Warning: this blog contains some details squeamish readers might find unpleasant…
A couple of weeks I blogged about my cat’s diet. Slightly off-topic I admit, but knowing how fond the internet is of cats, I thought regular readers might forgive me.
I’ve been experimenting with feeding my podgy puss a raw food diet to a) slim him down, and b) improve his health, specifically his digestion. My cat is sick after eating a lot. The general household rule is that whoever discovers the pile of puke wherever it lurks clears it up. My husband sometimes claims he only spotted it just before he left for work. Hmm…
The raw food diet for cats is rather like the low-carb diet we propose for people with diabetes. Admittedly, it doesn’t include mayonnaise, cheese or double cream and other such goodies, but it’s made up of unprocessed food and is very low in carbohydrates because it doesn’t include kibble, a product bulked up with grains.
Hard to Resist
Experts warn that patience and persistence are necessary for the transition. As Sandra, a reader of this blog commented, it’s a bit harder to be persistent when you’re at home with your cat all day. My moggie has trained me very well. He knows I’m a soft touch. A little pitiful meowing, or staring pointedly at the cupboard where the cat food is kept is hard to resist.
I can’t interest him in raw bones at all. I bought a box of them from Asda and even chopped them up for him. (Little aside, if you want to feel like a proper carnivore, cut bones up.) Nothing doing.
He refused to touch liver too, apart from the first time I put it down. Again, I’ve read that cats are very fussy about the freshness of meat. Liver goes off so fast, I think it would need to be fresh out of the animal for him to eat it. Years ago, my dad used to shoot rabbits, and he’d give them to the farm cats. He’d take the back legs and rip them apart down the middle, and the cats would dive into them with tremendous enthusiasm. You don’t get fresher than that, but it’s not something that is practical for me to do. I’m not keen on the idea either!
Eating too Fast
I’ve had the most success with raw mince and fresh, diced beef. As the diced meat is a bit harder to eat quickly, I prefer giving that than mince. The raw diet hasn’t stopped my cat throwing up, and he often throws up if he eats too fast. What’s worse? Clearing up regurgitated raw meat or cat food? Hard to tell.
What I have noticed is that I think he isn’t whining as much. The constant whinging for food I had put down to hunger because of poor quality nutrition and/or his bulimic tendencies seems to have eased off a bit. Is he more energetic? I don’t know. Freddie is an old-ish cat, as he is coming up for ten years old this year. He still sleeps a lot, but he also goes outside and jumps up and down on everything.
(Hygiene freaks look away now—yes, everything including the kitchen units and the dining table.)
Half and Half
I’m not feeding him an entirely raw food diet. It is expensive, and as he isn’t eating a lot of the components that make up the ideal raw food diet for cats, I worry that he is missing out on certain nutrients, so I’ve kept in the kibble just to be on the safe side. I think asking my sister-in-law to feed him raw food while we are on holiday would be taking favour-asking too far.
As for his weight… ah. It’s either gone up or stayed the same. The last time he was at the vet’s (October), he weighed 6kg. We weighed him a few times after that and his weight went down to 5.7kg. Now, it’s 6kg again. Argh! I suspect he gets fed elsewhere. Freddie’s a bold boy. He happily wanders into other people’s houses. There are plenty of cats in my neighbourhood, so he’s probably helping himself to food. What can I do, apart from attaching a tag to his collar – “PLEASE DON’T FEED ME”?!
The raw food diet hasn’t achieved what I wanted it to do – better digestion and a lighter-weight cat. That said, I’ll probably keep up the half raw/half cat food diet. I don’t know if I’ve given it enough time to work. I should start weighing out what I’m giving him to make sure it isn’t too much.
Wish me luck!