Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

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Mollysmummy
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Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Mollysmummy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:00 pm

We have 2 cats with very different food tastes. It's quite fiddly and proving quite wasteful trying to cater for everything, so I'm wondering if there's any compromise we can make?
Molly is extremely fussy. She won't touch dry food unless she's starving, and is very picky about her wet food. She also won't touch water. We give her wet food and put some extra water in it.
Kevin won't eat wet food. He always goes straight for his biscuits, but he does love the gravy on wet food. He does drink water.
I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist but can you buy just the gravy from cat food? Or how would I make it? I'm considering doing a big mix of lots of gravy, and half meat and half biscuits to try them.we waste lots of wet food and Kevin tends to eat too many biscuits as he takes what Molly doesn't eat.

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Lilith
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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Lilith » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:43 pm

Hi Mollysmummy - whew - a bit like Jack Spratt and his wife, isn't it? Cats can be awkward can't they?

My lot like to lick the jelly/gravy off the wet food (why do all manufacturers favour these little lumps surrounded with goo?) I'm afraid my response is to mash the stuff up fine so that first one into the dish doesn't hog all the gravy! :twisted:

I have a recipe for 'cat gravy' that is simply conventional stock from chicken or beef bones or both, depending on what your cats like. It's a bit of a faff, of course, but no commercial food could rival it for REAL ingredients/lack of additives etc. I haven't made it for a good while for my lot as they're doing fine on commercial stuff but, here goes:-

Take a chicken carcass (no stuffing or seasoning) or a pack of chicken wings.
If the cats prefer red meat you could try oxtail (available from traditional butchers, especially when the cooler weather starts) or shin beef (again found more often in traditional butchers.) Or a pack of cheap stewing beef or even beef bones.
Or you can try a mix of both chicken and beef.

Cover with cold water in a heavy-bottomed pan and simmer on a very low heat (or else put in a large casserole in a very slow oven.) You can leave this for hours - the longer the better. Again, no seasoning of course, but if your cats are the sort who jump feet first into your curry/pasta, you could add maybe half a small onion, some clean carrot peelings and a bit of parsley, just to tweak the flavour a little.

When done, and any raw meat is tender, strain (this is the fiddly bit) chill the resulting juice and refrigerate overnight. Any meat will be a nice meal for the cats, and you too - the beef could be used in a meat and potato pie/curry etc.

The following day you'll have a big bowl of stock with a layer of fat. Skim the fat off and put the stock into a large pan. If you've roasted a chicken and have the juice (again no seasoning) having chilled and skimmed this in the same way, add this to the pan too. Then boil up and let it 'reduce' to half/two thirds of its former volume. Cool and refrigerate again and the result will be a good savoury jelly, which can also be frozen in suitable portions, so you could cook up a big batch and have it handy in future.

The jelly might be softer at room temperature, or can be chopped. And if the awkward little gits don't like it, it'll be great in any homemade soup. :)

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Mollysmummy
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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Mollysmummy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:06 pm

That sounds great! I will definitely try that this week. If I cool it but don't refrigerate would it be more like a thick gravy than jelly?
Yes they're total opposites in terms of food, except they both love red meat so that's what I will try first.
Whoever brings out just little pouches of gravy for cats will make an absolute fortune!!!

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by meriad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:21 pm

Mollysmummy wrote:She won't touch dry food unless she's starving, and is very picky about her wet food. She also won't touch water. We give her wet food and put some extra water in it.
Mollysmummy wrote:Kevin won't eat wet food. He always goes straight for his biscuits, but he does love the gravy on wet food. He does drink water.
that sounds about right. Wet food actually has quite a high water content as it is and chances are Molly is getting most of her water requirements from the wet food, hence not drinking much. And same for Kevin, not eating wet food means he'll be drinking more

To be honest, as long as food is complete and the dry food is a decent quality one (ie high meat / low cereal content) then I'd simply feed them what they like and not stress too much about it. I know of cats that never had wet food in their life and they lived a long and happy life. Monitoring the amount of food consumed is a different issue though :D depending on finances you could try a microchip feeder for Molly's dry (if she eats it that is?) so Kevin can't get at her food?

I like Lilith's idea of making the jelly and may try that myself one day, but chances are I'll end up using the stock for myself; it actually sounds quite yummy :lol: :lol:

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Lilith » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:31 pm

Thanks Mollysmumy and Meriad - yes, it is good stock though I say it myself; one of those traditional Grandma's recipes that got passed down to me and it's cheap as chips to make, especially on a cold evening when the hob or oven heats the kitchen too. For humans it makes a good veggie soup base - the cheapest veggies will do, such as carrots, onions, outer celery stems, whatever's on the sale stand in the supermarket, a tin of tomatoes, tin of beans and some precooked lentils, that half used bag of peas that lurks at the back of the freezer, simmer for an hour or two, seasoned to taste...

I wouldn't say it makes a 'thick' gravy; although it can look 'milky' when it's reduced, it's still quite clear, and you'd have to refrigerate it to be on the safe side before bringing it to room temp for the cats; however, you could thicken it with a little flour; just off the top of my head I'd say 1 teaspoonful flour to half a pint of stock; mix the flour with a little water to form a thin paste, heat the stock and pour on to the paste (like making packet custard) stir well and return to pan and boil till it thickens, then cool...hot and seasoned this also makes a nice gravy for the humans' Sunday lunch (and probably for any cats who get their thieving paws on the plates!) :lol:

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Mollysmummy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:22 pm

Ooh that's making me want soup now which is a good thing as I've had a stomach bug since Friday night!! :oops: I'm currently in bed snoozing with Kevin in his usual place.....sleeping on my stomach! I don't mind as long as he stays still!

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Mollysmummy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:28 pm

Found a few pics :)
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Molly
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Kevin
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Bum in face!
image.jpg (75.13 KiB) Viewed 2274 times

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nannymcfee
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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by nannymcfee » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:42 pm

Mogs and me had a proper stew and dumplings yesterday !

If you want to be posh with Lilith's recipe tell cats its a jus :0)

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Mollysmummy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:45 pm

I think Molly would like it if we were posh. But we're not at all lol!

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Lilith » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:34 pm

Jus lol...no we're not posh either!

Love the pics of Mollly and Kevin, Mollysmummy...errm how on earth do you tell them apart?

Hope the poor old stomach's on the mend :)

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Re: Gravy/wet food/biscuit combo!

Post by Mollysmummy » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:55 pm

My poor hubby does struggle lol but Kevin is huge now! Also Molly was born with a wonky tail so he just says 'show me your tail' :) I guess I've just got a mothers instinct and actually find it quite easy to tell them apart. They're totally different personalities too so that helps!

Thanks for the well-wishes.....unfortunately there are no signs of surrender by the virus! Kevin is keeping me company in bed while Molly plays guard cat downstairs :P

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