Senior Cat Switching from Kibble to Raw
Hi all you cat food gurus out there!
I have a senior cat (10-11 years old, male, neutered) and I am thinking about switching him from kibble (Royal Cannin Intense Hairball) to raw.
Background: I adopted Crush about 8 years ago this May long weekend. He had been a stray before I rescued him. He has been on kibble and free feeds with a gravity feeder since I've had him. He's generally in good health, but I think that arthritis may be setting into his hips (he seems uncomfortable when I brush his fur in the hip area but can still jump onto his perch and the window-sill with ease) and has a missing tooth or two (doens't seem to stop him from eating though).
My concern is that as he ages (I consider him to be on borrowed time now) health problems may start cropping up due to the additives and fillers in kibble. I lost one cat to kidney failure and I'd prefer not to go through that again.
So my basic questions are:
Does feeding raw reduce the chances of renal (kidney, bladder and urinary tract) problems in older cats?
How do you transition a cat from kibble to raw?
Can you feed kibble and raw together or do you have to time meals the way you do for a dog (12 hours apart, I understand)?
How do you ween a cat from being free-fed to set mealtimes?
What are the proportions of protien, fat, bones and vegetable (?) matter for a cat?
If the cat is missing teeth, can he still handle the chewing and crunching involved or do you have to pulverize everything?
Should I start with a packaged raw diet? I'm considering Red Dog Deli because it's about as local as I can get and is supplied in my pet food store.
And last, since I am also considering switching my dog (4 years old, female, spayed), which should I do first, cat or dog?
Look forward to your comments and suggestions, and thanks for taking the time.
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