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How To Feed Cats

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( Originally Published 1928 )


IT is best to begin feeding kittens at three weeks of age. You can start with diluted evaporated milk or some prepared baby food, but always prepare these foods in a double-boiler, cooking them long enough to make sure that all rawness is entirely cooked out... Eskay's Baby Food has been found to be very beneficial, as it has albumen in it, which is something many breeders overlook in feeding their stock. Others will thrive on other baby foods, just as some children will do better on one food than on any other.

At four weeks of age, introduce a tiny bit of scraped raw beef. Scrape a piece of fresh round steak with a silver knife, then hold tightly between your fingers a tiny bit and let the kitten suck this slowly from between your fingers; the amount of this paste can be increased as the days go by. Never give this meat feeding near a milk feeding. Teach your baby kits to lap fresh drinking water by poking their noses right down into the saucer. . . . Kittens can be fed four or five times a day, just a little each time... Never leave food about between meals. Always have fresh drinking water where they can get to it.

As kittens grow older, let raw beef be the foundation food. You can mix with the raw beef cooked vegetables such as spinach, carrots, peas, green string beans, in fact any vegetable except potatoes... Rice can be used if boiled in several waters to get out all the starchy substance, then mixed about fiftyfifty with the raw beef. Cooked fish for a treat once in a while, but not as a steady diet... An egg beaten well can be given once in a while.

Some cats like a little square of cheese once in a while, others will coax for a well fried out, crispy piece of bacon, all of which are all right for treats. Prepared cat foods are well enough to help out, but we do not advocate them for a steady diet. Do not trim off all the fat from the raw beef. Cats require a certain amount of fats just as humans do. Cooked lamb or mutton is good for cats, but not the fat from this meat. You can use cooked beef for a change at any time. Always remember that solid foods are better for cats than sloppy foods.


TAKE FOUR quarts of bran, one quart of corn meal, two quarts of crushed oats, and one pint of animal meal. Mix into a stiff dough with skim milk or water, and bake in the oven four hours. Use the day after it is baked.


THE BREAKFAST food I recommended is Malt-O-Meal. It's a preparation of wheat and malt. In the preparation of it I alternate meat with canned salmon. For the meat mixture I get a cheap cut of lean meat and cook until tender, then remove from the liquor and cool the latter, then I take off the grease and thicken the liquid with this meal to about the consistency of gruel when hot. When it cools it is about the right consistency. With this I use the ground-up meat of course. This goes farther in feeding than straight meat, and I believe it is better for the cat. For a change I use canned salmon as the base for a like mixture adding one egg. In this way Muffy gets the joy of the salmon and other nourishment with it.


FOOD FOR cats where a number of these animals are kept under one roof as in an Animal Rescue League or Shelter, where food must be prepared in large quantities, and at the same time be clean and fresh all the time.

8 lbs. Lean Meat - a little fat on it
l lb. Carrots
4 Medium Sized Onions
l lb. Rice
1 level teaspoonful Salt

Barley can be used instead of rice - Wash and soak over night.

Cut meat in small pieces, add carrots, onions and salt, cover with cold water. Let it come to a boil quickly, then simmer slowly 2 hours. Let the meat cool in liquid. When the fat hardens on the surface, remove it. Grind meat and vegetables up in grinder, using the largest knife. Add the rice, which has been boiled separately in slightly salted water. Then add enough of the juice to moisten the mixture sufficiently to pack into moulds. Will keep in a cool place several days. In winter the juice which is left can be saved and added to the next quantity of meat loaf. It makes a very tasty dish for human beings as well as cats.

For the afternoon feeding we give one dish of the cooked meat and one dish of fresh raw beef, put through the chopper, using the largest knife, as the average cat does not like Hamburg Steak. Some cats prefer raw meat, while others like it cooked. The dishes are almost always empty in a few hours.

Canned salmon is not advised as a regular diet for any cat, but we give it to the cats once a day for the benefit of those that do not care for the above food. The salmon is mixed with bread which has been softened by soaking before mixing and is given to them for breakfast.

Fresh water is put down three times a day - Fresh Milk, night and morning - Catnip when we can get it.

The cats are given their breakfast at 7:45 A.M. At 11 o'clock the dishes are removed as we do not wish the cats to eat stale salmon and sometimes they do not eat it all when first given them. At 3:45 P.M. the night meal is given. As this food keeps well, it is not removed, so that the timid cats have a chance to come out and eat when all is quiet.

If the care of cats is given to one who understands feeding, there will be little, if any waste, and no hungry cats.

Margaret C. Starbuck Animal Rescue League, Boston, Mass.

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