Raw feeding - English
Feline raw feeding
For beginning – cat is an obligate carnivore. Even after thousands years of domestication did not change her digestive system. There is not even difference between purebreed cat and the one from the street. Both have same digestive system. All these cats have same nutrition´s needs. All are obligate carnivores like they relatives in wild.
The dry food has history from the end of 19th century and even some cats died in the beginning cause nobody knew what are cat´s needs.
There is a study from dr. Pottenger.
„Dr Francis M Pottenger accidentally came upon the finding that his laboratory cats were noticeably healthier when fed on a diet of raw meats rather than cooked meats.“
He tested cats for 9 years, 900 cats, 9 generations He was a human doctor. He kept cats for his laboratory. One day he didn´t have leftovers from restaurant so he took raw meat from the butcher - leftovers. He found out that cats on raw are in better condition than cats fed with leftovers. So he fed one half with leftovers from restaurant and other half with raw food from the butcher.
He could see how cats on raw diet are more viable than cats on cooked meal. Even offsprings of raw fed cats where healthier and next generations as well. And cats fed with cooked leftovers are having problems already in first generation. As physical as psyhical.
Same problems came out with first dry food. The producers didn´t know what nutritional additives have to be in and it was found out when many cats died especially missing taurin, vitamins, minerals.
With the time all suplements were added to dry food. But we are still dealing with highly cooked food and artificial supplemets. And these days is the huge problem where the ingredients in dry food come from.
But we are here for educating why and how to feed correctly raw food.
If we are feeding with commercial food, we should give more wet than dry. Cats come from desert and their digestive system is used to whole prey where they get up to 75 % of liquid needed per day. Rest they have to drink water. So with wet food you help to prevent urinary, kidney problems, illnesses.
So how to feed our furry friends?
You can feed meat (turkey, rabbit, beef, pork, chicken bones, hearts, guts). There is „triangle“ for variety how much of each kind meat, bones and guts.
80% meat, 10% meaty bones, 5% livers and 5% of guts. Even that, is better to add some supplements. Taurin is never enough, and you can not overdose. Some minerals and vitamins in different stage of life is good to add (growing kittens, pregnant female, huge cat, small cat). Cats don´t need side dish as dogs. Cat has shorter digestive system than dog.
Benefits of feeding raw:
- healthy and satisfied cat
- less hair loosing
- less smell of poops, less and formed poops
- better dental health, better smell from the mouth
- cheaper feeding
- less money for veterinary care
Well, yes. Feeding with prepared food as dry as wet is more comfortable, but everybody finds like an hour weekly to prepare portions into freezer.
And please, pay attention on cat´s actual health statute and consult it with your veterinarian.
If your cat has problems to start feeding raw, there are many guides with tips to show to start. And it can take even half a year or longer to become raw eater. We have to be patient, it is worth of it.
But nobody can push us into that. It is always up to the owner how he feeds. It is anyones responsibility. You can even feed with commercial food with combination of raw.
How to choose commercial food
If we choose to feed combination feeding – raw meat, dry food, wet food, you should know some basics how to choose the best as possible.
It is even still good choice if you feed 1/3 raw. Think that dry food is dehydrated, so you need to give to cat as much possible something where she gets some more liquid.
Feeding 1/3 raw, 1/3 wet food and 1/3 dry food gives you sureness that the cat gets all vitamins, mineralas and nutrients.
So how to read composition on commercial food? What is written on first 3 places is the basic of the product. If you have meat, meat by-products, grain/corn/potatoes/by-products of plant origin – these 3 things are what is the product mainly made of. You want the product where is mainly made of meat (even the meat is cooked on very high temperature is still better than plant products. All of these products have more or less negative side effects. Potatoes carry fat carbohydrates which are hard to digest and become body fat. Used grain and corn might be genetically modified. But in all dry food there is something, even lentils which do not have good infuluence on digestion.
But do not panic, you are not going to give only dry food. You want more liquids to get in feeding. So you have to also choose wet food. Again, which ingredients are on first three places are represent contain. Please, try to choose „complementary“ wet food where are vitamins, taurin, minerals and nutritiens. Non complementary food is only cooked meat usually. But we want to be sure that our furry friend has everything he needs. Maybe your cat eats only dry food and you will need to teach her to eat something else. There are still planty of tips and instructions available on internet.
If you decide to feed ½ dry food and ½ raw, there you have to be already careful. You have to start to use supplements.
Please do not wet dry food, there is possibility of bad bacterias. Dry food is made to feed dry. If you put it on top of meat or wet food to try to make the kitty to start to eat other food, it is ok. Be sure that your cat has always good access to fresh water. Ideal changed daily.
Please, labeling commercial food like Holisic and others, it is only marketing.
Please, if your cat has some chronical health problems, always talk to your veterinary. Maybe he tells you that feeding raw is danger or nosense, have on your mind that cat is really obligate carnivore. They taught us this at school in biology.
Raw feeding/BARF what it is about
Most of us heard the word BARF(Bones And Raw Food, Born Again Raw Feeders) in connection with dogs. It is really favourite way of feeding dogs last couple of years. There is difference of dog´s BARF and cat´s BARF. Dog has different digestion system. Dog has longer intestines and needs more ingredients in his food. Cat has shorter and faster digestion system. Cat has special digestive enzymes and acids. Her digestive system has very high pH. It works well on some bacterias.
What can we feed?
I would just add that pork meat is very often put aside, but it is great source of energy and helps skinny cats to gain weight and vitality, so I would for sure add pork and pork guts such as kidneys. I feed from pork also tongue, heart which is great source of taurin. And if you have good source of wild pig, you can add as well. Here in our country is strict testing of wild boar. As well possibility of whole prey is great. We can feed one-day old chicks and mice. Chicks are great source of nutritiens. But not everybody is able to feed whole pray and it is ok. It is individual choice. Do not be afraid of raw bones. They are important. Cats get calcium from them and also chewing them cleans teeth and massage gums. Dangerous are cooked bones, they change chemical structure and become non digastable and sharp and can hurt digestive system and even stay in stomach. Cats are not able to digest them.
How shall I start:
Sometimes the cat starts to eat meat immediatelly and is happy that you found out the real food. But in many cases it takes time, even a half of the year or longer. We need to be patient. There are many tricks how to start:
- start to add little pieces of meat in her favourite food,
- start with grounded meat into casual food than try bigger and bigger pieces,
- use Fortiflora© probiotics which sometimes work as a „drug“, felines love the smell and can´t help themselves,
- give her a bit everyday with casual food and give her time, serve every day tiny piece from some meat and wait.
You have to be really patient with your cat and do not push her in style like keeping her hungry. It is really dangerous and cause huge health problems, even death.
While you feed 50 and more % of raw, you already need to add some supplements which are really necessary for cats.
So which supplements I need to add?
Taurin: essential acid which you can get only from animal source. Cats are not able to produce it themselves. They need to get it from raw food or added in form of powder, crystals. If the cat does not have enough of taurin it can ended blind and ill. Taurin is also needed for good function of the heart.
The best source of taurin is heart (pork heart is the best source).
Proteins: proteins give important amino acids to the body. They help to produce antibodies, enzyms, hormons, tissues and the right balance of pH. They are important for muscles and development. The best source of proteins is mainly meat and eggs. In dry food there are mainly plant proteins which are hard to digest. Cat´s body is burdened by plant´s proteins.
Fats: fat is concentration of energy and esencial fat acids, which are important for nutrient´s transfers. They are also here for cell´s right function and recovery.Esencial amino acids are very important for cats. The best source is in meat and fat.
Minerals: very important for cats. They assint to all physical reactions. They help to create enzyms, ensure balance pH, they help to right use of nutrients and transport of oxygen. We can find minerals in muscules and bones. The most important are: calcium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, zinc and some others. The best way how to get them is natural way, from raw food.
Have on your mind, that 99% of any illnesses is stress. Keep your cat in good welfare. Feeding natural way helps to feel more comfortable. Before you start, it is important to study different sources of information. Also having chat with someone who is experienced is great way. There are still planty of vets who are not fans of raw feeding. But many of them already are so called holistic vets and and will be happy to advise you how to feed the best way.
Internet sources of informations:
The best place where you can find many books is Amazon.com
Feline Nutritions, Lynn Curtis
Natural nutritons for cats, Kymythy R. Schultze, C.N., C.N.C.
What cats should eat, Jean Hofve, DVM
Raw fed cats, Linda Zurich
There is a good combination of official vets and experienced cat lovers who made great search.
Also on Facebook there are many specialized groups about Raw feeding.
 Website The nutrition code