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Homemade cat food vs. raw vs. canned?

arc23

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Hi all!

I have been on quite the tumultuous feeding journey since I got my first Sphynx July of 2020 (I have two half siblings that are 1 and 1.5 years old). My older sphynx has had a series of allergy and eye issues since he was a small kitten. He developed lip ulcers at one point (eosinophilic granulomas), for which the vet suggested we switch him to a hydrolyzed protein prescription diet. I was very opposed to this because my older sphynx cannot tolerate all the fillers and junk that is in most cat kibble (his allergies always got worse, his poop smelled terrible, etc). This led me on a journey of isolating different proteins to see which one he might be allergic to. So far, we narrowed down that he is definitely allergic to all poultry, and likely beef, pork and some types of fish. We have been treating his eye issues with drops and he gets a daily 1/2 Claritin pill (recommended by his eye specialist). Luckily, with these changes (plus steering away from clay litter), his eye issues have improved about 70-75% and his lips are 100% ulcer free. He still has some residual symptoms of eye teariness/squintiness, occasional irritated and gunky nail beds, and soft/stinky stool that always gets on his tail at least a couple times per week.

We are breaking the bank (which is totally fine cause I love my boys!) feeding only high quality canned food - mostly Ziwi Peak, Feline Natural, Lotus, and N&D. They also occasionally get some dry Ziwi Peak lamb food and/or feline natural freeze-dried raw. I tried to feed frozen raw in the past, but my boys wouldn't touch it. Paired with the mixed info on a raw pet food diet, I decided to throw in the towel and just feed canned. It's also tough because we are limited to rabbit, lamb, and venison.

I would love to hear from other sphynx owners who feed raw and/or cook their pets food. I have found on recipes on the Balance IT website, which makes home cooked meals balanced with their supplement. If we are able to improve our allergenic sphynx' health even more and save a few dollars, that would be amazing!

Thank you all for your insight.
 

Condo commando

Gold Lairian
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I buy raw rabbit from Hare Today. To balance it I use Alnutrin for meat with bone. Also if you use the one that has no fur, the bone content is too high so I add some boneless turkey to dilute it. If you have an allergy sufferer, you should use boneless rabbit to dilute the bone. All rabbit in other words.

I also make cooked food using BalanceIT.

Everything works. I have a girl that was developing IBD so I took her off raw and she only gets cooked food now. I have a boy who is addicted to rabbit so I get the raw rabbit mostly for him. I have a 3rd Sphynx that eats anything - raw, cooked, human food, basically anything - right now she's getting some of the raw rabbit and some cooked food.

As far as money, you save a lot just by making the food at home. Don't go too cheap though. If you buy the cheapest chicken it will have the sodium injection and that's too much sodium for a cat. I'm using Harvestland chicken which you can get at Walmart, BJ's, etc. Here's a link:
PERDUE Harvestland NAE Ground Chicken, 1 lb - Walmart.com

Another good source for meat online is Wild Fork Foods if they deliver in your area. I'm using their ground pork that's 90% lean. This is not lean by any means but for a cat this is considered average.
Ground Pork 90% Lean - 1 LB

Finally, when I make the raw rabbit I think it has too much bone so I add some boneless turkey to dilute it. I use this turkey from Wild Fork. Mind you it's pretty fatty, but the rabbit is lean so altogether it's not bad. I use 1 LB of boneless turkey for every 2 LB of rabbit.
 
Last edited:

Sheldon13

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Hare Today is my go-to as well. I have shopped there for years. I like that they are transparent about everything. They have a section there describing where they get the various animals as well. For instance, a lot of the domestic animals they produce themselves, but their rabbits come from several local farmers they purchase from.


Love and Sphynx ~ It’s all you need
 

arc23

Lairian
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
35
Points
29
I buy raw rabbit from Hare Today. To balance it I use Alnutrin for meat with bone. Also if you use the one that has no fur, the bone content is too high so I add some boneless turkey to dilute it. If you have an allergy sufferer, you should use boneless rabbit to dilute the bone. All rabbit in other words.

I also make cooked food using BalanceIT.

Everything works. I have a girl that was developing IBD so I took her off raw and she only gets cooked food now. I have a boy who is addicted to rabbit so I get the raw rabbit mostly for him. I have a 3rd Sphynx that eats anything - raw, cooked, human food, basically anything - right now she's getting some of the raw rabbit and some cooked food.

As far as money, you save a lot just by making the food at home. Don't go too cheap though. If you buy the cheapest chicken it will have the sodium injection and that's too much sodium for a cat. I'm using Harvestland chicken which you can get at Walmart, BJ's, etc. Here's a link:
PERDUE Harvestland NAE Ground Chicken, 1 lb - Walmart.com

Another good source for meat online is Wild Fork Foods if they deliver in your area. I'm using their ground pork that's 90% lean. This is not lean by any means but for a cat this is considered average.
Ground Pork 90% Lean - 1 LB

Finally, when I make the raw rabbit I think it has too much bone so I add some boneless turkey to dilute it. I use this turkey from Wild Fork. Mind you it's pretty fatty, but the rabbit is lean so altogether it's not bad. I use 1 LB of boneless turkey for every 2 LB of rabbit.
Thank you! I have to admit, I get a bit overwhelmed with understanding how to feed raw (e.g. how much bone and organs they need, when to add supplements, etc). I may start with cooking food and using Balance IT since their website gives the exact amount of things to add.
 

arc23

Lairian
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
35
Points
29
Hare Today is my go-to as well. I have shopped there for years. I like that they are transparent about everything. They have a section there describing where they get the various animals as well. For instance, a lot of the domestic animals they produce themselves, but their rabbits come from several local farmers they purchase from.


Love and Sphynx ~ It’s all you need
What do you feed your sphynx on a daily basis? I would love to try, but feel overwhelmed with what to pick (e.g. bones versus no bones, chunks versus ground, etc) and how much exactly to feed (I see 2-3% of daily weight, but I feel like my two are so active they may need more). Right now, I only feed my two boys rabbit, lamb, venison and some fish. They each eat ~9oz of canned food (split between 3 meals) per day and are still very lean.
 

Sheldon13

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It’s all pretty dependent on your cat when it comes to amounts and what proteins to choose. Hare-Today has their ground mixes already pretty balanced. They put the ratios down for you, but I make sure to feed several proteins so the cats get different options and different nutrients offered by different animals.

I offered my cats feedings 3 times per day for months, but they kept wasting food. When I went to twice daily, they started eating better and cleaning their plates more often. Let the cat tell you how often to feed.

The proportions are 80-10-10 or 75-10-15, dependent on your cat. If the poop is too white and hard, too much bone (add more organs and less bone). If the poop is too black, too much organ (add bone and subtract organ). FelineNutrition.org is a great resource for research.


Love and Sphynx ~ It’s all you need
 

Condo commando

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2014
Messages
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Points
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Thank you! I have to admit, I get a bit overwhelmed with understanding how to feed raw (e.g. how much bone and organs they need, when to add supplements, etc). I may start with cooking food and using Balance IT since their website gives the exact amount of things to add.
It was overwhelming for me too in the beginning.

Generally when you buy an "all inclusive" meat grind (in other words it contains bones and organs as well as muscle meat) it should have a 80-10-10 ratio. That stands for 80% muscle meat, 10% organs and 10% bones. The only other thing you need is the supplement powder, which like I said I use Alnutrin for meat with bone. There may be others but this is the only one I know of for bone in meats.

Most supplements contain a calcium substitute and are intended for boneless meat. This is how BalanceIT is so you would never use BalanceIT with bone in meats, just muscle meat and organs.

This is probably obvious but bones contain calcium so you don't want to feed bones plus then add a supplement that has calcium.

I only feed ground food. No chunks. In fact when I brown ground meat (for the cooked recipes) my crew doesn't like the big crumbles so I make it into paté. That´s a whole other story. If your cats eat crumbles then no worries.

Whole chicken hearts are OK and make a good treat.
 
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