Primal pet chatter =)
Just posting here as a spin-off from the "CW moments" thread to avoid more hijackery!
I have a "funny CW moment" every time I get into a discussion with someone who's anti raw-food-for-pets. The first question I ask is when the last time is that their doctor told them to eat more highly processed, pre-packaged factory food for better health. There's usually a <crickets> moment, and if I'm lucky, the lightbulb flicks on ;0). For some reason, people are often willing to make that leap on behalf of their pets even if not for themselves.
Ours was a rare case, but I still get paranoid about that stuff. I'm trying to figure out an inexpensive way to do raw at home without the vet getting all up in my face about salmonella and toxoplasmosis. :/ She said that stuff doesn't bother the cats with their carnivorous immune systems, but she thinks it's irresponsible regarding the humans living with the cats. [/QUOTE]
What... the... junk? I know winencandy already pointed this out, but how does she think people accomplish feeding themselves if raw meat is a direct pipeline to disease city? Two words: "basic sanitation". We feed all our critters together in the utility room on their own mats. The cats know their food is protected when in their feeding area, but the minute they pick it up and try to run off with it, it's fair game for the dogs. The cats are very good about staying in their feeding area.
The dogs were no problem from the start. Anything particularly sloppy gets fed outside anyway.
If there are kids in the house, just make sure everyone knows not to allow licks/kisses for an hour or two after feeding. If there's a litter box in the house, kids are at far greater risk for toxoplasmosis exposure than in a raw feeding situation anyway. Unless you're killing and gutting your own wild or badly commercially farmed rabbits (and not following basic sanitation rules while doing it), you're not going get toxoplasmosis.
What a weird concern. I've heard all kinds of panic over e-coli and salmonella, but... toxoplasmosis? Anyone with a cat and a litter box is at risk. Raw food has nothing to do with it, absent the rabbit killing which most people aren't doing.
[QUOTE=Gravyboat;699963]Seriously. My vet pushes Science Diet, which despite its marketing ploy is really not great. When my cat got a bladder infection at one point (probably from her 100% dry diet at the time; she doesn't drink much), the vet told me I should switch to Science Diet.
Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, ...
Uhhh, no. Thanks. "Healthy whole grains" and processed food can flip right off, both for my cats and for me.[/QUOTE]
Funny story about SciDie: I worked in the retail pet industry right about the time that the premium pet food explosion happened. Up until that point, SD was pretty much the only premium pet food on the market. Then a bunch of others came along, Iams and Eukanuba were early big players and both made a pretty good name for themselves as better alternatives. Then, Iams got sold to Proctor and Gamble who promptly revamped the formula to make it cheaper to sell at Wal-Mart and grocery stores. They tripled the amount of corn, went from meat meal to wet-weight meats (further reducing the total volume of meat in the finished product), and basically all-around crapified it.
This new, super-cheap grocery store version of Iams? Very nearly identical to Science Diet's maintenance formula.
[QUOTE=sires6;700549]We feed grain free as dogs only get minimal grain in the wild (stomach contents of animals). But I do know the passion for this is similar to the passion in people over Primal/CW.[/QUOTE]
It's been a while since I was doing a lot of active research into wild canid nutrition, but I think it's true that wolves don't actually eat the stomach content of large prey animals. They pull the stomach out, open it up, and shake the contents out before eating the stomach itself. If I'm trusting my memory correctly, that comes from L. David Mech, who isn't a raw food proponent, just a wolf biologist.
In any case, the actual grain content would be slim to none. Wild ungulates may eat wild grains, but they're eating far more of the stalk and grasses than the grain itself. Of course they'd get the whole stomach if they're eating rabbits, rats, etc, but in that case the grain content would likely be even less.
I'm a real geek about raw feeding. All the animals in our house get biologically appropriate, whole-foods diets. It's a bit of a PITA at first, but once you get into the swing of things, it's cheaper than premium packaged foods and doesn't really take any extra effort. And I can't remember the last time we were at the vet for any reason.
Like someone else said, I'm amazed it took me so long to make the connection to my own feeding patterns and needs.
I'm interested in doing a raw diet for my overweight calico (if I take her off my parents' hands, otherwise my boyfriend and I will be adopting together as the lease only allows one cat). From what I've seen, calicos are often overweight, so I have no idea if raw would really help with that. She's healthy otherwise, though very lazy. My biggest concern is the cost of going raw, or at least more appropriate processed food (definitely grain free). Can anyone comment on the cost of "primal" cat food as opposed to conventional (ie. the cheapest bag of dry food labelled "organic")?
I've never heard that calico cats are any fatter than any others. Spayed females in general tend towards tubby, and calicos being universally female, maybe that's it?
It's been dogs' years since I was really looking into the price of premium pet foods, but I spend maybe a few bucks a month feeding my cats. The most expensive thing they eat is canned sardines as an occasional treat. Otherwise much of their food is cheap or free. We generally never spend more than a dollar a pound on any animal food. I sacrifice a little in the way of convenience and I'm feeding a lot of critters, so YMMV on that count. There are several brands of pre-packaged raw foods, too, and both of my local butchers make their own in-house meat/bone/organ blends for around a buck a pound.
Keep in mind that even if you're shelling out for pre-packaged raw or all-meat commercial foods, you'll save a fortune in the long run on vet bills. The biggest upside in my mind to prey-model raw is the dental care that comes along with it. Ground commercial foods (even good ones) make for manky teeth and big dental bills.
So far, my cats are liking the Blue Wilderness that I got Sunday. It's only the dry, but I'm probably going to try the canned tonight. No bad reactions, no "surprises" in the hallway when it's dark and I'm barefoot, so it's looking good. The older one is used to getting a few chicken or fish table scraps anyway, but when that's not available, they're choosing the new dry stuff over the Friskies right next to it.
Oh! Also, adult cats who have always been conditioned toward dry food may have a much harder time transitioning to whole-foods raw. In that case, your best bet all the way around is an all-meat commercial food. RitaRose: I have a friend who just switched his cat over to either Blue Wilderness or something similar. It's only been a few weeks and he just called us up to tell us how his cats are sleek and shiny for the first time, ever. And not that they were getting cheap food before, just that the switch from "premium" grain-based foods to an all-meat kibble made a world of difference. Cheers for you and kitties!
[QUOTE=namelesswonder;702526]From what I've seen, calicos are often overweight[/quote]
I have two tortoiseshells (same exact tri-color genes as calicos but less white) and they are not overweight. I would argue that most CATS are overweight, because most people feed them food with wheat gluten and corn fillers.
[quote]Can anyone comment on the cost of "primal" cat food as opposed to conventional (ie. the cheapest bag of dry food labelled "organic")?[/QUOTE]
I mentioned in the other thread that my cats eat Wellness Core (grain-free ultra-premium dry). Between my two cats, they eat a 12lb bag (~$40) in 2 months. So ~$10 per cat per month. I also buy about 10 cans of wet food per month (~$5 per cat) and they get a lot of my meat trimmings as well (effectively free, since it would otherwise just go in the trash). I also mentioned that cats on grain-free will eat a lot less than cats on crap food because it fills them up more, just like low-carb does for people.
I can't comment on feeding raw because I haven't tried it yet, but I would really like to look into it more.
Anyway, I think your cat is probably fat because she is corn-fed and insulin-resistant and basically has a big wheat belly just like everyone else on SAD. I think if you switch her off the crap food she will recover quite nicely. (And you can show her the Before & After thread and make her read the MDA blog if she doesn't believe you.)
[QUOTE=RitaRose;702543]no "surprises" in the hallway when it's dark and I'm barefoot, so it's looking good.[/QUOTE]
Oh, I should mention that one of my cats is longhaired, and in the last 4 months of eating grain-free I think she has horked up... maybe 2 hairballs total? So it's definitely good on that front.
Shameless pet pic:
This is Genevieve, better known as Beepers. She runs around the house talking ALL DAY LONG. (It's cute but I kind of wish she would shut up sometimes!)
Oh I am SO IN...
<shameless pet pic>
Poe and Grendel practicing the ancient sport of synchronized sleeping!
Here's Sam (Samantha the Diva) and the pic below that is Smokey, the previously semi-feral one that I just adore: