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Health, Disease & Diet Find out the best tips and practices on managing your cat's diet, health care, and issues with diseases from our community of animal lovers

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Old 10-25-2008, 12:39 AM
aliciahorsley aliciahorsley is offline
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Default Raw food for cats

here is a brief guide on raw feeding for cats.

why raw?
cat's are obligate carnivores and need animal protein to thrive and be healthy. they also eat and need a great deal of fat in their diet to maintain a lustrous coat, nerve and cell health. please do not think eating fat and skin will make your cat fat. unnescessary carbohydrates from plant sources are the culprits. and liver disease is caused by cooked fat, not raw.

whole raw food vs ground up mixes
whole food is giving your cat a whole chick, mature quail, a chicken wing etc. it's not as easy to get the balance of nutrients right but it's good for their soul. it is challenging, engaging and cleans teeth while exercising jaw and neck muscles.

ground mixes offer a more control of what you cats eat. if you follow a rough guide of 40% RMB, 20-25% dark meat and 15-20% offal and 10-20% frut and veg while adding omega 3 and 6 supplements, you will be fine. but it doesn't clean the teeth nor is it a anything like eating prey.

our cats eat chicken, duck, fish, squid, prawns, lamb, buffalo, wild boar and quail.

how we find balance?
we feed a ground mix 6 days a week. one the seventh day, the cats get a chicken wing, neck or quail. we also throw a few pieces of kibble for them to chase twice a week. it's a nice treat and it make them run.

what you will find with your cat eating raw..
  • even small cats are heavy. because they are full of muscle rather than fat.
  • lustrous, glossy coats that don't shed as much
  • intense colour
  • nursing cats always have (more than) enough milk
  • less allergies for the humans in the family
  • smaller less offensive stool
  • healthier cats, (and some resistance to fleas)

how to introduce raw
there are two ways. some cats love this and will be enthusiastic from the word go. others need persuasion. afterall, kibble is really tasty. it's like macdonalds for cats.

to help your cat change over, you have to know your cat. observe how she reacts to a chicken wing or some raw liver. if she is keen, you are lucky. if not try her on a minced up version. this way you can add her crushed kibble on the food to encourage her to try it. you can also mix in the kibble.

also try warming the food up so it is the temperature of a freshly killed animal. it'll smell stronger and may kick start the inherent but dormant carnivore in her.

seasoning the raw mince with a little crushed ikan bilis, a little soya sauce or strangely coconut, has also worked for us.

however, do not starve your cat. if she refuses the food even when you have tried all the above methods, then leave her be. forcing her or starving her can do a lot of damage to her.

we have reared and fostered over 120 cats and have yet fail to convert a single cat. i think your attitude must also come sacross as confident and calm. they can smell your anxiety if you yourself have qualms about the food and will associated the food with this negativity.

and a couple of things to remember......
variety is the spice of life AND
nutrition over time (every meal cannot be perfect but if you get a little of everything that you need over a week, then it's just like real life >)
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Our pets eat PINK raw food

Last edited by aliciahorsley; 10-25-2008 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Raw food for cats

Alicia,
That is great information to cat owner. The Knowledge of pet food still need Education from time to time. Now at USA pet food technology always upgrade. from machine to goods.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:26 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Raw food for cats

How to Make Raw Cat Food

It is definitely need some work but making your own raw cat food is manageable. Think of it as a labor of love and keeping your pet happy and healthy without serving him all the unnecessary additives that are in some canned food. The following recommendation will better suit your cat's body and health.



Steps
  1. Get out the grinder.
  2. Assemble the supplements. Keep all your supplements together in one place in the kitchen, so you can easily find everything as needed.
  3. Cut up the carcass (if using chicken, remove as much skin as possible).
  4. Separate muscle meat from the carcass to be cut into chunks by hand (or ground using an extra-large grinding plate) from meaty bones to be ground. Put them in two different piles.
  5. Cut the muscle meat into several chunks by hand. This is to give your cat something to chew on and get some good tooth and gum exercise.
  6. Liver and chicken heart-Weight the correct amount of organ meats.
  7. Put all the meat and organs in the refrigerator until you mix up the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the mix of dry ingredients and water. Mix all together, adding the psyllium (if you're using it) last.
  9. Whisk together the "supplement slurry." The strange bright-yellowish color comes from the B-complex and egg yolk. This mixture contains water, fresh egg yolk, salmon oil, a wee bit of kelp, a teensy bit of dulse, a glandular supplement, Vitamin E, psyllium, and B-complex. You can also add some Taurine supplement to make up for possible lost Taurine in the meat and organ from freezing.
  10. Take the meaty bones and organ meats out of the refrigerator and grind.
  11. Add the hand-chunked meat to the ground mixture and stir well, distributing evenly.
  12. Add the "supplement slurry" to that and mix again.
  13. Spoon the finished cat food into containers. Store the prepared food in manageable containers, like freezer baggies or one-cup plastic freezer containers. Wide-mouth Ball Mason glass freezer jars keep the food fresh longer. (Be certain to buy the "can-or-freeze" jars--not the plain canning jars.) Do not overfill. Leave at least a 1/2 inch gap or more at the top, because the food expands when frozen and you don't want the lids popping off.
  14. Label the containers--with the type of meat and the date--and freeze.
  15. Remove the food from the freezer during mealtime. Warm the food in a baggie. Don’t serve the food cold straight from the refrigerator. Some cats will vomit raw food if it’s very cold when it hits their stomach. Buy some cheap plastic snack-size zipper baggies, portion the food into them, and run it under hot water until it’s warmed to at least room temperature or slightly higher. Don't use the microwave--see the Warnings below.




Tips
  • If you will not be using the food immediately and freezing for more than a week or two, toss in 4000 mg of additional Taurine to make up for anything lost during storage. It is a good idea to sprinkle extra Taurine from a capsule on the food as you're serving it two or three times a week, just to be certain your cat is getting plenty of this critical amino acid.
  • The amount of time making cat food depends on how fast you are. If the family chips in to help make it, you might be able to make a batch for two cats in 30 or 40 minutes (including clean up time).
  • A bit of variety is helpful in keeping house cats interested in their food. Good options include: rabbit, chicken, Cornish Game Hen, turkey, and guinea fowl. Some cats also love beef and lamb, but not all cats that have been eating commercial food for a long time digest beef or lamb easily at first.
  • The most important thing to get right is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which is most easily achieved by feeding whole carcasses.
  • If your cat turns up her nose at the stuff, try not to fret too much. Do not give up. Just start sneaking teeny amounts into canned food and increase the amount slowly. Some cats, especially older ones, are especially serious, dedicated, and stubborn kibble addicts. Don’t give in! Do whatever it takes to get the cat eating the great new food. Sprinkle ground up kibble on top if you must, but persist.
  • Don’t try and “guess” weights of meats or organs—use a scale.
  • There is no need to change the diet if you’re feeding a kitten or an older cat. There is no such thing as special “life stage” food for cats in the wild, like those you see on the shelves of many pet food superstores. A kitten will need definitely need more raw food and more frequent feedings, but not a different food. A senior cat that isn’t too active might need less food. But they all can thrive on good, healthy, fresh raw food.




Warnings
  • An all-meat diet can quickly become frightfully unbalanced. Unless you understand feline nutrition, it is imperative that you follow the recipe without alteration or substitution. Many of us frequently prepare foods for ourselves and skip an ingredient we don't have on hand. You cannot do this in a proper feline diet. If you do not have all of the ingredients or cannot obtain all of the ingredients, don't try this. Nutritional deficiencies are much easier to cause than cure.
    • Don't microwave this food. This is especially true if you’ve used bones in your recipe. Cooked bones splinter and can be very dangerous to a cat. Raw bones are soft and are easily digested by a cat. Just warm it under warm water in a baggie.
  • Never risk feeding food that is slightly "off" or spoiled. Chances are your cat won't touch it in that condition, but to be safe, work out a thawing routine whereby the food you're about to serve is still just ever-so-slightly frozen. It's easy enough to complete the thawing quickly by running the food in a baggie under warm water to take off the chill, and this way you're assured that the food has not gone "bad" from being thawed for too long.
  • Don’t over-do the use of “bribe foods” on top of raw to get your cat eating the raw food. Lots of tuna juice, for example, is a big no-no, as the flavor is so powerful that your cat may refuse anything that isn’t tuna flavored later on. But a sprinkle of their favorite old commercial food is fine.
  • Some vitamins, are water-soluble, which means if you use more than the recommended amount, you're not putting your cat at risk for toxicity, as any over supply of water-soluble vitamins will be excreted. On the other hand over-dose on fat-soluble vitamins(A, D, E and K) are dangerous as the body is unable to excrete them. Some ingredients are a "polish" to the diet while others are not "supplements" at all, but are absolutely essential components that must be included in the ratios and amounts specified or you risk throwing your cat's diet dangerously off balance.
  • Intestinal parasites are also a concern; parasites can form cysts in the muscle tissue of livestock. Consider keeping your cat on parasite prevention available from your veterinarian.
  • Raw meat carries a high risk of toxoplasmosis for your cat. Toxoplasmosis can be deadly for unborn babies, and may cause problems later in life, including schizophrenia. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it is important not to switch to a raw meat diet as this can infect your cat and then infect you when you clean her litterbox.




Things You'll Need
  • 2 kg [4.4 pounds] raw muscle meat with bones (chicken necks are mostly cartilage, are easy to chop and easy for the cat to digest) thighs and drumsticks or, better, a whole carcass of rabbit or chicken amounting to 2 kg; if you don't use a whole carcass, opt for dark meat like thighs and drumsticks from chicken or turkey)
  • 400 grams [14 oz] raw heart, ideally from the same animal (if no heart is available, substitute with 4000 mg Taurine)
  • 200 grams [7 oz] raw liver, ideally from the same animal (if you can't find appropriate liver, you can substitute 40,000 IU of Vitamin A and 1600 IU of Vitamin D--but try to use real liver instead of substitutes).
    • NOTE: If you cannot find the heart or liver and decide to substitute with the Taurine/Vitamin A and D, then remember to replace the missing amount of organ meat with the equivalent amount of muscle meat. In other words, if you cannot find heart, you add another 400 grams of the meat/bones. If you can't find the liver, add another 200 grams of meat/bones.
  • 16 oz [2 cups] water
  • 4 raw egg yolks (use eggs from free-range, antibiotic-free chickens if you can)
  • 4 capsules raw glandular supplement (such as, for example, "Raw Multiple Glandular" from Premier Labs)
  • 4000 mg salmon oil
  • 200 mg Vitamin B complex
  • 800 IU Vitamin E ("dry E" works well) Buy Vitamin E in dry powder form. It's much easier to deal with than those little oil-filled capsules.
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 teaspoon of kelp and 1/4 teaspoon of dulse (1/2 teaspoon total) Try and get dulse and kelp in powder form that you can easily measure with a teaspoon rather than in capsule form. Taking apart those capsules is time consuming. If you can only find kelp in caplet form, you’ll have to spend time crushing the caplets with a mortar and pestle. Do yourself a favor and try to find the loose powder form.
  • OPTIONAL: 4 teaspoons psyllium husk powder (8 teaspoons if using whole psyllium husks)
  • Use a needle to pierce or small scissors to open the salmon oil capsules .
  • Sharp knives. Dull knives make the whole process last too long and can be more dangerous to use than sharp ones.
  • Poultry shears or a good tough pair of kitchen scissors can sometimes be easier than a knife for cutting and chunking the meats.
  • An egg separator can make things a little easier and faster too.



You had known the benefit of raw diet for your felines friends, now you had read how to prepare the raw diet, so start making one today....
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