Thoughts on a Raw Cat Food Diet
by Sylvia Ann
(Washington State USA)
Last October little Ethel tested positive for FeLV, but has been in good health since her five-week illness two years ago. She’s exuberantly playful, has a rumbling purr, and a fur coat a film star would envy.
Not until August has she been listless. Each of her two bouts lasted four days, from which she’s recovered, as far as I can tell. Unless her blood test was false positive, her FeLV seems to be latent.
What is confusing, some sources say 85-90% of cats die within two or three years of exposure to the virus. Others say the mortality rate is 45-50%. To compound the mystery, her vets say Ethel could live into little old ladyhood.
But her weakened immunity makes raw meat extremely inadvisable, according to her vets. They also inveigh against raw meat for healthy cats. (Funny. Thought cats have eaten steak tartare for eons!) Finally, they roundly condemn raw poultry for any cat. They say you’re playing Russian roulette if you feed your cat raw turkey or chicken. (Yet cats eat birds.) Come to think, though, they may be right.
Years ago I fed Inspector McWee six ounces of fresh raw ground turkey every day. He gobbled the gobbler, but within a few days repeatedly vomited frothy slime that looked like green bile. When I stopped the raw turkey, the vomiting stopped.
If it’s been refrigerated for no more than three days, the one treat my cats never reject is 3-4 oz. a day – per cat – of minced organic raw beef. This stew meat costs up to $4.50 a pound, though farm-fresh beef in 50-lb. portions is less expensive.
Organic chicken is often on sale, and costs less than commercial canned cat food. A raw meat diet may not be more pricey than the Fancy Feast and canned Friskies my cats eat, which runs $50.00-$65.00 a month per cat. But how many cats eat defrosted raw meat? Mine wouldn’t touch it unless they were starved. Fresh, yes. But not defrosted and warmed over. I’ve read, by the way – whether or not it’s true, I don’t know – that frozen plastic containers and cellophane wrapping leach dioxin into foods.
Re enriching the meat with vitamins and minerals, I’ve heard and read – where and when I don’t know, nor is what I recall infallibly accurate – that tablets and capsules are bogus remedies palmed off on the gullible by those who peddle pills. (Which reads like a tautology.) Whether or not the allegation is justified, the vitamins need to be organic. Synthetic won’t work. What’s more, they’re not in a bottle of pills, but only in raw or lightly cooked very fresh foods, in which they are linked in intricate, symbiotic relationships that baffle biochemists. For all the glowing corporate claims, pills and capsules have no more vitality than a rouged corpse.
Again, this is not my own views on the subject. I’m only paraphrasing what I’ve heard and read.
Is the foregoing true, false, or a combo of both? I’m not competent to judge. It’s impressive to read, though, that breeders successfully feed their cats raw meat supplemented with vitamin powders, tablets and capsules.
It’s going to be fun to see if there are any fish recipes on this blog which I’ve not yet read in any detail. Since cats didn’t evolve to eat corn, their craving for fish is a puzzlement, and also alarming in view of the contaminants. In spite of the PCBs & quicksilver, my own cats relish human grade tuna once a week, rinsed of salt. Does this mean they’re related to grizzly bears and otters?
Many thanks for a meaty blog!