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Raw Diet?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
We are currently attempting to switch our ferret over to a raw meat diet and I've read somewhere online that some people feed their cats raw as well. Would this be a good idea?

We will always have meat left over from Twitch's (our ferret) meals. Like tonight. We have half a chicken thigh left over and we are planning on cooking it (since I'm not sure about the raw thing) and mixing it in with their kibble tonight as a treat.

Is a raw meat diet healthy for cats? Is it hard to switch them over from dry food? Are there any health risks (other than salmonella and such. I'm talking digestive issues, weight issues, ect.)?
post #2 of 25
DO a search on here ....

RESEARCH RESEARCH .. Do you have a raw diet savvy vet??

I have done it ...IT aint easy ... and YOU CAN make HUGE mistakes ....

Some will give you websites that give recipes... PLEASE dont just go and try a recipe
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I will talk to my vet about it. I just figure since we are already switching the ferret over to raw, we might check out switching the girls over to raw as well.

I understand that it takes time and dedication from the person making the meals to get things right. We just experienced that a few days ago. We have sugar gliders and we were not adding the right amount of honey and we were feeding more veggies than fruits and the gliders became hypoglycemic. We have altered their diet slightly and feed more often to make sure they don't become hypoglycemic again.

We are willing to learn and get all the information we need before completely switching them over. Its not something we are going to start doing tonight. Tonight they are getting cooked chicken as a treat since they only have kibble daily and wet food once every two days.

Trust me, we will do our research first. We are in the process of researching the raw diet for the ferret and many people recommend it and we've found tons of information and advice. We eventually plan on feeding whole food such as mice, cornish hens, ect to the ferret to allow her to get the nutrients she needs by eating bones, connective tissues, skin, organs, ect.
post #4 of 25
In a cat raw diet that is called WHOLE prey model
post #5 of 25
Im glad you're doing your research. Since I have been on this site and realized there was such thing as a raw diet I did a little reserch myself and decided that it wasn't best for me due to the fact I would probably screw things up while trying to get the recipe right for them. My kitties due pretty well on their perscription food! I have heard its really good for them, just hard to get a recipe right! Plus, my kitties wouldn't touch anything raw with a ten foot poll!

Good luck to you on your transition into raw!
post #6 of 25
I was feeding my babies pre-made raw from natures variety.
They did really well on it. took care of all their digestive issues and no more smelly leavings, you couldn't tell when they went after awhile.
It's expensive though and not for every cat...
their recipe is not ideal either, it was my starter raw.
post #7 of 25
You are very wise to research your kitties diet change before you make any changes.
Food & water are the foundations of your cat's health.
Feeding a raw diet has been very successful for some people but please,
never assume that because you have read some information on several web sites, or posts here on TCS, that you have the knowledge and tools to transition to a raw diet safely.

You should have professional partners, such as a vet and a feline nutritionist, who understand how to safely feed raw, as you go forward with such a change in your cat's diet.

Before you begin, discuss your plans with your vet. Have a base line blood test to be sure that your cat can sustain the stress of such a radical change in diet.

Bottom line....
Have a willing vet as your partner while feeding a raw diet...
Anything less, is gambling with your cat's life.
Keep us updated about your progress.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
Bottom line....
Have a willing vet as your partner while feeding a raw diet...
Anything less, is gambling with your cat's life.
Keep us updated about your progress.
I'm going to have to disagree a little here, and I'll explain why.

Not all vets are truly educated about nutrition, and in fact, far too many have been educated and sponsored by big-name pet food brands like Science Diet and Purina. There are a lot of misconceptions and mistrust of raw food diets in the veterinary community because they have been trained to believe that a manufactured diet is absolutely the best, the safest, the most complete diet available.

I have to say, I haven't heard of vets doing a baseline blood test before a diet change, and I am wondering what factors those tests would be looking for.

xocats, believe me, I'm not trying to discount your experience But your advice comes across as a bit fearful and overly cautious.

I have been feeding a raw diet for almost two years now. I started off because our three girls were diagnosed with FLUTD and suffering from almost constant UTI's. The vet, who told me that raw food diets were "stupid" and "dangerous" and would give us all salmonella and E. coli , wanted to put the cats on a prescription dry food. The vet said, and I quote, "the food has added salt so they'll drink more water."

I said "no thanks", and completely against my veterinarian's advice, I immediately switched them to a diet following the recipe from catinfo.org. They went from UTI's once a month to none. At all. For almost two years and counting. Their teeth, their fur, their digestive systems, their energy levels - EVERYTHING has improved since their diet change.

Do I think it's right for everyone? Absolutely not! But do I think it's a risky maneuver that is so delicate that it could risk your cat's life? Nope
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emchelle View Post
I'm going to have to disagree a little here, and I'll explain why.

Not all vets are truly educated about nutrition, and in fact, far too many have been educated and sponsored by big-name pet food brands like Science Diet and Purina. There are a lot of misconceptions and mistrust of raw food diets in the veterinary community because they have been trained to believe that a manufactured diet is absolutely the best, the safest, the most complete diet available.

I have to say, I haven't heard of vets doing a baseline blood test before a diet change, and I am wondering what factors those tests would be looking for.

xocats, believe me, I'm not trying to discount your experience But your advice comes across as a bit fearful and overly cautious.

I have been feeding a raw diet for almost two years now. I started off because our three girls were diagnosed with FLUTD and suffering from almost constant UTI's. The vet, who told me that raw food diets were "stupid" and "dangerous" and would give us all salmonella and E. coli , wanted to put the cats on a prescription dry food. The vet said, and I quote, "the food has added salt so they'll drink more water."

I said "no thanks", and completely against my veterinarian's advice, I immediately switched them to a diet following the recipe from catinfo.org. They went from UTI's once a month to none. At all. For almost two years and counting. Their teeth, their fur, their digestive systems, their energy levels - EVERYTHING has improved since their diet change.

Do I think it's right for everyone? Absolutely not! But do I think it's a risky maneuver that is so delicate that it could risk your cat's life? Nope
I would have at that moment found a new vet hope you did ... many are willing to help and research a little on there own so they can help you ... or like in my case find a vet with a nutrition background who will help step by step...


It can risk the cats life , many cats have got very ill from IMPROPER diets .... Salmonella can and does kill cats ( it happened to a member on here who has many more yrs of cat knowledge than myself)

OP since you are thinking of this for two species I am glad your going to talk it over with the vet ... Take some of the sites and print off info to take just in case the vet has no idea :_)
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
You are very wise to research your kitties diet change before you make any changes.
Food & water are the foundations of your cat's health.
Feeding a raw diet has been very successful for some people but please,
never assume that because you have read some information on several web sites, or posts here on TCS, that you have the knowledge and tools to transition to a raw diet safely.
I do agree with this part. There are *tons* of websites out there, some of them are websites produced by people who are selling their version of raw, some of them are from dog diets which vastly differ from cats. From all of the vets who support raw diet that I have talked to, the two standard guidelines for raw are www.catnutrition.org and www.catinfo.org . These two sites (in addition to reading books and other websites, etc, and discussing this with my own vet as well as attending seminars on cat food and raw diets), have been the bible. Almost all vets, books and other websites refer back to these two websites. catinfo.org is actually written by a vetrinarian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
You should have professional partners, such as a vet and a feline nutritionist, who understand how to safely feed raw, as you go forward with such a change in your cat's diet.

Before you begin, discuss your plans with your vet. Have a base line blood test to be sure that your cat can sustain the stress of such a radical change in diet.
This is an ideal situation. I'd love it if I could find that. My vet said..erm, don't feed raw (of course, this was the reaction I had from *all* vets in my area and such a thing as feline nutritionist doesn't really apply here either).. Anyway, I'd say discuss it with your vet, but be prepared for the almost standard answer of DON"T FEED RAW. After much determination on my part and a "well, I understand your point of view but I'm doing it anyway" attitude..my vet said that it was difficult to get the nutrition right and that was his biggest worry. About a year later, he sees my cats and says that he's never seen healthier cats. They are always raved over, the staff says their coats are the softest, plushest, most silky, shiny, glossy coats they've ever seen. Their eyes are clear, bright, and they're all in perfect health (even Noel is losing weight and getting to where she should be). But the point here is, your vet (and likely most of the ones in the area) is not likely to be supportive of this. I did work with my vet, though, on testing to make sure that they were not getting *too* much of particular vitamins and minerals that can do damage, and I do my best to make sure through vet visits that they're not suffering from any of the consequences even though I'm preparing it the way it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
Bottom line....
Have a willing vet as your partner while feeding a raw diet...
Anything less, is gambling with your cat's life.
Keep us updated about your progress.
If you don't do your research, this is definitely true. You have to follow a tried and true recipe that includes all the nutrients (bone, organs, etc). I disagree that working with a vet is going to make a world of difference *unless* that vet has had more extensive training in nutrition than what they typically offer in vet school (which according to my vet is about two days). I have now done tons more research than that, and I still see that there's a ton I don't know so I know they didn't learn all there is in the typical two days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emchelle View Post
Not all vets are truly educated about nutrition, and in fact, far too many have been educated and sponsored by big-name pet food brands like Science Diet and Purina. There are a lot of misconceptions and mistrust of raw food diets in the veterinary community because they have been trained to believe that a manufactured diet is absolutely the best, the safest, the most complete diet available.
Yep, absolutely agreed. Often any extended nutritional seminars are sponsored by major food manufacturors and obviously we see how trustworthy *they* can be given the recent recall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emchelle
I have to say, I haven't heard of vets doing a baseline blood test before a diet change, and I am wondering what factors those tests would be looking for.
I'm considering talking to my vet about it though, although I wonder if that's what he's already doing.. maybe that's the technical name for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emchelle
xocats
Quote:
Originally Posted by emchelle
, believe me, I'm not trying to discount your experience But your advice comes across as a bit fearful and overly cautious.

I have been feeding a raw diet for almost two years now. I started off because our three girls were diagnosed with FLUTD and suffering from almost constant UTI's. The vet, who told me that raw food diets were "stupid" and "dangerous" and would give us all salmonella and E. coli , wanted to put the cats on a prescription dry food. The vet said, and I quote, "the food has added salt so they'll drink more water."

I said "no thanks", and completely against my veterinarian's advice, I immediately switched them to a diet following the recipe from catinfo.org. They went from UTI's once a month to none. At all. For almost two years and counting. Their teeth, their fur, their digestive systems, their energy levels - EVERYTHING has improved since their diet change.

Do I think it's right for everyone? Absolutely not! But do I think it's a risky maneuver that is so delicate that it could risk your cat's life? Nope
In that it's not as delicate as one week on a raw diet without supplements can kill your cat..I'd agree. Vitamin deficiencies can seriously harm your cat, though. It's why you need a good recipe that's been researched and tested. The recipes on either of the two websites above, at least the one on Dr. Pierson's, have been tested and analyzed for proper nutrition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I would have at that moment found a new vet hope you did ... many are willing to help and research a little on there own so they can help you ... or like in my case find a vet with a nutrition background who will help step by step...

It can risk the cats life , many cats have got very ill from IMPROPER diets .... Salmonella can and does kill cats ( it happened to a member on here who has many more yrs of cat knowledge than myself)

OP since you are thinking of this for two species I am glad your going to talk it over with the vet ... Take some of the sites and print off info to take just in case the vet has no idea :_)
Agreed. An inappropriate raw diet can be bad and you do have to follow some safe handling guidelines. If I hadn't adored my vet so much, and known that he was only truly worried about my fur babies (as noted by the sometimes extensive time he spends talking to me regarding them and potential issues).. I would have dismissed him. I did dismiss the other vet group, with the exceptions of emergency situations, due to their attitude and lectures. On the other hand, though, now that I've basically said, welp, I'm doing it anyway, he's been supportive and helped me with things as best as he can even though it is beyond his scope of nutritional knowledge regarding ingredients, etc.

If you're willing to take the time and do it right, research it, get the vitamins and supplements you need.. and put the work into making it, I think it's the best thing you can do for your cats. Mine eat nothing but raw, and the journey there was a little shaky. It's not something to be fearful of, but it is something that you have to look into and research a bit, and make an effort to do right. Consistently feeding an unbalanced raw diet will harm your cat. Feeding your cat a raw diet which is unbalanced (like say, when I somehow manage to miss that I'm out of food and don't have time to grind 90 pounds of meat after work one night I'll feed chunked up raw meat that is minus the supplements.. they view it as a treat, and it's actually good for their teeth), every once in a while, or even for a couple of days, seems to be okay and my vet has agreed that in that case it's okay as long as they're usually balanced. I keep a supplement on hand to add in that case, so that it's easy to just toss on as needed.

I'll say, though, that if you're (meaning anyone considering it) not going to do it right, don't do it because even though I don't think commercial foods are what they're cracked up to be, they are at least nutritionally balanced (given a few exceptions). If someone is willing to learn (which you definitely seem to be) and is willing to put in the time (which can be quite a bit, but I have five hearty eaters on it), I think it's the best thing for them and I personally will never feed commercial other than the occasional packet of wet as a treat, again.

That being said, I have absolutely no idea what ferret raw diets would include. I'm certain I've seen a raw diet website for ferrets though, and you may be able to contact Dr. Pierson by email (she does respond) and ask her for a reccommendation.

So, I guess the long winded point here was, I support it as long as it's done right.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
It can risk the cats life , many cats have got very ill from IMPROPER diets .... Salmonella can and does kill cats ( it happened to a member on here who has many more yrs of cat knowledge than myself)
I didn't mean to imply that raw feeding was risk-free. Sorry if I gave that impression

But my point was that our views of what constitutes an "improper" diet come from veterinarians who have, by and large, been trained by corporations with a bottom line and a product to sell. Considering how long cats have been domesticated, and for how short a time pet food manufacturing has been around, it's hard to argue that the diet they've been adapted to eating is improper. The question is not, "Is raw feeding safe?". It is. Rather, the question should be, "Do I have the time, the energy, the knowledge, and the ability to recreate for my cat the diet that *is* safe and well-suited for them?"

For us, it wasn't much of a question because my cats were obviously VERY ill and something needed to change. Others might have the luxury to consider the decision, rather than jumping right into it, as I did. But I certainly haven't regreted the choice.

As for the risk of salmonella poisening, I don't personally know of any cats who have gotten ill from a raw-food diet. Obviously, I don't know the other member, her cat, or the entirety of that particular situation. But honestly? It's not something I choose to worry about.

Louis Pasteur, father of the Germ Theory of Disease, said that, "It's not the germ, it's the terrain." The fact is that healthy felines are amazingly adapted to be impervious to bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Like all predators, they have a very short digestive tract, and because they are carnivorous they have a very acidic body pH. Both the brief duration of digestion and the acidic nature of the body mean that bacterial overgrowths will only very, very rarely have the opportunity to occur. Illness, a change in the body pH (through feeding grains), and a weak gut can lend to serious problems, but you'd be hard pressed to prove that an illness like salmonella was caused by
diet alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
If you're willing to take the time and do it right, research it, get the vitamins and supplements you need.. and put the work into making it, I think it's the best thing you can do for your cats. Mine eat nothing but raw, and the journey there was a little shaky. It's not something to be fearful of, but it is something that you have to look into and research a bit, and make an effort to do right. Consistently feeding an unbalanced raw diet will harm your cat. Feeding your cat a raw diet which is unbalanced (like say, when I somehow manage to miss that I'm out of food and don't have time to grind 90 pounds of meat after work one night I'll feed chunked up raw meat that is minus the supplements.. they view it as a treat, and it's actually good for their teeth), every once in a while, or even for a couple of days, seems to be okay and my vet has agreed that in that case it's okay as long as they're usually balanced. I keep a supplement on hand to add in that case, so that it's easy to just toss on as needed.

I'll say, though, that if you're (meaning anyone considering it) not going to do it right, don't do it because even though I don't think commercial foods are what they're cracked up to be, they are at least nutritionally balanced (given a few exceptions). If someone is willing to learn (which you definitely seem to be) and is willing to put in the time (which can be quite a bit, but I have five hearty eaters on it), I think it's the best thing for them and I personally will never feed commercial other than the occasional packet of wet as a treat, again.
to all of the above.
post #12 of 25
UMM grains may have a buffering action but anyone with at least a couple of HS level Biology KNOW S that if ph is adjusted evan a slight amount DEATH is likely... of the blood ... yes grains do adjust the urine ph which for some is needed

yeah many have to act but amazingly vets still know more than u and I about the needs of kitty... Ie you know the Exact amount of CA needed>>?? I do now but ...

No generally e coli and salmonella are fine and found in healthy humans and cats but remember WE NO longer Live in a world without resistant or extra virtulant bacteria.. the meats are no longer the same either ... Kinda how commercial food s came to be

Oh and you have DOMESTIC cat s what is that like/??? ( tongue in cheek)
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
yeah many have to act but amazingly vets still know more than u and I about the needs of kitty... Ie you know the Exact amount of CA needed>>?? I do now but ...
Believe me, I'm not discounting the importance of veterinary knowledge. I was once a pre-vet student

But it's no hidden fact that veterinarians are not educated properly on animal nutrition, and what they are taught is 99% either outdated or biased in favor of commercial foods. Any vet worth their salt will tell you that they don't always know more than you and I.

Quote:
No generally e coli and salmonella are fine and found in healthy humans and cats but remember WE NO longer Live in a world without resistant or extra virtulant bacteria.. the meats are no longer the same either ... Kinda how commercial food s came to be
Of course, I agree with you

I just think we may just be approaching the same problem from different angles. In my personal opinion, the best approach is to feed cats a biologically appropriate diet in order to provide them with healthy gut flora and a natural resistance to the bacteria that they ingest on a regular basis. I don't see commercial foods as solving the issue because (again, in my own personal opinion) with the high amounts of grains, fillers, and added ingredients, they carry greater longterm risks than a raw diet. After all, to return to the subject at hand, salmonella is found in commercial pet food. Since they're going to be exposed either way, I'd prefer to have my cats exposed while eating a raw diet.

Quote:
Oh and you have DOMESTIC cat s what is that like/??? ( tongue in cheek)
*shhhhh* It helps to believe that they're tame lil' beasties
post #14 of 25
"Working closely with your vet" is never part of my advise when responding to people interested in feeding raw. I have been a tech for 3 years, have worked under 5 veterinarians, and have picked the brains of many doctors (including recent graduates) that have come to cover for a vet on vacation or perform special procedures (ultrasounds, orthopedic surgeries), and not ONE has had ANY experience with feeding raw. All but TWO were not even open to the concept. There is a dr in particular, whom I respect immensely due to his sincere devotion to the field (attends conferences, keeps up to date on current protocols, shares my views on vaccination, is super creative in approaching difficult cases) and his cats are on Cat Chow. He thought the difference between these grocery brands and brands like Wellness is use of organic ingredients?? He was one of the vets that was "open" to the concept as his initial reaction was one of curiosity and not judgement. The other was at my previous job...she actually offered her dog a chicken quarter after I loaned her one of my Billinghurst books.

Thinking may be changing in some circles, but I have not met these "forward thinking" vets. I was super impressed that my vet/boss openly admits that *sound* home cooked diets are better than commercial foods and is always quick to provide recipes for people w/ picky pets, GI sensitive pets, animals with chronic illnesses, or to anyone with any inkling of wanting to feed "people food." Where does he get these recipes? Does he conjure up a diet plan for each patient based on a super scientific, elusive set of criteria and highly individualized dietary needs? No. We copy recipes from Strombeck's Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative. (And often recommend the book) My vet, as most vets, does not have the training to give nutritional advice beyond how many calories your pet should consume, how many units of vitamin "x" is toxic, etc. He is an excellent doctor. He has successfully performed many high risk surgeries, succeeded where others have failed, and (most importantly ) I trust him with MY pets...but he is just NOT a nutritionist. My father is a pediatrician. His wife raised my youngest brother on homemade baby food, an endeavor for which my father was useless.

I understand the need to be conservative when addressing the masses (I work very closely with clients and have never recommended or even discussed feeding raw diets with one not already doing so - that is, the *one* person I met already doing so) but let's also understand that the masses just don't have access to the kind of vet needed to oversee raw feeding. Let's also remember that being "open to the concept" and being capable of directing you are also two different things, with the latter being even harder to find.

The idea that one needs veterinary assistance to feed their (normal/healthy) pet and belief that "your vet" can provide specific advise on raw is, honestly, bizarre to me. This is the only place where I have seen people directed to their vet for information on raw.

My advise to those interested in feeding raw to your normal and healthy pet? Do your own research. Buy the books, join the lists, talk to folks that have been successfully feeding this diet for years (breeders are a great resource), and listen to your cat. Don't expect your vet to walk you through this process. (Nor is it even necessary IMO - but, that is another can of worms.) If you are in the lucky and rare minority who have a vet that is open to the idea, congratulations! But for the VAST MAJORITY of the people who will read this thread, it is just not a realistic expectation.

If your pet is not normal/healthy, then please seek guidance from someone with specific expertise in this area of medicine: A holistic vet with nutritional training.
post #15 of 25
KittyTales~ I do believe that xocats brought up the feline nutritionist already as to make sure that all the requirments are being met... I would not go doing anything drastic like changing to raw without my vets opinion! Not all vets and vet techs are ignorant to raw diets! Believe it or not there are some out there that actually do know about the nutrition needed by a cat...
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyTales View Post
"Working closely with your vet" is never part of my advise when responding to people interested in feeding raw.
My hope is that, at the very least, everyone who is considering a radical change in their cat's diet, will get base line lab work that you can refer back to when necessary. Your vet might not know a lot about raw feeding but should know how to interpret lab results and be willing to discuss them with you. If your vet is not willing to help you with that part of your cat's care...
then find a vet who is.

Better safe than sorry.
post #17 of 25
I am not the member Sharky was speaking of, but I have had a cat that has been sick from raw. My cat did not die but my vet did say she would not have gotten better on her own.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitytize View Post
I am not the member Sharky was speaking of, but I have had a cat that has been sick from raw. My cat did not die but my vet did say she would not have gotten better on her own.
I am glad that your sweetie recovered.

I know which member Sharky is speaking about...
it was salmonella and the kitty suffered terribly, as did his human with a broken heart.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soka View Post
Is a raw meat diet healthy for cats? Is it hard to switch them over from dry food? Are there any health risks (other than salmonella and such. I'm talking digestive issues, weight issues, ect.)?
Is it healthy? Absolutely, if done right. Hard to switch? Yes, most likely if they're used to dry food. Health risks? Yes, absolutely. But not so much salmonella or other bacteria....balanced nutrition is your biggest risk. As others have stated, consult your vet and do your research. There's an excellent, excellent thread here called "The Raw Feeding Chronicles" with a wealth of experiential information. But be prepared for uninformed resistance from your vet; most vets don't have experience and/or knowledge about raw diets.

PS - if you do it, be prepared for a change in your cat into a vigorous, lively animal brimming with energy. If you don't like cats tearing around the house like little tornados, don't feed them a raw diet.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
Not all vets and vet techs are ignorant to raw diets! Believe it or not there are some out there that actually do know about the nutrition needed by a cat...
I agree,
Do you have a holistic vet near you? They are very knowledgeable about raw diets and are the perfect people to see about this.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by saya View Post
I agree,
Do you have a holistic vet near you? They are very knowledgeable about raw diets and are the perfect people to see about this.
DITTO ... or a holstic / conventional.. ie a vet who was taught the standard way but has a open mind and often uses conventional and natural medicine together

To the OP : I know that ferrets are carnivores but since they DO NOT exist in the wild why would folks think they would do better on it ??? Just a curiousity
post #22 of 25
Ferrets don't exist in the wild? I never knew that. Hmm

Anyway, I know this thread hasn't been posted to in a while but regarding the Salmonella (and not discounting the kitties that have been diagnosed with it), I don't recall where I read it at, or where the study results were but it was by a vetrinarian and they were saying that most cats diagnosed with Salmonella had *other* underlying problems. It might have been Elizabeth Hodgkins, but don't quote me on that. In any case, what I'm remembering from that study was that the cats (and dogs too, I think) that had been diagnosed with Salmonella either had NOT been tested for other things, even though there were other problems that indicated something else, or had been tested and then when Salmonella was found, it was blamed on Salmonella even though there were other things that could have caused the death. I'll have to see if I can find the study again.

Salmonella (and other bacteria) is the biggest reason I won't purchase premade raw. I can't be certain how it's handled. I can't be certain how fresh it is, if it's been thawed and exposed, how the people who make it clean their machines, process their meats, leave it sitting while they're preparing it without refrigerating it.. etc. The other reason is cost.

It's the reason why I've invested in a grinder, make my own, and occasionally wish I didn't feed my cats a raw diet (usually on the one day in a month that I'm processing 100 pounds of raw meat...)
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
Salmonella (and other bacteria) is the biggest reason I won't purchase premade raw. I can't be certain how it's handled. I can't be certain how fresh it is, if it's been thawed and exposed, how the people who make it clean their machines, process their meats, leave it sitting while they're preparing it without refrigerating it.. etc
One of the reasons I make my own too, also I prefer not to feed ground meat.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
Salmonella (and other bacteria) is the biggest reason I won't purchase premade raw. I can't be certain how it's handled. I can't be certain how fresh it is, if it's been thawed and exposed, how the people who make it clean their machines, process their meats, leave it sitting while they're preparing it without refrigerating it.. etc.
Are you talking about ground meats sold in the grocery store or about specialty raw mixes for pets? I would agree with you about grocery store meat since it's intended to be cooked before eating. However, I don't agree with regard to reputable vendors of raw diets for pets because they're quite aware of bacterial contamination and that their product is intended to be consumed raw. They wouldn't stay in business long if their product was making animals sick. If they're a reputable firm, I wouldn't hesitate to trust their product.

I also grind my own, but it's mostly a matter of cost. My time costs me nothing.
post #25 of 25
In order to feed your cat a complete, pre-made raw diet the research you need to do is more of the hygienic kind. How is the food handled from point A to point B. What are the signs of the "common" food poisonings in cats and such matters. Not really a lot more research than you have to do switching to any other "complete" catfood.

If you're interested in making your own raw food, you'll need to read, read and read. Ideally you can find an experienced raw feeder that can help you and if you're extremely lucky you might be able to find a vet who can help you.

Blood tests? Well, I haven't had one vet that's pro raw food, but they have accepted that I raw feed my cats and they don't argue with me. They've all told me it's unnecessary to do blood tests because if the food is making the cat ill, generally you'll notice it on the cat before you see it in the blood.

If making the food on your own you'll need to research, but it isn't rocket science as you sometimes might think when hearing vets and petfood manufacturers tell people how extremely hard it is to make your own catfood.
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