I have an important public service announcement for all cat owners. Please feed your cats canned food! And I’m not talking about giving some as a treat every now and then or a few times a week. I’d love for all cats to eat canned food as their main diet, with dry food being either cut out completely or considered as “supplemental”. My boys get canned food three times daily.
We see so many health problems in cats that are exclusively dry food eaters. Dry food is full of carbs, low in protein and obviously, low in moisture. This is the exact opposite to the ideal feline diet. Cats do not need much in the way of carbs. They are carnivores that need protein in higher amounts than dogs. They also need the extra water found in canned food to help keep their urine somewhat dilute (since most cats aren’t big drinkers and their urine can become VERY concentrated). Lack of water in the diet can predispose cats to urinary problems like the life threatening “urethral blockage” seen in male cats. Basically, the urine gets so concentrated that “plugs” made of crystals, mucus and sludge can form, get lodged in the urethra and prevent the passage of urine. This is my least favourite condition to treat as a vet because it strikes healthy, young, male cats, it’s very expensive to treat and these cats are in excruciating pain.
Canned food can also help reduce the incidence of obesity and diabetes and it is often linked to better digestive health. People always tell me that they don’t want to stop feeding dry food because they had heard it is better for the teeth. While SOME brands of dry food are clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, nothing is a substitute for brushing. Since dental disease is not a life threatening condition, I prefer to focus on educating clients about the benefits of canned food while teaching them how to brush their cats teeth! Yes, this IS possible, especially if you start when they are young.
As an example, my boys get fancy feast three times a day. I mix warm water in with each serving. This helps to get them to take in more moisture, plus, they like the taste of warm food better than cold. They also get a small, measured amount of a prescription veterinary dental diet, mostly because they like kibbles but also because I do think it helps their teeth.
This issue is so important to me because my own cat, JoeBoo developed cystitis at a young age. I know many friends and family members with cats that have suffered blockages too.
Please talk to your veterinarian about how to pick the best food for your cats life stage and health issues. But if you have a new kitten, please start him off on the right foot and feed him canned food! Please, please, please!
Now let’s talk about adding some chocolate to your diet. These double chocolate buttermilk cookies will melt in your mouth. As an added bonus, they are egg-free (for those people with egg allergies). If you don’t have buttermilk just use whole milk and add about a teaspoon of white vinegar.
I’ve made these cookies several times now. Many people have asked me for the recipe. I can’t say I blame them. You’ll see…Enjoy!
Eggless Double Chocolate Buttermilk Cookies
From Baking Bites
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Melt the butter in a small, microwave safe bowl.
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter (still warm) with cocoa powder and whisk until very smooth. Whisk in sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop dough in 1-inch balls into prepared baking sheet, leaving about two inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges.
Cool for 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely.
Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies