During cat foodmaking cleanup yesterday, my patient foodmaking partner asked, "So, since I started helping with foodmaking 8 years ago, do you think we've made a ton of food?"
Being math-challenged and because "a ton" sounded like an absurdly high amount, I brushed off the question. But then I got curious. So I decided to calclulate how much cat food I've made since I started this adventure about 10 years ago.
I checked my math about a dozen times (always a good idea for me), and came up with 3,212 pounds. That's well over a ton.
The same Tasin TS-108 grinder I purchased from the One Stop Jerky Shop ten years ago has successfully ground 3,212 pounds of rabbit, turkey, and chicken - including bones. In that time, it's never whined, whimpered, sputtered, or complained. That's one admirable appliance. In those same ten years, I've lost count of the number of times we've had to replace our coffee-maker, our toaster, and heaven knows how many other kitchen tools.
Even more heartening is the feedback I get from website visitors who consistently report that the service from One Stop Jerky Shop could not be better. Customers with a question or who need a replacement part are happily surprised to get speedy, personalized service and answers.
Long-time website visitors and friends know the angst I went through when it came to accepting ads for the site. I tinkered briefly with Google ads but gave up almost as soon as I started when all kinds of advertising for unhealthy cat food started littering the site. The Google ads were lucrative, but had the effect of diluting the core message I wanted this site to convey. The website has never been a money-making venture (understatement), of course, but I've fantasized for years how nice it would be to at least break even on the costs associated with it. I can dream, right?
Amortized over ten years, that $150 grinder has cost $15.00 a year. That's less than 30 cents a week. And it's showing no sign of giving up.
The point of all this? I know that people who are new to the idea of making their own cat food can be a little overwhelmed at the startup costs: a grinder, storage containers, and the initial outlay for vitamins and other dry ingredients. But keep the big picture in mind: if my experience is any indicator, the grinder will serve you and your cats well for a very, very long time.
Do remember: don't wash any of the grinder parts in the dishwasher. If you remember that one easy little rule, my guess is you stand a very good chance of getting as many years out of your grinder as we have.
So this chilly Sunday morning I'm giving a big hearty shout-out to the One Stop Jerky Shop. I'm proud to endorse them.
It's hard to believe that I never calculated this until now, but let's just say that "metrics" are not my thing. A very nice site visitor recently asked me, "How much food fits into the pint-sized jars you use and how long will that last?" and I said, "Um, err . . . let me get back to you on that."
A single batch based on the recipe with bone that I use to make cat food makes a wee bit over 2 kg (4.4 pounds) of food. How long that lasts is entirely dependent on your cat.
In truth, I usually make about a triple-sized batch. At least.
If you're using the super-nifty pint-sized can-or-freeze jars to store the food you make (see Supplies page too), each jar holds about 400 grams of food. I know because I just weighed it out this morning and I am so wicked proud of myself for remembering to do that that I'm actually blogging it.
That means that if you make a single-sized batch (2 kg), you will need about five or six jars to store the food.
Those six-ish jars should feed one average healthy adult cat for about 12-14 days. Please understand that every cat's appetite, needs, activity level, body size, and moods are different so your mileage may vary. A petite 7 pound cat will require less food (most likely) than an 18-pound male Maine Coon cat. And even body size isn't the only indicator for judging how much a cat will need to eat each day. Hop on over to the the FAQ page for more on how much to feed your cat. (Spoiler alert: I really don't know, but I can give you a ballpark guesstimate.)