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I have 2 cats and we are thinking of switching them to RAW. Basically this came about because one of my cats has severe allergies. One vet suggested steroid injections once a month and another (second opinion) suggested changing his diet to RAW. I, regrettably, decided to do the injections and in the process my cat almost died; he had a severe reaction to the shots. I, of course, quit taking him in for the shots and have began thinking about a RAW diet.

The problem is that I have no idea where to start. I have no idea what meat to feed him. How much muscle meat? How much organ meat, etc.?

Basically, what would be nice is if someone would tell me what to buy and how much to give them....haha...I know that isn't going to happen but any advice will be helpful as I have no idea what I am doing. Although, I really do want to try this and see if it helps. Also, both of my cats are overweight. I'm hoping that a RAW diet might help in getting their weights down to a healthier level. One of my cats, the one with the allergy has already lost a considerable amount of weight just by letting him run and play outside in the yard (with supervision of course), but his allergies are insane. The poor cat literally rips his hair out and grooms himself nonstop because of it. I've woken up to blood on my kitchen floor because he'll chew on himself that much. It's horrible. His body is full of scabs. I really want to find something that will help give him relief.

Also, my main vet, diagnosed Max as having a flea allergy; not a food allergy. However, he has the same symptoms through the winter as he has during the summer and all my other animals are clear of fleas. I don't really think its a flea allergy. I strongly believe its related to something else.

Thanks!
 

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Actually raw for cats is pretty much the same as it is for dogs, just feed a wide variety of items. And IMO, it's much more necessary to switch a cat to raw, kibble is far more foreign and creates far worse health concerns for cats than dogs.
When I had my little rescue kitty here he got bone-in meals like rabbit, chicken necks, thighs, split breasts, whole mackrel, game hens. For organs I fed liver, kidney and beef heart (rich in taurine), some tripe and then the bulk of his meals are meat from chicken, pork, beef and turkey. 80% meat/10% organs/10% bone is a good rule of thumb.
I started really slow, and yes I did cut it up, but only in the beginning. I offered up pieces of meat and organs from different sources for the first couple of weeks before I started giving bone in small amounts.
Some key things to keep in mind is that cats lack the ability of getting rid of toxins quickly, so the meat needs to be fresh, not old. They also can't go long periods without food, so I would feed 2 times a day.
Here are some resources that I found helpful.

http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.catnutrition.org/nutrients.php
http://www.rawfedcats.org
 

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I have a raw fed cat. boxmein gave you some good info but I would also think about looking into a source for feeder mice because cats HAVE to have a specific amount of taurine in the diet and the best way to ensure that is to feed natural prey species such as mice.

it totally wigged me out the first few times but you get used to it.

I also feed game hen to my cat instead of chicken. she does better with game hen bones because she is a tiny cat.
 

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Our cat was about 8 (?) years old when we switched to raw. I tried the RMB's for a while but she just would have no part of it after so many years on canned and kibble. So for her I continue to grind whole chickens...meat, bones, organs. She will only eat chicken, go figure. She won't even eat fish! And to be sure she gets enough taurine (fresh meat will have more taurine than the processed stuff they use in kibble which FORCES supplementation) I still open a capsule of taurine and sprinkle some on at each of her 3 meals. She's almost 11 years old now and the vet says she looks fantastic, no geriatric problems that we know of. She still has a bit of spay sway...but what's a girl to do!

If you want your cats to lose weight then I would not free feed. It's also not good for raw food to sit out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the links Boxmein. They were really helpful. I bookmarked a few so I can go back over them again.

Max, who has the allergy, I don't think that he'll put up too much fuss about the switch. He has really enjoyed the little bit of raw meat (chicken liver and hearts, etc) he's had in the past. However, my other cat, Gus, I think will be a bit more stubborn. So I think I'm going to try switching them to canned food first and start very slowly with it. They have caught and ate mice before, but Gus always and sometimes Max, will vomit them up...which is really disgusting. :rolleyes: Actually, the few times that Gus has actually ate something raw, he's always vomited it up. I guess that is normal though and eventually he'll get the hang of it.

They are already not free fed so that is at least one thing that I don't have to wean them off of.

The rawfedcats link was actually kind of comforting to me as it addressed a lot of concerns I had about them eating RMB's and whether they would be able to do that or not. Also, it was comforting to know that I didn't have to make the switch cold turkey because I was worried that if they didn't take to it easily, they wouldn't get all the nutrition that they need. I had visions of starving kitties in my head...haha :eek: So I'm relieved that it is ok for it to be a slow process, which will also be helpful to me in trying to figure it all out.

I don't really want to buy a grinder so I'm going to try feeding them stuff with small bones in it and see how they do with it. They are both fairly young cats, Max just turned 6 and Gus just had his 5th birthday, so they still have all their teeth in good condition and there is no reason why they shouldn't be able to eventually learn how to rip the meat off.

Also, both of them are overweight, especially Gus. I read that they should be fed between 2-4% of their ideal body weight. If I did that, I worry that it would be too much of a drastic change for Gus considering how fat he is. Should I start out feeding him a bit more than that and working our way down to the 2-4%? I worry that he'll lose weight too fast.

Thanks!
 
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