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Ok to feed raw lamb?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was wondering, my cats absolutely adore raw lamb. They go crazy for it, and are now always constantly begging for it whenever i go to the kitchen

The lamb is always fresh, and i usse lamb chops cut into small peices, and handfeed the cats myself (spoilt kids!)
But is this ok? i was looking up some stuff on raw feeding, and saw all sorts reccomended.....just not lamb chops!

So i was thinking, is it safe to keep feeding them this? i find it works wonders on building up frail kittens, and keeping their coats and eyes healthy.
post #2 of 8
Well it depends on what side of the fence you are on. Many people will tell you that raw meat is bad for cats period, then you have those that feed only raw meat as a diet, and lamb is one of the ingredients listed on this type of diet. I don't eat lamb period or feed it to my cat, but that is a personal choice. I also don't eat veal for the same personal choice.

I believe the concern is the additives that sometimes get added to the livestock's diet as well as the parasites that can result. But cats will eat a mouse in under 5 minutes so you can't get much rawer than that.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
hmmm, i can see the concern over the additives, but as i only give it to them two-three times a week i guess it would be ok.

The cats are on Royal Canin, kittens are on the kitten formula and the adults on the persian one. I tried feeding them chicken, but they turn their noses up at it (too common apparently!) Aswell as all types of organs as has been reccomended by some sites (liver and kidney are awful to try and feed-never again!)
The only other food SOME of the cats will have as a treat is smoked salmon, but lamb is definately their number one fave. And not minced lamb, it has to be fresh lamb chops, that they'll go nutty about. Seriously my normally extremely polite cats turn into little monsters!

They're a spoilt bunch!
post #4 of 8
I have never heard anything about lamb, just pork. You should never give your cat pork, raw or cooked, but I am not really sure why. I have seen cat food with lamb in it, so I would assume it is ok. There is nothing wrong with giving your cat raw meat, after all, this is what they are, meat eaters. My Pixie bobs get raw turkey a few times a week as a supplement to their regular dry food, Eukanuba. Our bobcat gets fed an all raw meat diet, but you have to make sure they get all the other nutrients they need as well. We add other ingrediants in her food, not just one type of meat.
post #5 of 8
Our two cats are on a raw food diet exclusively. The formula that we use to make the meat nutritionally complete is prepared by a Canadian company that has done extensive research into the dietary needs of cats and into the "ingredients" found in a cats diet naturally. The company suggests that lamb is an acceptable protein source for felines.

Much of this is repeating what others have said (Thanks Hissy and Amber the bobcat), but since I've done a lot of reading on the subject I'll try to sum it all up...
Any raw meat fed to cats needs to be:
1. as fresh as possible (cats naturally kill and eat prey on the spot --their systems do NOT tolerate spoiled meat like a dog's might be able to. Proper storage and use within 2-3 days will also reduce the chance of your kitty getting parasites from the meat)
2. as natural as possible (reducing the chance of chemical additives and antibiotics compromising your kitty's health)
3. only available to the cat for a short time (don't leave it out to spoil -- give no more than 25 minutes according to some people!)
4. part of a well-balanced diet (most cat foods are formulated to be complete, additions to diet in the form of treats can change throw the kitty's diet out of balance, which can compromise a cat's health. Be sensible -- you just need to be careful not to give your kitty too much of anything not part of the his or her staple diet.)
5. not pork (while every meat may potentially carry parasites, etc., pork is one of the worst offenders. Additionally, pork fat molecules are apparently larger than those of other animals, making it hard for a cat's tiny system to properly process them.)
6. preferably cut or ground from a single quality piece of meat/animal (many ground meats bought at typical stores contain the meat of many animals in them -- that means if there is a single animal that had some sort of parasite that may be passed to the consumer of its meat, the whole batch of ground meat of which it becomes a part becomes contaminated. Some grocers will grind the meat for you on the spot from a cut of meat you select -- this reduces the chances that you get contaminated meat)
7. If you are concerned about parasites, some vets suggest using an extremely diluted bleach/water solution on the surface of the meat. (We tried it once of twice per our vet's instructions, but found that the bleach worried us more than whatever might have been in the meat!)

Bon Appetit to your cats!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
wow 1kitty2kitty thanks for the advice!!

I always buy fresh, and i hand feed it to my cats, so literally within a few minutes a whole LOTTA meat is eaten.

I'm lucky in that it never upset their tummies, but i wasn't sure if lamb was actually on the menu for cats!

Thanks for letting me know about the pork, i haven't given them any yet, but had i not sought advice, i may have

Thanks again!
post #7 of 8
I feed raw diet and DO feed ground pork. I freeze it for one week before I feed it and thaw it in hot water before I give it to them raw. I have never had a problem with parasites and they actually prefer pork to anything else I have given them. The only thing I do not feed is ground beef and any type of lamb.
post #8 of 8
I've already shared my opinion on this topic, but in recognition of the many various opinions that exist surrounding the issues of safe and healthy nutrition for cats, especially as concerns pork and lamb, here are some quotes I have gleaned from various sources that claim to be more authoritative that I am: (notice that quote number 3 indicates that my feeding method of choice, which involves raw meat, is unacceptable!)

1 from http://www.felinefuture.com/nutrition/bpo_ch2a.php
"Precautions to avoid parasite contraction:
- Never feed pork
- If you consider them to be a risk, avoid game meats
- To destroy parasites keep your cat's food frozen below -150C for at least 20 days"
and http://www.felinefuture.com/nutrition//bpo_ch7.php
"The following may give you an idea what meats may be used for your cat's meals. We have tried most of them and all have been received very well by our cats. They include: rabbit, venison, lamb, mutton, goat, muskox, elk, moose, caribou, chicken, turkey, pheasant, duck, buffalo, and beef.
Pork is not suitable and its use not advised. It can not be fed raw because pigs may carry many disease causing pathogens...including Trichinella and the virus that causes Pseudorabies (Aujeszky's disease)" (Emphasis in the original - not mine)

2 from http://www.sunnews.com/news/pets/cc/pets052302.htm
"Critter Corner" By CAROLYN STEIGMAN, May 23, 2002
"Milk and pork can cause diarrhea in some cats and are best avoided."

3 from http://www.valleyhumane.org/know/cathealth/index11.cfm
"Uncooked beef, poultry and fish; pork, horsemeat, raw egg whites; fish, pork and chicken bones can all be dangerous to cats. An occasional beef or lamb bone may be greatly enjoyed."

4 from the book, "The New Natural Cat" by Anitra Frazier (1990)
"Ham and pork contain fat globules so large that they clog the cat's blood vessels." (p. 52)

5 from http://www.omnimaxx.com/~incareofcats/catcare.htm
"Never give a cat bones and make sure all pork and fish is well cooked."

Here's the bottom line as I see it:
Our best bet as owners is to simply educate ourselves as to the potential risks involved in what we choose to feed our cats (much as we do when we choose to eat something ourselves that is considered unhealthy for humans), so that we may take precautions and make choices that will allow for the overall flourishing and health of our animals. It isn't always an easy thing to do, but I am always thrilled when people are willing to even give the issue of pet diet a second thought.
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