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Raw Feeding Cats
09-03-2014, 08:15 PM,
#1
helaofthenorns Offline
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Raw Feeding Cats
Ever since my cat, Chi, almost died from renal failure due to eating dry cat food, I have explored and tried different kinds of wet or canned food for him and my two other cats. However, because they are very picky, they always stop eating the canned food I bought for them after two to three days. Thus, I browsed the Internet for some cat feeding tips, and I came across raw feeding.

According to the site I visited, raw feeding has numerous benefits. Some of these include improved oral health (healthier gums and teeth), better digestion, less stinky breath, and better stools.

I have my reservations though because I am afraid of the health risks of raw feeding. I want to ask if you ever tried this method. How do you prepare it? Does your cat like it?

I would greatly appreciate all the information you can provide. Thank you in advance!
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10-08-2014, 07:22 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-08-2014, 07:23 AM by kfander.)
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kfander Offline
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RE: Raw Feeding Cats
To me, it seems obvious that the more closely we can come to feeding our cats what they would be eating, under optimum conditions, in the wild, the healthier they might be. Purely for the health and wellbeing of the cat, I think that raw feeding would be a good idea.

However, raw feeding is less convenient and, in most cases, more expensive than the other options available to us, and it might be a little messier too.

Options that might provide somewhat of a balance between pure raw feeding and the standard kibble and canned food fare might include Wysong, which offers packaged raw foods for dogs and cats, as well as 100% meat canned foods and kibble.

If my cats weren't doing so well on Blue Buffalo kibble and premium canned foods, I might be interested in trying Wysong's nutritional program.

It probably wouldn't be a simple switch, however. Accustomed to eating premium foods that include grains, starch, and other foods, your cat might actually resist raw foods or even 100% meat foods. I rotate Wysong products into my cats' diet every now and then, and I can't say that they are crazy about it. For that matter, Blue Buffalo's Wilderness brand, which contains a higher percentage of meat, and no grains, isn't among their favorites either.

For that matter, when I offer them raw food while cooking, they generally leave it lie there.

But that doesn't mean that it would be a bad switch. Like people, cats don't automatically know what is good for them, and what isn't, and a lot of what they like or don't like is based on what they have become accustomed to.
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10-12-2014, 09:48 PM,
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cyberpuppet Offline
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RE: Raw Feeding Cats
I have not raw fed cats - I would do nothing else for dogs. The health risks of raw feeding are massively over-hyped by the pet food companies - and the chances are any cat with access to the outside is at least partially raw feeding itself anyway.

The biggest problem with switching cats to a raw diet (and the reason I do not use it for mine) is that unlike dogs cats are not natural scavengers and like their food very fresh and blood warm. Most will ignore raw food that is cold unless starving and good pet owners do not make their pet starve to get it to eat. Even if you go out every day to buy fresh meat you still have to warm it - and it cannot be done in the microwave. You have to put the meat in a plastic bag, fill a bowl with blood temperature water (which is hotter than you think - use a thermometer) and but the bag in it. You will have to keep the water up to temperature by topping it regularly and the food will take 20 minutes to half hour to warm - during which time you will be defending it from the cat who will want to investigate. That is for a cat who is used to raw feeding. Switching a cat over is worse because they will tend to refuse food as it cools -and you have to increase raw and reduce pet food.

My preferred solution is using dried food which ingredients show to have a large amount of meat in it and minimal or zero cereals. I would look at Applaws or Meowing Heads. Both of these are loved by my cats (who will now turn their noses up at most other things especially "science" diets) and had a noticeable effect on the cats health and condition when I discovered them.
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10-23-2014, 02:30 PM,
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sillylucy Offline
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RE: Raw Feeding Cats
I couldn't feed my cats a raw diet because I don't think they would get enough nutrients that way. I would also be scared that they would get sick from the switch. Could they easily go from store bought food to raw food? What about getting worms from mishandling? There are so many concerns I have about this diet.
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10-23-2014, 07:41 PM,
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cyberpuppet Offline
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RE: Raw Feeding Cats
(10-23-2014, 02:30 PM)sillylucy Wrote: I couldn't feed my cats a raw diet because I don't think they would get enough nutrients that way. I would also be scared that they would get sick from the switch. Could they easily go from store bought food to raw food? What about getting worms from mishandling? There are so many concerns I have about this diet.
So long as a raw diet is naturally varied and includes parts of all the animal - meat, bones, organs, fat then it wont lack in nutrients. Remember a raw diet is what cats are supposed to live on - store bought food is, no matter how healthy it claims to be, the cat equivalent of ready meals or meal replacement stuff.
Cats get worms no matter what you feed them - raw fed cats do not need more worming than shop diet cats.
The best thing you can do if you are thinking of changing to raw feeding is use the internet for as much research as possible - but pay attention to who has done the research. Articles full of scary stories about malnutrition, nasty diseases etc from raw feeding are pretty much all done by companies that sell pet food.
Try http://feline-nutrition.org/
http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

As I have said above I have made the call to keep my own cats on high quality dried food - but I do watch the ingredients. I dont think there is one "right" answer it is a case of doing the research and learning what pet food companies dont tell you and how much pet food is mis-advertised.
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10-26-2014, 01:06 AM,
#6
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: Raw Feeding Cats
All of the cats that live in the wild, large or small, eat a totally raw diet, and continue to be healthy with it. The same thing holds true for the wild canine species, like wolves, coyotes, foxes, and hyenas. Feeding our animals with a packaged cooked food is a very new innovation, relatively speaking. For thousands of years, animals ate a raw diet, although dogs have also eaten scraps of food given them by himans who ate cooked foods.
After food started to be manufactured in factories, rather than grown in gardens, or otherwise raised by each family to feed themselves; commercial food producers realized that they had a lot of waste scraps after processing commercial food for people, so they processed it into pet food. This is how dog and cat food also began to be produced commercially, and how it still is done. Ralston-Purina started as a cereal company, and now produces more dog food than breakfast cereals.
Just as people get healthier food if we raise it ourselves, so do our pets. Cats out foraging for mice and birds are healthier than one that eat a canned food diet. I think that to give our pets some of both is a good compromise. That way, they will not go hungry whether they catch a mouse or not.
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