Tender Vittles semi-moist cat food is no longer available in North America and not really missed. Semi-moist food, whether for dogs or cats, is the pet equivalent of junk food. It is loaded with sugar and salt. Many cats loved Tender Vittles, but Tender Vittles didn’t often love them back, giving the cats obesity, bad teeth and diarrhea.
The success of Tender Vittles spawned a lot of imitators, including a 9-Lives semi-moist food that one of this writer’s cats seemed addicted to back in the late 1980s. However, the 9-Lives semi-moist food is also no longer available.
A Brief History
Tender Vittles was the first national brand semi-moist cat food in America and perhaps the first cat food stored in convenient pouches. Owners loved the lack of mess and low odor. Tender Vittles was first made by Ralston Purina, but then that company was absorbed into the tentacles of Nestle Foods.
In March of 2007, after the devastating Menu pet foods recall, Nestle decided to stop selling Tender Vittles in America, but still sold the food in Canada until recently. Tender Vittles was one of dozens of brands made by Nestle at the Menu Foods processing plant. But the Tender Vittles line has stopped. Any North American cats who still stubbornly want Tender Vittles have to force their people to feed them people food.
Cats are fickle in their choice of food. Some cats will stick with a half dozen flavors of one brand for all of their lives. Some will only tolerate one brand of food for years and then, for not reason, suddenly loathe it and switch brands. Older cats are more difficult to get to try new foods than kittens. When cats became loyal to Tender Vittles, they could keep this loyalty for years.
If a cat needed to put on weight or needed to be tempted to try and eat after recovering from an illness, then Tender Vittles were quite useful in those instances. But Tender Vittles alone did not lead to a healthy diet. If you look at cat treats like Pounce, then you can’t help but notice their resemblance in feel, smell and texture to Tender Vittles.
Although North American cats are not too happy about loosing Tender Vittles from their diet, their owners and veterinarian’s sure are. Cats are much better off health and nutrition wise by being fed a mixture of wet and dry food. When in doubt, dry food is always best, especially for the teeth. When a cat was fed Tender Vittles, even though they were full, they often did not have enough nutrition to stay at the prime of health. Tender Vittles had a way of going through the cat very quickly.
LoveToKnow.com. “Tender Vittles Cat Food.” http://cats.lovetoknow.com/Tender_Vittles_Cat_Food
Wikipedia. “Tender Vittles.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tender_Vittles
Pet Education: “Dry, Semi-Moist or Canned Food: What is Best?” Katherine Hillestad, DVM. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2244&aid=3328
Author has lived with cats for 20+ years.