Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
I am wondering how all of you feel about feeding your kitties table scraps?
We feed our cats table scraps along with their regular food for two reasons. First, our cat Angel lived on table scraps in her previous home and can't always digest all of her cat food, so we supplement with table scraps. Of course, we have to let Sagwa, Sarobi, and Cringer have scaps too...lest there be a fight.
The second reason is since we're vegan we feel comfortable sharing our food, as it is healthy.
What do you all think about feeding table scraps?
From what we've read and experienced with our two cats, if your priority is good nutrition for your cats, then next to feeding a fresh wholesome diet (either raw or cooked food), the feeding of meat and table scraps are a good addition to commercial cat food. This will help to lessen the reliance on overcooked, processed products that are typically less nutritious.
Of course, regardless of the fact that you're vegan, the majority of food you feed your cats -- whether it be commercial food, table scraps, all fresh food, or a combination -- MUST BE MEAT since they are obligate carnivores.
Looking through our books at home, here's relevant info we could find regarding table scraps:
From Ann Martin's "Food Pets Die For" - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846
Repeatedly, the pet food industry and many vets warn pet owners that human food should never be fed to cats and dogs. However, since 1990 I have encountered wonderful vets who recommend that we avoid commercial foods and opt for a homemade diet...A growing number of vets believe that pets enjoy a much healthier and longer life if we take the time to cook for them. Dr. Belfield states in his book, "How to Have a Healthier Dog", "What's wrong with carrots and peas and salad and even fruits and cooked cereal? Nothing that I know of. I know a retired vet in his eighties who has been feeding generations of dogs from table scraps. Meat, vegetables, grains, fruit." (Wendell Belfield and Martin Zucker, How to Have a Healthier Dog, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1981, p. 42)
...if you are unable or unwilling to cook for your animal companions, add some whole foods to their diet. Leftover meat or vegetables from your own meals are a good choice but avoid giving them junk food or highly seasoned foods. Carrots, celery sticks and apple slices are wholesome, easy treats to have on hand. Whole grain crackers are a favorite of my guys -- both the dog and the cats. If you can combine some fresh snacks and family leftovers, along with a pet food that uses human-grade ingredients, your animal companion should be eating well!
From Martin Zucker's "The Veterinarian's Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats" - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books
- Feed the highest-quality pet food you can find and use that as the springboard, the base, for a better diet.
- To this base add a mix of fresh meat and vegetables. Add what you eat -- if you yourself eat well. "Animals will be a whole lot healther if a portion of their diet contains fresh and raw food," says Pamela Wood-Krzeminski, DVM, of Boca Raton, Florida.
- A pet multi-vitamin/mineral supplment, along with extra vitamin C.
Many vets put down the idea of table scraps. But not the ones I talked to. Table scraps have gotten a bad rep because they supposedly upset the nutritional balance of "scientifically formulated" pet foods. If commercial diets are so scientific, why are so many pets sick and overweight? More likely the real reason for dissuading consumers to refrain from table scraps is that the pet food industry will sell less pet food.
Holistic vets generally favor table scraps, as long as you keep them wholesome and simple. One commonsense guideline offered by Norman Ralston, DVM, is this: "If the food on your plate is harmful for your pet to eat, maybe you should not eat it yourself."
Some vet suggestions:
- Share a little of what you are eating every day with your pet. That provides taste and nutritional variety.
- Remember that all cats are individuals with individual tastes, sensitivities, and needs. Make sure what you're feeding is not causing allergic reactions.
- Raw or steamed vegetables are excellent, paricularly carrots, anything in the broccoli family, squash, and leafy greens. Many cats love the taste of cooked squash. Raw vegetables in general should be mashed, grated, or aged. Vegetables can be pureed in a blender, then left to sit in a container for a day or two before feeding.
- Try different fruit, particularly in hot summer months.
- Seaweed is a magnificent source of trace minerals.
- Stay away from spicy, salty, and fried foods.
- No sweets, cookies, or cakes.
- Store your leftovers in a plastic container with a tight cover and refrigerate. Use a bit at a time for flavor enhancing. Warm up the leftovers a bit after taking out a portion from the fridge.
As for our two cats, they initially started out on commercial super-premium human-grade food like Wellness and Innova, and once in awhile, they had some table scraps. That diet was satisfactory for them. But now, on the recommendation of our holistic vet, they're both on ready-made raw food -- products from companies like Amore and Pets4Life using mostly organically-grown ingredients, as well as meats from free-range non-medicated (e.g., no antibiotics or growth-hormones) animals -- and are doing extremely well.
We would recommend that you speak to a holistic vet for further info and suggestions; if possible, ask them if they do Computerized Electro Dermal Screening (CEDS) which can test each cat for possible food sensitivities. You can find such a vet in your area at: www.ahvma.org/referral/index.html
Good luck and good healthy eating to you and your cats.
Donna and George