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  • Raw meat for cats

    I'm wondering if anyone here has had their pets go on the raw meat diet? I've been reading Pottenger's Cats and I want to start transitioning my cats to raw meat, I've been giving them raw milk and they LOVE it.

    My real question: raw pasture raised chicken/turkey? Has anyone been consistently feeding this to their pets without issue? I just really worry about accidentally infecting them with salmonella. Granted pasture raised animals have a much lower chance of getting it but has anyone experienced any problems with it?

    side note: anyone have any good transitioning tricks to get old-set-in-their-ways cats who only like the dry kibble and mushy canned food. (I have a 7 year old cat that would rather eat bread/chips then raw ground beef)

  • #2
    I'm not a cat person but couldn't they eat mice or rats? They are relatively cheap as feeders at most pet stores.

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    • #3
      My 18 year old cat is chowing down on raw hamburger. She lost her appetite and it's the only thing she shows any enthusiasm for.
      "Wait! I'll fix it!"
      "Problems always disappear in the presence of a technician."
      "If you can't improvise, what are you doing out in the field?"

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      • #4
        Years ago I had a friend who worked at Whole Foods, and she used to bring home all kinds of meats & fish for her cats. She'd put 'em in a blender (the meat & fish--not the cats) along with other stuff (oils & greens?) and blend up her own fresh cat food.

        Ironically, she was a vegan...which means the cats were eating better than she was!
        Vegan from 1993 until Oct 16, 2010. "D'oh!!"

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        • #5
          oh god, I don't know if I have the constitution to chop up a feeder mouse. My eldest cat has teeth problems and needs food to be chopped up very finely.

          I was thinking about giving them raw burger but I've read the taurine gets greatly reduced when exposed to air, thus buying ground burger might pose a problem, I've read everything should be bought whole and chopped at home to reduce the taurine loss. Then I was thinking about giving them meaty bones later in their transition to raw and the only bones small enough for them to chew on are chicken or turkey bones.
          Last edited by lizzychan5; 09-01-2011, 02:17 PM.

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          • #6
            One cookbook I have suggests the following:

            ox-cheeks, lambs' tongues, ox-liver, lights and pig and ox melts (spleen)

            I think those are all there because they're relatively cheap. It says "all these may be given raw" (some cookbooks know what they're talking about!) "but the lights (lungs) are traditionally boiled."

            There's a video of Ron Schmid feeding his cat on his own mix of dried organs and glands at the bottom of this page:

            Dr. Ron’s Ultra-Pure - The Additive-Free Supplements Company

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            • #7
              I have fed raw to my four cats for over 9 years. No illness, no salmonella, no issues. I feed human grade non injected meats, although I cannot afford organic or pastured. I tend to feed small animals more then red meats, many cats cannot handle the darker meats (like beef, venison, etc).

              Here is what they eat in order of frequency:
              Cornish Game Hens (great size for bones)
              Chicken
              Pork
              Oily fish (canned sardines, salmon, etc.....they don't like raw seafood)
              Turkey
              wild pheasant or duck (I freeze it solid for 2 weeks plus before feeding any wild game)
              rabbit

              Transitioning usually requires going from kibble to canned to raw, mixing in between. Sometimes cooking boneless meats helps as well (remember, NEVER cook any bones). Some cats go in days, others may take months.

              Here are some helpful links...

              cat nutrition - home
              Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health
              How to Transition Your Cat to a Raw Diet
              Raw Feeding FAQ

              Joining the raw cat feeding yahoogroup where they have tons of files and experienced people is also good rawcat : Raw Cat

              We are actually getting a delivery of rabbit and organs from a supplier we love this afternoon (hare-today.com). Its pricey with shipping, but the majority of their food I buy locally at a good price so its fun to splurge on their favorite food. To get variety and more organs I order from places like hare-today a couple times a year.

              I would avoid feeding too much dairy, raw or not. They are usually very lactose intolerant. They enjoy it, but its usually not very good on their digestive tract. My crew gets a bite of cheese now and again, but I try an keep it to no more then a single nibble or two.
              Erin
              Daily Vlogs
              Primal Pets Blog

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wilberfan View Post
                Years ago I had a friend who worked at Whole Foods, and she used to bring home all kinds of meats & fish for her cats. She'd put 'em in a blender (the meat & fish--not the cats) along with other stuff (oils & greens?) and blend up her own fresh cat food.

                Ironically, she was a vegan...which means the cats were eating better than she was!
                That's really rich.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Meadow View Post
                  I have fed raw to my four cats for over 9 years. No illness, no salmonella, no issues. I feed human grade non injected meats, although I cannot afford organic or pastured. I tend to feed small animals more then red meats, many cats cannot handle the darker meats (like beef, venison, etc).

                  Here is what they eat in order of frequency:
                  Cornish Game Hens (great size for bones)
                  Chicken
                  Pork
                  Oily fish (canned sardines, salmon, etc.....they don't like raw seafood)
                  Turkey
                  wild pheasant or duck (I freeze it solid for 2 weeks plus before feeding any wild game)
                  rabbit

                  Transitioning usually requires going from kibble to canned to raw, mixing in between. Sometimes cooking boneless meats helps as well (remember, NEVER cook any bones). Some cats go in days, others may take months.

                  Here are some helpful links...

                  cat nutrition - home
                  Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health
                  How to Transition Your Cat to a Raw Diet
                  Raw Feeding FAQ

                  Joining the raw cat feeding yahoogroup where they have tons of files and experienced people is also good rawcat : Raw Cat

                  We are actually getting a delivery of rabbit and organs from a supplier we love this afternoon (hare-today.com). Its pricey with shipping, but the majority of their food I buy locally at a good price so its fun to splurge on their favorite food. To get variety and more organs I order from places like hare-today a couple times a year.

                  I would avoid feeding too much dairy, raw or not. They are usually very lactose intolerant. They enjoy it, but its usually not very good on their digestive tract. My crew gets a bite of cheese now and again, but I try an keep it to no more then a single nibble or two.
                  oh wow, thanks for all this information! Its hard finding information on feeding raw meat to cats. Usually the information I've found is all for dogs.

                  Regarding raw milk, Pottenger didn't have issues feeding the cats in his study raw milk (his most successful group were those fed raw meat, raw milk, and cod liver oil). From what I've read, humans and cats, are only lactose intolerant to pasteurized milk, even my lactose intolerant husband can drink the raw milk we get. I came home last night with 4 gallons of raw milk I had just picked up from the farm and my one cat knew exactly what I had and was begging for it. I hadn't given him any for over a week because we ran out and he wouldn't leave me alone till I gave him a lil saucer of it (neither of my cats can drink more than 1/8 of a cup so its not really a lot).

                  My youngest cat (3 years old), he seems like he'll be easiest to convert. He's already good with eating raw ground beef. Its my eldest cat who is going to be the problem. She hates real food, she was an ally cat and I found her in our garbage eating a hamburger bun, so she's very used to eating junk food and her teeth really show it (our vet had to remove 5 teeth, one literally just fell out of her mouth when the vet cleaned her teeth). I think I'll have to really pulverize the raw meat and mix that into canned food, she really hates any meat chunks in her canned food (it all needs to be pure mush for her to eat it) and I'm just worried she'll be able to eat around it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lizzychan5 View Post

                    Regarding raw milk, Pottenger didn't have issues feeding the cats in his study raw milk (his most successful group were those fed raw meat, raw milk, and cod liver oil). From what I've read, humans and cats, are only lactose intolerant to pasteurized milk, even my lactose intolerant husband can drink the raw milk we get. I came home last night with 4 gallons of raw milk I had just picked up from the farm and my one cat knew exactly what I had and was begging for it. I hadn't given him any for over a week because we ran out and he wouldn't leave me alone till I gave him a lil saucer of it (neither of my cats can drink more than 1/8 of a cup so its not really a lot).

                    My youngest cat (3 years old), he seems like he'll be easiest to convert. He's already good with eating raw ground beef. Its my eldest cat who is going to be the problem. She hates real food, she was an ally cat and I found her in our garbage eating a hamburger bun, so she's very used to eating junk food and her teeth really show it (our vet had to remove 5 teeth, one literally just fell out of her mouth when the vet cleaned her teeth). I think I'll have to really pulverize the raw meat and mix that into canned food, she really hates any meat chunks in her canned food (it all needs to be pure mush for her to eat it) and I'm just worried she'll be able to eat around it.
                    Just because they beg doesn't mean it is good for them . One of my cats can take just a few licks of butter and have diarrhea for a couple days, but she is a butter fiend so I have to keep it up at all times. Also, for humans, raw milk helps some folks digest it, others not. I am one of those that does slightly better on raw milk products, but it is still not acceptable to me. It still creates issues in my gut and with inflammation. Raw milk is better in many ways, don't get me wrong, but it is still dairy plain and simple. I had a raw milk share for a couple years, I tried to ferment and make it into all sort of things, but in the end dairy for me except in very minimal amounts is bad.

                    Just like for primal people, watch for signs they cannot tolerate it...diarrhea, constipation, going off food, runny eyes, etc. Its harder for a cat to tell you his stomach is slightly upset after drinking milk as compared to a human.....and trust me, they don't make the decision to drink milk based on healthy instinct, its a craving just like humans for sugar.

                    In regards to the cat with fewer teeth, they can learn to chew, you just have to take it very slow. I have a 16 yr old female missing about 5 teeth on one side and she eats bones and large chunks every meal. BUT, she requires some smaller/thinner bones, or ones I slightly crack with scissors.

                    You can grind meat and even bones into a complete diet if they prefer a ground over whole meats. Usually once they get off kibble and start actually trying the raw, their palettes really start to open up. I have had cats refuse to touch raw with a 10 foot pole for a few weeks, and when they finally ate their first bite they were like "OMG this is the best thing EVA!". Every cat is different, you just have to get creative. There is a textural thing with it, its cold and slimy and TOTALLY different then kibble or canned...so it takes time.

                    I would recommend against feeding ground products unless you grind it yourself. The added bacteria in the grinding process will expose them to more unnecessary risks in a raw form. Likely they would be fine, but something to consider. I fed pre-ground raw products for the first few years, I had a few episodes of vomiting, nothing serious (no one was sick beyond an upchuck for 10 minutes kind of thing)....but since I switched to feeding all whole foods or products I prepare on my own I have not had that problem. Most folks in the raw community are starting to lean away from pre-ground anything because of that.

                    I am not going to lie and say there is NO risk to feeding raw, I do know one person who had her cats come down with salmonella, BUT, I don't know the situation or what she was feeding to tell you what to avoid. I feed meat I would eat myself, fresh as possible, and that's the best I can do.

                    Have fun researching, it will seem overwhelming when you start, but seriously, once you get over the transition and a few basic rules it really is pretty simple.
                    Erin
                    Daily Vlogs
                    Primal Pets Blog

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Meadow View Post
                      Just because they beg doesn't mean it is good for them . One of my cats can take just a few licks of butter and have diarrhea for a couple days, but she is a butter fiend so I have to keep it up at all times. Also, for humans, raw milk helps some folks digest it, others not. I am one of those that does slightly better on raw milk products, but it is still not acceptable to me. It still creates issues in my gut and with inflammation. Raw milk is better in many ways, don't get me wrong, but it is still dairy plain and simple. I had a raw milk share for a couple years, I tried to ferment and make it into all sort of things, but in the end dairy for me except in very minimal amounts is bad.

                      Just like for primal people, watch for signs they cannot tolerate it...diarrhea, constipation, going off food, runny eyes, etc. Its harder for a cat to tell you his stomach is slightly upset after drinking milk as compared to a human.....and trust me, they don't make the decision to drink milk based on healthy instinct, its a craving just like humans for sugar.

                      In regards to the cat with fewer teeth, they can learn to chew, you just have to take it very slow. I have a 16 yr old female missing about 5 teeth on one side and she eats bones and large chunks every meal. BUT, she requires some smaller/thinner bones, or ones I slightly crack with scissors.

                      You can grind meat and even bones into a complete diet if they prefer a ground over whole meats. Usually once they get off kibble and start actually trying the raw, their palettes really start to open up. I have had cats refuse to touch raw with a 10 foot pole for a few weeks, and when they finally ate their first bite they were like "OMG this is the best thing EVA!". Every cat is different, you just have to get creative. There is a textural thing with it, its cold and slimy and TOTALLY different then kibble or canned...so it takes time.

                      I would recommend against feeding ground products unless you grind it yourself. The added bacteria in the grinding process will expose them to more unnecessary risks in a raw form. Likely they would be fine, but something to consider. I fed pre-ground raw products for the first few years, I had a few episodes of vomiting, nothing serious (no one was sick beyond an upchuck for 10 minutes kind of thing)....but since I switched to feeding all whole foods or products I prepare on my own I have not had that problem. Most folks in the raw community are starting to lean away from pre-ground anything because of that.

                      I am not going to lie and say there is NO risk to feeding raw, I do know one person who had her cats come down with salmonella, BUT, I don't know the situation or what she was feeding to tell you what to avoid. I feed meat I would eat myself, fresh as possible, and that's the best I can do.

                      Have fun researching, it will seem overwhelming when you start, but seriously, once you get over the transition and a few basic rules it really is pretty simple.
                      Gotcha, the Pottenger's study was like 100 years ago so I'm sure cats back then were a bit healthier when he fed them the raw milk. If the whole good health is past from generation to generation theory is true, humans have deteriorated (more allergy's now a days then 100 years ago), the same can be true for cats. I never really thought about it like that. I'll check them out, they seem to be fine drinking it and so far. I haven't started to make the raw meat transition, and the raw milk is the only healthy thing they currently consume.

                      I am VERY overwhelmed! I'm used to just filling a bowl when it gets empty and giving them canned food as a weekend "treat", so this will be a very big change for me. I'm just completely ignorant of this subject, I was about to buy them "pet burgers" a few weeks ago when i finally stumbled upon the "do not buy ground meat for cats" info. I don't want to make any horrible mistakes.

                      I lost my last cat a few years back to kidney failure, and I'm positive it was because we fed him kibble and canned food all his life. It breaks my heart thinking I could of had him around for a few more years if only I had known.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lizzychan5 View Post
                        I'm wondering if anyone here has had their pets go on the raw meat diet? I've been reading Pottenger's Cats and I want to start transitioning my cats to raw meat, I've been giving them raw milk and they LOVE it.
                        Milk, raw or otherwise = bad for cats. Cream is a different ball of wax.
                        Raw meat = good for cats, and mine likes it.

                        Hints to transition - go slowly. Give pieces from time to time.
                        My Fitday public journal.
                        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                        Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                        Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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