We’ll be highlighting interesting posts from our community blog from time-to-time. Here’s one that is very interesting and personal to me as I too ask myself these questions.
Here’s the post:
I love cats, I have always loved cats. Kitty was my first word even before mommy or daddy! lol However, when I got older and started to realize our impact on the environment, I got sad about cats. Ethically feeding a cat is a difficult thing. Much harder than the omnivorous doggy.
How to deal with it morally when you yourself are a vegetarian? How to deal with the evironmental implications of how commercial cat food is obtained and packaged?
What about the health of your feline friend when you start to realize all the chemicals and fillers many cat food companies are using? What would a cat in fact eat naturally in the wild? What were they meant to digest and in what form?
A product that uses quality ingredients can cost more than double or triple the economy brand. That can be rough in these economic times.
So many things are a factor here that sometimes I still struggle with it. Right now in consideration of these things my kitties eat Organix feline mix twice a day. I order it in bulk so it’s not very expensive. I also wet it down with warm water to make it easier to chew and digest for them, but I just can’t afford a complete diet of wet or raw foods. That could change in the future though, this is always on my mind.
How do you feed your carnivorous kitty pals?
(Original forum post: http://barnyardsandbackyards.org/community/forums/topic/view/15/post_id/34)
Leave your opinions in the comments below or join our community and weigh in on this subject and others!
If you boil rice so that it is nice and soft, and mix (mash) with a can of tuna or salmon, it is much better, less expensive, and your cats will love it.
Personally I have a problem with feeding tuna to my cats (even though they love it), however this is a great idea for other canned meats as well I’m sure! 🙂
Canned fish or meat and rice is not a complete diet and can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies. I met a woman who made her cats terribly sick from a similar diet- boiled chicken and rice- which lacked adequate calcium, for one. If you want to prepare homemade diets, please follow recipes that provide all required nutrients. They are readily available online and in books.
Speaking as a longtime vegan, it is a sad fact that cats are carnivores. While my research found some people are successful at feeding their cats vegetarian diets, it doesn’t work for all cats. I unintentionally ended up with two wonderful, orphaned kittens this past fall and have wound up feeding them a raw meat diet, Radcat, recommended by my holistic vet. They are doing great on it and I am learning to accept it as yet another example of life’s contradictions. At least it is free range and organic. As far as cost, I figure I am spending more now but will save much more by keeping them healthy.
Not only does tuna and rice diets provide little nutrition, but it also robs the cat of Vitamin E which can lead to yellow fat disease (steatitis). Not only that, but it does not provide them with taurine, which is ESSENTIAL for cats to consume or else they will go blind, suffer from heart failure and eventually die. It also does not provide cats with a proper calcium:phosphorus ratio. Cat nutrition is very important and should be well researched before you ever decide to make their food at home.
I’ve been raw feeding cats for 10 years now. ANY grains is BAD news for a cat, let alone COOKED food. Look into reading the book Pottenger’s Cats. Pottenger was actually using cats to do study for human medicine, and in his years of breeding them, he found that cats MUST have a raw, carnivorous diet in order to thrive. Cooked foods lead to all sorts of nutritional deficiencies, and even caused sterility within three generations.
My cats get a menu of turkey, chicken, and rabbit each week, with organs of said critters twice a week. I raise the chicken and rabbits myself (rabbits specifically for them). They don’t eat the bone (too big of a mess for 3 indoor cats, and two indoor/outdoor cats that eat inside), so they are also offered whole, raw milk several days a week, as well. The outdoor kitties have access to a greater variety, being able to hunt more than the inside kitties (all of whom have disabilities), and bone. The rabbit and chicken is extremely fresh, so available turine levels are high. It begins to degrade in muscle as soon as the animal is slaughtered, and degrades quickly. If you can’t feed FRESH meat and organs, buy turine capsuls at the health food store, and sprinkle on their meat at each meal.
Tuna is actually dangerous for cats. First, it’s cooked. Second, it is canned, often seasoned with onion in the broth/water/oil. And third, obviously, by itself is not nutritionally complete.
My cats enjoy a bit of pureed squash (raw), on occasion, to help with fur balls (they enjoy grooming each other a bit too much, lol), but it does nothing for them nutritionally.
Feeding a cat vegan is like forcing a child to live off bread and water. You are robbing your cat of the nutrition is needs. Cats who ‘do well’ on a vegan diet are simply surviving off stores in the cat’s body, but will eventually be depleted, and go down hill very fast. If you really love kitties, you will come to accept that they are made to eat a certain way, and you will try to make them eat in a way that will harm them, eventually. And, you will make a way to feed them correctly. All in all, most mature cats require 1/4 – 1/2 lbs of raw meat or organs a day, and you can feed them for generally about $1-2 a day, depending on how much you insist on feeding them organic, and your availability for quality meats.
Ah, should say ” If you really love kitties, you will come to accept that they are made to eat a certain way, and you will NOT try to make them eat in a way that will harm them, eventually. And, you will make a way to feed them correctly.”
I’ve been feeding my cats raw food for several months now. I found the recipe online and I blend it up myself. NO GRAINS! Just raw meat, vitamins, and a few veggie odds and ends (carrots, peas, zucchini, blueberries-none of these are required, they just add a few other nutrients I like to give them) that I researched to ensure they wouldn’t harm them. They LOVE it!
-As long as I don’t put too many veggies in. Lol.
I bought expensive, organic, pesticide- and artificial flavoring- and coloring-free dry food for him that he loved, until I started him on the raw diet. On days that I had run out of raw mix and couldn’t make more right away, he would ignore the expensive dry food in his bowl for days before he broke down and ate it. Lol. He held out for the good stuff.
Since I’ve had my cats on the raw food, I’ve noticed all three have gained muscle weight, but no fat. Including my runt, who has always been very thin, now has a decent layer of muscle over her backbone and she looks great! They have much more energy and they don’t throw up anymore.
I have to mix their ground raw food with water and make “soup” out of it, or they won’t eat it. Don’t know why. They’ve always done that with canned food as a rare treat; only licking off the gravy and leaving the solid meat. So I learned to mix it with water and they’ll eat the rest.
Here is a great site on raw cat nutrition, recipes, and they do a great job of explaining WHY you need the ingredients it calls for. It also gives many different options for feeding them.