Benefits of Feeding Raw
- Increased bioavailability of nutrients
- Increased digestive function
- Decreased volume and odor of excrement
- Healthier teeth and gums
- Lustrous coat
- Supple, healthy skin
- Bright, clear eyes
- Decreased body odor
- Cleaner, fresher ears
- Positive behavioral changes
Transitioning Your Cat to a Raw Diet
Cats are delightfully fussy creatures with tendencies that can stress even the most laid back of humans. One feline tendency that’s genetically hardwired is a craving for salty, high fat foods. Feeding processed commercial foods filled with rancid fats and artificial flavorings exacerbates that craving to varying degrees of addiction. Also potentially addictive is the shape and texture of their food. Many commercial cat food manufacturers devote millions of dollars toward researching a shape and texture a majority of cats will find irresistible. It’s simple. Formulate a junk food in just the right shape and texture, and then fill and cover it in fat, salt and sugar. Bingo. The cat will eat joyfully, and over time, will refuse anything else. The cat is now officially a junky, and would seemingly prefer starvation to eating anything else. But there is hope for those equipped with the proper knowledge.
Transitioning Your Cat to a Raw Diet
Cats have a unique and precarious metabolism that can be pushed off kilter with abrupt dietary changes. Unlike dogs, cats should have very small amounts of raw food mixed with their kibble or canned food to help ease the transition and avoid physiological backlash.
Before making any dietary changes, it’s sensible and prudent to take your cat to your vet for a checkup to make sure it’s in good health and address any discovered issues. Obtaining blood and urinalysis values will provide you a great baseline for tracking health, and your vet will be better able to extend dietary advice.
After meeting with your vet and understanding your cat’s current health status and related dietary needs, stop by Natural Pet Pantry for samples of each of our Cat Meals. You may consider buying one package of each meal, and the samples will let you know which meal it most prefers without having to open an entire meal package. Once your cat picks it favorite, you can then open the larger meal packet to begin the transition with.
Your cat may immediately prefer the raw over its kibble or canned food, but you must still adhere to a slow transition to avoid potential GI or metabolic problems.
If your cat is disinterested in the raw, you can flash sear any of our BONELESS Cat Meals in a pan to bring out its aroma. Heat a skillet to medium temperature and drop a sample packet size amount in. Heat for 15-20 seconds while stirring, and then quickly place on a plate until cooled to a safe-to-eat temperature. Place warmed food in a dish with its regular food and mix thoroughly. The kibble’s coating will lace the healthy food with junk your cat is familiar with, making it more appealing. Sad but true.
Do not allow your cat to go on a self-imposed hunger strike. Contrary to common belief, a CAT will not eventually eat out of hunger. If a cat fasts for too long, it may become susceptible to developing a life threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). It’s also not unheard of for a cat to literally starve itself to death by refusing food it isn’t familiar with, or doesn’t like.
Feed your cat two regularly scheduled meals per day and begin by replacing up to 1 tsp. of its current food with no more than 1 tsp. of NPP Raw Meal for Cats. You may use less raw to begin with, but do not use more raw than suggested. Continue the rate of increasing 1 tsp. of raw and reducing 1 tsp. of current food per week until the current food is entirely depleted.
Due to the caloric differences of raw versus kibble and canned, please refer to your veterinarian for healthy amounts of raw to feed based on your cat’s current health status.
Transitioning Your Dog to a Raw Diet
It is very important when transitioning your dog onto a raw or cooked food diet to make sure they are digesting it well.
To do this, take it in steps by giving them their kibble or other raw products with a small amount of the new food. Incrementally increase the new food and decrease the kibble. To start, make their meal 75% old food and 25% new food. You’ll know it’s time to increase your dog’s ratio of new food when they have a solid stool. Increase the new food by another 25% in a few days or when you see that your pet is tolerating the change in diet.
Some pets may take three days to transition and some may take three weeks. Observe your dog’s reaction to the new food and increase according to what you think is best, based on their tolerance. Look for firm stools before you make any new changes. If they are really sensitive to the change, add only 10% new food.
Adding probiotics to their food will also help the sensitive pet to transition more easily.