Special for-animal versions of traditional Japanese cuisine favorites might have you wanting to try a bite too.

Oden is one of Japan’s favorite winter comfort foods, and several members of our staff have been fighting off the winter chill by stuffing themselves with the traditional mix of stewed vegetables and meats to warm themselves up from the inside over the past few weeks. Our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi, though, has found herself wondering if maybe her pet cats wanted to get in on the oden fun.

As a responsible pet owner, though, Saya knows she shouldn’t be feeding her cats for-humans table food, since it tends to be loaded with far more sodium, sugar, and oil than cats’ bodies can healthily handle. So imagine Saya’s joy when she found that there’s also special oden for cats!

Actually, this variety of oden, sold by Japanese pet supply company Pet Library, is OK for dogs too, but Saya’s two kitties are going to be the lucky recipients today. If it weren’t for the silhouettes of a dog and cat on the box, Saya would have assumed that this was people, not pet, food, as the photo of stewed chicken, konyaku, satsumaage fish cake, carrot, and daikon radish had even her mouth watering.

The contents come sealed in a vacuum pouch, and since they’re pre-cooked, your cats can eat them right away. Alternatively, you can heat everything up in the microwave if you want to get fancy, and Saya definitely did.

Depending on your cat’s size and eating habits, Pet Library recommends cutting the pieces into smaller morsels, so Saya did that too.

Once everything was warmed and cut, Saya transferred the oden to her cats’ food bowls, artfully arranging everything.

As her feline friends sauntered over, Saya reached for her camera to snap a pre-meal pic of them with their poising with the perfectly presented oden, but her cats had other ideas…

…and started eating right away.

Saya’s frustration at the missed photo opportunity was quickly replaced with warm fuzzy feelings as she saw how much her fuzzy housemates were enjoying the oden.

They quickly devoured the carrots, daikon, and chicken, and when they briefly brought their heads up from their bowls, they became very interested in double-checking to see that their hadn’t been anything missing from one cat’s dish that the other one was getting to enjoy.

▼ Saya, being a loving and fair owner, made sure that each bowl contained the exact same things.

The cats seemed particularly pleased with the texture of their oden, which was firmer than the wet cat food their often eat, but also softer than the dry food they’re occasionally given.

Their curiosity led them to pick up some of the squishier pieces in their paws before popping them in their mouths, and Saya, who sometimes wonders if her cats have gotten into the habit of eating too quickly, thought slowing them down a bit like this might not be a bad thing.

Oden isn’t the only pseudo-Japanese food for pets that Pet Library makes, as they’ve also got dog/cat-friendly versions of sukiyaki…

…and soba noodles.

▼ Potential allergens are listed on the box, with the ones for the oden being soybean, gelatin, and beef.

At 398 yen (US$3.45), Pet Library’s Nattoku Sozai (as the line is called) meals are a special yet affordable treat, and now that Saya’s taken care of her pets, she won’t feel bad about whipping up a batch of oden for herself using the office oden-making gadget.

Photos © SoraNews24
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