Have you heard the topic cats are obligate carnivore? In fact, that is totally correct and our beloved felines are true carnivores, so they can enjoy even more with a raw food diet than our Fido friends.
Curiously this affirmative sentence will convert in a paradox when we try to make the switch to raw diet for our cats. Maybe you don’t know but many raw feeders follow this nutrition types with their dogs but their cats still eating dry food!
Although that fact has a sense, yes, physiology and biology could tell us about the animal nature, but after years of commercial food it is little different than when we made the switch to our dogs. The day we put some raw food in the dog’s bowl, he will make a celebration, the bowl will be empty soon and stay licking as the chicken will growth on it 10 minutes before.
But our cats are different, the day you prepare some raw chicken and serve in his bowl, your ca twill go to smell, look at it, even there is some possibility where he or she lick the food… yes! You are close to the switch but after all your cat turn around leaving food there, a total lack of interest. So, why? What is happening? Aren’t you an obligate carnivore? Ask yourself.
After that, possibly you will try once or twice, adding some fish oils, fats, or cooking meat, no way, the answer still the same, so we, humans, will be give up once more. Well, don’t feel guilty, is common, and the reason why Lula are feeding on a raw diet during the last two years and our cat Kyo only one!!
Really your cat or cats, because cat lovers should have more than one, could be feed with raw food diet, and it isn’t too much if we say publicly that cats must to eat that kind of food, the healthiest option for them. For that reason, today our idea is give you some guidance and cheer you up with your cat’s switch, then, along the time you will live by yourself the experience discovering what is that about obligate carnivores ?
Some weeks ago, we were talking about if our dog could be feed with raw diet, and recommending some tips to do it easiest for your furry family. Now it is time to focus on cats, with their obstinate ideas, routine lovers and strong characters will challenge us.
First, we know perfectly feline character of course you too, and sometimes we try to be more stubborn than them, telling this, please we must to do a smooth diet transition, that will make the different between fail or successful. Making the first weeks a diet with non-appropriate foods could cause gastric problems and losing all your efforts.
Come on let’s talk about your cat and how we can help you family to awake its true carnivore nature!!
If your cat…
…is an autodidact cat in raw food diet.
Your cat usually goes outside, and many of its adventures finishing traying at home some small animal hunted by him or her. After that follows eating kibble at home every day.
It is true, for us like humans to see dead bids in our bed or in the sitting room carpet doesn’t sound great, but your cat knows about how is to be a feline.
We recommend: You are lucky, you have some part of the work done but it is not easier as change the kibble meal by raw chicken wings. In the wild, there outside the feel all the experience: stalk-hunt-swat-pounce until bring the prey home. That means it is possible that a raw wing in a plate will not be stimulating or interesting for your cat. Try it if you want but don’t be worried if your cat refuse to eat it, without the previous parts of the hunt is a natural answer.
Start by the basis, schedule a transition diet with breast chicken, quails or turkey, will be progressive and you will be happy to see how well works that way, slow but effective.
The bigger advantage for a cat like that, after transition period is that your cat knows chew, move the pray in comfortable ways, and use claws to hold it. So, it will be easier for you when hear the sound of bones in the mouth.
…still falling in love with is current dry-canned food.
As many of our cats, yours looks like be in love with its favourite canned food, or kibble bag. Had you though sometimes if your cats talk to it? It almost obsessive, all switch seems to be impossible, even trying another kibble formula or brand, and you know your cat will win.
We recommend: Until now you don’t see if your cat could be feed with raw food, but believe us, he will enjoy maybe more than others. You will have to work a little harder to help your cat during detox process. We know it, it isn’t complicated, only requires some patient, and introduce every change slow and step by step, and if you need to go some steps back don’t worry, it isn’t a race.
It could be helpful look for some ecological breeding chicken, these ones should be feed with natural grains, and their meet are tastiest than normal chicken, it is more expensive but you could consider uses during the transition diet to introduce raw food.
…is a skilled food thief.
You are surprised about the strange food your cat should steal from your plate, well a pizza portion and the cat paw is a classic, but when you see your cat stealing boiled chard almost you have seen everything. Then why your cat hasn’t interest on raw chicken? Often, we don’t think about hunt rituals, but your food is a target, a prey, ready to hunt in your face, and chicken meat at the bowl is not interesting to hunt.
We recommend: There isn’t better thing that introduce an appropriate transition diet, we keep going a lot on that, we know, but it is extremely important for our cats. They make strong relation the meal time with sounds, activity, specific routines, or scents between others, so the fact of eat is not a basic requirement, it is a complex question and usually pet parents don’t notice.
The best, your cat has tasted other foods apart kibble, and perfectly could has a raw food diet follower, he/she loves to eat, but you will start with a transition diet, slow, smooth textures and little or progressive changes. But you could use too due to its inner instinct, playing with him before meal time. This activity helps your cat trying to imitate hunt or giving an alternative of that. Then try don’t change the little routines such as timing, place to eat, bowl, etc.
…is a really gourmet cat.
You know it, everybody talks over the special cat they have, but yours are incredible sensitive to any variation, only a little higher temperature during summer, or kibble more time in its bowl during the day, makes your cat refuse it or partially eat. They, the obstinacy kings with a super taste and superpower to know the smallest change in their meal.
We recommend: Before start the transition diet try first to introduce small pieces of meat in their common food or mixing with moist food. Try different meats and check its acceptance and how react to them, based on this information you could chose the better for him.
If your gourmet cat prefers pâté or similar, combine with moist food or use thick or smooth textures, try to slightly heat the meal or add fish oil or poultry fat to call its attention.
With every test, you will have more and more information to give you the guidelines to make a perfect transition diet to the exquisite’s taste of your cat, and its particularities. And be careful my friend, don’t try to make more complicate offering kangaroo meat or wagyu beef first if it isn’t common in your area, don’t be as much gourmet as your cat is!! It will be more time later when your feline will be experienced with this diet.
…has some to be a weight problem.
Overweight is one of the commonest health problem in most of our cats, the numbers don’t lie and overweight and obesity is an increasing line yearly. It is true that a cause could be overfeeding summed to a low activity, but not all reasons seems to be relation with that fact. An inappropriate nutrition plan is another important cause and many cats suffer it, because their organism is over flooded with an excess of carbs in diet, and lower value proteins for felines, that makes their health condition get worse. The other secondary problems to face in these cases are about the cats with a constant appetite, so we must deal with their high food demand too.
We recommend: Your cat is the best candidate to carry through these raw diets, maybe you don’t consider he or she has a health problem with weigh, in that case we claim to you when your cat will go on raw food diet some months later, you’ll see the positive effect in energy and above all in their new line and physical condition. Also, if your cat love food will be great this diet and be easier to introduce new meats, and converts in a great barf cat!
An important question that we can’t avoid is about the switch to raw diet couldn’t be taken as excuse to do a lose weight diet plan at the same time. The goal always be its change to a better and healthier diet, so that is in first place. Changes in cat usually goes in line with high stress levels, so adding more stressful situations will not help us. In the same way don’t fit the food portions to lose weight, keep the focus and never feed less than 3,5 oz., in adult cats, or remove the fats in its diet. Along time and some months later you could decrease portions until the real and correct one for its regular weight to avoiding during transition period anxiety and higher stress. Maybe you will use satisfy foods as lung to give low calorie content but it isn’t the goal starting in a new diet.
We also recommend if your cat is a foodie with a great appetite, to add some lukewarm fats as butter (without sault or other additives), poultry fats or lard to their meals when a protein doesn’t like it for example or to increase its interest by the new food.
Finally, we would like to do a special mention to every of you with older and senior cats, or, chronic patients and irreversible diseases. They are often seeming to be in an unalterable current condition, and sometimes we forget them when we are planning a switch like that due to our concern about their health and the premise ‘don’t cause inconveniences in its organism or create some unnecessary risk’, because they are the best to join the benefits of a new and appropriate nutrition plan according to its species.
Of course, are many opposing opinions, but we have certain of that, considering one of the most correct position to care and improve their health through our own experience with Astrid. We had made the switch during the last year, September 16’, when she, a 14 years old cat, was diagnosed as terminal CKD. Also, she was an incredible intolerance to grains so canned food based on carbs provided by grains wasn’t an option for us. We had to make our choice, we’d made it, and that meant a turning point in her and our life. We had the opportunity to had given the best quality of life and attentions in her last months, something incomparable, priceless for us.
Indeed, it isn’t the same talk about a young healthy cat than your oldie one with a little more complicated situation, so we must to fit every aspect of his/her life to it. We should consider from its initial corporal condition, if there are some disease or health problem due to age or chronic problem, diary-frequent medications, etc… till its own particularities: he likes to eat elevated, prefers soft textures, or if has a good appetite yet. We help us in some other elements like water fountains, moist food, in general covering all their requirements. The best we could give them an incredible amount of energy, but really most important thing is their organism will have less stress.
However, for every cat with chronic or important disease the approach to make a diet will be do it in base of their specific needs and pathology: It isn’t the same a diet to CKD patient, diabetic cats or cancer patients, everyone will need different treatments and nutrition requirements: maybe to remover some nutrients (protein, carb, vitamin or mineral), adding some supplements or even a nutrition plan designed to face or improve their condition during a medic treatment, always following by an experienced vet to know how evolve the disease in the organism.
In both cases diet will mark great differences and plays important role not only in their quality of life, the way that their organism face age or disease too. By our side we sincerely recommend look for a good vet well-versed in nutrition to feel the guide and professional advise you’ll need (both your cat and you) in every step, that be a plus in its health. For us was one of the best choices we’d made over Astrid’s health.