Diet & Tips
I feed and recommend a raw diet, and though it may appear daunting, it can be fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
Making raw pet food at home isn’t hard to do at all in my honest opinion and I believe anyone can do it.
Once you make your own, you will realize that raw pet food isn’t complicated. There are different ways I do mine, depending on whether it’s for the cats or the dogs, or whether it’s for the puppies or the kittens. And also depending on the age of the kitten or puppy. Too elaborate, my puppies and kittens will go straight to raw once weaned and this means that the food has to be ground up into mush basically. For the kittens, I will primarily use whole quail which will be ground up and thus includes all the organs, bones, and naturally has omegas from the brain and eyes. Important to note thought that grinding meat decreases the taurine content and taurine is essential to a cat’s diet. Grinding increases the surface area of the meat and thus exposes more of the critical nutrients to the air. This results in oxidation of taurine which can result in a decrease in overall available taurine for the cat so if you feed your cat a ground raw diet it may not receive all the taurine it needs to thrive. However, when the kittens get a bit older and develop their little teeth to chew food, then I give them whole raw quail, leaving the meat intact and simply cutting into smaller pieces. This allows the animal to naturally clean their teeth! And the taurine is sufficient as it is not diminished like when ground up. If feeding raw prey diet to cats and kittens in this manner, then adding supplements is not really required as they get everything they need like they would in the wild. Cats, unlike dogs, are 100% carnivorous, and therefore require and thrive on foods that will simulate what they would find in the wild. An Abyssinian cat will therefore thrive on a diet of red meat, hearts, kidneys, small game prey such as quail or rabbit, and also raw chicken necks and wings.
A great way to start with raw when you’re a beginner is to buy premade dehydrated raw which has everything in it that your new puppy or kitten will need.
You can use this as a topper or mix in with the homemade raw you are using and therefore ensuring your new friend gets all the imperative nutrients they need. I still do this myself and find that Canisource Grand Cru and Primal are my two favourite go to brands. Again, because it is imperative that a developing kitten and puppy gets everything they need nutritionally, this takes the guessing out of it as you can mix the dehydrated raw pre mixed products with your raw meat and feel confident you are not missing anything. I regularly do this with all my animals.
In regards to my French Bulldogs,
they appreciate me cutting up their meat into smaller pieces as they get so excited the like to gulp their food. This makes it safer so they do not choke while gulping as they tend gorge rather than chew. I use a variety of methods for the dogs. I use ground meat that I buy from a butcher and it has the proper ratio of muscle meat, organ and bones or I will cut up a whole chicken or quail, for example, and add a raw egg, Super Greens For Animal Friends (ask me about this and I can tell you where I get this product from), probiotics (either plain yogurt or a probiotic product called Forco – also ask me about this), and I will throw in wild berries, raw herring or smelt, fish oil if I don’t have raw fish available, and more! I change it up every day so one day they might get turkey necks, beef liver, beef heart, fish oil, a raw egg and some berries whereas the next day raw herring, chicken wings, chicken hearts and plain yogurt. Other days I will just cut up an entire quail for them which has the correct ratio of organ, bone and muscle as it is whole prey. This is just to give you some ideas. Online, there is a wealth of information about raw feeding and as long as you are using the correct ratio of muscle, bone and organ, then you are off to a good start. Many recipes can be found online and you’ll find what works for you. It is important to alternate proteins to help prevent allergies, and to get your animal used to various things (and hopefully not get too picky)!
What does a homemade raw meat diet then consist of? Most importantly, it is more than just meat. The 80/10/10 or 80/10/5/5 ratio for raw feeding represents whole prey. If a dog or cat were to eat a whole animal, it is believed that on average
- 80% of the animal would be muscle meat,
- 10% would be bone,
- 5% would be liver, and
- 5% would be offal or secreting organs
Cats are obligate carnivores which means they need to eat 100% meat.
They have zero need for grains, fruits or vegetables. All types of cats in the wild eat raw meat. Domestic cats naturally would eat mice, small rabbits, rodents, birds and insects in the wild but since I personally am a bit squeamish about rodents, I prefer quail or baby chicks for the cats.
So once you have the whole quail, baby chick, or rabbit – what do you do with the feathers and fur? Well, it may be a bit morbid for some, but feathers and fur can actually greatly benefit your cat! Although they provide no nutritional value, they do serve other important purposes, such as natural fibre to help cleanse the digestive tract, and also a natural de-wormer!
Feathers and fur are fibre in a Prey Model Raw Diet. They act as a stool bulker making poops more regular and easier to pass and because they’re not digested, when your cat or dog eats these, it pushes everything through, making the digestive tract completely clear and leaving behind no food residue for harmful bacteria to grow. While scraping past the various entrails, feathers and fur pull any worms or eggs out with them thereby resulting in a natural deworming process! A completely cleared digestive tract, made possible by the consumption of feathers & fur ensures that vitamins, minerals, & nutrients entering the animal’s body can be better and more readily absorbed. Also, as an extra bonus, feathers and fur help to keep teeth clean by wiping away surface plaque so your cat doesn’t build up residual tartar whereas the whole chunks of meat and bones are what clean under the actual gum line.