent choices.

      Don’t feed dry food to cats. Even the ones with generally not-bad nutrition (Evo’s kibble) are intentionally designed to be significantly deficient in one of the most vital nutrients cats need: water.

      Cats get almost all of their water from their food. As a result, they have a very low — insufficient, actually — thirst instinct. A healthy cat on a wet diet will almost never drink water (though, of course, clean water should still always be available). A cat on a dry diet will be chronically dehydrated and eventually develop kidney failure.

      As for that banana-flavored medicine…it’s amoxicillin, right? My condolences. It’s actually a human (child) formula re-labeled and sold in small doses for cats and dogs. If your vet has a good pharmacist available, you can get it re-formulated in a more cat-friendly flavor. Here’s hoping your grrrl gets over her infection before she gets sick of the stuff. It’s a miracle drug, but it’s still some really nasty shit that no feline deserves to have squirted in her mouth.



      1. One “high end” food I saw really chapped my hide. They were obviously cognizant of people trying to avoid corn, so there was no corn on the ingredient list, nope, not anywhere.

        Sure was Maize though.

      2. Thanks for your concern, Ben. Banana medicine is Lactulose for her kidneys. I mix her dose with the juice from her food and she just laps it up, fortunately. Not the kind of cat who is tolerant of eye droppers and pills. Amoxicillin comes in a bubble gum flavor from our vet. Another kid flavor. Cat medicines get leftover dog flavors, too. Like beef. Never seen a house cat bring down a cow.

        We tried that frozen raw stuff, but one of the grrrls got really sick with salmonella or something similar from it. We feed Merrick now; it’s called Thanksgiving Day and Grammy’s Pot Pie. It smells almost good enough for human consumption, but it has a lot of carrots, etc, and crap they don’t need. Good quality, though. The grrrls only like poultry flavors.

        I don’t know about feeder mice. They occasionally catch a sparrow or a mouse, but they don’t make the food connection. To them it’s a toy that’s no fun once it stops moving.

      3. Most of the cats I have had over the years enjoy nomming pumpkin guts. One of my current triad is very fond of the few ml of mixed grain porridge I treat him to in the morning. (I first gave it to him after a few weeks of chasing him out of the kitchen sink every morning when he had jumped in to drink the water out of the pot when it was soaking.)

        I am not an animal nutritionist, but I do wonder about the hype about the best “most natural” nutrition to feed a housecat. Presumably, from an evolutionary perspective, the *best* food for a wild cat is the one that keeps them healthy enough to live long enough to breed and have healthy babies. I’m not sure that it follows that eating such a diet will help my (neutered) indoor kitteh companions stay healthy and live to a ripe old age.

  3. I think the leopard in the beginning felt that its pumpkin was just like a hominin head. Okay, a giant, Peanuts style hominin head.

    P.S. I didn’t know that felids enjoyed “playing squash” so much. I’ll have to get my little kitty one of those tiny pumpkins.

  4. Some years back, our veterinarian told us to feed our two cats canned pumpkin. One large tablespoon of pumpkin, with two kitty treats jammed inside.

    He claimed that it was a good way to get fiber in their diet.

    They gnoshed it right down for several years, and would eat it even if there were no treats inside

  5. Dr. Jerry,

    I had to close the tab with WEIT because that third video had an ad i couldn’t kill – not bueno. i’ve stopped going to the cheezeburger network sites cause of this. you can’t even mute the ads!

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