Written By: Jiawen, the mom of “@thepurrpawsbros”

Introduction to Jiawen

Hi there! Many people may know us and others maybe new to knowing us, but we are thepurrpawsbros also known as thepowerpuffboys (Milo, Leo and Pablo). This month we wanted to share our story onto Catfluence blog to talk a little bit about the growth and love we should truly have for our pets and the shared feelings that builds and creates as our pets grow and bond with us throughout our lives.

But before I jump into that, I would like to do a small little self-introduction (the mom) of whose behind thepurrpawsbros. So my name is Jiawen (as some know me already for those who follow us) and I live in Toronto, On. If one wonders what made me get into the concern or interest in the wellbeing of my cats, my answer to that is I’ve ALWAYS loved animals so it doesn’t just lay within cats.

However, my career path did not head towards that way for many reasons because my love and passion is also driven by art and design. So I work in the financial industry, and I’m a senior digital designer, and I’m also an entrepreneur for my own side business where I help companies and small business brand their brands through brand development and execution. All that to me with the mix of loving animals, art, and design I see that as a cohesive balance in life where it creates a melody and balance in finding the worth and value to keep moving forward and building inspiration.

Introduction to @thepurrpawsbros

Now enough about me, as a kick-off, I think I would like to give a little bit of an introduction to my kitties.

Milo he is a black and white cat who just turned 10 (whose a mix of domestic shorthair and snowshoe cat) also known as tuxedo cat. My eldest one is named Leo and he’s going to turn 12 soon! (yes he’s pretty much hitting into his late senior years) and he is a mix of domestic shorthair, European shorthair, and bengal cat all together) which makes him extremely vocal and loud when he shouldn’t need to be! Last but not least my newsiest little addition that came into the family during the pandemic (and you would assume he is a pandemic kitty, BUT he isn’t!) his name is Pablo and he JUST turned 2 this year (and he is a mix of Abyssinian cat, Bengal cat and domestic short hair cat all together!),

Now you may ask “how can you know what mixed breed a cat has by just looking at them?” well here’s how. I did spend some money in doing a DNA test for them with BasePaws (and for those who don’t know they are a cat-kit that tells you the overview of what your cat shares in genetics as well as the breed of which runs in the DNA). This would help us as owners know what underlying conditional health they CAN or MAY have as awareness to ourselves so we aren’t just guessing our cat’s health.

Love, Grow, Bond With, & Cherish Our Pets

Now that you know the 3 bros, maybe now is the time where I should start to share a bit about what I mean by learning to love, grow, bond and cherish with our pets.

For me to start it off here is what I would like you to ask yourself: Do you tend to cry when an animal dies? Do you get angry when you hear about a dog dying in a hot car, yet scroll by that story of the woman who died in a car accident? If so, you’re not alone. The reason why we ALL want to care and love for our pets (whether it’s cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, etc….) is because we all have that strong empathy among us and that’s a very complex emotion for us as humans.

But here is something that you may even ask more, why is it so easy to generate empathy for suffering animals rather than having that large contributor to a growing lack of empathy for others?

This is because we (as pet parents) have that acquired natural affection in us that we feel for our pets like how it would feel for our own children. We impulsively want to care for them, and desire to help them because they are unable to easily help themselves. So if we take that kind of empathy, feeling, and love that we have towards them and allow ourselves to just observe the things they are in need of, I think emotionally and mentally our pets (cats or dogs) will start to grow this unconditional love towards us.

Importance of Cat Nutrition

That being said this kind of unconditional love and empathy we have towards them should also be shown towards the care we give them from the food we provide and feed them.

Any parent can’t simply just say you love them unconditionally, have so much anxiety and feeling towards them, but choose not to give our children the best possible healthiest food so that they can grow up to be healthy but instead just feed them with junk food, McDonald’s, fast food and take out, I’m sure if you were to ask yourself that, you wouldn’t do that right?

This same kind of love and unconditional love should also be applied to our furbabies. Whether one has the budget or not (depending on the amount), try to make the best of it by seeing what works within your budget. For me, the transition HAD to be necessary after realizing the health diagnostic that was done on Leo and this took me and my partner to spend around $600+ for us to realize that we HAD to take their food consumption seriously. I was also once a pet mama that didn’t know much better, but to feed our furbabies those food brands you’d find on the shelf.

I also did fall into the trap of buying kibbles that I saw on commercials like Go Solutions, and Blues thinking they were doing all the good to help our pets. This is where I started to grow with them, when I realized cheaping out on food and not give the best they are supposed to consume or spending that money towards the vet where we would be dictated in how we should take care of our furbabies can result in us spending beyond $600 for his future health (that would mean medication, examination, consultation etc.).

So here are some suggestions I would like to give to all FUR parents out there (whether it’s small or big pets you have) please do always ask questions to those brands that you are purchasing whether they are commercial brands you find on the shelf or those brands you find in a boutique pet store. Always see what is beneficial to your pets and what they are SUPPOSED to eat rather than what they fill inside (wet or kibble) the ingredients. If you look at the back of the ingredients in most of the brand products you buy, almost half of those ingredients you have no clue what they are or what it even benefits to our pets.

Cat Food Brands

Here are some cat food brands that I personally know I would not purchase (because I have done my research with them) would be Purina (because they contain grain example corn gluten meal that most cats are allergic to), Royal Canin (most of their kibbles contains a lot of carbohydrates which is not good because cats do need meaty food and fatty acids), Blue Buffalo – so I thought they were REALLY good in the beginning until I started to understand what it contains (it contains propylene glycol, Carrageenan, which can lead to diseases and most of it doesn’t smell that good and it doesn’t have much gravy which cats need at least 65% moisture to keep them hydrated) and the last few which I don’t think I need to explain much on would be Iams and Whiskas (this would include temptations as their treat brand).

The BEST alternatives to these that suites the best for our feline friends would be Raw foods. If you have heard all the bad about it that’s because in most of the industrial commercial cat food, they HAVE to profit from these kibbles, but cats are true domestic carnivores meaning MOST of what they eat needs to be 100% meat! So, for cats in particular, a switch from a highly processed, carbohydrate-heavy food, to a raw, species-appropriate, meat-based diet without fruits and vegetables, will truly change their health and ultimately their life.

My cats now live on such a balanced diet that has almost close to 0 health issues all due to giving them raw food (from Hungry Hunter) and supplements that are herbal natural droplets (by Pet Wellbeing) and canned food if they would STILL like to have a change in it from (Oven-Baked Traditions) as well as freeze-dried food that we use on top of raw food (from Instinct). These are the brands that make up the BEST health for my cats and this is what keeps me from having a headache about whether they are healthy or not.

If you live in Canada and you are looking for the best brand for Raw food I would say Hungry Hunter has the best Ingredients AND the best variety between flavour of raw food as well as raw food treats (including quail eggs and goat milk). They do also carry amazing supplements such as Progut, Herring Oil, Pumpkin Power and etc at most PetSmart locations and you can also find them at Loblaws and Sobeys. There are raw food ranges for both cat and dog parents so check them out at: hungryhunter.ca

To find out more information about feline and raw food Big Country Raw has an amazing article explaining why switching our cats to raw should be important: https://bigcountryraw.ca/cats-true-domestic-carnivores/