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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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I am still not understanding...

I have started feeding my cats one canned entree in the morning and then a raw meal in the evening. I have seen intermittent posts regarding taking this half and half approach to be a bad idea, but I am not exactly understanding why if you were to feed a variety to meet their needs for muscle meat, organ meat, bone, and fat. It seems to me that if you need to add supplements to all raw anyways, feeding half the diet as commercial canned would bypass adding the supplements to the raw. Yet, they still get the benefits of a raw feeding as well.

So far, the cats are doing great on this hybrid diet, but I don't want to continue it if it's actually harmful. To be perfectly honest, I am not looking to fully transition them to raw entirely. Anyone have any thoughts or better yet a link with actual data on this?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dweamgoil View Post
I have started feeding my cats one canned entree in the morning and then a raw meal in the evening. I have seen intermittent posts regarding taking this half and half approach to be a bad idea, but I am not exactly understanding why if you were to feed a variety to meet their needs for muscle meat, organ meat, bone, and fat. It seems to me that if you need to add supplements to all raw anyways, feeding half the diet as commercial canned would bypass adding the supplements to the raw. Yet, they still get the benefits of a raw feeding as well.

So far, the cats are doing great on this hybrid diet, but I don't want to continue it if it's actually harmful. To be perfectly honest, I am not looking to fully transition them to raw entirely. Anyone have any thoughts or better yet a link with actual data on this?
Hi, Dweamgoil.

Can you point to something that says this? 'Cause I've never heard that feeding like this was harmful; in fact, plenty of people do it during the transition to full raw.

By the way, supplements are not always needed and can actually be harmful (depending on the supplement) when fed with a natural diet. Frankenprey feeders using the 80/10/5/5 rule, for instance, very rarely supplement.

Folks who feed ground diets do supplement, primarily, I think, because it's known that some nutrients are lost in the grinding process.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 11:35 AM
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It's fine for transitioning. However, if you are talking about doing it this way forever I would NOT recommend that, b/c you will then run a very real risk of the cat getting a quite unbalanced diet. Since pet food is set up to contain the vitamins and minerals a cat "needs" in each bite, and most raw meals are not set up that way, you will not be following EITHER method of feeding and hence, will be feeding an inadequate (or possibly OVERLY adequate, in terms of possibly overdosing some vits or mins) diet either way.

So basically, I would recommend against doing this long-term. Either transition the cat or stick with canned (with, perhaps, occasional raw "treat" meals).
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Glad to Read...

Well, I suppose I should have added the phrase "for the long term" regarding the half and half approach. In other words, some on here seem opposed to feeding this way permanently versus it just being a transitional option.

I was more concerned regarding the supplementation. I am rotating their proteins to make sure they are getting variety and a balance in their nutrition. Reading that some do not add supplements does quell some of my fears. I supposed that was my biggest point of contention since it did not make sense to me to advocate a full raw diet if it needed to be supplemented anyways.

Thanks so much for the clarification...makes sense now!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 12:23 PM
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Since you are feeding half commercial food, do NOT NOT NOT supplement. There is a much greater danger of OVERsupplementing than UNDERsupplementing when you feed commercial food b/c it's artificially supplemented due to cooking killing the nutrients.

I feed raw (combo prey model and whole prey) and do not supplement. It doesn't hurt, if you are raw feeding, to add fish body oil a few times a week or, alternatively, feed sardines once a week (I do the latter). As long as one is feeding plenty of muscle meat (or whole prey), taurine supplementation is unecessary. If the food is ground (which I do not recommend), supplementation IS necessary due to nutrient loss from the increased surface area exposed.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by hoofmaiden View Post
Since pet food is set up to contain the vitamins and minerals a cat "needs" in each bite, and most raw meals are not set up that way, you will not be following EITHER method of feeding and hence, will be feeding an inadequate (or possibly OVERLY adequate, in terms of possibly overdosing some vits or mins) diet either way.
Elizabeth, your explanation is not making sense to me. According to your response, commercial food delivers balanced nutrition in every bite, and raw provides balanced nutrition over time.

This doesn't change if both food sources are included in the diet. The cat is still receiving balanced diets from the commercial portion as well as the raw portion. As long as the cat is not overfed or oversupplemented, and as long as the raw portion of the diet is properly balanced, there should be no overdosing of vits or mins in a commercial/raw integrated diet..

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Laurief...

that is what I was trying to explain, but didn't come across so well.

As far as supplements, I wasn't considering supplementation for my cats, but since so many others mentioned it in correlation to raw fed cats, it wasn't clear to me when to use them or not. I understand now it's for mainly for ground diets.

I like to feed my cats whole pieces of meat so they have an opportunity to channel the wild kitty in them, drag their prey, and tear and shred at something palpable.

Last edited by dweamgoil; 08-23-2010 at 12:54 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 03:25 PM
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Elizabeth, your explanation is not making sense to me. According to your response, commercial food delivers balanced nutrition in every bite, and raw provides balanced nutrition over time.

This doesn't change if both food sources are included in the diet. The cat is still receiving balanced diets from the commercial portion as well as the raw portion. As long as the cat is not overfed or oversupplemented, and as long as the raw portion of the diet is properly balanced, there should be no overdosing of vits or mins in a commercial/raw integrated diet..
Perhaps. However, given that cats are able to assimilate the vits/mins in raw food differently than they do in cooked food, and that the vits/mins that are in cooked/processed food are not from species-appropriate sources and are added after the fact, I'm just not sure we can be sure about that. It may be fine. I, however, am not going to recommend it b/c I think it's a bad idea for many reasons, not the least of which is that it kinda seems pointless.

As long as the cat's GI tract is still being inundated w/ species-inappropriate food, the GI tract will not work well enough and may fail to assimilate adequately the nutrition from either source--this is obviously a more significant problem for IBD cats, but I have a hunch that most commercially-fed cats have IBD to SOME degree due to being fed species-inappropriate food, and IBD=malapsorption.

So I guess what I'm saying is that IMO it's a bad idea b/c the cat may well not get much, if any, of the benefits of raw while also being feed commercial food. We know how commercially fed cats do; we know how rawfed cats do. There's not much, if any, data on how half and half cats do, and the experience of those on the various raw forums suggests that since symptoms of IBD, etc. do NOT resolve until the cat is 100% on raw, there are good reasons, many of which concern malapsorption, for not doing this.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 10:31 PM
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It's bad to feed kibble mixed with raw food. The raw food digest more quickly since its mostly meat (depending on the company or if you are getting raw meat from the grocery store). you only really need to be adding supplements if you are making your own cat food. The company that I use (Stella and Chewy) is an actual meal... i feed it to my dog and the cats get EVO. I have never added supplements to the raw food.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:48 AM
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Ah, catflwrs beat me to it! I was just about to make the kibble and raw arguement can someone experienced in feeding raw long term tell me if feeding wet and raw at the same time will have the same problems with kibble and raw?

as long as youre feeding a well balanced diet (which you mentioned you do a lot of variety already) you shouldn't have to worry about supplimenting. I don't suppliment for my ferrets food and they are still super healthy and not missing anything. as long as you feed the required amounts of organs and muscle meats you shouldn't have to worry about it.

taurine though is the only thing you really may want to consider supplimenting. taurine starts to diminish once the animal dies and if the meat is frozen it can cause it to diminish faster. Cats need taurine. the good thing is is that if you over suppliment taurine the cat will just expel whatever it's body doesnt need.

also, if you cat isn't eating the bone and you start to notice really loose stools you may want to consider adding bonemeal or crushed eggshell to their diets to help firm up their poo and keep up their calcium.
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