... What I don't understand is how I keep reading that fish is bad for cats cause it's not part of their natural diet (among other things), so then why are we feeding our cats large game animals, beef, and larger bird species like chicken and turkey when their species specific diet is mice, insects, small rodents, small birds? I can see a wild cat savaging a big game corpse if it's not guarded by a larger predator, but I still wonder why there aren't mice and small bird raw food formulas available? It seems if you feed pre-packaged raw you are feeding them big game and/or larger birds. If you want species specific food you have to buy live or frozen whole prey and get over the squeamish factor.
I asked two raw food pet supply stores and they say it's because it's cheaper to process and supply raw beef and chicken then mice and small birds. I get that argument but if we are trying to give our pets the ultimate diet, shouldn't we be pushing for species specific raw?
Okay, so yea, feeding our cats cows/pigs/etc is not somehting they would eat normally. However, it's a lot better than kibble/canned that's got god knows what in it! I think it's a good compromise. Also, as AC says, it's "appropriate" not "specific".
We actually feed our kids mice/rats/small quail whole quite often. To me, a dead critter is now just meat. I grew up on a farm, and have never really had an issue with the circle of life (although, I did have some squicky stomach issues when I had to first cut up the mice- I adore small critters).
Using the whole "trying to give the cat the ultimate diet" example, then I should also let my cats outside to hunt in the forest, right? BUT, we wouldn't do that because it's dangerous for the cats. You can't always do things to extremes.. we do raw as close as we can to natural, and we feel good knowing it's better than a tiny overbaked cookie covered in grease made by BigCompaniesWhoDontCareAboutAnythingButTheBottomLi ne (because let's face it, even companies like Orijen and Wellness need to MAKE money, right?).
I am seriously considering buying a couple live mice and locking them up in my bathroom with each of my cats to see if they will eat it. I'll get frozen too to see if they take to it. My boyfriend loves the idea and wants to watch but I love all animals. I know what's gonna happen. I'll be crying downstairs while the man "enjoys" the show. We do a lot of fishing in the back country and I tear up and say sorry when I kill a fish. I wish there were more species specific raw food that is pre-packaged so I don't have to feel so bad about subjecting a poor mouse to a predator. I love my cats and want the best for them, I just don't know how to get past killing another animal. It's one thing for my cat to catch it's prey outside, the prey has a chance, locking a mouse up with a cat, it's doesn't stand a chance.
Using live prey is just silly, tell your man to find something else to watch. LOL
Going back to my earlier comment about letting cats hunt in the wild - how is letting a mouse loose in a room natural? Is there the possibility the mouse could get away? No. In the wild, in it's most natural state, this relationship between the cat/prey is always changing. Sometimes the cat wins, but he must use his cunning and stalk/hunt (great for their minds!). However, in a closed in room, where there is no escape... guess what that mouse will do? Fight. Hard.
I am also a snake owner, and feed my snakes f/t mice. It's NATURAL, but not the most natural.. snakes eat fresh, live, prey. My mice have been frozen then thawed. If I fed them live (which some snake owners do, and I detest live feeding - it endangers the snake) it would certainly not be any more natural. They would be in a tank, stuck with their prey. That prey could very well fight back and kill my snake.
I guess, that's my long winded way of saying - do the best you can with what's available. As long as it's fresh, raw meat, from reliable sources... it will still be better then "Pet Food".