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Cat food can shortage now

southfork

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Pandemic Cat Food Shortage Has Kitties Meowing
Owners scrambling to find scarce canned brands for finicky felines
by Robin L. Flanigan, AARP, March 29, 2021 | Comments: 6

Barbara Hengstenberg and her pet cat
COURTESY BILL HENGSTENBERG

Barbara Hengstenberg has had trouble finding specialty cat food for her pet.

Debra Bishop feels like she hits the lottery every time she finds Purina Friskies Shreds canned cat food on store shelves for her two rescue cats, 3-year-old siblings Max and Willow.

The chicken- and turkey-flavored meals are hard to find these days because of a widespread pet food shortage. Canned cat food — from well-known brands like Fancy Feast, Friskies and 9 Lives — is the most elusive. Several factors are responsible, including pandemic-related manufacturing delays, bad weather, and an uptick in pet ownership and pampering.

The situation is reminiscent of last year's toilet paper sales surge, and the recent shortage of Grape-Nuts that had some fans paying as much as $110 a box through an online black market.

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Bishop says she often finds herself muttering under her breath as she searches the shelves for something her cats won't turn their noses up to.

"I'm clearly not the only one wondering what their kittens will eat,” says Bishop, 51, who lives in Penfield, New York. “I've shared smiles — under masks — with other shoppers talking to themselves in the cat food aisle."

'Customers are frustrated'
Chris Anthony, manager at Country Harvest Family Market in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, says his supplier sent an email in February stating that pet food producers Nestlé Purina and J.M. Smucker Co. were experiencing COVID-19-related supply issues. Supplies — including aluminum packaging — were scarce and the companies no longer could meet demand, a situation expected to last at least until May.

"One delivery we'll get some Fancy Feast and various flavors, and the next delivery we don't get anything,” Anthony says. “Our customers are frustrated. They're tired of the whole thing."

The United Kingdom is also dealing with a national shortage, with one supplier now rationing merchandise to be sure as many pets as possible can be fed.

Lots of reasons for shortage
Natural pet food manufacturer Freshpet has reported manufacturing shutdowns due to severe winter storms. Other companies are running into problems with labor, machinery and packaging.

"There's so much that goes into making a product, and if there's a break in any part of that process, it causes a problem,” Anthony says. “Increased demand doesn't help, either."

PetSmart attributes its shortages of wet food, both in stores and online, to people adding pets to their families throughout the pandemic.

"We are committed to doing all we can to help pet parents feed and care for their pets, and are actively working with our manufacturing and shipping partners to ensure supply is increased to better meet the current demand,” says Erin Gray, PetSmart's senior manager of corporate communications.

The same diet is necessary for some
For Frosty, a rescue cat who has belonged to Barbara Hengstenberg and her husband, Bill, for seven years now, eating the same diet is important for his severe gastrointestinal issues.

Hengstenberg, 59, said she was nervous when she couldn't find Frosty's preferred 9 Lives Meaty Paté Super Supper canned food. Luckily, he weathered a couple of days with a substitute brand better than expected. Hengstenberg, of Bear Creek, North Carolina, now stocks up on his usual fare on the rare occasions she finds it. (He eats in his own room, built specifically for him with a tiled alcove for the litter box, wooden cabinets and counters, and cat-themed artwork.)

"We don't have children, so our pets have always been very, very special to us,” she says.

A long search ends successfully
Not everyone is noticing the scarcity.

"I've seen it on the internet, but we've got cat food out the wazoo here,” says one clerk at Nashville Pet Products in Nashville, Tennessee.

But for those like David Saltz, 49, of Auburn, Massachusetts, searching for Fancy Feast's Classic Tender Beef Paté has been a tall order. He has two cats, and the older one, Tiger, is “very picky.” In the beginning of his search he scoured Google and every possible brick-and-mortar store — from pet stores to big-box and dollar stores — within 50 miles, all with no luck.

"I tried literally every other variety of soft canned cat food in the store — including a few cans of some way overpriced, niche, microbrew, small-batch, all-natural, wild-animal-approved, non-GMO, grass-fed (did I mention ridiculously overpriced?) canned food,” Saltz says. “Almost all were turned down. Only occasionally would she eat a bit of a particular flavor, and I would go buy more of that kind, but she was having none of it."

Saltz even posted a plea on Reddit. When someone in the thread noted that Chewy.com had the food back in stock, he immediately ordered a case. The next day, when he went back to the site to order more, it was sold out again.

Finally, a few weeks ago, Saltz found the favored Fancy Feast on Amazon. He ordered two cases and signed up for automatic deliveries every two weeks. He also set up an alert on Chewy.com.

"Tiger is happy again,” he says.

Robin L. Flanigan is a contributing writer who covers mental health, education and human-interest stories for several national publications. A former reporter for several daily newspapers, her work has also appeared in People, USA Today and Education Week. She is the author of the children's book M is for Mindful.

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How to get your cat to walk on a leash
 

Goldhedge

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What a catastrophe...

Finicky felines given the choice between starving vs 'feasting' will always choose eating over starvation.
 

Son of Gloin

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I have a Kitty. She wandered into my garage, about midnight on a very cold January night, obviously starving, a little over four years ago. I make my cat’s food. She is a carnivore, therefore she gets meat (Beef, pork, chicken, turkey or fish), mixed with a superfood formula I buy from amazon that consists of freeze dried beef organs, blood, pulverized bone and muscle meat, all mixed with a little canned root vegetables, which are easy to digest. She and my two Australian Shepherd’s thrive on this stuff and it’s not much more expensive than the crap you buy in a can or a bag, even. It just takes some time to prepare. These stupid people need to rub a couple of brain cells together and get less lazy and fix their issues.
 

dacrunch

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I have a Kitty. She wandered into my garage, about midnight on a very cold January night, obviously starving, a little over four years ago. I make my cat’s food. She is a carnivore, therefore she gets meat (Beef, pork, chicken, turkey or fish), mixed with a superfood formula I buy from amazon that consists of freeze dried beef organs, blood, pulverized bone and muscle meat, all mixed with a little canned root vegetables, which are easy to digest. She and my two Australian Shepherd’s thrive on this stuff and it’s not much more expensive than the crap you buy in a can or a bag, even. It just takes some time to prepare. These stupid people need to rub a couple of brain cells together and get less lazy and fix their issues.

If you want to lower the cost - I had a friend who mixed 50% cooked rice with boiled carrots in his home-made meat-based dog food - The dog was fine & didn't seem to complain... Big Great Pyrenees Shepherd... Real sweet huggable dog... 3 feet tall on all fours...

Great-Pyrenees-guard-dog-1150x700.jpg
 
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Son of Gloin

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If you want to lower the cost - I had a friend who mixed 50% cooked rice with boiled carrots in his home-made meat-based dog food - The dog was fine & didn't seem to complain... Big Great Pyrenees Shepherd... Real sweet huggable dog... 3 feet tall on all fours...

Great-Pyrenees-guard-dog-1150x700.jpg
Thanks dacrunch. If money ever gets tight, I might go that route. Right now, I’m actually thinking of upping my game a bit by adding in some chopped up hard boiled eggs. There’s a pile of nutrition in eggs, including protein, high quality fats, plus vitamins and minerals and come to think of it, doing this might actually reduce my costs a little bit, because eggs are still relatively cheap, compared to meat. Some people actually crush up the egg shells, too and add them in for mineral content.
 

coopersmith

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Each of our dogs gets 2 hard boiled eggs everyday. yes, we just crush em up, shells and all. between eggs, table scraps, and rabbits and packrats I trap, they are very well fed. Some days they wont touch their dry dog food, its the last option.
 

specsaregood

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What a catastrophe...
Finicky felines given the choice between starving vs 'feasting' will always choose eating over starvation.
Whenever our cat tries that shit on me, I tell him to shut the hell up and eat it or go hungry. He always ends up eating it.
 

Buck

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from well-known brands like Fancy Feast, Friskies and 9 Lives
LOL

board room phrases recently used...

"price increases on the way...let's just make up some shit and spread it around..."

"we'll sell through our old inventory really quick if they name our brand in the article..."

"suckers..."
 

Buck

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Whenever our cat tries that shit on me, I tell him to shut the hell up and eat it or go hungry. He always ends up eating it.
mine will whorf some of it up, in front of me...then i pick it up, yell at him as i'm throwing it into the pile of dirt in the yard...an hour later, he's eating this same whorfed food that i just threw in the dirt pile

cat's ain't that bright...
 

Ensoniq

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I’m having more trouble getting those 35# buckets of litter

Fancy feast by the case from chewy, in stock bought seven cases yesterday
 

Avalon

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What a catastrophe...

Finicky felines given the choice between starving vs 'feasting' will always choose eating over starvation.
Hey, don't hating on the poor kitty cats. My cat needs his pate.
 

Casey Jones

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mine will whorf some of it up, in front of me...then i pick it up, yell at him as i'm throwing it into the pile of dirt in the yard...an hour later, he's eating this same whorfed food that i just threw in the dirt pile

cat's ain't that bright...
Might be temperature.

As noted, cats aren't bright. Best to think of them as "furniture" - house decoration. They look beautiful; and they're fun to watch. So is the Boston Dynamics robot-dog fun to watch.

But cats have an instinctive desire for food at the temperature of fresh kill. Refrigerated, they'll reject it. Room temperature, they don't like it. And too hot, they'll pass on.

Get it warm, like something they just killed, and they'll gobble it up. If they're hungry, they'll also go for decomposing stuff, although they're not by nature scavengers.

But, to the topic...this is part of the "Have Nothing, Be Happy" new policy of the USSA division of GlobalGuv. You will have no PETS. Pets are for RICH people, not you Little People.
 

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Avalon

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I’m having more trouble getting those 35# buckets of litter

Fancy feast by the case from chewy, in stock bought seven cases yesterday

Let them eat rodents!
Let them eat rodents!
I don't want to brag but my cat is an amazing hunter. He was a stray about 8 months old who lived outside during an ice storm and kept himself feed for a month during that wretched weather. I think he was living in one of our sheds. He waited for my 8 year old granddaughter to visit and then came out of hiding and did the pitiful meow, kitty, kitty thing to her. She feel for it, I heard her tell him "we will love you and feed you and keep you forever". That was three years ago and he is now my best buddy. He is an indoor outdoor cat and his list of kills is quite impressive. Assorted, squirrels, birds, lizards, tons of moles, sadly some bunnies. His most impressive kills and presents he brought me included a 6 inch wharf rat and two black snakes. One of the snakes was 3 ft long and did bite him. I have told him when TSHTF he might have to keep me feed.
 

Avalon

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But, to the topic...this is part of the "Have Nothing, Be Happy" new policy of the USSA division of GlobalGuv. You will have no PETS. Pets are for RICH people, not you Little People.
when people can not own pets it might wake the dead brains up. That might actually do it but it will be too late.
 

Cigarlover

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I have 2 cats. they both hunt. One can take down squirrels. The other sticks to birds and chipmunks mostly.
 

DodgebyDave

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I thought that cats were food?
 

Avalon

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I’m having more trouble getting those 35# buckets of litter

Fancy feast by the case from chewy, in stock bought seven cases yesterday
I think you bought them out..lol Ordering now,
 

Son of Gloin

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...He waited for my 8 year old granddaughter to visit and then came out of hiding and did the pitiful meow, kitty, kitty thing to her. She feel for it, I heard her tell him "we will love you and feed you and keep you forever". That was three years ago and he is now my best buddy. ...
They are really good at that, aren’t they? That and more. When my cat showed up in the middle of the night, I didn’t even really let her in. I heard her meowing out in the garage and opened up the kitchen garage door and she just ran in the house. No permission asked or granted. Little stinker. My first thought, being a basically compassionate guy, was taking care of her, but finding her a permanent home, which I did try to do for a few days, because I’m horribly allergic to cats. But, about three days in, she was in my lap on her back and I was scratching her chest and neck and she wrapped her paws around my wrist and hand and hugged at me. I looked at my wife and said, “You know, I’m not allergic to this cat. We ought to keep her.” Yep, totally played, there.

She’s my little buddy though. Follows me everywhere around the house, like a puppy, sleeps on my lap, while I’m reading. She’s really sweet natured and comical as hell, too. I trained her to not wake me up in the middle of the night for food and she knows she’s not allowed on food prep areas in the kitchen, so she obviously has a couple of brain cells to rub together. Otherwise, she’s spoiled.
 

Avalon

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They are really good at that, aren’t they? That and more. When my cat showed up in the middle of the night, I didn’t even really let her in. I heard her meowing out in the garage and opened up the kitchen garage door and she just ran in the house. No permission asked or granted. Little stinker. My first thought, being a basically compassionate guy, was taking care of her, but finding her a permanent home, which I did try to do for a few days, because I’m horribly allergic to cats. But, about three days in, she was in my lap on her back and I was scratching her chest and neck and she wrapped her paws around my wrist and hand and hugged at me. I looked at my wife and said, “You know, I’m not allergic to this cat. We ought to keep her.” Yep, totally played, there.

She’s my little buddy though. Follows me everywhere around the house, like a puppy, sleeps on my lap, while I’m reading. She’s really sweet natured and comical as hell, too. I trained her to not wake me up in the middle of the night for food and she knows she’s not allowed on food prep areas in the kitchen, so she obviously has a couple of brain cells to rub together. Otherwise, she’s spoiled.
:laughing: Lets face it , they own us
 

southfork

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Each of our dogs gets 2 hard boiled eggs everyday. yes, we just crush em up, shells and all. between eggs, table scraps, and rabbits and packrats I trap, they are very well fed. Some days they wont touch their dry dog food, its the last option.

Love hard boiled eggs, hate peeling them though something different about them from the 50s and up
 

Son of Gloin

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:laughing: Lets face it , they own us
Yeah, I joke around with my wife about kitty’s thought processes: “Just think! Not long ago I was a poor, homeless kitty with nothing to eat. Now, I own a whole house, I have the best food and two human servants and two bodyguard doggies.”
 

specsaregood

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Yeah, I joke around with my wife about kitty’s thought processes: “Just think! Not long ago I was a poor, homeless kitty with nothing to eat. Now, I own a whole house, I have the best food and two human servants and two bodyguard doggies.”
Sheit, our cat is a judo master. He has been sparring with the bodyguard dogs his entire life. Even now that they both out weigh him by 3x-4x he will randomly jump out with his paws wide, grasp on, throw them to the ground, then go for the throat or run away depending on his mood. They have no takedown defense for him. He is fully part of the pack too; when the dogs start barking at something, he'll run out and growl with them. Ever heard a cat growl? It is weird.
 

Avalon

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They are really good at that, aren’t they? That and more. When my cat showed up in the middle of the night, I didn’t even really let her in. I heard her meowing out in the garage and opened up the kitchen garage door and she just ran in the house. No permission asked or granted. Little stinker. My first thought, being a basically compassionate guy, was taking care of her, but finding her a permanent home, which I did try to do for a few days, because I’m horribly allergic to cats. But, about three days in, she was in my lap on her back and I was scratching her chest and neck and she wrapped her paws around my wrist and hand and hugged at me. I looked at my wife and said, “You know, I’m not allergic to this cat. We ought to keep her.” Yep, totally played, there.

She’s my little buddy though. Follows me everywhere around the house, like a puppy, sleeps on my lap, while I’m reading. She’s really sweet natured and comical as hell, too. I trained her to not wake me up in the middle of the night for food and she knows she’s not allowed on food prep areas in the kitchen, so she obviously has a couple of brain cells to rub together. Otherwise, she’s spoiled.
:laughing: Lets face it , they own us
Yeah, I joke around with my wife about kitty’s thought processes: “Just think! Not long ago I was a poor, homeless kitty with nothing to eat. Now, I own a whole house, I have the best food and two human servants and two bodyguard doggies.”
LOL.... ain't it the truth. I have remind my cat of his previous life on occasion when he gets too big for his britches but he looks unimpressed.
 

Avalon

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Sheit, our cat is a judo master. He has been sparring with the bodyguard dogs his entire life. Even now that they both out weigh him by 3x-4x he will randomly jump out with his paws wide, grasp on, throw them to the ground, then go for the throat or run away depending on his mood. They have no takedown defense for him. He is fully part of the pack too; when the dogs start barking at something, he'll run out and growl with them. Ever heard a cat growl? It is weird.
I was both a Vet Tech and taught dog obedience classes for 12 year. I dealt with a lot of biting animals in both jobs and never got bite because I know how to get out of the way. That was until I meet Angel . Angel was a pretty ,white fluffy cat who came into get spayed at the Vet. She tried to escape her cage and I made the mistake of holding on. She tore me up. Bite my fingers to the bone. I had cellulitis up my arm by the next day. Never, never f@ck with a cat.
 

Avalon

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this is what my Food Lion looked like.
182695619_216785666568880_1068349925514781412_n.jpg
 

Son of Gloin

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Avalon

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Holy crap! You have a whole herd of cats!
LOL... I see your kitties get the high dollar stuff.. Are they siblings? Did you adopt a whole litter? I bought about 3 months worth of food. My little guy eats a can a day and then some dry urinary formula and I didn't want to risk them not having that in stock.
 

Ensoniq

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LOL... I see your kitties get the high dollar stuff.. Are they siblings? Did you adopt a whole litter? I bought about 3 months worth of food. My little guy eats a can a day and then some dry urinary formula and I didn't want to risk them not having that in stock.

Chewy has tons of canned food in stock but yes I keep lots of spare food for the people and animals just in case.

The mother stray had them on the porch in the winter and I ended up buying one of those dog houses that comes with the contact activated heater pad. So they all hung out there and had cover from the snow/cold, until I let them all in. We’ve always rescued as many as we could.
 

Avalon

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Chewy has tons of canned food in stock but yes I keep lots of spare food for the people and animals just in case.

The mother stray had them on the porch in the winter and I ended up buying one of those dog houses that comes with the contact activated heater pad. So they all hung out there and had cover from the snow/cold, until I let them all in. We’ve always rescued as many as we could.
Isn't funny how these stray cats start as not coming in the house. Before you know it they let you know when you can come in :) I have always thought these homeless critters know what house to go to. Its like an invisible sign. That's how I ended up with an Emu. I looked in my backyard one day and there was an Emu standing there. We will never know how it got there. I called animal control and they said they could come get it but would have to break its legs to get it in the truck. So we had a pet Emu for years. It was nice of you guys to give a whole litter a home .
 

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Holy crap! You have a whole herd of cats!
I got 6 of the bastards. I have noticed the shortage. Its more serious then you might know. They aim to starve our pets along with us. Bad for the climet they think. I have preps for the cats. Cheap huge dollar cans of junk meat food and dry food in storage. Cannot afford the good stuff but for weekley normal feeding.
 

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My cat gets dry food and an occasional treat of wet food. Her preference is "LIVE" food. Once every couple of months she's caught a mouse or vole in our old house. Trouble is, she likes to play with her food and she had a few opportunities go by as the rodent made it's escape under the refrigerator or such-like. But the cat does learn. Now if she catches the critter she takes it to our bathroom where it can't easily escape. What follows is a scene out the Bates Motel. I've walked into the bathroom more then once to find the floor streaked with blood and a mangled corpse. I'm amazed at just how much blood is in a critter the size of my thumb.
 

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My cat gets dry food and an occasional treat of wet food. Her preference is "LIVE" food. Once every couple of months she's caught a mouse or vole in our old house. Trouble is, she likes to play with her food and she had a few opportunities go by as the rodent made it's escape under the refrigerator or such-like. But the cat does learn. Now if she catches the critter she takes it to our bathroom where it can't easily escape. What follows is a scene out the Bates Motel. I've walked into the bathroom more then once to find the floor streaked with blood and a mangled corpse. I'm amazed at just how much blood is in a critter the size of my thumb.
I know, we have a cat door so my kitty brings in presents all the time. He has let two snakes lose in the house along with various lizards and voles. The worse was when my granddaughter and I came home to a partly skinned dismembered squirrel. There was little squirrel arms and a squirrel head awaiting us along with a skinned tail on the body. I have tried to explain to him he is creating bad karma but he just looks at me unimpressed.
 

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I got 6 of the bastards. I have noticed the shortage. Its more serious then you might know. They aim to starve our pets along with us. Bad for the climet they think. I have preps for the cats. Cheap huge dollar cans of junk meat food and dry food in storage. Cannot afford the good stuff but for weekley normal feeding.

Awesome - good for you taking care of that many. My wife doesn’t allow me to reveal the number in my house ;). Something about zoning, I tune it out ;)

You can get the cheap bulk tuna at Costco in a pinch
 

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Awesome - good for you taking care of that many. My wife doesn’t allow me to reveal the number in my house ;). Something about zoning, I tune it out ;)

You can get the cheap bulk tuna at Costco in a pinch
My cats are weird, I cook them steak or hamburger, tuna and some of them won't eat it or much of it. They are addicted to that fancy feast crack stuff.
 

Avalon

The most courageous act is to think for yourself
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My cats are weird, I cook them steak or hamburger, tuna and some of them won't eat it or much of it. They are addicted to that fancy feast crack stuff.
my cat is like that about those Sweet temptation treats. Im not sure what they put in them but he goes nuts. Its like Kitty crack.