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Kittystylez March 2nd, 2013 06:36 AM

Cats sick of raw?
My 2 8 month old Bengals have now been on a raw diet most their lives. They started off on canned, but they had such a bad case of runny poops (for a month I couldn't find a commercial food they were both happy with), someone here suggested raw. I did research, chose to go with Dr. Lisa A. Pierson's diet. I have had to make adjustments to the diet (replacing taurine with actual chicken hearts as I can find it in abundance where I live, I have had to play around with egg quantity (cooked and raw - they don;t seem to like it), and now I am at a standstill! They just don't seem to like it anymore!!!

I package the raw I make in individual vacuume sealed packages, per meal, They went from eating it completely raw, to I had to nuke a small portion of it and then mix in a larger portion of raw, to half and half to all cooked :( They just are not eating it raw they refuse to eat it! So I am going between raw, raw/cooked and fresh pet select) because they will inhale this stuff and they do need to eat inbetween me trying to figure out what is wrong)

I have a couple of ideas to get them back to raw, but I am not sure if it will work.

1) I have had boiled a albacore tuna steak and I froze it in tablespoon sizes just for a treat. I know that canned tuna is extremely bad for them, and since albacore steak is something I already had in my freezer, I cooked up a steak for the kitties. So I plan on re-introducing the raw and mixing the albacore in the raw... hopeing that they go for the tuna smell they love so much.

2) change up the recipe? I wouldn't know to what? I currently make them both chicken and rabbit and I switch between the 2, they end up eating more chicken because rabbit is super expensive!

I would love to keep them on raw as I do feel it is better for them in the long run, less kidney failure complications and such, but I can't if they won't eat it? Unless I can continue them on this diet but make it cooked? I wonder what if any nutrients are lost once I cook the food? Is there something else I can add to this cooked diet to compensate?

Just so lost again with this food thing, and I always get nervous because it seems there is always an underlining issue, last time poops and now I have another thread out there about my one cat having trouble/seeming uncomfortable sitting and walking (muscle maybe, maybe nothing), waiting for him to get better or worse because right now it's just something I noticed recently and not going on a long at all and I don't think my vet can do anything right now with "I think my cat is uncomfortable walking and sitting" even though to someone who is not around him as much as I am, he seems to be walking fine. :wall:

I know I am a worry bug and I baby them.

sugarcatmom March 2nd, 2013 12:56 PM

It may likely just be that they're bored of the same 2 protein sources all the time. I know my cats looooooooove variety...... they eat probably a dozen different types of meat (everything from lamb to venison to wild boar and even kangaroo). I do feed them mostly commercial raw cause as a very busy vegan, it just makes the most sense for my situation. If you'd like to make your own with more exotic meats, try checking out farmer's markets or ethnic grocery stores. In some cases you may have to substitute another calcium source for bone, or feed a meal of chicken wings or necks every so often to make sure they kitties aren't eating too much muscle meat, but it should be doable.

Another tip would be to sprinkle the top of their meals with a 100% freeze-dried meat treat like PureBites or Whole Life. One of my cats is not a fan of kangaroo, but if that's what I've thawed out for the other cats' meals, that's what she's gonna get. I dust it with a liberal sprinkling of chicken or turkey powder and she almost always gobbles it down.

I'd have to advise against cooking any meals that were intended to be fed raw, like Dr. Pierson's recipe. Even if the bone is finely ground, it changes when cooked and would be less digestible, sharper, and more likely to cause a blockage. Plus the nutrient composition is altered. Would be better in that case to cook the muscle meat and organs separately and then add in everything else. Or you could get some Feline Instincts, which is a vitamin/mineral powder meant to be mixed with just raw muscle meat chunks.

Oh, one more thing: while the focus tends to be on canned tuna not being that great for cats, raw tuna should also be (mostly) avoided: [url][/url]
[INDENT][SIZE="5"][B]Eight strikes against fishy feeding[/B][/SIZE]

So far, I count eight distinct ‘strikes’ against the idea of feeding fish, raw or cooked, to cats.

[B]Strike One: Low calcium levels.[/B]

Whole fish, even with bone, is far too low in calcium for a cat. Remember: if you’re making homemade cat food, one of the most important things to get right is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. You have some wiggle room here, but not much. A whole ground fish would be low in calcium. And while the high phosphorus is not good for any cat, elevated phosphorus levels are something you most definitely wouldn’t want to feed a cat that is suffering from any kind of kidney problem.

[B]Strike Two: Thiamin destruction.[/B]

Raw fish contains high amounts of an enzyme called thiaminase–an enzyme that destroys Vitamin B-1 (thiamin). A thiamin-deficient diet can lead to neurological problems and seizures in cats. No good.

[B]Strike Three: Urinary tract problems.[/B]

Fish, with its high magnesium content, can contribute to a type of urinary tract problem in cats.

[B]Strike Four: Addiction.[/B]

Heaven knows, cats absolutely adore the taste of fish. Anyone who’s ever opened up a can of fish within a 12-city-block radius of any hungry feline knows that. But you can quickly end up with a ‘fish addict’ on your hands. And the last thing you need is a cat on a hunger strike refusing to eat anything but an inferior fish diet.

[B]Strike Five: Heavy metals.[/B]

There is a great deal of persuasive research suggesting that predatory fish (those at the very top of the food chain and the same ones often found in pet food or used as ‘treats’ for cats) have extremely high levels of heavy metals such as mercury–in addition to pesticides and other toxins. A 2004 study published in Acta Neuropatholgica discovered neurological disturbances in young kittens fed tuna daily that contained the US FDA-approved level of mercury (0.5 ppm).

[B]Strike Six: Possible link to hyperthyroidism.[/B]

A US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study in 2007 revealed a disturbing link between feline hyperthyroidism and the chemicals in fire retardants–that mimic thyroid hormones–and cats’ consumption of fish. In the study, cats eating canned fish were exposed to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) that were five times higher than cats eating poultry or beef canned foods.

[B]Strike Seven: Vitamin E depletion.[/B]

Felines love tuna, but eating it long term can deplete a cat’s stores of vitamin E and create conditions that lead to an extraordinarily painful condition called steatitis, with symptoms such as hypersensitivity to touch and loss of appetite. Huuuuuge bummer for the cat and for you. You’ll find tuna in lots of cat foods for the very reason that it’s tasty to cats and draws them to the food. But it has nothing to do with healthy, safe, or necessary nutrition for cats.

[B]Strike Eight? Allergenic.[/B]

Fish are allergenic. To my mind, it just makes little sense to feed something that is more likely to create a allergic reaction than something that isn’t.

Dr. Jean Hofve wisely advises against feeding fish and suggests that it be reserved as a very occasional and special treat–certainly no more than once a week.

If you’re really anxious to give your cat a treat once in awhile, go for something like small bits of dehydrated chicken liver or freeze-dried chicken hearts. But skip the fish. Feed something with fur or feathers, not fins. It’s kinder to–and safer for–your carnivore.[/INDENT]
Now all that said, it probably wouldn't be a big deal if you mixed some raw tuna in very occasionally, but I think it would be a better idea to first find some other meats that your cats are interested in and rotate those around.

Hope that helps a bit!

Reg March 2nd, 2013 09:58 PM

I am sorry to hear of your problems with the raw food and your 2 kitties seemingly to be getting turned off of it. Your issues seem to raise more questions that could give us a better handle on the problem. Your using the recipe of Dr. Pearson's and are you following it or are you making changes to it? The adding of too much heart or liver could also have a tendency of changing the flavor making a little more harsh, and not so palatable. Are you doing your own meat preparations in regards to grinding of the meat and bones? Is your meat grown locally or does it come from a factory farm, and hence the supermarket? Replacing the taurine with actual hearts is the best thing you can do. Our vet was saying that there are some issues with the man-made taurine seemingly causing some kind of skin issues, and she recommends going with the heart meat wherever possible for taurine. Are you still having loose bowel problems? If so it might be an idea next time you go to the vet take a fresh stool sample with you, and have it checked out for parasites.

I have found sometimes that the meat coming from the supermarket seems to have an off flavor that the cats can pick up on, and it makes it hard to persuade them to eat it. Could this be a problem? There is always a chance of there being an allergy to the chicken, but I wouldn't expect both cats to be affected that way. Their age at 8 months you would think would make it highly unlikely for being a allergy problem, but strange things do happen.

You might think of trying another meat like pork, it's a milder flavor than other meats, and the nutritional breakdown is very similar to a rodent, and there is no known allergy problem with pork. I will include to holisticat's website where you can see the recipe. I have been using the pork recipe for several years after having similar problems as you're having with chicken. As SCM mentioned have a wide variety of meat from time to time it helps to eliminate any allergy problems down the road. Chicken beef lamb, and I think Turkey all contain micro-digesting irritant which can cause inflammation in the digestive tract also leading to allergies, and irritable bowel problems. So it's a good reason to rotate your menus from time to time.

As far as cooking for the cats that's your call. As you know the best is raw, 2nd is if you cook for them, 3rd is canned, and kibbles rates last. If you're cooking stay away from the microwave. It does a major job in destroying the food nutrients from the radiation cooking method. I had a vet that gave me a hard time because I was using a microwave when I first started prepping food for Missy. I am enclosing a website for Food Data Search where you can correspond between raw and cooked meats. It'll give you wee bit of an idea on the changes in food between raw and cooked, and it doesn't start on the micronutrients like enzymes and chemical composition changes brought on from heat. The last website I use for doing my calculations for calcium and phosphorus in the cat's food.




Kittystylez March 2nd, 2013 11:30 PM

Is pork and beef ok to give to cats? I mean I have never heard of feeding pig to cat but that would be close enough to wild boar wouldn't it?

I have tried turkey which got a big 2 paws down from my cats!

I would love to experiment with other meats, some of the ones you mentioned (except lamb) is pretty exotic. I don't know where I would find kangaroo, venision or wild boar if pork is not suitable.

I have tried going the commercial food route. I tried 2 different kinds, one was turkey and my cats hated it! and the other was in pucks and the 3 bags I opened were all freezer burnt so I never ended up feeding it to my cats (or leave the parking lot of the store). I found a place that sold this food called Raw Bold - comes in chicken, lamb, rabbit and beef. I am just not confident the establishment is knowledgeable in feline diet as I started buying this brand and when I called and enquired about all the ingredients used as only (the main meat and a mention of an organ or two was listed but nothing else) they informed me that the food was a balanced diet and contained the heart and kidney of the animal. Problem is, between rabbit and chicken neither has enough heart to provide the taurine a cat requires. So I decided to follow Dr. Pierson's diet instead.

Do you know of any other recepies involving other meats?
I am very open to try new things and put smiles on all our faces... there has to be a happy medium.

Kittystylez March 3rd, 2013 12:01 AM

Hi Reg!

Thanks for the links!
To answer some of the questions you had...

Changes to Dr. Pierson's diet is the Taurine for heart, and the egg which she suggests cooking the white and add the egg whites cooked, or raw. They definately do not like it cooked! and I am not sure they are crazy about egg at all to be honest, but I know its good for them so I have played around with auantities to get some egg in their diet. I still use all the other vitamins, fish oil, water, etc... And as of late the change I make which is not advised or mentioned really is cooking the preperation.

I do grind the meat myself... bone is ground extra fine can't see any of it in the food and you gotta feel around in the food to see any. The chicken is mainly purchased at Costco so yes to supermarket meat but I try and get rabbit as fresh as I can.

No longer having loose bowel problems - switching to raw fixed that!
As far as stool samples... I have been down that route and have done 2 stool tests on both cats which they were both negative. I will have to reread my response in the morning to make sure I caught all your questions as I am dozing off as I write!

sugarcatmom March 3rd, 2013 12:08 PM

[QUOTE=Kittystylez;1054584]Is pork and beef ok to give to cats? [/quote]

Unless you have a cat that can't tolerate them, pork and beef are absolutely okay for cats.

I don't know where I would find kangaroo, venision or wild boar if pork is not suitable.[/quote]

Kangaroo might be tough to find in Canada outside of a raw pet food supplier, but you can find lots of different meats at farmer's markets. I'm guessing you're in Ontario?

[QUOTE=Kittystylez;1054584]I have tried going the commercial food route. I tried 2 different kinds, one was turkey and my cats hated it! and the other was in pucks and the 3 bags I opened were all freezer burnt so I never ended up feeding it to my cats (or leave the parking lot of the store). [/quote]

Ya, freezer burn is rather unappetizing, but cats typically don't care. I just add some extra water to the meat while it thaws. I do prefer the vacuum-sealed packaging though, for that reason.

As for hating the turkey, sometimes it depends on what else is in the raw mix. My cats love turkey from one pet food company and not the turkey from another company. The second one even smells different to me (kind of musty, which might be from the psyllium husk that's added to it). So just because your cats didn't like one version doesn't mean they'll hate all turkey to the end of time. You just might have to experiment a bit. Also, my cats didn't always like everything I offered the first time I offered it. Kangaroo was initially a bust (probably because it was sooo different from everything else they were used to eating), but I tried again a few weeks later and this time it went over better. Now it's one of my cat's Favourite Food Ever.

Do you know of any other recepies involving other meats?

You could try more of whole prey model diet, which doesn't tend to use supplements to the same degree as a ground diet. Try cornish game hen, quail, small rabbits. Holisticat has some descriptions of different ways to feed raw, with recipes: [url][/url]

There's also a way of feeding called Frankenprey, which cobbles together meat/organ/bone from various animals to come as close as possible to representing the nutrient profile of, say, a mouse. This can be handy when you can't always find the organs to match the muscle meat. For instance, you feed some venison with an appropriate amount of chicken liver and heart and maybe some lamb kidney, and then use chicken wings for the calcium. Requires more weighing, and you aim for a ratio of about 80% muscle meat, 10% organ, and 10% bone.

Here is some much more in depth discussion on that: [url][/url]

sugarcatmom March 3rd, 2013 12:25 PM

Changes to Dr. Pierson's diet is the Taurine for heart, [/quote]

How much actual heart are you adding to the recipe? Maybe the cats are finding it to be too much? The heart should really be in proportion to the rest of the animal, so one chicken heart for one whole chicken.

They definately do not like it cooked! and I am not sure they are crazy about egg at all to be honest, but I know its good for them so I have played around with auantities to get some egg in their diet. [/quote]

My cats don't like egg either. I personally don't think egg is essential to a cat's diet, so if yours are balking at food with egg in it, I'd leave it out. For now at least.

[QUOTE=Kittystylez;1054585]I still use all the other vitamins, fish oil, water, etc... [/quote]

If you're using B vitamins, those tend to have a pretty distinguished smell that many cats find unappealing. Maybe try another brand, or make a batch without it to see if that makes a difference. Also fish oil can be quite overpowering and I have a cat that won't eat anything if he detects even a molecule of fish oil in it. Try a small batch without fish oil and instead feed an occasional sardine or use green lipped mussel powder for the Omega3s instead.

[QUOTE=Kittystylez;1054585]The chicken is mainly purchased at Costco so yes to supermarket meat but I try and get rabbit as fresh as I can.[/quote]

I'm not a fan of grocery store chicken myself, since it supports the evils of industrial factory farming. Plus, the chickens are so pumped up with drugs to keep them alive in abhorrent conditions that those must certainly get passed on to the "consumer". If there's anyway for you to buy organic chicken from a Whole Foods type store (or even better, a farmer's market!), that would be ideal. I realize cost can be a factor though, so you can only do the best you can. Grocery store chicken is still better than any commercial kibble/canned.

Kittystylez March 3rd, 2013 04:45 PM

Thanks for all the advise!! REALLY!!!
I will be checkign out both those links! To be honest - I do want to start getting them chicken from a farm and I recently found a farm and just this past friday picked up half pig and 1/4 cow.... I did not get them chicken cause I still have about 9 chickens left and 3 rabbits and with them seeming stand-offish with the chicken and rabbit I was planning on seeing first what do do about that.

My local farmer does have:

I know where I can get quail and cornish hen, but that would be grocery store bought.

Sardine: Would i give that to them raw or cooked? I am affraid with sardines because they have soooo many small bones around their gut area! But they are fairly fatty under the scales!

As I also mentioned before I was purchasing the Raw Bold stuff with no added vitamins. They were gobbling that stuff down pretty good... it was once I started using the Vitamin A that they became more disinterested. Is there any natural replacements for all these vitamins?

For Taurine replacement I used 100g chicken heart per 4 pounds chicken.

Turkey... I am pretty sure it's the meat they just don't care for! I gave them some raw turkey before I started preparing the thanksgiving turkey and they told me to eat it :laughing:

There just seems to be a very overflowing and overwhelming fountain of information and no two people seem to have the same opinion except that Raw is better! I know I have to find what works for my guys... but my fear is, what if I am unknowingly making them miss something essential from their diet?

:fingerscr we get this right!

Reg March 3rd, 2013 10:35 PM


Your shopping list brings back memories of when we had the family at home. We used to buy a half a pig and a quarter cow as well the chickens came by the half dozen, and it came from the local farmers. Now and again I'd be called to help with the butchering. Now with the butcher shop in town that deals with the local farmers all I have to do is to go there to buy local product.

If you're having trouble with vitamin A supplement use liver, and start with between quarter and half the recommended amount. Every time you make a new batch of food just add a little more liver to it and by the time you made 3 or 4 batches should be up to the recommended amount. It will help to let the cats get used to the liver being added to the food batch and it will give you a chance to monitor their reaction and adjust the liver accordingly.

The 100 grams of chicken hearts to 4 pounds of chicken looks to be about right according to the recipe I'm using. In regards to the raw egg I haven't been using them for years, and I've just started since Christmas to use the eggs again. And I'm receiving complaints from my crew the same as you and S CM have received from using raw egg, and wouldn't you know what I just completed baking 4 pounds of pork food using raw egg. The next batch I make I will be dropping the egg out going back to the vitamin D3. Using the raw eggs seems to help eliminate the throwing up hairballs but I guess we just can't have everything.

As far as sardines go and other types of fish I haven't had anything to do with it for years. If I'm making a sardine sandwich the cats will get water out of the can and maybe a piece or 2 of sardine as a treat the same goes for any other fish we eat.

You mentioned that you had tried turkey at Thanksgiving with the cats, and they didn't like it. If it was the first introduction of a new food this is a normal thing that happens. You have to work with them introducing the new food before they'll eat it without fussing over it.

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