Tag: raw cat food

Raw Feeding

 Is Raw Feeding Better for your pet?

This question is answered along with a few more.

Background:

I started researching raw feeding when my senior golden retriever decided kibble wasn’t what she wanted.  There was nothing medically wrong with her, she just stopped eating kibble.  I had to entice her to eat with raw egg mixed in or just keep telling her to eat.  Even then, she didn’t eat all of her food.

I joined a couple Facebook groups to see what all the chatter was about.  I read extensively about the Prey Model and BARF.  There is a huge controversy over which model is the best model.  The only difference is with the BARF model you include fruits, vegetables and grains.  With Prey, it’s simply raw meat, no added supplements are needed.

Research:

When doing my research I was looking for an unbiased, scientific approach to information.  I didn’t want any opinions from pet food companies (because we all know they slant their information to their best interest) and I didn’t want information from vets (typically they have very little training on pet nutrition unless they’ve done research on their own).  It is extremely difficult to find unbiased information on which model is better suited for animals.  I couldn’t find any scientific “whitepapers” on either model of feeding.

This led me to doing what I felt was right.  Yes, my dogs are fed primarily Prey Model, but they also get “treats” that contain vegetables and other starches.  I stay away from grains because I have breeds that are highly susceptible to allergies and have been on a grain free diet their entire lives.   Do I feel my dogs NEED the veggies and other starches?  No, but they also don’t NEED milk bones or other commercially made treats.  I prefer to feed them food with minimal processing and limited ingredients.  I want to pronounce everything that I am allowing my pets to digest.

Am I an Expert?

I would hardly consider myself an expert at raw feeding.  Yes, I’ve done extensive research.  Yes, I am a part of several raw feeing groups whose administrators have more years experience than I’ve been alive.  Yes, I have resources out the wazoo to help along the way.  I’ve been feeding my dogs raw for almost a year…that hardly makes me an expert…but the proof for me is in my dogs.

Noticeable Changes:

1.  My dog’s teeth are b.e.a.UTIFUL!  I suspect they will never have to have a dental cleaning.  That right there is saving me a good $1k per year in vet bills.

2.  Their coats are shiny and soft.

3.  I have a boxer.  If you know the breed at all…you know about their crazy energy levels.  Since Ziggy, my 3 year old boxer, has been on raw his energy level has completely leveled out.  Yes, he still gets crazy bouts of energy where he’s zipping all over the yard, but the energy is manageable.  Which is important to both of us.  He gets to run and be crazy without making me crazy 🙂

4.  My senior golden, the one I started this for, she eats EVERY MEAL, EVERY BITE.  She is excited to eat again!  She also has some arthritis In her hips.  She has been noticeably in less pain.  She gets up and follows me around more than ever.

5.  The poo.  Oh my dog!  The poo is amazing.  It doesn’t smell and there is so little of it I hardly ever have to pick up.  One of my dogs was a poo eater when on kibble.  I had to clean the yard after every poo so he couldn’t eat it.  Now, he isn’t even interested in eating it.

Conclusion:

I don’t think it matters which raw model you feed your pets.  I do think raw is better.  Not the kind of raw they are now selling at pet food stores, but honest, butcher found (not grocery store, prepackaged) raw meat.  Keep in mind, the “raw” food you find at pet food stores is still being mass processed.  There have been several recalls due to illness.  The only way to ensure your pet isn’t getting poisoned is to source raw materials yourself and handle it yourself.

Be on the lookout for future postings about raw feeding.  There is much to learn before you dive in deep.  In the mean time, if you have questions and are interested in getting started sooner I am just a phone call away.

Do you want a raw fed cat?

 

You can have a raw fed cat and here’s how:

*Disclaimer:  I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist.  I have done a ton of research and I encourage you to do the same.

Similar principles for a raw fed cat are the same as dogs.  However, because cats are cats, it may take a bit more patience.

With dogs, when switching over to a raw fed diet, if they don’t take to it right away, it’s ok for them to skip a meal (or 2).  This is not the case for cats.  If cats go into starvation mode, they can get “fatty liver disease” which can be life threatening.

Cats are fed about the same ratio as dogs:  2%-3% of body weight / 80/10/10.  Cats need fat and may not need as much bone as dogs.  Cat’s raw food does not need to be ground up, cats can eat the raw bone.  Just make sure the meaty bones are an appropriate size.  If they are having trouble eating the bone, you can use a hammer to smash it up a bit until they learn how to chomp through it themselves.

No slightly spoiled meat for cats.  Dogs can handle meat that may be too spoiled for a human to consume (not rotten).  Cat’s can’t.  Their food needs to be fresh and should not be left out all day.  If they don’t eat it all, put it away.

Cats need taurine.  This is an essential amino acid that cats do not produce enough of on their own to remain healthy.  Taurine can be found in dark meats and heart meat.  Feed plenty of these meats or be prepared to supplement your raw fed cat.

Tips for a successful kibble to raw switch:

  • If the cat is free fed kibble, switch to regular meal times.  You can also switch to can food only then to raw.

  • Allow the food to come up to room temp.  You can warm it in a bowl of warm water, just not the microwave.  Never heat up raw bones in the microwave.  This will cook the bone and make it splinter.

  • Drizzle the raw with tuna juice.

  • Smear a little canned food on the raw or mix raw in with canned food.

  • Crush some dry kibble and sprinkle it over the raw.

  • “Accidentally” drop it on the floor and let the cat steal it.  Thinking it got something great.

Unlike dogs, you can mix dry kibble or canned cat food in with the raw in the beginning.  Dogs don’t need this.  Their digestive system can’t handle breaking down the two different types of food.  Just start using less and less kibble/wet food until they are eating full raw.

If your cat takes to raw feeding right away, you don’t need to use the suggestions above.

Again, I am not an expert nor a pet nutritionist.  I have several sources where I get my information from.  The best source for me is in a close Facebook group.  I encourage you to do your own research.

Feline Nutrition