Kitties, Fancy Feast Wants Your Soul

By Yul

I’m a recovering addict. I had a 2-can-a-day habit until my diabetes scare last year. I knew if I wanted wanted to live all 9 lives, or even see my next birthday, I had to give up what I loved best because it was probably killing me.

I was a gravy licker.

My habit cost Karen a fortune. Fancy Feast® had the tastiest gravy, but those tiny cans just didn’t cut it, sharing with 2 other cats, so Karen supplemented my portions with this bottled stuff called Vita Gravy that sold for about $5 a pop.

Eventually, to satisfy with my ever-increasing cravings, she switched down to 9Lives™ shredded in big cans — double the gravy in Fancy Feast, but cheaper.

I never touched the meat. Over the years, we could have felt whole shelters full of needy cats on the meat dumped down the disposal.

I’m telling you this because I want you to learn from my mistake. Gravy is empty calories. I might as well have been drinking Scotch. When my blood sugar went sky-high and I was facing insulin injections, I took my last lick and quit gravy cold-turkey.

Now I eat — really eat — only certain flavors of Fancy Feast Classic, which is mostly “meat.” I feel much better and I LIKE it. My blood sugar is back to normal, too.

But just when I’m getting my life together, Fancy Feast introduces a new line called Gravy Lovers™. That’s right. MORE empty calories and even less meat. Here’s what the chicken flavor looks like:

Tasty but deadly.

Here’s what’s in it. It’s only 9% protein. Any other carnivore would think we’re crazy to touch it:

Poultry broth, chicken, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, turkey, corn starch-modified, artificial and natural flavors, soy flour, salt, calcium phosphate, added color, potassium chloride, natural grilled chicken flavor, taurine, choline chloride, magnesium sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.

Fellow cats, if you want to live all your 9 lives, stay away from this stuff.

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34 Responses to Kitties, Fancy Feast Wants Your Soul

  1. Tuxi says:

    Holy Moley, Yul! That’s almost like my mom opening a pound package of brown sugar and having the entire package for a meal, which she doesn’t do! That’s just an example. We just eat Friskies Classic Loaf, mostly the fish and poultry flavors, and we love the loaf and the little bit of gravy it has. The only Friskies Prime Filets we eat is Turkey chunks with gravy. It’s something that we cats have to watch out for the D-word, like Mom and her Type 2. Fancy Feast loaf is OK for an every so often treat, but me and some of the other kids get sick from it and avoid it.

  2. Tuxi says:

    Just wondering too what is in Vita Gravy. Did that have something to do too with the high blood sugar? Mom doesn’t use any of that kind of stuff. When Ginger was living and she was a picky eater, Mom and Aunt Terri used to sprinkle a few catnip flakes on her food that you can get that have a mild fish flavor, and that worked. We all get a packet of chicken Forti-Flora with each 5-oz. can of food as a digestive aid. We love it. It’s the same principle as humans using Metamucil.

  3. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, I went off the Vita Gravy long before the blood sugar problem began. I was going through so many bottles of the stuff, it was becoming a significant expense and PetSmart was always running out. What’s funny is that a Google search doesn’t readily bring up who makes the stuff (I never did find out), but I found the ingredients here, and it’s very interesting:

    http://www.petnutritionproducts.com/healthprofelinevitagravychickenflavor8oz-p-918.html

    One of them is HONEY.

    Karen bought some fish flakes for Fred and he liked them. They smell really fishy. Cole and Adele occasionally eat a few as a treat to use them up, but they say the flakes are so thin, they go right to the roofs of their mouths and stick. I’m not interested in playing that game.

    When I’m having problems with the plumbing out back, Karen squirts some olive oil on my food, and that seems to help.

    But what made the HUGEST difference for all of us was switching us to a high-protein dry food. Now we eat Blue Wilderness. It’s 45% protein and 18% (I think) fat. And no wheat, corn, or soy fillers. Adele’s skin problems are doing better too. She seems to be allergic to the Fancy Feast, which she loves, but she starts scratching after every meal.

  4. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, what’s Friskies Loaf? Sounds like it doesn’t come in a can.

  5. Tuxi says:

    That’s the original name of what they now call Classic Pate. Mom is so used to calling it Loaf and I picked up on it. We don’t care for the term pate since it reminds us of liver. Yuck!

  6. caren says:

    I don’t think my original comment went through. I would NEVER feed my cat anything by Fancy Feast!! I fed my first cat Fancy Feast until my vet at the time told me it contained more fat than any cat food on the market and that it was horrible!
    I feed my Cody Halo’s Spot Stew (dry for indoor cats, salmon flavor) and for wet I use Whole Foods canned 365…..

  7. Tuxi says:

    By the way, Yul, on Mom’s My Cast download she has about 30 locations for weather and your stomping grounds is Cats Working Area. It says it’s 91 there. Our house she named Old Farts Home. The My Cast and Weather Channel say it’s 97 and going to 101, while in DC they say it can reach 103. Mom is doing a quick load of towels in the wash, then limiting our electric use to the dryer, 3 AC units, sunroom and foyer fans and fridge, attic fan and her little 13-inch TV, plus of course the hot water heater and incidentals. We’re hoping no brownouts happen. This is like in 1980 or 81 when a heat wave made Oklahoma and Texas FM stations come in over Philly ones. Mom got the phone number of the one in Dallas and called the DJ, Jeff Davis. She said “I’m in PA listening to you.” to the lady who answered and she had the DJ turn off his studio monitor before he picked up the phone. After pleasantries he asked “Now why is our office manager so tickled?” and she said she was listening in Downingtown, PA. So he put Mom on the air and told where she was and said “Big question! What am I playing?”. Without blinking she said “10 CC The Things We Do For Love”. So they talked for a bit and now when she hears that song it all comes back. So Jeff, if someone Googles you or if you or someone you know sees this, “How ya doing?”.

  8. Zappa says:

    Hi Yul!
    Congratulations on kicking the hard stuff! I am a gravy fiend myself but my mom makes it from scratch-no fat,no sodium,etc.I could never give it up,it’s too delicious! When I went to the vet in May I weighed 15 lbs and he said that I had excellent body composition.A few years ago my mom switched me to a low carb high protein dry food (Evo) and it made a lot of difference.I may be a big boy but I am a lean,mean,purring machine.

    Zappa

  9. Zappa says:

    Dear kitties
    Please help me out here.Zappa’s “gravy” is hot water poured on his food.This is our secret,ok?

    Zappa’s mom

  10. catsworking says:

    Welcome, caren. Your first comment didn’t go through because when you’re a new commenter, you have to be approved. It helps to keep the crazies out. Now that you’re approved, your comments should show up immediately.

    We eat nothing but Fancy Feast canned now, too. Take that back. We “occasionally” get a Meow Mix seafood flavor we like as a treat. But we are limited to FF Classic, and only a few flavors that have the highest protein content and no wheat gluten. Not all FF is bad, but all the varieties that get cute and appeal to human palates are not good for cats.

    Actually, high fat is not a bad thing in cat food if it’s paired with high protein. That’s what cats eat in the wild. The whole low-fat craze is a people thing.

    What cats DON’T eat in the wild is carbs. Dry cat food makers are finally coming around to accepting that after obesity and diabetes became cat epidemics when people started feeding us el-cheapo dry food that was nothing but fillers. Might as well have just crunched up a bag of Oreos and dumped it in our bowls.

  11. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, it’s supposed to be 100+ here for 5 days straight this week, with maybe a small chance of rain Wednesday afternoon. We need a real soaking, but not getting it any time soon.

    Karen has this big fan she carries around the house when it’s like this. During the day, it blows across the upstairs to keep it cooler. At night, in the bedroom. We have central a/c, but heat pumps are worthless in any temp. extremes. In fact, the only time they are really efficient is when it’s moderately cool and they don’t have to run at all!

    Zappa, the last time Cole weighed in, he was 15 lbs. I’m 17. Adele is about 10. With 42 lbs. of cat, Karen really has her hands full!

    Gravy was my only vice. I’m not a treat-eater and I’m very faithful by my Purina DM prescription dry food (51% protein), even though the Blue Wildnerness looks much more interesting and tasty. OK, I confess. I have tried it a few times. But every time I think of insulin needles, I go back to my own bowl and count my blessings.

    What will humans think of next?

  12. catsworking says:

    Don’t worry, Zappa’s mom, we won’t tell him a thing!

  13. Tuxi says:

    Hi Yul! That Vita Gravy stuff sounds good! Mom and I just read the description. Not bad. We were wondering what was in it, but it’s human grade. Honey may be used as a flavor enhancer and to bind it together. Mom said it sounds so good she might get some for herself!

  14. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, your mom could probably put Vita Gravy on meatloaf and be unable to tell if she made it herself. It was delish. But I started getting addicted and Karen cut me off cold-turkey.

  15. Imabear says:

    One of our cats, Spooky, dearly loves gravy. We tried Vita-Gravy a few years ago but he didn’t like it. He loves Fancy Feast but we split one little can between him, Bear and Princess per day. Then they split another small can of non-gravy food as a treat. Other than that, they give a spoonful of baby food in the am, and whatever grilled chicken my hubby shares with them at dinner. Their dry food is IAMS indoor cat something or other (blue bag). Spooky would live on gravy if we’d let him (that and tuna water) – glad to know we can’t give in.

  16. catsworking says:

    Imabear, Karen makes us share a can of FF, too. But if any of us cleans our bowl and looks up at her with big, unsatisfied eyes, she’ll crack open another can. Last week I pulled that trick and scored TWO jars of baby food! She’s such a sucker.

  17. Tuxi says:

    Some of the kids here love baby food. Blond Maine Coon Tiger loves it and when his colitis kicks in he gets a diet of turkey, chicken or ham Gerber basic with cornstarch and water. He gets jars of it at times as a snack. We call him a Gerber Baby, but he doesn’t mind. It takes alot to get his feathers ruffled.

  18. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, what exactly does your mom do with cornstarch and water in the baby food, and why?

    Cole likes baby food, too, but I only let him have a taste of mine because I WANTED IT!

  19. Joanaroo says:

    Actually, water and cornstarch are ingredients in some baby food. We give Tiger the basic Gerber because the more fanciful Gerber meat baby food has onion powder in it-a cat no-no. The cornstarch is in the beef Gerber to make the gravy with the meat juices. Can’t remember if it’s in the chicken and turkey too or not. Most of the time Tiger can eat regular cat food but when his colitis acts up he gets diarrhea and stomach gas and the baby food is gentler and keeps nutrients in him with less chance of diarrhea. That’s why too he gets the Forti-Flora on his food. He’s almost like a human with colitis or Chrohn’s (sp?) Disease.

  20. Joanaroo says:

    I know I go off on tangents, but this is cat-related. I got an e-mail from Plaquemines Parish, LA, where Billy Nungesser is parish prez, and due to the hardship from the oil spill, the HSUS and Hills Pet Food had a giveaway of pet food yesterday to those needing it. Then anyone getting the e-mail or reading about it in the paper or on nola.com was invited to take part in a gala for the new Plaquemines No-Kill Adoption Center and Shelter. It’s a new, state-of-the-art Green shelter. For $125 for singles and $200 for couples, at Billy’s house last night he was having a band and food supplied by New Orleans restaurants and all proceeds going to the shelter. Friday night he was honorary captain at a New Orleans Jesters soccer game with all proceeds going to a United Way fund to help people affected economically by the spill. My sister and I said were we able to stand Louisiana weather in summer we’d loved to have been at the gala. I mean the money went for the animals and to try food from the big NOLA restaurants….Yummy! I just like the fact that Billy N. seems to have a big heart and isn’t afraid to wear it on his sleeve. I read too that he has a therapeutic horseback riding school for handicapped people.

  21. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, so do you make the baby food soupy with the extra cornstarch and water? Is that the point?

    We’ve been reading that more pets are being given up to shelters in LA because their owners’ livelihoods have been trashed and there’s no end in sight. It even worse than a hurricane because nobody knows when the gushing will finally end and the clean-up work will actually start making a dent in the mess.

    Meanwhile the government is saying, “Don’t worry everybody. Gulf seafood is perfectly safe. We’ve got 4 — count ’em 4 — agencies inspecting it. Bon appetit!”

    Yeah, until we find out the agencies are in bed with BP and the seafood starts killing people and animals. Who the heck do they think they’re kidding?

  22. Joanaroo says:

    We don’t put the cornstarch and water in-it’s already in there. If you check the basic Gerber baby food jars with a 2 on them-not for 2-year olds, but to mark that they are for very young babies, you will see for the beef that it has cornstarch added because when they cook the beef they use cornstarch to make the gravy that goes in the jar with the pureed beef. It is just what it says-beef with a little cornstarch added. Same for the turkey, chicken or ham. It’s pureed so the little farts can digest it. They have this for tiny babies and the stuff for older babies has a little more spice in it. Adele, please tell your mom to take a catnap. It sounds like she’s having a Tuxi-woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-couch-this-morning-day!

  23. Tuxi says:

    Mom didn’t say she would eat seafood at the gala, had she been there, because she hates it and is allergic to some of it. She does like fillet fish like trout, tilapia and orange roughy, but hates oysters, shrimp, lobster, clams, and is allergic to stuff like scallops. There are NOLA specialities made with beef and chicken. Anyhow, the shelter they built has been awarded for its design and use and the group PAWS that runs it has been in operation for years. There are some of the same type shelters being built up here to encourage more people to adopt. The old days of cold, barbaric pound-type shelters should be over. I was lucky enough to be rescued and taken in by Mom without having to go thru the shelter stay route.

  24. catsworking says:

    Oh, now I finally get it! Yeah, we knew there’s cornstarch in the food. Karen always buys me turkey in tiny little jars that cost $1 apiece. Last time she read the label, it had no garlic or onion powder. How do people afford to feed babies that stuff?

    Karen tells us a story about lamb baby food, and why she never buys it. Her original cat Coco (who’s been gone over 20 years) lived on baby food her last few years, when it only cost about 40 cents a jar and they were much bigger. Anyway, Karen had leftover lamb flavor and tried to warm it in the microwave. It exploded with a HORRIBLE odor that Karen says she relives every time she smells lamb.

    Karen told me when she was in Food Lion the other day in the baby food aisle, she noticed these HUGE double containers of “organic” baby food, but they were all veggies and fruit so I didn’t get any. But she wondered if babies going from teeny-weenie jars to those enormous portions wouldn’t all grow up to be fatsos like Michelle Obama is always warning against.

  25. catsworking says:

    The Richmond (VA) SPCA has become a no-kill shelter, and I think they let a lot of the animals run around loose.

    The Richmond Animal League, where we all came from, is also no-kill. The kittens are in cages, but older kitties share a 2-room dorm with lots of perches, ramps, cubbies, and even a big-screen TV. That’s where Cole was living. Adele and I were still at the cage stage when Karen found us.

  26. Tuxi says:

    Sorry Yul! Mom and I didn’t mean to confuse you guys. We just mentioned it as Gerber Basic with cornstarch and water so that if any newcomers to having cats saw that advice they wouldn’t give their cats the stuff with onion powder in it. We should’ve said “made with and including”. Anyhow. With LA seafood, we would rather see the shrimp, clams, fish and crab alive and well and free of oil but are worried people who do eat it may get sick since there’s no Corexit tests yet for seafood. Mom likes fillet fish and crab cakes but hasn’t had fresh fish for awhile for dinner. We know when she does because she shares some with us. We do worry about the poor LA fishermen and contrary to what BP says alot aren’t getting compensated quickly or being used in the ships-for-service program. That’s where the fundraisers for them help.

  27. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, today’s paper said that BP has only distributed something like $150 million in claims, and tens of thousands of claims are sitting there unprocessed, or getting rejected because they lack some tiny detail.

    I can understand BP’s wish to weed out the scammers who will undoubtedly try to get some of the gravy, but there’s GOT to be a way to cut the red tape for those who deserve help.

    And I just hope this latest cap scheme they’re working on does the trick. To think how many hundreds of millions of gallons of oil are sitting in the Gulf right now makes me want to hurl. It will be a wonder if ANYTHING survives down there. I just picture the whole Gulf Coast now as a silent brown, gooey, deserted wasteland. Its only use will be as a location for horror movies.

  28. Tuxi says:

    Yeah, Yul, that ad with the guy claiming he’s from the Gulf and will be there until every claim is paid makes us laugh. We saw an interview with a lady who claims that when people call the BP Claims line, nobody writes down the info. people give the operators because the scam is to delay payment that most people won’t get anyway from Beyond Pathetic.

  29. catsworking says:

    I’ve seen that ad! I must say that he sounds more sincere than Tony Hayward did, but the fact that BP has only paid out only maybe a few hundred million dollars is proof right there that they’re foot-dragging. The spill has been going on for almost 3 MONTHS. I guess they want to make sure they not only destroy the entire Gulf Coast, but bankrupt every last soul in it before they get serious about “making things right.”

  30. Tuxi says:

    Yeah, Yul, did you see any of the video when Philippe Cousteau and a CNN reporter named Amber did a scuba dive and from 30 feet down the water was cloudy and foggy? The only fish they saw were some sharks and very few small fish. It’s sad. I know that oysters, shrimp and crab were harvested in the Gulf. I think crab are cute the way they move and shortly after the explosion you saw the cute little hermit crab walking on the beach with their shells but now you don’t see them either. Tonight Rep. Ed Markey said if BP doesn’t get this work with the pressures right and the seafloor is damaged, this well would spew until it had no more oil and the Gulf will be officially a dead zone. Then they also said Libya lied saying the terrorist who bombed Flight 103 over Scotland was terminally ill with 3 months to live to get him released and he’s now writing a book because it was part of a deal BP brokered so they can begin drilling off the Libyan coast. Greedy bastards! They have no conscience and no sense of ethics.

  31. Tuxi says:

    Mom and I just watched AC 360 and saw the report Randi Kaye did. She showed all these beautiful dogs and cats relinquished and because the shelter is an SPCA if some aren’t adopted in 2 to 3 weeks, well, you know. Those BP-pardon my language-motherfuckers-along with the other greedy corporations and the bought politicians should be made make funds available ASAP to prevent any euthanizations EXCEPT for oil execs, greedy corporate bastards and those worthless politicians!

  32. Joanaroo says:

    Yes, Tuxi, we can do without a bunch of these damn, greedy, unethical, heartless, so-called humans who are nothing but cold-hearted murderers. Any animal euthanized should be termed murdered and these oil-plugged humans should have it done to them. Corporate America and any other country of origin-Fuck you!

  33. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, I only caught the “tail” end on the news of that story about the terrorist who got away, but I’ll be looking into it. Sounds like something that could help me rid myself of a few pesky hairballs.

    Everyone at Cats Working has reached the point of saturation on seeing the dead and dying fish, birds, and animals in the Gulf. It’s more suffering than we can bear. There isn’t a punishment bad enough for all the people who contributed their carelessness, stupidity, or greed to make it all happen.

  34. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo and Tuxi, you are so right. That innocent PETS who had NOTHING to do with any of this will end up DYING, possibly because BP is dragging its feet on compensating their owners so they can buy food, does make me want to get violent. It’s really kind of a wonder that nobody in the Gulf who’s been thrown out of work, had his environment destroyed, and doesn’t know where it will all end hasn’t said, “F**k it,” and pumped some BP execs full of lead. They, and Halliburton, and Transocean, too.

    Notice the last 2 companies are staying real silent these days.

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