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If you have pets, especially cats, have you noticed canned cat food has been in short supply at area grocery and pet stores in Rochester lately?

My wife and I share our house with three fantastic felines, one of whom is the stereotypical 'finicky eater-- he only likes certain types of food. (If you have a cat or cats now, or have EVER had a cat, you no doubt know what I'm talking about, right?) But within the past few weeks, whenever we'd shop for canned cat food, we'd noticed the store shelves were looking pretty bare.

The first time I noticed it, I thought maybe there was a special or sale in progress that cleared the shelves of just about every can of food and that they'd be restocked by the next time I stopped by. However, when the same shelves were either still bare or only had a few cans left the next time I was there, I began to think something was up.

Now, keep in mind, I'm talking about the 'basic' type of canned (or wet) cat food-- Purina's Friskies brand, mainly-- which is what our cats like to eat. While I was out shopping earlier this week, I noticed many of the higher-end brands (which our cats usually don't like) were still fairly well-stocked.

So what's up with the Friskies line being in such short supply? Well, I talked to Andrea, one of the good folks over at Hy-Vee Barlow Plaza here in Rochester (where I usually pick up a few cans of cat food on my way home from work each week), who said it's been tough for them to get many brands of cat food (not just Friskies) from their warehouse. It reminds me a little of the run on toilet paper that happened during the first few weeks of the pandemic last year.

Meanwhile, the cat food shortage isn't just affecting us here in Minnesota. This story from LancasterOnline in Pennsylvania said they're seeing shortages there as well-- and it's due to 'challenges specific to the pandemic.' The story said those challenges include an increase in demand for canned pet food, as more people have adopted pets while we've been stuck at home.  They also cited work slowdowns at pet food plants caused by employees out sick with the coronavirus, as well as the extreme winter back in February that slowed deliveries.

I'd even heard that there was a shortage of aluminum cans (I know some craft breweries were facing a similar shortage last year) that could be affecting the ability of pet food companies to keep supplies of canned pet food stocked. The good news, though, is that the story said that supplies should be increasing as we head into April and May.

We've been able to find enough that it hasn't been a problem, but some of those shelves DO look noticeably empty. Hopefully, it'll get better as the warmer weather gets here. Of course, we don't know just when THAT will be here in Minnesota, do we? But did you know THESE animals might have a few clues? Keep scrolling to check out 10 animals in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that can predict the weather!


KEEP READING: 10 Animals in Minnesota That Can Predict the Weather

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