The Testosterone Story
Another trick is to dip some of the dry food into the 'juice' of canned food to begin to accustom her taste buds to the taste of the better food. Ideally, you should work closely with your vet on any changes you want to make to your cat's diet. Don't let small children have access to your cat's raw food. I am continually amazed at how many adult cats make the transition smoothly to raw food with minimal or no fuss. Proceed steadily in the right direction, slipping small amounts of the new food in with canned. Synephrine can increase ones metabolic rate and thermogenesis without any side effects on blood pressure or cardiovascular health. Mayo Clinic trainees participate in a wide range of basic, translational and clinical research projects in state-of-the-art facilities.
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Targeting methionine auxotrophy in cancer: Expert Opin Biol Ther 12 1: The low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction feasible as a life extension strategy. Hypotheses 72 2: Protein methionine content and MDA-lysine adducts are inversely related to maximum life span in the heart of mammals. Lowered methionine ingestion as responsible for the decrease in rodent mitochondrial oxidative stress in protein and dietary restriction possible implications for humans.
Acta Chitin synthesis and degradation as targets for pesticide action. A review of methionine dependency and the role of methionine restriction in cancer growth control and life-span extension. Sniffer dogs as part of a bimodal bionic research approach to develop a lung cancer screening. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 14 5: Colorectal cancer screening with odour material by canine scent detection. Gut 60 6: Generation of gaseous sulfur-containing compounds in tumour tissue and suppression of gas diffusion as an antitumour treatment.
Gut 61 4: Expression of the biochemical defect of methionine dependence in fresh patient tumors in primary histoculture. Can dietary methionine restriction increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treatment of advanced cancer? J Am Coll Nutr 20 Suppl 5: Methionine dependency and cancer treatment. The effect of replacement of methionine by homocystine on survival of malignant and normal adult mammalian cells in culture.
USA 71 4: Olfactory detection of human bladder cancer by dogs: Proof of principle study. BMJ It takes time to properly calculate what's needed to correct calcium-to- phosphorus ratio if someone wants to use another calcium source, and I am not convinced that using calcium sources other than what I've suggested is a good idea in the first place.
The tinkering I do is really along the margins of the diet and certainly there may be times when you'll need to do the same. My only advice is to be certain that whatever adjustments you might make do not violate the key principles that you simply MUST get right - like making sure the calcium amounts are correct. If your cat prefers her meals more "soupy," than of course you can add a bit more water to the mix. If you're having a problem with hairballs, I think it's fine to add some extra psyllium and water.
If your cat is under great stress, upping the amount of B-complex is probably a fine idea. You shouldn't mess with things that put your cat at risk for toxicity, such as by using too much of non-water soluble vitamins like A, D, or E.
This is especially true if you're using synthetic vitamins. Please don't ask me to perform a wholesale re-engineering of this diet to suit each person's unique needs or preferences. But beyond that, I simply cannot confidently perform a wholesale re-engineering of this diet to suit each person's unique needs. That said, I do try hard to help as many people as I can who send me questions via e-mail, because I know how much it meant to me to have guidance when I first tentatively dipped my toes in this raw food venture.
But please don't ask me to completely reconstruct the diet and perform all the calculations for you to come up with a revised and correctly balanced recipe. I have a busy job and home life, and while keeping up with this website is a labor of love and I will do my very best to answer the questions you have on feeding this diet, I simply cannot reinvent the wheel.
I also need some time to make cat food. I advise anyone considering a raw diet to do as much of their own reading as possible on the issue, focusing heavily on information from unbiased sources. You can start with having a look at the resources page. I suggest always asking yourself if a given raw diet recipe is truly species-appropriate or might just be an "adapted dog diet" recipe. I don't have the corner on the only way of doing this right.
This site simply reflects what I've come to believe is the most sound way I know of to safely prepare a truly balanced and healthy diet for cats.
If I come on information that, after careful reading, persuades me beyond 'reasonable doubt' that the diet needs changing or adjustment, I'll change it. I try very hard to keep up with the latest work on feline nutrition from the veterinary journals and am in regular contact with people who have been feeding raw successfully for years. I am a lay person. I'm not a professionally-trained nutritionist and certainly not a veterinarian. Ideally, you should work closely with your vet on any changes you want to make to your cat's diet.
Unfortunately, not nearly enough vets are well-versed in feline nutrition to be of very much help, and many default to either reflexively dismissing raw diets or offering to sell you a bag of some prescription food. That said, if you find a vet that really knows small animal nutrition-- and is well-versed in cat nutrition?
Vegetarianism as a nutritional choice for humans is magnificent. Cats have no choice. We bring obligate carnivores into our lives and feeding them other animals is a necessity and a responsibility. A cat cannot survive long without eating other animals. The protein in a vegetable does not supply what a cat needs to live.
There is plenty of room for debate on how to best feed a cat. But there is no debating that cats are obligate carnivores. Cats rely on nutrients in animal tissues to meet their specific nutritional requirements. Plant tissue doesn't cut it. It never CAN for carnivores. I understand that it can be difficult to handle raw meat.
Believe me, the first time I got an order of whole rabbits delivered to my door for making cat food I nearly wept and it was everything I had to get through chopping and grinding. But it got easier because I kept in mind that my carnivore friends would have the best shot at longer, healthier lives if I did it.
And when I focused on what goes into the manufacturing of many commercially-prepared cans or bags of cat food, I realized that the raw material that went into them was infinitely more gross.
Slaughterhouse waste, meat unfit for human consumption, toxic chemicals, questionable preservatives, animal entrails fermented into sprayable liquid mixtures with acid, and on and on.
It didn't take long to face the fact that what I was assembling in my kitchen for my carnivores was certainly less offensive than almost anything I could scoop out of a bag or a can.
As Anne Martin discovered when she conducted her long, detailed, and thorough investigation into the pet food industry, "companion animals from clinics, pounds, and shelters can and are being rendered and used as sources of protein in pet food.
Dead-stock removal operations play a major role in the pet food industry. Dead animals, road kill that cannot be buried at roadside, and in some cases, zoo animals, are picked up by these dead stock operations. When an animal dies in the field or is killed due to illness or disability, the dead stock operators pick them up and truck them to the receiving plant.
There the dead animal is salvaged for meat or, depending on the state of decomposition, delivered to a rendering plant. At the receiving plants, the animals of value are skinned and viscera removed.
Hides of cattle and calves are sold for tanning. The usable meat is removed from the carcass, and covered in charcoal to prevent it from being used for human consumption. Then the meat is frozen, and sold as animal food, which includes pet food. Remember, most of the commercial pet food industry is an extension of the food waste industry.
These include taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin B Doesn't dry food help clean a cat's teeth? The short answers are - no, and no. Quite the opposite in fact.
Dry food, with its high-carbohydrate load mixes with saliva in the mouth to form a yucky, sticky paste that adheres to the gums and teeth much more than wet food. And that opens the door to expensive dental cleanings, downstream health issues, and stress and pain for your cat. In my experience, some cats seem to have naturally healthy teeth that will tolerate a lousy diet. Other cats seem to show signs of dental distress and problems very early on in life regardless of their diet.
So it's kind of a crap shoot. She notes, " If anything, tartar and gum disease seemed to be more attributable to genetics or concurrent disease such as feline leukemia or feline AIDS than to any particular diet. Hofve concludes that dry food does not clean the teeth.
Carnivores have long canine teeth those are the big pointy ones you see at the corner of a cat's mouth to grab and kill prey. To pull the meat off of bones, they use their incisors. Finally, the carnassial teeth - the upper premolar and lower molars - are built to tear and cut flesh. You're living with a little animal-killing machine. Those teeth aren't made for cereal. Anyway, you know how when we humans chew there's a back-and-forth and side-to-side action happening with the teeth?
The movement that makes it possible for you to jut your lower row of teeth out in front of your upper row of teeth? Or that lets you move the lower jaw left and right? Not so with carnivores. For them, the lower jaw cannot move forward and has very limited side-to-side motion. The jaw on a cat is a simple hinge joint that lies on the same plane of the teeth; the hinge pivots.
It's a lot like your knee joint. As the jaw moves, the temporarilis muscle triggers the movement of the jaw. For herbivores, conversely, the chewing action involving forward and backward and side-to-side movement of the lower jaw pushes food back and forth into the grinding teeth - with the help from tongue and cheek muscles. This is a brilliant design that lets herbivores mechanically break down the cell walls of plants.
Meanwhile, a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme - sailvary amylase kicks into action and breaks down starchy carbohydrates. Cats don't produce salivary amylase. That fact alone, by the way, is huge. This is yet another reason not to feed carbohydrates or plant matter to cats. The un-broken-down carbohydrates, it is posited by some, can form a sticky paste that creates plaque and tartar in the mouth.
It's the specific geeky details like these that explain why feeding dry kibble based for dental health makes very little sense. There's probably a little abrasive action on the inside of teeth when kitty closes the top row down on the bottom row with a large piece of kibble.
But it's the outer teeth where plaque and tartar form - generally, a cat's tongue will help remove plaque from the inner surfaces of the teeth.
Mills, MD to thank for his work explaining "eating anatomy" in a way that made sense to me. It depends on what you and your cat are willing to do. Please see my web page on periodontal disease , for starters.
Having your cat's teeth and gums examined regularly and, if needed, scheduling dental cleanings under anesthetic! While it's preferable to never have to subject your cat to the stress and anesthetic of dental cleanings, sometimes it's the very wisest thing to do.
Do check out Dr. Andrea Tasi's extraordinarily helpful article on what questions to ask your veterinarian before scheduling dental work on your cat. Read it, study it, print it, and take it with you the next time you're talking to your vet about dental work for your cat. Bear in mind, too, that a cat's teeth can look just fine and still hide serious problems.
There's a compelling argument in favor of having a cat's teeth and gums thoroughly checked at least once a year under anesthetic to make sure there aren't issues lurking under the gum-line that aren't visible to the naked eye. That said, I personally have a tough time justifying putting a cat through the risks of anesthesia when there's no obvious reason to take the risk.
It's a judgment call. Brushing your cat's teeth. I know more than a few people who manage this with more ease than you'd think is possible. The trick is to proceed slowly and to, early on, link tooth brushing with a pleasurable activity.
You don't want to make this a battle, after all. Your cat won't like it and you'll give up. I began brushing my cats' teeth finally!
I pretty much followed the guidelines and tricks on that Cornell University video, though I find that tooth-brushing is more hassle-free around here if I catch the critters when they're asleep. They're two fairly mellow guys and seem to take to it well. Remember - you do NOT have to brush the inside of the teeth, only the outside -- and really all it takes is some swift, repeated swipes of the upper and lower rows of teeth.
We use seafood-flavored cat toothpaste here and it seems to be a hit. Feeding regular meals of nothing but large chunks of muscle meat. Granted, many cats absolutely refuse to eat chunks - I had the darndest time with two of my cats when it came to eating chunks. If you're persistent and your cat is hungry, your cat may surprise you. Wilson sure surprised us on this front.
The shearing and tearing action of a carnivore's teeth against raw meat is fantastic exercise for the jaw and goes a long way to creating the pre-conditions for great oral health. Wilson generously agreed to demonstrate in the video below - just know that this is two and a half minutes long.
Hey, this ain't kibble munching. This is what it takes for a carnivore to work through just one big ol' hunk of chicken thigh. Hey, this raw feeding seems like it might be a great idea for dogs. Can I feed them this food? But keep in mind that dogs have considerably more flexibility in their digestive system than cats, so there is quite a bit more wiggle room in preparing a dog's raw diet.
If I had a dog, you can absolutely sure that I'd feed raw. Here's a link to a great tutorial on the basics of raw feeding for our canine friends. And so we're perfectly clear on this: We here at catnutrition.
You've convinced me that raw feeding is a good idea, but I just don't have the time or supplies to do it. Is there a next best option? Honestly, making your own cat food is NOT as time-consuming as you might think. I work a full-time job and have a very busy life, and have managed it for over a dozen years. But I also realize that not everyone is going to be able or willing to put in the time required.
Here are some next-best options to consider: Look into the TC Feline raw cat food premix product. Start off by buying TC Feline product - a premix made by a fabulous company founded by a woman who is arguably one of the most important pioneers in modern raw feeding for cats, Natascha Wille.
They make a dry ingredient premix for making raw food, thus saving you the time of measuring out individual ingredients. You add meat, organs, and water to their product and you have some VERY good raw cat food in very little time.
The only thing I really don't like about this method is that because the product already contains calcium, you cannot use real bone, which is superior to any isolated calcium source. TC Feline - the successor to Feline Future - is an utterly wonderful company that, frankly, has done more to make raw feeding accessible to cat caregivers than any other company. It's done so in a way that no other has done with years of painstaking, yet humane, research into every single ingredient that belongs and does NOT belong in the diet of an obligate carnivore.
The company has been around since They were and remain real trailblazers in the field of responsible feline nutrition. Perhaps once you start using their product, you'll be inspired to make the food entirely yourself by mixing your own ingredients and using real bone. Even if your cat never gets real bone, she'll still be getting a diet that is far, far superior to anything else you can get out of a can or a bag Consider buying a quality pre-made raw diet.
This can cost you more money much, much more money than doing it yourself, although there are ways to bring the cost down if you're creative. You have to be careful buying pre-made raw diets, as far too many of the ones I see for sale have ingredients in them like vegetables, herbs, and even grains. I shake my head in disbelief, frankly, at some of the pre-made raw diets that are sold that contain ingredients such as bok choy, acorn squash, turnips, celery, garlic, apples, alfalfa seeds, walnut meal, beans, papaya, cranberries, and on and on.
Remember--carnivores cannot efficiently process plant matter into beneficial nutrition. They lack the salivary amylase and enzymatic pathways to do that. So if you're going to buy a pre-made raw food, you're going to have to look carefully at the ingredient list. I strongly urge you to steer clear of any diet that contains vegetables or grains.
And to make sure that any pre-ground product is contains sufficient taurine. Finally, bear in mind that if you're letting someone else do the grinding, you are putting faith in someone else's hygiene practices.
It's a good idea to find out what you can about the cleanliness of their facilities and grinder. This isn't always easy. Feed a truly quality canned or freeze-dried diet you provide the hydration that is free of grains and, if possible, vegetables. Wouldn't it be easier and better to just feed whole prey? It depends on your cat. And it depends on you. The whole prey model is another method of feeding raw to cats.
As I've said, my way of preparing and feeding a raw diet is not the only way. There is certainly more than one way to construct a balanced diet. You can learn more about feeding whole prey -- which involves no grinding and instead serving a variety of whole, raw carcasses -- on several Yahoo egroups, including this one.
I haven't been on egroups for awhile now--this website and its emails keeps me more than busy--but there are plenty of smart and supportive people out there with experience that I can't offer, and who have suggestions on how to switch even the most stubborn cats to a prey model diet.
If this sounds like it's for you, then please do check out the group and learn more. It's a terrific way to improve your cat's chances of having good oral health and is truly closer to what mother nature intended. If you are careful to source your meats from animals that are themselves fed properly and unfortunately, many are not , then good ol' mother nature takes care of providing a perfect package of nutrition for your cat and you don't need to fuss with grinding or supplementing.
Unfortunately, the issue for many people, like me, is that since I did not start my cats out from kittenhood on raw, their willingness to devour whole prey is not very strong. Heck, I struggled with getting my first raw eaters, Duke and Nettie, to eat the chunks of raw meat that I cut up by hand for years.
I think we've created generations of feline hothouse orchids who have grown so accustomed to being served meals of soft food--and who, sadly either because of bad genetic luck or years of eating low-grade diets end up with terrible dental woes--that they are being pushed away from being the carnivores they are.
And mother nature always rebels when we don't respect the nature of beings. I ran across a very sad fact. Pandas are actually carnivores. So why are they eating all that bamboo in the zoo? The loss of their habitat and prey over the years forced them into eating what was available--they became vegetarians by necessity. And the species has suffered woefully because of it. Having the digestive system characteristic of a carnivore, the giant panda is very inefficient in digesting bamboo, utilizing an average of only 17 percent of the dry matter.
Therefore, adult pandas must eat up to 40 pounds per day of bamboo to get enough nourishment. Many spend 14 hours of their day eating just to get at some nutrition. And any panda fans can tell you the problems these amazing creatures have with fertility and health. The panda is a carnivore that has been forced into being a vegetarian. When bamboo flowers die and the years pass for seedlings to mature, this leaves the panda helpless and starving. See what happens when we mess with mother nature?
My point is this: If I can persuade people to recognize that--and get them eating a raw meat based diet, I figure I've moved more cats in the direction that mother nature intended. If you can succeed in taking this further--and getting your carnivores to eat truly WHOLE foods--then go for it! I'm satisfied that my cats are getting an extremely balanced diet that mimics that which they'd catch, kill, and eat in the wild. But I don't--and you shouldn't--dismiss the importance of texture as a core component of what it means to move our cats toward a diet that truly imitates the whole eating experience mother nature designed them for.
In my case, I have always been concerned about the bone size in many readily available whole carcasses such as chicken or rabbit. A cat that eats around the bone constantly isn't going to be getting enough calcium. I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm just saying I haven't yet mastered a way to do it with my cats that keeps me from spending all my time cajoling them to eat and fretting about whether they ate sufficient amounts of calcium that week. Your cats' ability and flexibility to adjust to a whole prey model diet will depend on a number of variables--your cat's age, whether she has all her teeth, her adaptability, and your patience and time.
But this is true of all raw diets. Once you take the step and decide to get your cat off of commercial foods that comes in bags or cans, there's some adjusting for everyone involved. There are some remarkable success stories of people who have taken the time to switch their cats to a whole prey diet. In my admittedly very limited experience, however, many cats who are switched to a raw diet arrive in less than ideal shape and simply getting them to switch over from a lousy dry diet to canned food takes commitment and effort.
Then getting them from canned to raw can also take time and patience. If an older cat that's lost bowel elasticity and has health that is otherwise compromised, it's a pretty titanic accomplishment to persuade the cat to eat an entirely different food.
So we do the best we can and make whatever adjustments and compromises are practical. But if you're dealing with a cat that's missing teeth or who, from years of conditioning, lacks the enthusiasm for chowing down big chunks of whole prey, you do what you need to do to get the cat eating the healthiest diet possible. I strongly encourage anyone who is feeding raw to consider at least trying to feed large chunks of meat and even meat with small, appropriate-for-a-small-cat sized bones.
There is nothing more helpful to a cat's oral health than using those jaws the way mother nature intended. I can't answer specific questions about the whole prey model because I don't feed that way. If you're interested in this approach, I encourage you to do some additional digging and to connect with feeders who are experienced in this method. There is a wonderful and thorough website on the whole prey model that I urge you to look at if you're curious about this other method of feeding raw.
I am going away on a trip, so what do I do about feeding my cat? Fill a bowl of kibble? The bowl of kibble idea. Truthfully, I recommend having a cat sitter come and look after animals when you're away.
Be sure to teach your cat sitter how to prepare the food warm the food in a baggie, don't leave large amounts out all day, and so on. If you don't have a friend, relative, or neighbor you can trust to do the job, check out PetSitters International to help locate someone. In Canada, an excellent resource is here. My friend Lee, who runs a pet sitting service, has a section of her website that has some excellent tips on what to do before you go away on a trip and leave your animals in the care of a petsitter.
If you're in the US, also check out Care. You might also check with your veterinarian's office to see if they have any recommendations and look at the bulletin boards that are up in many pet supply centers for possible leads on a cat sitter.
Just be sure to do your homework and due diligence on whoever you select for this very important job. How often will I need to make cat food?
It depends, obviously, on how much your cat eats. A batch made from the recipe that I have on this site lasts two cats just under two weeks, on average. During certain periods of the year cat appetites can soar and a batch won't last that long. The batch size in the recipe on my site appears to feed a kitten for about 12 hours. How much does it cost to make this diet? This is very hard to say, because so much depends on the price you pay for meat, which can vary dramatically.
When I first started making batches with rabbit, I paid a staggering price. Thankfully, I learned about Hare Today which supplies excellent fresh rabbit that costs less than half that price, including shipping on ice.
Yahoo e-groups has a quite a few groups devoted to regionally-based raw feeders who work together to buy meat in bulk and help source other ingredients.
Run a search there on "BARF feeding" and your city, state, or region and see what you find. If you don't find one, perhaps consider setting one up yourself. My rough estimate of how much it costs me to feed my cats is about 90 cents per day, per cat. Chicken and turkey cost less, rabbit and guinea fowl cost more.
And this is only a rough calculation because the other ingredients in the diet--such as the Vitamins, psyllium, and other items--are only purchased once or twice a year and I sometimes get lucky and find items on sale or find online sellers with free shipping promotions. When looking at the cost of feeding a home-prepared diet, factor in the potential costs of not feeding a home-prepared diet.
Personally, I view feeding a first-rate diet as money in the bank, as my cats don't spend time or my money going back and forth to the vet for digestive troubles, urinary tract woes, skin allergies, expensive diabetes maintenance, or other chronic health problems. Feed cheap, pay later. Feed well, reap the benefits for years. Finally, there is a very comforting peace of mind that comes from knowing that we're doing the best we can manage for these magnificent companions diet-wise, and improving their chances of steering clear of the chronic feline diseases that are so frightfully common these days.
The Important Fine Print: The content on this site is written by a lay person with no veterinary training. This website is not intended to replace professional advice from your veterinarian and nothing on this site is intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Questions about your animal's health should be directed to a professional animal health care provider. If the information on this site is useful to you, kindly consider a financial contribution by clicking on this handy "Buy Now" button.
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