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Discussion Starter #1
We've been researching cat nutrition over here, specifically looking at all the nutrition information etc of the various things I'm giving to my cat. One big thing stands out.

If you look at the vitamin/nutrition content of various parts of meat (breast, thigh, heart) vs organs, by and large muscle meat is much more nutritious than organs (except maybe kidney but even then...) and don't provide any useful unique compounds, that I can tell.

I know that the 80/10/10 system is well recognised, but is there a scientific/nutrition based reason for why we're feeding our cats organs, other than the fact that is supposedly "more natural" and maybe adds a bit of variety?
 

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Well, for instance, cats/dogs who don't get enough liver can become vitamin A deficient.

I'm sure there are ways to "make up" for various lacks by providing something else . . . but that's kinda what the pet food cos already do, you know? And why we're not feeding pet food. ;) Best is whole prey b/c it has everything for sure. If you don't feed whole prey, then IMO you need to do the best you can to mimic whole prey via frankenprey. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hoofmaiden said:
Well, for instance, cats/dogs who don't get enough liver can become vitamin A deficient.
Sorry, yes, liver is the one important organ to feed.

hoofmaiden said:
Best is whole prey b/c it has everything for sure. If you don't feed whole prey, then IMO you need to do the best you can to mimic whole prey via frankenprey. :)
Yes, but why is whole prey better? Isn't the 5% non-liver organ kind of, well, useless in that it *doesn't* provide anything that say, thigh meat already does? If anything it's less nutritious.

I understand the importance of balance, but I don't understand why we're following the 5% rule simply because animals did in nature. Surely they only ate the pancreas because they'd already killed the animal, were eating everything else anyway and one the prowl, you need all the calories you can get? Isn't it better, now that we have the option, to take out the less valuable organs and replace it with meats that are better for them?
 

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I'll ask this question on the rawfeeding yahoo group, o.k.?

Basically, though, I think the answer will be that we can't really be sure WHAT they are getting from X, Y, Z, and human interference/thinking we know better is what got us into such a mess re: pet food.

Why is thigh meat "better" than kidney? I don't get your logic, really. Even if it contains more of something or other, more is not necessarily better. 5% of the diet is a TINY amount and isn't taking up space for "better" meats.
 

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Kidney and other secreting organs are fed to mimic a mouse.

While boneless meat may have element A it may not have B. The secreting organ may have B and not A.
 

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Well, I asked, and one of the regulars basically just agreed w/ my answer to you and said: "Every (EVERY) time we mere humans try to prioritize nutrients, we do it incompletely if not profoundly wrong. Better to ask, "Who knows?" than "Who knew?" "

I really REALLY agree with this. I am all about research (drives everyone I know nuts) but there are some things I am willing to take at face value. The BEST food ever for a cat is a mouse. So the best thing to do is to feed mice OR to do our LEVEL best to mimic the mouse. And that means 5% organs other than liver. <shrug> Human hubris has screwed up animals SO MUCH. I think that standing back and admitting that Mother Nature just MIGHT know better than we do is a good thing sometimes. :)
 

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While I agree that another organ should be fed. You are technically right that another is not needed when comparing to the minimum requirements per the AAFCO. Meat, fat, bones, and liver technically has the nutrients listed on their recommendation. But IMO more organs the better. Also the prey model diet is a very rough guideline.
 

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chris10 said:
But IMO more organs the better.
Well, not really, LOL! Only 5% of the diet should be organs other than liver. Too MUCH organ (i.e., meaning less meatymeat) and you will certainly have health problems (particularly taurine deficiency b/c taurine is most prevalant in muscle meat). :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, I'm not talking about protein vs. fat etc, I'm talking about specific vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

I'm using this site: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

I wanted to post specific examples but unfortunately they don't allow direct linking. But search for "chicken thigh" in poultry products vs. "pork stomach" in pork products (or beef brain etc etc etc) and compare the data. By and large there are less vitamins in the organs I looked at (other than kidney and liver), and what vitamins they did have they had fewer of.
 

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But MORE is not BETTER. ??? The goal should be mimicking the mouse, not finding a way to stuff as many nutrients as possible into the kitty.
 

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hoofmaiden said:
chris10 said:
But IMO more organs the better.
Well, not really, LOL! Only 5% of the diet should be organs other than liver. Too MUCH organ (i.e., meaning less meatymeat) and you will certainly have health problems (particularly taurine deficiency b/c taurine is most prevalant in muscle meat). :)
Well, really, LOL! 5% of the diet consisting of a variety of organs may be more beneficial than 5% of the diet consisting of one other organ. When I say more organs the better, I am not saying, and never have, that people should feed more organs than meat or general recommended amounts.
 

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KittyMonster said:
Sorry, I'm not talking about protein vs. fat etc, I'm talking about specific vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

I'm using this site: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

I wanted to post specific examples but unfortunately they don't allow direct linking. But search for "chicken thigh" in poultry products vs. "pork stomach" in pork products (or beef brain etc etc etc) and compare the data. By and large there are less vitamins in the organs I looked at (other than kidney and liver), and what vitamins they did have they had fewer of.
I think its going to be a hard one to argue based on all the info we have available to us. Because, IMO, technically they don't need any other organs if we go by a known model(AAFCO) that has kept cats alive for many years. Some raw feeders choose to add more to the diet to try and mimic prey as much as possible. But there may be other nutrients that the AAFCO hasn't figured into the equation yet that a secreting organ may provide. I love their nutrient database but unfortunately it doesn't list everything. Prey model is great for people starting out. But as you start researching more you find that while prey model is on the right path, some changes may need to be made for some kitties/owner preference. catnutrition.org and catinfo.org both have recipes that don't include a secreting organ, many report kitties doing fine on them. But in the end its up to you.
 

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chris10 said:
I think its going to be a hard one to argue based on all the info we have available to us. Because, IMO, technically they don't need any other organs if we go by a known model(AAFCO) that has kept cats alive for many years. Some raw feeders choose to add more to the diet to try and mimic prey as much as possible. But there may be other nutrients that the AAFCO hasn't figured into the equation yet that a secreting organ may provide. I love their nutrient database but unfortunately it doesn't list everything. Prey model is great for people starting out. But as you start researching more you find that while prey model is on the right path, some changes may need to be made for some kitties/owner preference. catnutrition.org and catinfo.org both have recipes that don't include a secreting organ, many report kitties doing fine on them. But in the end its up to you.
No one, including AAFCO, knows every nutrient, enzyme, etc. that can be found in the bodies of a cat's normal prey diet. It follows then that no one can know which and and in what amounts cats need of those unknown nutrients.

As Chris touched on - Since we can't possibly identify what we don't know, I absolutely will be mimicking the diet my cats evolved to eat as closely as I can.
 
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