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To raw or not to raw... that is the question!

2SphynxMommy

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So I've heard of feeding this raw diet... My sphynx are not on raw, I actually didn't know it existed when I got my first sphynx and she was healthy and growing so I never questioned her food. Furthermore, my vet never even suggested it!

Obviously, I want whats best for my babies... Everyone seems to rave about this diet so...
Where do you start?!
Is it expensive to start?
How would I transition my cats to the new food?
What makes the raw diet better than non raw?
Do you just buy meat from the grocery store and like.... make it like homemade baby food? (LOL)
Is there anything I need to put it in it other than the raw stuff?
 

MelissaAlice

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I just recently changed my naked over to raw, its only been about 2 weeks now so I'm not the expert that some of the others on here are.

The only thing I can say is that this has been the best thing I could have done and wish I had done it ages ago!!
Elfie came to me as an adult with IBS and had not had a solid, properly coloured poop in the entire time she has lived with me; 3 days after switching to raw she was pooping normally and a week later all traces of blood had disappeared.

Worth the effort and I find that I'm not spending much if anything more then I was spending on high end kibble and canned food.

I was lucky to find a locally owned and sourced company in my area that does all the hard work for me; but there are plenty of lairians that make there food at home.
 

MollysMom

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This is a great place to start your research: catinfo.org

The idea behind raw feeding is that it is the closest to what a cat would eat in the wild. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they eat meat, organ and bone, and very little else. The raw diet does not contain unnecessary fillers (like grains, vegetables, or fruits) that most commercial pet foods contain. The idea is that most commercial pet foods contain these ingredients because it is cheaper, not because it is good for them.

Raw feeding involves feeding your cat a combination of bone, organ and meat in proper amounts to give the correct calcium: phosphorus ratio. It can be purchased frozen, or you can make your own. If you do make your own, it needs to be a complete diet with the proper vitamins and nutrients that they need.

Many people rave about raw on here because it solves the issue of a sensitive sphynx stomach and runny, smelly poo.
 

MollysMom

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Also: many vets do not recommend raw for several reasons:

-They do not know much about it
-The pet food companies provide the training that they receive on food and nutrition
-They are concerned about the bacteria and pathogens involved with raw meat
-They worry that it will not provide a complete diet to your cat

This is not to say that feeding typical kibble/ wet food is "wrong"; there are many factors to a cat's health, including genetics. It is up to you to decide what is best for your cat and lifestyle.
 

Calicocious

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So I've heard of feeding this raw diet... My sphynx are not on raw, I actually didn't know it existed when I got my first sphynx and she was healthy and growing so I never questioned her food. Furthermore, my vet never even suggested it!

Obviously, I want whats best for my babies... Everyone seems to rave about this diet so...
Where do you start?!
-Mollysmom gave a great website and I like feline-nutrition.org too. Also look through this section and you'll see lots of threads to read.
Is it expensive to start?
-It depends on what route you take. If you go all out and want to make your own complete with buying a grinder for bones it can be. Otherwise fairly minimal. Commercially prepared can be expensive though. But it is convenient.
How would I transition my cats to the new food?
-patience is key. wet food is usually the usually the easiest way. Mixing a bit of raw in with canned and gradually reducing until it's all raw.
What makes the raw diet better than non raw?
-raw diet is closest to what they they would eat naturally. They are evolved to process this type of diet. It is what their body recognizes and processes easily. They absorb and use almost all of it where as dry kibble has more fillers that they are not able to process and can cause inflammation or irritation for some.
Do you just buy meat from the grocery store and like.... make it like homemade baby food? (LOL)
-not quite :) What you are looking for is a butcher you can trust that grinds meat fresh for you. The more days go by after meat is ground the more chance bacteria will be growing on it.
Is there anything I need to put it in it other than the raw stuff?
-yes. If you are making it yourself you will need to add a supplement. Two popular ones you can look into are Alnutrin and Better in the Raw. There others as well.Hopefully that will get you started :)
 

Xandria

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I really need to finish my documentation.

@MollysMom is the best resource on the Lair, I think. She's active and she's passionate about raw.

I'm a newbie who is passionate about raw and still figuring things out. To the point that I'm working on my own documentation/reference which I'm happy to share.

Here's a draft of the basics I have, which may help:

3 RAW FOOD DIET OPTIONS
Purchase pre-made commercially available raw food (freeze dried and/or frozen-fresh)
Make food with raw ingredients (Animal + Nutritional Supplements)
Make food with raw Animal (with or without bone) + Nutritional Mix In (i.e. Better in the Raw or Allnutrin)

ANIMAL PERCENTAGES
80–85% meat (muscle meat, heart, fat, skin, sinew, tendons, cartilage, and soft connective tissue)
10% edible bone
5% liver
5% organs (consider liver, lung, kidney, pancreas...)
* 20% fat content maximum (skin is considered a fat)

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
Raw egg yolks
Bone Meal powder (for Calcium if not using real bone in recipe)
Taurine
Fish oil (but NOT cod liver oil)
Vitamin B-50
Vitamin E
Lite iodized salt (with iodine)
Psyllium husk powder (optional)
* See individual recipes from Raw Food Resources below for precise amounts
* NOW supplement products are linked to as they're available in most countries, but you can buy any brand provided the item is the same. Use links as a guide.

NUTRITIONAL MIX IN (most popular)
Better in the Raw (use meat WITHOUT bone only)
Alnutrin (use meat with or without bone based on product)

NUTRITIONAL MIX IN (other options)
TC Feline (use meat WITHOUT bone + egg yolk)
Feline Instincts (use meat WITHOUT bone + raw liver)
* Always investigate and compare ingredients with Mix Ins

MEAT NOTES
Use chicken livers (vitamin A & D) and hearts (for taurine) as opposed to beef livers.
Use chicken leg & thighs (does not need to be breasts), with skin.
Do not use pork as it upsets most cat tummies.
Chicken and turkey are good starting meats.
Meat may be ground, chunked, or even served in pieces.
Introduce new meats (i.e. beef, rabbit, lamb, camel, kangaroo, venison, etc.) after 1 month or so on chicken diet.
Introduce one new meat at a time (i.e. wait a few weeks before introducing another new meat).

FEEDING REGIMEN
Kittens -- 3-4 times per day
Adults -- 2-3 times per day
As much as they will eat in about 30 minutes of each meal which usually translates to 50-100 g per meal.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
Add 250-500 mg of lysine to cat food twice per day to boost immune systems.

RAW FOOD RESOURCES
Sphynx Lair Raw Diet Section
Cat Nutrition
Cat Info
Feline Nutrition
 

Condo commando

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What transition....I made the raw food, put it in their bowls, and they ate it. Done!!!

I usually call misbehaving kitties "satellite ears" - as in, "hey Satellite Ears, get off my counter!" But I think I might switch to, "hey Lead Stomach ...!"
 

Calicocious

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What transition....I made the raw food, put it in their bowls, and they ate it. Done!!!

I usually call misbehaving kitties "satellite ears" - as in, "hey Satellite Ears, get off my counter!" But I think I might switch to, "hey Lead Stomach ...!"
You definitely lucked out. I had one that was that easy to switch. Phiona was absolutely not! They can give new meaning to the word stubborn!
 

momdeeze

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I feed my boys entirely raw due to diarrhea issues if they even smell kibble, but for the girls we feed raw & leave the kibble out. Our fur cat has been having allergic type skin issues so we decided to stop the kibble altogether. Good news, it looks like Machka's skin is starting to heal. Bad news: Minnow does not like the raw at all. She will eat it under protest but to tell us she doesn't approve she also pees on the counter next to the raw! I think it's a loud & clear message that she does not approve. She's getting her kibble in our bedroom now :)
 

Calicocious

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I feed my boys entirely raw due to diarrhea issues if they even smell kibble, but for the girls we feed raw & leave the kibble out. Our fur cat has been having allergic type skin issues so we decided to stop the kibble altogether. Good news, it looks like Machka's skin is starting to heal. Bad news: Minnow does not like the raw at all. She will eat it under protest but to tell us she doesn't approve she also pees on the counter next to the raw! I think it's a loud & clear message that she does not approve. She's getting her kibble in our bedroom now :)
Wow I'd say that's a pretty clear message of no :jawdrop: What a little stinker!
 

Sphynx Asylum Dad

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It's kinda funny how well they can communicate if they are so inclined. They won't ever give you a clear answer when you ask a question, but boy-howdy can they tell you if they don't like something!!

We are feeding turkey and chicken with Better in the Raw, they seem to like it (Raskol was a tad resistant) but the girls still have runny stool and boy does it stink!! We have pretty much resigned ourselves to dealing with the odor, and the runny varies from peanut-butter to applesauce consistency with a tendency toward the former lately. They MAY be improving slowly, time will tell I suppose. Raskol still has perfectly normal litter box presents, so hopefully the girls will follow his example. Lol.
@KansasSphynxMom
 

Condo commando

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It's kinda funny how well they can communicate if they are so inclined. They won't ever give you a clear answer when you ask a question, but boy-howdy can they tell you if they don't like something!!

We are feeding turkey and chicken with Better in the Raw, they seem to like it (Raskol was a tad resistant) but the girls still have runny stool and boy does it stink!! We have pretty much resigned ourselves to dealing with the odor, and the runny varies from peanut-butter to applesauce consistency with a tendency toward the former lately. They MAY be improving slowly, time will tell I suppose. Raskol still has perfectly normal litter box presents, so hopefully the girls will follow his example. Lol.
@KansasSphynxMom
Just another day in the life for our pampered pets!

I remember how much you guys were going through with the girls and you might have run through all the options already, but I can't remember if you tried try raw meat with bone (which can be ground). This would be as opposed to a calcium supplement which is processed food. Sure hope that they are at least holding their weight since they are on the smallish side!
 

Calicocious

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It's kinda funny how well they can communicate if they are so inclined. They won't ever give you a clear answer when you ask a question, but boy-howdy can they tell you if they don't like something!!

We are feeding turkey and chicken with Better in the Raw, they seem to like it (Raskol was a tad resistant) but the girls still have runny stool and boy does it stink!! We have pretty much resigned ourselves to dealing with the odor, and the runny varies from peanut-butter to applesauce consistency with a tendency toward the former lately. They MAY be improving slowly, time will tell I suppose. Raskol still has perfectly normal litter box presents, so hopefully the girls will follow his example. Lol.
@KansasSphynxMom
Have you tried Perfect Form supplement from The Honest Kitchen? Someone here had suggested it to me when Phiona was having issues, sorry I don't remember who. I gave it a try and it's helped firm her poo while she is on the prescription canned diet. I've been able to sneak in some raw with the wet and the smell isn't as bad anymore either. Something to look into maybe.
 
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