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Is raw worth it?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Is it worth it to make a committment to feeding raw when your cats are flat out rejecting the food? When switching to raw means you have to waste pounds of pounds of expensive chicken only to find yourself throwing it in the trash again and again because your cats won't eat it, spend lots of time preparing the food and cleaning up the mess afterwards over and over again only to find out the cats won't eat it? When switching to raw means you'll probably have to starve the cats into it or at least fast them and have them skipping a few meals?

The "die hard" raw feeders are telling us that it is dangerous to feed commercial pet food and that we are making our pets ill and weakening their immune systems by feeding "cooked" food which all commercial pet food is, both dry and canned. The "die hard" raw feeders even believe that a mostly or wholly canned food diet is unhealthy. But is it really so horrible? My cats have a lot of energy in spite of eating "terrible" commercial pet food(although it does not have any by-products or chemical preservatives because I now feed high quality commercial pet food). According to the die hard raw feeders we're really doing our pets a disservice by feeding commercial pet food. So I have prepared my first batch of raw food today. The feline instincts supplement turned the food yellow like mustard. I wonder if it's supposed to be like that or if I did something wrong. I followed the directions, I measured the amounts. My cats sniffed it and walked away from it in disgust. It is not easy to feed raw and I don't know if it's worth it to try again, knowing that my cats are definitely going to reject it again and I will be throwing more poultry away.

Why do the "die hards", now I'm not talking about anyone on this forum, it's the articles by raw feeders that I've read on the internet, have to make us feel guilty for feeding commercial pet food, as if we're "killing" our pets. My cats are really playful and they run around a lot. Those are not the symptoms of sick animals.
post #2 of 26
some cats just wont eat it. And yours may be that way. Perhaps instead of waisting pounds and pounds of raw you could try something else?

Or, you could try premade raw to see if that gets them to get the taste for it. I use Natures Variety Praire they also have a nice kibble.
post #3 of 26
Could be your cats just don't like raw chicken.

My cats aren't fond of chicken in the raw form. They do however, love raw Rabbit, Duck, Venison and Turkey organs. Some of them enjoy raw beef as well.

My suggestion is to tempt your cats with "seared" pieces of red meat. Very lightly cooked and still very bloody. Often the cooking brings out an attractive flavor to the cats who are accustomed to cooked foods. As they acquire a taste for it, you can start experimenting.

My opinion is that raw, done correctly is better for your cats health, but for a cat that flat out refuses to eat raw, any commercial food that he/she will eat, is better than starving. That being said, when your cat hasn't eaten for more than 48 hours, it's time to become concerned, so anyone who advocates starving a cat to force them into eating raw, is doing far more harm than good.
post #4 of 26
I agree with Kai, mine aren't crazy about Chicken either, infact it's their LEAST favourite meat.

Don't get discouraged! It took me 6 months of trying (on and off) and a week and a half once I put my foot down and said "no, you're going to eat this and I'm not putting up with fussyness anymore" before my cats ate raw willingly.

They LOVE it now, and yes, it is DEFINATLEY worth it!
post #5 of 26
I'm neither for nor against raw foods, but I feel that if your cat does well on certain foods, why change? If your cat is not eating raw, why force them? IMO it makes more sense to feed a moderate diet. Cats need higher protein then dogs, so keep that in mind.

We feed Royal Cain now, but the cats do get extra cheese and meats we have left over from supper. They are very healthy
post #6 of 26
I'm currently switching & in contact with several different people. I've been told to expect to have Damita switched to raw in 6 months....maybe a little less. It's a long & difficult process, but in Damita's case...it will be well worth it!

Raw food doesn't smell near as strong as canned or dry. Dry food is addiciting. It's hard to switch a cat to raw....it will take a long time & a lot of work, but IMO, it is well worth it!
post #7 of 26
I've been torn between commercial and raw diets, but have been leaning lately toward the raw. I have two on raw, and two on commercial.. and the two on commercial won't even look funny at the raw. There are a few options, including feeding a dry diet based on the raw theory.. there are a number of foods (dry and canned) out there that are high protein, low carb, moderate fat, and no grains. There are also some frozen raw that end up being right around the same price as buying canned for them.. slightly more expensive then raw prepared at home.

The raw diet simply makes sense to me. Sometimes I wish it made less sense, considering how much work it can be. There does seem to be a wealth of information at www.catnutrition.org with tons of links to vet's blogs and books and so forth. It's pretty informative, imo.

About the supplement, I don't know. You might try a bit of the raw without the supplement and see if they eat it that way, or there are some suggestions on the website above that help to transfer a cat from dry to raw, if they're refusing it (none of which is starving them, but one of which suggests putting them on a timed feeding).
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, Spotty won't touch raw meat period but I have found that Rosie will eat raw meat without the supplements, both chicken and beef but if the supplements are added she walks away in disgust, but that creates a problem because it is the supplements that make raw meat a balanced diet. I'm using feline instincts from this company. www.felineinstincts.com
post #9 of 26
Try easing the suppliments in bit by bit over a week or so. It wont hurt her to have a few days that aren't completley 100% balanced (hey do we eat 100% balanced food every day?)
post #10 of 26
I also say ease the supplements...

My two eat raw in rotation the third would rather kill her own ....

Chicken is fine for one, both eat beef, both eat buffalo , both eat lightly cooked or steamed fish

when the girls arent eating raw they eat high end wet or lightly cooked homeade

a little of all seems to work here
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I also say ease the supplements...

My two eat raw in rotation the third would rather kill her own ....

Chicken is fine for one, both eat beef, both eat buffalo , both eat lightly cooked or steamed fish

when the girls arent eating raw they eat high end wet or lightly cooked homeade

a little of all seems to work here
I think I'll go with that. My grandparents used to occasionally feed their cats some raw not as a complete and balanced meal but as an occasional supplement to a basic commercial cat food diet. They fed raw hamburger meat, raw liver, raw lamb hearts, kidneys and organ meats from the asian market all as the occasional change from their usual can of Fancy Feast and they left out the dry stuff for nibbling. Their cats lived very long lives and didn't suffer from any nutritional problems. I guess that's kind of like the occasional Wysong au jus which is not complete and balanced either but meant to be fed as the occasional meal.

It's going to be hard convincing Spotty to eat anything raw but I already found out that Rosie likes the raw chicken whipped up into a pate with the food processor because she licked some off of my finger that I took from the processor that did not have the supplement mix in it but she doesn't like raw chicken chunks and in the past I found out that Rosie enjoys bloody raw steak. So I think I'll start with offering occasional raw meat treats because my cats are just not ready for a complete and balanced raw diet. I'll whip up the next batch of chicken pate without supplements. I can always add them gradually later once they're used to eating raw and their high quality commercial food will make up the bulk of their diet in the meantime so they don't suffer any nutritional deficiencies.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
Well, Spotty won't touch raw meat period but I have found that Rosie will eat raw meat without the supplements, both chicken and beef but if the supplements are added she walks away in disgust, but that creates a problem because it is the supplements that make raw meat a balanced diet. I'm using feline instincts from this company. www.felineinstincts.com
I think that it's the vitamin B complex that makes the colour and smells strong to the cat. Perhaps mixing a little of the raw food into a lot of the other food to start with until your cat takes to it might help. My boy can smell raw meat a mile off so he took to it immediately. The girl persian won't even sniff at it!!
post #13 of 26
I in no way feel guilty for feeding a commercial diet. I have felt guilty when my cat had a bacterial infection from eating raw.
post #14 of 26
Just as a curiosity, what was the results of that bacterial infection from the raw? How severe or dangerous is it for them to acquire it?
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitytize View Post
I in no way feel guilty for feeding a commercial diet. I have felt guilty when my cat had a bacterial infection from eating raw.
Ah, but you tried it, and that's what counts.
post #16 of 26
Have you seen this new thread about salmonella in a commercially produced raw food? http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=116351
This article from Cornell about avian flu and feeding raw poultry to cats also points out the risks: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/news/influenza.htm
post #17 of 26
I still can't find the different possible dangers from feeding raw.. I think it's only one strain of salmonella (as well as other things like e-coli) that are dangerous.

What I'd found though, when I was checking things out, is that almost all animals used for human consumption carry samonella in their intestinal tracts or something like that... it was a chart of bacterias and from what I could gather (which might be wrong) all animals carried it so it stood to reason that any raw food would have it. I need to find better, more clear information sometime soon, though. Can't really find much out about what cats are susceptible to.

Anyway, I'd read that article on the FDA site about the wild kitty raw..and it's my logic that if cats aren't susceptible that the warning is probably placed for humans. Humans are susceptible, and can get it from the raw food from cross-contamination, handling litter, et cetera. The article from the FDA is here, if anyone is interested.
http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01562.html

Here is one on salmonella, all the different strains, and how it affects animals v. people.. one page long and pretty informative. http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/pbs/zoono...almonella.html

This was also interesting.. although not an official site: http://www.rawfed.com/cat-salmonella.html

Also from that same site, and informative.. http://rawfed.com/myths/cats.html

I'm still looking for more information. I don't know if the risks from raw outweigh the risks from commercial or vice versa.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post

I'm still looking for more information. I don't know if the risks from raw outweigh the risks from commercial or vice versa.
That's the $64,000 question. A former moderator here, hissy/M.A., lost one cat to salmonella, and ever since then I've been skeptical.
post #19 of 26
I think all the foods have their own sets of risks. I know more than one person who has lost a cat due to urinary tract blockage, caused by crystals which were formed by exclusively feeding dry kibble.

The only sure thing is that all cats need to eat. It is up to us to determine what we feel comfortable feeding, based on the knowledge we have and then factor in what the cat will actually enjoy eating.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I'm neither for nor against raw foods, but I feel that if your cat does well on certain foods, why change? If your cat is not eating raw, why force them? IMO it makes more sense to feed a moderate diet. Cats need higher protein then dogs, so keep that in mind.

We feed Royal Cain now, but the cats do get extra cheese and meats we have left over from supper. They are very healthy
i really like this post
post #21 of 26
I was just reading something.. I think I might have posted the link (I went link hopping so, who knows?).. anyway, it was whole raw v. ground. This site suggested.. that grinding breaks down nutrients, and.. it's better for the teeth and gums to chew whole raw. They were also saying that there's less potential for bacteria that way. It seemed to make sense to me..of course, I do like the thought that I'm not spending several hours grinding and bagging.

Any thoughts on this?
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
I was just reading something.. I think I might have posted the link (I went link hopping so, who knows?).. anyway, it was whole raw v. ground. This site suggested.. that grinding breaks down nutrients, and.. it's better for the teeth and gums to chew whole raw. They were also saying that there's less potential for bacteria that way. It seemed to make sense to me..of course, I do like the thought that I'm not spending several hours grinding and bagging.

Any thoughts on this?
carcass feeding or whole animal is a way to do raw /./// MANY cats wont eat the meat and bone in that fashion a modified version would be like a chn wing that many folks give... I tried a whole BBQ lightly fish as my vet suggested and my girls just looked at it ... I would think some bacteria would be less on a whole carcass but grd at least here is accepted as food
post #23 of 26
You know, I looked at the NVP pre-made raw. They essentially had "sausages" that must've been ground & then they had the medallion. Right now, I'm putting Damita's raw into a blender, so I wish I had gotten the ground stuff! Would've saved me some work for now....
post #24 of 26
i don't feed raw, i feed mostly canned with some dry kept out to nibble on. i did think about feeding raw, when raven and nabu were younger and having UTI problems. i later found out raven has interstitial cystitis so by managing his stress levels & diet he's been stable for almost 3 yrs now (without drugs). also, my cats had crystals when they were fed an all dry diet. once i switched to a 2/3 wet, 1/3 dry diet; i was able to get them off of prescription foods.

i had food poisoning in spring of 2004, and i can't risk having that again. i was in the hospital, and my stomach has been touchy ever since then. i have been really paranoid about raw meat since then.

so that's my take on raw feeding. i would do it if i thought that commercial foods weren't working at all for my cats.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
I was just reading something.. I think I might have posted the link (I went link hopping so, who knows?).. anyway, it was whole raw v. ground. This site suggested.. that grinding breaks down nutrients, and.. it's better for the teeth and gums to chew whole raw. They were also saying that there's less potential for bacteria that way. It seemed to make sense to me..of course, I do like the thought that I'm not spending several hours grinding and bagging.

Any thoughts on this?
If you buy fresh ground meat, you're supposed to consume or freeze it immediately, i.e., the same day, so the same should apply to meat fed to cats.
I know some cat guardians who, while they don't feed a raw diet, give their cats chunks of raw stewing beef once a week to clean their teeth. I tried it, even buying filet, but Jamie wouldn't touch it raw.
post #26 of 26
Once I got off work last night, I swang by the store and picked up some meat for chunks. As it turns out, the kitties that are already on raw didn't mind the chunks so much (smaller ones) and they worked on the larger ones. They both tried ripping meat off the bone (but it was chicken..I'll try game hens next). I don't think I'll have too much trouble working up to it with them.

Noel and Bagheera ran out of dry sometime during the day, apparently, and they were *hungry* by the time I got home. Bagheera even tried the raw bits (licked it, much like she does to wet), and seemed to like it, before the kitten shouldered her out of the way and started gobbling it down. I think they'll probably be easier to switch than I originally thought. I may try this evening to combine some raw small chunks with some wet and see how it goes over.

I think I'm liking this idea. I need to go visit my vet and talk to him about different food related viruses, or leave a message for him to call me. (I've got a great vet... got in when the practice opened so he knows all the little brats by name and personality...)
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