Best diet for cats?

kaikrishna1111

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I feed my cats Taste of the Wild grain free dry, and Friskies canned. Obviously I am not thrilled with the friskies canned but they do love it. I was wondering about things like meat, and other food that might be good. What if I got a cooked chicken once a week and took all of the meat and diced it and fed it to them throughout the week instead of canned? I mean who really knows what they put in Friskies? Drugs, it seems like because cats can't get enough. Wouldn't really be much more expensive than a weeks worth of canned food, I could buy seven Friskies for about $4 and I can get a chicken on sale on Fridays for $5. Wouldn't pure chicken be better? Or maybe mix with brown rice and other things and make my own canned food? Any opinions on the best diet for cats?
 

minka

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To make it simple the best diet for cats is raw. The more accomidating one is wet. And the more affordable one is a wet/dry mix.*

It's great that you want to improve your cats diet. You have certianly come to the right place.


While it may seem a great idea to buy a chicken, chop it up and feed it to them, the only problem is that unless you are also feeding uncooked organs and bones, and/or adding supplements, the diet would not be complete.

If you were going to make your own 'canned' food per say, you would still need to add organs and mineral supplements, no rice or veggies needed however.

You are almost right in that Friskies is full of drugs because they use artificial and natural flavors to make it irrisistable to cats. It's like handing McDonalds french fries to a child.


* People say dry is cheaper than wet, but since wet is so much more nutrituous, you don't have to feed as much, and as long as you know how to shop sales, you can feed a cat on less than a dollar a day. My cat only costs 87 cents or less and he's 16lbs.
I've found I'm spending less on wet than dry. (Well, more like I Could spend less, but I spoil my boy instead. >:3)
 
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kaikrishna1111

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Thanks Minka, when I was thinking about chicken I was thinking in addition to the dry food, so I was hoping that would balance it out. With regard to raw food:

How do you do about getting organs? Do they have to be raw and does that pose any salmonella concerns?

Do you feed the uncooked bones whole and can they choke on them?

If no rice or veggies are needed why are they added to cat food? As fillers?

Do you have to prepare each meal or can you do any preparation in advance?

That was my worry with the Friskies, that it is junk food.
 

minka

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"When fed as a supplement to most commercial canned foods, it is safe to feed ~15% of the daily calories in the form of plain meat. For example, if a cat is eating 6 ounces of canned food per day, you could feed him 5 ounces of canned food plus 1 ounce of chunked muscle meat per day." - Dr. Pierson at catinfo.org

Some grocery stores chop up the meat in the back themselves, so you can talk to the meat department about saving those organs for you. Or if you go to a local butcher, they would definitely have organs. Also if you go to an asian or some other foreign market, sometimes they will have them.
Raw is best and no you do not have to worry about salmonella because cats are designed to eat raw meat and their digestive systems can handle bacteria better than humans can. And actually most cases of salmonella poisoning in cats comes from being fed kibble.

Cooked bones are the ones that splinter and hurt the cats. Raw bones are the only kind safe to feed.

Rice and veggies are added to cat food for several reasons:
Cat food originally was dog food with a picture of a cat on the front and other than now adding taurine, some companies have not changed their recipes.
Marketing - people know fruits and veggies are healthy for them, so they presume the same applies to their cats.
Longer shelf life/fillers to keep the food from spoiling as kibble made 100% from meat would go bad quickly.

Most people prepare at least a week in advance; chop and grind up everything, put it in baggies and freeze it until it's meal time.

Auntie Crazy will probably show up any time soon, but if not, shoot her a message. She is very knowledgeable with raw and could answer any question you've got.
 

auntie crazy

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Originally Posted by kaikrishna1111

Thanks Minka, when I was thinking about chicken I was thinking in addition to the dry food, so I was hoping that would balance it out. With regard to raw food:

How do you do about getting organs? Do they have to be raw and does that pose any salmonella concerns?

Do you feed the uncooked bones whole and can they choke on them?

If no rice or veggies are needed why are they added to cat food? As fillers?

Do you have to prepare each meal or can you do any preparation in advance?

That was my worry with the Friskies, that it is junk food.
Hi, Kaikrishna!

Good on you for researching feline nutrition for your cats, and especially for being so open-minded as you read. In my experience, it's unusual to see someone accept raw so quickly as even a potential food, never mind as the most species-appropriate diet!

If you can, you would do better by your kitties to throw away the kibble completely. A canned diet (even a Friskies one), supplemented with up to 15% raw meat chunks would be a good bit healthier.

Organs: Unless you intend for your cats' diet to include more than 15% raw, you don't need to worry about feeding either organs or bone-in meals. If, however, the raw portion of the diet exceeds 15% and you do need to start offering them, the best place to begin looking is your local grocery store. Asian markets are a good place for organs, too.

Salmonella: Cats evolved to handle bacterial loads far in excess of anything we could handle. In addition, they have extremely short, incredibly efficient digestive tracts that excel at processing the bodies of their prey thoroughly and quickly. Salmonella in raw meat is far more of a danger to you than it could possibly be to them (so always use good meat-handling practices
).

Bone-in Meals: Raw bones are very soft and flexible and your cat isn't going to choke on them. If you begin feeding bone-in meals, start with small bones, like the ribs and wings from a Cornish Hen or half a quail. Cats fed commercial all their lives have to learn how to use their jaws and teeth to actually scissors through meat and bones, and they have to build up their jaw strength to be able to do so. Always leave a bit of meat on the ribs; the wings can be fed just as they are. Once your kitty is familiar and comfortable with those, you can move up to chicken ribs and wings. etc.

Fillers: Grains, fruits and vegetables added to commercial products are not only not needed from a nutritional perspective, but cats lack the ability to fully or easily process them and it stresses their bodies to have to do so (often leading to IBD, diarrhea, and more). From the reading I've done, it's pretty clear the two biggest reasons they're in cat food is profitability and marketability.

Preparation: You can absolutely prepare meals in advance. I have six cats and nearly all their meals are prepped and frozen in advance, athough, really, there's not a lot of up-front work in a Frankenprey diet like mine. Turkey drumsticks and chicken quarters are just bagged as is, pork and beef are cut in big chunks, weighed and bagged, and hearts, gizzards, liver and kidney are just weighed and bagged. Chicken wings and chicken ribs, I do have to bring out the shears and cut them before bagging, which is messy but not that time-consuming.

TCS has a raw food forum and here are a couple of threads you might find helpful:
You might also enjoy reading some of the articles on Feline-Nutrition.org, CatInfo.org and RawFedCats.org.

AC

Yo, Minka! Thanks for the shout-out!
 

autumnblueangel

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Salmonella: Cats evolved to handle bacterial loads far in excess of anything we could handle. In addition, they have extremely short, incredibly efficient digestive tracts that excel at processing the bodies of their prey thoroughly and quickly. Salmonella in raw meat is far more of a danger to you than it could possibly be to them (so always use good meat-handling practices.)
The above statement is partly correct. There is more to it than that when it comes to the potential dangers of raw feeding, and I think that if you are going to go down this path, you need to be fully informed so as to be aware of any nasty surprises that may pop up and to be prepared and not complacent in thinking it's tottally safe.

Salmonella, E-Coli, Toxoplasmosis. They can be found in raw/fresh meat and they can all be potentially deadly to your Cat. I'm not against raw feeding, but be very careful if you do. Always take precautions and proceed with caution.

Cats may have evolved to be better at handling bacteria better than us, but they also evolved to eat fresh meat from their kills in the wild which would limit their exposure to high quanties of bacteria. It's part of the reason that cats tend to be picky about what they eat.

Human meat tends to be meat that is long dead and could have been cross contaminated or exposed to high heats which increases the liklihood of the meat having high quantities of the 3 types of Bacteria stated above. So, in saying that, because of the process that human meat goes through before it comes to us, it can pose a risk to your feline companion.
 

minka

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Originally Posted by Autumnblueangel

The above statement is partly correct. There is more to it than that when it comes to the potential dangers of raw feeding, and I think that if you are going to go down this path, you need to be fully informed so as to be aware of any nasty surprises that may pop up and to be prepared and not complacent in thinking it's tottally safe.

Salmonella, E-Coli, Toxoplasmosis. They can be found in raw/fresh meat and they can all be potentially deadly to your Cat. I'm not against raw feeding, but be very careful if you do. Always take precautions and proceed with caution.

Cats may have evolved to be better at handling bacteria better than us, but they also evolved to eat fresh meat from their kills in the wild which would limit their exposure to high quanties of bacteria. It's part of the reason that cats tend to be picky about what they eat.

Human meat tends to be meat that is long dead and could have been cross contaminated or exposed to high heats which increases the liklihood of the meat having high quantities of the 3 types of Bacteria stated above. So, in saying that, because of the process that human meat goes through before it comes to us, it can pose a risk to your feline companion.
I don't agree with this.

Fresh meat from the wild, if anything, would be more prone to bacteria. Small birds like pigeons carry so many diseases it's not even funny. Rats and mice are also well-known for carrying diseases. But cats manage. Like Auntie said, their digestive tracts are short and their stomach acids strong, so you really do not have to worry about them catching anything.
 

ducman69

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Originally Posted by kaikrishna1111

What if I got a cooked chicken once a week and took all of the meat and diced it and fed it to them throughout the week instead of canned?
In a nutshell, your cats would quite literally die, most likely of heart failure. There is a reason that the AAFCO helps the FDA by researching and creating minimum nutrient profiles for cats with specific macro and micro nutrients.

Raw feeding can certainly be a healthy diet, but it is a bit controversial and can be potentially dangerous for both yourself and your cats. As with any dietary choice, there are pros and cons, so I'd recommend reading some facts about raw.
Originally Posted by kaikrishna1111

Do they have to be raw and does that pose any salmonella concerns?
Yes, they should be fed raw, and yes there are certainly salmonella concerns.
Originally Posted by kaikrishna1111

Do you feed the uncooked bones whole and can they choke on them?
Cooked bones should never be fed, as they will splinter more easily and can cause damage. Choking risks are realistic even with uncooked bones, and not all bones are created equal in this regard and poultry bones are hollow and some splinter more easily so it is advised to stick with smaller flexible bones.
Originally Posted by kaikrishna1111

If no rice or veggies are needed why are they added to cat food? As fillers?
Yes, these are typically fillers as its much less expensive than meat, but cats can digest and obtain nutrients from them and they can be used to achieve a target urine PH for a recipe, since meat promotes urine acidity and vegetable matter alkaline. The latest research indicates that proper urine acidity is the most effective means of maintaining urinary health.
 

ducman69

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Originally Posted by Minka

Fresh meat from the wild, if anything, would be more prone to bacteria.
This is false. A fresh kill, unless it was already on the verge of death, would have a very low bacterial load... that's what a creatures immune system is for and it would be quite ill with even quite low bacteria levels. A wild kill would be more likely to have parasites though. Once an animal is dead, it will begin to decay and bacteria will grow. This is common sense, as you can safely eat fresh fish as sushi, but typical grocery store fish which is not as fresh needs to be cooked before eating.

Salmonella poisoning is a matter of degree of exposure. Many cats have died from commercial food contaminated with large quantities of salmonella for example. Lower quantities often cause subclinical infections, where the cats appear outwardly healthy, but still shed the bacteria and is thus diagnosed by culturing their feces. Per the government, the percentage of salmonella in chickens has been as high as 20% in the 90s, which is why it is so important to thoroughly cook the meat before human consumption and properly clean any surfaces touched by raw meat.

So it is not doom and gloom, but just be aware of the risks and proper handling procedures.
 

auntie crazy

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Originally Posted by Ducman69

...
...
Many cats have died from commercial food contaminated with large quantities of salmonella for example. ....

...
I would be interested to know the source of your belief.

Thank you.

AC
 

ducman69

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Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy

I would be interested to know the source of your belief.
You'll never find verified statistics for animal deaths, even in the huge China scare that most agree killed thousands of pets, as there is no government database for pet sickness/death tolls. Salmonella scare recalls in pet food are a google search away, with forums where owners are convinced that it was the recalled food that caused severe illness or death in their pets. Considering that you can only sue for the replacement value of an animal (at least in the US), you really don't see detailed autopsies and mass lawsuits.

Per the FDA:
Salmonella can affect animals eating the product, and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated products. People handling contaminated dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may exhibit decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If you pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
But that just goes to point out that even if you purchase commercial food, you're not 100% safe from salmonella contamination.

However, at least the food is typically recalled quickly, sometimes before it hits the shelves. Just in case, I usually keep food for several months before feeding it, since sealed dry and wet have shelf lives of years.
 

auntie crazy

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Originally Posted by Ducman69

You'll never find verified statistics for animal deaths, even in the huge China scare that most agree killed thousands of pets, as there is no government database for pet sickness/death tolls. Salmonella scare recalls in pet food are a google search away, with forums where owners are convinced that it was the recalled food that caused severe illness or death in their pets. ...
Then your previous statement is precisely the inflammatory and false statement I thought it was.

Ducman, I will not be responding to anything else you post in this thread. Kaikrishna deserves to have his query answered without having his post turned into yet another debate.

AC
 
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kaikrishna1111

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Thanks for all of the input. I am learning a lot and appreciate all of the opinions. I might try it on a limited basis to start and see how the cats respond to it.
 

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I think all your cats are indoor/outdoor cats correct? If not please forgive my ditzy confusion. I am going to assume that I am remembering correctly and give you the following information as if they are indoor/outdoor cats.

I would say that a mixed diet of commercial wet and commercial dry would be the best. The reason is it has the water SOME cats need and the "excessive" calories in dry food that an outside cat can also use.

Plus being indoor/outdoor cats they can do there own hunting. Just like two of my four cats do. So they get a "balanced" diet.

Lastly if you want to know what I think the best diet really is I would say a whole prey diet. That would mean feeding your cats frozen thawed mice, rats, and chicks. This would be very beneficial to your Bengals and Savannah crosses.

PS a photo update of your cats if you have time
?
 

mschauer

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Originally Posted by Ducman69

Many cats have died from commercial food contaminated with large quantities of salmonella for example.
This is the kind of blatant misinformation spread in the demonetization of raw by wet/kibble feeding crusaders that virtually refer to it as poison. I would like to see logic, cold hard facts, and supporting studies to justify such false myths.

Do those words sound familiar Ducman2? They should:

Originally Posted by Ducman69

I have seen blatant misinformation spread in the demonetization of kibble by wet/raw feeding crusaders that virtually refer to it as poison, and wished to address such false myths with logic, cold hard facts, and supporting studies.
 

auntie crazy

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Originally Posted by kaikrishna1111

Thanks for all of the input. I am learning a lot and appreciate all of the opinions. I might try it on a limited basis to start and see how the cats respond to it.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to post them. Or, if you like, you can contact me directly. I'm happy to help!

AC
 

ducman69

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Originally Posted by mschauer

This is the kind of blatant misinformation spread in the demonetization of raw by wet/kibble feeding crusaders that virtually refer to it as poison.
WOW!
I have said that raw is "perfectly healthy" (that's some demonization, hah), and the salmonella recalls were from commercial DRY food, so I was pointing out that there are salmonella risks either way. But the idea that all salmonella pet food recalls are stupid because there are no risks to humans or cats is dangerous in my and the FDA's opinion as quoted, and pretty silly to think that millions of dollars of food would be thrown away pointlessly by the industry if it weren't a problem.

I apologize for some of these reactions kaikrishna, there is no 'perfect' or one 'right' food choice, and they all have their pros and cons, but just pointing out that if you are going to create your own diet you can make mistakes so be sure to research thoroughly so you do not omit required nutrients (the cooked chicken meal plan for example would have been very deficient, including in basic taurine).
 

mschauer

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Originally Posted by Ducman69

WOW!
I have said that raw is "perfectly healthy" (that's some demonization, hah), and the salmonella recalls were from commercial DRY food, so I was pointing out that there are salmonella risks either way.
You presented the salmonella scare as an agrument against *raw feeding*. Your hypocracy is obvious whether you are willing to admit it or not. Even if what you now say the intent of your statement was is true, how do you expalin that you don't habitually warn people against feeding commercial food because of the salmonella risk and yet bring it up when the issue is raw feeding? Still hyprocracy.

The fact is you made an inflamatory statement that you are unable to back up with fact. Exactly the thing you have "schooled" others on in other threads.
 

ducman69

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Originally Posted by mschauer

how do you expalin that you don't habitually warn people against feeding commercial food because of the salmonella risk and yet bring it up when the issue is raw feeding?
Lets agree to disagree and not ruin kaikrishna's thread with bickering and angry accusations.
To answer your question, the numerous salmonella contamination recalls are my fact, and the difference was already explained in that "at least the food is typically recalled quickly, sometimes before it hits the shelves. Just in case, I usually keep food for several months before feeding it, since sealed dry and wet have shelf lives of years." And again, as mentioned w/ salmonella poisoning, "is a matter of degree of exposure", and small amounts would only be a concern for immune compromised/elderly cats and humans.
 

mschauer

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Originally Posted by Ducman69

Lets agree to disagree and not ruin kaikrishna's thread with bickering and angry accusations.
To answer your question, the numerous salmonella contamination recalls are my fact, and the difference was already explained in that "at least the food is typically recalled quickly, sometimes before it hits the shelves. Just in case, I usually keep food for several months before feeding it, since sealed dry and wet have shelf lives of years." And again, as mentioned w/ salmonella poisoning, "is a matter of degree of exposure", and small amounts would only be a concern for immune compromised/elderly cats and humans.
The statement you made was:

Many cats have died from commercial food contaminated with large quantities of salmonella for example.
A "factoid" it is now clear that you simply made up.

The lesson kaikrishna should learn here is to be wary of false experts!
 
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