As a cat parent, I’ve become accustomed to Smoki’s fastidiousness when it comes to excessive grooming, as well as her refined and well-honed eating preferences. Cats are specific as to what they expect from their human to make certain their culinary needs live up to their expectations. Let’s face it, they are just plain fussy and notoriously picky eaters. We may wonder why they suddenly reject the culinary offerings they have been eating for a long period of time for no good reason. Obviously, they are more attuned to their nutritional needs than we give them credit. Cats are obligate carnivores—they must get most of the nutrients they need from meat. And, if we are not quenching their insatiable appetite for meat, they’ll turn and walk away from the dinner table. Or, on the other hand, they may just be holding out just to see what other tasty offering you have on the menu. It’s characteristic of their genetic makeup to be able to pull off this behavior. And, it’s part of our genetic makeup to go along with their clever ruse. After all, we do live for their existence.
Every bite is as good as the first when it comes to the Purina One® Advanced Nutrition Hairball Formula Dry Cat Food I have been feeding Smoki for many years. Yes, in the beginning, I tried a variety of frou-frou, high-priced cat chow brands and yes, there were some she just turned up her nose and walked away. Purina® provided both nutritional balance and satisfied her palate. Smoki, like most felines, is specific when it comes to presentation of meals. She sets the bar very high. It has to be in a particular bowl and situated in a particular place. Her water has to be chilled to its optimum temperature, as if it were a perishable commodity. She prefers it chilled with a smidgen of ice no larger than .5 inches and free of any floating debris, whether she placed it there or otherwise. And, she requires that her water bowl be devoid of any scent of the dog, whatsoever. Period. She is finicky with her treats. She requires a certain brand and flavor and recognizes the change if you try to deviate from the norm. Smoki has superb table manners. She eats and drinks slowly and methodically and unlike her K-9 sister, Smoki’s food remains inside the mouth. And, she washes up afterwards.
Dogs, Dogs, Dogs, where to begin. Dogs are omnivores and can eat just about anything that doesn’t eat them first. It’s similar to having a child who never grows out of the terrible two’s stage of putting anything and everything into their mouth. I have at least one encounter a day of sticking my hand into my puppy’s mouth to extract some foreign object not intended for consumption. Baylie’s insatiable appetite for animal, vegetable, mineral and man-made, never ceases to amaze me. We have all heard the horror stories of weird things being surgically removed from a dog’s stomach. If Baylie savours a paper towel absconded from the kitchen counter like it was fine french cuisine, then just about anything will be tasty. At first I thought it was a chewing thing, but soon realized she scarfed them down before you can blink an eye with no chewing involved.
When choosing dog food, Baylie liked all three of the premium puppy brands I tried when she first came into our family. She didn’t appear to be picky about her food, in the least. After educating myself on pet food brands and ingredients, I realized with a dog, the dilemma is not so much of finding something they like and at the same time is nutritional, as much as it as about finding something that agrees with their digestive system and doesn’t diminish air quality in the home. Enough said about that subject. If you are a dog parent, you get my point. Presentation of meals; a dog says, “who cares… forget about it. Place it in a bowl and call it a day.” The bowl doesn’t even have to be clean or free of debris. Heck, you don’t even have to put it IN a bowl. Makes no difference to a dog. Same with water. I can put Baylie a nice clean, fresh bowl of water and place it on the patio. What option does she choose as her water source? A mud puddle that she dug earlier. Treats. Yes! Any and all. Sense of smell may be the one determining factor as Baylie’s treats don’t remain on the her taste buds long enough to pass any taste test. Open the mouth, past the gums, look out stomach, here it comes. Yes, Baylie gobbles her food and makes no effort whatsoever to remove the residue from the surrounding area or her teeth once done. From this point on, I cease to laugh at people who brush their dog’s teeth. I now get it!
No doubt, cats and dogs eating habits vary drastically. In true cat fashion, cats will guide you in the right direction to choosing the right food to meet their nutritional needs. Dogs, on the other hand, look to us humans for guidance on choosing a nutritional diet. They are needy that way.