So about 2 months ago we started the cats on a new diet. It’s a raw food diet specifically formulated for cats.
First question people usually ask us is, “Aren’t we afraid of Salmonella and the cats getting sick because it’s raw?”
Short answer…no. Think about it. Cats are naturally carnivores. They eat mice, birds and such all the time if in the wild. They have a different immune system and digestive tract than we do. Their bodies can handle raw meat.
So how did we get into this raw diet? Well, some friends of ours, Bill and Janet, who are full-timers have three cats of their own. Their cats were having some health problems caused by the store bought food. After doing lots of research, Janet found Feline Instincts. After switching their cats from a regular store bought food diet to this raw food diet, their health problems all but disappeared, they are more active and generally more happy and healthy.
Feline Instincts is a company based out of Texas, that makes the powder mix for your kitties raw food diet. Felice is the owner and she is wonderful to answer any and all of your questions. As I had a lot.
You basically buy this powder mix from Felice’s company and mix it with chopped up raw meat, water, salmon oil and raw liver if your mix does not already contain liver. She provides the “recipe” for mixing all the ingredients together to get the right mixture.
I buy the powder mix that already has the liver powder mixed into it. So that eliminates a step for me. I figure, the less things to buy and mix the less chance of me messing it up. For some of you that know me, sometimes I have a hard time following directions. So the less ingredients, the better.
David and I have gotten pretty good at making the food. The first few times were a little trial and error. Mixing it to much so it’s more of a pate consistency was not good. We found out the cats like it chunkier.
When it’s time to make the food, BK is always there to help. By help, I mean, get in the way. But I’m not so mean that perhaps a small piece of chicken may happen to hit the floor while I’m making the food. And BK is all to eager to clean it up for me.
Don’t panic. No…I don’t give him a whole piece of chicken. Just barely a sliver.
When we make the food, we make it 1lb at a time. Then we put that 1lb into a rubbermaid container and freeze it. We usually do 6lbs all together (6 containers). One of these containers will last us 2 1/2 days with the 4 cats. So we only make up the food every couple of weeks. Not bad.
It took the cats a few days to get use to it. Well…let me correct myself. Angel…no issue. She will eat anything you give her. Whisper, same thing but is just a little slower at eating it. (He takes pauses to think about it.) Tory and BK wanted nothing to do with it. Part of that was our fault. We blended that first batch into a pate consistency and they did not like that. Felice mentioned we might want to leave it on the chunkier side. Next batch we did that and it was better. To get them all to eat it at first, we mixed some tuna water into it. Then slowly took the tuna out of the equation and wallah! All 4 kitties eating the raw food diet. Tory was the hold out in this one. She can be stubborn. It took her a good week and a half to fully accept that this was all she was getting from now on.
So why would we try this? Well, the news is littered with reports of people’s pets dying or getting seriously ill because of contaminated store bought food. How many times have you seen a recall on your pet food because of this? Once is too many for me.
Some of the food you buy in the store contains by-products not fit for human consumption. So it ends up in our pet food. I’m sorry, but if it’s not good enough or safe enough for humans to eat, why should it be ok for our pets to eat?
In doing all this research, talking with friends about their kitties and talking it over with our vet, we came to the conclusion that a raw food diet was a good choice for us.
It wasn’t an easy decision. It took us weeks of going back and forth. The biggest factor was the cost. It’s not cheap when you consider the costs vs standard cat food.
But in the end, we decided that our pets health was worth it. After all, they are our family.
After a couple weeks on the diet we found ourselves amazed at the difference our kitties were showing. They had a lot more energy. Playing with their toys more often. And a general contentment came over them. They don’t bother us as much for food because they are satisfied.
A couple bonuses to feeding them this diet is they shed a lot less. That’s a big plus in a motorhome. Another big plus…they poop less often and when they do, it does not smell! How cool is that! The reasoning behind that, in the store bought food, their bodies can not process everything in the food, so they poop more often (once a day) and it’s stinky. On the raw food diet, their bodies absorb and process everything. All the nutrients, the vitamins and the meat and water. So when they do poop, it’s about every other day and way less stinky. Bonus for living in small spaces!
For those of you who have met our kitties, you probably have not met Tory. She was always shy and would run away every time company came over. She was very skittish. Even with us. We usually only saw her at feeding time.
Now, she is out and about all day. Exploring everything. Playing with toys. Our friends Joe and Lynn even came over the other night for a movie and she climbed up on Joe’s lap and fell asleep! That would never have happened before.
I also just took Tory in for her yearly exam and the vet remarked on how well she looked for 15 years old. The way she’s going, she’ll be one of those cats that lives into her 20′s! Her eyes are clear, her teeth were white, her fur is silky smooth.
We can’t believe the difference this food has made in their lives. We are glad we made this choice and only wish we knew about it sooner.
Yes, they eat better than we do. We do not find ourselves heading down the raw food diet for humans. But we can sleep better at night knowing that we are doing a good thing for our kitties health.