Is Anyone Else Struggling to Get Enough Catfood with the Current Supply Shortages we are Encountering?

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SweetLittleKitty

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Last week, I visited the Pet Store I normally buy cat food from. In normal times, it was a very well stocked National chain Pet Store. However, last week it looked like this.
View attachment 401704
I also went to BJ's Wholesale (which is very much like a Costco's). The pet food aisle was completely empty of nearly all the canned wet food, I had to buy Meow Mix that comes in cups which goes way too quick.

I feed a lot of outdoor cats, so I rely on the cheaper cat food like Friskies and Nine Lives. All the supermarkets by me are barely stocked with this food anymore. I am getting worried. I am on a tight budget and I have had another cat feeder dump her cats on me.😕 I have confronted her in the past and we had a major falling out. Now I have to worry that at any time she will dump the rest of her cats on me.😱 This is a stressful situation to begin with. The food shortages is the latest challenge to deal with.

I like to ask the members her on TCS, especially those who have a lot of cats to feed whether they are your cats or you take care of community cats. How has the shortages been in your area? Is it mostly the cheaper cat food that is in short supply or have you noticed other brands? I haven't notice a problem with the dry food yet, but is their a shortage of dry cat food in your area?

What have you been doing to deal with these shortage problems? Have you been buying more online? Have you been buying tuna or sardines, or are using something else as a subitute for cat food? How has the kitties you feed been handling the changes?


I also like to discuss winter feeding of outdoor cats. I am very worried over this and need to figure out how to stretch things out. I am feeding a lot more cats than last year and to say it is a challenge is putting it mildly.

I would like to hear from you. Thank you in advance for taking the time to reply to this thread. 🙂
Hello. This is a late response to your post, but I have noticed a cat food shortage in my area for a long time during Covid, and gradually getting worse. (I am responding to this post December 12, 2021). Where I live in Northern California, the Humane Society has provided me with a LOT of wet food- at least half a month's wet and dry cat food supply. They have a feral cat food program when someone participates in a feral cat TNR. I am caring for eight ferals (it was nine, but one died). This last time they brought me wet cat food there was hardly any wet food. They might also supplement people whose cats are already spayed/neutered. I don't know but it is worth giving your local Humane Society a call. You can look your County up on line and see if they have a cat food pantry. I would Google "cat food pantry [YOUR COUNTY, STATE]." I often supplement their diet with "human food" like mackerel, canned salmon, cooked whole chicken, and sometimes tuna. They do like these things occassionally, but if I do it two days in a row they would start wasting it and wanting regular cat food.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure the shortage has something to do with the shipping containers. There is a problem with them right not. I don't know the correct terminology but if you do a little digging you can find out about the shipping container problem. It is affecting many items besides cat food. Good luck to you, and thank you for caring for these cats.
 

SweetLittleKitty

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Also, if you feed outdoor cats on a schedule every day as many experts recommend, you can moisten that dry food with water and stir to soften and make a gravy. Some cats love that. As long as they eat it all up, it's okay to do that.
This is a great idea. I am going to make some right now because I am out of wet food (yes, we have a shortage in our area). I am going to mix equal parts water and dry food (Hill's Science Digestive Care, because I have a ton of that) and when it is of gravy texture I am going to mix in some cooked ground turkey I have. Ground turkey is very inexpensive (it's great for spaghetti!). When I need to, I supplement human food, human meats, like deli turkey, or canned salmon (all of this can get pretty expensive) but although they like human food they will only eat it a couple days and then they want canned food. My area in Northern California was evacuated in August due to a massive fire called the Caldor Fire. I did not evacuate. I stayed behind to care for the cats, which were five three month old kittens and their parents. All the stores were closed. But my neighbor had evacuated without taking his pet rats and he let me use the meat in his freezer in exchange for feeding his rats. So for two and a half weeks my feral colony ate human food, and occasionally I was able to risk going out to the one and only gas station that remained open for the fire fighting crews, and I was able to get some cat food then. One time police stopped me (this town was swarming with police from all over the State) and gave me a ride all the way up to the gas station 2 miles away (I do not have a car) and gave me a ride home!
 

SweetLittleKitty

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Thank you V vince , DreamerRose DreamerRose W Willowy @Antonio65 @tarasgirl06 @danteshuman @Paul9856 @margecat @maggie101 @nartyteek and everyone else for your input. I really appreciate it. I hope others who come across this thread finds helpful tips that they can put to use. It really helps to be resourceful and think outside of the box, especially when you have many mouths to feed and winter being around the corner. I am definitely going to try a lot of these tips. I very much like the Gizzard and broth idea. The tuna shavings ( Benito Flakes) Is a good Topper to entice the kitties to eat food they turn there noses up at. It sort of funny, because these kitties can be just as fussy as indoor cats. If they ate everything indiscriminately, it would make feeding them so much easier. I also give some of the kitties Churrus from time to time.

I am thinking things through. Thanks for the tips. Don't hesitate to leave any more tips or to share more of your experience with the cat food shortages. I live in the North East and I couldn't believe how empty the shelves were in my supermarket and local BJ's . It was a shock. I hope things gets back to normal soon. 🙂
I also wanted to add (I have made a few posts here) that cats will eat almost anything that has a little melted butter poured on top.
 

SweetLittleKitty

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My ferals hate pate as well. It is a mystery to me who eats it, as someplace on the planet some cats must like it, but I have never had one who did. Right now I have two cases of it and I am putting it out regardless.

Petsmart had more stock today in the FF and Friskies area but you had to take what they had. So grilled, for example, was available but possibly not in your cat's favorite flavor. Some cats respond to textures, so that might not be the worst thing.

My Chewy order did arrive today in its entirety, fortunately. Privately owned pet store was not well stocked which means that people have been going in and buying those premium foods at a hugely inflated price....another comment on what is going on.
I used to give my cats the chunks and filets, etc., with gravy. Eventually they started licking only the gravy and I could not figure out why. Then the drain on my sink was clogged up with the meat residue, and when I stuck my hand in the water to get it out, I realized those chunks and filets and shreds are like RUBBER so I started feeding them pate and they were fine with it.
 

SweetLittleKitty

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Who's with us??? :fuming: 🤬 There are few things lower than those.
I'm with you. The extortionists pay for it by having motor vehicles regulate the emissions that are allowed in the mass production of motor vehicles, and they will pay for it more in the future. California is making the extortionists start donating a portion of grocery store excess food to local food banks instead of throwing it out, as another example. Many, many years ago I complained when the dumpsters behind a local grocery store were over-flowing with the food they wasted.
 
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Whenallhellbreakslose

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Hello. This is a late response to your post, but I have noticed a cat food shortage in my area for a long time during Covid, and gradually getting worse. (I am responding to this post December 12, 2021). Where I live in Northern California, the Humane Society has provided me with a LOT of wet food- at least half a month's wet and dry cat food supply. They have a feral cat food program when someone participates in a feral cat TNR. I am caring for eight ferals (it was nine, but one died). This last time they brought me wet cat food there was hardly any wet food. They might also supplement people whose cats are already spayed/neutered. I don't know but it is worth giving your local Humane Society a call. You can look your County up on line and see if they have a cat food pantry. I would Google "cat food pantry [YOUR COUNTY, STATE]." I often supplement their diet with "human food" like mackerel, canned salmon, cooked whole chicken, and sometimes tuna. They do like these things occassionally, but if I do it two days in a row they would start wasting it and wanting regular cat food.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure the shortage has something to do with the shipping containers. There is a problem with them right not. I don't know the correct terminology but if you do a little digging you can find out about the shipping container problem. It is affecting many items besides cat food. Good luck to you, and thank you for caring for these cats.
Thank you for visiting this thread and posting replies. Yes, this whole supply shortage situation has to do with the shipping container mess in Port of LA. It is affecting mostly the cheaper cat food brands (although I heard from people who couldn't get a hold of some premium brands). Also, many other items were and still are affected. I posted an article in this thread about what other goods are affected by the shortages.

So sorry to hear that you are running very low on cat food and that the Humane Society that was helping you by providing you with canned cat food are also experiencing the supply shortage problems. That sounds like a very good program the Humane Society had going. I am on the East coast. Their is a major organization that once a year in the Fall does a food, Straw, and sometimes even Emergency Winter Shelters give away. But it is first come, first serve and everything gets taken very quickly. I don't think the Humane Society has the same program you mentioned out here. The ASPCA here does free TNR, but nothing in regards to food programs. I feed 12-15 cats at the front of my house and 3 in the back. You got yourself a bunch as well. Sorry to hear one kitty passed away. It is never easy when one goes. They all leave paw prints on our hearts.

Also, so sorry that Caldor fire hit in the area you live. That was very brave of you to stay behind to take care of the kitties and even your neighbor's rats. TG you and the kitties got through that okay. I seen pics of that fire. So sad to see how destructive these fires are getting out in CA. Every area has it's problems. I am very saddened about those killer tornados in KY and surrounding states. Mother nature can be very unpredictable and dangerous.

I put up this post because things were looking very grim. I was going to store to store and seeing bare shelves in the pet food aisle. I wanted a thread that others would find helpful. In these precarious times we need to be very resourceful. If we can't get cat food, then we will find something the cats could eat. Thanks for the tips and glad you found a few posted on this thread helpful.

Keep us updated if things are easing up in your area. So far, knock on wood, it hasn't been so bad over here lately, but I am staying vigilant . You hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. 🙂
 

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This has been a problem in my area since Nov 2020. Our Target had only a single brand of 3oz cans in small quantity for weeks. Our grocery store had no Friskies for months. Two local store brands are discontinued. Chewy prices have gone way up and I have to constantly change my wet food autoship as they run out of the large boxes I need. Dog food is similar but not as bad as cat overall.
 

Bri5

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Here is what $50 ($49.68) got me at Walmart. This is 1 month for 4 rescues, 3 adults and one 1.5 year old. Another case of "you get what you get", plus inflation.

What they did and did not have:

No brands beyond what you see here and FF.
Only 2 of the 9lives 4 packs.
Only 3 of the Friskies 12 packs (3rd badly damaged).
Only another 10 or so large cans Special Kitty.
No 22oz SK.
No Friskies in 24, 32, or 40 count in any variety.
No other Meow Mix.
Maybe 30 packs total of Sheba.
Only 4 flavors single can Friskies.
Only 7 types FF.
Plenty of Temptations treats.

20211214_142349.jpg
 
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Here is what $50 ($49.68) got me at Walmart. This is 1 month for 4 rescues, 3 adults and one 1.5 year old. Another case of "you get what you get", plus inflation.

What they did and did not have:

No brands beyond what you see here and FF.
Only 2 of the 9lives 4 packs.
Only 3 of the Friskies 12 packs (3rd badly damaged).
Only another 10 or so large cans Special Kitty.
No 22oz SK.
No Friskies in 24, 32, or 40 count in any variety.
No other Meow Mix.
Maybe 30 packs total of Sheba.
Only 4 flavors single can Friskies.
Only 7 types FF.
Plenty of Temptations treats.

View attachment 404348
Thank you Bri5 Bri5 for sharing this. It has been getting very frustrating with the supply shortages and hyperinflation. At the beginning of the pandemic and until the last few months, there were no shortages with cat food where I live. Toilet paper, paper towels, Disinfectant sprays and wipes as well as Antibacterial Soap and Hand Sanitizers were either swiped off the shelves or in very short supply for a chuck of 2020. Sorry that cat food was also affected in your area at that time.

I shop at BJ's Wholesale and it has been impossible to get any case of Friskies. Fancy Feast shows up now and again and 9 Lives seems to be better stocked. The dry food is fine and funny that the dog food is always much better stocked than cat food. I guess on top of people buying for the pet cats. There are alot of people like me who feed outdoor cats. That is probably one of the reasons that cat food is harder hit.

At my pet store which was hard hit some weeks ago. I was able to get 40 cans of Friskies and 7 cans of Friskies on top of a 14 pound bag of Kitten Chow and a 6.3 pound bag of Kitten Chow. All together I spent $56. I live in the North East and where I live isn't cheap, so that isn't too bad in my neck of the woods. I will be going again soon, so I will post her my experience here. My supermarket is not well stocked and out of all the places I shop, they seemed most affected, so I am avoiding shopping there. I go to Walmart once in a while. It was very hard getting the 40 can case of Friskies, but last time they had them and I took 2. If I could get out to Walmart more often and they are decently stocked, I could save more money.

Well, I hope you find some helpful post on this thread. Don't hesitate to post updates. I am keeping my 🤞that the shortages improve and no more hyperinflation. It is absurd how much more I am paying for things than last year, especially cat food.

I wish you the best. You are not alone. Hang in there.🙂
 
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Whenallhellbreakslose

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If I went to Petsmart, that is exactly what I would be able to get of any of the more affordable brands. I have had better luck with Chewy on FF and Friskies.
Thank you for sharing this. It helps that others know they are not alone with their struggle to get enough cat food. I am so happy that so many replied to this thread, reported their experiences, and tried to find ways to keep their kitties fed when the shelves were empty.

Let's all hope things majorly improve after the holidays. 🙂
 

Bri5

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If I went to Petsmart, that is exactly what I would be able to get of any of the more affordable brands. I have had better luck with Chewy on FF and Friskies.
I have been using Chewy for a long time, but have had increasing issues. There is a fulfillment center within 50 minutes of me but they have shipped my last 4 or more orders from 3 states away, which takes 5 days versus next day. Most times, I get a last minute email that they don't have any 40ct Friskies in stock. I need 60 per month. So between ship time, availability in quantity, increased cost, and dented cans, it isn't a win right now. I hope it improves soon. If it was only the slight increase in cost, I'd stick it out.
 

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FYI Pet Supplies Plus has a 25% off curbside promo that automatically applies in checkout - that is, if you can manage to find something in stock! Today’s the last day of the promo. The site was down for online ordering for a good portion of yesterday and today. I snagged a box of a Fancy Feast pate 30 can variety pack - there was only 1 left at my local store. I was there a few weeks ago and the aisles were so empty - I felt bad since there were also so many cats also up for adoption too there - how are new owners going to feed them?
 
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FYI Pet Supplies Plus has a 25% off curbside promo that automatically applies in checkout - that is, if you can manage to find something in stock! Today’s the last day of the promo. The site was down for online ordering for a good portion of yesterday and today. I snagged a box of a Fancy Feast pate 30 can variety pack - there was only 1 left at my local store. I was there a few weeks ago and the aisles were so empty - I felt bad since there were also so many cats also up for adoption too there - how are new owners going to feed them?
Thank you for posting this. It seems you lucked out with snagging that last case of Fancy Feast. I hope you are doing okay overall. I feed alot of out door kitties, so keeping stocked is always on my mind.

Poor babies waiting for their furever homes.🥺 I hope there are people who will still adopt in these precarious times. I pray things get better for everybody.

Thanks again for sharing this. I appreciate it. 🙂
 

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So, I went out running errands, which included a trip to the grocery. Kroger's had a few cat foods on the shelves. I was able to get another 24-pack of Friskies, and it wasn't the last one in the store this morning. Looks like a small stream of food is still managing to get through.

I have been buying what I could, when it was available. The cat food is sort of piling up here, so I guess I'll cut back for a while and leave some for those who really need it.

Now for the shortage of cream cheese...
 

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I saw a middle row filled with Fancy Feast and Friskies at the local Hannaford today. Nothing on the top and bottom but better than nothing. It was mostly grilled and gravy lovers stuff. I think I saw some seafood pates (I guess those aren’t so popular?). I already stocked up the other night so I didn’t get anything.
 

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My last order (last week) from Chewy came in two days. They had the grilled FF back in stock and plenty of Sheba. Stores are skimpy. I'm sticking with Chewy, but I guess it depends on where you live. I'm in a large metropolitan area.
 

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FYI Pet Supplies Plus has a 25% off curbside promo that automatically applies in checkout
Petco has a 20% discount for online order/store pick-up. They don't have the cheaper foods anymore but it could bring some of the pricier foods within financial reach.
Now for the shortage of cream cheese...
Whipping cream too.
 
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