‘Fancy Feast Mornings’ Gets Mixed Paws

July 11, 2012

By Max

Never has a cat awakened, taken a good stretch, and thought, Boy, I could really go for some eggs! Yet Purina has unleashed another “gourmet,” premium-priced eggy cat food called Fancy Feast® Mornings™.

Maybe you’ve seen this ad featuring that spoiled white Persian…

Looks like they dumped 2 cans into that ramekin, and this stuff can retail for 98 cents a can. I know because Karen scored us 2 free cans with a coupon worth $1.99.

Cats Working has now completed a scientific taste test, conducted on 2 mornings several days apart (to ensure uncompromised palates). We sampled “Soufflé with White Meat Chicken, Garden Veggies and Egg” and “Medley with Wild Salmon, Garden Veggies and Egg in sauce” (emphasis Purina’s).

Right before the Soufflé, Karen was running around the house carrying our bowls, looking for the camera, which tipped off Adele that something was afoot, so she got a head-start on the kitchen counter.

Adele couldn’t wait to dig in, and I think she considered stealing mine and Cole’s before she even tasted it!

Adele’s an old-school “Clean-Plate Kitty” who always believes Karen’s crap about “starving kittens in China,” and wolfed her bowl. Cole, who can be finicky, also liked it pretty well, as you can see…

(L-R) Adele’s, Cole’s, and my bowl after the taste test.

I licked some, but those orange things were a turn-off.

As for ingredients, this so-called “chicken” flavor includes liver, turkey, and unspecified meat byproducts, as well as tomatoes, spinach, carrots, soy, and assorted chemicals. I’m not saying it’s bad for cats, but it’s hardly what we crave.

Next, we tried the Medley. It wasn’t a good sign when Karen almost gagged after popping the can. It looks just like puke…

Either puke or the results of a sinus infection. I’m not sure.

Once again, Adele was Clean Plate Kitty, but this time Cole wasn’t impressed, and neither was I. (Adele, under the bed later, polished off what both of us left. What a pig.)

(L-R) Adele’s, Cole’s, and my bowl. Notice we guys licked off the mucous and left the mystery meat and “colorful bits.”

Medley’s “wild salmon” includes chicken, liver, those iffy meat byproducts, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots.

Both varieties use suspicious “egg product” — not real egg — but Soufflé also lists egg whites.

Sure, some cats will wolf this stuff down like Adele did. And if they also sup on pricey Fancy Feast® Elegant Medleys, they can instantly send their owners’ cat food tab through the roof.

I can tell Fancy Feast in 2 words where they blew it with this one…

NO BACON

Bacon is my FAVORITE snack food. If Fancy Feast made “Soufflé with (Real) Eggs and Bacon,” I’d go on a hunger strike to make Karen buy it.


Carla Hall Goes From “Top Chef” to Cat Food

July 20, 2011

By Adele

Top Chef All-Star Carla Hall has parlayed her experience pleasing finicky Tom and Padma into a gig with Purina Fancy Feast® cat food.

I’m serious.

Carla is the guest judge in the Fancy Feast® TasteMakers contest, where humans and their cats concocted new flavors for Elegant Medleys®. Purina will go to any lengths to avoid just putting more meat in the can.

You know what that means. Unless the contest is rigged, Carla is going to have to EAT that stuff to make her decision. I hope, at least, they give her a fork.

Purina limited entries to a check-off list of acceptable ingredients (including CARROTS. and acini di pepe pasta. Ha!), so the 1,656 submissions quickly start to look alike if you flip through them.

The 5 finalists all have a protein with variations on wild or long-grain rice, spinach, and — get this — tomato FLAKES — steeped in “savory broth” or “classic gravy.”

Purina omitted the most OBVIOUS ingredient that would have made their contest truly special…

Ground MOUSE.

Here’s a video of Carla explaining the contest.

If you click to the second video, Purina’s chef says they watch “restaurant trends” for inspiration.

Translation: They make their cat food appeal mostly to HUMANS so they’ll shell out big bucks for minimal protein padded with spinach or carbs, and drowned in rich-looking sauces — the only thing the cats will like and lick off. The rest goes down the disposal.

Ka-Ching! for Purina.

The TasteMaker winner gets $10,000 and a year’s supply of Fancy Feast®. Purina is donating $1 for each vote to Adopt-a-Pet.com, up to $25K. You can vote once a day until August 8.

For the record, after heated debate (because that’s just how we roll), Cats Working voted for Purrrfect Sushi, inspired by rescue cats Wasabi and Ginger. It’s yellowfin tuna, shrimp, wild rice, and classic gravy. The one thing we all agreed on was that we’d spit out the rice.


Fancy Feast Forgets the Cat

June 10, 2011

By Adele

Remember that recent Fancy Feast® silent mini-movie where two human twits fell in love, and the guy proposed with a white Persian kitten? If you don’t, go back here where you can watch it and get up to speed.

There hasn’t been a follow-up commercial, but Purina is trying pathetically desperately to make the whole sordid situation a viral ‘Net sensation.

The original commercial left the relationship ambiguous. You couldn’t tell if the couple had gotten married or not.

Now we learn that their names are Sean and Lisa, and they’ve been shacking up.

Purina is has made an interactive circus of their upcoming nuptials on Facebook, complete with Colin Cowie, a presumably British “celebrity wedding planner.” God only knows why he stooped to this gig, since no celebrities are involved, nor are ever likely to be.

“Fans” have already selected Lisa’s gown (a one-shoulder “Hollywood” style) and bouquet (peonies). They’re still voting on her earrings — Colin seems to have a thing for brides wearing massive chunks of chandelier. You need a Facebook account to vote.

All the wedding-related videos are here.

The one thing they never mention — or even show — in ANY of the videos is the damned CAT. Unlike its owners, it’s still nameless.

Note to Purina: Remember, you are trying to sell CAT FOOD. We don’t give a rat’s ass about that stupid couple. They already have “DIVORCE” written all over them.

We only want to know what happens to that kitten. If it doesn’t get a name and a prominent role in the wedding, be warned that you will have to answer to cats, and it won’t be pretty.


My Litterbox Will Never be a “Breeze”

October 1, 2010

By Yul

Have you heard about the new BREEZE® Litter System by Purina Tidy Cats®?

It’s not one of those mechanical monsters that will scare the sh*t out of your cat, but an ordinary litterbox with special litter pellets, a grate on the bottom, and a drawer underneath that holds an absorbent pad.

When a cat does his biz, the poop just sits there while the urine soaks through the grate into the pad. Human scoops poop as usual, and changes pad once a week (per cat). The litter is supposed to last a month. And it’s all supposed to be odorless.

I’ll buy that the poop goes away, but urine touches those pellets, must cling to the grate, and sits on the pad for days.

And I hate to take a whiz on Purina’s parade, but some cats don’t squat. I could pee over the side of that box without even going tip-toe.

Since state-of-the-art high-tech never comes cheap, I checked prices at PETCO, where you can buy in bulk and save:

BREEZE Box $35.97
16 Pads $30.72
14 lbs. Pellets $40.97

It’s a win-win for Purina, selling pricey designer litter AND disposable diapers. They even score one for DOGS, who relieve themselves out in the yard — for free.

PETCO also has a lot of user reviews, mostly glowing, but I also learned:

  • The pellets aren’t for burying, and claws can get caught in the grate trying.
  • A cat with, ahem, digestive problems will wreak havoc on the whole system.
  • Pellets can lodge in our paws, and they’re big so they hurt. They also stick to the poop and may need more frequent replenishment.

My colleagues Adele and Cole have impeccable litterbox manners and would probably love the BREEZE. But if you have a cat like me with quirky habits, you may want to reconsider.


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