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Can we talk about raw diets?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm sure this has been discussed a billion times and I'm really sorry for bringing it up again. However, I did a search and couldn't seem to find the right threads so....

I have two siamese cats and I'm seriously considering switching to a raw diet. I have one cat that has chronic diarrhea. The vet thinks it's IBD. Steroids held temporarily and switching her to the royal canin rabbit diet helped until she refused to eat it and got really thin.

Right now she's on a mix of royal canin venison soft food which she eats only because she's hungry and then I feed her royal canin dry sensitive stomach 33 (which is what my other cat gets) because she likes it but it also means she still has diarrhea. And she has a voracious appetite from the IBD and is a little over weight.

The other cat is a picky eater and tends to throw up once in a while. She's under weight and I have a hard time getting her to eat. One time she stopped eating all together (I'm guessing hairballs even though she's a short-coated cat) and I had to rush her to the ER where they did all sorts of tests that didn't answer the problem and charged me $2,000. Yay.

I feed the picky eater more dry food because it's less volume/nutrients. If I feed her the wet food she fills up too quickly and won't finish it and then doesn't get as much nutrients because she refuses to finish it. But she can eat more of the dry food.

She's also on lysine because she has a chronically runny eye.

These cats have been the sickest cats on the planet! The first day I got them Misaki (the picky eater) was lame. She's still lame on her left front and three doctors have looked at her with xrays and can't help me. Some pain medication was tried and didn't help. It's been over a year and she's not getting better.

The first week I had them, Misaki developed a UTI. Fixed the UTI and then she got Giardia (I feed them only spring water--I know where it comes from and I drink it myself and their breeders only fed bottled water, too).

I have been doing a lot of reading about raw diets and if it's really, truly the cure-all that it sounds like I'm willing to take the risk and try it. I've tried all the vet-recommended stuff and it hasn't helped so now it's time for drastic measures. I'm tired of having sick kitties and I can't afford vet bills anymore!

I'm guessing that my cats will be fairly easy to switch over. For some reason they seem to like novel things, especially Misaki. Also I think that a lot of the raw diets recommend variation in they types of meat etc. which will be good for Misaki since she seems to love something for a while and then get totally sick of it. She's a princess. Well she is a retired grand champion so I guess she has the right to be a total Queen about stuff.

So should I add grain and veggies or not because I am finding conflicting info about this? I had the cats on Evo no grain soft food for a short time and that's exactly when Nezumi (the one with IBD) developed the diarrhea so I'm nervous to try to feed something with veggies. Then again other sources say that have some amount of carbs in the diet is really essential. I am a biochemistry grad student. I know in humans, carbs are absolutely essential to how our body processes energy because we need glucose. Cats need it as well but I'm not sure how similar their cellular metabolism is to ours since we are omnivores and they are not.

Also, where should I buy the meat? I want to make sure it's as safe as possible. I don't want to just buy it from the supermarker. Where can I buy meat that is high quality and safe to feed raw?

I'd rather not buy food already ground up because of increased surface area however, I don't know if I can afford a grinder at this time. So can I feed things whole? Except I assume one would then have a problem with the calcium/phos ratio so then can I sprinkle on a supplement or something?

Also what can I use to sterilize my equipment?

And finally, can you point me in the direction of some good websites and books. I have seen a few websites and I can do a search but I want to make sure I get information from good websites/books, not bad ones.

Thanks SO much!
post #2 of 9
YOU can put in a search on raw foods and pull many threads that can help...
where in the world are you , some areas have meats you should not feed...
CAUTION : with a cat with medical issues you will NEED a vets assistance...

Evo is a rich food and 50% of cats get issues with it ... many other grain free s are now out ...
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
My vet does not agree with raw diets which is why I have not made the switch earlier.

I live in New England
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by Meezer View Post
My vet does not agree with raw diets which is why I have not made the switch earlier.

I live in New England
call around...

I say you need one from experience ... I had a CRF girl on raw and my vet was so helpful ... some vets will learn along with you.. See evan one who will learn with you already know the key % for all the micro and macro nutrients and what any meds will remove....

I now have a liver issue / cushings dog and she eats homemade since her digestive tract didnt like going poo poo 8 hours after eating

pre done or grd raw is fine... My vets sell s two companies of it as many of us dont have grinders or want to deal with organs raw in the kitchen... YES I sanitize after every meal...

Depending on meat type the grocery can be a good place... my local stores carry "all natural" which here means no additives after and no hormone s or antibiotics during and grass feed
post #5 of 9
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks river, I'll check those out.
post #7 of 9
My research indicated that cats don't have the enzymes to digest carbohydrates, so I've been feeding a lot of canned and Evo.




These links might be helpful to you. James Bond is a Norwegian Forest Cat mix, (a natural breed) and his problems throwing up and having bloody diarrhea went away when I started reducing the grains in his diet. Now, on his low carb diet, he's fine, with just an occasional hairball. I'm convinced cats have digestive problems with grains and too many vegetables, though I do grow them kitty grass and they like that.

With any food change, it's important to make it gradual so the cat will eat it, and also so the cat will let their system adjust. For instance, switching to all canned will give them diarrhea as their system tries to accommodate the added water content and extra fat, even though that's good for them.

After all, in nature, cats don't raid wheat fields and rampage through vegetable gardens.
post #8 of 9
I think your best bet would be an elimination diet. Start with one protein source and stick to that for at least 6 weeks. Use only muscle and bone in the begining, once you are 100% satisfied that they are handling that well, slowly introduce one organ meat, and then another - all from the same animal.

If you are so inclined, you can add a cat multi-vitamin during the feed trial, but only once they are stable. You want to be able to note if the vitamin is having any sort of ill effect.

I have been feeding my pets raw straight from my grocer's freezer for over seven years without incident. But you can do things like buy organic, rinse with apple cider vinager, or freeze for 2-3 weeks before feeding for peace of mind.

If you rather a professional outline a diet specifically for your pets, I would suggest contacting Monica Segal. I have heard great things from those who have used her. I'm not sure she does consults for cats, but she should be able to point you in the right direction.

post #9 of 9
I would be leary of any online never seen the animal... as mine have diet tweeking at least once a month... meat and bone is TOTALLY NOT a good idea for over a few days alone... Cetain organs should be in a proper balence ie liver not exceeding 3-6 oz per week ...

I still suggest calling around till you get a vet who either knows about raw and will guide or is willing to guide from the % stand point and learn with you....

a basic raw diet outline

70-80 % muscle meat ( ie what most humans eat)
10-15% organs
10% bone
3-5% veggie matter ( some use grain fiber s instead)

that is the BASIC essential RAW
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