what do you feed your feral cats? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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what do you feed your feral cats?

What do you feed your feral cats? do you feed them store brand dry food? or do you feed them the same stuff that you give to your cats?

I give smokey and his friends store brand dry food. Right now they are eatting Purina Kit and Kaboodle. When that bag is empty,they will get Paws and Claws (tractor supply sells it) .

Then when smokey shows up for dinner time...i give him canned food of Friskies.

When ever we have chicken,hamburgers, or steak for dinner...i would cut up some of the meat for smokey and give him a special dinner.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:13 PM
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what do you feed your feral cats?

Hi, give my array of strays whatever dry food is in sale. Usually cat chow or purina. There were coupons for free purina one beyond cat food last week do I got about 30lbs of it fir them.

I also give them all wet for the water in it. I go through about 6 cans a day. I just got a ton of 4 packs of 9 lives for $1 a pack and whiskas .30 each. So they'll be eating good for awhile.

Everyone else gives dry only so I always do wet. My house is like the fun party house they come from near and far!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:51 PM
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I don't exactly have a large number of feral cats (or, any right now) ... if I did I'd be feeding very cheap dry food, in large bags so it last a while. It sure beats nothing! Canned food of any kind is expensive for feral cats, especially if you start amassing a large number of them, and sometimes you don't even know if cats are getting the food.

When Blacky was on the street she started out just eating all of our leftovers from dinner. At some point, funny I can't recall when, she switched over to cat food. At first that was Friskies wet food but the last few years I've switched them partially over to higher quality foods. Of course by this point, she's my cat... not a cat on the street.

Jasper was eating Blacky's food all summer, so we were just going to let that go... but then we trapped him in the garage and I opted to feed him California Natural and Chicken Soup kibble.

I know some people that want to feed strays the best they can manage, but I don't really see the point. I'd never knock cheap wet, or even cheap dry food, because that's what our own cat ate for 15 years before I switched him over to a few other brands; he still eats a lot of Friskies at 17 though. I think people can lose sight of the fact that cats can live decent lives on this type of food and that the money spent on ferals, outside of bare-bones cost of food, should perhaps be better spent going into TNR efforts.

Along with the dogs Tara and Coco.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:08 PM
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I've been buying 4health All Life Stages from Tractor Supply for the outdoor cats I feed, they're not really feral but they wouldn't do well inside. It's far from perfect but it's better than the grocery store brands. It doesn't have corn or by-products. The first 3 ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, and egg product. I think it's $18 for 15 or 18lbs. I can't remember exactly but I think it ends up being about the same price as grocery store brands.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:17 PM
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I feed them raw, however they all know when I am going to be there to feed them, and are waiting.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 11:33 AM
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I feed Taste of the Wild dry, the kind in the green bag. I'll sometimes put out wet food, but I'm hesitant to leave the wet food on the porch unless I know the cats are there and will eat it right away.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Carmel View Post
I don't exactly have a large number of feral cats (or, any right now) ... if I did I'd be feeding very cheap dry food, in large bags so it last a while. It sure beats nothing! Canned food of any kind is expensive for feral cats, especially if you start amassing a large number of them, and sometimes you don't even know if cats are getting the food.
I agree. It's one thing if you have one or two that come around your house, but in the case of a decent sized colony, it's completely unaffordable to feed premium food.

I still don't know how many cats there are in the colony I care for, as the majority of the cats never venture out during the day, and the colony is spread out over a large area, with cats sheltering in different locations. What I do know is that there are at least 6, as I've identified 6 individuals, but there are likely upwards of 10 based on the amount of food they demolish every night and the number of different sized footprints in the snow. I've gone through about 4kg of dry food and 3 cans of wet so far this week, and they haven't been fed yet today--today is Thursday. I would feed more wet, so that I could add vitamins, but it's just been way too cold. The only reason I have fed any wet food this week is because there is a semi-feral who shows up at the same time every morning and is comfortable enough with me that it will eat as soon as I put the food out.

I wish I could establish more of a routine with the colony cats, I would prefer to feed them during the day, so that I could keep better track of them, but they just hide all day because of the constant human traffic in the area. I only know of certain individuals because I had occasion to be around very late at night while I was trying to trap a litter of feral kittens back in October.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 01:27 PM
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To the feral cats on the island in the summer I mostly give canned food, sometimes raw which I feed my cat and any leftover meat or fish. They don't carry any decent dry food there and when I bought some the cats wouldn't touch it lol!!!
Here in Athens I always have canned food at home, so when I spot a cat I feed whatever canned food I have available.
For the dogs I have bought Ontario dry food which was buy one get one free. When I run out I'll buy whatever is on sale plus some canned food as well, as I am not a big fan of dry food.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:00 PM
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It depends on numbers (at present I don't look after any fully ferals). When we first started feeding and encouraging our present semi feral, we coaxed her with raw and hone cooked rather than produced. This was what we had often done in the past - I think we work on the assumption that it would more mirror what she thought of as food (from hunting and scavenging). That was different though because our intention was to ultimately bring her in.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 09:49 PM
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I have 8 permanent strays to feed and about another 10 that come sporadically.

I feed the best brand of kibble I can afford, and it makes me feel great because I know they're not eating garbage-food. I don't own a TV nor enjoy going out, I much more enjoy knowing the cats downstairs are healthily fed. And of course they're all neutered.

On Friday evenings I serve an all-you-can-eat raw meat dinner buffet: chicken wings, breasts, liver, cow liver, hearts, turkey hearts or breast, minced meat - I keep my freezer full to capacity with the special offers in the chain grocery stores.

During the week I give them as treats the leftovers from my meat lunch or tuna and cheeses dinner at work if any is left, or fat milk / yoghurt, or the leftovers from the meat dinner that the sick stray gets every night.

Sometimes neighbors give me some treat or leftovers to give the strays, and sometimes people who buy ready-to-eat grilled chicken at the grocery store on the ground floor of our building will give the leftovers to the cats (if I'm there, I remove the bones).

I save the big bones from chicken wings and once every couple months I make a huge pot of chicken soup that we all lap up happily. That's the only time I add salt to the food - they just love it.

On very rare occasions I feed them canned (wet) or tuna (mixed with the kibble because it's so expensive). They like the newness of it, but it's neither healthy, nor cheap, nor do they like it more than they like meat.

I'm not saying everyone should invest as much time and money as I do, it's just my very special life circumstances. I also spend hours with them in the street lavishing attention and petting to those who crave it.

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Last edited by Straysmommy; 01-24-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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