Food: A good quality of
food, both dry and canned is always
recommended. Some types of raw food are also
good and there are ways to provide this. We
recommend the book, “The New Natural Cat”,
by Anitra Frazier as an excellent guidebook
for cats in general. The many recipes and
nutritional information will be a worthwhile
investment in your feral cats.
Your financial circumstances will
determine what type of food you are able
to provide your colony. We want
the best for our feral cats. Being
informed about negative ingredients in
certain types of cat food and how it is
manufactured is important information
everyone should know about. Most of us are
familiar with the ingredients label – i.e.
the first ingredient is the major portion
of the food and so on. Even with
inexpensive food, the first ingredient can
be a factor to consider such as a
by-product vs corn meal as the first
ingredient in dry and wet food. Your
choices will be determined by how many
feral cats you feed and what you can
I will share with you a personal
experience. FCCC receives most of its food
through donations. The donated food would
probably not be considered high on the
food list compared to quality brands. But,
before I offer you my formula for health
on a limited budget, I want to share a
comment made by a 20-year veteran
trapper who has seen hundreds of feral
cat colonies. When she visited my
colonies, this year, I was told she had
never seen such big healthy cats in all
of her years of trapping. Each week I
use 100 pounds of dry and 30 cases of
wet + supplements.
Feral Cat Health on a budget:
1. Cleanliness of bowls is
number one. I wash all of the
food bowls in the dishwasher to destroy
bacteria. If you feed in plastic
containers, either discard or use soap and
water for cleaning. Be sure they do not
blow around and the cats can easily get to
the food. The bowls are set in either
D-earth or soapy moat.
2. Never add fresh food to old
food (wet). Clean bowls are
supplied for each feeding and water
containers are washed out with soap and
water. Large gallon bottles are filled
with tap water. Provide plenty of water.
Water bowls get slimy and should be wiped
out and cleaned when replenishing.
3. I mix the food in a large four-quart
container and add supplements into the
mix. In the winter, I bring two large
thermos bottles filled with boiling water
to warm the food and hot chicken broth.
4. Dry feeders 10-20 pounds, kept clean,
free from ants, protected from the
elements and out of sight!
5. I give the cats wet food treats, such
as Fancy Feast, human grade tuna fish and
Mackerel, boiled chicken, turkey and other
goodies. They enjoy a change from the
boring caldron of food I prepare for them.
It is good for their spirits, as
is a tasty meal for us.
6. I determine if there is enough
food, by what is left over. If
there is no food left over, I add more
until not all of the bowls are completely
cleaned. It assures me that everyone has
been fed adequately and no one arrived
late to find an empty bowl. I use the same
formula for the dry food. If there is wet
food left over consistently;
the amount needs to be reduced. Not
relevant with the dry.
7. It is vital to have wet food
for the cats to provide supplements. Elderly
cats may not be able to eat the dry. I
have seen nearly starved older cats come
to my colonies in search of food.
Sometimes they would spit out and almost
choke on the dry, but were able to eat and
survive on the wet
8. My personal formula is to
extend good thoughts to the cats while
you are feeding them. Their
food is special to them. A loving attitude
can go a long way in promoting health.
Providing the only food you can afford and
doing so with a negative attitude and
guilt benefits no one.
pure garlic powder, Vitamin C, Brewers
Yeast, Fish oil capsules, donated
supplements of various types, enzymes and
whatever else we find to be beneficial.
Caution: Don’t load up the food with too
many supplements, as they may not eat it.
Spread them out over several feedings.