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Balancing premade with home made raw?

Discussion in 'Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food' started by saitenyo, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. saitenyo

    saitenyo Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    135
    1
    Nov 27, 2010
    I'm just starting out a raw diet for my cats, and I admit I'm still awfully nervous about the prospect of preparing and balancing my own home made diet. It's funny, I pride myself in my skills in balancing my own diet and am always the type to give human food advice to friends and family, but I still feel so nervous about doing it for my cats! I'm probably overthinking it. I'm trying to gather as much info as possible to help me feel more confident, so I've been posting around at a lot of different places.

    In any case, to help ease some of my nervousness, I'm trying to start with a combo of premade raw (Primal) and home made raw. I feel like the premade will give me a bit of a nutritional safety-net while I'm building confidence in my own diet-balancing skills. For the moment the cats are on all-Primal until I can account for all the supplies I need and get a menu worked out. I plan on doing frankenprey-style feeding.

    I was wondering if anyone else here feeds like this? Is it difficult to balance? Anything I should be wary of? I'm still debating whether I want to try to prepare "complete" meals of home made raw each time, or feed amounts gradually over the week. Would that make much of a difference?
     

  2. initforlove

    initforlove TCS Member Young Cat

    44
    11
    Jan 8, 2011
    Melbourne australia
    this is what I do

    I buy pet mince from the abattoir here locally for $2-00 a kilogram

    it is fresh meat with nothing added and it is minced that day

    I have found that meat from a butcher is very smelly so I dont buy from a butcher

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012065.jpg

    I add wholemeal bread for the b group vitamins and fiber

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012066.jpg

    tins of sardines in tomato sauce for humans or tin of any fish for human [they actually like the tomato sauce in the tins but it is nothing like ketchup in a bottle] this adds calcium from the bones to the meal

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012067.jpg

    i give them the empty tins to lick out because some of my cats love it that much

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012068.jpg

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012069.jpg

    add eggs and kelp and sometimes unflavoured gelatine sachet and sometimes powdered yeast and any scraps you think your cat might want - broccoli goes well for example and chicken skins if not too many

    sometimes I leave the egg on top unmixed

    before you say that raw eggs deplete some vitamins - true but it must be offset by something because if a cat finds an egg in the wild it hardly sits there and thinks it must wait till it develops and opposable thumb and invents matches so I figure if they eat it in the wild it must be ok and the depleted vitamins are made up in another way

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012071.jpg


    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012072.jpg

    http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/R0012073.jpg

    yummy

    to that our cats get catnip and it is my belief that there is some nutritional value in grass because when our cats were locked up in the house they were stealing the grass I brought in for my rabbit and never ever threw up anywhere. alas there is no money to be made form research into this so it is only my observation

    and they get milk as well as water

    I have fed them this way for a decade now and I have one cat that is 19 years old and going great

    i would not store cooked food mixed with raw so i make up just enough so it gets eaten in one meal so there is no danger

    I find it is impossible around here to feed a bit of processed and a bit of raw because the cats refuse to have the raw

    so cold turkey change to home made food

    if i give my cats any cat food they refuse home made and chicken necks
     

  3. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

    6,082
    1,576
    Jun 17, 2007
    Houston, Tx
    When it comes to raw feeding being nervous and overthinking is a good thing. It probably means you are aware of how much you need to know and are concerned you might be missing something. Getting information from a lot of different sources is a good thing also IMO.

    Also, don't avoid the raw feeder opponents sources. I think a good rule of thumb is that if you can take everything they say and respond to it with something like "I know that isn't really a problem because.." and end with a solid, fact based reason, then you are ready to feed raw.

    I used both premade and homemade when I started. Since the premade is already balanced you just need to worry about balancing your homemade part. No different really than if you were feeding all homemade. I mean the homemade part is still the only part you need to worry about.

    I feed ground but I think the frankenprey feeders find it easier to deal with achieving balance over at least several days rather than trying to completely balance an entire meal. Personally I would shoot for balance within a one week time frame.
     

  4. saitenyo

    saitenyo Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    135
    1
    Nov 27, 2010
    Personally I'd be wary of adding tomato sauce. I mean what kind of tomato sauce are we talking about here? I hope not marinara sauce or anything like that. Tomato sauces often have a lot of extra ingredients in them that can be bad for cats (like garlic, onion, and salt). And even if it's just plain tomato juice, tomatos are highly acidic and I've heard they can be a stomach irritant for some cats.

    Additionally it can be problematic to feed fish every meal. Raw fish contains thiaminase which breaks down thiamine, therefore leading to potential thiamine deficiency. Every well-researched raw feeding guide I've read says to not feed raw fish on a daily basis. Keep it limited to once or twice a week, or stick with just fish body oil to get the omega-3 benefits of fish without feeding actual fish.

    And I definitely wouldn't add bread! Cats don't need grain, and my younger kitten can't even properly digest grain. It gives her the runs. That's what started me on the hunt for better food (first grain-free and now raw) in the first place. Bio-availability of certain vitamins differs depending on the source they come from. Being carnivores, cats really need to be getting their vitamins from meat sources, not grain sources. There are some vitamins they simply cannot absorb/use when those vitamins are coming only from vegetable or grain sources.

    The reason people say that is because egg whites can cause biotin deficiencies. That's offset by the fact that egg yolks are extremely rich in biotin, so essentially the two cancel each other out.

    Can't do milk either, that gives both my cats the runs. Some cats can handle milk/dairy, some can't.

    I really don't mean to offend or sound rude, so please do not take this the wrong way, but you may want to do a little more research on cat nutrition if you're going to feed a homemade diet. It worries me that you're feeding your cats a lot of things that cats either don't need, or could potentially be bad for them.
    And just assuming that something must be okay even though you've heard it depletes vitamins, without trying to do the research to figure out what's actually going on there, has me worried that you might be taking shortcuts and not looking into this very thoroughly. I'm happy to hear that your cats are doing well on this diet so far, but it's always good to make sure you try to be as informed as possible when taking their nutrition into your own hands! It will help avoid additional problems in the long-run. [​IMG]

    Oh yes, definitely! I made sure to look up as many arguments/studies/articles as I could arguing against raw while I was trying to make my decision. I wanted to see what concerns they were raising and if there were adequate responses to those concerns. I don't think I really felt comfortable until I managed to find a book written by an animal nutritionist and a few other actual vet sources addressing why those issues aren't real concerns for raw feeding.

    Ok thank you. So I assume if I just take into account that 50% of their diet is the home made raw, and work out my calculations based on that, then I can feed to achieve that total throughout the week? It did occur to me that it might be difficult to due, say, bone every meal when not grinding, because in order to make the bones a comfortable chew-size and safe I can't chop them into pieces that are too small.
     

  5. initforlove

    initforlove TCS Member Young Cat

    44
    11
    Jan 8, 2011
    Melbourne australia
    i too did research and read books about nutrition but my cats did not read those and have their own likes and dislikes and at the end if they wont eat something you give to them, no matter how good for them it is, there is no point giving it to them at all is there? so once again - you should do what suits you and your cats and the secret is? try for as much variety as is possible in the diet of your cats

    cheers
     

  6. saitenyo

    saitenyo Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    135
    1
    Nov 27, 2010
    Well, I agree you need to feed your cats what they'll eat, but it'd be better to feed your cats commercial food they'll eat than try to feed them a home made diet if they refuse a balanced one. If there's balanced food they'll eat (and it sounds like from your post your cats will eat canned food, but just refuse raw?), even if it's commercial, then you should feed them that, not just ignore nutritional requirements and feed them things that can make them sick. :/

    I mean if a kid refuses to eat your home-cooked meals, but will eat tv dinners and will also eat home-made cookies, which are you going to feed him regularly? The TV dinners because it's at least somewhat balanced nutrition? Or the cookies just because you want to feed him something home made even though he could suffer from nutritional deficiencies?
     

  7. initforlove

    initforlove TCS Member Young Cat

    44
    11
    Jan 8, 2011
    Melbourne australia
    totally wrong answer

    i have cats who are allergic to cat food

    the vet did an exploratory surgery and diagnosed that my cat has an enzyme deficiency and the only way to feed her is home made food

    she is ill when i give her cat food

    so however well meaning, it is the wrong answer for my cat - she has a vet diagnosed problem digesting cat food - i have no choice

    that was 12 years ago and the only way I can keep my cat is by feeding them food I make up for them

    incidentally the vet raves on what fabulous condition my cats are in and the 19 year old used to belong to the mother in law and her cats all died and the one I took from her is living and looking good [yes genes have a part in this but the diet has an effect too]

    please feed your cats what you consider is the best for your cats

    I am doing the best with what I can - and I am grateful every day that my cats are doing well and that the one diagnosed with that enzyme deficiency is in great condition and is not ill as she was when i was feeding her commercially produced food

    I dont consider raw meat and eggs and tinned fish for humans and chicken necks and gelatine and kelp and yeast and wholemeal bread plus scraps and tid bits and grass and catnip to be unbalanced and my cats are very healthy. they also get frozen peas and frozen corn [i roll these on the floor as a play thing but they end up eating them] and broccoli and a couple times a week they get some milk because none of mine have an allergy to it. They also love to lick vegemite [a yeast extract]
     

  8. initforlove

    initforlove TCS Member Young Cat

    44
    11
    Jan 8, 2011
    Melbourne australia
    i started feeding my cats home made food because I lost 2 cats to crystals in urine and they were young cats and they died young

    since I started the home made diet my cats have put on more muscle weight and none have come down with any crystals in urine problems and I have had about 24 cats because I was a breeder and i have been feeding home made food since 1998

    processed cat food is made by over heating the by-product which these days is called by a lot of different names so it fools consumers into thinking they are not buying a cat food with meat by-product in it. these are called meat meal and a few other names - I am sure if you google you can find out all about the rendering industry and the pet meat industry

    I dont believe the claims that cat food is good for your cat or nutritionally balanced. I know that the process depletes the cat food of enzymes and so your cat's liver and kidney needs to work 4 times as hard to digest the food and so give up 4 times as early - hence the epidemic of cats peeing inappropriately

    I am convinced that what I feed my cats is right for my cats but I am certainly interested in getting further tips about how to feed my cats - just not with processed cat food as I have a cat with vet diagnosed serious digestive enzymes allergy here.

    some foods recommended by others that should be in home made food make my cats throw up so I have to be guided by what my cats throw up or drop in the litter box when choosing what to feed them. i do find that processed food produces much more offensive litter box contents.
     

  9. dinnerjacketcat

    dinnerjacketcat TCS Member Kitten

    1
    0
    Jan 16, 2011
    England
    I am intrigued Initforlove. What are you doing re calcium in your homemade food? Are you solely relying on fish bone? And are you feeding fish for every single meal?
     

  10. auntie crazy

    auntie crazy TCS Member Top Cat

    2,435
    56
    Feb 4, 2006
    Initforlove, you seem like someone who truly loves and wants the best for her cats, and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make that happen.

    I applaud that.

    It's also clear you've lost cats due to both species-inappropriate commercial cat "food" as well as once-supposed "safe" and even "necessary" vaccinations.

    I am very, very sorry to hear that. I, too, have lost a cat as a direct result of feeding what was supposedly "good" and even "healthy" cat food - my beloved Ollie was killed by the massive 2007 pet food poisoning.

    Since then, I have deeply researched feline nutritional needs, both on and off line, in print and in person, and I continue to learn more every day. Because of what I have learned, I am a staunch advocate of feeding fresh, raw animal-sourced foods to our feline family members.

    Saitenyo has made some valid points about some of what you're feeding. Fish, for instance, isn't recommended as a regular part of a cat's diet for several reasons (Why NOT to feed fish to cats.). Tomato sauce and any other type of vegetable or vegetable product isn't either. And most cats are lactose-intolerant and shouldn't be fed milk (adult cats do not produce lactase, which is needed to process the lactose in milk).

    I don't mean to debate your menu with you, as it has worked for you for so long, but you seem like you're open and even interested in information that may be new to you, so I would like to suggest a few websites you might enjoy.

    You can copy and paste these addresses to another window to reach the sites:
    Nearly everything you read on these sites will validate what you already know, but there might be a few bits of info you weren't aware of.

    Best regards!

    AC
     

  11. saitenyo

    saitenyo Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    135
    1
    Nov 27, 2010
    Auntie Crazy covered pretty much everything else I wanted to say at this point. I'll add a few more things.

    I'm sorry, I misunderstood your original post initforlove. I thought you were saying you wanted to feed your cats raw, but they preferred canned food, and refused anything other than canned food and the other foods you're feeding, so you just defaulted to whatever "home made" foods they would eat.

    If canned foods make them sick, then no, of course you should not feed those either. That's why I'm moving away from processed foods as well. My younger kitten has terrible bowel movements on any kind of processed food, and I too applaud you for trying to do what's best for your cats, I was just concerned by some of the choices you had made regarding balancing their nutrition, and your dismissiveness over certain vitamin deficiencies where you said, you weren't sure why eggs were okay but they "must be." I just think it's important that you try to be as informed as possible, and understand all of the things involved in cat nutrition when trying to balance a home made diet.

    Technically you're still feeding your cats processed foods (bread is fairly processed and not something cats can digest easily). I just feel there may be some better options that you can explore, and I too encourage you to do further research. AC provided some great links that I've found very helpful in researching these subjects myself. Some cats do not take to raw easily, so it may require some time and patience to convince yours to eat it. If you really want to put them on a raw diet, I wouldn't give up yet and fall back on less ideal options. Those sites also some great advice on transitioning stubborn cats.
    I wish you luck.

    Anyway, back on the original topic of this thread:

    I have some excellent news! I was able to determine that the owner of my veterinary practice is fine with raw, and perfectly willing to do nutritional consultations! I scheduled an appointment for this week so I can get his input on adding home made raw to my cats' diet. I feel very relieved to know I have a vet who will work with me on this. [​IMG]
     

  12. initforlove

    initforlove TCS Member Young Cat

    44
    11
    Jan 8, 2011
    Melbourne australia
     

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