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Raw cat food

I've been interested in raw cat food for a while now, ever since one of the ladies in my communications class gave a speech on how well her dog responded to a real food diet. If I remember correctly, her dog had a disease (diabetes?) that was cured by switching to a real food diet. I talked to my vet about it once and she said "don't you think you should just leave that to the experts? The pet food industry has been making stuff for a long time (expertise implied here)." Well, I know exactly how well the food industry works (why the hell do they put food coloring in everything?). Anything to turn a profit, right? Why not just put hormones in our milk!

So when I came across CatInfo, I decided to spend a day reading about raw catfood. Its not like I have anything more pressing to work on. The contention is that anything that closely resembles a cats natural diet is better than what's provided in processed food. I'm not sure that I believe this, particularly as I look at my "natural" diet and am astounded at how short it falls from what's actually good for me. So natural with supplements seems to be the best of both worlds, at least as far as I can tell.

Some of the claims make sense: that carbs, which cats can't process, cause obesity and in turn leads to diabetes; that vitamin B complex is important; that bones are important for healthy cats. But some of it seems, well it just seems silly. Raw food will make my cat more catlike? The food should be mouse body temperature? They'll consume less food? Cats shouldn't have any vegetables? Right. My cat gets cranky if she doesn't get enough veggies, and cats certainly voluntarily eat grass.

Nevertheless, I find myself intrigued by the idea. Is it really possible that my little fatty would lose weight and stop compulsively eating if I switched him from dry food? What about my poor little monkey who occasionally has bloody stool? Will more vitamin B repel fleas? It's hard to avoid being optimistic about such a simple switch. Especilly since making catfood would mean that I could control the amount of psyllium they get during shedding season. I guess when we're done with this batch of dry food, the kitties will switch to wet. And then we'll go from there.

Links:
catnutrition.org
Flea Treats
Study Shows 'Catkins' Diet Helps Cats Beat Diabetes

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I definitely prefer premium cat food with actual meat as the first ingredient -- any food with grain or corn meal very high up on the list isn't really appropriate for a carnivore like a cat, and meat 'byproducts' aren't anything I really want them eating either. Most grocery-store cat food brands aren't very healthy, no matter how many years they've been around.

On the other hand, there seems to be a *philosophy* behind the raw food thing that I find a little offputting. The question is somewhat moot in my household, since I have a cat who will eat ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but Authority-brand dry food. She isn't the slightest bit interested in any kind of meat.

We've been using Science Diet, mostly because anything with more Magnesium gives my fat boy bladder crystals and those are No Fun. I'm certainly skeptical about some of their claims, but the way the cats devour the wet food and the continual weight gain both tell me that something needs to change. I'm hoping this will help, but I'd be very surprised if it's the miracle cure they seem to think.

Pounce eats a terribly unhealthy brand of grocery store wet food. We tried switching her to vet-recommended brands: she protested, lost weight (dangerously) and refused to eat any of them. So, since she's a very old lady in cat years (18 human years old), we give her what she wants and pump it full of vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be good for her. Right now we crush 1/4 of a Pepcid AC into her food (that controls her urge to puke everywhere very nicely) 1/2 of a Glucosamine & Chondrotin (spelling's a bitch ain't it) pill that is 250mg/200mg and 1/2 of a potassium pill the vet gives us called Tumil-K. The last two seem to help her stay away from irritated bladder symptoms, and as an added bonus the G&C help her joints (mildly).

My next cat though, will be raised on healthy foods. I'm not so sure about raw foods though...mostly because I don't want to deal with the prep.

Those sites have some recommendations for the "good" brands of wet food. In fact, I was surprised at how little prep went into the raw foods. Most of the work appears to be in adding the vitamins and not breaking the grinder on the bones. I'm hoping the grinder attachment I have for my KitchenAid can take it.

Yeah, but then you freeze it and have to thaw it, that means you have to remember to take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge a few days before you want to use it, then there is the fact that my cat won't eat anything if it's been in the fridge. She wants it at room temp or hotter. How do you get around that?

Run it under hot water and/or in the microwave. Both make it stinky and more interesting to kitties.

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