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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:32 PM
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Confused about raw foods for cats

I have decided to take the plunge and switch my 13 year old "foster" kitty, Punky, almost exclusively to raw. He is getting fussier about the canned food but loves real meat. I hesitated to make the switch before because I didn't want him to get used to it if his original owners took him back (I know they would not continue to feed it) but it doesn't seem that he will be going anywhere any time soon.

The two younger ones are not interested in raw.

I did buy Urban Carnivore (Carnivora) whole ground chicken once. Is anyone familiar with this brand? Here in Winnipeg it comes in dog size 8 oz. patties but I have found it can easily be cut, while still frozen, with a large sharp knife into kitty size portions. Punky likes it.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of ready made raw pet food here in Winnipeg that is strictly meat. The only other one I have found here in Winnipeg is Natures Variety frozen raw but it also contains some fruits and vegetables which I understand are unnecessary for cats.

It's funny that when I went to buy it, the lady at the store told me I should get the Natures Variety because the Urban Carnivore didn't contain any vegetables and was not nutritionally complete for cats. I thought it was the other way around.

What do you think of my feeding this particular brand to him as a regular diet? Am I on the right track? Does it contain everything he needs? What about things like taurine? I might still give him a little canned now and then if he will eat it but he is getting fussier and fussier. Are some varieties better for cats than others. For example, bison and elk are not something a cat would eat in the wild but there are things like chicken, duck, lamb, beef and rabbit.

Here is some information from their website.

http://www.carnivora.ca/html/feature...ucts/index.cfm

I know a lot of you make your own homemade raw diet but I don't have a grinder and besides to feed just one cat the readymade would be easier and more convenient and actually less expensive than the better quality canned.

I am also a little concerned about him getting too much bone but if I supplemented it with a little muscle meat like chicken or beef I might throw off the nutritional balance.
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Kitties: Punky (13), Tweeky (6), and Sassy (7)

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Last edited by mikischo; June 13th, 2010 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Added something.
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  #2  
Old June 13th, 2010, 09:48 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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I used to feed NV raw before I made my own, but was just too expensive. Yes, it does contain SOME veggies, but not enough to be significant and is, IMO, better than any canned because the cats are getting their nutrients in their natural form and not through added chemically made nutrients.

I am not familiar with Carnovora, but from their website, they are on the right track for feeding cats what they should be eating.

I do not add any veggies to my homemade raw, but all my cats do get outside and they all do eat grass.

The only thing about premade raw for me (and it is great for people who don't want to make their own), is that I don't control the ingredients(especially the bone to meat ratio) and it may be frozen longer than I like it to be.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for your reply, L4H. Yes, the bone to meat ratio is one of my concerns. Would I upset the balance too much if I added just a little muscle meat? I am really not ready to take the plunge into making my own at present. Maybe in future. By the way, Punky also goes outside and does eat grass at least in the summer.
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"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." -Hippocrates
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton
"Be the change you want to see in the world" -Gandhi

Kitties: Punky (13), Tweeky (6), and Sassy (7)

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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:56 PM
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Check the poops, if they are too hard or become whitish, there is too much bone and add some meat. I have added muscle meat to some prepared raw because my foster kittens were having too much trouble pooping. Adding some fresh raw meat won't hurt as long as it doesn't make up too much of the diet.
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Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:57 PM
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Wanted to add, you can never go wrong with a properly prepared raw diet.
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Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:26 PM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by mikischo View Post
What do you think of my feeding this particular brand to him as a regular diet? Am I on the right track? Does it contain everything he needs? What about things like taurine? I might still give him a little canned now and then if he will eat it but he is getting fussier and fussier. Are some varieties better for cats than others. For example, bison and elk are not something a cat would eat in the wild but there are things like chicken, duck, lamb, beef and rabbit.
I'm not personally familiar with the brand, but it is carried by one of the best exclusive raw food stores here & their site looks good.

Taurine is found in meat and also in organs especially heart, so as long as you have a proper balance of organs you're good there.

As for meat variety, a lot of that depends on what your cat will eat, though I would try to limit fish to once a week. I was also told at one point by an employee of a raw food store to feed red meat at least 1-2 a week for the higher iron, taurine content but Duffy's homeopath said she didn't need that much as a senior, which was good for her cuz Duffy did not like any of the red meats (beef, bison, elk) or lamb, but loved chicken & turkey. I know a vet who raw feeds his cat & she only likes the red meats, she won't eat chicken.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 11:15 PM
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Thanks, Growler. Punky does love raw steak and absolutely loves chicken so I could likely give him one of the red meat ones for variety. This company doesn't carry turkey, but they do carry duck and quail. I would likely give him more of the chicken than anything.

As I had mentioned, one of my concerns is the bone to meat ratio. This is complicated by the fact that Punky is an indoor/outdoor cat. He has been that way all his life and I can't see being able to change that any time soon. He was in this neighbourhood for many years before I started looking after him but, being neutered, he doesn't go far and even comes when I call his name.

However, because he is outdoors quite a bit when the weather is nice and prefers to do his business outside if he has the choice, I can't monitor his bowel movements very easily and would not necessarily know if he was getting too much bone until things had progressed quite far. I am thinking of erring on the safe side and supplementing with small amounts of muscle meat on a regular basis. Would it make sense to do that?

I also might still give him canned now and then if he is interested (he definitely has a preference for real meat).

Also I did notice a few of what I thought were kind of sharp looking pieces of bone in this product, although they weren't all that large. Is that normal in commercial raw and should I be concerned? I have nothing to compare it to as it is the only commercial raw product I have seen.

Edit: Just discovered the following site. Maybe I better not get the beef if this is what it is like. The bones in the chicken I got definitely weren't that big but a few pieces did look sharp like that. I did pick a few out if I saw them.

http://www.damascusroad.ca/Links.htm
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"The animals share with us the privilege of having a soul." -Pythagoras
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." -Hippocrates
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton
"Be the change you want to see in the world" -Gandhi

Kitties: Punky (13), Tweeky (6), and Sassy (7)

SweetMickey 1991 to May 24, 2009

Last edited by mikischo; June 13th, 2010 at 11:38 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 11:39 PM
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Adding some extra muscle meat is not a problem, they usually have a problem with too much organ meat rather than too much muscle meat. The guideline for bone is roughly 5-10% of their diet. There is calcium in muscle meat as well so it's unlikely to create a difficiency of calcium by adding some extra meat. I did actually have Duffy on only chicken muscle meat for a couple of weeks by her homeopath vets recommendation after a IBD episode, but not something you would do at any other time.

Normally it is not an issue with small bone slivers as it will be digested, but absolutely you can take them out if it concerns you, I used to remove the larger pieces from Duffy's food before I needed to switch her to boneless (using TC Instincts Premix) because of the IBD issues.

Some of the commercial raw foods do have small bone chunks that pass though the bone sifter, unless they triple grind the bones which I know not all do. Unfortunately all the companies I'm familiar with are not available in Winnipeg as of yet, they are local BC made some suppling outlets in AB, Ont & Qc though.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 11:44 PM
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If the bone slivers are that big & there's that many of them in a small amount of food I'd be looking for another brand.

Were there other raw brands besides this one & NV at the store? Maybe you can ask the employee if any of the other companies triple grind the bones?

Another option is buying your own meat ground or chunks & using TC Instincts Premix powder, this is what I was feeding Duffy when she could no longer digest bone properly.
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  #10  
Old June 14th, 2010, 12:43 AM
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mikischo mikischo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growler View Post
If the bone slivers are that big & there's that many of them in a small amount of food I'd be looking for another brand.

Were there other raw brands besides this one & NV at the store? Maybe you can ask the employee if any of the other companies triple grind the bones?

Another option is buying your own meat ground or chunks & using TC Instincts Premix powder, this is what I was feeding Duffy when she could no longer digest bone properly.
I did do quite a bit of phoning around before I got the Urban Carnivore. This and NV were all I could find in Winnipeg. I got it at one of our Pet Valu stores (the only Pet Valu that carries raw) and the employee didn't seem to be all that knowledgeable. She told me that cats needed to have some vegetables in order to have a nutritionally balanced diet. The bone shards in the chicken were definitely not as big as the ones shown in the picture of the beef product and I was able to pick them out without too much trouble. I will continue to do so if I use this product again.

The TC Instincts is definitely another option. I would likely be able to find it here or I could order it. For now I think I will give the Urban Carnivore one more try with a little extra muscle meat added. Thanks for all your help.

P.S. I was just browsing old threads while writing this and it seems that Dracko feeds both her cats and dogs Urban Carnivore, or at least she did in 2007. Wonder if she still uses it.
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"The animals share with us the privilege of having a soul." -Pythagoras
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." -Hippocrates
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton
"Be the change you want to see in the world" -Gandhi

Kitties: Punky (13), Tweeky (6), and Sassy (7)

SweetMickey 1991 to May 24, 2009

Last edited by mikischo; June 14th, 2010 at 12:49 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 01:02 AM
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If you don't find too many to remove or pieces that are too large for your liking in the chicken, then it should be fine with added meat & removing the larger pieces of bone.

I never tried Duffy on the NV so can't really comment on it but a lot of people seem to be happy with it. It's unfortunate there are so few options in your area.

You could alwyas pm Dracko & see what she's currently feeding
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:38 AM
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Thanks Growler. I have PM'd Dracko.

I only wish I had been more knowledgeable about raw feeding when Mickey was still alive because he really did love raw. It would have been so easy to transition him. In the last year or so of his life I got brave enough to give him a little bit of raw chicken or raw beef for a treat now and then, but I was never brave enough or knowledgeable enough to carry it any further than that. It is only since I joined pets.ca and got to know so many members who were doing it that I would have considered switching to raw. I know, "hindsight is 20/20."
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"The animals share with us the privilege of having a soul." -Pythagoras
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." -Hippocrates
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton
"Be the change you want to see in the world" -Gandhi

Kitties: Punky (13), Tweeky (6), and Sassy (7)

SweetMickey 1991 to May 24, 2009
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Old June 14th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Wow - I didn't know Pet Valu carries Nature's Variety here in Winnipeg? One place you may want to look for a raw diet is "It's Raining Cat's and Dogs" on Academy. They have many different raw food diets at there store. And made in Manitoba as well. But most are geared towards dogs. If you see a certain diet you like and hear good reviews about them from people the owner may get the product in for you.

I used the Urban Carnivore to tranition my cats to a raw food diet. I think it is very good for this purpose. It was good at the time but I did become concerned with the bone to meat ratio. Once I started to feed my cats fresh meat they turned their noses up to the Urban Carnivore because it wasn't as fresh. I have heard of many people feeding the NV raw diet with good results as well. But many cats seem to become constipated on this diet it seems.

I never had problems with big bone pieces in the Urban Carnivore. But I like to break up my cats food before I feed it to them anyways - even canned food...lol! I like to make sure there is nothing in the food that my cat should'nt be eaing.

You don't have to buy a grinder to feed raw to your cat. You can chunk up the meat and feed it like that (or even feed whole pieces). For bone I would start off with Quail, Cornish Hen ribs or wings. These have VERY small bones in them. Making your own food is MUCH cheaper then the pre-made types of diets. There are many different websites and forums that you could join to learn more on feeding a balanced raw diet for your cat. If you want some links to look over please let me know
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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mikischo mikischo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khari View Post
Wow - I didn't know Pet Valu carries Nature's Variety here in Winnipeg? One place you may want to look for a raw diet is "It's Raining Cat's and Dogs" on Academy. They have many different raw food diets at there store. And made in Manitoba as well. But most are geared towards dogs. If you see a certain diet you like and hear good reviews about them from people the owner may get the product in for you.
Hi, Khari. Thank you for the information. I believe I checked with "Raining Cat's and Dogs" when I was looking before, but I will check again. Sorry, I called Pet Valu this morning and realized I was mistaken that the other raw was Nature's Variety. It was some time ago when I purchased the Urban Carnivore, and the other brand they carried at the time was apparently Pets for Life, not Nature's Variety. I was using my "obviously failing memory." Apparently now Urban Carnivore is the only raw food they carry. I haven't purchased any more raw since then because I didn't know how long I would have Punky. I didn't want to get him used to raw, only for him to have to adjust back to something else (likely kibble) if his old owners took him back. It now appears unlikely that will happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khari View Post
I used the Urban Carnivore to tranition my cats to a raw food diet. I think it is very good for this purpose. It was good at the time but I did become concerned with the bone to meat ratio. Once I started to feed my cats fresh meat they turned their noses up to the Urban Carnivore because it wasn't as fresh. I have heard of many people feeding the NV raw diet with good results as well. But many cats seem to become constipated on this diet it seems.

I never had problems with big bone pieces in the Urban Carnivore. But I like to break up my cats food before I feed it to them anyways - even canned food...lol! I like to make sure there is nothing in the food that my cat should'nt be eaing.
I'm glad you didn't find the size of the bone pieces to be a problem. I, too, picked out anything that I thought too large or sharp and will continue to do so. Unless I find something at Raining Cats and Dogs that I want to try, I think I will stick with Urban Carnivore for now and add a little raw muscle meat to increase the meat to bone ratio. Which varieties did you use for your cats? I only tried the chicken so far.

I may venture into making my own raw in the future and will then need more information and advice. By the way, transitioning Punky will not be an issue at all. I already know he prefers it to canned.

I have another question for you since you also live in Winnipeg. I have yet to find a vet here who agrees with a raw diet for cats. Have you come across any? If you have you can post here or PM me.

Thanks

Colleen
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"The animals share with us the privilege of having a soul." -Pythagoras
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." -Hippocrates
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton
"Be the change you want to see in the world" -Gandhi

Kitties: Punky (13), Tweeky (6), and Sassy (7)

SweetMickey 1991 to May 24, 2009
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Old June 14th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
I haven't purchased any more raw since then because I didn't know how long I would have Punky. I didn't want to get him used to raw, only for him to have to adjust back to something else (likely kibble) if his old owners took him back. It now appears unlikely that will happen.
I am glad to hear that you will be the new owner of Punky! You sound like a very loving and responsible pet owner And Punky is lucky to have you in his life

Quote:
Unless I find something at Raining Cats and Dogs that I want to try, I think I will stick with Urban Carnivore for now and add a little raw muscle meat to increase the meat to bone ratio. Which varieties did you use for your cats? I only tried the chicken so far.
I haven't looked into the Urban Carnivore for quite some time so make sure that the right ratio of organs/heart are included in the patties as well. I only tried the chicken while transitioning to raw. But my cats eat all types of meat (rabbit, chicken, beef, venison, lamb, turkey, quail, etc.). When feeding raw you have to aim for 80% meat 10% bone and 10% organs (5% of that needs to be liver).

Quote:
By the way, transitioning Punky will not be an issue at all. I already know he prefers it to canned.:
Punky sounds like one smart kitty

Quote:
I have yet to find a vet here who agrees with a raw diet for cats. Have you come across any? If you have you can post here or PM me.
Dr. Standish (Alpine Animal Hospital - he sells Urban Carnivore out of the front of his clinic)

Dr. Stogdale (Aesop's Veterinary Clinic - she does raw food consulting. She does recommend more then just meat bones and organs when you get a diet plan consult but nonetheless she advocates for raw food rather then kibble )
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