Thinking of changing to raw food - advice from raw feeders gratefully received(7 Posts)
We have two overweight young adult house cats. (Where we live it's not possible for them to go out so that's non-negotiable.)
They're currently fed on Applaws Adult complete dry food, and look fantastic on it - shiny coats, bright eyes, always clean bill of health at the vets when they go for their boosters - except for the weight issue. We do encourage them to play actively every day with laser pens, tennis balls etc and they play-fight and chase each other round the house too.
We are probably guilty of over-feeding - ironically we measure out the dog's food but not the cats - so that's obviously one thing we could start doing. However I've been wondering for a while about the long-term effects of feeding dry food, especially as BoyCat was neutered at four months because he was starting to mount his sister, and I know both early neutering and feeding dry food are risk factors for cystitis and kidney problems. We do see them both drinking regularly but I now understand cats are apparently designed to get the majority of their water intake from food and so am worried about long term low level dehydration.
The biggest single advantage of dry complete food is it's convenient. I have a FT job, a disabled DH and a neurotic dog with various issues to juggle so being able to feed the cats with a quick scoop in the bag is great. But that's not sufficient reason to keep them on it if it may not be in their best interests.
If there are any raw feeders on here, can I ask:
1) What's the easiest, most convenient way to feed raw? Ideally I'd be able to order online so any specific recommendations for recommended, good quality brands would be great.
2) What sort of quantities do you feed? My pair are part-Bengal so large anyway but the last time they were weighed they were 6.6kg and 6.3kg respectively
3) Do you have to supplement to ensure an adequate supply of taurine? If so, what do you use for that?
4) Would it be easier to transition them to wet food temporarily first, then onto raw, or have people had success going directly from dry to raw?
Thanks in advance!
I am not an expert and I'm sure someone who is will be along gsoon, but I believe you can buy frozen, raw, complete food that comes in nuggets so is easy to measure out. We have a raw pet food shop here ( think Farm Foods for pets) and they are happy to give advice. Do you have anything similar near you?
Thanks weeds I've never noticed a raw food pet shop specifically but I'll have a look around the locale.
I want our cats to eat a raw diet but they won't. They will eat a tiny bit of raw if it's mixed in with commercial cat food but after a year they still leave most of the raw food. It's like offering kids spinach after years of Macdonalds.
I feed raw, we started by ordering the nuggets from Natures Menu - our cat ate them but wasn't overly keen. I now make my own from scratch and our cat is a lot keener - it works out more economical too! I spend a few hours or so making a batch which lasts for six weeks or so, and I know exactly what's in it. Purrform is a highly recommended brand for preprepared raw. If you buy a complete mix, then no need to add any additional taurine.
You should aim to feed around 3-4% of your cat's body weight. Raw is nutrient and calorie dense with no fillers. It doesn't look like much but they're getting all they need.
Transition can be tough. If they have constant access to dry food you should start by feeding them at scheduled mealtimes, no food down inbetween. Some cats take to raw right away, others need some coaxing. Some cats need their raw flash fried to make it more recognisable as food, gradually cooking it for less time until it is mostly raw.
Thanks ittybitty, that's really helpful.
We use Nature's Menu nuggets as well. One cat took to them eagerly and the other eats them mixed with Thrive or another wet food. The only downside is the freezer space it takes up.
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