Oh, Great

We ran out of cat food last night, so this morning, for the first time ever, my wife fed the cats tuna, which as we all know is the feline equivalent of crack cocaine. So now that cats are tearing around the house hopped up on fish oils, fighting with each other (see above) and taunting the dog, who, to her credit, just looks wounded that the cats would treat her so. And when we do get around to getting them cat food again, I just know they’re going to peer into the bowl and then look at us as if to say what is this shit? and then they’ll steal my laptop to score some primo ahi. Basically, this is not going to end well.

People: For the love of all that’s holy in this world, don’t start your cats on tuna. And if you’ve started, just stop. Watching your little furbuddy go through yellowfin withdrawal, well. It’s just heartbreaking. And now I have to do it with three cats simultaneously. It’s going to be a long weekend.

75 Comments on “Oh, Great”

  1. Weren’t there four big rules? Something like:
    – Keep them out of the bright sunshine
    – Don’t let them get wet
    – Never, ever, ever, feed them after midnight
    – No tuna ever!

  2. We have a different problem. The two kittens only want to eat the fat-cat’s diet food…in spite of the fact our Vet tells us it’s basically smelly cardboard. I think it’s a domination thing and I’m really embarrassed for Widget…the wuss!

  3. Five cats. Organic tea-grade quality catnip. When they get done sprawling all over the carpet it has been sprinkled on, they start batting the food bowls around as if to say “Dude..where’s the munchies?”
    Sidenote – is that a Maine Coon?

  4. Cat one-of-two refuses anything to do with people food, going to far as to look disgusted when offered a scrap of rare steak. Cat Two-of-two, on the other hand…. we’ve come to an uneasy agreement. Anything on furniture (desk, table, top-of-bookcase) is mine. Anything on the floor, even if it’s on a plate, is his.

    All bets are off when it’s tuna, however.

  5. We (occassionally) give the cats Tuna Juice – not as overpoweringly crazy-making as Tuna, but it is a good time…

    And yes, catnip will actually help, believe it or not. They’ll be too busy looking at the pretty colors to fight, then they’ll get the munchies for *any* food placed in the dish.

  6. Dude, they so look like they’re making some kind of back alley deal. They may have just put a hit out on you. Or they’re going into politics – there’s some nice tuna there, let me tell ya.

  7. Scott @ 5 – exactly…clean them out and their system won’t remember the tuna incident…

    Just woe to the kitty staff that has litter box duty that day!

  8. ” My ” cat decided to live with me after it wandered into my backyard hungrey and I gave him tuna. Can’t get rid of the dude now. I give him tuna maybe 2 or 3 times a year and then release him outside. At least that is what he wants me to think.

  9. Worse yet in my experience is the “down stream” effect on cat poop caused by the tuna oil. Forecasts call for explosive jets of liquid if your cats are anything like mine.

  10. Oh dear god, I did this a couple of times last year as a bachelor and now my retarded half-Siamese/half-tabby comes running every time he hears a can hit the counter.

    He is frequently disappointed to be offered a smell of canned corn or green beans, to which I frequently get the what the shit is this? response.

    Fortunately, he’s not bright enough to turn to a life of crime.

  11. I did not know that about cats and Tuna.

    My dearly departed rabbit-what-thought-he-was-a-cat would lie, cheat or steal to get his hands on the stuff. I guess this explains why. (And no, I never indulged him).

  12. Cats only act like this in reaction to “Tuna” if there are dolphin flakes interspersed. True fact!

  13. O Great Scalzi, what a wonderful picture of Her Most Glorious Shimmering Radiant Magnificent Perfection and TempCat Zeus.

    You have performed an excellent recovery from your last picture disaster. This one has the Beauteous Ghlaghghee and TempCat Zeus well-centered in the frame and even mostly in focus. Your textual update is as inane as usual, however.

    Keep up the good work and you may eventually earn yourself once again the coveted The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club Seal of Approval Award.

    But probably not.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  14. Chunk white tuna in water, people. It makes them just as happy. Giving a cat tuna in oil is a biohazard. *shudder*

  15. I know our cats won’t eat tuna, as they are freaks. Geno just prefers land food — roast beef is his favorite, but he won’t say no to turkey or chicken or… well, anything that he sees people eating. And bread, with or without butter — Geno seems to love the texture of French bread. And anything mint-related, not just catnip. (Seriously — a neighbor once tried to use tuna to lure Geno out from under a RV, and Geno just gave him a look. Roast beef, on the other hand…)

    Peppy, on the other hand, refuses to eat anything but his dry cat food, not even the wet food we give to Geno, and will only beg for food if he sees that Geno is getting some, just to show Geno that Peppy is Head Cat, and he can get food from the humans too.

  16. I *wish* my cat would get excited for tuna. But no — Long Island Cat only eats cured meats.

    (Seriously, we’ve tried everything: roast turkey, ice cream, grilled salmon, cheese, butter, even — gasp! — bacon. But still, she only perks up for beef jerky, onion bagels, and deli ham. And she’s still thin. Yes, my cat is *that* girl.)

  17. My cat knows that wet food out of a tin is supposed to be edible. Really. Truly. Edible. He just doesn’t know how… He tries to lick it to death and ends up with dried flakes of food all over the floor.

    And then goes and looks piteously starving sitting next to the tub of brown cardboard nuggets.

    Don’t think tuna would register, somehow.

    Yoghurt in a bowl at the breakfast table, however…

    Ever tried eating yoghurt through a cat’s skull?

  18. Mac @22, spot on. Tuna packed in water is the safe compromise. Same obsession, reduced toxic emissions.

  19. My cats occasionally get white tuna in water, and it doesn’t seem to make them hyper or anything. Oddly enough, it’s the only canned food they are even remotely interested in. I’ve tried giving them canned catfood tuna (and other canned catfood), but they just give me this blank look as if to say, “What’s this stuff?” The only cat food they’re interested in is their kibble. They’re not even really much into people food. I can put down bits of chicken and get the same blank look, though I did discover that the boy will eat turkey if it is *cold* from the fridge. He likes ham and cheddar cheese, too. I’ve seen the girl eat corn niblets while leaving chicken breast untouched right next to them. But they’ll both turn around and walk away from a plate of beef, chicken or pork chop scraps, and head for the kibble bowl.

    Now, wheatgrass, the spider plant, or the lavender plant… yeah. They’ll eat those. And the boy will also go after broccoli or celery left to drain in a colander in the sink.

    Yes, I have weird cats.

  20. Well, at least now y’all know not to deal with the problem by calling PetMaster customer service…

  21. The last of the (now) elderly cats I got after college died a few months ago. After waiting for them to be old enough to leave their mother, I brought home a pair of sisters a few nights ago.

    The night after I got them, I made my self a tuna sandwich for dinner. I swear — 8 weeks old and as soon as I cracked the can their little ears perked up. I gave them the juice in a saucer and they all but went swimming.

    The big one had moved in on night one. After this, the little one decided to move in as well. By last night, she fell asleep in my hair balanced on the back of my computer chair. Tuna is powerfull stuff.

  22. I don’t dare give the Two Fat Ladies tuna; it’s bad enough bringing a portion of fish and chips into the flat.

    For five years now they’ve been on diet kibble, prescribed by the vet (they’ve both lost 50% of their body weight since they arrived from the shelter, and they’re now almost at the correct weight — they didn’t get their name for nothing). But six months ago Frigg developed osteoarthritis (probably from being a lard-ass for her formative years), and now she’s on daily medication. In capsules. Have you ever tried administering a human-sized medicine capsule to a cat?

    In self-defense I basically surrendered to the feline junk food marketing machine and these days they start with a sachet of Whiskas, split between two of them (and Frigg gets her capsules split and the contents stirred in).

    Unfortunately I made a strategic blunder. The Two Fat Ladies lurve their gooshy food. I should have stuck to doling it out in the evening; instead, I started it as a morning routine.

    And now I have a pair of hairy alarm clocks.

  23. Our own Gremlin is one of those cats that turns into a Mean Drunk under the influence of catnip.

    Since his starting attitude is Evil, that can be a pretty mean drunk. So on the rare occasion when the other cats get catnip, we try to keep Gremlin away from the stuff.

    (He still resents that he was adopted by us, rather than Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as would have happened in any properly-run universe.)

  24. I gave George Foreman the Cat raw turkey this morning and he didn’t care. Bastard. He wonders why i cook it and feed it to the dog? To hell with him!

  25. Toonces, my beloved companion for 16 years, never was interested in tuna. (He almost made it onto Celebrity Rehab for a serious catnip habit until they realized he was not THAT Toonces.)

    Unfortunately, my current pet, Gurl, is like that with ANY food and will glare at if you have anything remotely edible near you.

  26. I had to stop giving (all) my kitties tuna as a regular treat when I found out it carries of high risk of giving them urinary/bladder infections.

    On the few occasions when, as in Chez Scalzi, “human tuna” is the only canned food available, I parcel it out in eensy helpings – just enough to keep them from hunting down small children while I run to the store and get more of the regular canned food.

    As my kitties go into their final decline, though, I relax the rules considerably. The late and still-much-missed Jazz (who died of cancer a few years ago) spent his final days feasting on tuna, salmon, and crab.

  27. Our youngest and most high-maintenance of the four cats who actually own our house will try to snarf a bit of whatever people-food is going – although we’ve never fed her any. I suspect she got “treats” at the shelter and pet store where we adopted her.

    She will also come into my office (I work from home) and cry piteously if her bowl is more than half-empty. Doesn’t matter that the same food is in the other two bowls around the kitchen – that’s her food, and if it’s empty, there’s no food.

  28. Titan, our teenaged cat, was recently diagnosed with diabetes. He doesn’t mind the insulin shots but he’s extremely offended that I no longer share any of my food with him. It’s diet Iams and Dasuquin and nothing else. Poor kitty.

    If anyone knows where to get glargine for less than a hundred dollars a bottle I would love to hear about it. Thanks.

  29. Two of our three cats have very dry skin this winter and one had big bald spots from scratching..the vet recommended fish oil over their food once a day. In their humble opinion, the best tonic the vet ever thought of. However the one who doesn’t have dry skin thinks that he’s being poisoned…

  30. None of my three cats like seafood of any kind. Trying to give them tuna gives me the equivalent look of a high-brow teenager being taken to Goodwill for school shopping. One of them however has a complete obsession for Ranch salad dressing, its better than catnip!

  31. My two cats have very different preference when it come to wet cat food, one love anything aquatic and hate any form of liver. the other one loves liver, will eat some fish, and loves poultry. I recently had the problem that they will no longer eat whiskas wet cat food and a struggling to find replacement food that both cat will eat. I never had a problem with my cat going crazy after feeding them human grade Tuna, they’re more nip-heads then anything else.

    Maybe next time you run out of cat food you can give them BACON :)

  32. I am without cats right now (it is a sad state of affairs).

    Horace, the cat I lived with in Seattle, would never touch human food. He loved tuna water–my wife loves giving tuna water to cats. He also like human water. He’d ignore whatever snack you had and go right for your water glass the moment you turned your head. He would try sticking his head in, and if he couldn’t reach that way, he’d dunk a paw in and lick the water off of it–repeatedly.

    It was adorable, but for the fact that he spilled a lot and stole your water. I later figured out it was because his water bowl was dirty. Once I cleaned it and showed him I was filling it from the filter on the refrigerator (where the human water comes from), he drank from it willingly.

    And then, there is the Eat Beast (who is, fortunately, not my cat). For all the rest of the Eat Beast Saga, go here.

  33. If it was only oiled tuna! I had a cat who was crazy about oil, especially olive oil. She would jump on the table and try to steal anything with even a smidgen of olive oil in it. Spicy food? Go ahead! Salad with oil and vinegar (and I mean good strong vinegar, which I love)? She’d slurp it as if it was cream.

  34. Actually, it’s the tuna-eater’s fraternity – Katta Katta Mew – initiation and they’re practicing the secret handshake.

  35. 2 of our cats have little interest in anything that’s not dry cat food or treats, for the most part. Tuna? meh. Tuna juice is acceptable to 2 of them, but not our oldest and thinnest. For her, dry food is the only food.

    Then there’s the lardbutt… she’ll eat anything, but her preferences are yogurt, whole strawberries, and whole tomatoes. Still little interest in tuna. Go fig.

    BTW, the nasty smells are due to the short digestive tracts of predators, and the fact that they tend to get adjusted to a particular kind of food. You’ll get the same evil effects by switching brands of cat food, too.

  36. Laura Anne @ #9: I like your cat naming system, but I imagine it’d be awkward renaming everyone if your cat population increased or decreased in size.

    Jeff @ #47: The first and oldest of our six cats (the only one who was an adult when we got him), routinely drinks water out of glasses and cups, and dips his paw in when the water level gets too low and/or the glass is too small for his part-Maine-Coon head. We were aware of this before we got him, but it still cracked us up to see him stand on his hind legs to dunk and swirl a paw in a short glass on the coffee table, then sit down to lick the paw, then repeat ten or twelve times… This was in addition to his water bowl, of course. We got him a filtered/recirculating water fountain, which he’ll use, but he still prefers cups of standing water, so now we just have a mug (wider than it is tall) designated for him at a particular spot. This is in addition to the two water fountains, the bowl in our bedroom, and at least two sometimes drippy faucets that he also has available, though of all of these I don’t see him using the fountains much. He still likes his cup best, and the other cats have picked up the habit — although I don’t think they dip their paws.

    In the process of spoiling this cat waterwise, for a while we’d cup our hands under running water and let him drink from that. Fortunately, he seems to have forgotten this ill-conceived idea, because I’m sure you can imagine how easy it is to wash your hands with a big furry cat head in the way.

  37. Robin@54–our oldest has started doing this again, with the tall, narrow water glasses. Pisses my wife off to no end; possibly because our cats are pretty much universally clumsy and frequently spill water all over the place.

    The middle cat has always loved playing with water, so there’s almost always a moat surrounding their water dishes.

  38. Georgiana, I was able to get my cat to stop being diabetic by restricting her diet to restrict her to 9 pounds, though that turned her into a pathetic cat, desperate for ANY food, even soap used to wash hands with food and the noodles in our closet. A more humane approach that I discovered by accident when she had kidney failure later (she died four months ago)is that she wasn’t diabetic, ever, on the special food they give cats with kidney failure (cardboard WITHOUT odor…). You might try asking your vet for a prescription for that kind of special food.

    Oh, yeah, the thread topic! This whole thread has seemed unfathomable to me until I read Mac’s comment, because I’ve fed my cats tuna as treats for years without so much drama; I followed the rec.pets.cats FAQ’s advice to get strictly tuna in water, which I’d already mostly been doing anyway.

  39. My mom used to give me tuna…*sighs*….but no more…my vet told her it was bad for me…I bit the vet…*snickers*..she does give me ham…*drools*

    Being the dainty lady that I am…I only eat a very small piece….mom eats the rest..

    Don’t want the human to think I am addicted..but if she ever forgets my treats…I will re-arrange her face…

  40. Both of my cats love tuna, but prefer the water. The Spooklet also likes people-water, both because it’s hard to keep her water bowl clean enough to suit her (given her preferences, she’d have water served upon demand, but those “cat water fountain” things are unacceptable because of the slight noise) and because she likes it cold.

    Of course, Spooklet’s just odd. She used to have a real fondness for cherry or strawberry yogurt – no other flavors. Eventually, she decided that vanilla was okay. Now, if I’m eating something white, she figures it’s hers….

  41. Jen @ 58 — is it you or Spooklet that objects to the noise of the fountain? Ours seemed noisy at first, but then I found that for some reason my husband had decided not to put the filter in for some reason (because it was called “optional” in the instructions, I guess). Once that was rectified, the fountain became almost inaudible. When we start hearing it again, we know it’s time to change the filter.

  42. Star enjoyed the occasional serving of tuna, but what she often preferred when she wasn’t feeling well was the strained meats from Gerber. She’d gobble that right up.

    Maui still gets a little tuna on occasion, when Pamela gives it to him. He’s had to make the adjustment to being a Finnish cat (he’s had to learn to say “meow” in Finnish, but it’s “miau,” which is pronounced the same, so he didn’t have any trouble), so a little tuna is well-deserved in his case.

  43. Quick alert to all the cat-lovers on this thread who give their cats canned food: Cats are apparently even more sensitive to Bisphenol-A than people or dogs (it seems to stay in their systems longer) and most — especially pop-top — cans of pet-food in industrialized countries are lined with BPA. It can lead to hyperthyroidism, a non-fun and expensive kitty ailment. As much as possible, try to avoid giving your cats food from lined cans, and check out
    http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.2004.224.879?journalCode=javma and
    http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/clientED/hyperthyroidism.aspx for more info.

  44. Worse yet than tuna is turkey slices. Or the Whiskas Singles – no idea if that’s available outside Australia. The latter is pure kitty crack. My 3 girls will take turns at the food dish, unless the kitty crack is down, in which case all three little skulls smack together as they hoover it up.

  45. Jen @ 58 — is it you or Spooklet that objects to the noise of the fountain?
    The Spooklet…. She was originally fine with it. Then it started making noise. I got it quiet again (probably changed the filter, but I don’t remember exactly), but she never would go near it again. She’s an odd one that way – she holds grudges. ;-)

  46. Hmmm- am I the only one with a cat with a jones for string cheese?

    I was glad to hear about the water drinkers- one of my previous cats insisted on drinking from cups. I found that a wide goblet worked best. She also, in her last years, insisted on eating on the end table in the living room. Spoiled? Not my kitties.

  47. We had one cat that, if given a choice, preferred to get her water by licking the top of ice cubes floating in a cup of water ….

    Another didn’t really care what the water was in, but was only really content when the water was filled right up to the top of the bowl/cup/whatever …

    And then there’s Tigger, who has some stuff misconnected (one eye is visibly wrong, because an inner eyelid is connected in a way it shouldn’t be, but he also breathes about like a pug). He drinks the wrong way. Really doesn’t matter *what* you put the water in, he’s gonna manage to throw water out the other side as he slurps it up. ;-)

  48. Have you tried feeding the cat shrimp? Most cats I’ve (been) owned (by) have been more crazy for shrimp/prawn than anything else. I’d suggest boiled rather than raw and already-peeled rather than shell on.

    Then there’s the whole spectrum of cheez snacks…

  49. I got my kitten (Duncan Idaho) when I moved into my current apartment almost two years ago, and he wouldn’t eat kibble at all. All he would eat was tuna, so I ended up draining the tuna juice into the kibble, mashing it into paste, and over two weeks, slowly removing the tuna juice. But he still goes nuts for tuna-can noises, so making myself soup is an exercise in ignoring his pitiful cries.

    I’ve since made the joke that Duncan prefers moist Caladanian fish to the arid Arakeen rations we feed him.

  50. Jon – thanks for the suggestion. Our vet said that a certain percentage of diabetic cats go into remission and don’t need insulin anymore. He said to keep an eye on Titan and be prepared to give him syrup if he’s got symptoms of hypoglycemia. He said the new diet alone may be enough to kickstart insulin production but it’s more likely with the diet food/insulin combo. I’ll see what he thinks about the kidney food.

  51. My dog claims to have developed the appetite for fish and shellfish while in a previous life aboard a pirate ship.

    I’m not sure why that invokes the dog’s demand for anything with my wife’s garlic-laden pasta sauce.

  52. You’re the kind of person who would give small, extremely well-armed, powerful predators raw meat and then wonder why they chew your ears off at night. Or even while you’re standing there, mewling for mercy. You’re lucky you can still find the dog! Or your feet.

    (I can’t talk — I give our cats catnip.)

    I’m thinking of starting a club for people who are abused by their cats.

    Who wants the t-shirt?

    >^–^< =:O oooo (screaming and blood spots)

  53. My sister would give her (fat and violent) cat fish as a treat for good behavior (which translated to “not injuring anyone in the last 24 hours”). No, not tuna from a can (that would be insulting). Swordfish. From Whole Foods. $21/lb – and this cat could eat a lot.

  54. Funny reading some of the antics, from other cat’s that have a fix for tuna!.
    Saying that, our cat, Jacque,s, was nearly two stone, due to going into other people’s gardens and being fed each time. He would never wear a collar, and looked kinda
    feral. Though he would never hurt anything he should’nt, has been known to have chased a fox from our garden.
    Anyway i decided to put him on a tuna diet, thinking of his weight. He’s lost the weight, his personality,purring and sleeping on the end of the bed.
    I had missed him soo much, and hated the demented howl’s, and constantant rotating, he’d picked up.
    Obviously he now is never ever going to have tuna again.

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