Share your thoughts on the matter

I have to second the raw food thing. My two cats have incredibly glossy coats and white teeth, and one of them is 14 yrs old. Still playing like a kitten with the younger one. I mix raw meat (chicken and beef usually, but venison is their favorite) with a vitamin mix from TC Feline (http://rawmeatcatfood.com/) and have several large pouches of that put by for the future. I have been thinking about TSHTF scenarios for the animals and recently decided to start raising mice (very cheap and easy to feed)in hopes of easing my cats onto eating them instead, on a daily basis. Since cats tend to be picky it might be a daunting experiment, but hey if they get hungry enough, I think they would eat them just fine. :)

For the dog we plan on getting next year, I will also raw feed, but since they are larger, they present more of a problem in a general emergency. My plan is to begin raising rabbits, both to supplement our own diets, but also to serve as a source of raw meat and bones for the dog. It will not be easy, but I believe in fully committing to feeding animals their natural diet. Even the chickens - they are also NOT vegetarian - I feed them meat scraps as well, and am raising worms, meal worms, and later will add black solder fly grubs as well. The idea is to not have to buy very much - to disconnect as far as possible from the Buy Everything economy.

As for cat litter, I found an excellent solution to the horrendous cat litter issue. At first I simply dug up dirt for them to use (free!) and that worked fine, but it was, well, dirty. They tended to track it everywhere and it was difficult to clean the box and it tended to turn to mud when they peed. Then I found a REUSABLE, washable cat litter that works very, very well. It is made from recycled tires, and has a double decker box that allows you to wash the litter instead of changing it. Check it out! http://www.envirokats.com/