Mischief. It was a great name for the black kitten that darted about the adoption room where we met her. Like many indoor cat owners, we had her front feet declawed and she was spayed. We began feeding her affordable dry food and occasionally fed her cooked meat from the table. For a long time, she lived up to her namesake and entertained us for hours. We loved her!

Then she started to gain weight. She eventually reached 25 pounds which was not healthy for a cat. “Diet” food didn’t help. Eventually, she couldn’t make it to her litter box and she was in a lot of pain. We had to say goodbye to our lovable Mischief.

When I began research for Great Lakes Pet Food, I began to learn about mistakes I made with Mischief – mistakes that, having been avoided, could have given her a longer, healthier life.

The first mistake?  Declawing. I didn’t educate myself on the pros and cons. Selfishly, I didn’t want the claw sharpening on my sofa edges. It can also make physical play a little tough on us humans. But there are ways around these issues, and the invasive removal of a cat’s front claws (and knuckles) affects everything from litter box use, to activity level, arthritis later in life, biting and the list goes on.

Second mistake? Feeding low quality, however popularly named and easy to find cat food loaded with grain. I didn’t do my research. I didn’t know that cats are obligate carnivores and that carbohydrates from grain are not only nutritionally unnecessary, but can cause weight gain and lead to diabetes and other health issues.

“After a meal rich in carbohydrate the feline’s blood level of glucose tends to stay higher than normal for long periods of time. They become persistently hyperglycemic and this long term stimulus on the beta cells in the pancreas — the cells that produce insulin — renders those cells less sensitive to the blood glucose. As a result less insulin is secreted to bring down the blood sugar level. Nutritionists call this “down regulating’ of the beta cells; the insensitivity of the insulin secreting beta cells leads to what is termed “insulin resistance”. This scenario is a prelude to diabetes.” *

Now we have Gracie, another successful adoption of a sweet girl who made herself at home from the moment she walked in the door. She’s a hugger. She has her claws. She is fed quality grain-free kibble and some cooked meat. She gets fresh, clean water every day and she maintains a healthy weight.

Gracie the pergola climber!

Gracie the pergola climber!

Great Lakes Pet Food is high protein, grain free and fortified with proper vitamins and minerals to maximize the nutritional needs of dogs and cats. Our kibbles are slow cooked in small batches for higher starch conversion; they are made in the Great Lakes region of the United States.

Great Lakes Pet Food plans to grow; we want to expand formulas to meet the needs of your pets and ours. Watch for expanding protein sources and product lines. Please try our Canine and Feline formulas and let us know how your pets are doing. We’d love to hear from you!

*Obesity in Cats… and What to do About an Overweight Cat ©1999-2016 petMD, LLC