Do you remember when we have been talking about cats are obligated carnivores? And that is one of the most powerful reason to follow and appropriate nutrition for their health? As many of you currently know, others try to switch and others has got it, our beloved cats are a little more complicated at time to make any decisive change in their routines and they could make thinks quite difficult.
But don’t be confused, they will be the most grateful and will enjoy more even dogs with a raw food diet, properly designed for them.
Cats, like other felines are prepared to have an animal protein and fats diet. That is a biological truth accepted, curiously because is less understood if we compared with dog parents toughs, only we have to say the changes are right there. Maybe you had switched before fro a standard grain kibble to a premium one based on anima proteins (grain-free, human grade food, etc) and see the benefits due to a lower carb content.
The same occurs when you switch to a natural raw food nutrition, even you see how some minor problems are solved when it has been there long time ago. For sure we think it will be one of the better choices you could make to keep your cat healthy, and our purpose is helo you to get an appropriate cat diet for your purrfect friend, in a safe a secure way.
How many intakes needs your cat?
Opposite as our doggy companions, which can feed them once a day or event make a day of fast, it is important to know that cats need to eat daily, without discussion, because it could be harmful for their health. So, we feed them almost twice or three times per day for healthy and adult cat.
Keep your cat more than 24-48h without food, or if the animal refuse to eat during more than a day can be suffer hepatic lipidosis. Although if your vet recommend to skip some intakes for some health issues
In cases your cat be a kitten we could divide his dial food in several intakes, depends the age and his stomach size, the same for cats with a diagnosed diseases where it is important to fed less food amount but during more intakes along the day.
Making numbers: calculate a correct food quantity
Nowadays many indoor cats has a low energy consume, but that is true there are many others which go outside and enjoy the nature, as well some others very active and playful kitties.
The balance of course always has a strong relationship with his activity and lifestyle, but where can we start? The better for us is to calculate between 2% to 4% of their ideal weight. Only if you know your cat has a really high consume you can increase a little the total percent, but please take in mind their previous condition and current weight.
We recommend you start from a 3%, and increase or decrease slowly to find the perfect daily food amount. For example, Kyo’s percentage seems to be perfect between 2,5% to 2,8%. Observe how yours cat body changes is essential to fit the diet, maybe some season your cat will be more active or a disease makes it different, but also see how his organism respond to his nutrition new plan and environment
Before continue, we would like to highlight again about overweight or obese cats diet. A PRM or BARF nutrition based on raw food, are very good for cats, but it still continue a change for them, so please avoid to do a ‘diet program to loose weight’ just at the beginning to reduce stressful situations.
Once you finish the transition diet, your cat will accept it, and you will be adding different proteins and organs to make a balanced diet, you could start a loose weigh plan to make it in a safe way, giving low caloric proteins, and helping him with filling foods. That is exactly the same when you want your cat increase their weight, better make it progressively and without stress their GI system.
All that said, you should know that fed with an appropriate species nutrition makes the body in a natural way regret to a normal and healthy condition, so any possible change will be lower than in the first steps, and less aggressive to his organism.
Our cats diet will be based in animal proteins and fats, edible bones and offal, where a half part will be liver, the other half other organs.
Heart is one of the special organs to have always in your cat’s diet, due to taurine is not made it by the organism of our cats, so it necessary to added through nutrition. An important point is avoid ground meat or heart because taurine as an amino acid loose great part of that content with the oxidation process.
Fatty acid Omega-3 is also very important for our cats, so blue fishwife be a good food for them, we will be on their diet as the last proteins but don’t forget it to count with it. Sardines or anchovies are a really good option for cats, and remember the mayor content is at the fish head so leave enjoy your cat of that part too. Meanwhile if your cat hasn’t eat fish yet you have alternative with many commercial fish oils, we often use Anibio capsules to keep the oil in good conditions.
Vegetables, pros and cons. If you read something before PRM model usually don’t include vegetables in cats diet, where other many BARF models do, which is the different? , well it is really up to you, there are opinions and consideration in both sides.
Maybe your cats loves vegetables and it would be a good idea, or your cat need some mineral or vitamins extra boost, or mayor fibre intakes so it is a question of every pet parent and most important depends of your cat health.
If you have decided to add it, you can prepare some grinder, at room temperature or lukewarm, or for many cats the option to mix it with meat, offal, yoghurt or kefir.
Do you have a cat who loves some particular veggie or fruit? you could add to his diet, maybe not at the meals but as a good option as natural treats or refreshing low caloric snacks!
Finishing that chapter, we would like to show you some of the commonest cat diet percentages, with and without vegetables, all of them healthy and suitable for a great number of cats. If you have any doubt as we like to say about what can or can’t eat, specially when your cat is diagnosed when some disease, don’t hesitate to contact a holistic or nutrition well-versed vet.
Looking for a correct and balanced diet
We had commented in our counterpart post for dogs, one of the main question, and the one which can cause you worries to look for a balance an appropriate diet for your cat too, thinking how make it to avoid health issues and nutritional deficiencies.
The balance seems to be complicated for the major part of us, more when we talk about felines and the animals and meat cuts for them looks to be less than for our doggie friends.
So, what can we do? could we make a healthy and complete diet for them without risks?
- First of all, before start a that nutritional choice, if you don’t do it yet, is ask to your veterinarian for a complete blood test, including a test called SDMA. It is so important to know if your cat has a perfect health or if she or he has a health issue before the switch. The principal reason is to know the current health of your friend to fit the diet to that situation or if you should consider some supplements or foods to a specific disease.
- A cat of course has a smaller size, so we must to avoid provide the same animal cuts and proteins to them thinking there aren’t appropriate animals or preys for them. A good amount of different proteins will give us a good source of nutrients, and our cats will has less problem to eat different meats and offals during all its life. For example, we like to provide beef boneless venison, pork, or other birds you could find in poultry stores at your local area. Also we like a lote once per week introduce small blue fish.
- Edible bones are necessary in cat diet too ¿which one are the best? All small animals has really good bones for cats, as chicken necks, rabbit ribs, quails, small birds or even some chicken carcass cut it in smallest pieces. Don’t give always the same bone, not only necks, not only wings, variety is the key. And if you are frightened about choking hazard you could grind them at home. Remember change real bone for calcium suplements is a question that will be supervised for your vet, who will give you the best option for your cat and the health condition.
Hmmm, are you sure my cat will like raw meat and offal when eats from early kibble?
Usually we can’t imagine our beloved cats with raw food and sometimes disgusting part of animals in their mouths, they are so clean, refine, and obstinate to switch fast their diet. Well, we had experienced how to do a incorrect switch in cat diets, so we know perfectly how frustrating could be, so the highlight at that point is make or prepare a good and smooth transition diet!
About the worries about raw meat, your cat will be more comprehensive than you with that, even your cat will prefer the moisture of meat and enjoy the taste and smell, by your side you should know some food security issues as freezing meat before serve or to know where the meat come from (as to your butcher if is necessary).
Have you some doubt yet? well always you can cook slightly the meat but this is only correct when we say ‘meat boneless’, bones must not be cooked under any circumstances, only will be provided raw.
There are a technique to cook the meet only in the surface, introducing the meat some seconds in boiling water, only will be cooked the exterior but inside the meat still continue raw. Easy!
Your first menus
Seeing the menus around the social networks and webs could be a reason to increase our stress when we have to do our meals, when really is not a complex question and suffer for it hasn’t reason, so make it easy will be very helpful at the beginning for you and your pet. We will you adding proteins and offal one by one, with time enough for your cat’s gastro intestinal system works perfect and without imbalances, that is a clue at the moment your cat will be enjoying a rich variety of nutrients.
Likewise, don’t remove skin or fats from the meat, both will be important in diet too, although we will thinking are less nutritional parts for us, they are rich for our cats! A diet based on meat lean parts should be less rich than enjoying of all parts of the animal.
Time, a good question, how long will take the transition period? well, your cat will say you, each cat is different, some are really good eaters, others not, maybe prefers some foods, or he or she will take more time to chunk and use is powerful jaws. But if you make a good transition diet will be easier, and faster than trying time after time without results. We had made the switch of Astrid with 14 years old, with CKD and the was eating kibble from the 8 months.
Teaching your cat to eat
Be a newbie at raw food diet could be very frightening if you don’t have many information in your environment , more when we speak about bones as an important part of cat and dog nutrition. Many of us had or has been scared about choking hazard, reason why many of us can provide the food fully ground, or even give up the new nutrition plan.
We know if could be difficult take your own choices with that, but only need good and relevant information, be careful and follow some rules and most important to teach your cat to eat and chew, stimulating them to use their jaws and claws, managing themselves every meat piece.
Doesn’t care if we are talking about bones or only meat boneless or offal, once you will finish the transition is good give them food pieces according to their mouth, to exercise their jaws and muscle and looking how is the better size for them and their capacities.
About bone consume, is good to offer to your cat some edible bone for beginners, nothing difficult, good starter ones are chicken tips (wings), some part of wing added to the chicken breast, quail os rabbit ribs.
Hold the edible bone, wait until your cat smell it (their vision here are not helpful), and look how he/she tries to eat or lick it, maybe some bite, give them time to discover by themselves, they will try to chew and if are a good edible bone it will be easier. You could reward them with kind words making a positive moment. With a little more time they will learn how to manage the bone and bigger meat chunks but always is good to be supervising everything is ok to avoid accidents.
Well, we are almost at the end, only you will have to organise, prep a transition diet for the first weeks of raw meat diet, and soon you’ll see many and satisfactory changes in your furry friend, some of them are really surprising but we would like you’ll discover it! But before end we would like, as usually in the blog we would like to do our final personal tips:
Change the food bufé for two or three daily intakes, say good bye to free food anytime. That is one of the most important first steps to do with a cat.
A switch in diet is not only about food is to make healthier habits and closer to the cat nature. A really good option too if your purrfect cat is overweight.
Variety in diet is important to get a balance nutrition. Many of our cats have a very bad reputation about food preferences and particularities because the food they like it today maybe tomorrow will be refused.
Well this has a good explanation, many commercial foods aren’t natural, are flavoured and dry so thinking about cats are hunters, a carnivore hunter, it is usual to find that cases. But raw food is good not only for their health, their nature is eat raw bone and meat, and their health will be ok providing different protein sources, a good meat variety ,with rotation between ruminants, poultry or fish, to give them a good bunch of nutrients, and a good acceptance of foods in long term, making easiest to add new ones to diet.
Take in mind your cat’s preferences. Sometimes will find a meat with less success of course, not all meats he/she must to love, even it is possible your cat hate a type of protein. Don’t worry, but be conscious of that, look how your cat react with each food, which one are the favourites.
Important too don’t force to eat something they don’t like it. Only an exception is allowed, heart and liver are essential in the cat health so the alternative is look for heart and liver from other species, if you provide chicken ones maybe beef or goat will be better. Or if you are in a extreme situation you could mix them with yoghurt, like puree, etc.
In the other hand, if you see your cat loves some protein is good to know if you have to stimulate his appetite in a special stage of his life, o for example to use it like treats.
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