These are questions I had when I started to research raw meat diets.
My cat is really picky and only eats a certain brand/flavour of cat food. Can I still make this change? Yes, There are several methods to introduce a cat to new foods, and you can choose the most suitable method based on how picky your cat is and how much you can stand those cute pleading kitty eyes/ 5 am kitty tantrums.
I want to make my own home made cat food. Where do i start? I recommend that you buy yourself a copy of “The Natural Cat” by Anitra Frazier it has a good step by step method and chapter on food, as well as lots of useful information. I am more than happy to compare notes, sources for ingredients, and talk real life practicality with you.
How many days will a pound of meat feed my cat for? The quantity of each portion depends on your cats size, activity level, and weight. Blue has about two to three tablespoon portions twice a day. 1.8 pounds of beef give her roughly 24 meals.
My cat is on dry/wet/mixed cat food and I don’t see any problems. Should I still change? If your cat is not: overweight/underweight, smells catty, has bad breath/doo-doo, oily, dandruff-y, constantly begging for food, overly lethargic/aggressive/bouncing off the walls that’s great! I can’t say that changing is a magic bullet, but if you have the time I think that changing up the food even occasionally to a preservative/chemical free food is still going to be a healthy change. One thing I can say with confidence is that my cats shit don’t stink that much, and no more dirty ears, chin acne, and kitty breath!
My cat has a certain illness or allergy. Can I still make the change and will it be safe? You can tailor your food to exclude what your cat is allergic to, but if there is a specific illness you should talk to your vet about changing diets. Not all vets believe in the raw food diet. You should be aware of the risks involved, aside from the potential gains you may get. There are also signs to watch out for if your pets health is failing, and you will have full control over the pace at which you begin the change. I am more than happy to talk via email about your concerns.
I’m concerned about feeding my cat something raw. Isn’t there a risk of salmonella, e.coli and other dangerous diseases? Yes, raw meat will always have a higher risk of food bourne bacteria. (I’m still going to enjoy my steak medium rare!). Commercial pet food can be made of animals that are diseased,dying, disabled, or dead also has food recalls due to salmonella and the likes. However, Cats do have shorter intestinal tracts and more acidic stomachs that are better designed for eating raw meat. A cat that catches live prey also has similar risks. Here is the most comprehensive scientific review I have read on the matter from the Canadian Veterinary journal. I grind my own meat, further decreasing bacteria levels. Talk to your vet about concerns, and be extra careful if you our your cat is sick.
ASPCA says: “Although pets are fairly resistant to Salmonella-related disease, affected pets may show decreased appetite, fever, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. Humans should avoid contact with suspect food and follow strict hand washing procedures.”
Can bacteria from the raw food be transferred to me? Yes. Just like when you cook, handling raw meat will increase your chances of catching food bourne illnesses. This is no exception. Cleaning up and washing hands are important habits to develop. Young children, people with compromised immune systems, the elderly also should not be handling the food. Food must also be discarded after being left out for 30 minutes and otherwise always frozen.
Remember, with any raw food to always follow these guidelines:
- Keep frozen until ready to use.
- Thaw in refrigerator or microwave. Do not refreeze.
- Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils (including cutting boards, preparation and feeding bowls), hands, and any other items that touch or contact raw meat or poultry with hot soapy water.
- Discard after 30 minutes.
Are there additional supplements that you use with this diet? Aside from the multi-vitamins which are essential, I give blue part of a fish oil capsule for omega 3 and 6 once every few weeks.
How do you know this is the right diet for you, and if Blue is truly healthy? She smells great, shes all soft and fluffy, no kitty breath, no greasy ears, no eye poop, no scratching, shes energetic, sleeps well, and doesn’t want to rip her tail off. Those signs are good enough for me. Oh, and that medical check up I had last year!
What credentials do you have to give me advice on cat nutrition? I am not a vet ( just an assistant to one) nor a nutritionist, and only have a B.A in psychology. I have a strong personal interest in animals and proper animal care. I use and have tweaked a recipe that has been tested by time, and also draw from recipes from Dr. Pitcairn D.V.M., Ph.D.
Do you have scientific proof that what you feed your cat is a balanced and appropriate diet? My recipe is based on a formula from the reputable book, “The natural cat” by Anitra Frazier. She worked with Dr. Pitcairn D.V.M., Ph.D, also author of Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats. He also has recipes for cats that I incorporate. From what I see, animal nutrition is area that there hasn’t been much scientific study in ( there are limited studies on animal health and type of diet) and it’s still a growing field with lots of controversy surrounding the pet food industry. I do think that the concept of the “prey model”diet is closest to the wild/feral cat’s natural diet, though their mortality rates may still be low due to many other reasons.
Do contact me for any other questions/concerns you may have!