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Feline Raw Diet
**Ultimately, it is up to each individual to chose
what diet they feel is best for their pets. This is the story of our experience,
combined with extensive research for our search for the best possible food for
our beloved pets.
IMPORTANT!!!! Raw diets must be
specifically designed to contain certain proportions. The good news is that the
recipe below is balanced as it is. You must do this correctly
or your cat will not be receiving proper nutrition. You have to be
cognizant of all the minerals and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy cat....
especially taurine. While a balanced raw diet is the best thing you can feed
your cat, an UNbalanced raw diet is the worst thing you can feed your cat.
Table of Contents:
My Personal Story
Recipe & Preparation
Meat Grinders and Other Tools
MY PERSONAL STORY
I fed commercial diet including kibble and canned food for many years and my cats seemed to do fine. So I
thought. I bought all the most expensive foods and thought I was treating
my cats like royalty. Then, I changed for the better thanks to my friend Carole
Bohanan-Uhler at Destyny Sphynx. I saw Carole's cats for
over 5 years and they were
always in good condition, beautiful skin, cleaner ears, good weight, firm, non-smelly stools
and were good producers with large healthy litters. Then, there were a multitude
of pet food recalls that occurred in the past few years. It was scary that the
pet food market was not regulated, had poisonous, harmful ingredients and I had
no idea what was really going into my cats' food. I finally decided to try
feeding raw in 2008 and I noticed my cats stayed cleaner, skin
condition improved, less stool and less smelly stool. Some of my cats that
had been overweight lost weight and are in much better condition.
Feeding raw requires me to obtain the ingredients, but once I figured out the
best places to go it becomes very easy. It takes about 2 hours of time
from start to clean-up time. A lot of people state they do not have enough time.
It only needs to be done once a month. I certainly have 2 hours a month to make
my cats raw food. Same amount of time it takes me to make a homemade cake.
Raw Food Recipe & Other Ways to Feed Raw
There are different ways to feed raw, here we feed using
ground up meat and bone. Some people feed the whole prey model. This works well
with dogs, but cats tend to drag food off and eat it or even hide it. For
sanitary reasons here, we choose to use the ground up meat bone, etc.
I use Carole's raw recipe, which can be found here:
There are other recipes, but this one requires no supplements.
(Example: Rather than adding Omega 3 to meals, feed the salmon cubes. It
is better form and they enjoy eating them!)
Here is another recipe that is species
Calculating what you will need:
**All amounts in chart are in pounds
||Select Amount of
Pounds You Wish
Monthly Preparation (takes about 1 to 2 hours) (Again, this is directly
from Carole's website with permission)
This takes about 1.5-2.0 hours.
In a clean area set up grinder.
Use the coarse size cutting plate that comes with your grinder. Grind and
thoroughly mix together the meats. The way I try to insure that I have mixed the
meats together well is to divide the meat into 6-10 groups, with an equal
proportion of chicken leg quarters, ground beef, beef heart, beef liver, and
chicken liver in each group. That is each group would have the same percentage
of the various meats as described in the Meats section above. Only take one
group of meat out of the refrigerator so that it stays as cold as possible until
the grinding is complete and the completed packages can be placed in your
Grind one group of meat at a time. I’ve found that it works
best to start putting a couple pieces of chicken in the grinder, then add the
heart and liver pieces, then complete the group
grinding with the remaining pieces of chicken. The pieces of chicken that follow
the heart and liver helps to push the heart and liver
through the grinder.
You obviously don’t need to grind the ground beef, so add the ground beef to
the just completed group of ground meat and mix it all together thoroughly in a
large mixing bowl, using either your clean hand, or a large kitchen spoon.
I then spoon the mixture into quart sized
ZipLok bags and stack them in my freezer. Place each
group of bags into the freezer immediately, BEFORE starting the next group. You
don’t want the meat to be un-refrigerated any longer than necessary.
Repeat the process above for each group of meat.
Questions & Myths
Now the raw food is made, the most common
question is "How much do I feed?"
is, just like any animal, it depends on size, activity level, metabolism and
age. All should be fed a minimum of 2 times a day. Kittens and pregnant queens
should be fed at least 3 times a day. I would start with feeding a 1/3 cup to
your cat and adjust up or down according to how much they eat. If there is some
left over, then feed a little less. If the cat seems hungry after, feed more.
Why should I feed raw?
First and foremost, it is a species appropriate diet for felines. Think
logically about what they would eat naturally. Mice and birds! They are obligate
carnivores - they need to eat meat. Unlike dogs or humans, they do not need any
vegetables of any sort.
Once you feed raw, your cat will look better, be in good weight, and be
healthier and their stools will be less. And, not that it matters to most caring
pet parents, but the cost is so much less than any commercial diet. Commercial
diets are riddled with problems, recalls and inappropriate content such as wheat
gluten, corn and other unnecessary fillers.
Can I substitute items?
The recipe is balanced
as it is. It is important to make it as it is. I have been asked if
boneless breast meat can be used. The simple answer is no. The reason is
the balance if off then. White meat has less taurine, the lack of skin makes it
not have the proper fat content and no bone means the calcium is missing.
Dark meat Poultry and beef heart is very high in taurine. Do
not feed beef, venison and especially rabbit as a sole protein
source. Again, do your research to make sure the diet is balanced.
Myth: There are good dry foods
Unfortunately, the only thing dry food is good for is convenience for humans.
It is absolutely not good for your cat. It has a lot of the wrong ingredients,
and the right
ones it may have - they have been processed and lost a lot of the nutritional
value. Some of the protein is added and it is not from animals - but plants!!!
Cats cannot process plant material. It is not the same.
Worst of all - dry food has the wrong moisture content. The moisture is only
about 10%. It does not have
enough moisture to truly be healthy. This contributes to a
multitude health issues such as kidney issues and urinary tract crystals.
If you are not going to feed raw, at least do your cats a favor and feed them
canned wet food.
Note: Never add any moisture (water, milk, broth) to dry food as it causes
bacteria to grow.
Myth: Kibble is good for cat's teeth
WRONG. It is not good and because kibble contains carbs, it is actually bad
for your cat's teeth. The kibble shatters before it can really work the gums.
The raw diet contains bone and the cats actually have to work their mouths and
teeth. This keeps their teeth clean and in tip top shape.
Myth: Vets are against feeding raw and only
support feeding commercial diets
Vets who have had experience feeding raw food and have actually seen the
results have and will support the raw food diet. Unless there is actual
experience with the raw and seeing the results, I would hesitate to take the
Myth: My cat will get sick from salmonella or
some other bacteria.
WRONG. Cats have short digestive tracts and are naturally equipped to eat raw
safely. Their digestive systems are highly acidic. This is exactly what they eat
safely in the wild.
Myth: Homecooked meals are just as good and more
These are deficient in minerals and nutrients because the food is cooked,
especially taurine. Anything natural is best... this means the less nutrients
you have to add back in, the better. If you want to make a home cooked foods,
please research carefully to make sure you are feeding a completely balanced
diet and watch their condition.
Myth: Raw food is too expensive.
In my opinion, price in selection of food should not ever be a determining
factor for what you feed your cats. However, one of the best things about
homemade raw is that is is actually one of the least expensive ways to feed your
Here is a table showing the usual prices I pay for Raw Food
Please note: prices can vary in your area or weekly due to sales.
Sometimes I pay more, sometimes less. But this is the usual prices.
||Price per pound
||DIVIDED BY 100 POUNDS
||Cost is $1.07 a pound.
MYTH: I do not have time to feed raw
This is one excuse I hear all the time. Feeding raw to your cats should only
take about 20 minutes of your day. My adult cats get fed raw two times a day.
Pregnant, nursing moms or babies get fed three times a day. It takes me 10
minutes each time. Dedicated pet owners should have that minimum amount of time
for their pets.
MYTH: My cats eat hard food only and will never ever switch to
Feeding raw make take some patience and dedication. Some cats can take up to
3 months to completely switch successfully. DO NOT give up in the first week. It
may be frustrating but it is worth it. Cats must eat a little bit otherwise they
develop fatty liver disease. If you feed them a tablespoon of their normal food
in the morning and at night, they will be hungry enough to eat the raw but still
not completely starve if they do not the first couple of days.
Myth: Feeding the Salmon cube everyday is bad
because of mercury.
Many fish have small amounts of mercury in them and in large quantities they
can be bad. No fish should never be used as a sole source of their diet The
small amount of Salmon (1 inch cube) you supplement your kitty with - the
benefits far outweigh the cons. Plus if you make sure the salmon you purchase is
from a source that is low in mercury, it is even better.
Salmon is known as one of the super foods and is great in nutrition.
About Garlic and Onions
These are BAD and TOXIC to cats. Make sure you do not add them to your raw
diet. Garlic is considered a natural remedy for many things, like fleas, - but do not feed it
to cats! Some more bad foods:
My Experience with Electric Meat Grinders
I started off with a Maverick meat grinder and it was ok. It was a less
expensive model and it would get stuck. They no longer make this model, so
improvements may have been made.
Then I purchased
the Northern Tools $130 grinder.
very well, and it probably the best grinder for that price range. However, I had to cut up the leg
quarters into several pieces with the meat cleaver. Northern Tools offers
insurance on the meat grinders so it can be fixed for up to 3 years. I would recommend getting a larger
meat grinder with
at least 750 horsepower. If you decide you do not want it, you can always resell
it on Craig's List. I sincerely regret not getting the larger one first.
I just invested in the Weston #32. The Weston #22 probably
would have worked as a great machine, but I decided to go all out. The Weston
expensive, and heavy, but will be well worth it. Other friends have this and
have been happy with this machine. Here is one place to get this machine.
this website you can see the meat being ground and how easy it is. Shop
around, you can find good deals, especially if you get free shipping. The
shipping can cost $50-$80 on these grinders.
Other Equipment and Items I Use
|Meat cleaver that is good and heavy is a must!!!! Especially if you have a
smaller, less powerful grinder|
|Cutting board (place cloth underneath so it does not slide around and absorbs
shock some) |
|You might need an extra freezer to store your raw food. |
|Ziploc Bags or Containers|
|Large Stainless Steel Bowls to place meat and mix in|
|Space in Refrigerator to put meat in so it stays cold while
working on batches. |
Supplements are not really needed for this raw diet recipe. Any supplements you
decide use must be researched before you include them in your pet's diet. Not
all are safe or proven. Do not take just one person's word on it. Cats often
metabolize things differently than other animals. What is safe for a human may
not be for a cat. Examples are avocado, onions, garlic, chocolate.
Some people add immoplex glandular or l lysine. On occasion, I will add
Here is one link for the Immoplex Glandular:
If you have a sick cat, talk to your vet, you might want to supplement
Note on Raw Food Safety
|I clean and then bleach the kitchen counters and every piece
of equipment BEFORE and
AFTER I grind.|
|I use disposable gloves while grinding and change them
|I do my grinding in small batches so the meat is out at room
temperature as little as possible, no more than 10 minutes. |
|When feeding, meat should not be left out for more than 20
minutes unless the dish is somehow kept cold. |
|Area around where the cats eat raw must be disinfected after
eating. I use good ole bleach and water. |
|I do a lot of dishes from this, if I am short on time, I use good
quality paper bowls to feed, so I can maintain sanitary
Continue your research... here are some links:
Join a Raw yahoo groups for information!
Raw Food Testimonials
Some people are unsure about feeding raw. I thought some testimonials would
help encourage people to see the benefits of feeding raw and how wonderful it
is. If you feed raw and love it, please let me know, I will be happy to
add you to my page.
The following testimonial is from Lettie who purchased kittens from me in
2011. These girls are in perfect condition and always look beautiful. I always
love to get their pictures. They literally are in such good condition - they
~Addie & Maeva were on a processed diet at first. One of them started
showing signs she had an allergy to something in the food. Thanks to this page,
I decided to start making their food at home almost a year ago. They're alert,
energetic & happy! The vet they go to doesn't promote the raw diet, but she
loves the fact they are perfectly healthy in her opinion. Bright white teeth,
soft skin, & perfect body weight. Also, The girls always travel on long road
trips with us a lot & feeding a fresh raw food has yet to interfere like I
thought it would! Thank You Citizenkat for this simple recipe & helpful page! ~Lettie
This is from an email (pet buyer prefers her privacy). It is always so
exciting to know people are feeding raw
On Jun 9, 2012,
at 8:27 PM, M.H.
Here is the link
It has a 1 HP motor and did great when I used it. I will continue to grind plenty of meat once a month - I had never used a meat grinder before this and I found that it was no problem and expect it should last a long time since it only needs to work once a month. I have a butcher close to me where I go to get the different meats.
By the way, I am a vegetarian but grew up eating all types of meats. I changed to being vegetarian (very slowly over several years - first I cut back to fish and turkey only and then I went all the way and am learning a lot about tofu and fresh herbs that I now grow on the balcony) for the health benefits and I completely understand that the cats need all meat for their health benefits. I have never seen healthier cats, they are so calm, content, and smart - they are impressive and a gift to have in my life.
Juelz wrote this about her kitties: