raw food(13 Posts)
a vet I was chatting with today recommended feeding my kitties raw food. like chicken wings with the BONES IN! he also said heart, kidney etc. His reasoning was that 90% of cats have gum disease by the age of 3 years and this diet prevents that along with diabetes and other illnesses.
anyone else do this? experiences please!
I feed partially raw - there are lots of websites dedicated to info about it, along with forums for discussions. If you feed complete raw then you have to be careful to make sure you get the right balance of meat to organs including liver, and bones as well for calcium. There are different ways of raw feeding including people who mince everything up into DIY raw homemade catfood, or those who feed whole prey or "frakenprey" - producing a balanced diet across several meals by giving e.g. one meal of kidney, two meals of chicken wings, one meal of liver, then two meals of beef chunks - weighed out to approximate the meat/organ/bone content of what a cat would eat "in the wild" such as small rodents, rabbits, small birds.
If you mince the food up you get the benefit of it being raw, but not the dental benefits from them having to work to chew the meat and crunch the bones - unless you mostly mince and give e.g. chicken wings as "play food" for their teeth.
I don't go for the full whack, but my two boys share a pouch of food for breakfast and then have a meal of raw food in the evening, with biscuits down in between. When you start off you give small chunks or minced meat, then build up - you generally can't just put a whole feeder mouse or chicken quarter down in front of a cat used to biscuits or whiskas and expect them to dive in. My boys are still sometimes a bit fussy with liver, and Monty isn't very keen on crunching bones if there's other food available but Rolo goes for them with gusto - only the nobbly end bit of chicken legs are left when he's done with them! Chicken is a fave but they enjoy beef and lamb, hearts (lamb/chicken), chicken gizzards and tinned sardines and egg yolks as occasional treats.
Haven't plucked up the courage to try feeder mice yet, since I used to have pet gerbils and still have a hamster. Maybe once day!
have not tried it myself but knew 2 people who have:
2 cons I've seen:
you can't leave for very long without someone to feed you cat: the meat must not be left out of the fridge for more than 20 minutes, and you need to feed the cat regularly. (My old flat mate fed her cat raw and it seemed healthy.)
The second is more serious, our cat breeder tried for a while to switch her's to raw and during the trial period one of them got food poisoning because of the raw meat: it costed her a fortune and she was lucky it survived. When she told us that we ruled out feeding our cat raw, but she suggested to give them as treats boiled fish or chicken instead.
Thank you for your detailed posts. I have been reading a lot of info online and given everything I think i am going to work towards a raw diet fir my beauties.
It seems the most natural thing in the world for these carnivorous animals.
so far they love chicken and egg but hate kidney lol
I feed partially raw too - one meal in the evenings. I like keeping him used to commercial catfood too as it's easier when we're on holiday - our catsitter has refused to even consider feeding him the raw meat, and I do sympathise.
We're lucky that we have a pet raw food shop nearby (am in a large city in mainland Europe) which sells various kinds of chunky and bony meat already frozen. Most people in the UK use a mail order service, I think. Once a month I choose a few kilos of various sorts (chicken, turkey, chicken heart, a whole chicken neck, beef, lamb) and bung it in the freezer and then take out 100g each morning to defrost over the day in the fridge. I serve it with vitamin/taurine powder supplements sprinkled over the top and mix in some warm water to create a 'sauce', which is great because it increases his liquid intake.
The sound of a cat crunching raw bones is something else! It really is good for their teeth and gums, and raw-fed cats usually have gorgeous glossy coats.
I'm not going over to feeding him mice because I've heard that the conditions under which mice are bred for food and then killed are pretty inhumane - also Archcat is an outdoor cat and I suspect he's pretty good at catching and eating his own mice.
The one raw meat that's potentially very dangerous is raw pork - it can contain a bacterium which is poisonous to cats.
I supplement my cat's dry food diet with various raw or partially raw foods, or sometimes cooked meats (plain, not seasoned, and specifically meant for the cat). The cat wouldn't touch raw livers or hearts or other organs, but loves them partially boiled. She also loves egg yolk and also sardines (packed in water, no salt added). I read that it's best to avoid chicken bones, but interesting to see the opposite stated here.
math, the danger is with cooked chicken bones, particularly ones that have been microwaved. Then they're liable to splinter and cause damage. Raw bones are fine.
I suspect Archcat relishes raw heart etc because he used to live on the streets and catch his own food, so he's used to eating entire prey. It's possibly different for a cat with a more secure upbringing. Heart is a particularly good source of taurine so I like to encourage it once or twice a week.
I have pondered trying the boys on cooked liver if they continue to be fussy with it; may give that a go like you mathanxiety.
Like Archfarchnad says it's cooked bones that can splinter that are dangerous, raw bones are fine. I probably wouldn't give my boys anything much thicker than a chicken thigh bone - they leave those anyway, but I don't want them too enthusiastically trying to take on something like a whole turkey leg and hurting themselves! I've heard chicken ribs, along with wings, are good starting points. You can cut the wing up with scissors to make it easier to tackle.
For people looking for sources of organ meat and other offal, there are loads of halal butchers in our local "Somali area" that sell things like chicken hearts and chicken gizzards really cheap, and even in Asda and Tesco you can get lambs hearts, sliced beef and lamb liver, chicken livers. I wish I could find somewhere good to source rabbit from because I'd like to try them on that, but only really seen it in posh butchers round here...
My kitten only eats raw. Chicken, offal, rabbit, sprats etc. Our vet makes it up into daily blocks and freezes it so super easy, it's all from human grade meat too. Our Ragdoll loves it , her poo is small and firm, it doesn't smell and the food doesn't smell either when we place it in the dish, great because I'm a veggie and the smell of tin cat food makes me want to vomit. Something like Lilly's kitchen stinks for example.
Arch what power do you use! Our vet insists it isn't needed but I would like to supplement to make absolutely sure our kitten is getting everything he needs.
Minimalist, in the 'raw' world supplements are a pretty controversial topic, it seems. I'm in Germany and the raw forums here absolutely insist that if you feed more than 20% raw you have to supplement with an extensive list of ingredients. Even more tedious, the more extreme raw feeders claim that the commercial powders are somehow inadequate and you actually have to buy all the ingredients separately and mix them every month with your meat, then freeze it all in portions. I can't imagine anything more dull to do with your time.
We have a fairly unknown powder called Katzen-Vital, but the two well known supplements here are Easy-BARF and Felini Complete. When I first saw BARF I thought it was about cat vomit, but it's actually some raw food abbreviation (biologically appropriate raw food?).
I've noticed that raw feeders in the UK seem more accepting of not using supplements. It's possible your vet has such a well-balanced mixture that all the nutrients are actually present in the daily portions.
I agree that poo from raw-fed cats is much more agreeable than from those fed on cheap commercial catfood.
Made me laugh, though - there was an article in the Guardian yesterday about the most unpleasant jobs, and they interviewed the guy who is the Lily's Kitchen food taster. Yes, he tastes it himself.
OMG about the Lilly's kitchen food. The smell actually made my little girl cry. Our vet does list exactly what the kitten eats and gives ups our next lot of packages of raw accordingly. He insists we don't need to supplement. I keep asking him about it.
I can't stand the smell of tinned catfood and avoided it always for that reason. So my cats have always had organic, preservative and colour free dry food and current cat has a little raw (or partially boiled) food on top of that a few times a week. My previous cat was a very fussy eater and stuck to the dry food.
Thanks for the tip about raw wings/bones! I will give wings a whirl.
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