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Would Kitten Food Be Better For Ferals?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
It's almost time to do the cat food shopping for the month and I'm wondering if kitten food might be better for the outside guys?

I may be off base with this thinking so that's why I'm asking. Being in Michigan, winter is really, really winter and they deal with the cold and snow a lot. It occurs to me that kitten food has lots of extra num-nums that might be beneficial for outdoor cats.

Would this be a right or wrong assumption?
post #2 of 24
Okay all you feral experts ... I too would like to know ...
post #3 of 24
In my opinion, anything that you could feed your ferals to bulk up on protein and fats is a wonderful idea.

Our winters here in Arizona are nothing compared to yours, but I cut up cheese for my babies, hotdogs ( I know, not good, but fats) bacon pieces, turkey, anything I can get my hands on. I also give them a bowl of canned milk at night ( I know, milk is not good for cats, but my babies just love it) and I have made a shelter for them with blankets and old sleeping bags with cardboard around the edges of my porch to block the wind.

By the way, I am also mixing kitten chow in with their regular foods.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
In my opinion, anything that you could feed your ferals to bulk up on protein and fats is a wonderful idea.

Our winters here in Arizona are nothing compared to yours, but I cut up cheese for my babies, hotdogs ( I know, not good, but fats) bacon pieces, turkey, anything I can get my hands on. I also give them a bowl of canned milk at night ( I know, milk is not good for cats, but my babies just love it) and I have made a shelter for them with blankets and old sleeping bags with cardboard around the edges of my porch to block the wind.

By the way, I am also mixing kitten chow in with their regular foods.
Please refrain from pork... it poises a health risk in many ways ....
post #5 of 24
Not being a cat nutrition expert, but going on instinct, I would say yes to kitten food.

Based on the fact that I feed my indoor centrally-heated parrot on a healthy diet of green veg, pellets, and seeds such as pumpkin, but if I were putting food out for outdoor birds it would contain suet/lard and high-fat sunflower seeds to help them build up body fat and stave off the cold a bit.

I think that outdoor cats would find the extra calories useful going into winter.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Please refrain from pork... it poises a health risk in many ways ....
Such as?? I read a raw feeding group and they feed pork all the time.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchwarzeKatz View Post
Such as?? I read a raw feeding group and they feed pork all the time.

Pork for one is the most likely meat to contain parasites , many of which can host in humans also ... The FAT is INDIGESTABLE .... THink of the warnings for humans to cook it throughly over beef and evan poultry .... I have had vets with three totally different philsophies tell ME NO PORK for dogs or cats ... ESPECIALLY not RAW....
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Pork for one is the most likely meat to contain parasites , many of which can host in humans also ... The FAT is INDIGESTABLE .... THink of the warnings for humans to cook it throughly over beef and evan poultry .... I have had vets with three totally different philsophies tell ME NO PORK for dogs or cats ... ESPECIALLY not RAW....
Yes, I am familiar with trichinosis. I haven't fed my cats raw pork but I understand that freezing the pork for a certain amount of time kills the larvae that causes trichinosis. I have never heard that the fat is indigestable though. I'll have to do more reading about that just to settle my curiosity.
post #9 of 24
Thanks for the information, Sharky. I assume you were talking about the bacon. This is just done during the winter and besides, my babies are very smart, the only thing raw they eat are the birds that they catch.
post #10 of 24
I am glad to here they are smart .... fatty hambuger would be better as bacon also is too salty for kitty along with pork issues///
post #11 of 24
I would think kitten food would be a good idea. I mean, it just seems to make sense. I might have to consider feeding me few ferals kitten food, & maybe going 50/50 kitten/adult for my garage cats that go outside!

I never thought of that before....I know the winters here in MN are just as bad as you've got.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses to this. I think I will be buying some Chicken Soup Kitten formula for the outside guys.

Because of my Nugies Struvite Crystals issue, I hope to get my inside guys on pretty much an all wet diet so any dry I buy from here on out will be mostly for the ferals which has me thinking differently about what to get.

The good news for me is that I can spend less $$$ on the dry, but we will probably take up that slack on the canned.

I just wish the outside guys would get smart and come in the house for the winter. It would be a whole lot easier and all of us I'm sure. Silly Cats!
post #13 of 24
If nobody dont know any kontrindications about kitten food, this should be excellent for ferals, especielly in harsh winterclimate.
Hereby you do get a BIG goldstar for the idea, Tru.


Kittenkiya mentioned milk. Yes, some grown up cats do not manage milk, although itsnt generelly.
I would guess ferals do manage milk, as ferals and long time homeless are per definition the survivors. (most homeless do not survive as we all know).
Of course, danger is you happen to help to kill off a freshly dumped homeless who happen not to tolerate milk... Being intolerant to milk he would probably die anyway sooner or later, but it is unpleasant to be the direct cause to its sickness and probably death...


Last, pork and trichinosis.

I dont know how it is in the USA. The same warning is often issued in Sweden too. But. All meat sold in shops is always analysed already in the slaughterhouses. (they do have vets there for this). There had not been any trichinosis in Sweden in more than 50 years!

I guess this is so also in USA. If not, of course the pork should be either heated up, or frozen at least 3 days before eaten by humans or cats.
post #14 of 24
I think kitten food is a fine idea. They will definitely benefit from the extra protein and calories. Also make sure to include canned food because in freezing weather, liquid water may be hard to come by. If they eat plenty of canned food then they will at least get the liquid from that.
post #15 of 24
When I was feeding feral Elsa, I fed her kitten food - but I didn't know a thing about ferals. I just knew she was SOOOO skinny, and anything had to help her keep warm. I recently read that it's REALLY important to provide fresh water especially in the freezing cold of winter because if they are not getting enough water, they will eat snow, which could cause hypothermia.

BTW. Elsa's now residing inside and at quite a comfortable weight, LOL.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
When I was feeding feral Elsa, I fed her kitten food - but I didn't know a thing about ferals. I just knew she was SOOOO skinny, and anything had to help her keep warm. I recently read that it's REALLY important to provide fresh water especially in the freezing cold of winter because if they are not getting enough water, they will eat snow, which could cause hypothermia.

BTW. Elsa's now residing inside and at quite a comfortable weight, LOL.
As far as fresh water goes, I have a heated water bowl plus a small ceramic heater in one cat house with both houses stuffed with plenty of marsh hay.

I'm down to three cats that don't want to come in. One is my Buddy who reverted to outdoors all the time earlier this year when Monique started terrorizing him. She's been here over a year and a half and is front declawed so it's really kind of weird that he is so afraid of her now. Sylvester is an odd guy. I've nabbed and brought him in the house before, but he simply doesn't like to be touched, (or even near), humans and continues with his feral ways.

Last, but not lease is Lippy. It took me about two years to get my hands on him to get him in to be fixed. He was always a real bully, terrorizing any cat he saw. I wouldn't see him every day, but often enough.

Now that he is fixed, he stays on the property almost always. After some months at working at it I can pet him and we usually do this walk, crouch, pet thing as we converse while I go up the walk from our house to Steve's moms' to take care of her.

I've tried picking him up twice, but he isn't ready to be held yet. I'm sure over time he will be.

I too was feeding ferals long before I had ever heard the word. I have always loved those "poor old strays" who make us work so hard to earn their trust. Once they have accepted that we are "friend" , they are usually the most loving and loyal cats a person could ever know.

Now that I've rambled on and on again and gone completely off topic, I guess I should shut up for pity's' sake.

I'm off to my daughters' today for turkey dinner. Yippee!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchwarzeKatz View Post
Such as?? I read a raw feeding group and they feed pork all the time.
Feeding raw pork leaves cats open to the risk of contracting Aujeskys Disease, also known as Pseudorabies. http://vein.library.usyd.edu.au/link...udorabies.html
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...d=pseudorabies
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Feeding raw pork leaves cats open to the risk of contracting Aujeskys Disease, also known as Pseudorabies. http://vein.library.usyd.edu.au/link...udorabies.html
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...d=pseudorabies
You may also be interested in this http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jan05/050101i.asp
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchwarzeKatz View Post
You may also be interested in this http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jan05/050101i.asp
That's great news for those in the U.S., but I live in Germany, where such progress hasn't been made, "Black Cat". I'm still sceptical about raw feeding, as Jamie, in particular, and the two "half-cats", ZsaZsa and Miezi, most of the time refuse to eat anything that's not cooked, unless we're talking insects.
post #20 of 24
I have managed to have Princess and Lyssa-Lyssa run into the house in the morning, before I put their food out and give them pets and hugs.

They kind of look around, check things out. I am REALLY surprised that my insiders did NOT freak. No hissing, no spitting, no clawing, no growling.....nothing.

It seems though as soon as I start closing the door, Lyssa is out the door and Princess gets this panicked look on her face like she really wants to stay in, but is scared.

I am hoping to get Princess in this year. Of all the babies, I think I have the best chance with her. She walked over to the insider's food bowl the other morning and helped herself.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
That's great news for those in the U.S., but I live in Germany, where such progress hasn't been made, "Black Cat". I'm still sceptical about raw feeding, as Jamie, in particular, and the two "half-cats", ZsaZsa and Miezi, most of the time refuse to eat anything that's not cooked, unless we're talking insects.
I am aware that not everybody on this board is in the U.S., that's why I said that you may be interested in that article (I didn't know where you were from), and some people in the U.S. may have read it and found it helpful since they may have only read the body of your post which does not say where pseudorabies is more of a risk factor. I wonder what the odds of a pet contracting pseudorabies from a piece of raw pork actually is and I wonder if cooking kills the virus? It appears to me that a lot of people on this forum are skeptical (and scared) about feeding raw but they don't mind feeding all kinds of other processed garbage with chemicals and additives. Oh well, whatever works eh?

In what general area of Germany do you live? I spent 3 1/2 years there and my brother has lived there since 1981.
post #22 of 24
I live in southwestern Germany (Baden-Württemberg), and have been here since 1982, though I lived in Bavaria (Augsburg) for a year before moving here. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. As far as I understand, cooked pork/boiled ham present no danger whatsoever. IME, many cats love boiled ham. Jamie (in my siggy) has major allergy problems, as well as tooth (plaque) trouble, so raw feeding was something I looked into. He won't eat raw. Period. Actually, I'm rather relieved, because I fear salmonella and vitamin/mineral deficiencies with a raw diet.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I live in southwestern Germany (Baden-Württemberg), and have been here since 1982, though I lived in Bavaria (Augsburg) for a year before moving here. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. As far as I understand, cooked pork/boiled ham present no danger whatsoever. IME, many cats love boiled ham. Jamie (in my siggy) has major allergy problems, as well as tooth (plaque) trouble, so raw feeding was something I looked into. He won't eat raw. Period. Actually, I'm rather relieved, because I fear salmonella and vitamin/mineral deficiencies with a raw diet.

I was stationed in Augsburg for almost two years and spent the rest of the time in Bad Aibling. I loved it over there.

Not all of my cats will eat raw w/bones. All of them will eat raw chunks of meat though. I don't feed them an entirely raw diet. I give them chicken wings once or twice a week and chunks of raw chicken for the three that aren't interested in bones. I really don't worry about salmonella, you're more likely to get that from ground meat than from whole pieces anyway. No pet food is entirely safe, your cat can get salmonella from canned food too and there are some toxins (such as mycotoxin or aflatoxin) that survive the cooking process to make kibble. Cats are obligate carnivores but we feed them all kinds of grains and vegetables (carbs) which lead many cats to obesity and diabetes and who knows what other diseases. Kibble is suspected in contributing to things like FLUTD. So anyway, I don't mean to drone on and I'm not trying to convince you to try to feed your cats raw meat; I'm just saying that there's a certain risk in any food you feed.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchwarzeKatz View Post
I was stationed in Augsburg for almost two years and spent the rest of the time in Bad Aibling. I loved it over there.

Not all of my cats will eat raw w/bones. All of them will eat raw chunks of meat though. I don't feed them an entirely raw diet. I give them chicken wings once or twice a week and chunks of raw chicken for the three that aren't interested in bones. I really don't worry about salmonella, you're more likely to get that from ground meat than from whole pieces anyway. No pet food is entirely safe, your cat can get salmonella from canned food too and there are some toxins (such as mycotoxin or aflatoxin) that survive the cooking process to make kibble. Cats are obligate carnivores but we feed them all kinds of grains and vegetables (carbs) which lead many cats to obesity and diabetes and who knows what other diseases. Kibble is suspected in contributing to things like FLUTD. So anyway, I don't mean to drone on and I'm not trying to convince you to try to feed your cats raw meat; I'm just saying that there's a certain risk in any food you feed.
I couldnt agree more! I believe 100% that dry food was the culprit in my Trixters years of obesity, and eventual diagnosis of diabetes. Now that he is on an all wet food diet, he doesnt need insulin anymore and is doing REALLY well! Also, my Smeagol has lost ALL of his excess weight and looks and feels like he should now! Dry food is a TERRIBLE diet for cats, IMO. Even the expensive stuff.
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