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I have a very sick kitty that I'm trying to take care of. He'll only eat chicken, turkey and prawns. I'm happy to give him these, but I'm trying to come up with a long term healthy diet.

Has anyone tried the raw route?

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I have dog and chicken food down but I've never gotten the courage to make cat food. If I did though I'd try organ meat, rice and a kitty vitamin supplement of some kind. Maybe add a little KMR?

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My hubby is a vet & has told me that the raw food diet is very unhealthy long-term because it lacks specific nutrients in an animal's diet that they get from store-bought food (approved store-bought foods are required to provide a specific level of nutrition).

If your kitty is sick and will only eat those things in the short-term it's better than her not eating, but please consult with your vet before sticking to that diet long-term :)

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I actually was talking to my other cat's vet and mentioned that I was considering switching all my cats to raw food. She said "let me know how it goes, I've been thinking about it too."

The raw frozen diets you can buy, and the good home made recipes have added extra taurine.

This is the site I'm kind of believing: http://www.catinfo.org/

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Great :) As long as a vet is monitoring and your beloved kitties are getting all the nutrients they need!

I don't know anything about the raw food diets, just wanted to put my two cents in about that piece of it.

The other thing is that if dogs or cats are on all soft-food diets they develop more tartar on their teeth. The hard foods help chip away at build-up on the teeth and soft foods don't so keep an eye on their dental health too.

Good luck :)

Jillian

I actually was talking to my other cat's vet and mentioned that I was considering switching all my cats to raw food. She said "let me know how it goes, I've been thinking about it too."

The raw frozen diets you can buy, and the good home made recipes have added extra taurine.

This is the site I'm kind of believing: http://www.catinfo.org/

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We've used BalanceIT for our dogs with good success in the past. It's designed for homemade diets. They also make a supplement for cats. We feed our dogs eggs as the primary protein but our cats don't like eggs for some reason and I just can't get passed grinding up organ meats and that's why we don't make cat food too. I'm sure it requires a little more attention to detail to get the correct nutritional balance for cats than it does dogs but I don't think it's unhealthy. Our dogs certainly are much healthier. I have an older sick kitty too so let me know how it goes.

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There's a lot of groups on the internet with tons of info about raw feeding. I don't do raw diet right now, but I do feed my cat only meat sources, mostly, and 0 grains. I think grains are horrible for cats, probably dogs too. Evo makes a great canned product. I have cooked food for my cat and added extra vitamins (some things are destroyed when you cook, like Taurine and it is very important for cats, they'll go blind without it).

Cats in the wild eat a raw diet but they probably get some added calcium from bones and what not.

Most commercial cat food stinks, especially the dry stuff.

Oh yes, there are some pet food stores that have "raw" formulations for cats and dogs. Not 100% meat generally but a mix of meat and low carb veggies. They are usually frozen.

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My hubby is a vet & has told me that the raw food diet is very unhealthy long-term because it lacks specific nutrients in an animal's diet that they get from store-bought food (approved store-bought foods are required to provide a specific level of nutrition).

If your kitty is sick and will only eat those things in the short-term it's better than her not eating, but please consult with your vet before sticking to that diet long-term :)

It's not unhealthy if you don't feed them unhealthfully.

While I don't do raw entirely with my dog (I haven't gotten organized enough for it), the whole point is to imitate a wild diet. So, you're not just giving them chicken breast every day. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they don't need vegetables the way we do (or dogs do, for instance), but they would eat the stomach of whatever animal they kill, and most of their prey eats vegetable/plant matter, so they do get a bit of that in their diets. Additionally, they eat the organs, which have a lot of vitamins/minerals themselves.

It's *is* harder to balance a raw diet, because the work isn't being done for you. So, for it to be healthy in the long term, you have to do your homework. There are a number of books on the subject, and some good websites. (Since I have a dog, I'm not going to recommend the book I used - it focused more on dogs than cats - but research will help get you there. If you want to do this long term, I'd spend a couple of months researching it first and planning your approach.)

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I'm starting with the RadCat frozen raw. Max, the sick guy, eats a little, but the other two will have nuttin' t'do with it. At the very worst I'll get Wellness and offer them both raw and Wellness for a while. None of them care for the Wellness either, but then, I'm the one with the car keys.

My other two already supplement their home diet with fresh avian protein. The rats get left for me. :greenguy:

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I fed my 5 year old male cat a one-third protein, one-third carbohydrate, one-third steamed vegetable, cooked human food diet. (He loves green beans!) I became very interested in the studies of Dr. Pottenger ( www.ppnf.org ) and his noncooked food diet for cats. The study findings encouraged me to change many of my dietary habits. In addition to my cat's nutrition, I am now questioning a *malabsorption* or enzyme deficiency in my dog. I mention all of this because I believe that by observing my pets' health and behaviour I have been able to correlate celiac disease (current serology positive, awaiting biopsy but started the gluten absent diet and eating 10g of gluten per day, whew), in myself.

A few books which have helped:

Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition, Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD

The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat, Juliette de Bairacli Levy

The Nature of Animal Healing, Martin Goldstein, DVM

The New Natural Cat..., Anitra Frazier

and

The Heart of the Matter, Paul Loeb & Suzanne Hlavacek

I cannot tell you what to do regarding your cat's diet. I can say a veterinarian could help with recipes which include all necessary nutrients for your pet. I hope your little kitten is feeling better and wish you as well very good health.

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Oh yes, I am well aware of this :) It doesn't have to be unhealthy, but it's very difficult to do properly and easy to miss important nutrients. I agree that it requires doing your homework and consulting with a veterinarian.

It's not unhealthy if you don't feed them unhealthfully.

While I don't do raw entirely with my dog (I haven't gotten organized enough for it), the whole point is to imitate a wild diet. So, you're not just giving them chicken breast every day. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they don't need vegetables the way we do (or dogs do, for instance), but they would eat the stomach of whatever animal they kill, and most of their prey eats vegetable/plant matter, so they do get a bit of that in their diets. Additionally, they eat the organs, which have a lot of vitamins/minerals themselves.

It's *is* harder to balance a raw diet, because the work isn't being done for you. So, for it to be healthy in the long term, you have to do your homework. There are a number of books on the subject, and some good websites. (Since I have a dog, I'm not going to recommend the book I used - it focused more on dogs than cats - but research will help get you there. If you want to do this long term, I'd spend a couple of months researching it first and planning your approach.)

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Well, none of the cats cared for the RadCat raw. I still plan on transitioning them, but nothing can happen until Max is eating better. In the meantime I'm working on switching them to Wellness, most of which is grain free, and the rest has only brown rice.

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Well, none of the cats cared for the RadCat raw. I still plan on transitioning them, but nothing can happen until Max is eating better. In the meantime I'm working on switching them to Wellness, most of which is grain free, and the rest has only brown rice.

You've gotten some great advice already. I just wanted to pop in and say that I hope your kitty gets better soon.

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You've gotten some great advice already. I just wanted to pop in and say that I hope your kitty gets better soon.

Thanks. Unfortunately it's not looking good. The radiologist saw a mass on Max's X-ray. The position is suggestive of adenocarcinoma, which is untreatable. :( The only way to know is surgery, but I don't know if Max is up for that. I'll be force-feeding him this week and seeing the vet again next Friday. :(

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I'm sorry to hear that Jess. I've been through a few times and it's never easy.

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My dog hasn't taken to a whole meal of raw (though heavens knows he's quite happy to get the neck and wings from a chicken before I bake it. the ground stuff, though? meh. and he certainly likes to take his time with the raw chicken - an hour, at least, for that neck and two wings.) One thing that we've given him when he's not been particularly interested in food and had stomach issues was very lightly cooked ground turkey (I add some potatoes, but you could add a little bit of other fruit/veggies and perhaps a bit of alfalfa/kelp (excellent 'vitamin' source) since the cat needs more meat than the dog). Just a thought - the vet suggestion I/D or that, and I really dislike the I/D, as does my dog. :P

Good luck - I hope things start looking up, and it's better news that it's been so far.

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I always thought it was unsafe to give chicken bones to a dog. Does it make a difference if they're uncooked? And if you're going to go raw for your cat, why not give them mice? Pet stores sell feeder mice for snakes. You'd want to kill it first, just to prevent it getting away, but it seems the natural choice for cats.

I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. I love my cats but I wish they would outlast me so I never have to go through another loss. I feel for you.

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I don't have a cat, but I feed my dog a raw diet and have for almost 3 years - since he was 3 months old.

He eats chicken - all the parts and the liver and stuff inside. The raw bones are fine. It's the cooked bones that cause the problems. He also eats beef - full fat hamburger and liver, and fish - mostly skin and any "guts" we can get. The organ meat is important. Sometimes he gets venison, including organs, when someone we know gets a deer.

Our vet told me that he was the healthiest dog he'd seen in a long time. But when I told him what he eats he told me that it wasn't good for him. Hmmm, great teeth, excellent musculature, perfect weight, lots of energy, very little odor - the picture of doggy health - and he tells me his diet isn't healthy. I thought that was strange.

Raw meat is what dogs and cats were designed (or evolved, if you wish) to eat. Never heard of a wolf, coyote, or tiger stopping to cook their squirrel or adding "dried bakery product" to their food in the wild.

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not to mention that raw bones are a great way to help keep their teeth cleaned. sure, still brush 'em once a week, but bones help too.

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I always thought it was unsafe to give chicken bones to a dog. Does it make a difference if they're uncooked?

Not only have I always heard that also but I have also had the most unpleasent experience of having to remove a piece of chicken bone from the back of my dogs throat. Since he outweighed me and was very frightened and choking it was neither easy nor pleasent although he did not make any attempt to bite me. Just to be on the safe side now I debone any chicken I give to any of my pets. Perhaps if the chicken is uncooked they are softer and splinter less, I don't know but personally I don't take that risk any longer. I did sometimes get the big guy soup bones from beef from my butcher usually at low or no cost. He did fine with those and enjoyed them.

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Raw bones don't splinter (as evidenced by watching them be eaten). It isn't impossible for a dog to choke on a raw bone, or have a large piece get caught in their stomach - and this is definitely a bi problem. But it's generally because it was an older animal transitioned to bones who wasn't taugh to not scarf down large pieces. And it's not like dogs don't sometimes get themselves into trouble bye aging toy parts that later have to be surgically removed either. But we don't take away all their toys - we just keep an eye on them while they play.

Cooked bones, however, ar right out and can puncture a throat, stomach, or intestine. (They are, however, quite good for birds, for whom raw bones are right out. A bird will happily chisle a cooked chicken bone to dust, and get a good dose of calcium in the process. ;) )

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Not only have I always heard that also but I have also had the most unpleasent experience of having to remove a piece of chicken bone from the back of my dogs throat. Since he outweighed me and was very frightened and choking it was neither easy nor pleasent although he did not make any attempt to bite me. Just to be on the safe side now I debone any chicken I give to any of my pets. Perhaps if the chicken is uncooked they are softer and splinter less, I don't know but personally I don't take that risk any longer. I did sometimes get the big guy soup bones from beef from my butcher usually at low or no cost. He did fine with those and enjoyed them.

Raw bones are definitely different than cooked bones. My dog has been eating them for 3 years and has NEVER had even a single problem. We started him with little bones like chicken wings and necks. Now he eats whole leg quarters. Some people give their dogs raw turkey too, but those bones seem a little big for my dog (about 50 lbs.) Beef bones are too big for dogs, so we give those to him after we've cooked them and eaten the meat off the ribs or steak.

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Neo gets raw beef bones (knuckle bones and femur), but they're generally cut either into quarters on the knuckle or inch and a half thick slices (makes a little circle) on the femur. Lots of marrow, which is good for them, but make things a little runny if not taken in moderation, if you know what I mean. ;) Neo LOVES the femur bones!

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Max did not make it :( The rest of us are adjusting. Thanks for thinking about us.

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