Food Change Question

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Opheliah, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Opheliah

    Opheliah New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2021
    I'm just wondering if anyone here has had any experience with switching their cat from a commercial dry food, (or even commercial wet food), to a fully raw meat (no veggies or fruit) diet. If you have, could you share your experience? Thank you!
     
    Ilianna and Socrates likes this.
  2. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I changed my diabetic cat from a wet canned diet to a home made diet with no problems. It was mostly raw but I cooked the chicken meat as it seemed to upset Sheba. If you are currently feeding a dry food and want to switch to a raw diet you will need to do it slowly and monitor the BG levels as the BG will probably drop significantly.
    Your kitty will be on a much better diet with the raw food instead of the dry.

    Here is a link to transitioning a cat from dry to a wet diet
    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/transitioning-your-cat-from-dry-to-wet-food.956/
     
    Opheliah likes this.
  3. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I've switched my kitties to a raw diet.

    You can't simply feed raw food. You need to add supplement in order for your cat's diet to be nutritionally complete. There are supplements, like taurine, that are essential to a cat's health. Lisa Pierson's website on feline nutrition has a recipe for making a raw diet.

    I've used a pre-mix to provide the supplement. This is a powder that contains all of the needed supplements. It's mixed with water and added to the raw food. The one I currently use is FoodFurLife. I make a 2lb batch and freeze the food in ice trays so it's pre-portioned. I defrost and feed my guys. It's been particularly useful since one of my cats had IBS and it's been an easy way to give him novel proteins.
     
  4. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Yes, my first diabetic had IBS/IBD (diagnosis not clear), and as time went on he became unable to tolerate all kinds of processed foods. So I switched him to a raw diet, and he did brilliantly on that, especially with rabbit and turkey.
    At the same time I had the idea to try to transition all my kitty crew to raw food (though they currently eat a mix of canned and raw).

    When I first offered my lot raw food though they weren't interested at all and didn't even recognise it as food! (Well, that is with the exception of my old tortie, who'd always regularly supplemented her diet with mice that she'd caught anyway...)
    So, I started by adding just a small tsp of plain minced turkey to their dishes of canned food. And then, over a couple of weeks, I increased it until it made up about half of what was in their bowls. There was a point where they suddenly 'got a taste for it', and they'd look up at me with big shiny eyes as if to say, 'Geez, where have you been hiding this stuff all these years?!!' :smuggrin: ...And at that point I knew that we could start feeding them a 'proper' raw diet.

    Sometimes I've fed commercially made complete raw foods, and sometimes I've made my own. But my cats didn't like my homemade offerings as much as the commercial foods (!), so they get the pricier commercially made stuff, and some canned food too. But they would much prefer the raw diet.

    Eliz
     
  5. Opheliah

    Opheliah New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2021
    Wonderful wonderful replies and info! I really appreciate it!

    My girl Sophia started her life with a diet of wet food served twice a day, and always had a bowl of dry food available (although she didn't bother much with it--she nibbled at it only once in a while). About two years ago I decided to take a closer look at my own diet and completely rid myself of insulin resistance issues (and lost over 100 pounds) by eating a whole-food low carbohydrate diet. It was then that I started looking into the things that were in Sophia's diet and was pretty horrified by what I found. I am thankful that she does not have diabetes, but I know that with the ingredients that are commonly added to commercial pet food she could easily have been at some point in her life. For the last year I have been feeding her only meals I make at home with species appropriate meats (chicken, turkey, rabbit mostly) and the differences I see in her are pretty astounding. Her eyes are bright and alert, her coat is shiny and soft (and extra fluffy), she has a lot of energy to chase and play, and she shed the few extra pounds I hadn't even realized she was carrying around before. It makes my heart very happy to see these changes in her and to see her acting just like a kitten again even though she's going on 8.

    Since the turn around with my own health (and Sophie's) I've been eating, sleeping, and breathing cat and dog nutrition. I'm often asked why I don't help other people with their nutrition-related health issues, but the truth is that I really, really love cats and dogs, and I know that they don't have a voice to tell their humans that they're not getting the nutrients they really need for a healthy life. My research continues, and undoubtedly will for a very long time. I appreciate every response to my question because it helps give me perspective on what a whole-food species appropriate diet can do for our feline friends. Thank you all!
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  6. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    A raw diet can be really great for cats (it certainly has been for mine). But it is just important to get the balance right. So, we need to be feeding the equivalent of 'the whole mouse' rather than just 'fillet of mouse', so to speak... And that means including bone, blood, fat, brain, and organ meat, etc; or, if not including them directly then we need to be meeting those nutritional requirements in other ways through use of supplements, etc. And that can be the tricky bit if making food at home. It really does take a bit of initial homework to get that aspect in balance... :cat:
     
  7. Opheliah

    Opheliah New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2021
    If you don't mind my asking, what things have you noticed are different since you made the switch? I noticed that your signature includes "Remission (maybe, finally?!)", is that still the case for your Bertie?
     
  8. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Bertie had IBS or IBD (no definitive diagnosis) and had increasingly worsening gut issues over the years, with lots of bloody diarrhoea at times. And his physical condition and demeanour deteriorated when that happened. But when he was on a raw diet those issues almost completely resolved.

    I don't 'think' the raw diet had any direct effect on his blood glucose, but I can't say for sure. He was on insulin for nearly 11 years, starting out as a high dose cat, then needing less and less over time. He had tiny amounts of insulin on an 'as needed' basis every few days for the last couple of those years, and then went into remission. He stayed in remission for the last year and an half of his life and died aged 20 (about 18 months ago).
    ...I adopted a second diabetic two years ago. She's not on a raw diet but I have started sneaking a bit of raw turkey mince into some of her meals to see if she'll get the taste for it. She'd eaten dry food all her life prior to coming here, so getting her to eat wet food was the first challenge. I will continue to try to get more raw into her diet because she'll only eat one type of wet cat food and I want to expand the range of nutrients that she gets in her diet. It's a very slow process with her. But I try to never underestimate the effect of many small efforts in the same direction... :smuggrin:
     

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