For the last 2 days, I have been feeding stray cats all over the port, and I have to say that I now have even more admiration for those who do this on a regular basis. I’m very involved with the stray cats but my role is largely finding homes, liaising with Germany and generally organising everything involved with this whole process.
That is all pretty time-consuming and as Chris will testify has become recently a bit ALL-consuming, certainly for a slighty obsessive personality like myself; however it doesn’t involve getting up at daybreak and driving around to all the various places where the stray cats are now used to being fed.
OK so I’m new to this cat round but it has been taking me close to an hour the last couple fo mornings and I haven’t even done all of Pam’s usual stops, as another kind lady has been feeding the cats by the Banco Andalucia, and the little lonely black kitten close by. My job has JUST been looking after the Calle Alcor cats (whom I normally feed in the afternoons), the cats on the rocks, and the cats by the Nautico restaurant, and believe me that is enough before breakfast! NOT I hasten to add that I am actually complaining, particularly as Mary has kindly taken the afternoon round off me today.
Actually it has been fun to meet them all, particularly as I will be looking to re-home more of our Almerimar cats starting in January, IF we can find foster homes for 3-4 weeks, and we have some lovely animals, and characters, who are tame enough to have that chance. We also need to continue our policy of spaying as many of the females out there to control the population better, and believe me there are a lot of females.
Having said all that our Almerimar strays are looking pretty healthy, thanks to the fantastic efforts of Pam, Jean & George, Dawn and all the other kind people who feed them daily. Well done to all.
One thing that does however keep coming up in my conversations with Pam is why they don’t switch these cats to solely dry food. It is cleaner and healthier and would be so much easier to manage that all the meat, which requires dishes and can disposal, AND it is cheaper.
I now give the Calle Alcor cats for their afternoon meal, nice Whiskers biscuits and usually also some of my cats’ very luxury Royal Canin dry food. Royal Canin (and I have researched this) is to me the top notch food for cats, recommended by all the vets I have spoken to about food. OK so I’m not suggesting the strays get the same food as my cats but here is food for thought.
Royal Canin costs, when bought in a big bag 10€ for 2kg which feeds an adult cat for 1 month. To feed the same cat with the cheap cans from the Mercadona would cost .39€ a day which amazingly works out at 11.70€ a month and, whilst Royal Canin boasts 52 nutrients in a balanced low fat diet, it is anyone’s guess what goes into the cans of ‘meat’.
Switch to Whiskers at around 5€ for 2kg and that is a 50% saving without taking into account the cost of all those paper plates, AND I believe the cats would get a better diet. When we adopted out second cat Saidie, she had been out on Calle Alcor for some 12 months, enjoying largely the Mercadona cheap cans that Pam and I fed her. She seemed relatively healthy and didn’t look fat, but when Begona our vet spayed her she reported back that all her organs had fat deposits around them, a sure sign of a high-fat not great diet. Now she happily eats Royal Canin dry food with the odd weekend prawn as a treat and is much fitter.
SO my thought is that if we switched the strays to dry food it would be cheaper, SO much easier, less smelly and messy (which would please all the non cat lovers too), AND actually healthier for the cats. I’m sticking to Whiskers which actually all my stray cats do seems to rather like.