Cat Food: February 2009 Archives

pictures_cats_crouching.jpgThere is increasing evidence accepted by holistic and traditional veterinarians that turning to a raw food diet for cat and kittens reduces the likelihood of many of today's common cat health problems. Its no secret that our cats are obese, have bladder problems or develop kidney disease or diabetes. Its looking like the same rules that apply to humans apply to cats - high carbohydrate, low protein diets and poor exercise habits lead to disease. The good news is that the number one step holistic vets recommend is that you switch your pet to a raw food diet for cat program.

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Here's a short list of disorders that are fed by a low protein, high carbohydrate diet:

1. Dental disease

2. Bladder stones and Feline Urinary Tract Infection

3. Obesity

4. Diabetes

5. Kidney disease

6. Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome

Read the hot topics in Cat Fancy and Catwatch and you'll find at least two articles, if not more, reporting on the increase in cat sicknesses like feline urinary tract infection, diabetes and the rest. What do most of our house cats have in common? What they eat.

Now for the full the scoop on a raw food diet for cat and kitten...

Pictures_of_cats_fearless_mouse.jpgCats are dependent on a meat protein diet. Since World War II we've been fooled into believing that the commercially prepared dry or canned cat foods are the greatest invention since cat litter. These cat food products did not exist prior to the 1940's. They were developed during this wartime economic period because it was cheaper to feed our pets corn than it was to keep them on a raw diet for cat, kitten or dog. As a nation, we started moving towards a more urbanized lifestyle and we lost touch with our meat sources in our backyard. For the past few decades we've been loading up our grocery carts with Mighty Bad For Dog and Kitty food.

Cats and kittens require meat products. They can not convert vegetable proteins into the nutritionally equivalent minerals and amino acids that meat provides them. When was the last time you noticed your cat hanging from a corn stalk chomping through a cob of corn? Try this...

Let your cat wander through a corn field and I be he returns with a rabbit, mouse or bird - meat stuff - no corn. That's the natural approach.

A simple holistic cat health care solution.

You can make this change to a raw food diet for cat successful. Yes, it will require more work on your part. You will need to find a source of fresh rabbit, chicken or beef - those are in order of preference. Rabbit has the most nutritional benefit to your cat.

Don't go overboard when you start your raw food diet for cat program. Keep the quantities you purchase minimal so that you aren't freezing a load of meat. Freezing causes meat to breakdown and loose nutritional value. When you do freeze your raw rabbit, chicken or beef, package it in chunks. Don't slice all the meat up before you freeze it. Slice it as you prep for a new batch.

To further arm your cat from problems associated with illnesses like feline urinary tract infection and bladder stones or diseases like diabetes, you may opt to give your cat a little boost. Help your cat rid himself of bad toxins and impurities that years of commercial cat food poured into him. Add a homeopathic remedy that is proven to help pets purge toxins.

Don't shy away from including natural remedies in your raw food diet for cat or kitten diet. Long before anyone knew anything about diabetes, cancer or urinary tract infections our ancestors used herbs and nature to treat themselves and their animals. The Romans revered cats because cats kept the snakes and rodents under control - hmm, a natural raw food diet for cat and kittens way back then..

Article by Kate Rieger of Pet Natural Remedies.

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pictures_cats.jpgWe're all feeling the crunch, times are tight everywhere and unfortunately, pets are the ones who end up paying the price. Sometimes with tighter budgets, comes making choices about your cat's care that you never want to make. But if you've made a commitment to a cat, honor that commitment in the best way possible, by finding alternatives to abandoning your cat. YOur cat has come to love and rely on you and the sadness it feels when you abandon it is very real. So take some advice on how to save a little money while taking care of your cat.

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The best suggestion I can make to help you save money in the long run, is to keep your cat healthy. The two best ways to do that are to take your cat in for regular checkups and to keep your cats in shape.

The vet visit will make you incur expenses, but early treatment of almost all cat illnesses, results in less expensive and faster treatments. Seriously, if a disease or illness is caught early, it may only cost you the price of some medication, but if a disease is allowed to worsen, medications, hospital visits and special doctors add up quickly. Not to mention the fact that you might have to put your cat down if it gets really bad.

Keeping your cat in good shape is much easier to do, even if you are working double shifts or a second job to make ends meet. Dangle a string, toss a crumbled up piece of paper, or wiggle your toes under a blanket are all inexpensive ways to get you and your cat moving. You both need exercise, make it a game, you'll both be healthier for it.

Another idea is to prepare a few of your cat's meals or treats at home. If you are preparing chicken for yourself, make some without salt for your cat. There are lots of fancy recipes out there that contain flour, veggies, milk and other things that your cat really doesn't need, but if you want to cook up a batch of kitty cookies, be my guest.

cat_food_bowl.jpgMy guess is that the mashed up sardines will drive your cat wild before you even get the cookies in the oven, so why bother? Just give him a sardine - the whole thing. If you can get them with the heads on even better, then your cat is getting all the nutrients he needs. Supplement with a little cod liver oil, some good quality but not expensive cat food and you could save a lot of money.

I speak from experience. I buy Neo Medi-cal, an excellent cat food fortified with vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids all preserved naturally with vitamin E. Sounds really healthy and it is, he has the shiniest coat around, but all those healthy ingredients come with a healthy price tag.

So, I check in with the fishmonger at my grocery store and pick up small, whole smelts, sardines and other small fish he has on hand and ask him to grind them up really fine, head and all. I get this little package of fishy goo that Neo just loves! I freeze it into proportions - he can eat about 3 tablespoons at a time and a little goes a long way. I've managed to shave $50.00 off my cat food bill every month just by sharing my chicken and fish with him, and feeding him this raw ground up fishy goo.

I still buy the super enriched, Medi-cal, but he appreciates the variety and I think he is healthier for it, eating raw fish and meat is natural to a cat. So little by little I am hoping to make the transition to raw food with him. But for now, I am taking it slowly because he can't handle too much fishy goo and I do not like wiping up a fishy goo mess!

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pictures_cats_eating.jpgA while ago, I posted Can you feed cats too much milk? and the answer was yes, any amount of milk is too much milk. Milk is a treat and should be fed that way. Cats aren't actually able to digest the mild properly and often milk is the cause of obesity and even diarrhea or vomiting (even if it doesn't happen every time). But what if you've been feeding your cat milk everyday and your cat has come to rely on it, even acts like he's addicted to it?

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There are two schools of thought on ridding your cat of his addiction. The first is weening him off of it slowly. There are two ways you can do that. One way is gradually give him less and less milk. So if you normally give him 1/4 cup of milk everyday, give him 1/4cup less 1 tablespoon for 4 - 7 days, then 1/4 cup less 2 tablespoons for the next 4-7 days, until he is only getting 1 tablespoon every day. Then 1 tablespoon every second day, then gradually no milk at all.

Another way of weening your cat off of milk, and I like this idea a little better, is to slightly dilute the milk at first then gradually reduce the amount. So if you give your cat 1/4 cup of milk everyday, first put in a tablespoon of water then fill up the measuring cup with milk so the milk is diluted by one tablespoon for the first 4-7 days, then increase that to 2 tablespoons of water for the next 4-7 days then three and so on and so forth until his is drinking mostly water. But there will come a time when your cat won't be interested in the milk any more, because it is too diluted. So use this to your advantage and stop giving him anything but water.

The other school of thought is to redirect your cat's addiction to something you both can live with. So let's say he's been drinking milk everyday, give him less milk and supplement it with cat treats. Kind of like the idea presented above about weening your cat off gradually. You can ween him off and give him treats or catnip to take his mind off the milk. Eventually, you can feed him only treats instead of milk.

With any option you choose, it's important to remember that your cat is getting a significant amount of calories from the milk. well.. significant to a cat, and those calories have to be replaced. Finding some good quality treats that help clean teeth or that off some benefits like omega 3 fatty acids would be an ideal way to replace the calories lost from the milk. Another option is to try feeding your cat cod liver oil, an excellent source of nutrients and calories for Kitty.

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