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I am trying to talk my BF around to the possible benefits of the raw food diet for cats, especially as our 7 year old cat has IBD, and raw seems to be what people find to be most beneficial. Problem is BF has more years in the veterinary industry than I do (he is a vet tech) and he won't believe anything about the raw diet unless it's a peer reviewed study.

So does anyone know of any such studies? Anything I can link him to written by a scholarly source?
 

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I don't have links to studies offhand, but if you google Dr Lisa Pierson, she has a TON of info on her website and it gets pretty in depth. Hope it helps :)
 

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Also, she does phone and Skype consultations if he'd like to speak with someone directly about it. She just needs the medical charts first - all the info is on the site.
 

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The problem with this is that there isn't a lot of "good" journal articles and studies out there that support raw. Is that because raw is bad? No it's because no body would benefit from funding for a raw based study. Most pet food studies are funded by pet food companies.

There are a few positive ones but they either aren't peer reviewed or their methods weren't great.

That being said there are a LOT of vets who endorse raw feeding. Dr Pierson is one and she is fantastic another is Dr Hodgkins who wrote a lovely book called "Your cat" which has a section on raw feeding as well, though not as detailed as Dr Piersons, still a very good read.
 

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I would hope that a vet tech would be interested enough to take more in depth courses into feline (and canine) nutrition and not default to the standard "raw is bad".

I know my vet requires their tech's to continue their education and feline nutrition is something they are all required to study (cat only vets).

It's one of the reasons I chose them, they are more educated than the default vet school ideas on nutrition.
 

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I vote for processed. Cheetos, salami, pepperoni, ANY kind of cheese..... :grin:
 

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Taste is everything!
 

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I hear ya, sister!
 

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Unfortunately a lot of vets and their organisations strongly recommend AGAINST raw feeding. Why?

Raw food diets in companion animals: A critical review

Because the studies that have been done paint raw food in a pretty bad light.
The cliff notes are;

- There hasn't been any proven benefit to raw and it's all anecdotal. Though as I mentioned earlier, who would put funding into that sort of thing?

- Raw food diets both commercial and homemade that have been tested have often contained incorrect nutrition. Which very may well be the case but the samples that the study used in that particular one was quite small. Also it didn't state the QUALITY of the home made raw food. Home made raw food can be classified as someone cutting up chicken breast and a bit of liver and then giving NOTHING else. Of course it is going to have deficiency's. If you are following a recipe properly (preferably by a vet like Dr Pierson) you would be much more likely to be covering proper nutrition.

- Bacteria in the home made and commercial raw food is often quite high. Now this is the one that made me pause and go back and do a little bit more reading. The bacterial loads that they were finding in the raw food was quite high between 20-48% (off the top of my head). What they describing and ultimately why the big name vet organisations discourage raw feeding is because of the POTENTIAL risk of contaminating the humans in the household.

Their worries are that if the cat gets sick with salmonellosis they will shed the bacteria and the humans will get sick. This is actually a pretty real threat but again one that can be avoided if you are pretty dedicated to raw.

You need to make sure that you source your meat well. As fresh as possible and never buy preground as that just has the bacteria already mixed through it. Some people like Dr Pierson suggest cooking the surface area of the chicken just a little to kill any surface bacteria but you will hear a lot of die hard raw feeders telling you thats a no- no so that one really is a personal choice.

The other thing to consider is the bacteria Salmonella is probably already in your cats intestine regardless of what they eat. Cats have a very acidic digestive system that allows them to better handle large bacterial loads. Bacteria also multiplies the longer it stays in the body however the cats GI tract is a lot shorter than ours so by the time they expunge the bacteria it won't have had as much time to multiply.

Finally the shedding of bacteria. It is true that your feline friend could potentially shed salmonella in their poo. But you should already be practicing high levels of hygiene when handling their poo already. Also don't let them lick your mouth (particularly after feeding) and wash your hands after handling the cat and intending to eat.

The risk is there but there has also never been a case (that I know of) of people contracting salmonella from their cats that raw feed.

So I completely understand your boyfriends reservations towards raw feeding when all the vets and even AVMA are putting out warnings NOT to do it. Though if you take the time to read between the lines you can see that the reasoning and source of their information isn't that great either.

Either way some independent studies into raw feeding would really help its case but in the meantime there are plenty of vets who support and approve raw feeding as well.
 
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