This thread is a couple of years old but it's a good thread, so I'll revive it. As I was washing the bowls for my cats today, I was thinking about how my own care for my cats had changed over the years. As a kid, other than maybe throwing them scraps once in awhile, or squirting milk at them while milking, no one fed the cats. They would eat some of what might be left after the dogs finished eating, but the dogs were mostly fed table scraps too. We lived on a farm, so I imagine there were always mice and moles and stuff around, and that's what the cats were there for anyhow. As I mentioned above, I was the only one who treated that cats like pets, but I didn't treat them like family. When I moved out on my own and got a cat, a lot of things changed by virtue of environment. Since I was living in an apartment, they couldn't be outside cats. Given that there weren't mice running around, I had to feed them, and since their food bowls were in the kitchen, they were washed. Other than maybe hosing the dog bowls out once in a while, I don't think anyone ever washed a dog's bowl at my parents' house. Not that I noticed, anyhow. At first, I fed them the Purina stuff that was in the grocery store. They like it well enough, and it was cheap. However, my cats were old at fifteen or sixteen. When I started paying more attention to what I was feeding them, I started feeding them stuff like Iams, Eukanuba, or Science Diet, thinking I was doing the best that I could do. These were the premium foods that could be found either in the grocery store or veterinarian's office. Nearly every veterinarian still pushes Science Diet because they get a good commission on it, but it's not the best you can do, not by a long shot. It wasn't until I was hired by Blue Buffalo that I learned what cats and dogs needed in order to be truly healthy. When I started feeding them Blue or other premium cat foods, my cats were noticeably healthier, and I hadn't noticed before that they were unhealthy. Then, they started living into their twenties. I have one now who just might make it to thirty. It might be possible to do even better than that, but I don't know. A pet nutritionist told me once that our cats might be healthier yet if we fed them mice, birds, and some of the other critters that they are instinctively inclined to hunt, but that isn't acceptable to most people, so we do the best we can with commercial pet food. My cats generally won't eat raw foods, though, and when I have tried feeding them foods that are 100% meat, which is what a cat's system is built to digest, they prefer having some veggies with it. Now, in the wild, although cats are obligate carnivores, they do get some veggies in their diet from undigested foods found in their victims, so maybe they do need some vegetables. They think they do, anyhow, because they prefer the foods that include various vegetables. Anyhow, most of us don't want our cats to eat mice that they catch somewhere, for fear of disease, and because that's disgusting. We also don't want to buy healthy mice from the pet store to feed to our cats because that might make us want to throw up, and because cats like to play with their food first. So, for most of us, we buy commercial cat foods. I cook meat for my cats sometimes, and they will eat some of it, but they prefer chicken from a cat-food can to real cooked chicken. I don't get that, but most of the meats that I cook for my cats goes to waste.