Welcome to Sphynxlair! Connect with Sphynx owners & enthusiasts around the world!

Raw Diet: Too Much Protein = Need for Vegetables

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
Hello, everyone. I have been largely absent lately from this awesome forum due to far too much going on in my life. But things are starting to slow down, thankfully.

I had some blood work done on Min this week and her results were very similar to Max's (The Life & Barfy Times of Maximillian von Strange). In other words, slightly elevated BUN and Hematocrit, affecting kidneys, and likely caused by too much protein. Thankfully there are no dangerous levels involved, and this is remediable.

One of the things I like about my vet is that I can engage him in conversation. He knows that I provide a raw food diet with appropriate percentages. The issue seems to be that they are eating so much in a day, they are not eliminating the excess protein. While they pee all the time, it's just not enough to contend with the amount of protein in their system. Obviously I can't get them to drink more water.

The vet explained that I could put them on a low-protein medical cat food, but he's fully aware that I want to feed a homemade cat food diet. So he suggested the addition of vegetables and a little reduction of the protein.

This made me laugh a little bit, because I've been such as staunch defender of the model prey diet. But the way the vet explained it to me is that if cats are predominantly outdoors, then a carnivorous diet is appropriate. But because Max and Min are indoor cats, they simply don't burn through the amount of protein that they take in on a daily basis.

Now I do understand why there are times that cats need to be fed vegetables! I have seen the light!

Anyway, the vegetables that he suggested to me are as follows:
  • Green peppers,
  • Red peppers,
  • Broccoli,
  • Cabbage,
  • Spinach, and
  • Bok choy.
This shouldn't be a problem as I keep most of the above in the house on a regular basis anyway. And I just made a huge batch of cat food for the freezer, so I can tinker with the vegetable amounts until I feel it's appropriate. THEN I can mix it in directly when I make the next batch.

The vet said I can just feed the vegetables raw and puréed.

As a side note, the vet took some urine from Min today just to confirm that it was diet related, and that there are no potential kidney issues.

I welcome any additional information on this subject or comments. Thank you so much for listening.

And of course… Just because…

Min!!!
13124513_10209327036918705_1394758468349636054_n.jpg


Max!!!
13076736_10209313422418351_6965343544517061018_n.jpg
 

NinaGato

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2010
Messages
6,048
Points
643
Good to hear that the pukey-puke can be remedied. As always I love seeing the kits.
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
26,067
Points
673
I have always feared I would not be able to balance a raw diet, so I stuck with the professionals and went grain free for our crew. I also know with our lifestyle/travel I cannot accommodate the scheduling for feeding involved with raw. It sounds almost counter intuitive to balance a raw diet and now adding veggies which they would not normally eat. Will he do more testing to see if you balance things out ? Would you consider trying grain free if your adding veggies does not work? People complain about smelly poop, but yes poop,stinks lol.

Patti
 

Lickleone

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
6,027
Points
643
To be honest when I first got Tau I ummed and aaahed about raw cause so many groups on Facebook promoted it and what did I know, however I wasn't going to go by just the good reviews on it, boy once got into it the things that could go wrong with raw to me and bare in mind this is my opinion is all far outweighed the benefit. I also believe in a lot of cats die to centuries and centuries of domestication have evolved so what may have been good for them in the wild may not necessarily be now just like us humans we started off eating raw too but have revolved since. My take is if ones cat thrives on raw as its meant to be great if not then more harm could be done and I see no benefit in that. There is a lot of cat food out there that is just as heathy and therefore beneficial. But that's my opinion for me it's about what works and keeps them healthy and happy
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
I have always feared I would not be able to balance a raw diet, so I stuck with the professionals and went grain free for our crew. I also know with our lifestyle/travel I cannot accommodate the scheduling for feeding involved with raw. It sounds almost counter intuitive to balance a raw diet and now adding veggies which they would not normally eat. Will he do more testing to see if you balance things out ? Would you consider trying grain free if your adding veggies does not work? People complain about smelly poop, but yes poop,stinks lol.

Patti
I would absolutely consider a grain free commercial cat food if I can't get their home made food to work well for them. And no slight intended, but this would be a last resort for me.

I'm also going to add more water to their food during the individual meal preparation process. This will hopefully help flush things out. As it is they do pee quite a bit and obtain a lot of fluid from the raw diet, but I the vet mentioned more water would be good. If they won't drink more, then I can add it to their meals.

I don't mind the effort at all. And honestly, the main reason I do a raw or home made cat food diet is because I do the same for Hubby and I. I have an aversion to prepared and manufactured foods for a whole host of reasons. BUT, if push comes to shove, yes, I'll switch to a commercial food. But with the guidance of the vet, we're going to try to maintain a raw diet.

So yes, the vet will be keeping an eye, and I'll have regular blood tests for them for the next while until we see positive results. If the adjustments don't yield the results we want, then I'll try commercial food.

I really appreciate your understanding. I know raw is not for everyone, and while I advocate for it in some cases, I try not to allow the diet to hinder the health of my babies.

To be honest when I first got Tau I ummed and aaahed about raw cause so many groups on Facebook promoted it and what did I know, however I wasn't going to go by just the good reviews on it, boy once got into it the things that could go wrong with raw to me and bare in mind this is my opinion is all far outweighed the benefit. I also believe in a lot of cats die to centuries and centuries of domestication have evolved so what may have been good for them in the wild may not necessarily be now just like us humans we started off eating raw too but have revolved since. My take is if ones cat thrives on raw as its meant to be great if not then more harm could be done and I see no benefit in that. There is a lot of cat food out there that is just as heathy and therefore beneficial. But that's my opinion for me it's about what works and keeps them healthy and happy
Absolutely, raw is not for everyone. I've seen a few people do it half-arsed and that is never good. I have the luxury of having the foods available, the time, the energy etc. to put into it. But I'll adjust the recipe or switch to a commercial food if need be. Their health is of utmost importance.

And totally -- what worked once in the wild, is not always appropriate given domestication. I totally get that now. I'm just glad that their blood work isn't bad... just a bit off in spots.

Thanks again, all. HUGS.
 

admin

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
22,385
Points
643
Hello, everyone. I have been largely absent lately from this awesome forum due to far too much going on in my life. But things are starting to slow down, thankfully.

I had some blood work done on Min this week and her results were very similar to Max's (The Life & Barfy Times of Maximillian von Strange). In other words, slightly elevated BUN and Hematocrit, affecting kidneys, and likely caused by too much protein. Thankfully there are no dangerous levels involved, and this is remediable.

One of the things I like about my vet is that I can engage him in conversation. He knows that I provide a raw food diet with appropriate percentages. The issue seems to be that they are eating so much in a day, they are not eliminating the excess protein. While they pee all the time, it's just not enough to contend with the amount of protein in their system. Obviously I can't get them to drink more water.

The vet explained that I could put them on a low-protein medical cat food, but he's fully aware that I want to feed a homemade cat food diet. So he suggested the addition of vegetables and a little reduction of the protein.

This made me laugh a little bit, because I've been such as staunch defender of the model prey diet. But the way the vet explained it to me is that if cats are predominantly outdoors, then a carnivorous diet is appropriate. But because Max and Min are indoor cats, they simply don't burn through the amount of protein that they take in on a daily basis.

Now I do understand why there are times that cats need to be fed vegetables! I have seen the light!

Anyway, the vegetables that he suggested to me are as follows:



    • Green peppers,
    • Red peppers,
    • Broccoli,
    • Cabbage,
    • Spinach, and
    • Bok choy.
This shouldn't be a problem as I keep most of the above in the house on a regular basis anyway. And I just made a huge batch of cat food for the freezer, so I can tinker with the vegetable amounts until I feel it's appropriate. THEN I can mix it in directly when I make the next batch.

The vet said I can just feed the vegetables raw and puréed.

As a side note, the vet took some urine from Min today just to confirm that it was diet related, and that there are no potential kidney issues.

I welcome any additional information on this subject or comments. Thank you so much for listening.

And of course… Just because…

Min!!!
View attachment 67781

Max!!!
View attachment 67782
That makes sense, similar to humans and body building I would imagine, they exercise heavily and add powdered protein to their diet to maximize muscle repair. Interesting, thanks for sharing this. Was there side effects you had noticed and thats why you brought them in for a work up? :)
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
26,067
Points
673
Sounds like you have a plan in place. I hope the veggies do the trick!
 

assibassi

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
5,992
Points
393
I feed Raw . I am glad that my two love Vegetables, they always sneak some away when we prepare them. Broccoli is Hairy's favorite ! Besides Corn , but we let them have greens when we prepare food. So now I should think of giving them Broccoli weekly then huh .
 

Kate

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
654
Points
148
@Xandria this is very interesting. As someone else asked above did you take Min in for bloodwork for a specific symptom? If I remember correctly, you use BiTR right? I wonder if this is the case for all cats on a raw diet? Or, perhaps ones that are more active than others burn the protein? A very interesting topic. Will be following closely to see what others have to add.
By the way Min is SO darn cute :)
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
That makes sense, similar to humans and body building I would imagine, they exercise heavily and add powdered protein to their diet to maximize muscle repair. Interesting, thanks for sharing this. Was there side effects you had noticed and thats why you brought them in for a work up? :)
Yes, in hindsight, it makes total sense. Max and Min are VERY active, but clearly not enough for the amount of protein they consume in a day (nearly a full pound each).

For Max, he has suffered various bouts of what I call "barfy time". Some I track to eating things he shouldn't (yesterday he decided that adding feathers to his diet was important), early on I learned that his body did not like chicken, but it's been the mysterious sporadic barfy bouts that made me wonder. So after x-rays, blood workup etc., we learned that his body was not eliminating excess protein, which can cause barfy bouts.

For Min, she has had this mystery cough which Clavamox didn't fully resolve. She had x-rays. And so we moved on to bloodwork to make sure there wasn't anything major wrong. Bloodwork showed the same elevated BUN that Max had. She has no symptoms, however. Max is a delicate boy LOL. But, for both to have the same blood results, I cannot overlook diet. As for Min's cough, it's not constant and when it happens (every few days), it's usually after rambunctious play. Her heart etc. are all very strong, thankfully.

I'm thinking annual or semi annual blood workups are a good thing to do, otherwise I wouldn't have caught the slight elevation in Min's blood results.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
I feed Raw . I am glad that my two love Vegetables, they always sneak some away when we prepare them. Broccoli is Hairy's favorite ! Besides Corn , but we let them have greens when we prepare food. So now I should think of giving them Broccoli weekly then huh .
LOL. Min doesn't seem to mind the veggies but Max is all WTH?!? LOL. I had a cat that loved veggies, especially jalapeno peppers (seriously, this cat was weird).

@Xandria this is very interesting. As someone else asked above did you take Min in for bloodwork for a specific symptom? If I remember correctly, you use BiTR right? I wonder if this is the case for all cats on a raw diet? Or, perhaps ones that are more active than others burn the protein? A very interesting topic. Will be following closely to see what others have to add.
By the way Min is SO darn cute :)
Yes, I use BiTR. I'm going to contact her today to do a little research. I know my nakeds eat more than most cats; I think because they're Sphynx. Part of me wonders if they're getting too much of a specific vitamin.

What confuses me is that for all the research I've done, there is no correlation to high protein diets and kidney issues. HOWEVER, this correlation is entrenched in a large part of the vet medical community. So I'm still not 100% convinced of anything yet. But it does make sense to me that if any body cannot make full use of what it ingests, the results could have an adverse affect on the body (look at what we do to ourselves!).

Lots to puzzle through and ponder.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
Okay, I just spoke with Dana, the Better in the Raw lady. She was a delight. She was shocked at how much Max and Min eat in a day. LOL. Her suggestion was to ditch the vegetables and reduce the meal amount (from 1/4 lb) and add more water. This is also what Hubby's opinion is. Then, if they act like they are still hungry, then consider adding vegetables. But Dana felt that the protein amount is far more the key.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
More pondering, more research.

The adage about raw is usually to feed as much as a cat will eat in about 20 minutes. Most cats self-regulate when fed regularly and well.

Most information sources suggest about a quarter to half a pound of food per day on a raw diet. Max and Min have been eating almost THREE times that. OMG!!!!!!

Sooooooooo... I'm going to shelve the vegetables for now, cut back their food a bit, and add additional water to each meal. I'm finally feeling better about this.

Goodness. I've been stuffing my piggies!!!!!
 

Kate

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
654
Points
148
@Xandria both your babies look very healthy, and don't seem over weight, so they may just need that much food. If I were you, I'd cut back slowly on their portions so that way they don't get overwhelmed by hunger, but they get used to bring satisfied with less. Good luck!

FYI, my guys eat about 9 oz per day each (spread over 3 meals). They are both very active.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
@Xandria both your babies look very healthy, and don't seem over weight, so they may just need that much food. If I were you, I'd cut back slowly on their portions so that way they don't get overwhelmed by hunger, but they get used to bring satisfied with less. Good luck!

FYI, my guys eat about 9 oz per day each (spread over 3 meals). They are both very active.
Totally. Max AND Min both eat about 12 to 16 oz per day (spread over 3 meals). LOL.
 

Nicolemorgan

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
3,402
Points
238
More pondering, more research.

The adage about raw is usually to feed as much as a cat will eat in about 20 minutes. Most cats self-regulate when fed regularly and well.

Most information sources suggest about a quarter to half a pound of food per day on a raw diet. Max and Min have been eating almost THREE times that. OMG!!!!!!

Sooooooooo... I'm going to shelve the vegetables for now, cut back their food a bit, and add additional water to each meal. I'm finally feeling better about this.

Goodness. I've been stuffing my piggies!!!!!


Let us know how they do with the less protein and more water @Xandria
We are like @Kate and our boys eat 9oz per day spread over 3 meals. I do usually add a bit extra water during the serving time (not during prep) as they enjoy the bit more mushy consistency that it makes it.

Hoping that new adjustment you make will help!
 

assibassi

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
5,992
Points
393
Wow that is a lot of food, mine only get fed twice on the BitR and they get only up to 1/2 cup each per day. I do give treats out, I give the NewZealand treats or the freeze dried treats, or Freeze dried food as treats ( small amounts ) . My husband always thinks our Cats are too skinny and he asked the Vet when we went for checkups and she agreed with me, they are perfect size.
Let me know how it goes for you, when you cut them back a bit.
 

lealea

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Apr 19, 2015
Messages
1,597
Points
338
This is very interesting, @Xandria thank you for the update. I've been feeding Rosie raw for a little while now and she's going to get spayed shortly, so now I'll ask for a full blood profile to be done at the same time.

At the moment I feed just raw meat, with bones and organ meats, too and she loves it. Her appetite is phenomenal. The pet food cafe that I buy from makes vegetable mixes with the meat, too, mostly for dog diets, but it would be easy to incorporate them on occasion. They also have these mouthwatering looking patties and loaves on display, like a pet friendly deli counter!

I'm intrigued by the vegetable choices your vet has suggested though, since most of those veggies have a higher than average oxalate content, which can cause problems with calcium absorption and increase risk of kidney stones, amongst other things. Was there a particular reason for those veg choices?

Thanks so much for the information. It's always good to broaden our knowledge for the better health of our babies.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
This is very interesting, @Xandria thank you for the update. I've been feeding Rosie raw for a little while now and she's going to get spayed shortly, so now I'll ask for a full blood profile to be done at the same time.

At the moment I feed just raw meat, with bones and organ meats, too and she loves it. Her appetite is phenomenal. The pet food cafe that I buy from makes vegetable mixes with the meat, too, mostly for dog diets, but it would be easy to incorporate them on occasion. They also have these mouthwatering looking patties and loaves on display, like a pet friendly deli counter!

I'm intrigued by the vegetable choices your vet has suggested though, since most of those veggies have a higher than average oxalate content, which can cause problems with calcium absorption and increase risk of kidney stones, amongst other things. Was there a particular reason for those veg choices?

Thanks so much for the information. It's always good to broaden our knowledge for the better health of our babies.
I think the chosen vegetables were good for filler, but not high in carbs.

Upon further reflection I've opted to ditch the addition of vegetables and slowly reduce their feeding amount and increasing the water with the meals. Before they were getting 4 oz + for each meal, 3 times a day. I've shifted it to about 3 oz for each meal, 3 times a day, with additional water. So far so good. They clean their bowl, but seem very satisfied.

We'll run some more blood tests in about a month. AND, if Max stops his barfy time altogether (except when he eats something he shouldn't), then I know it was definitely protein overload on his system.

I'm also going to revise my raw food diet guide to include this information as well. Letting them eat as much as they want in 20 minutes may not be the wisest course if they eat between 4 and 8 oz per meal!!!
 

Kate

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
654
Points
148
@Xandria isn't the "what they can eat in 20 min" a rule of thumb for kittens only? At least, that's what I always thought :). I'll be checking back for updates! Glad they're doing well with less food!
 

lealea

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Apr 19, 2015
Messages
1,597
Points
338
They do eat a lot! Rosie cleans her dish in a few minutes only. She sometimes dances about asking for more, but usually she just heads to the litter tray for s poop lol.
She eats 3 times a day still and a lot for her size I think. If I put down too much she's always finished in a few minutes still and just walks off leaving food in the bowl. Maybe your two are used to eating more now. it could simply be a case of cutting back a little to sort there blood work out.
I'm intrigued to see how they get on after a little less food.
Poor max, he's used to big portions now!
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
@Xandria isn't the "what they can eat in 20 min" a rule of thumb for kittens only? At least, that's what I always thought :). I'll be checking back for updates! Glad they're doing well with less food!
OMG, seriously? LOL. I did NOT make that distinction. Oh boy. ha ha ha. But they're doing just fine with less.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
They do eat a lot! Rosie cleans her dish in a few minutes only. She sometimes dances about asking for more, but usually she just heads to the litter tray for s poop lol.
She eats 3 times a day still and a lot for her size I think. If I put down too much she's always finished in a few minutes still and just walks off leaving food in the bowl. Maybe your two are used to eating more now. it could simply be a case of cutting back a little to sort there blood work out.
I'm intrigued to see how they get on after a little less food.
Poor max, he's used to big portions now!
Cute little Rosie. Max sometimes stops half way through eating to go to the litter box and then come back and eat some more. Now I realize he was likely done. LOL.

Well, I guess we all now know that it's truly impossible for cats on a raw diet to get fat. ha ha ha.
 

Xandria

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
9,783
Points
613
Good news, everyone!

Max and Min's blood and urine test results came back today (not only did Max have a poopy and peepy day yesterday, he also had blood and urine withdrawn).

The results show absolutely no abnormalities!! Now I can stop the Kidney Support additive and increase their protein a bit (just under their former levels), plus I'm going to add some broccoli to their diet as a little filler too. OH, and of course add extra water to help with any excess protein elimination.

THEN I'll get their blood and urine tested again in about another month or so to make sure I'm on track with their diet.

And... Max has no more barfy times since we've reduced the protein -- so his barfy time was as a result of too much protein staying in his system. FINALLY!!!!

I'm so relieved.
 
Top