To grind or not to grind? To supplement? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

I have recently changed my older cat onto raw food since we adopted a kitten. To start we have been feeding them Stella and Chewy patties, just until I get more educated and she(the older one) is completely converted.
I read some places that you can/should grind up everything together(muscle,bone organs) then I read you shouldn't. Then I read you must add all sorts of vitamins and Thiacin etc.,while somewhere else says not to worry. Please help. The inernet is great , but can drown you in info.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 09:36 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

I'd say do not grind the meat. What's the point? No one grinds up mice for cats in the wild...

The only thing that is worth suplementing is salmon oil (a few drops a meal).

You want to make sure to feed 80-85% meat, 5-10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organ in order for frankenprey to be balanced.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

What is Taurine all about? Thanks for the response. Also, the "sawdust" from a butchers bandsaw...Is it worth mixing some of that in with red meat meals,or do they still get enough bone content regardless?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 10:48 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

A cat needs taurine for eye and heart health. That was just one of the pet food industry's big mistakes - thousands of cats were dying because they didn't add taurine into their foods. They cook commercial food so much it kills most (if not all) of the taurine.

However feeding raw cats typically get all the taurine they need. Make sure to feed hearts - they are very high in taurine. The darker meats are also are high in taurine, the lighter the meat the less taurine.

As long as you are feeding 5-10% bone you don't need to add anymore. Chicken necks are great sized bones.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 11:18 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

Here are a couple of links you might find helpful while you're sorting out whichever method of feeding you plan to use: Natural Diet Information Resources and Taking the Plunge.

Ground diets are the most prevalent raw diets in use today, and there is nothing inherently wrong with offering it to your cats. It's just that it means more kitchen tools, more prep work (but less feeding work), additional supplementation (not just for Taurine - the more you "process" foods by cutting and chopping, the greater the nutrient damage), and it does nothing to keep a carnivore's mouth clean. Ground diets are, however, the most familiar to cats, since they resemble the canned food so many are already accustomed to eating. And they are WORLD'S better than commercial products.

Frankenprey, however, is a nice compromise between feeding whole prey - which most people are uncomfortable doing and most cats don't even recognize as food - and feeding ground food. And the only supplement generally needed when feeding within the frankenprey percentage guidelines (80,10,5,5) is for Omega-3s.

Check out the following information sites - you should find them helpful, too: Cat Info, Cat Nutrition, and the Feline Nutrition Education Society.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 11:52 AM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

I have to disagree that there's nothing wrong w/ grinding food. IMO there is a LOT wrong with it. It's not MUCH better than canned food, and although at least it's raw, and the cat still gets the enzymes, grinding destroys nutrients and opens more surface area up to bacteria. In addition, the cat misses out on what are to me two of the BEST advantages of a raw diet: the psychological benefits of chewing through bone and large meat chunks and the dental benefits of doing the same thing.

Some cats need to transition to raw via ground. And some OWNERS need to. Being vegan, this was a harder transition for ME than for my cats, LOL, so I started w/ whole ground rabbit. But I KNEW I didn't want to stick w/ that so I didn't waste money on a grinder. I got it here:

http://www.hare-today.com/product_info. ... ucts_id=34

My cats ate this for about 6 weeks as I GRADUALLY started adding other stuff, to my comfort level. I am pretty sure that both of them would have been able to transition more quickly, but I needed the extra time, so that's fine.

I would never recommend staying with ground, no matter what. I just doesn't do the trick, either physically or psychologically, that whole meat/bone does.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 04:12 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

I LOVE that on this board, the only argument is HOW to feed raw!

I've done a fair amount of research into studies around this topic lately (background for my article) and I've come to respect/accept ground as a viable alternative to frankenprey. While, yes, there is some degradation of nutrient content inherent in the grinding process, I have found nothing to indicate it is of any real concern. There is, in fact, no more indication that grinding damages food than there is that freezing damages foods. Yes, there is degradation in both "processes", but, again, not enough to cause a substantive drop in quality.

Especially if the grinding is done at home and the foods are frozen immediately afterward.

The one piece that I have found that should be a cause for concern is the dental factor. This study was buried deep and has taken months to find.... Influence of diet consistency on periodontal disease in captive carnivores. Actually, no, I wasn't able to find it at all - it was sent to me by another researcher!

Here is the highlight of the study: Soft, wet foods cause plaque build-up. Harsh, dry foods cause gum irritations and lesions. It is only through the action of tearing, ripping and scissoring through meat, tendons and bones that carnivores receive the stimulation necessary to maintain dental health.

Dental disease is rampant in the feline and canine pet populations, and poor dental health can have serious ramifications for the animal; for this point alone, I would chose frankenprey over ground.

However, not every cat will eat chunks or whole prey, and I don't believe their owners should be fussed at for feeding ground. They are willing to go to a lot of effort to give their furchildren a nutritious, species-appropriate diet, and that's a good thing.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 04:24 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy
I LOVE that on this board, the only argument is HOW to feed raw!
True! It's great!
Quote:
However, not every cat will eat chunks or whole prey, and I don't believe their owners should be fussed at for feeding ground. They are willing to go to a lot of effort to give their furchildren a nutritious, species-appropriate diet, and that's a good thing for their cats.
Agreed. BUT there really are very few cats who cannot learn to eat as nature intended them to. There are 3 things standing in most cats' way:

(1) Lack of experience. Since most domestic cats were weaned to cat food, that's what most adult cats think is "safe food." If mom/owner said it was safe when I was 5-8 weeks old, that's Food. But SO many people have successfully converted even hard-to-convert cats that I find it hard to believe that this is impossible to overcome in any but the most extreme circumstances. My Lincoln was 11 when he came over to the raw side; Calvin was 5. Both were reluctant at first, but both became avid raw cats w/in a few months.

(2) Lack of jaw muscle tone. This is important to keep in mind--a 10 year old cat who has never chewed much of anything in his life simply cannot handle a ton of chewing right off the bat. I found the best way to approach this was by offering ground rabbit in the p.m. and in the a.m. offering a tiny amount of ground rabbit and a small amount of something more challenging. The first few times I offered chicken neck, bone-in rabbit chunks, or cornish game hen, a TON of bone was left over after they picked off the meat. The first few times I offered big chunks of venison or beef (scored to make it easier on them) they sometimes gave up after a few minutes. But every attempt built muscle and now they amaze me by how quickly they can go through complicated meals.

(3) Their owners unwillingness to keep pressing them to succeed. It's easier to give up and just keep offering ground. But unless they have a chance to try other stuff they never WILL.

I recommend against buying a grinder b/c, once someone has spent all that $$ on one (and the ones that will do a decent job on bone are pricey), the chances are lower that they will keep trying to get their cats to eat real food. What I liked about the Hare Today whole ground rabbit is that (1) it has all the parts so there's no worries about how much bone/organ, etc.; (2) Tracy at Hare Today raises the rabbits herself, and freezes RIGHT after grinding-it's a class operation; (3) I had no big investment in the ground part and could just move right on to real food.

It's important to note that the psychological effects of eating through real food are HUGE. Anyone w/ prey model or whole prey fed cats knows that there is a HUGE difference in the way cats look after they've had to work for their food and use their jaws as nature intended. For me, that's the biggest reinforcement of all--seeing those blissful, fully satisfied faces.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 04:46 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

I will stipulate to all your points; we are in agreement.

My caution is in the communication. Over and over, I see raw-food neophytes handled with aggression, when they should be receiving encouragement. The stridency of some whole prey/frankenprey feeders when discussing ground diets is discouraging, off-putting and counter-productive; it either stops people from asking questions (no one wants their noses snipped off) which answers might have helped them transition from ground, or it puts them off raw feeders altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoofmaiden
It's important to note that the psychological effects of eating through real food are HUGE. Anyone w/ prey model or whole prey fed cats knows that there is a HUGE difference in the way cats look after they've had to work for their food and use their jaws as nature intended. For me, that's the biggest reinforcement of all--seeing those blissful, fully satisfied faces.
I believe this (to a point), but unless you know of a study I don't (or even a paper!), there is not a single shred of evidence to back it up. Chewing makes a cat happy? Not a very solid selling point.... and every time it's repeated, I see eyes roll. Especially when said benefit is described in dramatic terms.

Specificity, encouragement and common sense are a raw-feeder's best communication tools.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 05:05 PM
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Re: To grind or not to grind? To supplement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy
My caution is in the communication. Over and over, I see raw-food neophytes handled with aggression, when they should be receiving encouragement. The stridency of some whole prey/frankenprey feeders when discussing ground diets is discouraging, off-putting and counter-productive; it either stops people from asking questions (no one wants their noses snipped off) which answers might have helped them transition from ground, or it puts them off raw feeders altogether.
I know a forum where that DOES happen but I don't see it happening here. I strongly believe that feeding ground long-term is a poor idea, though, so I'll keep saying it. Nicely.
Quote:
I believe this (to a point), but unless you know of a study I don't (or even a paper!), there is not a single shred of evidence to back it up. Chewing makes a cat happy? Not a very solid selling point.... and every time it's repeated, I see eyes roll. Especially when said benefit is described in dramatic terms.
Well, guess what? The only people willing to put tons of money into "proving" anything about cat food are cat food manufacturers. So you're not gonna see a study like that anytime soon.

It kinda makes my eyes roll when people question the fact that trying to make a captive animal's life as *close as possible* to how they evolved to live is the obvious way to go. I'm far from a fluffy-wuffy, rainbows and sparkles kinda person, but the changes in my own animals since going raw--both physical and psychological--have been huge and very noticeable to me. This forum is here so we can exchange our experiences as well as links to research papers, after all.
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