It’s been over a week since I started this food experiment, and I am ready with the first round of results.
Contestant Number One: Grandma Lucy’s Grain Free Freeze Dried Cat Food.
I picked this one to try first because it looked cool. Freeze dried cat food? Is that like astronaut food but for cats? The answer is, of course, yes, which makes it more interesting and fun than boring old kibble.
Ingredients: Chicken, Ocean White Fish, Potatoes, Flax, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Cranberry, Blueberry, Taurine, Vitamins and Minerals. So far, so good.
Let’s pour some into a bowl to examine it more closely.
Let’s see, hmmm, looks like Potato buds, mostly, with some airy crunchy striated meat like things hanging out on top.
I use paper bowls because although I like the idea of being eco-friendly, used wet food bowls (especially raw food bowls) gross me out so I have to be able to toss them afterwards. (I drive a hybrid to balance things out.)
Add an equal amount of warm water, and let sit for 3-5 minutes. At this point it still looks like Potato buds, or maybe toddler food. The nice thing about it is, it isn’t nearly as smelly as canned cat food, which makes me happy.
And 5 minutes later, we’re ready to rock:
Wait a minute…what’s missing…
Note to self: cover bowl while waiting for water to resorb. Someone liked the crunchy bits.
Day 1: Both cats ate it like gangbusters, as in, licked that bowl clean. Success! On day 2, both cats developed a pretty gnarly flatulence issue, but that resolved by the end of the week.
On day 5, the day after I finished my sample bag, declared it a success, and opened the non-returnable big bag, Callie decided she didn’t like it anymore. When I placed it on the floor, she looked at me with a raised eyebrow and a baleful expression, and left Apollo to the entire thing while she went inside to cough a hairball onto my pillow in protest.
By day 10, even Apollo was ambivalent. I put a bowl of it out this morning and when I came home this afternoon, it was mostly full (and these are cats who love all food.) I ended up giving them a can of Avoderm I had hanging around out of desperation and they attacked it like starving hyenas devouring a zebra.
Emmett likes it. Emmett is on a dry food strike but will eat the cats’ food, which the cats will not eat but they instead will happily nibble on Emmett’s leftover kibbles. There is just no winning. And now I have a $23.99 3 pound bag of fishy potato buds.
Verdict: I’m disappointed. I really wanted the cats to like this product. It’s easy to store and measure out any amount you need like kibble, with the dietary advantages of high water content once it’s rehydrated. The price was reasonable and the quality seemed good, but for whatever reason my cats decided within a few days they weren’t that excited about it. Their site does offer free samples, which is worth a try because it is a neat food- and maybe your pets will like it better than mine. If anyone has experience with this or another brand of freeze dried dog or cat food I’d love to hear it.
Next week: I’m tackling some pre-made raw food patties.