So I decided not to pull a Karen.
What do I mean by that? Well… lately, I’ve been sharing a lot of posts and such on FB criticizing the anti-vax (or if anti-vax offends you, I’ll use the term child killer instead). [Note: legitimate medical reasons for avoiding vaccines are not included in the above contempt.]
Anyway, so the whole Karen thing is based on the belief that 15-30 minutes of Google searching is somehow as good or better than tens of thousands of hours of study and work put into a particular field by trained, degreed professionals. But my own near-Karen moment has nothing to do with vaccines.
I have two cats. Loki and Dorian.
For the 3-ish years I’ve had these two, I’d been feeding them Hill’s Ideal Balance wet cat food at night, and the dry version in the morning (at least until my vet put Loki on weight control Science Diet). Recently, Hill’s decided to discontinue the Ideal Balance brand.
And so, the hunt for a new wet food began.
My cats are fickle. Yes, I realize cats in general are fickle, but my two are the sort of cats that other cats say “damn, boy… you’re a picky eater” to.
Back up a few years. Prior to Loki and Dorian, I had three other cats: Patch, Tweak, and Angry. All three of those cats died a little young (~14 or so for Tweak/Patch, 6 for Angry). Patch and Angry had cancer, Tweak, I think, suffered a massive stroke.) At least in the case of the cancer, I kinda blamed my use of Friskies cat food for it, so when I got Loki and Dorian, I decided to make sure they ate healthy.
The Ideal Balance seemed like a great product. And the cats loved it.
But, Hill’s decided to stop making it.
So… I went to the internet. Searching cat blogs. Everyone’s harping about grain free food, human-grade meat, and so on. And the one theme that consistently emerged: Purina is the devil. And not just the little ‘step on a Lego at 3 in the morning’ devil. The ‘wants to throw your cats into the furnace’ devil.
And, to a point, that clicked with my fear of giving my cats bad food and losing yet another two cats too early to a theoretically preventable cancer. Consequently, I started looking for some grain free ‘healthy’ food. I tried 4Health, Instinct, Weruva, and Tiki Cat.
Did I mention my cats were picky eaters? They nibbled on the 4Health, absolutely refused to touch the instinct at all. Weruva got the same ‘what is this crap?’ reaction from my cats. (not a slam on Weruva, I’m just describing how my guys reacted to it.) To be fair, Tiki Cat had a similar shredded chicken flavor that the cats also totally ignored. The Tiki Cat sardine flavor, they kind of ate.
So here I am, frustrated and worried that my cats are going on a hunger strike.
Just so happened I had an appointment come up to bring Dorian to the vet for his rabies booster. While there, I asked my vet about her recommendations for food. Know what she said? High end Purina, like Pro Plan.
Yes, that Purina that the internet calls the High Devil of feline Acheron.
She also said the ‘grain free’ thing is a fad, and that boutique cat food brands can also be dangerous or lack vital nutrients because there is far less oversight on them.
Honestly, that should have been the moment I thought, hmm, maybe I’ll listen to this woman with a doctorate degree.
But it wasn’t. Because I Karen-ed. The whole internet of cat-lovers can’t be wrong, can they? What does a veterinarian know that a bunch of people who keep cats wouldn’t? Hmm. So, a little shocked to hear my vet advocate for the giant evil mega cat-killing corporation (so sayeth the Ancient Scrolls of the Internet), I FB chatted with another vet who I know via the author community.
Guess what she said?
Yep. Purina is fine. And she also said the grain free thing was a fad.
So, either there’s a secret conspiracy between veterinarians across the country to help evil corporations… or maybe they know something that people without doctorate degrees don’t. Yeah, having a second vet in a completely different state say the same exact thing to me was like getting hit upside the head with a piece of raw salmon.
I’d Karen-ed pretty hard.
So, after all my railing online about people who trust Google more than their doctors, I decided to follow my own admonishment and listen to these two professionals. Ordered a case of Purina Pro Plan.
Guess what… my cats devoured it. Like practically ate the bowl.
So, it seems I’ve found the food to replace the Ideal Balance.
Two women with degrees actually knew something better than the internet.
Who’d have thought. (meant with full sarcasm / self-deprecation)
Edit/update: I shared the link to this post with one of the vets, and she sent back some links. (The links are dog-focused, but she says the same condition happens to cats as well.)