alternative to fish oil for home-made raw food

abbyntim

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Does anyone know of an alternative to fish oil when making home-made raw cat food? If there is not a good alternative, what is the lower limit per pound of meat? Can I skip fish oil entirely?

Tim has been doing extremely well on his diet of mostly raw and some canned. I would say the proportion is about 85% raw, 15% canned. Raw rabbit generally agrees with him, so that is a major part of his diet. But he is not excited about the commercial raw brands I've tried - Primal and Stella and Chewy - so I recently started using plain, ground rabbit muscle and organ meats plus bone and adding my own supplements. He loves it! And I am gradually increasing that as I decrease the canned rabbit I had to mix with the commercial raw rabbit to get him to eat it.

But here is the problem. During the past week, Tim has vomited within minutes of eating his rabbit meal. It has happened two times so far. And he's showing other signs of nausea and gas and possibly excess stomach acid, but only after eating the rabbit meal. Perhaps coincidentally, we made a big jump in the home-supplemented rabbit just last week. Additionally, I used a bit more fish oil in this batch than in the previous batch. Tim has had trouble with fish oil before, which is why I suspect it now. I am following Lisa Pierson's recipe, and aim for 2000 mg of fish oil per three pounds of meat. For this batch, I prepared a single pound, but used most of a 1200 mg capsule of fish oil, so maybe about 1000 mg, which is still below Pierson's upper limit of fish oil, but possibly more than I used previously.

I plan to make another batch of rabbit next week. I will be using a two-pound chub and intend to use a single 1200 mg capsule of fish oil. Does this seem sufficient? Or can I use something else to make sure Tim gets the omega 3s that he needs, but without causing the gas and acid and nausea that seem to go along with, perhaps higher levels of, fish oil?
 

schrody

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I've given up on fish oil for mine entirely. It gave them all the runs and made them vomit... 
 

lilymai

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I am new here and don't know much about any of this, but would you get enough EFA from using actual oily fish, like sardines, rather than a supplement, or is that a big no no?

I'm looking into starting a raw food diet with my cat and I'm reading through everything I can find on supplementation - some sites seem to advise giving fresh oily fish instead of oil supplements, and others say not to use fresh fish and add something like krill oil....I'd love to know everyone's opinions and experiences on this matter!
 

riley1

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Just buy commercial myself.  Vet said grocery store meat has too much bacteria & you have to know what to add for health concerns.  I would never feed fish again because it is not a natural food for cats.
 

faeleen

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I'm new with raw myself so correct me if I'm wrong, but how about sardines as an occasional treat for the same benefits?
 

cicoccabim

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I don´t feed my cat fish oil due to fish allergy, and I´ve learnt that you really don´t need to add it if you feed meat that is rich in omega-3 (after a lot of help from a food consultant). I feed free range organic eggs (from eggs that I sometimes go out and pick myself from the hens....... 1 yolk per pound of food, extra rich in omega 3), venison, elk, deer, rabbit, duck and lamb (allergic to fish, beef, pork and probably chicken). Free range meat is richer in omega-3 than commercial meat, free range meat in general is healthier (both for us and the cats) and more nutritious.
 
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abbyntim

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Maybe krill oil? Krill are little crustaceans, sort of like shrimp.

There have been threads here on TCS about fish oil and krill oil and other oils for omega 3. Here's one: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/267593/fish-oil-vs-krill-oil-vs-green-lipped-mussel-oil
Thanks for the suggestion; this was something I had been thinking about. I purchased some krill oil gelcaps last night, as I plan to mix up another batch of rabbit tomorrow. After reading the thread above, I still have questions about the proper amount, but will keep looking until I can find some guidance.
I am new here and don't know much about any of this, but would you get enough EFA from using actual oily fish, like sardines, rather than a supplement, or is that a big no no?

I'm looking into starting a raw food diet with my cat and I'm reading through everything I can find on supplementation - some sites seem to advise giving fresh oily fish instead of oil supplements, and others say not to use fresh fish and add something like krill oil....I'd love to know everyone's opinions and experiences on this matter!
This is only my opinion based on my own cat. Tim had unexplained struvite crystals a little over a year ago. We stopped all fish, among other things, and they went away. I am not sure it was the fish, as he had a lot going on and he was consuming a number of suspect ingredients, but I'm not inclined to feed him fish again. I am less concerned with fish oil, as it is fat and not protein, except for the fact that too much does not agree with him. I am going to try krill oil for the EFA.
 
Just buy commercial myself.  Vet said grocery store meat has too much bacteria & you have to know what to add for health concerns.  I would never feed fish again because it is not a natural food for cats.
Tim eats mostly commercial raw that is fully-supplemented, but does not care for any of the rabbit brands. I purchase ground rabbit muscle and organ meats from a variety of sources, but not the grocery store. Then I supplement this meat using the recipe from catinfo.org.

@cicoccabim, I tried to quote your reply but couldn't. This is something I wondered about, as much of Tim's diet consists of free range meat. I am aware of free-range meat being richer in omega 3; our cats eat better than we do! Assume your cat does not have any trouble with egg yolks, even though possible chicken allergy? Tim is possibly sensitive to chicken and I've fed him a bit of egg yolk on occasion, but definitely avoid egg whites.

Thanks, all!
 

ldg

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mschauer mschauer has run diet analyses for me with various options, as Flowerbelle hates all fish oils. I am using krill oil for her rather than struggle to get her to eat food she hates. I pill it, the NOW 500mg caps are small enough. At least I'm not dealing with the runs or allergies in the kitties from the fish oils.

I post only to mention that a big chunk of the vitamin D in the raw diet comes from salmon or fish oil. One or two sardines a week doesn't cut it. So I supplement D for any cats that get krill, because it has very little in it. And yes, they get egg yolk in the diet, one a week. I don't know what upping that does, as egg yolk does contain D.
 

cicoccabim

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My cat loves egg yolk! You should never feed raw egg white (cooked is ok as "extra") since that affects the b-vitamin uptake negatively. She is on a elimination diet to figure out what she can and can´t eat, so she gets double amounts off egg yolk (2 per pound food).  Do I need to say soft and shiny fur??? 

Most cats likes egg yolks, and I´ve never heard of a cat that is allergic to it. Strange- but perhaps it is a different kind of protein than chicken meat? Very nutritions anyway.

I was concerned when starting raw that she would not get all she needed if not feeding fish oil, so I decided to get expert help- and she told me: as long as I feed free range meat and eggs as main food (sometimes I get meat from the supermarket, but thats 1/10 of the time), and I don´t see that her fur shows sign of deficiency, the meat and eggs would fill that need of omega 3. I know that the food consultant has done her math on the nutrients- so I trust that she gets all she needs (including vitamin D). My cat seems to feel very well, has an incredible energy, slim and muscular, and has the softest fur I´ve ever felt/seen. 

My cat definitely eats better than me...... free range eggs, venison and lamb that are raised in small farms and killed at the farm. Where the owners are passionate about the animals. Since I can´t give her pork or chicken she eats lamb heart and venison heart..... which is a delicacy..... (good price at the farms- so her food still costs 0,5 dollars a day!). Luxury wife/husband?   I have a luxury cat! 
 
 
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ldg

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You should never feed raw egg white (cooked is ok as "extra") since that affects the b-vitamin uptake negatively.
The avadin in white binds with biotin in yolk. Yolk is rich in biotin. If fed together, there's no need to cook the white. If one is adding whites to increase protein in place of meat in the diet (for instance, to lower phosphorus in a CKD cat diet), then yes, white is best cooked.
 

mschauer

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The avadin in white binds with biotin in yolk. Yolk is rich in biotin. If fed together, there's no need to cook the white.
Has this been definitively determined? I've never made an exhaustive search for the answer but what little I have seen left me with the impression that it wasn't really known whether the yolk contains enough biotin so that the binding by avadin isn't  a concern.
 
You should never feed raw egg white (cooked is ok as "extra") since that affects the b-vitamin uptake negatively. 
Biotin is the only b-vitamin that is of concern with regards to the avadin found in raw egg whites. I've never seen any where that any other b-vitamins are affected by it. 
 
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cicoccabim

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If you feed egg yolk as a way to add biotin to the food, then you should not feed the egg white raw. The avidin in the egg white is sensitive to heat, so if heated and included in the food you will not have that effect. If you feed whole eggs often this is important, if once in a while less important. This is the answer I have from the food consultants. And numerous books.
 
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mschauer

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If you feed egg yolk as a way to add biotin to the food...
Egg yolks aren't added for just biotin. They are a rich source of several b-vitamins plus many other nutrients. That's why I pointed out that the avadin issue is only with regards to biotin where your post said "b-vitamins" which implies b-vitamins other than biotin are affected.

Perhaps what isn't clear is that there are 8 distinct B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) of which one is biotin (B7). The other B vitamins are not affected by avadin as far as I know. If you can provide a source that says otherwise I would be very interested in seeing it.
 
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ldg

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Has this been definitively determined? I've never made an exhaustive search for the answer but what little I have seen left me with the impression that it wasn't really known whether the yolk contains enough biotin so that the binding by avadin isn't  a concern.

All I've seen to support it is numerous references to a 2009 case study that reported a biotin deficiency in someone that ate 2 raw egg whites a day and developed the deficiency after 3 months. I wouldn't - and don't - recommend feeding just raw whites. But with this info, and an inability to find references to biotin deficiency eating raw whole eggs, given cat diets likely include one to two whole eggs per week, I believe the information indicates it is a safe practice. But it certainly isn't definitive.
 

nansiludie

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I've read that cats should not be fed raw egg whites, raw yolks are alright but not whites. As long as the whites are cooked they can be fed. I've gotten my info from Catinfo.org. Dr. Piersons blog. I usually cook the eggs, scrambled or soft boiled.
 

mschauer

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All I've seen to support it is numerous references to a 2009 case study that reported a biotin deficiency in someone that ate 2 raw egg whites a day and developed the deficiency after 3 months. I wouldn't - and don't - recommend feeding just raw whites. But with this info, and an inability to find references to biotin deficiency eating raw whole eggs, given cat diets likely include one to two whole eggs per week, I believe the information indicates it is a safe practice. But it certainly isn't definitive.
You mean the whole "don't feed raw yolks with the whites" thing is based on a case where egging just raw whites resulted in a biotin deficiency?  

I'd like to see solid evidence that the yolk contains enough biotin to more than offset the affect of avadin binding. But even if it does, consuming the whites with the yolks means less free biotin is available.

The whites don't contribute much beyond a little protein anyway. Might as well be safe rather than sorry and leave them out. 
 
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ldg

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You mean the whole "don't feed raw yolks with the whites" thing is based on a case where egging just raw whites resulted in a biotin deficiency?  
No, I don't think it is. I think it is simply based on the biotin-binding of avidin. I don't think there's anything beyond that.

I tried to find out whether or not claims that feeding yolk and white together (raw) do not result in biotin deficiency had any science. I found only that.
 
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