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Old May 3rd, 2008, 01:26 PM
leapnbunny leapnbunny is offline
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Exclamation Cat Food You Trust

Hi,
I'm new to this board Seems like most folks here know what they're talking about I've done plenty of research about the right cat food, not necessarily only commercial, and so far I can't say which one I see as the best option for my cat. I want him to remain healthy and age gracefully (he's almost 8). Obviously, quality of food has a lot to do with him being well. He's been eating Wellness Turkey and Salmon canned and some Orijen, but I don't want to give him any more dry food at all. He's very good at trying new foods, and he loves canned food. I'm not comfortable with giving only Wellness, because there are preservatives as in any brand, and "carageenan and guar gum" - not sure what's that for, and well noone knows for sure what kind of meat they put in, since anyway pet food regulations are so low... I'm wondering, is there any food that you trust? And I mean, any commercial and/or raw???
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 01:37 PM
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want4rain want4rain is offline
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we feed human grade raw meats. found its the least expensive of the 'acceptable forms of cat food' (ie not dry foods). it took a while for the cats to adjust to it but they wouldnt trade it for anything!!

i also supplement (maybe once a week??) with Felidae and Evo dry bites for cats but its more of a treat than anythign else. i can ramp it up to probably 4 times a week if we go out of town. most of the canned stuff gave one of our cats the runs. heck i cant remember now which ones didnt. *sheepish*

-ashley
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 03:52 PM
leapnbunny leapnbunny is offline
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Hi Want4rain,

I was considering human raw meat as well! How do you make sure your cats get all the nutrients and vitamins, minerals though? Do you buy supplements as well? And how do you know the meats aren't contaminated? That's the hardest part for me, I'd like to disinfect the meat somehow without cooking it. I was looking into using UV Light to kill bacteria/germs things like salmonella, e. coli and parasites.... I'd like to hear more about this kind of diet
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 04:06 PM
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hahaha we dont worry about 'germs'. its highly unlikely your cats will get sick from that unless you do things like mixing grains/veggies in with the raw meat. then it slows the meat processing down and gives it a chance for the bacteria to get a foot hold, thus making them sick.

we literally chop up their meat (chicken, corning game hens, turkey- in the future some rabbit maybe) and organs into meal sized pieces and let them do their damage. for example i will cut up a whole chicken into 6 or 7 pieces (leaving the back whole for the dog) and feed them a piece daily each. every 3 days or so (because mine are finicky eaters) i make a fish/clam/oyster/liver/egg/gizzard mix for them to get their organ meats down. for treats they get a little kibble on the side or once a week or so. on and off through out the week they get whole chicken heart (lots of taurine although all muscle meat contains it to some degree). oh and we are aiming on going with whole rabbit once a week but need to get a freezer first. we have also tossed around feeder mice/rats once a week to get at least one meal as 'whole prey'. i woudl suggest it although their health hasnt lacked any.

the way i see it is this- wild animals dont take supplements. make sure they get a variety of meats and organs and their bodies will take care of the rest. when feeding raw, think 'week' instead of 'day' on the whole balanced idea.

anyways, read up on the subject. get as much information as possible so that you understand what possible health issues can arise from feeding raw. there arent very many Do's but there are quite a few Dont's!!

-ashley
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 05:17 PM
leapnbunny leapnbunny is offline
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hahaha, I think I'd get someone else handle the meat. The way you do it, I'd never be able to do it. But still, do you ever worry about salmonella and e.coli? And do you buy organic, hormone-free meat? And where do you get it, from grocery store? I have no idea sorry, I'm vegetarian. How ironic, ha?!
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
hahaha, I think I'd get someone else handle the meat.
You'll get use to it. I don't eat too much meat and never could touch the stuff before , but I put both of my cats on raw diet a few months ago , I know have no problems touching the stuff
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 06:42 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
I'm not comfortable with giving only Wellness, because there are preservatives as in any brand, and "carageenan and guar gum" -
Carrageenan (derived from red seaweed) and guar gum (comes from guar beans) are used as thickeners and emulsifiers/stabilizers. Guar gum I wouldn't worry about, but there is some controversy surrounding carrageenan/poligeenan as possibly having an inflammatory effect on intestinal cells. I personally don't get too uptight about it (there's plenty of other stuff to be paranoid over - gotta pick your battles).

I totally understand not wanting to feed only Wellness and I think it's a great idea to rotate brands/flavours. That's what I do, but it also depends on the cat's tolerance for lots of diet changes (some do better with more stability).


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Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
I'm wondering, is there any food that you trust? And I mean, any commercial and/or raw???
I don't completely trust any commercial product, but I do think some are better than others. I like Wellness because they were one of the first to create grain-free canned foods for cats, which shows they were thinking about the cats' best interest more than than just their own pocketbooks. They are also quite forthcoming about the nutritional analysis of their products, which can't be said for a great many other pet food companies. However, they were also involved in a bit of a scandal a few years ago when they "accidentally/on-purpose" put rice in some of these grain-free flavours without indicating it on the label (although in their defense, AAFCO does allow a 6 month grace period - something I think needs to change). There was a big uproar in the feline diabetes/IBD communities who relied on the fact that their product was SUPPOSED to be grain-free. I suspect the backlash from that taught Wellness a lesson (there were petitions and letter-writing campaigns and Wellness quickly went back to being truly grain-free).

As for other brands that I (currently) feel comfortable having in my rotation, I like Nature's Variety, By Nature Organics (except for the fact that it's canned by Evanger's, who are currently having issues with the FDA), Innova Evo 95% meat, Wysong Au Jus, Precise, and Nature's Logic. I used to like Newman's Own, but for some reason I can't get it in Calgary anymore, and I wish PetGuard was available in Canada.

I also feed a few different brands of pre-packaged frozen raw. Nature's Variety medallions are readily available in many cities and are complete and balanced. Then there are some more local companies that I like (Red Dog Deli, Arusha, Amore).

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Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
I was considering human raw meat as well!
Eeek! Had to laugh, as I pictured some nice juicy "people-steaks".

Kidding aside, a raw diet really is the ultimate. And if you make it yourself, you have total control over the quality of the ingredients (besides raising the livestock yourself).

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Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
How do you make sure your cats get all the nutrients and vitamins, minerals though? Do you buy supplements as well?
This can get a little complicated and does require some research. Here is a good introduction to making your own raw diet: http://www.catinfo.org/makingcatfood.htm

The other option is a "whole prey model" that want4rain mentioned. Personally, there's no way my senior-citizen kitty would go for that, it was enough of a challenge just getting him off kibble. Younger cats tend to be more amenable to whole prey feeding.

I must also admit to some trepidation about the whole prey thing for cats (I think it works much better for dogs), based on the fact that typical feline prey is considerably smaller (mice, small birds) than what you can easily source at the store, which could potentially throw the proportions of some nutrients out of whack (for instance, an overly large, "artificially raised" store bought chicken is going to have a quite a different nutritional profile than a sparrow). Cat's have pretty specific dietary requirements that I'm personally not comfortable messing with too much.

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Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
And how do you know the meats aren't contaminated? That's the hardest part for me, I'd like to disinfect the meat somehow without cooking it. I was looking into using UV Light to kill bacteria/germs things like salmonella, e. coli and parasites.... I'd like to hear more about this kind of diet
As want4rain mentioned, cats' digestive systems are quite well suited to dealing with raw meat. It's a highly acidic environment, but cat's also have very short intestinal tracts so that pathogens don't have time to take hold before getting pooped out. Some (or more likely, most) vets will say otherwise, but they've unfortunately been indoctrinated by Big Pet Food, who have their own agendas (selling as much product as possible) at the forefront. Think about it, though: cats have evolved over a couple million years eating RAW MEAT! If this created big health problems for them, do you think they'd still be populating the planet? There are no Hibachis in nature.
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Last edited by sugarcatmom; May 3rd, 2008 at 07:08 PM. Reason: changed a word
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 08:17 PM
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All 3 of my cats eat either NV medallions or Paws and Claws Pet Pantry raw, plus they love chicken necks etc.... I've tried them on numerous "high quality" dry and numerous brands of wet and raw is the only thing that they not only absolutely love but has helped resolve a few health problems as well.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:31 PM
leapnbunny leapnbunny is offline
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Thanks, as for your suggestions I went and bought Red Dog Deli's raw food for cats. It said on the package it's free-range chicken or turkey, pesticide free (not sure about antibiotic and hormone free), it wasn't labeled organic and certified though. Well, I'll take their word for it that it's a good quality product, what else can I do, test it?! I'm feeding him now raw alternating with Wellness canned, but I'm not mixing them of course. He is very good at trying new things, and he didn't mind eating raw at all! I just love his easy going personality! It's not as difficult as I imagined (dealing with raw meat for me), as it's already in pouches and all ready to go, and it doesn't smell as all other canned foods do!

Sugarcatmom, yeah I didn't think of THAT! (human-grade raw meat). Gotta watch I type I've seen medallions by Nature's Variety, and the sales girl told me they are not as good as Red Dog Deli, because: 1. they come from the States and could be not as fresh; 2. I've read alfaalfa on the list of ingredients, and isn't it toxic to cats? Have no idea why they put it there. On the other hand, Red Dog Deli has a little bit of veggies and fruit, which isn't good mixed with raw meat, but they say it's a very small amount, about 5% and won't make a difference...
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:46 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Originally Posted by leapnbunny View Post
I've seen medallions by Nature's Variety, and the sales girl told me they are not as good as Red Dog Deli, because: 1. they come from the States and could be not as fresh; 2. I've read alfaalfa on the list of ingredients, and isn't it toxic to cats?
There isn't enough alfalfa in the NV to be a problem, but if you don't feel comfortable with it, then by all means don't feed it. The issue with alfalfa is that it contains canavanine, which in high enough quantities, can interfer with arginine (an essential amino acid). But again, the total amount of plant matter in NV is 5%, and alfalfa is way down on the list, so I personally don't think it's a big deal.

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On the other hand, Red Dog Deli has a little bit of veggies and fruit, which isn't good mixed with raw meat, but they say it's a very small amount, about 5% and won't make a difference...
Actually, there's only 2% veggies in Red Dog Deli, and it's juiced. You'd be hard-pressed to even see any vegetable matter in there, except for an occasional miniscule shred of kale or the like. My cat, a bonafide vegetable hater, loves this food.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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It said on the package it's free-range chicken or turkey, pesticide free (not sure about antibiotic and hormone free), it wasn't labeled organic and certified though.
Forgot to add that all the meat sources for Red Dog Deli are non-medicated (as per their website), so no antibiotics or hormones.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:11 AM
Mia101 Mia101 is offline
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There are several that I trust, only one of which she will eat: Wellness.
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