Someone, or everyone, got into an unopened bag of Primal dehydrated raw cat food last night. I was planning to use it to make breakfast and supper for all five today. Mixing the contents — 5.5 ounces of turkey, etc., in this case — with water makes 20 ounces of food.
Possum and Lion patrol the kitchen counter at night so I assume one of them found it and chewed it open from the bottom, which was not easy, since the bag is thick and has a foil lining. We found most of the chewed-up pieces of the bag in the living room, but someone probably ingested a few bits, along with a lot of dehydrated food. About half the food in the bag was gone, which would have been enough to feed everyone a nice, warm, wet breakfast this morning.
I try to keep the cats safe from themselves but they still manage to outsmart me almost every time. We try to keep rubber bands out of the house, for example. Harris still finds them. He also loves to eat plastic bags of every kind. Lion helps himself to anything left overnight on the kitchen counter — even asparagus. It never occurred to me that they would break into such a heavy bag of food. Live and learn.
At this point, I've nearly surrendered. I know how hard I try to protect my cats from themselves and their curiosity. I know how often I fail in spite of it. I feel some guilt every time something like this happens but, deep down, I'm Darwinian. Natural selection. If one of my cats is that determined to endanger itself and he lacks protective instincts to such an extent, there's only so much I can do.
My husband found the bag was found on the floor in the tiny hallway between our living room, so it had traveled some distance from our kitchen, probably feeding several cats along the way. I assume everyone partook, with the possible exception of Wendy — not because she has any moral qualms about stealing or wrecking her humans' property, but because she tends to hang back when the others are having a feeding frenzy over any kind of treat.
In response, my husband split just one can of food among the four oldest cats, instead of the usual two, and no one complained. Lion had the food he didn't finish from supper last night. He's become skittish about suppertime. Last night he was upset because I'd vacuumed a couple of hours beforehand. He also doesn't want to eat if I feed everyone later in the evening than usual because I was out. He needs to be coaxed to his bowl, or carried to it, and even then he'll run from the slightest noise.
Last night, my husband carried Lion's dish to him in the living room, where was sitting in his usual spot in a cardboard box by the windows. This probably guarantees that Lion will expect delivery every night from now on, as I pointed out to my husband. I also told Lion to get his furry rumpus in the kitchen from now on.
I suppose I should be more worried than I am about Lion not wanting his supper but he snarfs his breakfast every morning and is often quite interested in food later at night. So I am slightly worried but not freaking out. He is not losing weight or acting weird in other ways, so I am assuming he loses his appetite when he is nervous, and he makes himself nervous a lot.
My husband reported that no one clamored for more breakfast despite having half the usual amount. Harris didn't feel well afterward. He licked his lips a bit, regurgitated a tiny amount of liquid, and then went to hang out on his favorite windowsill. He is now sleeping on the bed. He doesn't appear ill but he is quieter than usual, not rolling around as he usually does when I tell him how splendid he is.
I am more worried about the packet of dessicant from the Primal food that I found in the living room about an hour ago. It had a couple of neat fang marks through it, and it seems to hold powder as well as large granules. So I don't know who may have ingested what, but if anyone ate any of it, it was apparently a very tiny amount. I left a message for Primal's customer service, to see what it is and if it is toxic, as I suspect it could be, although, frankly, a company would have to be pretty damned stupid to put something toxic in a bag of pet food. There's no info online and they are on Pacific Time. I can't wait to hear from them. If the packet is toxic, they will get a piece of my mind. They are ignorant about animal behavior and need to stop. It never occurred to me that there could be something toxic in a bag of expensive, healthy cat food.
I am upset but not as upset as I might have been before I had this current crew of acats. It's gotten harder for me to panic over situations like this because, with five cats, I have too many culprits and potential victims. I have no idea who might have been poisoned, if anyone. I have no idea who will be constipated later, after eating too much dehydrated food, but I'll probably be enlightened.
All I can usually do is watch and wait. Harris may have just eaten too much. Or he may have gotten into the dessicant.
We observed Possum and Lion drinking water this morning, which is almost unheard-of around here, since they eat wet food. Good instincts after bad, I say.
I will keep you posted.