Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
24 Feb

The Primal Eating Plan for Cats

If we subscribe to the idea that our bodies are hardwired to thrive on the food consumed by our ancestors, it should follow that the same is true for domesticated animals. After all, we are little more than domesticated hunter-gatherers. A few months back, we discussed the Primal eating plan for dogs. Using the same principles that guide the Primal Blueprint, it makes sense that the descendants of wolves would thrive on raw meaty bones. This prompted a few readers to ask about cats. Can cats thrive on a Primal eating plan?

The answer is unequivocally yes. For anyone who’s ever owned a cat, this should come as no surprise. They’re natural hunters, always stalking something, whether it be your toes moving underneath a blanket or bugs of all kinds. They even have the same gait of the big predatory cats, skulking around like they own the place.

Whereas dogs are happy getting their food from the pack leader (you), cats have an undeniable individual streak. Let them outside and they’re liable to get in a turf war with the tabby down the street, or plunk a bird carcass on your doorstep.

Getting more technical, cats are outfitted with all the accoutrements of your classic obligate (as in “must eat meat to survive”) carnivore: sharp teeth perfect for ripping and tearing; and a short intestine designed for meat digestion but ill-suited for vegetation. They can handle vegetables, and even eat the stuff to throw up sometimes, but they’re certainly not required for optimum feline health.

As you may have already guessed, commercial cat food simply doesn’t cut it. We liken it to shopping on the inside aisles of the grocery store – buying canned soups, potted meat, and frozen dinners – and shunning the perimeter. That wouldn’t be feasible for a person trying to eat right, and it’s the same situation for a domestic cat. It’ll certainly survive on kibble, but it won’t thrive. And isn’t that what the Primal Blueprint’s all about? Thriving, rather than merely surviving; optimizing one’s health, instead of just getting by; and living a full, energetic, active life well into old age. If all that stuff matters to you, it may be a good idea to try out a Primal cat diet (or just for the reduced vet bills, if it’s a financial issue).

We won’t lie – converting a cat to a Primal eating strategy can be tricky. Cats are notoriously finicky eaters, and they have no qualms looking at you like a crazy person if you offer them something unpalatable. They also have more specialized nutritional requirements, especially compared to dogs. “Throw a dog a bone” doesn’t exactly apply to cats here. “Throw a cat a meaty bone that’s pliable and small enough for them to break up, with plenty of meat for a good phosphorus-calcium ratio, along with some beef liver for taurine content and powdered bone meal if the little guy won’t eat actual bones” is more accurate. Sound confusing? At first, it is. But let’s try to shed some light on the Primal cat diet (because your vet – who probably pushes a certain brand of commercial food at exorbitant prices – definitely won’t be much help).

The Primal cat diet should (roughly, not hard and fast) approach the approximate dimensions of your typical prey animal:

80% Muscle meat (including fat, skin, tendons, sinew, cartilage)
Fish – especially oily fish like mackerel, sardines, or herring (which thankfully are a lot cheaper)
Ground meat

10% Organ meat, half of which should be liver

10% Edible bones (as opposed to a huge beef shoulder or something)
Chicken wings
Whole fish with small bones
Chicken/turkey necks and wing tips

If you’re feeding kittens, give them as much as they’ll eat. Adult cats only need meals amounting to about 2-3% of their body weight each day.

Cats need taurine to live. It’s good for their hearts and their eyesight, and most commercial cat foods don’t supply enough. Taurine is also very heat sensitive, so overly processed dry food degrades a lot of the taurine before it even gets to the cat. Luckily, taurine is readily available in organ meat, so don’t skimp on that. Calcium is another important part of the Primal cat’s diet – if your cat refuses to eat the bones or the organs, you can supplement their diet with bone meal or a taurine powder.

Raw foods naturally have more moisture, so don’t worry if your cat isn’t drinking as much water as before.

The Transition

If you’re lucky, your cat will take to the Primal eating plan like a regular MDA reader. If not, here are a few tips for transitioning your commercial-fed cats to raw.

No more 24-hour buffets
If your cat has constant access to unlimited stores of dry kibble, you need to limit that access. Don’t just plunk down a big bowl every day; instead, give your cat access to dry food only a couple times per day, for about half an hour each time. This way, your cat won’t be constantly sated. A bit of hunger will serve you well in the transition to raw, and it will get the cat accustomed to scheduled feedings.

Don’t use starvation to induce acceptance
While a hungry cat (see above) is more likely to try new foods, completely starving your cat in order to force it to eat raw is dangerous. When cats don’t eat for a couple days, they go into survival mode. Their livers start to process body fat for energy, but a cat’s liver is easily overwhelmed by the sudden flood of fat. The liver can become swollen and damaged – hepatic lipidosis – which leads to extreme nausea. Nausea means no appetite, which starts the terrible cycle all over again. Left untreated, hepatic lipidosis can kill. If the cat refuses to eat raw, don’t hold out on the kibble.

Consider canned
Canned wet food can be a nice intermediary between raw and kibble. If your cat’s already accustomed to wet food, you can probably cut out the kibble altogether and use a raw-canned mix for the transition.

The bribe
As you’re reducing the amount of commercial food and increasing the raw food, sometimes it helps to trick the cat into eating the new stuff. You can drizzle tuna juice, rub crushed kibble, or even smear some wet cat food on the raw meat if your cat isn’t taking to the Primal eating plan. He’ll come around eventually.

Appeal to their sensibilities
A dog will eat a half-frozen turkey drumstick in a second. A cat won’t even consider it food. Because cats are hunters (whereas wolves are often scavengers), they’re more attracted to fresh, warm meat. Especially when starting out with the Primal eating plan, be sure the meat is at room temperature, or even a little warm. Half an hour before you feed your cat, just put the meat in a ziplock bag and place it in a bowl of warm water. Never microwave, because that can cook bone and cause them to splinter.

Start small
Start with just muscle and organ meat. Your cat probably won’t take to chomping chicken bones right off the bat, and minced meat isn’t too far off from what they’re used to. Eventually, you can start including chicken wings and other small bones; chop these up too, if he’s still squeamish, and monitor the feeding. Gradually move on to whole hunks of meat and organs, along with whole bones. Before long, your cat should be grabbing entire carcasses and ripping hunks of meat off.

You could always, of course, buy commercial raw food for your cats. It’ll be far more expensive than making your own or feeding kibble, but there are some good brands out there. Just make sure the ingredients are 100% meat, with plenty of bone meal and organ meat listed, and you should be fine.

Thoughts on feeding your feline family members? Let us know in the comment board!

Hotash, Geoffrey van Dijk Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

The Primal Eating Plan for Dogs

The Definitive Guide to Primal Eating (for Humans)

Raw Meat (for Humans)

If you like this post please share it with StumbleUpon.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Hi
    I’m a paleo & am trying to turn my cats paleo as well. Can you give me an example of a “menu” for the cats. I get the idea but am wondering about execution. For example, if they weigh 10 lbs, 3% of their body weight is 5.8 oz. In that example, I just givem them 5.2ish oz of chicken wings and .52is oz of organ meat? And they can eat the bones?

    Becky wrote on September 15th, 2011
  2. I *Love* that this is posted, however this is the same diet recommended (percentage wise) for dogs (no veggies necessary!).

    Becky – wings are pretty boney (something along the lines of over 40% bone), so that would be way too much bone long term. Add in other meaty pieces and you’ll be good to go. Just make sure they are eating every day. Some cats take a while to transition over (picky little buggers!).

    We’ve been feeding prey model raw to our dogs/cats for two years now. They are so much healthier for it!

    Abbe K wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  3. I thought chicken (and all other) bones were a choking hazard to cats…?

    Lisa wrote on October 5th, 2011
  4. Only when they are cooked. Cooked bones can splinter, and are therefore dangerous for cats. Sharp little shards to rip their way through the digestive tract. Somehow raw bones are fine, though.

    Susanne wrote on November 27th, 2011
  5. I’ve been primal for 7 months and am now thinking Id like to convert our 6 year old kitties. This has got to be expensive from the sounds of it.

    I spend $20-40 at Costco for these guys every other month and do keep food out 24-7.

    Is it always raw uncooked meets you serve up? How many servings a day? Can’t the raw food be harmful?

    If Someone had a recommended grocery list for this transition, that would really help. I definitely want to give it a shot – these guys are totally worth it!

    Michael wrote on February 18th, 2012
    • Take a look at “Orijen” for cats – Champion Petfood (Canada). Its “biologically appropriate” – conforms to basic primal principles. I feed both cats and dogs on this food with good results.

      This company also has a primal compatible product line for cats and dogs called “Acana”. Its less expensive than the “Orijen” line but may still meet your needs.

      Champion PF’s provides a lot of information on these products so take some time to review it all and to make comparisons between their products.

      I did feeding trials with my own pets, including the usual gradual transition from the old food to the new food. Started with 1/4 cup new to 3/4 old for several days. Then 1/2 & 1/2 and so on. No problems.

      I also had the older male cats and two struvite prone dogs tested for a UA baseline before starting the change. Following up with a UA after feeding 100% to be sure that the new diet isn’t causing them to form crystals/uroliths. So far, so good.

      rarebird wrote on February 18th, 2012
    • My original post is still waiting on moderation so I’ll remove the link and repost it here – with additional info.

      Take a look at “Orijen” for cats – Champion Petfood (Canada). Literally award winning – Glycemic Research Institute (GRI) Low Glycemic – best pet food in the world – 2011/2012.

      Its “biologically appropriate” – conforms to basic primal principles. The animal ingredients are range/grass fed, pastured, organic, wild caught, diverse, deboned – and all are certified fit for human consumption. The plant ingredients are largely wild gathered and vet approved.

      Deboning is important for a high meat (80%) pet food in order to control for mineral content. Too much mineral is not a good thing and is the main concern that vets have over high meat foods.

      I feed both cats and dogs on Orijen food with good results.

      This company also has a primal compatible product line for cats and dogs called “Acana”. Its less expensive than the “Orijen” line but may still may meet your needs.

      Champion PF’s provides a lot of information on these products on their website – so take some time to review it all and to make comparisons between their products.

      I did feeding trials with my own pets, including the usual gradual transition from the old food to the new food. Started with 1/4 cup new to 3/4 old for several days. Then 1/2 & 1/2 and so on. No problems.

      I also had the older male cats and two struvite prone dogs tested for a UA baseline before starting the change. Following up with a UA after feeding 100% to be sure that the new diet isn’t causing them to form crystals/uroliths. So far, so good.

      rarebird wrote on February 18th, 2012
    • “Can’t the raw food be harmful?” This is a puritan mentality that needs to be dropped like a hot potato. To paraphrase the hunter’s wife: “You cook it, you kill it.” Nothing on this planet evolved cooking its food; as someone once noted, cats have digestive systems that can handle stuff that would make a human sick just thinking about. Personally, i eat almost exclusively raw food, including meat and eggs; not only do i not get sick, i haven’t been to a doctor in 30 years, and my metabolic age is mid-20s (i’m 60). Enjoy what nature gives us, as intended.

      IUVENESCO wrote on July 8th, 2015
  6. There is a brand called “Taste of the Wild” that is a grain-free dry food. We feed it to our dog and our two cats, and it’s pretty inexpensive. They used to get IAMS, and we pay about $3 more for this. I wouldn’t leave food out for them. They’re just like people; they’ll eat when they’re bored. We feed ours twice a day. I don’t think you need to worry about feeding them raw meat if that’s what you want to do. I would just be careful that you’re only feeding them meat that hasn’t been injected with antibiotics. In fact, raw meat is better for them than cooked. They have short digestive tracts, so they aren’t as affected by bacteria (it’s actually good for them – gut flora). That’s the other nice thing about the “Taste of the Wild,” it has gut bacteria in it that they don’t get with regular pet food. I hope this helps.

    Heather wrote on February 18th, 2012
    • Read the label on “Taste of the Wild” and see their website for ingredient info. We used to feed their Pacific Stream canine formula – and it was preferable to brands with grains. But, it has canola oil.

      Once I went primal it smelled rancid to me – even when it was far from the expiration date and properly stored.

      The dogs are doing much better now on a food free of both grains and plant oils. I just made a reply to Michael that’s waiting on moderation – it has the link to the company that we buy from.

      rarebird wrote on February 18th, 2012
    • OK, I just took my own advice and read the Taste of the Wild website info for cat food. Never fed it to my cats just the dogs.

      Lucky cats are spared the canola oil that they use in the dog food formulas. Looks like a good food as far as what’s stated on the website – although the link to the Canyon River cat dry food isn’t working.

      I’d want to know more than what they state on the website, though – especially for cats. Its important to know the pH and the percentage of ash in cat food – especially with regard to urinary health. I’d also like to know more about the sources of their ingredients.

      Taste of the Wild is less expensive than the Orijen (or Acana) food that I recommended – and may be a perfectly good food. However, I still stand behind my recommendation and if you visit Champion Petfood’s website you may see why.

      When I switched from Taste of the Wild to Orijen, it was a clear change from good to better. The food is fresher, the dogs strongly prefer it, and we are already seeing improvements in their health/condition. However, we’ll know more in another 3 – 6 months.

      rarebird wrote on February 18th, 2012
  7. It can cost you anywhere from 50 cents to $1.00 per day per cat. Chicken is cheap; rabbit is expensive.

    This is typically what I feed my cats.

    Monday-Ground turkey (90%) with sardine (10%)
    Tuesday-Chunks of cornish game hen
    Wednesday-Ground turkey (80%) with chicken hearts (20%)
    Thursday-Chunks of cornish game hen with chicken liver
    Friday-Ground rabbit or rabbit chunks
    Saturday-Ground turkey with chicken hearts
    Sunday-Chunks of cornish game hen

    I get ground turkey and rabbit meat from Hare-Today in PA. If I had more money, I’d feed rabbit twice a week. I was buying whole frozen rabbits, skinning, gutting and cutting, but it was just too much work. My cats don’t like ground chicken, perhaps because it’s so fatty.

    You can buy a grinder and grind your own chicken but you can’t grind turkey bones. Too big.

    One 18-year-old gets a mouse every morning because she can’t chew the chicken bones and a couple cats get week-old quail (very expensive) once in a while. Most of my cats snub their noses to whole mice/quail.


    I’ve been feeding ground raw for 8 year, introducing chunk meat 3 years ago. In that time one cat (of 10) got a rabbit bone stuck in his throat.

    Two of my cats were put to sleep because of renal failure (17 and 18 years old), and I have two 18-year-olds remaining. I have four 6-year olds. Only one has been ill in their entire life. She had distemper when she was 6 months old. And I have 2 4-year-olds. One got something resembling kennel cough and recovered in under a week. The other one is the one with the rabbit bone in the throat.

    My cats are exceptionally healthy and never go to the vet. If anybody in my house gets sick, it’s up to their immune system to handle it. They typically fast and have fasted up to a week without ill effect. I’m not a believer in force feeding.

    In feeding raw, you can look forward to an energetic cat (perhaps too energetic) with good teeth and fur, odorless feces, and few vet bills. It’s worth the trouble and cost.

    I hope this helps.

    Joanne Unleashed wrote on February 18th, 2012
  8. I was just responding to a new post from Michael without first reading the article or the older comments. Now that I have, I noticed that Abby also mentioned Arcana favorably.

    I don’t agree with everything that Mark said about a proper diet for cats, although I am glad to see that he mentioned things like the risk factor of hepatic lipidosis.

    Cats do benefit from the inclusion of specific plants in their diet, especially if they are 100% indoor cats. Cats don’t just eat plants to make themselves throw up. Not even animal scientists have a consensus on why cats do that anyway.

    One example of a beneficial plant source is cranberry, which is excellent for feline urinary health. Blueberries are as well. Cats derive benefits from colorful plants just like humans do – and they love sea plants, too. Oh, and they EAT catnip as well as roll in it. LOL!

    As I mentioned in my previous comment, mineral balance is important – too much can be as bad as too little. The last thing that you want is to promote uroliths in cats, which already have this tendency as a species anyway. Stones can form rapidly and are not only painful but can be fatal in male cats especially. And, I don’t mean in rare cases only.

    I have made home made foods for my pets – and still do as an adjunct to their kibble. Its tricky making sure that the mineral balance is right – although eliminating grains and other plant sources high in magnesium helps. But it can be done. What shouldn’t be done is to toss in an indeterminate amount of bone meal.

    And, about that remark about vets – I don’t think its helpful to make these sorts of characterizations, even if there is a kernel of truth there. You don’t want me to even started on my view of Hill’s Prescription Diet beloved by vets everywhere. Let’s just say that IMO you might as well just feed them the bag that the food came in.

    There are plenty of enlightened, holistic vets around these days who will be helpful. There are plenty of good books on the subject with specific, vet consulted feeding guidelines.

    One of our vets is also an old family friend. She and I regularly collaborate on research such as for unusual disorders that present in the clinic – including with my own pets. One of my dogs made it into the vet medical journals – and more importantly helped inform vets about a type of auto immune response to a tick borne disease – one that was not considered to have a chronic condition. The view was that the animal either made a full and speedy recovery or died. Now we know better and have new protocols for these pets with chronic auto immune response. The breed specific research is also underway.

    She is open to using pet products based on methods like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), even though she doesn’t advertise herself as “holistic” or “natural”. She supports me when I am researching a new food or natural treatment, and so on.

    She always welcomes my challenges to do more and better research. I always welcome her support and guidance. We don’t always agree. We sometime respectfully agree to disagree.

    I will occasionally take a leap of faith to follow her guidance with one of my pets when I am feeling a bit queasy and at a loss. She always respects my boundaries – and when I say “NO” she takes that answer without question. She will try the approaches that I insist on – as long as its not unethical for her to do so.

    She offers me options to choose from. She tries to hold costs down while keeping the quality high. Makes referrals to specialists when indicated. Tells me what she would do (or has done) if the pet were hers.

    She and her clinic partner are both this way with all their clients, so its not just because she is my friend. Please, I know that some vets are brainwashed jerks who are in bed with the pet food companies and Big Pharma – trust me, I do. And, the pet food companies are in bed with the grain industry. I foam at the mouth plenty over these situations. But other vets are not and will be helpful if you give them a chance.

    End of rant.

    rarebird wrote on February 18th, 2012
  9. We feed raw to our kitties, Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow online has great deals. We buy much of ours on there, or we buy from the local butcher. Ours eat a balanced diet of raw heart from various animals, wild caught game, and farm grown organic meat. Large chunks of meat is good, or sent through the meat grinder with the raw bones. Edible insects bought online (human grade), Hare Today meats, raw fish, shrimp, and other things. (no squid as it’s deadly for cats). If you are worried about parasites and other things the FDA says to freeze it at -4 or lower for minimum of 3 weeks. We chop ours and mix up a batch then put it in feeding portion sizes and freeze them until needed. Thaw overnight and warm slightly. Safe for humans and animals.

    But we also have had good luck with Acana (canada) in the grain free variety (some orijen has grain), Taste of the Wild (US), and Nature’s Variety (Canada and US). Ours are wild mix (domestic, asian leopard, bobcat, lynx) and can’t have grain so Primal was never an option.

    For more raw ideas, let me know…We’ve done a large variety of things for our cats in the raw department and they are exceptionally healthy, happy cats.

    Edible human grade insect suggestions:
    Hare Today Gone Tomorrow:

    Abby wrote on February 19th, 2012
    • Orijen is 100% grain free. Acana has steel cut oats.

      rarebird wrote on February 20th, 2012
  10. I got my diabetic cat off insulin! LOL After being diagnosed and sold the Hills diabetes RX food I went home and googled the heck out of feline diabetes. I switched him to the diet he was made for (curiously enough, not corn and wheat, whoda thunk??) and got him off insulin in 10 days. It has been a year with one small relapse when he got into some dry dog food (not my dog!!) Kitty is happy and healthy. He has gone from 20lb to 14 and the litterbox is a much more pleasant place :)

    Jen wrote on March 18th, 2012
  11. Please check out my website, which is a one-of-a-kind online resource completely devoted to the subject of feeding and transitioning domestic felines to a primal diet of whole raw foods!


    Linda Zurich wrote on June 14th, 2012
  12. I read this a while ago after going primal myself but didn’t move my cats over at the same time.

    The last week or so one of our 2 cats kept on crying for more food, no matter how much I gave her she would ask for more. I re-read this and some cat blogs and decided to try some more meaty food to see if it would help.

    She rejected the warm chicken wing I offered (too much, too soon, too weird with no feathers?) but I gave her some raw chicken (meat and skin) in tinned food the next day which she ate. That night we had no crying for food – so far so good!

    The second night I bought liver, heart and turkey meat and chopped it up with some (cooked) chicken skin. she ate a mix of tinned food and raw food (about 60/40 canned to raw) and seemed satisfied.

    About half an hour after eating this she started to go crazy in the kitchen, chasing bits of fluff on the floor, running and playing like she was a kitten again! It seemed like she was suddenly full of energy and she just had to play!

    Needless to say the new diet will continue for the cats, it may be a slow transition but seeing what a great effect it had makes the extra work of mincing raw meat well worthwhile.

    Boundless energy and vibrant good health all round in my house now :-)

    Primal V wrote on September 20th, 2012
  13. I read this post about 2 weeks back and started feeding my kitten raw meat (chicken and lamb). Today, it died of salmonella poisoning. I feel extremely betrayed by MDA for telling people to feed their cats raw food. If salmonella was a concern for humans when eating raw meat, I was uncomfortable feeding my kitten raw meat, but I went ahead anyways on the word of MDA. Beware other readers, raw meat has a high risk of salmonella and your cat could die if it eats infected meat. I am devastated and heartbroken.

    Srinivas Kari wrote on September 28th, 2012
    • I’ve been raw feeding my dogs for decades. This is not a new concept, in fact it is supported by MANY DVM’s.

      Animal Natural Health Center was founded by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, in 1986 as a clinical and teaching…….

      Interestingly, there was a recall on dog food recently for salmonella. Turns out it wasn’t the dogs that were contracting salmonella, it was people contracting it from handling the food. It also was one of the brands that contained the healthiest ingredients. Let’s face it, no dried food is optimum for the health of people or pets. Every living thing needs fresh, wholesome food to be healthy. I cannot answer for the health of you cats, but every cat I’ve ever come in contact with killed mice and rats, renowned for carrying nasty disease, and these cats were never ill. If your cat died after eating what it should eat naturally, oods are quite good that GMO corn and soybean fillers had destroyed your cats immune system long before you ever raw fed it.

      My dogs eat raw hamburger and raw goat milk every day. You should see them run and play!

      Kenny wrote on September 28th, 2012
  14. As my user name might suggest I do have kitties myself -the neighbours call me the catwoman! I only have the 2 now, (a Bombay aged 7 and a Moggie aged 13) but I did have as many as 10 cats at one time!
    I changed from feeding mine the usual supermarket brands (Felix, Whiskas etc) a few years ago as they always seemed to be hungry and begging for more (or stealing off my plate at mealtimes!) so I wondered if what I was serving them was really fulfilling their needs. After some research, and taking cost into account -the last name’s Parker, not Trump! – I found a website called Zooplus which sells a variety of pet foods /toys/ grooming/ toileting etc products (unfortunately they don’t deliver to USA/Cananda but do deliver to UK, mainland Europe and the Spanish Islands and Scandinavia).
    After trial and error with several brands I now feed them a canned fresh meat catfood from a range called Animonda Carny. It’s guaranteed free of soya, artificial colouring and preservatives, and all GM ingredients and contains only fresh meat. The Zooplus site actually gives a complete nutritional breakdown of each flavour. You can actually see the chunks of meat in the meat ones and the fish varieties even have whole prawns and chunks of whitefish you can pick out!
    My cats love it, have loads of energy and their coats and teeth are in great condition. They hardly scrounge anymore, and seem much happier. In fact on the rare occasion that I’ve run out and had to go to the supermarket before the next delivery arrives they look at the “food” I’ve had to buy and give me the “What is THAT?!” face! LOL.
    I also make a habit of giving them a raw beaten egg with a tblspn of cod liver oil in it about once a week, they lap it up, and whenever I prepare raw meat for our dinners they get the chicken skin, wing-ends and giblets or fat and skin off other meats. I know it’s not exactly a Primal diet per-se but it’s the most affordable and viable option for me and the cats are happy and healthy according to my vet when they go for their yearly check-ups.

    The Cats Mother wrote on September 28th, 2012
  15. This is a late reply, but I have 2 exotic shorthairs (read:shorthaired persians) – possibly one of the most un-natural breeds of cat – and they tear through raw meat and bone like nobody’s business. We feed a mix of 95% meat canned cat food and raw…transistioning to full raw. Since we have been doing this, their gooey eyes and sinus issues have disappeared! It is truly inspiring seeing them eat like a tiger – with no problems…

    My husband and I have recently decided to go MDA ourselves and have seen huge results in less than a month.

    Gypsy wrote on January 30th, 2013
  16. Hi Mark, what do you think of this cat food:

    Alan wrote on May 8th, 2013
  17. I live in Johannesburg, South Africa and have been feeding my breeding Maine Coons, their kittens and the spay/neuters which I just could not part with after they retired, a raw, organic diet of chicken (bone in) complete with the head, brain, hearts and stomacks for many years. The one of the older cats and shortly thereafter, one of the youngsters, decided that chicken no longer fluffs their coat up. The developed rodent ulcers and sores areound the head and neck. So we switched to ostrich. All good, but now the conundrum of how to get bones into their diet?

    Annie wrote on November 7th, 2014
  18. I have fed my 19 year old cat tinned cat food but always whole/copped sardine types, for all her life.
    She is completely healthy, never been to vets and still acts like a kitten at times.
    Sardines obviously must have all they need

    scott wrote on February 7th, 2015
  19. As all of my cats during the last 25 years were born feral, there’s never been a problem getting them to eat primal; the one i have remaining is 15 or 16, still robust, with the energy of a much younger cat. I feed her raw grass-fed beef liver and heart, ground wild boar, whole ground quail, and a raw pastured egg, with small amounts of organic broccoli, diatomaceous earth, grass-fed colostrum (bovine and ovine), and cranberry extract. The longest-lived cats on record have been owned by a man in Texas who fed and feeds them bacon and eggs, broccoli, and asparagus, among other things. Go figure…

    IUVENESCO wrote on July 8th, 2015
  20. I’m concerned my one cats may be deficient in vitamin D, depressed or something like that. We moved and he went back home twice. (It’s only about 2.5 miles from here.) We kept him indoors for 6 months, but he doesn’t seem to care about going outside now. I’m planning on sitting out with him for 15-20 minutes a day at noon if it’s not too cold or rainy. It’s winter, we’re in Southern California. He loved our other home, where he was raised since about 8 weeks old. He’s 5 now. He had much more room to run around, lots of space, fewer animals. Here there are lots cars, people, cats, apartments, less space although we do have a small back yard. He doesn’t try to go back now but doesn’t play like he used to. He’d pop in to eat then run off somewhere outside to catch mice or lizards. Now he just lays around the house and sleeps. He has a whistle pet tracker in case he runs off again, which he hasn’t for a month, but the tracker says he’s only getting 14-22 minutes of exercise a day. I mixed 1 drop vitamin D in 1 T. and 1/4 teaspoon of lard, so that if I give him 1/4 teaspoon a day he’ll get about 60 iu a day of vitamin D, which as I understand is about how much a cat should get a day if he’s at least 13 pounds. Is this a bad idea to try? Any other ideas?

    Gayle wrote on January 5th, 2016
  21. my cat will only eat dried food

    emily bunker wrote on January 28th, 2016
  22. How cool that googling “raw fed diets for cats” brings me right back to MDA 😀 I know this thread is old as hell, but even so I had a young cat (<1 year) get urinary crystals while eating a diet of dry food. Not once, but on two separate occasions the crystals blocked his urethra, causing him to cry out in the litter box and be unable to urinate (common sense dictates this is life threatening; a cat can die within 24 hours). After the first incident, he was placed on Urinary S/O by Royal Canin, and 8-9 months later we were back at the vets for a cath and hospitalization. My dogs were raw fed so I decided to switch my cats over, too, starting with a warm grind of muscle meat only (boneless.) When that was well accepted, we'd add a bit of ground bone into the meat. Then we offered new protein sources, over a week or two at a time, and then, finally, organs. The slow switch worked well for all my cats.
    The biggest mistake I see with owners wanting to switch dogs or cats over to a raw diet is offering too much variety way too soon and ending up with sick animals. Imagine eating nothing but Rice Krispies for 5 years, then sitting down to a Porterhouse steak with steamed asparagus and a big ass salad. It wouldn't be pretty.
    That said, my cats are beyond energetic; so energetic that the oldies play with the youngsters and the fosters bloom from skinny, mangy things into gorgeous, shiny youngsters waiting for their new homes. I get comments a lot on how my cats play so much. They chase, they wrestle, they sneak attack and pounce on one another, and play every bit as much as my pack of dogs do. Many people seem miffed that their cats are "too fat and lazy to play", because their fat and lazy cats are fed a diet of cereal grains and artificial colors provided by the owner who is annoyed at their lack of vitality. You'd be fat and lazy, too, if fed the kind of diet you're offering.
    I also get comments on their coats. They're shiny, dandruff free, and interestingly enough their color doesn't fade out as they age. They're soft, so soft that several people have said they're like petting mink. The same is true for my dogs. A few of my dogs have high(er) maintenance coats, but rarely do they need a bath.
    Our major cons are cost. We pay approximately $2 a pound for "regular" meats, but much more for anything that isn't found as easily (rabbit, for example.) Buying in bulk certainly helps. However, we don't have vet bills for ear infections, skin and coat problems, "allergies", dentals (which are being jacked up in price at a ridiculous rate). Their natural resistance to fleas, ticks, and mosquitos has grown. The only real "regular" vet bill we have is heartworm testing those who spend time outdoors.
    The other con is feeding time itself. Everyone eats several paces away from one another, but for the amount of wolf I see in my dogs as they're mowing down a chicken leg quarter, I see 10 times as much of the tiger or lion in my cats when they're going through a piece of meat. Some people get upset because their normally placid dog or cat will growl at a housemate if they come too close to what they're eating. We've never had a fight, however, just a lot of growling and grumbling if any unwise youngster decides to approach the adults to see if they'll "share" that piece of rabbit or lamb. They learn what's rude and are told to back off.
    Another concern (with multiples) is making sure anyone with a problem with any kind of meat doesn't swipe it from a housemate and eat something they shouldn't. Currently, I have one animal who can only have a tiny amount of bone per day. I have another who cannot tolerate beef, or beef organs, of any description. Another can't have chicken, and one can't have rabbit. We feed a lot of turkey because it's something everyone can have, but for the sake of variety we have to maintain separation.
    It takes a little bit more thought to feeding a dog or cat fresh food than it does dumping it out of a bag or a can. But it takes a little more thought to eat Primal than it does to just swing through Burger King every day after work. Time in the kitchen is time in the kitchen, and we've learned to enjoy food prep whether it's for us or the animals. It's time that would otherwise be spent sitting in silence watching a TV show, so we embrace is and enjoy it. Cheers!

    Ziva wrote on April 2nd, 2016

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!