Service Cats: Prey Model Raw Made Easy Part 4: Dezi’s Journey to Raw

MeOW-llo Welcome to Service Cat Furiday. Here we tackle any topic and answer any question you may have about the frisky feline in your home. Ifin you’ve missed any post in this series or want to reread any, just click the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And purrlease leave your questions and topic suggestions in the comments section below or send us an email via our Contact page. Fur the last few weeks, we’ve been talking Nutrition, one of the most impurrtant aspects of kitty’s life. We’re getting some great questions, so purrlease stay tuned; and get your questions in. Today, we’ll be talking about how to switch kitty from kibble/pet feed to Raw. Of course, this technique will work fur switching kitty to any new food or even feed ifin that’s your choice. Still to come in this mini series is a look at Supplements fur a Raw fed kitty, the actual Nutritional value of a Raw diet, Prescription Diets vs. Raw, and Common fears and misconceptions regarding a Raw diet.

 

 

 

Dezi lays on tree with harness and Service Cat logo

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

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Service Cats: Pet Food Ingredients Pt. 5

Our Recommendations

 

MeOW-llo Welcome to Service Cat Furiday fur another episode of Training Tips and Everything Feline. You can find al the posts in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like to see purrlease let us know in the comment section below or send us an email via our Contact page. We will be wrapping up our mini-series on Pet Food Ingredients today. However, this is a huge topic that we will revisit from time to time. Please stay with us. Pet Food Nutrition doesn’t have to be as daunting, confusing or expensive as one might think. We had to present you with the disturbing facts surrounding pet feed before getting to the good parts. You know, bad new furst? MOL 

 

 

Dezi lays on tree with harness and Service Cat logo

 

 

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Raena in tiger kitty holster

 

 

 

     We’ve been asked numerous times what we suggest kitties be fed, our recommendations regarding wet cat food, what brands are the best and how to transition kitty from one food/feed to another. Today, we’ll address these questions as best we can. Ideally, cats being obligate carnivores, should eat Raw, or at least as close as possible. No bag of kibble or can of who knows exactly what is actually a “Species Appropriate” diet. One of mommy’s biggest pet peeves is the Royal Canin peeps who overcharge and claim Persian cats need a different food than Siamese. People, all cats innards are exactly the same and digest nutrients the exact same way. Targeted advertising should be totally ignored when making food choices fur your pets. Just stick to the facts and not the pretty pictures on the packaging or some advertising blurb. 

 

 

Our Recommendations:

 

     What brand do we recommend? Which wet food is best? Our answers to these questions are only our opinions based on what we believe is “Species Appropriate”. As we stated earlier, cats or Obligate Carnivores and must eat meat. Their bodies are designed to get all their nutrients from their prey and not supplements, vegetables, grains, grasses or additives. We do not recommend feeding kibble to cats ever!!! As for wet food, we recommend feeding raw or slightly cooked. You can purchase pre-made ready to serve meals online and in many local stores depending on the area you live in. Altho’ these pre-mades can be costly, they are a good option for those who don’t want to prepare your own or to introduce your pet to raw. A few brands/sites we have tried/use: Big Bear, Feline Natural/K9 Natural, Primal, Vital Essentials, Northwest Naturals, Hounds & Gatos, Raw Paws Pet Food, and Stella and Chewy’s.

 

Raena sniffs the Primal Freeze dried Rabbit food while Dezi looks on, sent by Vonda

 

 

 

Truth About Pet Food.com compiles a list each year of cat and dog foods that meet stringent requirements. The list is made available for basically a donation. You can see what the requirements for the list are and it can be purchased here

 

 

Dezi and Raena sniff Stella & Chewy's freeze dried turkey food

 

 

 

Dezi’s Health Scare and Transition:

 

     As some of you know, me, Dezi, was a kibble eater for years. Me would literally starve me’s self before eating anything but Blue Buffalo kibble. *If you are feeding Blue Buffalo, especially the grain free option, please STOP immediately. After speaking with many Veterinarians across the country, we know that it is the predominant feed many cats presenting with UTI’s are eating.* That’s exactly what happened to me. So, being the good mommy she is, mommy strapped up for the fight to switch me’s food to get and keep me healthy. Me’s urine Ph was off the charts alkaline. This is terribly dangerous for a kitty. Naturally, we refused the prescription diet offered by our Vet. These expensive options aren’t any better than traditional pet feeds. 

 

Dezi eats Raena's left overs

 

 

 

     Mommy knew raw was best, but convincing me of that was going to take time and a lot of determination and sticking to her guns from mommy. And no, me doesn’t mean real guns. Mommy would never shoot me or even point a gun in me’s direction. Me wouldn’t eat anything from a can, pouch or cup. Me was so picky, that even me’s kibble had to have a particular shape and size. Mommy ordered up some Wysong freeze dried rabbit and chicken. Note: We must add this disclaimer: Freeze Dried food should have added water/broth and not be served dry. So, me wouldn’t eat it wet so mommy served it to me dry. After missing 3 meals, me began to nibble a bit. Hmmmmm, Me thought. This stuff wasn’t half bad. That began me’s journey to raw and good health. Over the course of a few months, mommy began to add more and more water/chicken broth. Guess what? Me’s a gravy lover. Yep, once a kibble only kitty now loves gravy. Switching didn’t happen easily or over night, but it is possible to switch any animal. We will cover Transitioning Techniques next week. Yes, feeding Raena and me freeze dried raw is expensive and that’s why mommy is moving us toward totally raw. She says it’s worth it because we’re happy and healthy, but her pocket book would appreciate a break. We also switched from Wysong to Primal and/or Stella & Chewy’s for cost effectiveness.

 

 

Dezi eats freeze dried raw foodCan ya’ see all that gravy? Yummmmmmm

 

 

 

Wrap Up:

 

     We have great things in store for us and all of you as we continue this journey, so we do hope you’ll stay tuned. Next week we plan to discuss more about Raw Feeding, Purchasing, Preparing and Switching techniques. We received several questions about Transitioning kitty to a different/better food, so we’ll be answering those. Don’t get overwhelmed by percentages or talk of needed supplements for raw diets. We promise to show you the easiest, most effective way to keep your little carnivore eating the way nature intended on a budget.  

 

Raena lays atop the liberty cat tree with arm outstretchedI’s never had kibble, and I’s a healthy happy kitty girl.

 

 

 

Me can’t even ‘member me’s kibble days and me can’t imagine eating a pellet and thinking it’s good much less food. Trust us, Raw isn’t as scary as you might think, nor is it as expensive. Whether you’re feeding one kitty or 20, raw feeding can be done economically. Ifin mommy can do it, anyone can. As we do each week, we’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday.  Don’t furget you can ketch up on any post in this mini-series or our Service Cat series in general by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Felne page. And we’d love to hear what questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like us to cover. Just tell us in the comments section below or send us an email via our Contact page in the menu above. 

 

Till the next time……………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle  

Service Cats: Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat Grains And Vegetables

Pet Food Ingredients Pt. 2

MeOW  Welcome to another installment of Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We return today to our mini-series on Pet Food ingredients. It is our intention to present this in a way that everyone can understand it and to reveal the lies and misinformation pet pawrents are being “fed” by the pet food/feed industry, including the AAFCO. We intend to list as many ingredients as possible so that you will be better equipped to read labels and make the best choice fur your pets. It’s a shame that this topic has been so confusing fur so long. We hope to be able to shed a little light on all that confusion. Please remember, not all foods/feeds will contain every ingredient we will be listing. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in our Service Cat series, you can find them on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And remember to submit your questions and topic suggestions in the comments below or by sendin’ us an email via our Contact page. 

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Raena sits and poses in her new tiger harness

 

 

 

 

     Our first post in this mini-series talked about a cat’s need for Protein. Cats are Obligate Carnivores/True Carnivores (Those whose survival depends on nutrients which are found only in animal flesh and organs/meat protein. While Obligate Carnivores may be able to ingest small amounts of plant matter, due to their evolution they lack the necessary physiology required to digest and use the nutrients in that plant matter.) We’re going to try to break down a little science for you now. Digestion requires enzymes created by the body:

 

  • Protease: Necessary to break down Proteins 

  • Lipase: Necessary to digest Fat 

  • Amylase: Necessary to process Carbohydrates (Usually found in the saliva and pancreas)

Dezi and Raena eat out of their new dishesDid you know your food is already bein’ digested, Raena?

 

 

 

 

Digestion:

     Digestion starts in the mouth with enzymes created by saliva (spit). However, cat and dog saliva lack the enzyme Amylase; it’s only found in their pancreas. That means the pancreas has to work overtime to process Carbohydrates present in most commercial pet foods/feeds. There is some evidence that points to this as being part of the cause for pancreatitis, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses in cats. Humans and other mammals have flat top teeth meant for chewing. Cats however, have sharp fangs meant for ripping and tearing flesh. That’s a crude way to look at it, but think about it; when was the last time you saw kitty gnawing on a cob of corn? Everything about a cat says it’s meant to hunt, catch and rip it’s prey to shreds. And yet, most pet food companies lace their foods with corn, peas and carrots. I had a garden a few years back; and let me tell you, it wasn’t the neighborhood cats digging up my carrots and eating them.

 

     We mentioned in our earlier post that cats do much better when they don’t have food available all the time. Grains and veggies are ideal for grazing animals such as cows, goats, etc., but typically when a cat eats grass, it’s followed by hurling/horking/vomiting or whatever you want to call it. Cats were never meant to graze or eat veggies. But, what about the vitamins and nutrients those vegetables could offer? First of all, they’re often cooked so long they no longer contain any of the nutrients originally present. The reality is that a cat’s natural prey animal, the herbivore, provides those nutrients in the form of previously eaten and digested grains and vegetables. While it sounds really gross to us humans, a cat in the wild would consume the whole animal (excluding bones, fur, feathers, beaks, eyes, hooves), including it’s stomach and the contents therein.

 

 

Corn with mycotoxin

 

Mycotoxins:

     Let’s talk a minute about Grains and their toxicity. Mycotoxins are mold and a huge concern often found in foods like corn, corn meal, peas, millet, nuts, and other grains and types of food. There are 3 main mycotoxins that the FDA has established rules for the following 3, but they are not the only mycotoxins of concern:

  • Aflatoxins:

  • Fumonosin:   

  • Deoxynivalenol  

     Mycotoxins can cause lethargy, anorexia, jaundice, intravascular coagulation, liver damage, weight loss, dehydration, renal and hepatic damage, gastrointestinal dysfunction and death.

 

 

Ingredients:

     Most pet food/feed is formulated without oversight by the FDA or even the AAFCO. The laws that are supposed to protect our pets are often ignored, broken, unenforced or completely non existent. Don’t be fooled by “voluntary” recalls. Those recalls are an “after the fact” and often the result of an animal getting sick or dying due to something in their food. Let’s look at some of the ingredients found in pet foods.  

  • Wheat: One of the top allergens in pet food, may contain mycotoxins, can contribute to canine obesity  

  • Corn: Totally useless. As discussed above, neither cats or dogs have the ability to process it and covert it to useable energy in it’s raw state, and it has no nutrients after being cooked at high temps. May contain mycotoxins  

  • Corn Gluten Meal: Even worse than corn. Patented as a weed killer in 1991. May include mycotoxins  

  • By-Product-Meal: Bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feathers, beaks, feet, hooves, etc.. Can be anything left over from processing, Not fit for human consumption. Most of these are things a cat or dog in the wild wouldn’t eat. 

  • Soy: Considered a Protein. However it’s totally useless for the obligate carnivore and can cause allergies and cancer  

  • Brewers Rice: Broken rice shells containing no nutrients 

  • Egg Product: Eggshells (not easily digestible), may contain rancid or spoiled eggs not fit for human consumption, may contain salmonella,  

  • Sugar: Completely useless addition of empty calories. Cats can’t even taste sweet things  

  • Peas/Pea Fiber/Pea Meal/Legumes/Lentils: May contain mycotoxins, may cause heart disease 

  • Potatoes: May cause heart disease 

  • Cellulose: Sawdust, floor sweepings, totally useless 

  • Carrots: Hard for cats to digest, no useable nutrients after cooking at high temps.  

  • Cracked Barley: Grain, may contain mycotoxins 

  • Garlic/Garlic Oil/Garlic Extract/Garlic Powder: Toxic to cats especially  

  • Oats/Oat Bran/Oat Meal/Oat Groat: Grain, may contain mycotoxins  

  • Chicken Meal/Fish Meal/Lamb Meal/Beef Meal: All Meals are the leftovers after processing and Not fit for human consumption. May contain parts from animals killed by means other than slaughter, such as road kill, illness, poisoning, natural disaster deaths (such as drowning), phenobarbital, culling, etc.  

  • White Fish/Ocean Whitefish: May be any number of fish

  • Cranberries: Typically not enough present to have actual health benefits 

  • Whey: Milk protein, used in lower grade foods, possible allergen, especially for cats 

  • Whole Eggs: Contains the shells which are not easily digestible 

  • Celery: Unnecessary, not easily digestible 

  • Lamb: Lamb meat is filled with water and therefore not as high in protein as other meats 

  • Beef: Natural source of Glucosamine (will define and expound on in future post) High in “water weight” (will expound in future post) 

  • Spinach: Unnecessary, not easily digested 

  • Basil: Member of the mint family, safe but unnecessary  

  • Blueberries: Not enough present to be beneficial, unnecessary 

  • Veal: Alternative to beef 

  • Beef Liver: Natural source of iron and flavor. However, in large quantities can be toxic. Best as a secondary ingredient  

  • Soybeans/Soybean Meal: Can NOT be digested by dogs and can cause bloating and death

  • Soybean Oil: Source of fat and good for coat, safe for dogs and cats

  • Ginger: Aids in digestion if listed high on label  

  • Carrot Powder: Cheap source of fiber  

  • Ground Flax Seed: May be lacking in fatty acids  

  • Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols <expounded on in future post>): Cheap source of fat  

  • Sweet Potatoes/Yams: Alternative to regular potatoes 

  • Green Tea: Not enough to have any health benefits unless listed in the top 5 ingredients  

  • Wild Rice: Good alternative to white rice 

  • Dried Kelp: Accepted industry source of iodine 

  • Egg Noodles: Unnecessary, source or carbohydrates 

  • Rabbit: Great alternative Meat/protein source  

  • Duck: Great alternative meat/protein source, Less water weight than chicken 

  • Shrimp: Source of protein  

  • Cod: Alternative source of protein 

  • Catfish: Alternative source of protein and fatty acids 

  • Venison Meal: Alternative source of protein, in concentrated form, more protein availability than standard meats 

Raena bathes atop the liberty cat tree

 

     I realize this is a lot of information, but we haven’t even scratched the surface, so to speak. Most herbs listed on labels and found in pet food are useless and should be left out. There’s a lot of “gimmicky” ingredients these days and gimmicky names to boot. When shopping for our pet’s food, we need to remember to pay no attention to the photos on the packaging, as they’re not a true representation of what’s actually inside. Dry kibble is worse than canned or wet food in most respects since any natural nutrients have been cooked out of their original sources. But, this mini-series isn’t about making you choose one type of food or even one food over another. It’s merely to help you be better equipped at understanding what you’re buying and feeding your furry family member. We will be defining and explaining more of the terminology and ingredients in future posts, so if you have specific questions, please let us know. I’m going to turn it back over to Dezi to close us out. 

 

Dezi lays atop the cat tree selfie

 

 

Fanks mommy. Lots of big words and stuff us kitties don’t unnerstand ‘bout what goes on our plates. Anyways, remember, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline. We got a lot of great questions after Pt. 1 of Pet Food Ingredients, so if you have any just let us know in the comments below or send us an email. We purromiss, we will be answering them all. This is a huge topic and we’d rather take our time and cover it properly than to mislead you further. Other than the sources listed below, mommy also used her common sense, past experience as a V-E-T tech and information she got from some local V-E-Ts via chat.

 

Raena sits on table at vet-blooperI’s look purretty ruff, so we call this a blooper. MOL

 

 

Due to the holidays and Raena’s upcomin’ surgery, this will be our last Service Cat posty fur the year, but don’t worry, we’ll be pickin’ up right where we left off next year (a few months). We’re also linkin’ up today with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. And, it’s also Blooper time with our pals the Cuddlywumps

 

Till the next time……………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

 

 

Sources:
mycotoxins.info
petfoodindustry.com
Vetinfo.com
Truthaboutpetfood.com
Petmd.com
petsnmore.org
ivcjournal.com
ncbi.nlm.nh.gov

Service Cats: Pet Food Ingredients: Pt. 1

What You Should Know About Your Pet’s Food:

 

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’re workin’ hard on exposin’ the truths behind the ingredients in your pet’s food. Who knew it could take so long to find definitions and reasons fur everythin’ pet food companies put in those bags and cans or pet feed. It’s fur sure nufffin’ like you humans walkin’ up to the butcher and orderin’ a grass fed steak as opposed to grain fed. Anyways, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series you can ketch up by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And don’t furget to submit your own questions or topic suggestions by leavin’ a comment below or sendin’ us a purrivate email via our Contact page.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Raena sits posing in her tiger harness

 

 

 

     So, we thought we’d break things up a bit. There’s just too many ingredients in most pet feeds to list in one post anyways. We will be covering a lot of ingredients in this mini-series. Not all the ingredients we’ll cover are in every food/feed on the market. These posts are just to make you aware of what you need to look for and/or avoid. More than a few years back, the standard for label reading was to check for the first 3 ingredients listed. The idea was that those 3 ingredients made up the bulk of the contents of the bag or can. The problem with that theory is that you don’t often know where those ingredients come from, the quality of those ingredients or how they were processed.

 

Different meat cuts

 

 

 

Protein:

     Let’s talk about Protein. Protein is required for your pet to live. Cats being obligate carnivores must have Meat. We can’t survive, much less thrive without it. But, what kind of meat or protein is found in most pet foods? The truth is, you can never be completely sure unless you’re preparing it in your kitchen. Pet food companies want to put pretty pictures on their labels to make it appear as if top shelf meat is contained within the packaging. However, often the protein is comprised of meat meals and by products that you would never feed kitty or doggy if you actually knew the truth. Rarely do they contain anything that remotely resembles the photo on the package. Pet food companies are allowed to use not only appropriately sourced and rendered meats, but also diseased, and non slaughtered animals, such as those killed by lethal injection (phenobarbital), road kill, drowned due to acts of God, etc.. Not only are these animals used, but they also throw in the feathers, hooves, beaks and everything else.

 

     It’s then cooked at high temperatures, removing most if not all nutritional values, bleached/sterilized and then dried to be made into pet feed. At this stage it’s no longer called meat, it’s called meat meal. Now, pet food manufacturers would have you believe that meat meal provides a higher quality of protein for your pet than the actual meat does. If that’s the case, why don’t you humans eat meat meal? Why doesn’t the USDA (truthaboutpetfood.com) approve of these meats for human consumption?

 

Raena looks back from her dinner plateFanky fankfully, mine’s dinner is made with human grade meats

processed in a facility overseen by the USDA.

 

 

     Mommy says she remembers a time when all pet foods had a statement on the label that warned against using the same utensils for pet food as one would use for human foods, even though those utensils would be washed between uses. That’s when mommy got serious about looking into the food she fed. After all, if whatever is contained inside that package is so toxic that it can’t even be cleaned off a stainless steel utensil, then how could it possibly be safe for us to eat?.

 

 

Dezi lays on the floorTime fur a nap.

 

 

The reality is, that there are far more deceptive tactics and ingredients in the pet feed industry. However, Not every company or food is bad. The best thing one can do is to educate themselves, and know the products you’re buying and serving to Fluffy and Fido. We’ll delve into more ingredients in the coming posts. Until then, get your questions asked and topic suggestions in. Just leave them in the comments section below or send us an email. And don’t furget to check out the other posts in this series on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu. We’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Our purrayers go out to all affected by the weather and storms.

 

Till the next time……………………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle