Our Cats and All About Them



Adult cats require less food in proportion than kittens, for two reasons. One is this: a kitten is growing, and therefore extra bone, flesh, skin, hair, and all else has to be provided for; while in the adults, these are more or less acquired, and also they procure for themselves, in various ways in country or suburban localities, much live and other food, and no animal is the better for over or excessive feeding, especially if confined, or its chances of exercise contracted.

I have tried many ways or methods of feeding, biscuits of sorts, liver, lights, horseflesh, bread and milk, rice, fish, and cat mixtures, but have always attained the best results by giving new milk as drink, and raw shin of beef for food, with grass, boiled asparagus stems, cabbage-lettuce, or some other vegetable, either cooked or fresh. Good horseflesh is much liked by the cat, and it thrives well on it. I do not believe in either liver or lights as a flesh or bone maker. Besides the beef, there are the "tit-bits" that the household cat not only usually receives, but looks for or expects.

My dear friend, Mr. John Timbs, in "Things not Generally Known," avers that cats are not so fond of fish as flesh, and that the statement that they are is a fallacy. He says, put both before them and they will take the flesh first, and this I have found to be correct. I should only give fresh fish, as a rule, to a cat when unwell, more as an alternative than food.

As raw meat or other raw food is natural to the cat, it is far the best, with vegetables, for keeping the body, coat, and skin in good condition and health, and the securing of a rich, bright, high colour and quality. On no account try to improve these by either medicinal liquids, pills, or condiments; nothing can be much worse, as reflection will prove. If the cat is healthy, it is at its best, and will keep so by proper food; if unwell, then use such medicines as the disease or complaint it suffers from requires, and not otherwise. Many horses and other animals have their constitutions entirely ruined by what are called "coat tonics," which are useless, and only believed in and practised by the thoughtless, gullible, and foolish. Does any one, or will any one take pills, powders, or liquids, for promoting the colour or texture of their hair; would any one be so silly? And yet we are coolly told to give such things to our animals. Granted that in illness medicine is of much service, in health it is harmful, and tends to promote disease where none exists.

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