Dangers of Raw Diet | Sphynxlair

Dangers of Raw Diet

Discussion in 'Sphynx Cats & Raw Diet' started by Cinderstar95, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. Cinderstar95

    Cinderstar95Lairian

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    Hello all!
    questions for those who feed raw diets to their meowers. How do you all compensate for the fact that raw meat poses incredible disease risk? My personal vet is very adamantly against making the switch and when I brought it up just out of curiosity she all but yelled at me not to do it. (Not in a bad way. She is awesome and has saved my meowers several times.) I trust her and respect her opinions and have shadowed her in the past as I am studying Veterinary Pharmacy. (I mention this because I dont want anything thinking my vet is abusive or unprofessional. I do really respect her knowledge base. Passionately might be a good way to describe how she said it.)
    But the point is valid. We do not eat raw meat because we know it can make us sick. It doesn't every time, but its not necessarily good for us. Raw poultry is at high risk for salmonella as well as other bacteria growth if its not fresh or was stored improperly. Food used for humans is NOT sterile. It doesn't have to be according to the FDA and is allowed to have a certain number of bacteria per square inch or per pound (in the United States at least. Im not familiar with other countries laws). Everyone knows that we shouldn't eat raw cookie dough (Though many of us do O.O) because of the raw egg risk. Food sold to consumers HAS to temp at 165 to be sold regardless of meat type. This is because that temperature kills most of the bacteria that makes us sick. Proper sanitation is very important when preparing food and raw meats can never be cut on the same cutting board as veggies or fruit. (Ive worked in quite a few kitchens to put my self through college. its been a pain XD) I've had food poisoning before from improperly prepared meat before and at one point in that day I actually thought I might die. Alas, I did not, but it was a horrible experience.
    I do understand the idea that a raw diet mimics the natural diet a cat would find in the wild, but cats will eat pretty much anything in the wild or not. Mine personally eats plastic and licks the carpet. Also, in the wild, cats have a much lower life expectancy. even factoring in predation, starvation, and infection not coming from food, food borne illnesses occupy a large portion of death in animals. In the wild, a cat hunts a mouse, which just prior to being killed by the cat had been rooting around in another animals waste, the cat just ingested another animals waste which could then transfer disease to the cat. That is in the wild. Now in the wild, that cat might not get sick because its gut flora and bacterial load in its digestive tract are conducive with that life style. A house cats gut flora will be drastically different and therefor that house cat might get sick where as the other cat would not.
    when it comes to raw diet, the meat is obtained days before it gets to the table. The cow or chicken is slaughtered, sent through a factory where the meat is harvested, packaged, shipped, stocked on the shelves, purchased at the store (prepackaged or at the butchers block which lends to another source of possible contamination) then taken out of refrigeration to send home then prepared. Every step introduces possible sources of contamination. cooking that meat would eliminate most of those bacterial colonies, but eating it raw is how food borne illness is passed along.
    How does the raw diet take into account This risk and compensate for it?
    Please no one take this as aggressive, Its just something that im very curious about!
     
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    • Hairless Blessing

      Hairless BlessingGold Lairian Notable Member

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      @Xandria can help with the raw.
      She's very knowledgeable.
       
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      • Xandria

        XandriaGold Lairian Notable Member

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        Hi, @Cinderstar95 -- You ask a very good question in this time when it seems "trendy" to adopt a raw food / homemade food diet for cats (and dogs).

        First, cats and humans cannot be compared. A cats' stomach is more acidic than a human's and can therefore handle potential pathogens much better than humans.

        Salmonella and all those other food borne pathogens would not be a problem if butchers and cooks and every person in between was mindful. I'm lucky in that I have a butcher who deals in locally grown whole carcasses, and if I want, I can literally point to a part of the carcass I want for my cooking purposes. I'm fastidious in the kitchen, and I know I could eat that meat raw -- I almost do at times as I like my steaks blue. I'm also lucky to live in sushi central so eat a lot of raw fish on a weekly basis. HOWEVER, MOST people are not in a position to access a butcher who obtains his carcasses directly from the farmer. The more hands a chunk of meat passes through, the more risk there is that a food borne pathogen will take root. This is why those new to raw feeding are told to avoid buying meat from a big grocery store.

        Quality matters. I also wager most people do not rinse/wash their raw chicken parts under cold water before meal preparation.

        Bottom line is that the food borne pathogen argument is invalid if the feeder takes care in food acquisition and preparation for both themselves and their cats (and dogs).

        A raw food / homemade food diet is ostensibly healthier than a cooked or processed food diet. Even long before it was trendy, almost a century ago a Francis Pottenger Jr. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_M._Pottenger,_Jr.) stumbled on this conclusion via some research he was performing. Mind, I'd like to go back in time and slap him for feeding cod liver oil instead of salmon or krill oil, but even on cod liver oil these cats did well.

        Cats are OBLIGATE carnivores. Far more than dogs who are just carnivores. Cats NEED meat for their health. Now this is not to say that there are not good commercially processed cat foods on the market -- there are wet foods that are quite good. And sometimes that is all people can do for their feline companions, and in no way should they be criticized for doing so. A raw diet is NOT for everyone to offer due to a whole host of reasons.

        A variety of illnesses (obesity, UTI, diabetes, heart issues) tend to be less frequent in cats fed a raw food diet. The heart issues was a concern for me, personally, having 2 Sphynx cats. Taurine is excellent for the heart and often absent or too minimal in highly processed cat food.

        Bottom line is that there are numerous studies showing the health benefits of a raw food diet. My cats are energetic (LOL), trim, muscular, and are thus far very healthy apart from both having different allergies (you can't beat genetics), and my boy has a sensitive tummy so when he eats things he shouldn't (grass, a bit of tissue) he vomits. My girl can and does consume anything and everything without issue (although I'm working on that).

        The problems with a raw food diet are linked to people not knowing what they are doing, or feeding an unbalanced diet to their feline companions. This sucks, and makes me sad. It's very important that cats are given a balanced diet -- every species should have such. Look at what happens to humans when we eat, as most of us do, an unbalanced diet. And don't get me started on the unhealthy bedfellows that is big Pharma and big Food.

        Bottom line is that if someone is interested in pursuing a raw diet for their cats or dogs, they need to do homework. Find a good source of meat, have a good recipe, talk to other raw feeders, be hygienic etc.

        The awesome thing about the trendiness that is now raw feeding is that there are more resources available than before. If I didn't have a good source of meat, I'd be using one of those delivery services that provide flash frozen meats to your door.

        Because it's trendy is the WRONG reason to feed raw. Because it's healthier, and can be cheaper, THAT is the reason to feed raw. When made correctly, there is no risk.
         
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        • Xandria

          XandriaGold Lairian Notable Member

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          @Cinderstar95 -- A question I had for you and forgot to add:

          You said, "food borne illnesses occupy a large portion of death in animals." I'm wondering what your source is for this information, and how it correlates to cats eating a balanced raw food diet? Most cats will walk away from a compromised food source -- not all, but most. If the smell is off, they generally won't eat it. Dogs are another matter, entirely LOL . And as I stated in my comment that you cannot compare human and cat stomachs, you also can't compare all animals as on the same field with respect to food borne pathogen resistance.

          Fom my own observations, there have been more illnesses correlated to commercial pet food (just look at the sheer volume of recalls) and poorly created commercial raw food than a balanced raw food diet. If you have data to support the contrary, I'd love to see it, because that is important for those evaluating a raw food diet.
           
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          • Sheldon13

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            Not to mention, in addition to a more acidic stomach, cats have a shorter digestive tract. This gives any bacteria less time to have a chance at creating a problem.


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
             
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            • Sheldon13

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              • celsei

                celseiSenior Lairian Senior Lairian

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                And what makes you think kibble is safe? It is statistically significantly more likely to give your cat salmonella or any other parasite, toxins, mold, you name it than raw or any other food. It is made of meat unfit for human consumption and not preserved properly in cold or dated properly. Also proven to increase risk of kidney disease, diabetes and cancer. In any case parasites are the least of your worries, they are easily treatable and of no real danger to an adult cat as opposed to organ shut down due to chronic dehydration, ingesting toxins, toxic mold, euthanasia drugs (all been found in kibble). Generic vets do not receive any formal nutritional education and have no qualification or authority on the matter, their primary source of education is advertising conferences from companies such as Purina and Royal Canin who makes junk food for cats, owned by Nestle and Mars who are known for low quality junk food for humans - highly questionable value.

                One brand of kibble pet food recalled for Salmonella – 10,275,000 lbs of pet food recalled.


                One brand of raw pet food recalled for Salmonella – 2,055 lbs of pet food recalled.

                Many veterinarians and people feeding kibble to their cats would be surprised to learn of precautions The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggest when feeding kibble. When feeding kibble the CDC cautions:

                • Do not feed your pet ANY food or treats in the kitchen
                • Do not handle pet food directly (use a dedicated scoop and do not use the pet’s dish as a scoop)
                • Do not allow young children in areas where pets are fed
                • Do not allow young children to even touch kibble or pet treats
                • Do not wash pet food and water dishes in the kitchen sink (and if there is no choice, “clean and disinfect the sink after washing pet food items”).

                Pet Food Recall Analysis - Pet Food Recall

                Let’s Get the Facts Straight FDA
                Pet Food Recall Widens After Toxin Found
                Pet owners receive $12.4 million in melamine case
                2007 pet food recalls - Wikipedia
                US dog food recall after euthanasia drug found - BBC News
                Study Confirms that Dry Food Increases Risk of Diabetes for Cats - The Conscious Cat
                Why is Chronic Kidney Disease Common in Domestic Cats?
                 
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                • Xandria

                  XandriaGold Lairian Notable Member

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                  @celsei -- great group of links. I just wanted to say that I used the Cry emote because your post DID make me cry a bit. In a good sorta bad sorta way. Hard to explain.
                   
                • MollysMom

                  MollysMomV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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                  We have been feeding both of our sphynx raw for 5 years, have never had an issue with anyone getting sick. Meat is frozen, thawed, prepared, frozen again, and thawed as we need to feed it. Most of mine comes from deer, elk, and moose that are hunted and butchered by our family. My cats interact with us, as well as toddler and children nieces and nephews. Using best practices for food handling is enough to keep everyone safe.
                   
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                  • Xandria

                    XandriaGold Lairian Notable Member

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                    @MollysMom -- You know, I've always been envious of your meat sources! Do you make elk burgers? Thankfully my second butcher gets some elk in, which I love, but yours must be amazing!
                     
                  • kauna

                    kaunaLairian

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                    Just as a side note, most veterinarians are not taught enough about pet food and nutrition during vet school. There was an interesting documentary on Netflix about the pet food industry, called Pet fooled I believe, you should look into it. The correlation between big manufacturers and the pet food industry is very disturbing. I would love to try Agnes on a raw diet again. (as a kitten she was a grazer and wouldn't eat her full meal which was why I stopped) :(
                     
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                    • MollysMom

                      MollysMomV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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                      Funny... my husband won't really eat it, I have to sneak it into chili or something he won't taste it in. So I almost never cook with it. LOL when it is free and fresh vs. paying for grocery store meat, I prefer it. My brother and dad and brother in law are the hunters, so I get it when we go for dinner there sometimes. The boys are out moose hunting now this week... fingers crossed they bag one!
                       
                    • Xandria

                      XandriaGold Lairian Notable Member

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                      @Molly Pearl -- OMG, make that man an elk burger but don't tell him it's elk then. After bison, my favourite meat is elk. So lean and tasty!! LOL Can I move in with you? hahahaha
                       
                    • Condo commando

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                      I feed raw, but cooked would be just as good as far as I'm concerned. I choose raw because it is easier to not have to cook it. The big deal to me is the SOURCE of the ingredients, not the manner in which they are served.

                      I used to work for a meat company. I have been inside a pig slaughterhouse (but the idea is the same for other meats). Basically the live hogs are led to the entrance and in short order the parts come out the other end, get packaged and immediately put in a deep freeze. This is what is called "fresh frozen" and it is the way you would ideally source your meats. Salmonella and all that stuff grows when the food is exposed to air; this is why nothing from the grocery store should ever be served raw. When you source meats to be fed raw, the key is to buy it frozen and as close to the source as possible; the less number of times it has been thawed and refrozen the better.

                      Needless to say you must keep your knives, countertop, cutting boards, sponges, etc. clean.

                      Now just a quick word about the "meat" used in commercial pet foods....when I read up on how the pet food producers are allowed to use dead animals, diseased animals, etc.....for me it was not just no but h--l no. Remember the saying, "you are what you eat" ....
                       
                      Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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