Feeding Raw Pets

I'm curious, I have a cat but she's lived off cat food her entire life - which thinking about it, it's pretty cruel! I've started giving her more tuna (Which I know has traces of mercury etc - but hey Im trying)

Im stuck in a moral dilema, I want to feed my cat what she should eat, but at the same time I went vegetarian because I dont believe in eating meat so I dont want to support the meat industry - Im in an ethical pickle... :D

So, Im curious, what pets do you have and what do you feed them?


  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Go to this website, you will find everything you need to know about feeding a whole prey diet.


  • missemymissemy Raw Newbie

    I know, but I read a lot of books on it years ago with my other mini doxies. I learned that many vegans make the mistake of putting their dogs or cats on a meat free diet. But that's what they eat in nature, they have the teeth for it. (isn't that one of the arguments we have to take up with people, our teeth are not sharp?) they were slowing down at age 7, their backs were going out about once a year, would take them to the vets (...$300 later for xrays etc). They had put on enough weight so we were having to take them upstairs, I then started feeding them real meat, (also only fed them once a day as dogs at least are made to be able to fast between kills, not graze like most pet owners believe) so were able to once again go up and down the stairs like puppies ! their backs never went out (so much for the theory that dachshunds shouldn't go up and down stairs) and while the Mom had siezures occasionally, and the daughter had en enlarged heart....they both lived till age 15!!! I now feed our new puppies real meat with a little quality dry. I even make them raw fish from my husbands fishing trips. The meat I use it by country pet from new zealand. They have it for cats too. (most health food stores either carry it, or can get it) it is slow cooked so it kills the parasites, while preserving the nutrients as much as possible. I did raw meat at first, but it was kind of messy, and we don't have a source for hormone free meat where we live.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    yes cats and dogs are carnivores. however, you need to make sure that you are feeding bones. There is no calcium and other mineral balances without the bones. The whole prey is the best form as it is a complete package of the perfect balance of nutrients. You can buy whole prey at prey4pets.com It seems like it can get expensive, but I feed my cat half a bird (chicks or quail) twice a day. Variety is also important. If you feed your pet a vegetarian diet you are putting your pet in a big health risk. By buying the whole prey online, you are not supporting the meat industry. You are buying from a source that specifically breeds the animals for raw pet consumption.

  • missemymissemy Raw Newbie

    What I was taught is that egg shells are calium. Albeit in this group they are not readily available, but my husband eats eggs. I freeze them to kill any bacteria (or cook them, but it smells). I put the meat with okra (cuz it's gooey and makes everything come out of the good processer easily) and egg shells, garlic ( I know, some say dogs aren't supposed to have garlic, but I gave it to my other dogs for 8 years) maybe some other things, and let the s-blade do it's job. Then I freeze them in tupperware, and take them out as I need them. There is a book or movement calles "bones" for dogs I think. interesting rawkidchef about the prey. Good for you !

  • Oh I didnt want to put her on a Vegetarian Diet - and although I know kitty meat is (to some extent meat) I couldnt imagine myself feeding my cat actual meat or whole prey.

    Which then begs the question for me, is it right for me to keep a pet.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    just because egg shells contain calcium doesn't mean they're a viable only-source. There are complex phosphorous-calcium ratios which are in the bones. Bones are crucial for a cat's wellbeing.

  • I'm not clear on whether you think all meat is cruel or if you think the feed lot industry is cruel. That last part (feed lot farming) is why I became a vegetarian over 23 years ago. My brain almost melted once I found out how crue an industry it really was. Now that there are grass fed farms cropping up, I've been reconsidering....but its been so long for me that it feels like I'd have to force it. Not much point in that, and I'm happy not eating meat.

    I've always had pets (I can't live without the soul comfort they give) and have always had issues with not being able to get prepared pet foods that weren't sourced from feed lot animals (the most widespread and cruelest practice that exists in the USA today, as far as I'm concerned). Before a few years ago, it never even occurred to me that I could prepare my own pet food.

    So, for my pets health, as well as in order to find a way to make sure their food wasn't at the expense of enormous suffering from feed lot animals, I'm feeding them a biologically appropriate raw diet that I prepare at home.

    And yes, being elbow deep in all that ground meat once every two months (I keep a chest freezer so that I only have to do it that often) is NOT my favorite thing. But I love my little guys, and I want to honor (to the best of my ability) the animals that lost their lives so that mine could live. I buy from a regional farm that exclusively raises animals for pet foods. The woman who runs the farm is very careful to treat the animals with respect while they're alive, gives them a good life, and ends their lives in as pain-free a manner as possible.

    I've noticed that I don't waste nearly as much food now. When it came from a can, I was able to separate myself from what was *in* the can. Now I'm very clear that a specific animal was killed to make a certain batch of food....and I send thanks for that with every meal.

    It seems more honest, more respectful, and my own animals have never been healthier.

    Is it right for you to keep a pet? Only you can answer that.

    With all the cats being euthanized every day for lack of homes, what do you think would happen to your cat....or to the cat who would not have a spot in the home your cat would take....if you decided not to keep her? As someone who works actively in cat rescue, that's another kind of death sentence right there, I'm sorry to say. Each time I say no to taking a cat off the kill list at the shelter, I'm saying that cat will die. Given their evolved need for an emotional connection with people, I don't see that as much different than ordering up pet food from the farm....either way, a life is lost. This is simply how *I* see it, and I know others won't and don't see it that way.

    There are no cut and dry moral choices on this topic. My choice ends up being to minimize harm (I feed small prey, but don't feed tiny prey. I have this weird thing about wanting to maximize the amount of food per life lost while still trying to feed appropriate prey for my pets. Yeah, it gets complicated :-)

    Good luck in your choice.

  • (Edited because I wrote "bones" in place of "eggshells")

    Eggshells are acceptable, as long as its the **elemental** calcium that is used as a measuring guideline rather than the total calcium content.

    The phosphorous in the Cal/Phos ratios come from the meat.

    an example

    USDA tables 1 lb beef (I selected raw, grass fed ground, no organs):

    calcium: is 32mg

    phos: is 807

    Since the desired ratio for cats is roughly 1:1.2

    Phos 807 x 1.2 (desirable ca to phos ratio) = 968.4 minus 32 mg already in

    raw food = 936.4mg calcium I need to add...

    5g (or 5000mg) eggshell x 36% (amt of elemental calcium in finely ground eggshell) =

    1800mg elemental calcium.

    So, to correct the above ratio for the meat, you would need approx .5 tsp of finely ground eggshell to balance a pound of that meat.

    Me? I have enough trouble mixing up 40 pounds of meat every two months with supplementation (taurine, etc) so the less math I have to do the better....so I just use whole ground animal and add a little boneless meat and organs to the mixture :-)

  • ddigiacomoddigiacomo Raw Newbie

    I have been using the Raw patties from primal. I was doing it myself but it became way too time consuming and expensive.

  • As far as health and morality goes on this topic- first off, if your cat isn't fixed, get it fixed so there won't be more cats out there looking for homes (you mentioned a moral issue about whether you should even keep a pet). You already have the cat, so personally I don't believe it is more ethical to not keep her (otherwords, give her away to a shelter). And, generally there are so many cats looking for a good home that keeping a pet is probably saving her from being euthenized.

    I thought at first you were wanting to make your cats vegetarian, but I see I missunderstood (good, because that would be really unhealthy for them).

    As far as whole prey, I would think that would have to be something you start them out on when they are really young. I know my cats wouldn't take it it now (at their ages). A good transtion if you were feeding them dry food is to switch to canned first. That's what I'm doing now. I tried grinding up some raw chicken, and they wouldn't touch it. Then I found a cool site (but don't still have it marked) from someone who makes their own raw cat food (ginds up meat and bones) and does pretty much what Jellie described. The site owner suggested transitioning to canned food first if you do dry right now. Strangely enough, it has been a bit rough just getting my one girl to eat canned (she's liking it now, and looking MUCH healthier already).

    A total dry cat food diet is really bad for them.

  • My cat is neutured, my friend owns a cat shelter so i know the importance of that. I would *never* give her away for my own beliefs either - I've had her since I was 3 - she's *very* old moggy - yet suprisingly agile, I might have done something right lol.

    The issue I have is, whether or not the animals on farm have been raised nicely, is they are still imprisoned for the point of food - and yes, the food is for cats (and dogs) but is that right that we continue to slaughter animals for our pets because we want them by our side.

    Which is why I question myself.... If I have this opinion am I being hypocritical to have a pet.

    ..I do get the point that something is always going to die for the sake of our cats and dogs to live, but there seems a better fairness for prey if they at least have a chance at freedom.

    That is my moral dilemma. Also I know by buying cat food (she's on wet food) Im still supporting the meat industry in some way, but going back to my original statment here... I couldnt be without her and I wouldnt give her up.

    *Sigh* It's a tennis match in my mind and I have to suffer at the hands of my thoughts every day lol.

  • I hear you. And I think you are showing a great deal of compassion even asking those quesions.

    Its a tough call.

    As I said (and as your friend can tell you) that each cat or dog that is not taken into a home from a shelter is eventually put to sleep somewhere (even "no kill" shelters generally just send them somewhere else to have it done), so each way there will sadly be a death.

    Only you can answer for yourself where you ultimately stand on this ethical issue. As I said, my own is more about how the animals are respected and treated while they *are* alive, as (IMO) all things on this earth end living things to feed themselves, so for me that's not the issue as that's the one part of nature we humans haven't been able to undo. Unfortunately, we've warped it by devaluing the process for many living things (and turned much of it into abject cruelty), and THAT is what I do my best not to contribute to.

    I wish you luck in your process. And I'm VERY glad to hear that your little moggy has a lifelong friend no matter what :-)

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    rawpassion, what is your opinion on the whole prey?

  • Jellie: That was very sweet of you thank you. My cat literally is a member of the family - all my extended family know her etc, she has her own seat on the sofa, I've shared my bed with her since I was like six! So, yes - she's got a home for life..and the best seat in the living room.. :P

    Rawkidchef: If my cat catches it herself - which she used to and leave it lovingly out for me :S then I dont mind, but I couldnt feed her it myself.

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