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Raw Not to Be Eaten with Dry with Grains?

TheHans
April 30th, 2008, 01:18 PM
With our two cats, Jarydd loves raw and Hamisch absolutely won't touch it. We've been feeding Nature's Variety raw to Jarydd. Hamisch has been getting Orijen dry food, which has no grain. However, Jarydd gets some of that as well because he wants what she has.

We've been concerned about Jarydd's weight since going over to Orijen as it has way more calories than their previous food and since starting it he's put on some weight even with eating the raw as well. So we've thought about going to California Naturals Herring and Sweet Potato dry food instead of the Orijen. It has some barley and oatmeal and way less calories.

So, our intention was to continue giving Jarydd the raw and then some of the California Naturals dry and give Hamisch the California Naturals dry. But the woman at the pet food store said something we'd never heard before. She said that if your cat eats raw, they also shouldn't eat any hard food with grain within 12 hours of eating the raw. Some kind of digestive thing, that cats digest the raw way faster than the grain.

Yet, before switching foods altogether both Hamisch and Jarydd had chopped raw chicken (not mixed-up, just plain chicken) along with a kibble with grain and it didn't seem to be an issue for them.

Anyway, we're trying first to even see if the guys like the California Naturals and if Jarydd can stomach it (he has a sensitive system). But it's kind of weird because we're not giving him the raw in consequence and I can see he wants it.

So after this long-winded explanation :-) my question is , has anyone else ever heard this before? The idea of the 12-hour break between kibble and raw food. That's only kibble with grain, and California Naturals has barley.

Any help would be appreciated.

sincerely,
The Hans

sugarcatmom
April 30th, 2008, 02:33 PM
The thing with grains, besides the fact that cats really shouldn't be eating them anyway, is that they take longer to digest than raw. This means they could potentially "stall" raw meat in the digestive tract and create a more favourable environment for bacteria to prosper. Personally, I think this applies to all kibble, grain-free or not.

Couple questions for you: do you free-feed the dry? If so, that could be part of the problem with Hamisch not eating raw, and also a big factor in Jarydd's weight gain. Have you tried canned? Perhaps that would make the transition to raw easier for Hamisch. It's also less likely that Jarydd will gain weight if there's no dry in the picture.

So that's my suggestion - ditch ALL dry, grain-free or not, and feed a combo of quality grain-free canned and raw until you can convince Hamisch how good a raw diet would be for her. Good luck!

TheHans
April 30th, 2008, 02:46 PM
Couple questions for you: do you free-feed the dry? If so, that could be part of the problem with Hamisch not eating raw, and also a big factor in Jarydd's weight gain. Have you tried canned? Perhaps that would make the transition to raw easier for Hamisch. It's also less likely that Jarydd will gain weight if there's no dry in the picture.


We did free-feed the dry, but at that point we had them only on dry. About three months ago, Jarydd started throwing up more than we would consider normal (about twice per week) and it seemed to be associated with the food, as it was after a drink where he'd then throw up the food. The cats were on Medi-Cal Hypo-Allergenic Gastro. Jarydd's always had a pretty sensitive stomach, but our vet suggested that as he's getting older (10 years old) he's become less tolerant of dry. But Hamisch has no problem like this. And even though we free fed, neither had a weight problem.

So we went to the Orijen dry and raw. We thought they'd both eat raw, as Hamisch was a virtual *Pig* for the raw chopped chicken, but she really wouldn't touch it. We think there's something in the Nature's Variety mixture that just simply doesn't appeal to her. Possibly the apple cider vinegar, but I don't know. So she's been eating the Orijen and the chopped chicken.

We free-fed at first, but that was a disaster with both cats' weights ballooning virtually overnight. When we checked out the calories, Orijen literally has about 200 more calories per cup than their previous food. So we stopped free feeding. But it's very stressful for Jarydd to see Hamisch eating the Orijen dry and for him not to have any. A mixture of jealousy and habit I'm sure. So he gets both. But it's almost like we're spending half our day putting the food down, then picking it up etc. etc. so that Hamisch gets enough without Jarydd seeing it. And then he just gets a bit. So we thought if we had a hard food with *less* calories, he could have the raw still, but maybe it would be more forgiving weight-wise.

So, I'm not sure if it's realistic to think Hamisch would accept raw food. But we don't want to do something to make things worse for Jarydd. So we're hesitant to let him have the California Naturals dry *and* the raw after what the pet food lady said. That's why I was wondering if this really was something that shouldn't be done.

The Hans

want4rain
April 30th, 2008, 05:19 PM
we went through hell getting our one 'problem' cat to eat raw but after lots of patience and a little time, it all worked out in the end.

-ashley

sugarcatmom
April 30th, 2008, 06:04 PM
I'll second the patience thing! My cat was like Hamisch in that he loved just pieces of raw meat, but wasn't nearly so keen on the balanced stuff. I think it was the organs. But I was more persistent than he was, and now he gobbles up the Nature's Variety whereas he used to act like I was trying to poison him. So definitely time and patience are your best tools. Cats are naturally suspicious of new foods as a defense mechanism to avoid eating something toxic. With continued exposure, many eventually come around, so hopefully that will also be the case with Hamisch.

Can you try mixing the raw in with some super stinky canned food? Raw tends to have little odour, and cats largely eat by smell. What about heating it up a touch (some cats are particularly averse to cold food)? Or top dressing it with some pulverized treats or kibble? Maybe she'd like a different brand of prepackaged raw? I've had to use all the tricks in the book, more of which you can find here: http://www.catinfo.org/#Transitioning_Dry_Food_Addicts_to_Canned_Food_
And I still say try going with canned for her in the interim, instead of finding another kibble: http://www.catinfo.org/