Raw Feeding Your Cat. Tips & Advice from Nurturing by Nature
Raw Feeding Information
Cats are obligate carnivores which mean they require fresh raw meat, including fat, offal and bones for optimum health. Cats also evolved in hot, dry climates so are reliant on their diet to supply the majority of their fluid requirement.
They have evolved as extremely successful predators and have adapted to needing regular feeding. Going without food can make your cat ill so you should not allow a cat to go without eating for more than 24hrs.
This being the case - to make a start - we recommend that a small amount of raw food is offered at breakfast time (just a teaspoon full to start with) If the cat takes to it and eats it all - offer another small spoon full. Repeat this again midday and in the evening alongside offering their old diet.
Next morning offer a little more and gradually increase the amount over the next three days to be feeding 100g each meal, twice a day. From then onwards adjust the quantity of each meal to the individual cat. Try to get your cat to accept a good variety of different meats and after a few weeks offer larger portions of whole food - chicken wings are ideal.
What to do if your cat will not even try the raw food!
Some cats will not eat things they are unfamiliar with – so to encourage you cat to try the raw mince put the usual food along side it in the same dish. Repeat this again in the evening offering the raw on it own first. Continue to do this every day, twice a day, for the next week. This does mean that you may have to throw a bit of raw away each day (a dog can be very useful here in disposing of any left overs for you!) We recommend you leave each meal down for about 10 minutes (or until your cat has walked away from it) As cats will only eat fresh food it is not advised to offer the previous raw meal later in the day or the following day as you can do for dogs.
After a week, loosely and gently fold the raw and processed foods together. Your cats should still be able to pick out the bits they want to eat. Once your cats are eating a bit of the raw, along with the processed food, mix it together more. When they are happily eating the mix gradually decrease the commercial food and increase the raw portion until you are feeding just the raw food. Introduce as many varieties of raw foods as possible using the chicken as the base meat.
After introducing a new meat in the morning meal go back to the chicken in the evening to give you something to compare to. You will help you gage what suits your cat or what she likes.
Mix it up
Do feed a mix of meat with offal in moderation, two or three times a week. You will find that offal make the motions a bit softer. The more variety that you can feed the better the diet will be.
As you and your cat progress with raw feeding try to feed the meat in as natural a form as possible i.e. whole rabbit leg with fur on or a fully feathered pheasant breast. Day old chicks make an ideal meal and are greatly enjoyed by most cats. Any part of the meal that is left can be refrigerated for the next day.
Due to the nature of these meals may want to encourage your cat to eat them outside!
It is worth knowing that cats do not have the ability to process cereals or vegetable material so feeding a processed cooked diet, especially a kibble type diet, can cause a number of problems including diabetes, obesity, urinary tract disorders, chronic renal disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
We recommend you do not leave dry food down for the cats to graze during the day as this will interfere with the transfer over to raw feeding.