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Dry/Canned vs. Fresh Meat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Dear Members,

As you'd probably are aware I lost my cat today due to a combination of UTI & CRF. What made me decide to post this is to get your opinion(s) about what to feed your cats. I see a lot of posts here about which "commercial food" to feed cats.

We fed his on both very affordable commercial dry (including the pricey Science Diet) and canned food for 8 years. The vet informed me the main cause of UTI was mainly due to the dry food and all that artificial preserving chemicals, colourings and stuff in canned food too which contribute to the disease. He highly recommended to feed cats fresh produce ie. freshly bought white/red meats to be cooked (boiled, grilled, broiled) and fed to cats daily. And he is right.

In the old days when Singapore was poor (villages aplenty and stray cats were easily adopted by the villagers), owners fed their felines with scraps from the dinner table. These cats, surprisingly lived to ripe old ages and not easily succumb to diseases. The people then hadn't even heard of vaccinations and vets were non-existent.

So, knowing that this is the case, I wonder if you would continue to feed your cats commercial food despite being aware of the undesirable health consequences. For me, I choose to switch to a natural diet unless the vets prescribe special diets due to a medical condition if I decide to adopt a cat in the future (again). It's a lot of work but if that's how we stay healthy by eating preservative/colouring free food daily, then our feline friend(s) deserve this too. And fresh produce is cheaper than the commercial food too. I asked myself how I would end like eating canned produce like sardines, carrots etc. for the next few decades of my life :O

I'm not against commercial food but it's a proactive choice we cat owners can make. And I wish to hear you.
post #2 of 8
well one of mine wouldnt eat dry but thats all shell eat cept for a bit of wet or homemade here and there

the other two four leggeds eat canned raw homemade and dry for treat s...
post #3 of 8
Mine eat homemade raw and high-protein quality canned (anything below a certain protein percentage content makes my food fair game to Typhus. She doesn't give it a second glance otherwise). The changes in my first cat (still here at 3 yrs lol) between Iams, then felidae wet and now raw have been amazing. I'd never go back unless in the most drastic of circumstances.
post #4 of 8
I'm sorry you lost your boy today

I do think homemade is better (and raw better than cooked) but it's hard to get right unless you can get it premade, and a raw diet doesn't suit all cats. You have to be very careful to make sure you get a proper balance of nutrients. Commercial foods do, at least, tend to be nutritionally balanced. There are premium wet foods out there that don't contain any artificial colours and preservatives. I think they're the next best thing to a natural diet.

I feed mostly premium wet food with a little poorer quality wet food (Jaffa only) and a small amount of good quality dry (Mosi only).
post #5 of 8
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's so hard to lose one.

To answer your question, IMHO, I'm beginning to see the benefits of raw. I have two on it now, and have been trying to get the other two to eat it, but they're avid about the dry food, and haven't, as yet, touched the raw. I'm considering switching them to Innova Evo, which as far as I can tell is the closest thing in a dry that you can get to a raw.

We make our own raw diet for them. It's a lot of work, but cost wise, if you plan it out, and get the meat during a sale, you can do it for about what it would cost to have them on an all wet diet.

During the process of getting our newest Bengal (still a kitten, 16 weeks old now), we ended up doing an extensive amount of research on the raw diet. We'd been considering it for our first Bengal who had a lot of issues. He's an F3, and was extraordinarily picky about his food to the point where we just had no idea what else to feed him. He refused to eat dry, most wet..and would eat meat cooked for people. We ended up putting him on the Gerber Graduates turkey sticks mixed in with crumbled up dry.. which was the best route for us until we ended up with raw when we got the kitten.

I'm becoming more and more a proponent of the raw diet. We have been using a mixture of organ meats and breasts and thighs (all chicken) with a nutritional supplement (Wild Trax), a bit of egg yolk, some additional nutrients that we add ourselves. Overall, our eldest Bengal, the F3 (Khan) has since filled out, and he absolutely cannot get enough of it. His coat has improved, he's filled out, and he's a much happier kitty.

What I've seen of the research we've done is that cats are simply healthier on a raw diet. They lose a lot of the health problems that are attributed to most domesticated cats today, including obesity, and organ problems. My vet does not support this idea, though, but agrees that since we are doing it, we're doing the right thing with the ingredients and we've gone over it extensively with him. He's more worried about the loss of nutrients and such.

I guess the biggest thing with the raw is that you have to do it right. Since there's so much controversy over it, we've sort of gone with the theory that you should effectively try to recreate the portions according to what a dead mouse would be, multiplied by however many mice a cat would eat in a day, more or less. I got most of my information from catnutrition.org and have adapted a little to make the diet feasible for us to make.

They also mention a premade raw food called Feline's Pride. I'm a bit hesitant to order from a company no matter how reputable just because it's so easy to get the cross contamination and pick up bacteria.. shipping is just iffy on keeping something frozen, and not totally reliable.

So, I'm torn. Does the risk of bacteria and contamination outweight the other health risks of a kitty who is not on raw? I still lean to the side of the raw diet, though. But it does make for very high maintanence kitties. Fortunately, I love mine enough to put up with the craziness, hehe. Every claw mark in my leg from the kitten trying to climb up it while she's impatiently waiting her meal is proof!

And, I'm stuck with raw vs. cooked. Neither one of the two on the raw will touch anything cooked. Khan is very much a wild cat, though. I think that's a big part of the issue with him. Joyeux, simply, is spoiled rotten, and was raised on raw. Um, yeah, and btw, she came spoiled rotten... ::cough:: we didn't make her any worse..... ::whistles nonchalantly::

post #6 of 8
So sorry about your cat.

If you're going to go homemade I reccommend the book Dr Pitcairn's Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats or an easy way is to get the supplements from www.felineinstincts.com and mix w/ whatever raw meat you want to feed. Raw is better if you're going to do homemade.

Ironic isn't it. First vets reccommend Science Diet and then your cat gets sick. Of course not all cats get sick from commercial pet food and not all health problems are a direct result from the food but I have read many testimonials about people who switched to raw and their pets rarely have to be seen by a vet. Fresh food is superior to processed.
post #7 of 8
Very sorry about your loss. Losing a companion is very difficult.

My cats have been trying raw food (meat) for the past several months. We had a setback recently in the conversion process (the cats just stopped eating the raw), but am making another try. One cat appears to be healthier on the raw food (softer silkier coat, no more dandruff problem, more spry activity). The other cat never took to canned food (only liked dry, which is problematic); the recent stoppage aside, this cat prefers raw over canned and vomits extremely rarely after raw meals (as compared to canned).

The raw diet has taken a lot of commitment on our part, especially the extra effort required to ensure the food is balanced, appropriate, and safe in terms of nutrients. Bacteria, contamination, bones, and freshness are a constant concern. Compared to canned and dry, more time (at least for us) needs to be expended to feed raw. There have been many rejected meals, and much worry over the cats starving themselves; progress has been very slow. The potential for better health however is very worthwhile, especially when considers the stress in the household when one of the cats needs to be pilled (fresh salmon, canned tuna, cheese, and pill pockets did not work).

For raw feeding, I second the recommendation for catnutrition.org and suggest also catinfo.org/makingcatfood.htm

A few enticements that have helped the [first attempt at] conversion (you probably already know of these):
-- Fish flakes (I usually get the human version from the local Japanese/Asian grocery store. The flakes are labeled as either bonito flakes, or sardine flakes. There is also mackerel flakes, but have not had a chance to see if the cats will take to it. The smoked [bonito] version is not recommended; one of my cats vomited after eating it)
-- Freeze dried chicken. My cats liked chicken Liv-a-Littles very much. Cod appears alright, but it is too soon to tell. Have not tried the other flavors.
-- Beech-Nut Naturals Stage 1 baby food, turkey flavor. The cats did not take to the chicken flavor.

Kittens may take to raw more easily. Have not tried cooked homemade cat food yet, but will try it to provide more variety.

Just some thoughts.

Best of luck on the search.
post #8 of 8
There are a lot of natural and organic cat foods out there. I feed my cats Innova Evo now. It's pretty darn close to raw. It's a no grain canned food and they love it.
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