Cat Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know several colleagues who have cats.
One of my colleagues loves her cat, has photos all over her cubicle, and talks about her whenever she can... Today, the topic of teeth cleaning came up, as her cat is in her senior age, she cleans her teeth every other year and today, she had to have her cat's teeth pulled out.
It's costly, painful, and her cat will hate everyone. :(

Along it came, the topic of food came up. She says dry food is the best because it gets the cat's teeth cleaned and her vet advise it. I said I feed my cats wet food only. I did not want to be looked crazy so I didn't say home-made raw...
I didn't want to offend her and didn't want to disrupt with her life when the cat is pretty old as well... so, I said what to feed is a choice.

Well, feeding dry food is not really a good choice...

Everyone here may be somewhat out-spoken about raw feeding but how do you go around and quietly direct people to do their own homework for their beloved pets and find a correct information... or do you feel urge to do that...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,673 Posts
It depends on how well I know the person and how receptive I think they'd be to advice. If they ask, they ask. If they don't ... tread carefully so you don't step on their toes. In areas of outright endangerment I speak up for the cat who cannot speak for itself. All other areas are ... gray areas ... and approached on a case-by-case cautious basis while I keep in mind my 'relationship' with that person and what I think their pride can tolerate.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,394 Posts
You can't really blame this woman when this is what many vets tell their clients. (And a cat having its teeth pulled will not make it hate anyone.)

People do the best they can. We have members here that feed dry food, canned and/or raw, and someone telling others they're not doing the best for their cat by feeding what they choose to feed, for whatever reason, isn't helpful. I've told some friends who feed dry why I give my girls mostly wet food, and hopefully it gives them something to think about.

Some people have cats that outright refuse to eat wet food, as hard as their staff has tried. When (and if) I ever get back on my feet financially, I'm going to once again try to get my girls to eat better wet food, but right now, it's not that I can't afford better food, it's that I can't afford to keep throwing out food they refuse to eat. Yes, I do realize what I'm feeding my girls isn't the best, but right now, like many others, I'm doing the best I can.

You can't "quietly direct people" to do anything - and having them find "correct information" - insinuating that they're wrong - isn't helpful, either.

Maybe that's just me. The minute someone gets preachy with me, on any subject, all I hear is Charlie Brown's teacher - wah wah WAH wah waaaah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
I would love to feed raw, but I can't afford it. So I buy the highest quality kibble that I can afford... and give 1/2 a can (2.5 oz) of wet food (also semi-good quality) in the morning - partly as a treat and partly as Paizly needs extra moisture for UTI issues.
When/IF my financial situation ever gets better, I would like to do raw at the best, or at least go to HIGH quality food. What I'm giving now won't kill them, but is kinda like somebody eating fast food and TV dinners all the time...no exactly healthy, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
I'm pretty open about bringing up what I feed, but I think the important thing is the way you bring it up.

If you come out and say, "That's really not good for them, you should be feeding them X," then that automatically puts them on the defensive, and may make them less willing to hear what you have to say. No one wants to be told they're not doing the best for their cats, especially if they think they are, and are going off of advice from their vet.

Instead I try to bring it up in a more open-ended way, so that I am "sharing some neat information that I learned" as opposed to telling someone else what to do. I generally open with something about how one of my cats, Athena, can't handle kibble, so I did all this research to try to find the best diet for her. I explain why kibble didn't work for her and explain what I've learned about reading up on cat nutrition and digestion, and then end with my delight at how well her new diet is working for her.

It's a matter of tact. It's kind of hard to explain exactly, but the way you phrase things and the tone of your voice can make a big difference. I find people are way more receptive to this stuff if you present it as something they can choose to learn more about if they want, as opposed to telling them what to do. Like Marie said, when you're just saying why you feed your own cats what you do, then it gives the other person the choice to do more research, or just stick with what's working for them.

Ultimately you can only show someone the door, you can't make them walk through it. I too was once very wary of raw (not that long ago actually, and there are posts on this forum of me expressing my skepticism) and honestly I would have been even less willing to investigate it further if I had felt pressured to lectured into doing so. But because people just put the information out there for me to think about, I was motivated to learn more on my own. That's the best you can hope for, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I definitely don't look down on my colleague for feeding dry food. I stopped dry food very recently and it was very hard, as Piper was addicted to it.
I think her cat is lucky in that her owner will give her the best of her love and care no matter what, till death take them apart.

I feel better and relieved that I did not do anything to hurt relationship or feelings.

For the next time, I will keep in mind to what you all said...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,394 Posts
Is she still planning on feeding her cat dry food now that her cat has no teeth??? If she's planning on wetting it down, you could mention that it shouldn't be left out if the cat doesn't eat it right away because of bacteria. Maybe you could say it's something your vet told you.....

You think dry food is hard for cats to quit? Cinderella was being fed canned tuna (not cat food, actual canned tuna) when she adopted me. Yikes!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Marie73... Oh... so, you had get Cinderella off the canned tuna... That must have been challenging. From the photo, she looks gorgeous and doesn't look like she had been fed such inappropriate food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,673 Posts
Ultimately you can only show someone the door, you can't make them walk through it.
I like these quotes/sayings:
You can lead people to knowledge but you cannot make them think.
...and... (irreverent as it is)
You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. Unless you hold his head underwater then eventually he *will* take a sip. :wink
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
I am pretty open about what I feed also, but I always start with the disclaimer of "well, you might think this is a little weird, but..." It lets me gauge how receptive they will be, and if I should even go on with the conversation at all or just agree with them and nod as they lecture me about how much better commercial is. In a way, it's almost like the religion conversation. There are a lot of people that are open to discussing diversity in religion in a respectful way and then others get all bent out of shape and get vicious. In a nutshell, it just boils down to how close-minded or accepting they are, but you won't know unless you test the water first.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,394 Posts
In a nutshell, it just boils down to how close-minded or accepting they are
I think it's more the approach or how condescending the person is with their opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
Marie, actually, I think it's both things. Yes, some people have a know it all approach and that definitely turns people off, but then you have the other end of the spectrum of people who freak out if they hear anything that varies from the conventional.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
952 Posts
Marie, actually, I think it's both things. Yes, some people have a know it all approach and that definitely turns people off, but then you have the other end of the spectrum of people who freak out if they hear anything that varies from the conventional.
I have made it a personal mission of mine to talk to / educate as many people as I can on the topic of feline nutrition; I'm very, very passionate about this. I've spoken to people in line at the bank, in grocery store isles, at work, online (of course) - everywhere.

What I've learned over the years and the many, many conversations has actually changed how I both view and speak to everyone, no matter the topic.

The first step, and the most important one, is to have respect for whomever you're speaking to. Then, believe they have the best in mind for their cats and speak to them from that perspective.

And if they shut you down, leave off the topic gracefully - don't be dismissive or defensive. I created some informative cards the size of business cards and I give them to everyone - even those who seem uninterested - and end the conversation with humor or kindness or a change in topic to the weather, etc., whatever it takes to leave a lasting, personable impression.

You plant the seed and water it with your kindness and respect, then let it grow - or wither - at it's own pace. That's all you CAN do.

AC
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,394 Posts
That's the right way, AC.

Last year while I was in Target buying FF for Cinderella, the woman at the register very timidly broached the subject of the cat food I was buying. I let her know that my other cats were eating better food (Merrick, at the time), but I had one that I just couldn't switch over. I appreciated the fact that she cared enough about my cats that she wanted to share information about alternatives.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top