I have to say, when I was asked to do this Purina ONE trip, I was a little unsure about agreeing to write four posts about it, because I *hate* reading blogs that sound like big advertisements for companies. (I actually turn down a lot of opportunities for that very reason).
But Purina ONE told me that I didn't have to rave about their food; I could write about things I learned or whatever interested me, so that's why I agreed to do it. I LOVED the experience, and I hope that shines through on these posts--I'm always honest about my opinions of products and things, and this isn't any different.
So anyways, on Thursday morning, I met the other bloggers (I think there were about 12 of us) in the hotel lobby at 8:30, so we could take a bus to the Purina ONE headquarters. I was starving, because I knew we'd have breakfast there, and I didn't eat at the hotel.
I was surprised at the size of the headquarters--I think there were three buildings, and definitely a lot of property. They even have a dog park there for employees to bring their dogs to work! Lots of employees bring their dogs and/or cats to work every day. Needless to say, the employees are big pet lovers. It was fun to talk about cats, and not have people roll their eyes at the "crazy cat lady" ;)
There are even a couple of cats that live in the building, and they were SO friendly...
We went in a conference room and had breakfast while we listened to a presentation about the True Nature of Cats movement. It was fascinating! The whole point of the True Nature of Cats movement is to bring your cat back to "nature", and make his/her life as a pet as close to the natural life of a wild cat as possible.
Purina ONE sent experts to Africa to study the African Wildcat and learn the cats' habits, and then did what they could to recreate that in pets. I'm going to be writing about this in four separate posts, so I'm going to break it down into different segments. Since Purina ONE is a pet food company, obviously they want us to switch our cats to their brand of food. So I'll write about feeding habits on this first post.
Some interesting things I learned about feeding:
*When you put water in a bowl for your cat, she can't smell or see it; sometimes, you may find your cat putting her paw in the water or putting toys or food in the water. This is to gauge the depth level of the water, or see if there is even water in the bowl. A lot of cats actually prefer running water, and there are special fountains you can get for your cat for this purpose.
|This is an example of one of the fountains--the water|
comes out of the top and flows down to the bowl and
*Food shouldn't be served in a bowl, but rather on a flat dish. Cats' whiskers are very sensitive, and when their whiskers touch the sides of a bowl, it can cause "whisker stress".
*Food dishes should be placed out away from a wall or corner, because in nature, cats like to be able to see what is happening around them, so they don't allow predators to sneak up on them. If their bowl is facing a wall or corner, then they may feel on edge while eating.
*Cats like to graze throughout the day. If you have just one cat, the best way to feed her is to measure out a bowl of food in the morning, and leave it out for her to come and go as she pleases. I haven't figured out what to do with FOUR cats just yet ;) We learned about puzzle feeders, which I'll talk about in another post, and I think that may help Chandler slow down his eating.
|An example of a puzzle feeder--you place a few pieces|
of kibble in each cup, and the cats have to reach in and
pull it out with their paws. This makes them "work for"
their food, like they do in nature.
*In nature, cats don't drink much water, because the prey that they eat has enough moisture to keep them hydrated. You can simulate this at home by feeding your cat wet food, or a combination of wet and dry food.
*During a Q&A session with a nutritionist and veterinarian, someone asked about feeding a raw diet to cats. The nutritionist strongly discouraged this, for a couple of reasons. First, you don't know if the meat is contaminated, so there is a safety issue. But also, and this never occurred to me before, cats aren't getting the right balance they need--usually, people who feed their pets a raw diet use the typical chicken breasts and other cuts of meat that people eat. But in the wild, cats don't just eat a nice, clean chicken breast. They eat all the gross parts of their prey, including the head!
*When cats are spayed or neutered, their hormones change, which can slow their metabolism and cause weight gain. Purina ONE has a food formula called Healthy Metabolism, which has a higher protein content and lower fat and carbs to counterbalance the dropping metabolism. I'm switching my cats over to this in the hopes that Chandler can drop some pounds! (I'm also giving away coupons for a FREE bag of it, which I'll detail below).
|I'd say Chandler's metabolism could certainly use some work!|
Purina ONE sent me a package of toys, and puzzle feeders and stuff like that to try out, as well as some coupons for free food. They ALSO sent a second box (identical to mine) for me to give away however I choose. I've been putting some thought into how to do this creatively, and my mom had a great suggestion: a cat photo contest!
For the first three posts (this post is number one), I will give away a coupon for a free bag of food ($13.99 value). For the final post, I will give away the box of cat goodies. Here is how it will work: on each post, I will give you a photo topic, and if you want to enter to win the giveaway, you e-mail me a photo of your cat pertaining to the topic. Then, I am going to have Noah and Eli choose their favorite photo from the submissions, and that person will win the free food.
On the fourth week, I will post the previous three winning pictures (one winner for each week); and I will let all of my readers vote for which cat should win the box of goodies. Sound good?
So for today, here is all you need to do: To win a free bag of Purina ONE Healthy Metabolism food, e-mail me a photo of your cat--the topic is "sleepy". Basically, just pictures of your cats looking adorable or funny or awkward while sleeping.
|Good thing Phoebe is disqualified for being my own cat,|
because she would win, hands-down!
You can find out more about the True Nature of Cats movement on Facebook and on the Purina ONE website. (If you consider yourself a "cat person", definitely check out the Purina ONE site--I spent a couple of hours watching all the videos, because they're so interesting!)
(Disclaimer: Purina ONE provided my travel expenses and a box of cat toys/food in exchange for my thoughts on their True Nature of Cats movement. As always, all opinions are my own.)