Yet Another Cycling Forum

Random Musings => Miscellany => Where The Wild Things Are => Topic started by: Mrs Pingu on December 26, 2014, 05:42:32 pm

Title: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on December 26, 2014, 05:42:32 pm
Is anyone doing it? How are you getting on?
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Kathy on December 26, 2014, 07:17:56 pm
Frogs and bunnies-under-the-spare-bed don't count, right?
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on December 26, 2014, 08:22:12 pm
Right ;)
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Poly Hive on December 26, 2014, 09:25:09 pm
I would think there are more than a few health issues with this idea. Raw food for pets is problematic.

PH
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Kathy on December 26, 2014, 09:29:18 pm
For what it's worth, it leads to clean teeth and glossy fur with ferrets (crunching the bones removes tartar), but they become a lot stinkier.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on December 26, 2014, 09:46:13 pm
I've read some reports that it makes cat poo less stinky. Anyway...just something I'm thinking is an option if sensitive tum turns out to be an issue... we'll find out in a couple of days when the boiled chicken stops and the cat food gets re-introduced....
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: PaulF on December 26, 2014, 10:32:45 pm
Probably totally unhelpful but...

We've just moved our dog from raw to dried food and I can't say that I've noticed a difference. She's happy, poo much the same.

Different species I know but...
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Feline on December 27, 2014, 12:56:33 am
I treat a fair few pets being fed raw food diets. I sometimes have to tell their owners and families to visit the GP too when we get a positive salmonella or campylobacter culture back :D
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: hellymedic on December 27, 2014, 01:15:28 am
Is raw feeding a trend within the chattering classes? Just curious non pet owner...
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: redshift on December 27, 2014, 12:18:45 pm
Charlie's vet says his teeth are in very good condition for a his age.  I mentioned his attrition rate amongst the rodent population, and she said that was why they were so good.

Otherwise, he gets any unused scraps/offcuts and the opportunity to crunch bones when I'm preparing dinner.  Normal feeding time is standard square food trays, and he has a bowl of crunchies to see him through snack pangs, but he's not overweight.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Feline on December 27, 2014, 12:24:29 pm
Is raw feeding a trend within the chattering classes? Just curious non pet owner...

Yes, the BARF diet is the latest pet 'fad' diet. The argument behind it is that wild dogs and cats crunch up entire live carcasses therefore it must be healthier for them. The fact that wild canids don't live very long so the health effects of poor nutrition are usually not what kills them first doesn't seem to be taken into account!
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Fab Foodie on December 27, 2014, 12:26:22 pm
The whippet lives in a 50:50 diet of raw and dry, mostly chicken wings, minced beef and is happy as larry on it.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: hellymedic on December 27, 2014, 01:19:45 pm
Is raw feeding a trend within the chattering classes? Just curious non pet owner...

Yes, the BARF diet is the latest pet 'fad' diet. The argument behind it is that wild dogs and cats crunch up entire live carcasses therefore it must be healthier for them. The fact that wild canids don't live very long so the health effects of poor nutrition are usually not what kills them first doesn't seem to be taken into account!

The animal equivalent of the 'nasty, short and brutish' life of a human in the wild; who would have thunk it?
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on December 27, 2014, 02:32:45 pm
I treat a fair few pets being fed raw food diets. I sometimes have to tell their owners and families to visit the GP too when we get a positive salmonella or campylobacter culture back :D

I did wonder about that....
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Pancho on December 27, 2014, 03:52:31 pm
Our cat gets dry food as standard rations plus scraps of fish and meat as arise during dinner prep. She also eats her own catch.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Kathy on December 27, 2014, 03:59:44 pm
Is raw feeding a trend within the chattering classes? Just curious non pet owner...

Yes, the BARF diet is the latest pet 'fad' diet. The argument behind it is that wild dogs and cats crunch up entire live carcasses therefore it must be healthier for them. The fact that wild canids don't live very long so the health effects of poor nutrition are usually not what kills them first doesn't seem to be taken into account!

I know it's been a trend with (mostly USAnian) ferrets for the last 10+ years, so it's not that new.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 27, 2014, 04:11:47 pm
If I had a big enough freezer, I would try http://www.naturalinstinct.com/ for Pete. As it is, I make sure once or twice a week he gets a raw chicken wing or leg, or some liver or other raw meat.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 14, 2015, 05:20:06 pm
Because I'm not buying meat for myself, I keep an eye on the reduced shelf at the supermarché and buy cheap meat for Pete now and again, like packs of chicken wings or bits of liver. I freeze them in portions suitable for a cat (not cat-sized portions  ;D) and once a week he gets raw meat. He loves crunching through the bones in chicken pieces. Today I got 400g of Scottish beef chunks from the reduced fridge, so he had raw beef for tea. I've never seen him so happy.  ;D
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Ruthie on February 14, 2015, 05:31:25 pm
Let's hope he doesn't like beef enough to bring a partially killed bull home to chase round your kitchen.  You may have started something ...
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 14, 2015, 06:00:32 pm
*awaits complaints from Gorgie City Farm*
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 14, 2015, 07:29:56 pm
I've just read Your Cat by Elizabeth Hodgkins who is an American vet who specialised in treating cats before she retired, particularly seriously overweight and/or diabetic cats. She's not advocating raw food, although she says it's good for cats, but she is advocating wet food.

Her reasoning is that the majority of dry food is made predominantly of carbohydrate, plant sources coated in fat and flavour to make it palatable to cats. But cats' natural diet is protein and fat from killed animals, with very little plant material or other carbs, and dry food doesn't replicate it at all. She says that wet food is much more suitable for cats and replicates their natural diet better.

She gives multiple case studies throughout the book of overweight and/or diabetic cats who were fed predominantly on dry food, including "diet" or "light" food. She reports that switching the cats to wet food facilitated much better weight loss and in most cases, got their diabetes under control so well the cats no longer needed insulin, and when they did still need it, their blood sugars were more stable and they needed lower doses.

I've lent the book to a friend so I can't give more detail, but it's worth a read if you're interested in cat diets. It's convinced me to switch Pete from dry breakfasts and wet dinners to two wet meals with a small amount of high protein dry food in his activity feeder.

It's also worth looking at the calorie and nutritional content of dry food compared to wet. I emailed Iams, Purina, Pets at Home and Go Cat about the calorie content of their food (which isn't on the packaging) and even the diet stuff is over 300 kcal per 100g, with protein content of under 30% for most of them. On the other hand, Thrive 90% chicken dry food is 186 kcal per 100g and has a protein content of over 80%. The wet foods I've investigated - Felix, Kitekat, Iams, Whiskas and Tesco - are all between 70-95 kcal per 100g pouch, with well over 80% protein.

As far as raw food goes, she says that many people worry about food poisoning for cats who eat raw diets, but she points out that cats who would otherwise be killing live prey and eating it, perhaps caching a large kill and eating it over several days, are unlikely to get food poisoning from meat.

The book made sense to me, and I'm comfortable that a wet food diet with a small amount of dry is the right thing for Pete. I've also scrapped the Dreamies after I saw him gagging on the dryness of one but still desperately trying to eat it, and his treats now are Thrive freeze-dried meat and fish pieces.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 14, 2015, 09:57:35 pm
After our experience with Mojo & Pippin and much research on t'internet before getting the new kittehs I came to the conclusion it's a numbers game. Most of the wet food you get in the supermarket (Whiskas etc) is offered in gravy etc, which is also high in carbs. Plus a wet diet leads to crap teeth and gums which leads to more general anaesthesia for dental work.
I reckoned Mojo and Pippin were on exclusively dry food (a vet diet, not Go Cat or the like) since they were about 2 yrs old. OK, Pippin did get diabetes but she was well into her teens when that started, while I've heard of much younger cats needing dental work regularly due to a wet diet.

We weighed up the options and decided we'd stick with the dry route, although try to buy the highest protein diet we could get hold of.

This was entirely waylaid by Pumpkin having a sensitive gut of course - the "80% meat content" and 48% protein of the Applaws we started on is all very well but it doesn't suit her so it remains to be seen what they'll eat long term.....
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 14, 2015, 10:30:10 pm
The Thrive stuff is really high in meat and protein. Pete likes it but the only thing he's turned his nose up at so far was Tesco's own brand dry food.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Feline on March 14, 2015, 10:43:22 pm
I think Mrs Pingu has hit the nail on the head there- there are lot of different opinions and ideas out there and some people are quite evangelical when discussing the subject. There is much misinformation out there too because after all the pet food industry is a multi billion pound a year one. Packaging claims are often quite wild and rarely challenged. Wet cat food is certainly not the equivalent to a pile of dead rodents in terms of content.

Beware of comparing content of dry and wet foods- you have to do calculations to convert it to dry matter percentages or the comparison is meaningless. Wet food is more than 70% water. Once you take the water out of the calculations you find the carb content is much higher than you thought. Whole dead rodents contain quite a lot of fibre, more than wet and pouched foods do. Dry foods don't always quote their moisture content but it's usually around 8-9%.

I have treated many cats for diabetes who are only ever fed wet foods. This is type 2 diabetes (peripheral tissue insulin resistance) and usually due to obesity. However their numbers are dwarfed by the number of dental problems- which are much much worse in wet food fed cats. You pays your money (much more if you are buying pouches) and you take your choice. Most modern lifestyles mean we want convenience and something that is easy to measure and doesn't attract flies if left out for a few hours. If I had to wash bowls and feed wet food 2-3 times a day I wouldn't be able to go out riding my bike for stupid lengths of time  ;D

Arguing that cats in the wild don't get food poisoning is a bit flawed. In the wild they will certainly eat stuff that might not be all that fresh, and will vomit it back up if their stomach is unimpressed. But there are not high rates of food poisoning bacteria in wild kills like there are in raw intensively farmed meat. Wild cats don't need to live very long, a year or two to breed and raise the young of a few litters is all that is really necessary. So a long term healthy diet is irrelevant to much of their evolutionary process. A cat with salmonella or campylobacter will not be as sick as a person with it is. You may only work out your cat has it when you yourself are seriously ill having picked it up second hand.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: ian on March 19, 2015, 10:01:20 am
Hmm, our cats get unlimited dry Science Plan stuff (made for the feline space programme, or some such, it's science, kids) and one of them is putting on the podge now she's seven (her behaviour changed quick markedly when we moved house, she used to wander for hours, now likes to curl up on the bed). They also get a pouch of squishy each day (Iams), they were bought up on dry, but a couple of years back the little cat had all her teeth pulled out (possibly because the vet was fed up with being bitten, but he claimed gingivostomatitis – judging by the smell that came out of her mouth, I'll go with the latter), and we weren't sure she'd been able to eat the dry stuff. Turns out she can, but she's such a teeny, skinny cat anyway (3 kg) we like to make sure she gets enough food that she can eat. So we have a teeny skinny cat and a larger cat then needs to be slimming down. Which is a pain because they're used to having a bowl of dry food at all times. They mostly lick the juices off the wet stuff. I think we're going to have institute proper meal times.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: caerau on March 19, 2015, 10:23:25 am
I'm intrigued by the idea of a BARF diet.


Purely for the onomatopoeia of course ;)
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Otto on March 19, 2015, 12:19:34 pm
Sadly my cats tend to supplement thier diet with self-foraged raw food... usually just feet and feathers left

(http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a257/ottocat/IMG_0021_zps3jm0snba.jpg) (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/ottocat/media/IMG_0021_zps3jm0snba.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 19, 2015, 01:05:21 pm
I saw some raw oxtails in the supermarché the other day and thought Pete might like it. He loved it.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Feline on March 19, 2015, 08:00:19 pm
Hmm, our cats get unlimited dry Science Plan stuff (made for the feline space programme, or some such, it's science, kids) and one of them is putting on the podge now she's seven (her behaviour changed quick markedly when we moved house, she used to wander for hours, now likes to curl up on the bed). They also get a pouch of squishy each day (Iams), they were bought up on dry, but a couple of years back the little cat had all her teeth pulled out (possibly because the vet was fed up with being bitten, but he claimed gingivostomatitis – judging by the smell that came out of her mouth, I'll go with the latter), and we weren't sure she'd been able to eat the dry stuff. Turns out she can, but she's such a teeny, skinny cat anyway (3 kg) we like to make sure she gets enough food that she can eat. So we have a teeny skinny cat and a larger cat then needs to be slimming down. Which is a pain because they're used to having a bowl of dry food at all times. They mostly lick the juices off the wet stuff. I think we're going to have institute proper meal times.

You could institute the high tech solution- this is something I dreamed up for one of my clients with an obese cat and thin cat with kidney failure. Both cats were microchipped, which makes this much easier to set up. If you have a room in your house that can be kept with the door permanently shut and you don't mind fitting a cat flap in the door of, then you can use that. If you don't then you need to knock up a largish box of wood with some kind of ventilation and a hinged lid that you can fit a cat flap to. You get a microchip-scanning cat flap like the Sureflap or Pet Porte and fit it on your room or box so the bit that normally goes on the outside of the house if on the outside of the box or room.

You then program the thin cat's chip in and not the fat cats. The thin cat gets all its lovely food (or ad lib food) inside the box. The fat cat gets it's food in the normal place but carefully weighed out and rationed. Obviously the thin cat could pinch some of the fat cat's food, but this doesn't tend to matter on the grand scheme of things.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: ian on March 19, 2015, 09:18:42 pm
Interesting, he says, stroking his chin. That might be the solution if fatty puss keeps getting fatter, we do have a small internal room with a door. Mind you, she's pretty good at circumventing cat flaps, she has a knack of getting her claw into the gap and applying enough force to bend the flap so it pops over the catch. Or she'll just dig through the floor. Or deploy a small explosive device. She's proven to be an expensive cat, when we first got her, I left our office doors closed. One Saturday we came home to find she'd spent the day digging. The carpets didn't stand a chance and she was making good progress with the floorboards when we interrupted. Closed doors aren't generally a good thing. Mind you, last I heard, she was building a glider in the attic. Good luck flying with that belly.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 19, 2015, 10:02:27 pm
Yes... with Mojo and Pippin we were able to leave dry food out all the time and they would just graze. I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever be able to do that with Ninkasi and Pumpkin. Ninkasi will happily nibble all day but if I don't put her food out of reach Pumpkin will just trough it all..
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: ian on March 20, 2015, 09:40:24 am
She's doesn't usually trough it all, not sure where she's getting the pounds from. The vet didn't seem to think reduced activity was much to do with it, cats do after all like sleeping. She still goes out, just not as much, just sits on the balcony and garage roof and watches the birds. The little cat sleeps all the time but has a barmy fifteen minutes a couple of times a day where she ricochets around the house like pinball. Maybe fatty puss is eating all the mice, had one mouse in the house ever since we moved here, we used to get them every other day when we lived in London proper. Perhaps Surrey mice are more savvy than their city cousins. I guess they have be cautious on account of the bears.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 27, 2015, 09:43:43 am
Redux. Pumpkin has finally managed to reach the high place where Ninkasi's food has been getting left so that she can nibble on it in peace. Not helped by the fact that Ninkasi seems to be eating even less than usual. Am wondering if that's hormonal - they're off to get the snip next week.

At this rate I can see us having to invest in Feline's upthread box with a cat flap in it....
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: valkyrie on March 27, 2015, 03:35:43 pm
Many years ago I worked in a wet pet food factory, a job that was just as bad as it sounds. The R&D centre had a few hundred cats for testing the food on. They all had RF tags on their collars that activated a little flap on the feeder. The food bowls were on weigh scales so we could see how much each cat ate, how often they went to each bowl etc. The raw data that goes into "8 out of 10 cats" type claims is quite interesting - the analysis was by individual cat, with little comments like "George withdrawn from trial due to an upset tummy". The cats were treated much, much better than any of the employees.

Re wet versus dry foods, the raw ingredients going into both are pretty much identical as far as I can remember. The bone content of dog food is higher than that of cat food, but feeding dog foods to cats long term isn't a good idea as cats need taurine in their food. That'd be a problem too with feeding nothing but meat. The taurine in cat food mostly comes from chicken intestines.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 28, 2015, 12:30:31 pm
Pingu founds that Sureflap do a feeder https://www.sureflap.com/en-gb/pet-feeder/microchip-pet-feeder
A bit on the expensive side at £100 each but seems to get very good reviews on Amazon.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: ian on March 30, 2015, 10:44:23 am
Pingu founds that Sureflap do a feeder https://www.sureflap.com/en-gb/pet-feeder/microchip-pet-feeder
A bit on the expensive side at £100 each but seems to get very good reviews on Amazon.

Cool. Fattus cattus, your belly's days are numbered. Mind you, she'll probably just destroy it trying to get in.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: Feline on March 30, 2015, 11:59:14 am
Pingu founds that Sureflap do a feeder https://www.sureflap.com/en-gb/pet-feeder/microchip-pet-feeder
A bit on the expensive side at £100 each but seems to get very good reviews on Amazon.

Cool. Fattus cattus, your belly's days are numbered. Mind you, she'll probably just destroy it trying to get in.

An excellent find  ;D I've not seen one of these in the wild yet. In some households there would be the risk of the fat cat waiting for the thin cat to 'unlock' the bowl then pushing them out of the way to hold it open with their big fat head!
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: ian on March 30, 2015, 12:25:26 pm
The little cat – she's called the Hunstersaurus because she's part monster – isn't to be messed with, as Bad Cat knows. Every fights ends up with her on her back making loud pathetic noises (while little cat bites her belly and gets kicked repeatedly in the head). This goes on for some time. Given that little cat has no teeth, I'm not sure she needs to make a racket like she's having her guts torn out. It's not like she lacks padding on her belly either. She's got less of a skirt and more of a ballgown.
Title: Re: Raw feeding cats
Post by: GruB on June 09, 2015, 07:30:00 pm
Is anyone doing it? How are you getting on?

My second job started as a supporting role for Mrs G - working for Honey's Real Dog Food.  She is in the Finance Dept.
Their website is poor but their food is amazing.  Quite a few customers have cats.
They get a very good write up on the Raw Feeding Website.

Both our dogs are fed raw.  The 7 year old Vizsla for 5 years now and the 13 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier bitch for nearly a year.  She came home at 7 weeks and was fed on raw from then on.

Both are a perfect weight.  Great skin / coat.  Fantastically white teeth.  Very healthy and happy pets.