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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-07-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Raw feeding dangers

Do all the articles regarding the dangers of feeding cats raw meat by veterinary associations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, British Veterinary Association and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, etc. scare you? Even just a tad bit? I don't know. I am very confident about it. But the warnings scare me and all the vets talking about how a lot of cats come in every year because of deficiencies and illnesses acquired through raw feeding, it makes me second guess myself. I understand there's a chance the homemade diet was inaccurately prepared. But I don't know. Where do you guys buy your meat from? I get a lot of weird looks when I tell people I get my raw meat from grocery stores. I mean thank goodness I have a specialty pet store that is about 30 to 35 miles away which carries raw meat but is there really a difference? Grocery meat is fine, correct? I do make sure it's not enhanced or anything. Is it possible to find grocery store meat that isn't loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics?

I just love them so much. They are my best friends. And when people say things like "you're better off feeding EVO and Wellness like you used to than doing this raw thing. It can kill them" it's scary. I mean I know I pretty much understand what to feed them and how much (thanks to a lot of people on here mostly and some other websites) but still paranoid. Is this normal? I just started. Maybe I need to read up more.

Do you know how long some of the cats that were fed raw diets lived? Are there any statistics?
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-07-2010, 10:57 PM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

If your worried about nutrition. Use this http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ or http://www.nutritiondata.com/ while looking at http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... 99&aid=657 . It should answer about 95% nutrition worries. The other 5% is tiny bit more difficult but the information is out there and somewhat clear. Every diet (including dry and wet) has risks. You just have to decide what risks you are willing to take. Are the people, advising you not to feed raw, aware of the some of the recent dry food recalls and deaths? Can certain forms of food and/or ingredients help contribute to specific health conditions that may result in the premature death of a cat?

I buy my meat from the grocery store. IMO If its good for me, its good for my kitties.

There are many that report cats living healthy lives off of raw food. But no statistics since this is a unconventional diet.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-07-2010, 11:02 PM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

I googled "oldest living cat" and came up with this:

Quote:
In 2004, it was reported that the oldest living cat (verified) was a 27 year old Burmese called Kataleena Lady owned by Mrs V Hayward of Melbourne, Australia. Kataleena Lady was born on March 11th, 1977. In March 2005, a cat called Amber from west Wales was a contender for the oldest living domestic cat. Amber was a fully grown stray of 2 - 3 years old when adopted by Diane Sleeman of Ferryside in 1978. Diane believes Amber is approaching 30, which would make her almost 5 years older than the verified record holder, however Guinness World Records require evidence of Amber's longevity. Amber was toothless, but fit and healthy although less active than she used to be. Diane attributed Amber's longevity down to a diet which included hot cod, chicken and prawns in addition to regular cat food. In March 2005, the oldest living cat (verified) was 23 year old Spook from Ontario, Canada.


A 31 year old (unverified) tomcat called Kiko was reported from a small village in Estonia in 2001. Although Kiko looked like a 10 year old, the vet believes him to be 31. Kiko's claim is based on that fact that he had been a present for the owner's 2 year old son; the son was 33 years old in 2001. Kiko had glaucoma, but was otherwise in good health. Kiko was believed to have reached this age because he did not roam, lived mostly indoors and had a good diet including egg and fresh milk. Kiko apparently still chased dogs.

Well, it sure sounds like they got some real food included in their diets. Chicken and egg are regularly fed by raw feeders!

Edit to add: I ordered the August 2008 issue of Cat Fancy from the library. Quite sure that was the one that had the contest results for oldest living cat...and what they ate. I know my mom rolled her eyes at what they were eating...and am quite sure it was some sort of raw food at least as a supplement to their diet. The "feed only dry Science Diet cat food or your cat will die" attitude is sure fun isn't it And it couldn't be further from the truth!
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 11:05 AM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

Poorly constructed raw diets certainly CAN cause problems. However, as long as you stick w/ the 80% meat/10% bone/10% organ (half of which must be liver) rule, you'll be fine. Add some fish body oil for omega 3s, and if you're worried about it, you can add a little taurine powder. There's plenty of taurine in raw muscle meat, but it's a water-soluable nutrient so you can't overdose them. If it makes you feel more secure, add it.

Problems come in when people mess too much w/ Mom Nature. I.e., adding veggies, which take up valuable tummy space while providing nothing the cat can really use; feeding only boneless meat; feeding mostly or only ground meat. Stay as close as possible to nature and you'll be fine!
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 09:34 PM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

I do sometimes have a bad feeling about raw.. just because I'm generally a "back it up with scientific research" kind of girl, and there's not a LOT on raw, and what there is seems pretty evenly divided between "it's the best thing ever" and "it's killing your cat/dog"

and I think it's so weird that the two schools of thought are SO varied. i'd like to be able to find more info in the middle ground, but tough to do.

but every time I get worried about it, I just look up the process of making cat food, or even just read the ingredients in some cat food I have around the house, and I really think that doing this, from a common sense perspective even, makes sense.

I've decided NOT to talk to my vet about it, because I think she'd react much like when I tell my MD that I've seen the naturopath lately.. it's not something they believe in. and I really think a vet might just decide your cat is sick because of the raw diet, when she could be sick for any number of reasons.

sometimes though, even doing prey model diet, I get worried about deficiencies.. esp calcium. has anyone ever used Feline Future? what did they think?


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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 11:59 AM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

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Originally Posted by euphoria066
I do sometimes have a bad feeling about raw.. just because I'm generally a "back it up with scientific research" kind of girl, and there's not a LOT on raw, and what there is seems pretty evenly divided between "it's the best thing ever" and "it's killing your cat/dog"
Just keep in mind that dogs and cats have been eating raw for MILLIENIA. Dog and cat food only became commonplace 50-80 years ago. So the balance is tipped in favor of plenty of 'real world' research on the raw diet.
Quote:
and I think it's so weird that the two schools of thought are SO varied. i'd like to be able to find more info in the middle ground, but tough to do.
Not sure what you think the "middle ground" would be. Raw meat is what cats/dogs evolved to eat and what they DID eat primarily (along w/ some table scraps) until 50-80 years ago. The reason the pet food manufacturers have gotten such a stranglehold on how we feed our animals is b/c of the massive amount of cash that they pour into vet schools.

Quote:
sometimes though, even doing prey model diet, I get worried about deficiencies.. esp calcium. has anyone ever used Feline Future? what did they think?
If you're feeding 5-10% bone you're feeding enough calcium. Too much is just as bad as too little, remember. I do not recommend supplementing a raw diet, other than with fish body oil and, if you're an esp. nervous Nellie, a little powdered taurine (can't hurt b/c it's water soluable). Otherwise, save your $$ for MEAT!
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 12:20 PM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

The only thing that ever worries me about raw is that I'm doing it wrong and he is not getting enough of something. I also have pretty low self esteem so that may be part of it. Also Willie is a pain in the butt when it comes to organs so that's the other part. I trust the recommended percentages I just worry I'M not measuring right or he's not eating everything I give. I occasionally worry about choking but not much.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 02:07 PM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

Re: Feline Future, and vet opinions...

We are lucky - Gracie's vets are cat specialists*, and they believe in wet food, without grains or fish or vegetables, and encourage raw food, too. So not all vets have the same mindset. I guess that is one of the advantages of living in Southern California - there's plenty to complain about here but plenty to praise too, and progressive or alternative medicine and nutrition, for both humans and animals, is available if you look for it.

We use the powder mix from Feline Future, and Gracie seems to be thriving on it. I like the idea that her raw meals have the appropriate supplements provided by the mix. My only comment that would be slightly negative is the amount of water recommended to mix with the powder, the meat mix can get pretty gloppy or watery sometimes, so I occasionally cut back on the water. I do follow the directions and freeze portions for her first (in an ice-cube tray) and by the time they are thawed back out for her to eat, the consistency has improved. The mix recommends any of a range of meats or poultry, plus a proportion of fresh liver, or a separate liver powder which they also sell. I mostly add chicken liver but sometimes use the powder, depending...

We also give her canned, because I have been finding it hard to track down much variety in meats and poultry other than chicken, turkey and quail. In the canned, she can have the benefits of other meat sources, like venison and duck (Evo 95%). I do give her beef bits if we are eating steak or hamburger, but most other meats we don't give her. We don't buy organic steak, we mostly get the next best - free-range, because it is more affordable. I don't know if the cattle go through feedlots at the end of their lives or if they are entirely range-fed. I also don't give her pork, because I don't trust how pigs are raised in this country (another topic altogether), and I have never seen organic pork locally. I figure with her body size and cats' inability to handle chemicals and medications in general, it is best to be cautious for her. I am trying to stay away from brined poultry, too - I was not really aware of how many producers of chicken put extra salt into their birds.

Sorry this is such a long post, I hope it has something useful in it!

Fran

(* they also treat birds - there are a few pet chickens and a duck that sometimes hang out in the waiting room, sometimes the cats get a little nervous! they're a lot bigger than the sparrows at the birdfeeder!)
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 02:09 PM
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

Fran, do you feed real meat or are you grinding it or cutting it up? Seems as if it would be hard to mix a powder into real meat. I very much recommend against grinding and chopping -- cats need to USE their jaw muscles and teeth!
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Raw feeding dangers

What about diced meat when I'm feeding boneless meat? They're beginners and get a little confused when I put a large chunk of meat into their plate.
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