Raw Fed Cats (& Dogs!)

| October 29, 2012 | 20 Comments

In 2005 two young kittens came to live with me.

Their arrival marked the start of a journey of exploration and discovery that led me to delve deeply into the depths of the dark underbelly of the human food chain.

There I learned the terrible and disturbing truth about the commercial pet food industry and its reliance on the waste products and other unspeakable, low quality garbage that form the basis of the majority of the ingredients found in cans, bags and pouches of commercially manufactured pet foods.

What has been revealed to me about this subject has compelled me to not only completely reevaluate what I choose to feed my pets, but it’s also had a major impact on my view of the entire soil-food-web, which has caused me to seriously reconsider the quality and sources of the foods I choose to purchase and consume myself.

The revelation of this information also inspired me to create an entire website, and subsequently an ebook, all about raw feeding for cats.

That website, which is has been a free online resource since 2006, is Raw Fed Cats

My ebook of the same name was compiled to serve as a comprehensive guide to feeding cats a diet of whole raw foods:

For information on the ugly truth about what’s really in commercial pet food, please see this page of my website:

Toxic Junk Pet Food

For information on feeding a diet of whole raw foods to dogs, please visit these links:

A Quick Introduction to Raw Feeding

Raw Fed Dogs

Myths About Raw Feeding

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Category: Animal Health, Big Agribusiness, Commercial Pet Food, Communion With Nature, Domestic Pets | Raw Feeding, Emotional Expression, Love, Play | Fun | Relaxation, Vaccinosis | Vaccinations

Comments (20)

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  1. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing in your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

  2. Sadh says:

    Stumbled across your site and blog and reading up on some of your raw food posts re: cats and transitioning off of processed foods. I’ve got a picky eater on my hands. We are switching off of a ‘high quality’ kibble to a raw frozen food for now but even that is a challenge. Its almost like she just doesnt know what to do with it. If I pick up a piece and place it in her mouth she will gulp it down and she loves to lap up the meat juices mixed with egg but the pieces of meat she looks at like they dont belong in her bowl. Good reminder from your blog to have patience and transition slowly. I cant wait until she buys into the whole process. I know she will feel better once she does!

    • Linda Zurich says:

      Congratulations on making the decision to switch your cats to raw!

      If you haven’t already, check the Practical Guide section of my website for hints, tips and tricks for encouraging reluctant newbies to learn to eat raw.

  3. CC says:

    How can I be sure my cats are getting ALL the nutrients they need from the raw diet? It doesn’t seem to include many other things than the meat and bones. One of my 4 cats has a history of UTIs. Will this aggravate the UTI or eliminate the possibility all together? I want to feed my kitties better than I can find on the cat food market. But am at a loss and afraid to hurt them. CC

    • Linda Zurich says:

      It’s important to note that besides raw meat and RMBs, the raw diet I advocate also includes raw organ meats.

      My best understanding is that raw meats, bones and organs, fed in the approximate proportions as are found in a prey animal, will provide a cat with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive.

      Please understand the the FORM of the food we feed our carnivores is critical, and feeding them kibble is about the MOST unnatural a form of food there is for an obligate carnivore!

      Most UTIs in cats are the result of them being fed a diet heavy in carb rich grains like corn and soy, which are again, terribly unnatural plant based foods that no carnivore in nature would ever even begin to consume.

      Personally I would be much more afraid of hurting my cats by feeding them a lifetime of junk pet food than I would by feeding them a diet of whole raw foods!

  4. Jill Hawley says:

    Hi, I just started my cat on raw food. She’s eating chicken for about half her meal but I know fish is her favorite. I’ve been researching for months now on getting all my pets on raw but I have a question already.

    I went to the store and of course couldn’t find any small whole fish back in the fresh or frozen aisle so I went to the canned aisle. I finally found one variety of sardines that was in water, no added salt and I thought raw. So I bought it. But when I got home I took it out of the plastic wrapper to look at the can and found out it was smoked. Is it still safe to give to my cat?

    • Linda Zurich says:

      Just to be clear, ALL canned food is cooked.

      Personally I would not feed my own cats canned fish that has been smoked, and do not recommend that others do so either.

      I’d suggest that you check any ethnic groceries in your area, particularly Asian groceries, as these are often the best places to source raw animal based foods including fish for raw feeding pets.

      Also, please be aware that it’s best not to feed large quantities of fish to cats on a regular basis. There are a number of reasons for this which you can find by searching online.

  5. TG says:

    I too have a young male with urinary tract problems. He almost died from being completely blocked with Struvite Crystals. He’s been hospitalized several times and put on a prescription diet. Several of my cats started developing other health issues and it seemed that at soon as one came home another one got sick and had to be brought in to see the Veterinarian. Desperate to help all of my cats live healthier lives, I did my research and began feeding raw. All of my cats are thriving and have regained their health. My young male with Struvite Crystals is no longer on his prescription diet with no recurrence. My 17 year old female has regained energy and acts like a much younger cat again. All of my cats now have beautiful, sleek, noticeably softer fur. The overweight cats all lost weight and the underweight cats all have gained weight. Two of my cats used to throw-up their high quality canned/kibble meals on a regular basis, but that doesn’t happen any longer since switching to raw. I started out feeding Nature’s Variety raw frozen food because I knew I wasn’t prepared to take on the responsibility of meeting all of their nutritional needs at that time. I also don’t have the refrigeration/freezer space at this time to store all of the meat/organs/bone/supplements required to feed my multi cat household. I recently found a local source that grinds meat/bone/organs with no added supplements so I’ve been feeding more variety of meats and adding wild salmon oil, mixed with Young Again raw food supplement. They love it when I toss a chicken heart, chicken neck, and/or gizzard into their bowls along with the food mix. My ultimate goal for the future is to prepare all of their food without grinding but until then I feel really good about the steps I’ve taken. Try not to worry too much about not knowing everything right from the start. That’s why I started with commercial raw food and am transitioning more variety the more I learn.

    • Lynette Rall says:

      Thank you for your comment – it really makes me more determined to transition to feeding raw – I have adopted two cats recently from the SPCA and desperately have to do SOMETHING to make them pick up weight – one week longer and they would have been dead, they are just skin and bones. I have bought the best packaged food available from a vet, made from real protein and not just “flavoured”, but still felt they need something different. I feel more confident now that raw is the way to go forward!

  6. Maureen Cheng says:

    Hi Linda,

    I chanced upon your blog because I was researching on raw food diet. My cat Marvy is suffering from skin disorder. And I’ve visited 3 different vets did lots of test of elimination. Changed numerous diet. Lastly I’m told to feed her single source of protein (in can food format). After looking around, I chose wellness grain-free chicken or turkey. Marvy is quite a greedy cat. So I’ve added in some boiled chicken thighs to her wet food so to fill her up. I’ve been feeding both of my cats on this diet for more than half a year. My 16 year old cat Muji seems to be doing well. Her coat is healthier and her eyes are brighter. But for Marvy it ‘s on and off, some days she’s good but some days she’s off. Marvy has to wear a collar all the time cos’ when I take it off, she will mutate herself by licking parts of her body bald and she constantly shed fur and have specks of dandruff on her fur.

    I’m at a lost wit of what I should or can do for her. Very stressed and helpless. So I’m tempted to switch her to raw food diet. But most of the raw food diet resources and blogs are from USA. I’m not sure if there’s anyone in Asia has successfully introduce raw food diet upon their cats? Can I know if I feed her raw food, do I need to add taurine or any vitamins powder etc to the existing diet etc? Lastly my older cat is 16 years old. Do you think I can feed her raw food too?
    Your advice is most helpful and appreciated. Thank you, Maureen (Singapore)

    • Linda Zurich says:

      Hi Maureen,

      I have corresponded with people from Asia who have successfully transitioned their cats to a raw diet.

      I would suggest that you join these forums, where you can ask questions and get advice from many, many very knowledgeable and experienced people from all over the world who feed their pets raw:

      http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawcat/

      http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/catandkittenhealth/

      I would also suggest that you visit and read my other website, where you can find more information on raw feeding: http://rawfedcats.org

      Most all raw muscle meat contains taurine, so as long as you are feeding plenty of meat there is no need to supplement with additional taurine. And if you are feeding a ‘prey model’ diet, as described on my website, there is no need to add any other additional vitamins or powders.

      Older cats may take more time to transition to raw, but yes, you can help your 16 year old cat to make the switch.

      Best of luck!

  7. Bob Rubel says:

    You made a believer out of me. My cat loves the raw food. One Question. When you speak of using vinegar and peroxide, are you suggesting the food be cleaned with them or the hands and working area?

    • Linda Zurich says:

      Hands should be washed with soap and warm water. Surfaces should be cleaned with a spritz of vinegar, then wiped, then followed by a spritz of hydrogen peroxide and wiped again.

      Raw food for your pet should not be ‘cleaned’ with anything! At the very most, if you feel to you may rinse the raw food with cool water. That’s it!

  8. Norah says:

    Thank you for all the effort you put in this web site, you’re helping a lot of us.
    I love my Ragdoll kitten who just turned 8 months, and I am always concerned when it comes to her food, I tried different brands that are supposed to be high quality, I have been spending hundreds of pounds monthly, and she seems to be very picky and doesn’t enjoy them. Two vets told me it WAS not healthy to give her raw food as it might cause her pancreatitis and renal diseases. I gave her some Frozen Cod fillets and Prawns and she loved them but again I read here that I can’t give cats fish everyday.
    so please help me..
    how many times can I give her sea food per week? she also likes chicken and lamb liver and sometimes beef.
    how can I make it balanced and healthy for her? I do want her to have a long healthy life.

    • Linda Zurich says:

      I’m glad my site has been helpful. Have you been to my other site? http://rawfedcats.org

      Most all vet schools (at least here in the US – the same is most likely true in the UK as well) are heavily subsidized with financial contributions from pet food companies. These corporations influence the curricula in vet schools, and often even facilitate the teaching of so-called “nutrition” classes. Most vet students are wooed with gifts and other perks from pet food companies, and once they graduate with a degree and start their practices, become lifelong pet food salesmen. Most all vets have a vested interest in selling that junk to their customers, so it’s no wonder your vet tells you it’s ‘not healthy’ to feed your cat a diet of whole raw foods! This despite the fact that the most natural diet for all wild felines the world over has for eons consisted of nothing but the raw flesh, bones and organs of other ‘prey’ animals. And despite the fact that domestic cats all over the planet that eat a steady diet of conventional pet food are suffering in unprecedented numbers from a myriad of chronic degenerative diseases including periodontal disease, cancer, obesity, renal/urinary issues, digestive problems, and skin ailments etc.

      This is explained in some detail on my website here: http://www.rawfedcats.org/toxic.htm

      Once you really do your research and understand the true anatomy and physiology of your cat, which is a born obligate carnivore, you may decide to stop listening to brainwashed vets about what’s best to feed her, and help her instead to make the transition to a prey model diet of whole raw foods.

      I do not think it is at all wise to feed fish/seafood more than one meal per week.

      Beyond that, I suggest that you thoroughly study the information on my website http://rawfedcats.org and perhaps purchase my ebook, all of which should help you understand how to assemble and feed a more natural, healthful raw diet to your cat.

      I would also highly recommend joining the following forum, where you can connect with thousands of other very experienced raw feeders who can offer you the best advice, support and guidance to help you learn how and why to feed your cat a diet of whole raw foods, which in my opinion is one of the best ways to help our pets live longer, healthier, happier lives: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/rawcat/info

  9. For my organisation VOCAL I’ve recently been fostering an incontinent kitten rescued from the street. I’m keen to find a way so he does not have to be in a diaper all the time and I’ve heard that a raw diet will help reduce the amount and smelliness of his stool. Apart from the other great advantages, (I’m going to try to convert my own cats too), is this an added advantage that you are aware of? Thanks Virginia, Crete, Greece.

    • Linda Zurich says:

      Yes! Feeding cats a diet of whole raw foods (instead of commercial food) definitely does result in a reduction in both the size and smell of their stools.

  10. Manon says:

    I adopted a 15-month old DSH from the city pound about five months ago. He had been treated with many courses of antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection. His tail end was pretty gross, his coat was dull and flaky… My intention was to transition him to a raw diet and since I had already successfully done so with a dog, I was familiar with the principles. I started with a good quality canned food and topped it with a small piece of whatever meat we humans were going to eat that night. He almost always ate the raw first. Things were looking up so I increased the meat and eventually, I had a raw-fed cat. I’ve been buying ground meat and whole organs from a local raw pet food business and blending in eggs, etc. Over the course of our time together, I discovered he wasn’t a fan of duck. Chicken was also on the “Don’t bother plating that for me” list. As of yesterday, I’m down to turkey and rabbit. Rabbit, on the other hand, he gobbles. Turkey is becoming a problem food. Last night, I put his plate down and he made a sound a cat should never make and a human should never hear. He took a while to eat, and even then, he didn’t finish. Today, I warmed it up in a frying pan to see if he would be more open to eating it that way. He walked away. He came back a few times. Probably just hopeful it had transformed into unicorn tenderloin. Another wasted meal. I know I have to find other sources of smaller prey to provide him with variety. It’s not so easy in these parts. I’m afraid of his completely turning up his nose at any raw and having to go back to canned. Is persistence worthwhile?

    • Linda Zurich says:

      The short answer is yes! Persistence is worthwhile!

      Cats can be incredibly fickle sometimes when it comes to their food, and I’ve found that waiting awhile and offering a once refused food again a week or two later results in success.

      It’s easy to think that once a food is refused that it will be refused forevermore, but that’s not always the case, so it is worth trying again at some point.

      My best suggestion to you would be to join the Rawcat yahoo group at this link: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/rawcat/info

      There you can ask your specific questions and get fantastic advice and support from thousands of folks who’ve been feeding their cats a diet of whole raw foods for years and years. Just be warned that that forum is only about feeding WHOLE raw foods – not ground – and so they will always guide and advise you to refrain from feeding any ground meat and instead make your way to feeding your cat only whole raw foods.

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