Digby Update

Digby is doing a lot better today than she was yesterday.

Last night, her other foot ended up bleeding too. I'm not sure what caused the other foot to bleed. It happened after she was in the hospital tank. I think she might have been picking at it when she picked at her other foot and made it bleed. She would not leave her feet alone at all last night. Finally, out of frustration, I just covered the tank and turned out all the lights, hoping that she would just sleep and forget about her feet.

And it worked! She didn't mess with them at all until this morning when she made them bleed just a little bit. She hasn't messed with them at all since this morning. There is no new blood in the tank.

She isn't happy about being in the tank, but at least I know it will help her feet heal faster.

How Pam Eats her Lettuce

I've noticed that Pam has a funny way of eating her lettuce.

She eats the leafy part first, and then leaves the thick vein part. She will leaves the thick part for hours if I let her. She also doesn't like the tiny, new leaves from the very inner part of the lettuce head.

I can't say as I blame her--I don't like chunky lettuce either.

Digby Cut Her Foot

This afternoon, Digby somehow cut her foot. I saw that she was sitting on the floor of her cage. I thought maybe she had dropped a piece of food and was trying to get it, so I went to her cage to check on her. It was then that I saw she had some blood on her beak. I quickly glanced around the cage and saw blood on nearly every perch.

I quickly got her out. I had to towel her to get her out because she did not want to come out. I looked her over and saw that it was her foot that was bleeding. The bleeding seemed to have already stopped. I kept an eye on her and had the travel cage ready just in case. I made a quick post on Avian Avenue (thanks to everybody who helped!).

I cleaned up the cut. She is moving her toes fine and the wound doesn't look horrible. I put cayenne pepper on the wound (it works to stop bleeding, prevent infection, and relieve pain) and set Digby up in a hospital tank. She's currently perched on her food dish, half asleep.

Some Bird Food

I made the birds some new food. It was extremely simple, but it needs some work. I cooked some quinoa (both red and white) and some vegetables together. I also added some cinnamon

I didn't get the vegetable-quinoa ratio where I wanted it. It needs more vegetables. The birds seem to like it though. Lenore took to it right away, but Digby needed a bit of encouragement. Lenore gladly showed Digby how good it taste. Now they are both eating it happily.

Some New Pictures

I have some new pictures I thought I would share.

Digby being a pretty girl.

Lenore eating his favourite food--bird bread--and making a mess.

Sadie and Prudence with bows in their hair. 

Sadie is a cutie.

And pretty girl Prudence.


Sometimes, it feels like my pets are neglected.

I see threads on forums like this one or this one, and I think, "My piggies' cage isn't even half as big as that one," or even, "Those pigs aren't even in a cage!"

Or I see other threads like this, or this, and I think, "Digby and Lenore don't get that huge variety of fruits and vegetables those birds get," or "My birds don't have their own room!"

But, then, things must be put in perspective. Many, many pets aren't kept in as nice of conditions as mine, or fed as good of a diet as mine get.

My guinea pigs aren't kept in a store bought cage (except Pam's temporary, quarantine cage that she has been in longer than planned because of Sadie's and Prudence's eye infection). I made them a cage, and I'm going to make that cage bigger. And their cage gets cleaned daily (or, once in a while, every other day) and they have nice, soft fleece to sleep. They get fresh veggies everyday, lots of hay, and good pellets.

And my birds don't get as much of a variety of foods in their diet simply because they refuse so many foods. And they don't need a super big cage, their cages are adequate for the time being. They have lots of toys and get lots of attention and love. I cook food for them, chop vegetables for them, and make things for them.

None of my animals are really neglected--they all have really good lives. I'm just not as crazy as some people out there. ;)

(Also, I'd like to mention that I have nothing against the people who do provide their pets with gigantic cages or their own rooms, or anything else I've mentioned. I applaud them for going above and beyond what they need to do.)

Still Here...

I know I haven't updated in almost a week. I was on spring break last week and was enjoying my break and the beautiful weather. I'm now back to the daily grind, and that includes blogging.

My Latest Pet Peeve

I have a new pet peeve. I'm sure it comes mostly from being a biology major, but it drives me crazy.

What is it?

People using the words "species" and "breed" interchangeably.

It doesn't bother me too much when laypeople use "breed" in place of species. No, wait, it does. Blue-fronted Amazon is not a breed; it is a species. Amazona aestiva. Most species have a common name and a scientific name, though some lack the common name. In the case of a Blue-fronted Amazon, the common name is Blue-fronted Amazon, and the scientific name is Amazona aestiva. (The first word listed in the scientific name, the one that is capitalized, is the name of the animal's genus. The second word is the species name and it is not capitalized. Scientific names are italicized when written.)

But it really bothers me when people who you know are educated about such matters do it. For example, last week when I took Prudence to the vet and I was filling out their form for new exotic patients, I came across these two questions:
  • What kind of animal is your pet?        
    Bird ______ Mammal ______ Reptile ______ Other ______
  • What breed?
This was at the VET'S OFFICE!!! I knew exactly what they wanted me to write. They wanted a check next to mammal and they wanted me to write "guinea pig" for the breed. I rolled my eyes and filled it out like this:
  • What kind of animal is your pet?        
    Bird ______ Mammal   Guinea Pig    Reptile ______ Other ______
  • What breed?
After they filled out Prudence's chart using the information I supplied, they listed her "breed" as guinea pig as I knew they would.

Let's get something straight. Prudence's breed is not "guinea pig". Her species is guinea pig, or Cavia porcellus. Her breed is silkie.

Here's another example of breed vs. species. My horse, Bold Brush, is a Thoroughbred. His species is horse or Equus ferus caballus. His breed is Thoroughbred. The barn owner has a wild caught mustang. His species is horse; his breed is mustang. (I should note that caballus is a subspecies of the species Equus ferus. The wild mustangs in the United States are a part of this subspecies. However, the Przewalski's Horse is also a subspecies, the only other extant subspecies and the only truly wild horse left. They are the same species, but different subspecies.)

All five of my family's dogs are the same species, Canis lupus familiaris. We have four different breeds though--German shepherd dog, Chihuahua, miniature schnauzer, and cockapoo (I know, most people don't consider cockapoos to be their own breed...). Now, nobody would ever see a dog and ask, "What breed is that?" and want the answer "dog". They want an answer like, "Oh, she's an Australian cattle dog," or "Well, I'm not really sure, but I think he looks like a cross between a bull dog and shih-tzu." So why people do this with other animals I have no clue.

Then there are things like this Yahoo! Answers question: What species is my cat? Out of six answers, only two people correctly answered the question.

Now, dear reader, you have listened to my rant, and now, you have no reason to ever say your bird's breed is a cockatiel. But, you can say with confidence that your bird's species is a cockatiel. 

Now It's Sadie's Turn

Remember the thing that was going on with Prudence's eye last week? Well, now Sadie has the same thing.

Since Prudence's eye still looks irritated, I'm taking both of the girls to the vet tomorrow. We're going to a different vet than the one I took Prudence to last week.

Because of the fact that Sadie also has it now, I have to think it is something that is either bacterial or viral. After reading and getting opinions from people online, I'm kind of thinking it conjunctivitis. We'll see what the vet says tomorrow.

I'm also a little worried about Pam. She has had very little interaction with Sadie and Prudence because she has been in quarantine, but she was around them a tiny bit on Sunday. I hope she doesn't get what they have.

Totally Organics Pellets

I finally got around to getting new pellets for the birds. Our first bag of Totally Organics Pellets came Saturday morning.

Lenore took to them right away and happily ate them with no encouragement needed.

Digby, on the other hand, did not want to eat them. I tried my old trick of making it look like I was eating them. It didn't work. I tried to give them to her while I ate breakfast. That didn't work either. I tried sticking some in her bird bread. No luck doing that. Finally, I had an idea.

I got both the birds out and put them on the kitchen table and gave them their food dishes, freshly filled with half pellets and half veggies. Lenore dug into his food like always, and Digby hopped up onto Lenore's dish. After a few minutes of watching him and playing with him, she bravely picked up a pellet from the table and started munching. She ate and ate the pellets, and then she spotted the veggies in Lenore's dish and started eating that too, better than she normally would. Apparently, food tastes better if it's in Lenore's dish.

The birds like the pellets just fine, but I could like them better (I don't mean the taste!). The pellets are very soft and crumble easily, leaving a lot of pellet dust in the food dishes at the end of the day. It seems like there is a lot of waste. The birds leave more crumbs with these pellets than they did with the Roudybush pellets. I'm considering saving the crumbs and mixing them into the bird bread so there is less waste.

As of right now, I like the pellets well enough that I'll be keep the birds on them for a while at least. I really like the ingredients in these pellets and the birds seem to like them well enough.

New Pictures

I got a new camera for my birthday last week, a Canon Rebel T2i. It is my first dSLR camera and I love it. In honor of my new camera, here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I have already taken.

Lenore: Aren't I cute?
Digby: That is a very bright light! I don't like it.
TinTin: I really don't care about your new camera. I just want you to start that facet so I can get a drink. Thank you.
Sadie: I'm not coming out as long as that...thing...is in my cage. Get it out!
Digby and Lenore <3 (Look at Digby's rough feathers--she's molting right now.)
Silly bird.

 If you want to see bigger versions of the pictures, just click on them.

Happy π (Pi) Day!

I am hereby declaring my geekiness in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with my animals.

Happy π Day!

If you don't know what Pi day is, it is the celebration of Pi. No, not pie. Pi as in 3.14159265 and so on and so forth. Pi day is celebrated on March 14, or 3/14. Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. You've probably have seen π before in a math class. It's used to find things like a circle's area (πr²) and whatnot.

Yes, I know it is very late in Pi day, but I couldn't not make a Pi day post.

If you missed today's Pi day, I suppose you could celebrate 2π day on June 28, but that would be a wee bit silly as that's not when Pi is normally celebrated.

My Safe Bird Store Order

I made an order at My Safe Bird Store last Thursday. It got here very fast--on Saturday.

A peek inside the box. Pretty tissue paper. I love paisley things.
I was pretty excited about this order. It was my first time ordering bird things online (other than food). I ordered some toys and some new pellets, Totally Organic Pellets.

Everything is wrapped up so pretty. And look! I see freebies!

I loved how the things were wrapped up. I also got a small bag of some free toy parts!

I got a one pound bag of Totally Organic Pellets, a foot toy for Lenore, 10 finger traps for Lenore, a long, shreddy type toy for Digby, and two little boxes stuffed with shredded paper, one for each bird. In the bag of free toy parts there were two pieces of wood (and they were lovebird sized!), a piece of leather cord, two plastic pacifiers, and two natural type of bird toy parts (I'm not sure what they are).

Lenore got to work playing with the foot toy right away, but was distracted when he saw a finger trap. He ran to the finger trap and started attacking it. The finger traps are his favourite. Digby hasn't gotten her new toys yet because she got a new toy the day before the box came.

I'm very happy with this order and plan to order more stuff soon!

The Totally Organic Pellets will get its own post.

More Bird Bread

I made another batch of bird bread a couple days ago. I still have some left from my last batch, but I'm adding a bunch of stuff this time, so I don't want to be without bread if the birds hate it.

Here's today's recipe (modified from a recipe here):

1 box corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup juice--I used Cran-Pomegranate
15 oz canned yams
1 banana
1/4 cup carrots
1/2 cup collard greens
1 serrano pepper
1 box of raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 cup seed
1/4 cup Zupreem pellets (I got to use it somehow, right?)

The results?
The birds loved it. Digby ate all of her first piece last night, including the collard greens and carrots--two things she normally won't touch. Lenore, too, chowed down.

My Job at Petsmart

I think I've alluded to the fact that I used to work at Petsmart. I was a "pet care specialist". I worked there for over a year. I quit for a number of reasons, one of which was that I disagreed with many of the company's policies and my manager's personal policies. I'm not going into those things though; this post is devoted to the positive aspects of when I worked there. (If, for some reason, you want to know the reasons I quit or the things I disagreed with, shoot me an email and I'll happily tell you. I'm just not posting that for the entire world to see.)

I got a job at Petsmart when I got my horse. It was the sole condition (getting a job) that my dad gave me for getting a horse. I had had my eye on the job for a while, submitted the application online more than once, and got tired of waiting for a call. I got a job at a day care and I lasted a whole week before I decided to quit (FYI, if you went to day care as a child and hated it, chances are that your opinions on the day care environment won't change when you get older), but during that week, Petsmart finally called me in for an interview. I went to the interview and I got the job as "pet care specialist".

The job had its ups and downs. I fell in love with the animals too easily. I got aggravated when customers told me they keep 20 goldfish in a 15 gallon aquarium or when they tell me their guinea pig lives in a cage bought at a store and eats only pellets. I discovered I really didn't like hamsters except for dwarf hamsters. I learned that, despite their yucky tail and reputation, rats are super sweet and friendly. I fell in love with a green cheek conure which led to me loving all parrots and getting my Noey. And I learned so, so much.

I got attached to the sick guinea pigs easily, especially one in particular who ended up dying of pneumonia. The only thing that kept me from bringing home some guinea pigs was the fact that my store sold boy guinea pigs and I have girls. Sure, that kept me from bringing home the guinea pigs, but what about that Chinese water dragon or those two African sideneck turtles that stole my heart when I wasn't looking? There was a Chinese water dragon that had rubbed against the glass of his enclosure so much that he rubbed the tip of his nose off. We had to put medicine on it twice daily. He was the first reptile I had ever paid much attention to, and he was awesome. I took him home once he was cleared to go on the sales floor. His name was Ringo. He, unfortunately, is no longer with us, but he taught me a lot.

And then there were the African sidenecks. Oh, I loved those turtles! They were so cute with their smiling faces. There were three of them, and two of them had some shell problems that wouldn't get better. Petsmart has a policy that allows animals that have health problems or disabilities to be adopted instead of bought. The morning my manager informed that we were going to adopt out the two African sidenecks with messed up shells, I texted my mom to inform her that I was bringing home a couple of turtles. Lucy and Jude are the best turtles I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

The job was heartbreaking at times, but joyous at others. When we had an animal that we all particularly liked, it was always nice to see it go to one of our regular customers. But when an animal died unexpectedly, especially one that was well liked, it was hard (as was the case with the only snake I had ever considered buying).

The most rewarding part of the job was how it changed me. I had just finished my freshmen year of college and I had no idea what my major was or what I wanted to do after college. While working at Petsmart, I really got into fish. One thing led to another, and my mom and I ended up buying a nano reef tank from somebody that was moving. After that tank, my mom decided to set up a bigger reef tank, and I figured out just what I wanted to study and do after school--marine biology. It was the corals and all of the little life in the reef that first attracted me. It is fascinating to watch. All the tiny animals that live on reefs that are usually overlooked are amazing. My love for reefs has since grown to encompass much, much more of the life in the ocean, but the reefs are still my favourite.

I can honestly say that, even though I ended up hating it in the long run, if it weren't for my job at Petsmart, I would not be sitting here writing this post because I wouldn't have this blog. I would not own Digby and Lenore, nor would I own Maxwell, Lucy, or Jude. Chances are I wouldn't be planning on studying marine biology because I wouldn't have learned about it if I had never gotten into freshwater fish first. I also learned more about animals than I would have had I never had the job.

So, in a way, I have to thank Petsmart. I hate to have to thank them, but I owe a lot to that job.

Prudence's Eye Update 2

Prudence's eye looks almost as good as new. :) We're continuing the eye drops as directed by the vet. I'm quite happy that we didn't do the surgery, though I still wonder what the heck it was.

Sunday is when the growth appeared. It continued to grow all day and into Monday when we took her to the vet. On Sunday, it was only pink. Monday morning, it was twice as big as it had started and had a black crust on it. Monday afternoon was the vet visit. While looking at it, the vet pulled the black crust off. He prescribed Dexamethasone eye drops. Tuesday morning saw some improvement; the growth was definitely smaller. Wednesday saw even more improvement with the growth getting smaller and smaller. Today, Thursday, the growth is gone, but Prudence's eye still looks irritated.

Dream Birds

I have a list of birds I'd love to have someday. Currently, this is the list and the reasons why.

1. African Grey. This is probably my number one bird desire right now. I love how incredibly smart they are, how cute they are, and just about everything else about them. Most likely, I won't be getting one for a few more years; I want to get out of graduate school and get a job first, but I will be getting one.

2. Quaker Parrot. I love these for the same reasons I love African Grey. They only reason I don't already have one is because they're illegal in Kentucky. I'm waiting until I move to Florida for graduate school before getting one of these.

3. Cockatiel. I had a cockatiel once. I loved her to bits. She was the first bird that was "mine" and I would give a lot to have her back and whole. When she died, I was heartbroken. Whenever I see a cockatiel, I always want to hold it and cuddle it and take it home.

4. White-bellied Caique. I have wanted one of these ever since I was working at Petsmart and somebody brought their white-bellied caique in. I knew then that I wanted one--look how cute it is, look how sweet it is. It took me a year before finding out what kind of bird it was (I didn't think to ask the owner when she was at the store). When I found out what it was, I read some more about them. I love their fun personalities. I would love to have one.

Then there is a list of birds I can not see myself choosing to own. If one ended up in my possession, I would probably try my best to keep it, but I would question my abilities to do so. Right now, there are only two birds (or groups of birds) on this list: large macaws (I could handle the mini macaws) and most cockatoos (I know a cockatiel is technically a cockatoo, I'm excluding that...I could probably handle some other ones too). The large cockatoos just get too loud for me and the big macaws make me pretty nervous as well as getting too loud. When I had Prudence at the vet yesterday, there was a MAD blue and gold macaw. His loud voice reminded me of why I don't want one.

Right now, I am content with my tiny flock of two, but I really want a third bird. I almost got a brown-headed parrot a few weeks ago, but things didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I'm playing the waiting game right now, waiting for the right bird to come along.

Good Night

Everybody is tucked into bed.

The dogs are all in their crates for tonight. Prudence has had her eye drops and some cuddles and is now back in her cage with Sadie. Pam, too, is in her cage after her nightly cuddles. They all have full bellies after a dinner consisting of only pellets and hay (oops! I ran out of lettuce, their usual dinner). Maxwell is asleep in his cage, sleeping in one of his normal dead-looking position. Digby's cage is covered even though she wasn't ready to go to bed. Lenore's cage is also covered; he was ready for bed when I covered him and now I can hear him grinding his beak. Even the crazy cat Delilah is curled up, nearly asleep.

It's a peaceful feeling knowing that everybody is safe, well, and well-fed. 
The vet doesn't know what is on Prudence's eye. He gave the nonspecific answer of a "tumor", which could mean practically anything, but he also said it could be simply swelling from getting something stuck in her eye. He wanted to do surgery to remove and biopsy the growth to determine what exactly it was and whether it was benign or malignant; we declined, asking for a more conservative treatment first.

He did an eye stain to look for any scratches, but he did not see any. He was able to examine it pretty well while I held her. The growth is on the conjunctiva (I think that's what he said) and is barely hanging on. He prescribed Dexamethasone eye drops three times a day for seven days. He wants to see her back in seven days. Our hope is that, given how small the piece is that is hanging on, it will fall off on its own.

I didn't realise before this vet visit how much Prudence truly trusts me. After the vet held her to examine her eye and put her back down, she immediately ran over to my hand and nudged it until I picked her up. When the vet examined her eye a second time, I held her and she held much more still and cooperated much better. Don't tell Sadie, but Prudence has always been my favourite, though Pam is threatening her position. ;)

Diet 3: The Guinea Pigs

This is number three in my pet diets series of posts. If you missed the first two, you can find them here (dogs) and here (cats). From this point on, these posts will most likely be a lot more technical because the diets for my guinea pigs, birds, and reptiles is much more complicated than the dog and cat diets.

The Foods: Oxbow Cavy Cuisine, Oxbow Cavy Preformance, Timothy Hay, Alfalfa Hay, various fruits and vegetables, grass and other forages in the spring and summer

Right now, the guinea pigs get a staple diet of hay, lettuce, and pellets, Oxbow Cavy Cuisine for Sadie and Prudence and Oxbow Cavy Performance for baby Pam. In addition to those things, they get a varied amount of vegetables and fruits.

They get fruit no more than twice a week; they usually only get it once a week. They would get too much sugar if they ate fruit more that that. They get vegetables everyday.

Lately, I've been chopping up vegetables for the guinea pigs, the birds, and the bearded dragon all at the same time, essentially making mash or chop for everybody. I chop up the stuff they all can have and mix it up first. Then I divide it up into three parts (not equal parts), and add stuff to each part as necessary for whichever animal it goes to. At first, the guinea pigs weren't sure what to think of it, but now they love it.

The most common vegetables they get are lettuce (anything but iceberg), bell peppers (all colours), zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, and squash. They also get small amounts of cucumber, Swiss chard, broccoli. In addition to all of those vegetables, they get a very small amount of corn, collard greens, mustard greens, and kale.

Could it be improved? Absolutely. I am all the time messing with their diet, feeding more of this vegetable and less of that vegetable. I would love to be able to feed them Oxbow organic guinea pig food, but it is not very cost effective, costing twice as much as what I already feed.

I've also been doing some research on a pelletless diet, Hay and Fresh Foods. I would like to do this, but I have to do a lot more research first, and the information seems to be hard to come by.

Things I refuse to feed: Most brands of guinea pig food, especially the ones with seeds and other yucky stuff. Along with that goes most guinea pig treats food in stores. A lot of the food and treats designed for guinea pigs is just plain wrong.

Helpful things: Most of what I've learned about guinea pig diet and nutrition is from the internet. Guinea Lynx has been incredibly helpful in all aspects of guinea pig health in addition to nutrition. There are a couple of food charts I refer to, both of which are listed in a sidebar to the left.

What is on Prudence's Eye?

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed something on Prudence's right eye. It was a pink "growth" (for lack of a better word). My first thought was pea eye, but after actually looking at it, I realized that, no, it is not pea eye.

Several hours after I took that picture, I checked on her again. The "growth" was bigger. This morning, it looks worse. She as a vet appointment in two hours. I hope this is nothing serious. 

Talking Lovebirds

I know lovebirds don't normally talk. When I got Digby, that was not something I even considered. Yes, I would love to have a bird that talks, but that wasn't even part of my criteria when I got Digby. But Digby has surprised me.

We are convinced that Digby is trying to talk and mimic sounds. A couple weeks ago, the dogs were barking and I heard a noise coming from the living room where Digby's cage is. It was Digby, and it certainly sounded like she was trying to bark. I thought, "Aww, that's cute," and didn't think much more.

This week, while I was at school, my mom was in the kitchen and Digby kept "talking" to her in her normal manner, her little chirps and sounds. But when she wasn't getting the attention she wanted, she changed her sounds and made a two syllable word that sounded a bit like, "Duh-duh." I can't help but wonder if she was trying to say, "Digby".

While Googling talking lovebirds (for the thousandth time since I got Digby), I found these videos:
Very cute lovebird talking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CymfPfQhdNM
One of my favourite lovebird videos, I love the quaker and the lovebird together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skgrKQszBnA (there are a ton of videos of these two together--I love them)

Prudence's Eyesight

Since last week when I suspected Prudence of being blind, I've been watching her closely.

Prudence is not blind, nor is her eyesight super bad. I do think she doesn't see as well as Sadie though. But, she is...how shall I put it? She's a bit slow. I should have known when she refused to learn how to use the ramp to get to the second floor of her cage. The real clincher was when she looks all around the lettuce in front of her before eating it, even though she saw and smelled me put it right in front of her mouth.

My poor, special pig. She's a cutie though and I love her. :)

Diet 2: The Cats

Next up on my pet food series is the cats. This post will be much shorter than the dogs' post.

The Foods: Taste of the Wild Mountain Feline dry food, Wellness canned cat food, Taste of the Wild canned food

Cats are obligate carnivores. For those who aren't into biology and animal science, this means that they absolutely must eat meat. If they do not eat meat, and do not eat enough of it, they will be very sick and, in all likelihood, will die. Because of this, I feed my cats as close to an all meat diet as possible.

Like the big dogs, the cats get Taste of the Wild. Just like the dog formulas, it is completely grain free. It also has the second highest amount of protein of all the cat food brands that I would feed (the one with the highest was Wellness Core, which is quite expensive).

TinTin gets fed almost exclusively Taste of the Wild (from here on referred to as TotW in this post). Sometimes he goes to our neighbor's house and eats the cat food they leave out for the strays and feral cats in our neighborhood. We have tried to give him canned food and he refuses to eat it; he also refuses Tuna. Shadow eats mostly TotW. She sometimes gets canned cat food as well, and occasionally gets canned tuna. She also supplements her diet with fresh mice. Delilah gets fed TotW and she gets canned cat food twice a day.

When I got Delilah, I did a lot of research on cat nutrition. I learned that their diet should be almost exclusively meat. I also learned they shouldn't be fed only dry food because it can lead to chronic kidney problems. They don't drink much water and need to get part of their water from the food they eat, hence the need for canned food or fresh meat.

Could it be improved? Yes, in the same way the dogs' diet could be improved. I would love to feed the cats a raw diet, but, like I mentioned in my dog diet post, it's just not a possibility at this time.

Things I refuse to feed: All grains. My cats do not get fed grains. I also limit the amount of non-meat foods they get. The only cat food fed here that has fruits and vegetables in it is the canned Wellness.

Helpful things: Again, I'll cite the Food Pets Die For book I mentioned in my dog food post. There are also a ton of websites, all of which I no longer have bookmarked. Simply Googling "cat diet" will heed lots of information. I also learned stuff in my zoology classes.