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Supplementing a commercial diet w/ fresh foods

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have read some books lately. Most pet food manufacturers are totally against feeding healthy table scraps to pets. But I've read some holistic information indicating that the message that all table scraps are unhealthy is false and that it is actually very beneficial to supplement a processed diet w/ fresh food such as fresh, unseasoned meat, some plain yogurt or cottage cheese, grated raw or steamed veggies. I'm wondering if any of you supplement your cats commercial diet. If I were to do so I would cook the meat though and according to the author of "Food Pets Die For" Ann Martin it's fine to cook the food. She feeds her cats a homemade cooked diet. Dr Belfield is another holistic vet who approves cooking the food. I think the nice thing about supplementing a commercial diet is that you don't have to worry so much about a perfect balance of vitamins and minerals. I'm wondering if any of you have any recipes.
post #2 of 25
I have plenty of them

just got the new ones from the vet this week.... but it is early... can you wait till later I will send them ///

two of my three are eating off the oriental medicine chart ( hey I am tring it and it is working) ... they often get canned mised with homemade
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Of course I'll wait. I just got out of bed myself. And I'll be cleaning house so perpaps I'll check again this evening. One thing that I always wonder is where people get all the supplements. Although I'll only be supplementing commercial pet food I know some recipes include supplements. I'm uncomfortable buying a supplement intended for people and assuming it's ok to give to animals.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
Of course I'll wait. I just got out of bed myself. And I'll be cleaning house so perpaps I'll check again this evening. One thing that I always wonder is where people get all the supplements. Although I'll only be supplementing commercial pet food I know some recipes include supplements. I'm uncomfortable buying a supplement intended for people and assuming it's ok to give to animals.
A lot of online pet supply sites sell supplements, e.g., http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/produ...wcat.php?cat=3
I offer cooked meat or fish, a hardboiled egg, cottage cheese, pumpkin or spinach instead of commercial food a few times a month, but don't bother to supplement because commercial food is still the bulk of the diet.
post #5 of 25
As long is it's not more than about 10% of their diet I don't think there's much harm in feeding cats table scraps but I'd be very careful in what you give. esp as some foods are toxic to cats (onion, garlic, chocolate, grapes to name a few). I let my cats lick my plate when I'm finished eating and it's more than my life's worth to throw out an empty yogurt carton without letting them lick it out first. But be careful of processed meats and foods that are high in salt or sugar. Cats don't really need these foods. Neither do they need veggies. I feed raw meat occasionally as a treat which they love more than anything else.

I'd also be careful about what supplements you add. Commercial foods are mostly balanced to ensure they have the correct nutrients (even the bad ones!) so adding supplements could result in an unbalanced diet. Some supplements are ok of course but I'd check with your vet or the manufacturer of the supplement first to make sure it's ok to add to commercial food. I add a probiotic to Jaffa's food.
post #6 of 25
I personally don't do it in any formal way but my cats do get raw food on occasion. Generally they have dry food available all the time and get wet food 2-3 times a day. They usually get raw food - mostly chicken thighs or gizzards or turkey necks - in place of wet food one meal a week.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Do you think I can trust raw meat from a regular grocery store such as Vons?
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
Do you think I can trust raw meat from a regular grocery store such as Vons?
I'm not familiar with it. We buy "organic meat" only, just on principle, but Jamie won't eat any meat raw.
post #9 of 25
I buy local meat or certified non antibiotic treated, organic when avail .... Poultry is easier to get general grocery
post #10 of 25
I think that even fresh human grade food has parisites in it. We cook our food. I think raw food for cats is frozed to kill off parasires. I'm probably wrong. But I had a hard time with my cats and raw food so I gave up trying. If we give our cats chicken now it's been cooked.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfish View Post
I think that even fresh human grade food has parisites in it. We cook our food. I think raw food for cats is frozed to kill off parasires. I'm probably wrong. But I had a hard time with my cats and raw food so I gave up trying. If we give our cats chicken now it's been cooked.
Yes evan the best meat can have issues but most cats do fine... lol... i am rotateing now as all raw didnt fly
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfish View Post
I think that even fresh human grade food has parisites in it. We cook our food. I think raw food for cats is frozed to kill off parasires. I'm probably wrong. But I had a hard time with my cats and raw food so I gave up trying. If we give our cats chicken now it's been cooked.
Yes it is reccommended that raw meat be frozen for at least 72 hours to kill off parasites. You're right about that. But it doesn't kill the bacteria.

Speaking of cooked food, what do you think of the recipes on this site? I don't believe they're complete and balanced recipes. Ann Martin rotates meals to give her kitties a balanced diet. But I think as as occasional meal, just to supplement a processed diet w/ occasional fresh food, they're nice. I haven't tried them yet. I'm not so sure the grains are necessary though. But according to Ann Martin, her animals are doing really well on her meals. She never feeds commercial pet food at all.
http://www.newsagepress.com/foodpetsdiefor.html
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
Yes it is reccommended that raw meat be frozen for at least 72 hours to kill off parasites. You're right about that. But it doesn't kill the bacteria.

Speaking of cooked food, what do you think of the recipes on this site? I don't believe they're complete and balanced recipes. Ann Martin rotates meals to give her kitties a balanced diet. But I think as as occasional meal, just to supplement a processed diet w/ occasional fresh food, they're nice. I haven't tried them yet. I'm not so sure the grains are necessary though. But according to Ann Martin, her animals are doing really well on her meals. She never feeds commercial pet food at all.
http://www.newsagepress.com/foodpetsdiefor.html
Those recipes are FAR from complete .... but if she liteally rotated the recipes daily it may work
post #14 of 25
I read over a few, Seems they have put some thought into them. Anyone who goes out of their way to prep food like that sure loves their kittys. I would like to better my cats diet. We will poach chicken breasts or saute some chicken hamburg for the cats but never went to the extreme of blending food.
post #15 of 25
Those recipes are definitely not complete, even if they are rotated. None of them contain enough calcium, for one thing. They do sound good for snacks, though. I might try some and see what my cats think. Thanks for posting that link, moggiegirl.
post #16 of 25
Feeding a raw diet is tricky. When done "correctly", it can be marvelous. When done incompletely it can be disastrous...and in the same breath, I'll mention that there is no real "right" in raw feeding exclusively...it can be done a variety of ways, while still achieving excellent outcomes.

If you want to keep it really simple, continue feeding your regular commercially prepared food, to ensure that your cat is getting a balanced diet, and then offer fresh foods that are safe, and high in moisture, protein, and all of the goodies a true carnivore enjoys. To me, a little bit of raw and fresh food is better than a solely commercially prepared diet, even if the fresh stuff is only offered 2-3 times a week.

Here are some safe fresh "treats" or meals that can be given at your own discretion, in conjunction with your cat's current diet:

*cottage cheese
*a couple of tablespoons of plain unflavored yogurt.
*a raw egg (you can grind the shell up in it also...great calcium source...and feed the yolk and white as well!)
*organ meats...such as chicken hearts, liver, etc. Great source of taurine! Use sparingly at first, as the richness doesn't always agree immediately with certain kitties.
*muscle meats...raw, NOT cooked. To ensure that bad bacteria is elimated, freeze for 3-4 days before serving. Chicken breasts, chopped rabbit (check out www.haretoday.com) meat, chopped mutton or lamb, duck, are wonderful muscle meats for kitties. Don't be afraid of the stuff at the grocery store. You can find some cheap and perfectly good meat sources at your local supermarket...chances are even the store-bought stuff is healthier than the stuff in your cat's commercially prepared food.
*skip the veggies, they're entirely not necessary. Cats are carnivores, and the only grains they would truly eat on their own, are the stomach content of their prey, such as the few grains found in a mouse's stomach, for example.
*Don't be afraid to offer your cats a treat of a raw meaty bones...such as turkey necks, chicken backs, chicken wings. And I mean bones, and all. DO NOT COOK THE BONES. Bones are safe, chewable, and digestible as long as they are raw, and not cooked.
*A bit of fresh cheese is not so bad occassionally.
*Try to avoid feeding a lot of canned meats that contain seafood...such as tuna. NOT healthy in the long run, but fine for an OCCASSIONAL treat.

Hope this kind of points you in the right direction. Your cats would love it if you offered any of these items just 2-3 times a week.
post #17 of 25
Wookie
You are mostly right .. EGG white should not be consumed raw or cooked as it destroys biotin... Cottage cheese really shouldnt be given as most are lactose intolerant and for some reason many are allergic .. veggies are nessary the debate is how much...

I hope you working with a vet with nutrtional background not just reling on what books are out there
post #18 of 25
oppps double post
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Wookie
You are mostly right .. EGG white should not be consumed raw or cooked as it destroys biotin... Cottage cheese really shouldnt be given as most are lactose intolerant and for some reason many are allergic .. veggies are nessary the debate is how much...

I hope you working with a vet with nutrtional background not just reling on what books are out there

I don't actually feed raw myself. I've done A LOT of research, and I've been considering it for quite a while, but need to do quite a bit more reading. Unfortunately, it's not easy to find a raw-friendly vet (especially around here), and the other down-side is that there seems to be a lot of variances between holistic-veterinary practices and how they agree on how to prepare raw diets...some say this, others say that. It's a very tricky thing, and I'm not sure that I'm ready.

I have offered a bit of all of the above as treats at one point or another, but not with any regularity or consistency, including the cottage cheese (sparingly) and whole egg. I know this is a rather weak arguing point to offer either of these food items to my cats, but they're just a couple extra sources of protein that I've offered, and many commercially prepared foods actually include both of these ingredients (in small amounts). Now, I also realize that many commercial diets include A LOT of things are less than what we need our cats to be eating, but again, my experience in using these two items has been sparse, and uneventful with my own cats.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wookie130 View Post
I don't actually feed raw myself. I've done A LOT of research, and I've been considering it for quite a while, but need to do quite a bit more reading. Unfortunately, it's not easy to find a raw-friendly vet (especially around here), and the other down-side is that there seems to be a lot of variances between holistic-veterinary practices and how they agree on how to prepare raw diets...some say this, others say that. It's a very tricky thing, and I'm not sure that I'm ready.

I have offered a bit of all of the above as treats at one point or another, but not with any regularity or consistency, including the cottage cheese (sparingly) and whole egg. I know this is a rather weak arguing point to offer either of these food items to my cats, but they're just a couple extra sources of protein that I've offered, and many commercially prepared foods actually include both of these ingredients (in small amounts). Now, I also realize that many commercial diets include A LOT of things are less than what we need our cats to be eating, but again, my experience in using these two items has been sparse, and uneventful with my own cats.

you are lucky... if they tolerate the cheese reg and cottage then give it ... But for safety please only give the yolk....
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've read that a small amount of veggies are good because they contain phytonutrients, some vitamins and minerals.

The reason Ann Martin uses yogurt and cottage cheese is because it contains calcium. But I wonder, Is the calcium in cottage cheese and yogurt a good enough source of calcium for a cat?

Well, looking at these ingredients, this is something I would only prepare as an occasional treat, rather than a steady diet.

I've successfully gotten my cats to eat more wet food now. I give them a quarter of a 5.5 ounce can or 1/2 of a 3 ounce can 3 times a day, once in the morning, again at 5 pm after work and again at 8 pm on work days and on weekends, wet food for breakfast, wet food for lunch and wet food for dinner. The cats also get a little dry food every day but less than what they used to get. This is an improvement already, reducing the dry and increasing the wet.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
As long is it's not more than about 10% of their diet I don't think there's much harm in feeding cats table scraps but I'd be very careful in what you give. esp as some foods are toxic to cats (onion, garlic, chocolate, grapes to name a few). I let my cats lick my plate when I'm finished eating
Quote:
and it's more than my life's worth to throw out an empty yogurt carton without letting them lick it out first
. But be careful of processed meats and foods that are high in salt or sugar. Cats don't really need these foods. Neither do they need veggies. I feed raw meat occasionally as a treat which they love more than anything else.

I'd also be careful about what supplements you add. Commercial foods are mostly balanced to ensure they have the correct nutrients (even the bad ones!) so adding supplements could result in an unbalanced diet. Some supplements are ok of course but I'd check with your vet or the manufacturer of the supplement first to make sure it's ok to add to commercial food. I add a probiotic to Jaffa's food.
Please do research on Activia before letting your cat have any of this. Here is just one of zillions of places you can read the bad, bad effects it is having on humans so I would not give it to your cat. Yes, you can find some good remarks too, but something that has this many bad things said about it, do you want your cat to have it? Stick to regular yogurt. I am one of the many that are having severe cramps since I started this which I never had before with regular yogurt. The ad hype got to me. I always let the cats lick the lids though, but no more Activia for them OR me...
http://www.slashfood.com/2006/03/10/...urt/2#comments
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persi View Post
Please do research on Activia before letting your cat have any of this. Here is just one of zillions of places you can read the bad, bad effects it is having on humans so I would not give it to your cat. Yes, you can find some good remarks too, but something that has this many bad things said about it, do you want your cat to have it? Stick to regular yogurt. I am one of the many that are having severe cramps since I started this which I never had before with regular yogurt. The ad hype got to me. I always let the cats lick the lids though, but no more Activia for them OR me...
http://www.slashfood.com/2006/03/10/...urt/2#comments
Thanks for the heads up - I had never heard of problems with Activia. I don't eat it though so no risk for the cats. In fact more often than not I eat plain, unsweetened yogurt.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wookie130 View Post
Feeding a raw diet is tricky. When done "correctly", it can be marvelous. When done incompletely it can be disastrous...and in the same breath, I'll mention that there is no real "right" in raw feeding exclusively...it can be done a variety of ways, while still achieving excellent outcomes.

If you want to keep it really simple, continue feeding your regular commercially prepared food, to ensure that your cat is getting a balanced diet, and then offer fresh foods that are safe, and high in moisture, protein, and all of the goodies a true carnivore enjoys. To me, a little bit of raw and fresh food is better than a solely commercially prepared diet, even if the fresh stuff is only offered 2-3 times a week.

Here are some safe fresh "treats" or meals that can be given at your own discretion, in conjunction with your cat's current diet:

*cottage cheese
*a couple of tablespoons of plain unflavored yogurt.
*a raw egg (you can grind the shell up in it also...great calcium source...and feed the yolk and white as well!)
*organ meats...such as chicken hearts, liver, etc. Great source of taurine! Use sparingly at first, as the richness doesn't always agree immediately with certain kitties.
*muscle meats...raw, NOT cooked. To ensure that bad bacteria is elimated, freeze for 3-4 days before serving. Chicken breasts, chopped rabbit (check out www.haretoday.com) meat, chopped mutton or lamb, duck, are wonderful muscle meats for kitties. Don't be afraid of the stuff at the grocery store. You can find some cheap and perfectly good meat sources at your local supermarket...chances are even the store-bought stuff is healthier than the stuff in your cat's commercially prepared food.
*skip the veggies, they're entirely not necessary. Cats are carnivores, and the only grains they would truly eat on their own, are the stomach content of their prey, such as the few grains found in a mouse's stomach, for example.
*Don't be afraid to offer your cats a treat of a raw meaty bones...such as turkey necks, chicken backs, chicken wings. And I mean bones, and all. DO NOT COOK THE BONES. Bones are safe, chewable, and digestible as long as they are raw, and not cooked.
*A bit of fresh cheese is not so bad occassionally.
*Try to avoid feeding a lot of canned meats that contain seafood...such as tuna. NOT healthy in the long run, but fine for an OCCASSIONAL treat.

Hope this kind of points you in the right direction. Your cats would love it if you offered any of these items just 2-3 times a week.
Thanks for the tips. I'm convinced after doing some more research and reading Dr Pitcairn's book that homemade cat food should not be served cooked unless it's just a tidbit of chicken. Raw is better and far more nutritious. I will separate the yolk from the white if I give them egg. What I have done is order feline instincts from www.felineinstincts.com and I am going to prepare raw meals and put them in individual freezer bags and freeze them, so occasionally instead of their regular can of cat food they will get raw food instead and it will be a nutritionally balanced recipe. I'm still waiting for the product to be shipped to me. I ordered it from their website. I bought a food processor/blender product so I can grind raw chunks of chicken since my cats might not eat chunks at first. The best thing about this product is that it's also good for preparing people food so I don't waste my money if the raw thing doesn't fly with my cats. I still have no idea if my cats will eat it or not since I haven't tried it yet. I ordered the liver powder from feline instincts which is supposed to make raw meat highly palatable and can be used in place of raw liver. Otherwise raw liver must be added according to the recipe instructions on their site. I'll let you all know if my cats go for it.

In the past I have found out that Rosie likes raw beef like filet mignon. So far she has only had cooked chicken. If she won't accept raw chicken I might have to prepare her recipe with beef. Spotty has a a possible chance of not eating the raw food but I won't assume that until I try it. I want to thank Sharky for reccommending Feline Instincts because it's going to be a lot easier than shopping around for all the supplements Dr Pitcairn lists in his book. Being on public transportation I just can't hop from health food store to health food store so I'll just have someone ship me the complete supplements and all I have to buy is the meat. WOW!!!
post #25 of 25
Quote:
EGG white should not be consumed raw or cooked as it destroys biotin...
Is this a typo? I understood that this was only an issue with raw egg whites, and that once cooked this was no longer a concern.
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