My Assessment Of Premade Raw Food Meals
This is my preferred method of feeding my cats.
- Cost effective. These premade meals are not crazy expensive.
- I can buy at my local pet store.
- I am lazy, so I love the convenience. Thaw and serve.
- My brand of choice is BIG COUNTRY RAW . Its readily available where I live and I have come to trust their quality.
- I recommend adding appropriate supplements to these premade meals for your cat. Ask your vet what supplements would benefit your cat. **
Basic Cat Feeding Guide
The following information is general advice, but as each cat is an individual, seek veterinary advice, particularly if your cat has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet.
The basis of your cats diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial cat food that is appropriate for their life stage and health status. By reading the label, you can check that it complies with the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food AS 5812:2017 . A balance of wet and dry food is preferable. Never feed puppy or dog food to your cat as it will be deficient in taurine, an essential protein that cats can only obtain through food.
Provide some moist foods such as wet canned food or pouches in the diet regularly as this helps to ensure adequate water intake and can help maintain a healthy urinary tract.
The amount of food required will depend on your cats size, age and level of activity, but you should take care not to overfeed or underfeed. Your vet will be able to weigh your cat, assess your cats body condition score and provide advice.
Some cats can be fussy eaters, which can develop when they are fed the same food over a long period. They can be tempted to eat by slightly warming their food, offering foods that are tasty or have a strong odour, and by offering variety, including new and different foods.
How Much Raw Meat And Bone Should You Feed Your Cat
- Daily amount should be around 2% to 3% of the total body weight of your cat, spread over 2 meals, morning and evening.
- Food portion will also depend on your cats appetite as one day they might ravish their bowl and the next day they will only eat half of their meal.
- Kittens of 9 months can eat twice as much per gram of body weight as an adult cat, as they are growing.
- When feeding your cat, set a routine whereby the food is given in the morning and in the evening, preferably at the same time each day. If a cat is eating the correct food, it does not need to graze during the day.
- Remove any uneaten food after 30/45 minutes, cover it and this can be stored in the fridge for later.
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Factors To Consider About A Cat Diet
#1 WATER CONSUMPTION
The cats health is a balance between nutrition, hydration, and activity. No food will be good if your pet doesnt drink enough water. When cats dont drink much water and they eat a high-quality dry food they have a risk of dehydration or urinary issues. Premium dry cat foods are high in protein and provide extra minerals so you need to make sure your cat drinks enough water to avoid future issues.
On the other hand, cat foods containing grains provide less protein and more carbs, so the risk of dehydration is reduced. However, grains are not part of the cats natural diet and they cause peaks in blood sugar, causing diabetes and making your cat overweight.
Water consumption is the key to a healthy diet, but cats usually dont drink a lot of water. You need to entice them to drink more by providing fresh clean water at all times. If your pet is not a fan of still water, get a cat water fountain.
The key to choosing a good cat food is considering the nutrients itll provide your cat. If we want to decide between dry, wet or raw food we should ask the following questions: What nutrients does my cat need? Whats a healthy percentage of each nutrient? Whats the best source to provide those nutrients?
#3 THE CATS HEALTH
#4 THE CATS JAW OR CHEW
Once we take these factors into consideration we can move forward to learn the advantages of dry, wet and raw food.
The Disadvantages Of Raw Food For Cats
All of the above sounds really convincing, but many people, including a number of vets, claim that it is too simplistic and only a part of the story. Firstly, ‘natural’ does not necessarily mean good. In the wild, cats often pick up parasites and other diseases from the food they catch and eat, and they also die at a much younger age than our cared-for moggies today.
Also, if you are preparing a raw food diet yourself, your cat may be missing out on some essential nutrients, unless you know a great deal about cat nutrition. Some experts claim that for a raw diet to contain everything a cat needs, it would need to include all the pieces of the dead animal, including the heart, liver, bones etc. And feeding bones to cats, unless they are very finely ground, can put them at risk of internal damage.
Additionally, you need to be exceptionally careful with handling raw meat, as it is easy for it to become contaminated unless it is very carefully prepared and stored. If eggs are part of the mix, as they often are, particularly in home prepared raw diets, you need to be aware of the risk of salmonella a small risk, it is true, but one which is there nevertheless. You also need to make sure that there are no chunks of bone present which could splinter and hurt your cat. And raw meat can harbour organisms which cause disease in both cats and humans!
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Is Raw Cat Food Really A Good Choice
Scientifically, cats bodies are designed in a way that can digest proteins and fats much more efficiently than carbohydrates. Digestibility plays a major role when it comes to consuming best raw cat foods. However, raw meats do not provide holistic well-being. A carnivore diet is not the best diet for pet cats as their life expectancy is much higher than cats in the wild. Primarily, a raw diet does not fulfill all the nutrient needs of their body. Including raw meats with other fruits and vegetables provide them with all kinds of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Thus, we believe raw cat food is a good choice when fed in moderation.
If Your Cat Is Currently Only Eating Dry Food:
- Please ensure that your cats dry food is available in a separate bowl at all times during the early stages of the transition.
Follow the steps below, twice a day, morning and evening.
- Day 1 & 2 Serve 10g of raw food into your cats bowl, then crunch and sprinkle a few bits of kibble over the top of the raw food.
- Day 3 & 4 Serve 20g of raw food and sprinkle the crunched kibble over the top.
- Day 5 to 6 Serve 40g of raw food and sprinkle less crushed kibble.
- Repeat this process until you have completely cut out thedry food and your cat is eating a raw meal twice a day.
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How Do I Transition My Cat To A Raw Diet
Our feline companions are notoriously finicky when it comes to their diets, but providing them with the least processed nutrition possible is the best thing for them.
Transitioning to progressively less processed foods over time is usually the best bet. This can be accomplished by phasing in raw food leading to a completely raw diet. The Feline Nutrition Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to educating cat parents on the benefits of a raw diet, and offers an informative transitioning guide.
Commercial Raw Cat Food
Commercially prepared raw cat foods take a lot of the guesswork out of feeding raw. Reputable manufacturers follow the guidelines put forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials .
Make sure that you can find an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy like one of these on the label of any cat food you might purchase:
Brand X Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance, growth and reproduction, or all life stages.
Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Brand X Cat Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult maintenance, growth and reproduction, or all life stages.
You can be confident that any cat food, raw or not, that conforms to AAFCO standards will at the very least provide your cat with the basics of good feline nutrition.
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How Can I Prepare A Raw Food Diet
While raw feeding may bring to mind thoughts of throwing a piece of raw meat or fish in the bowl for your cat, making a complete and balanced homemade raw diet is not that simple.
A serious danger of raw feeding is the risks posed to the human residents of a house. Food safety storage and cleaning practices must be followed. It is always best to consult an animal nutrition professional to develop a complete diet of protein from meat or fish, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and proper water intake for your cat.
Should You Feed Your Cat A Raw Diet
Are raw food diets good for cats? Everyone knows that proper nutrition is essential to a cat’s well-being. Choosing a cat food can be overwhelming, especially when we have to worry about commercial pet food recalls. Some owners choose to feed their cats home-prepared diets so they will know exactly what is in their cat’s food. These home-prepared diets may be cooked or raw. Many owners opt for a raw diet that mimics a cat’s natural diet in the wild.
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Do Cats Like Raw Food
Some owners claim that their cats love raw food, that they took to it instantly, and prefer it to anything else. But all cats are different, and this was not my experience. All my cats absolutely refused to touch the raw food I gave them! Recommendations are that you mix in a little with their usual food, and gradually increase the amount of raw food that they are being given. It made no difference to my cats they steadfastly refused to touch the raw food, no matter what I did with it. So it may be the cats themselves who make the decision as to whether or not you switch to this diet, as is so often the case.
Hygiene Is Paramount If You Are Going To Feed Your Cats A Raw Meat Diet
Of course, we are all very careful with our cats’ food anyway. But if feeding raw meat, you have to be exceptionally careful. It should be kept frozen until you need to use it, and you will need a contingency plan in the event of a power cut or the freezer breaking down. When defrosted, the raw meat should be kept in the fridge, on a shelf below all other foodstuffs, so that juices from the raw meat cannot contaminate any other food. However, cats do not like cold food, so you may need to bring their food up to room temperature before you feed them. And of course you should wash your hands after handling raw meat, and never re-freeze meat which has been thawed.
All of this takes quite a lot of time and effort, so you need to make sure you are able to take it on before you switch your cat to this diet. It will all be a little easier if you buy one of the commercially prepared raw diets rather than making your own, as these are usually delivered frozen, and can be put straight in your freezer. But the same hygiene principles will apply.
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What Is Raw Cat Food
Raw cat food is just thatunprocessed food made from raw ingredients.
Cats are obligate carnivores that have some unique nutritional needs that can be met by eating a diet composed primarily of animal tissue. Raw cat foods accomplish this by placing uncooked meat, fish, and internal organs at the top of their ingredient lists. Ground bone is often included as a source of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin and mineral supplements and other ingredients are added to round out the diet and prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Cats require high dietary protein levels because, unlike most animals, they use protein rather than carbohydrates as their primary energy source. Certain amino acids, most notably taurine, as well as arachidonic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, and many B vitamins, must also be present in sufficient amounts.
A Cooked Diet: The Risks And Rewards
Little scientific evidence exists either for or against a cooked diet for cats.
Some, like Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, warn against making raw or cooked cat food at home because of the importance of getting the right quantity and proportions of nutrients.
Remillard says she has talked to many cat owners eager to switch to homemade cat food in the wake of melamine poisoning in commercial cat foods. And although she doesnt push homemade cat food diets, she says they can work — as long as cat owners consult a veterinarian-nutritionist to formulate one.
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What Kind Of Raw Food Can Cats Eat
Cats can eat raw food that is balanced, clean-sourced, and handled properly. Only buy balanced raw food from trustworthy sources. Practice safe handling to prevent bacteria contamination. Cats typically like chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, and quail. But every cat is an individual. Keep a diary of what your cat likes and doesnt like.
Essential Rules To Successfully Transition Your Cat Onto A Raw Food Diet
- Cats smell their food before eating it. If the food smells different, cats will often not even try it.
- Pet owners must therefore decide what makes their cats tick when it comes to food and try to disguise the smell of the new food
- The easy way to do this is either
- To crunch kibbles and sprinkle over the raw food
- Pour tuna brine juice onto the raw food
- Pour water into their pouch of favourite wet food to make a gravy. Then sieve the gravy and pour a small amount onto the raw food. Store the remaining gravy in the fridge.
- As a pet owner you will have to do anything necessary to entice your cat to test the raw food, so be imaginative!
- Behaviour towards your cat is also important. Be relaxed and do not make eye contact with your cat when serving the first raw meal.
- Move away from your cat and pretend to be busy, cats know how to get your attention so dont fall into their trap!!
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How To Reduce The Risks
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I am not a huge fan of raw pet food. The standards arent as high as with meat for human consumption and contamination may be a bigger issue. I always feed human-grade meat.
Most cases of foodborne illness come from improper handling and storage of meat in the home. Take care when buying, transporting, storing and processing raw meat.
What Is A Raw Food Diet
A raw diet consists of uncooked, unprocessed food. Typically, commercial raw diets, like Stella & Chewys, are formulated to mirror a cats ancestral diet with 98% meat, organs, and bone. These diets are packed with protein and nutrients that support healthy teeth and gums, optimal digestion, vibrant skin and coat, and stamina. Raw diets also contain a high moisture content that helps keep your cat hydrated.
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What Are Raw Diet Alternatives
While there is no perfect substitute for feeding a truly raw diet, the goal of providing the best nutrition possible can be approached in various ways.
Sometimes thought of as synonymous with raw diets are freeze-dried and dehydrated diets. The aim of feeding this way is to avoid heat-processed ingredients, or to achieve as minimal heat damaged nutrition possible. With RAWZ, weve worked with a team of animal nutritionists to develop raw-inspired, minimally processed nutrition options for cats.
What Is A Raw Diet For Cats
A raw diet for cats involves feeding them uncooked animal products. This includes muscle meat, organ meat, and bones. This type of food is sometimes called the BARF diet, which stands for “bones and raw food” or “biologically-appropriate raw food.”
The ideal raw diet for cats is prepared based on a carefully designed recipe. Many cat owners choose to prepare these diets themselves at home, but commercial forms are also available. If you choose to feed your cat a raw diet, it should be one that has been determined complete and balanced by a veterinary nutritionist. Cats that eat an imbalanced diet are at risk for a variety of health issues.
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