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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a difference a poo makes.

Ok, so he might have said day, but work with me here, eh?

I just realised all the way through this morning how easy my cats have been since I switched to a mostly raw diet. Poos are small and well formed and hardly stink at all. I take out one reasonably small bag of waste per day for 8 cats, and everybody knows that kittens are little pooing machines. This raw is just incredible. For anyone toying with the idea of feeding, since I have fed raw I have had:

No runny bums (except for kitten worming of course, and even then, very mild and short lasting). Prior to feeding, one of my girls would go through bouts of having a horrendous bum. She was pannel tested for everything every time, to the point where my vet was getting annoyed (and that's saying something), but as I breed, I had to be sure every time. Kittens last year while weaning had the usual kitten soft poo which is messy when one slips in it, falls, rolls, then toddles off to give his brother and sister a cuddle... This year I've actually only bathed them for the sole reason of getting them used to it for new owners, and never because they needed it.

No hairballs. Now, I breed and keep Persians, so to make this statement is a huge thing as these cats are most prone to them for obvious reasons. To be fair, because I keep on top of their grooming, we only used to get a hairball about once a month or so, but they really stank and weren't nice at all to clean. Each cat would have a vommit from time to time, just, I'm sure, to spite my efforts at carpet cleaning, but since moving to raw, we've had one or two kitten vomits (to be expected), and only one adult vomit from Gabby when I gave her weaning paste without added water which she was so excited about that she scoughed the lot (probably enough for 2 cats for a whole day, greedy mare!), so I think we can allow that.

No smelly breath. Normally when kittens are teething, their breath is horrendous, but I've not noticed it at all. My older girl has never had bad teeth exactly, but needed a scale and polish, and even the vet remarked the other day that her teeth were actually getting better since the last time she saw her. The only reason she did it at all was because she was under sedation anyway, otherwise there'd have been no need.

No massive grooming commitment. Persians need groomed every day, right? Wrong. On a raw diet, I only need to groom them every few days, and in fact, have left my fluffiest girl (huge show coat, so really a lot of fur) for a week before to see what state the coat would get in. Please note, I monitored her the whole time as I'd not voluntarily let her get a knot. At the end of a week, there was nothing. No knots, no tangles, a very few snarled bits which is normal as she's still a baby and plays very hard, but it literally took me 10-15 minutes to do a full groom. With a commercial diet, if I didn't groom her every day or every two at a push, her coat was almost unmanageable.

Lots of complements on how good my lots' coats look, how shiny and particularly soft they are, how full and vibrant. Before switching to raw, people mentioned that they were lovely, but never went into such detail about it, so there must be quite a difference. I've noticed that Gabby is so soft she feels like cotton wool, Millie's coat is like silk, literally, and Tia has no old harsh hairs any more and feels gorgeous and fluffy. The kittens, with a quick brush over, look and feel like they've just had a full bath.

Less eye gunk. Persians are prone to runny eyes, and although they do still have them, it has lessened by about 50% since beginning the raw. Typically, my typiest, i.e flattest faced girl hardly needs any eye care at all while my most open faced needs the most, so it's not always linked to face shape. Again, no disease present, just the way they are.

Cats with lots of energy. They play really well now. Before they would play, yes, but they had this manic period where they would be, well, there's no other word for it but manic. On the raw, they play for longer but the edge is taken off, so it's a more gentle, controlled energy instead of wild. Even in the middle of it, they are happy to be picked up for a cuddle and settle straight away whereas before, it was like they had this energy and they had to get rid of it as quickly as possible, almost like a massive high or sugar rush.

Well muscled, solid cats. All except for one, but bless her, she's never been a big eater no matter what I feed her. She's stockier than she was, but always tends towards the thin side. Mind you, when I first got Gabby she was eating like a horse but remained, in my mind at least, underweight. At 6 months she only weighed 2 KG, and anyone who has seen my cats will know that I never ration their food. I am a big advocate of selfregulation, and encourage it wherever possible, so she had as much as she could eat. Still, she didn't gain. I was told not to worry, that the lines were small, but worry I did. Millie was struggling to feed 5 kittens. Although she was maintaining condition reasonably well, she didn't have an ounce of fat to spare, and was inhaling food as though she was starving. Even with the good quality stuff she wasn't managing particularly well. Since going on raw, Millie is sleek and solid, heavy as a brick but not fat in the slightest. My scales weigh up to 5 KG and they can't weigh her any more. Prior to pregnancy, she was coming in at 3.5 and was a little, well, soft around the middle shall we say. Gabby put on 1.4 KG in 2 months and is now as fat as a little kitten should be and growing well. My kittens are all fat lumps with one of them already weighing 1.6 KG at 11 weeks, but although I call 'em fat lumps, they are not podgy. All of that is muscle, bone and healthy body mass.

No smell. The raw food hardly smells at all. The cats smell beautiful, fresh and clean on it. mind you, mine have never smelled all that bad, but the raw gives them, well, an outsidey smell is the only way I can describe it, like when they've been sunbathing, and it's gorgeous. Their poos don't smell at all and their wees are less pungent too.

Most importantly, complements from my vet. She remarked that my kittens looked so bonny and almost obscenely healthy. I smiled then dropped the bombshell. "I feed raw." There was a pause and then, "Oh, do you really? I'm not going to ask you whether you're doing it propperly or not because I know you too well," (my vet's form of sarcasm as she thinks I worry ridiculously sometimes over the health of my cats). "Well, it's obviously doing them a lot of good." I then gave her a sample for one of her older girls, and, get this, she got excited! She's already thinking of recommending it for older or annorexic cats as she's seen how it's bulked mine up. I know it would be better for her to offer it to all cats, but still, it's a starting point, and I can continue to ease her in!

That's my experience of raw so far. So to anyone toying with the idea of feeding it, I really would give it a go. You will need to stick at it for a few weeks before you see the benefits, but I can't believe how healthy my cats are on this diet. It's emphasised to me all the time as I'm now trying to introduce commercial foods to my kittens preparatory to them going to their new homes. Just as a final example, last night I fed them a tin of Grau along with a little mixed raw as their supper. Instead of being bouncy and full of energy, they slept like logs all night long. I woke up to cats screaming for their breakfast because they were unsatisfied and hungry, and litter trays that I could smell as I walked past them. Quite a contrast!
 

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What a fabulous post Carly. I am so pleased!!
I too find it a total Godsend for the same reasons as you.
Clean bowls - no food left about
Excellent condition of body and coat - he's pretty much White and still has a stunning shine!
Poops - well just amazing. No smell plus I save on cat litter too!
Very economical to feed
I know it's what he's designed to eat - that makes me feel happy

I will always feed raw now, no going back. :thumbup:
 

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Great post Carly, thanks. The more I read, the more I'm swaying towards switching. I did join this forum initially because I was researching cat food.
Gradually introducing raw treats into their diets, Bernard loves it but the girls aren't so sure. with a little perseverance and time I hope they will come around.
The other sticking point is the distinct lack of decent butchers in my area.
 

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Great post Carly!
It is very interesting to hear that the diet has made such a huge difference in so many areas of your cats' health and appearance, especially as the breed is often described as 'difficult' in terms of dietary sensitivity and amount of grooming.
I am delighted to report that the rescue where I help has embraced raw feeding too, stocking the NI mince and feeding it to any cats with digestive issues or needing to put on weight and condition.
 

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Gradually introducing raw treats into their diets, Bernard loves it but the girls aren't so sure. with a little perseverance and time I hope they will come around.
The other sticking point is the distinct lack of decent butchers in my area.
It does take time with some older cats, and I have had periods where mine seemed to be eating less and less of the raw, but as time goes on they are all getting better at it.

The NI minces really are a great product and I am sure you will manage to find suitable butchers if you continue to look around.
 

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Clean bowls - no food left about

Very economical to feed
we have had a difficult couple of weeks, she has barely touched any of her proper food. I have resorted to buying all sorts of commercial wet food - why on earth do people buy this on a regular basis :eek:

I was in [email protected] yesterday and there were small tins of Hills for £1.15 a tin and you feed 3 of these a day :rolleyes:

I even bought some HiLife pouches @ 86p each - feeding recommends 3-4 a day. She looked at it and walked away - it went straight in the bin.

Normally I can feed Cookie for just the cost of one pouch.
 

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we have had a difficult couple of weeks, she has barely touched any of her proper food. I have resorted to buying all sorts of commercial wet food - why on earth do people buy this on a regular basis :eek:

I was in [email protected] yesterday and there were small tins of Hills for £1.15 a tin and you feed 3 of these a day :rolleyes:

I even bought some HiLife pouches @ 86p each - feeding recommends 3-4 a day. She looked at it and walked away - it went straight in the bin.

Normally I can feed Cookie for just the cost of one pouch.
I agree that the price of the 'silly posh tins' is really truly outrageous, and so many people do get caught up in buying them as the cat does like them or they believe they are giving Tiddles the absolute best.
 

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Because of the hurricane, which went through where the raw supplier is, I've had to go back to wet and I threw in some dry that I bought in preparation in case we lost power ourselves. After a day or so, more poop and smellier wee. I can't wait to get them back on the raw again.
 

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Great post Carly! :) I am so pleased everything is going so well with your tribe on a raw food diet! Brilliant news:thumbsup: Your experience ought to encourage anyone who is thinking of trying their cats on raw! Your thread should be made into a sticky!

I am quite envious of your positive results, as my experience with my cats has not been an unqualified success. Out of the 3 cats whom I started on the raw diet 6 mths ago, only one is still eating it every day without getting bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting.:( Still, one is better than none!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all.

Chillminx, that's such a pity as mine have responded so well to it. Have you tried mixing a little pumpkin with it just until their tummies get used to it?
 

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I might give that a go Carly with one of them. Thanks for the tip.:)

I am very nervous of trying the other one on anything new as he has been diagnosed with IBD, (was passing blood with his stools) and he is now stable, so I am reluctant to rock the boat!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do remember that it's pumpkin puree you need. If you need any help preparing, just let me know and i can send you what I do. With your IBD cat, maybe consider feeding the weaning paste as it's chicken only, and ground so finely that you can add water and make it into a slurrey which should be easy for him to digest.
 

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Hi Carly -- for pumpkin puree I would make it in a similar way to how I make pumpkin soup -- i.e. chop and remove skin from pumpkin, cook in a steamer for 20 minutes, then liquidise with a little of the cooking water. Is this how you do it?

Thanks:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I boil mine in a pot then strain and mash, but effectively the same thing. I tend to cook mine for 30 minutes though as that's what I was told by someone else.
 

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Hi Carly -- for pumpkin puree I would make it in a similar way to how I make pumpkin soup -- i.e. chop and remove skin from pumpkin, cook in a steamer for 20 minutes, then liquidise with a little of the cooking water. Is this how you do it?

Thanks:)
A tip in case you don't know it already - freeze it in little portions in icecube trays - that way you can easily defrost enough for a day. :)
 

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I sadly have a different experience with raw food (Natural Instinct Chicken and Lamb). How long after the switch did their poo consistency change?

I changed Mathias' diet completely to raw within a week's time. He absolutely loves it! The first week, he was doing okay. He had normal stools (he goes 4-6 times a day though >_<), and the occasional soft ones, but last weekend, he refused his raw food in the morning, but ate off my hands during lunch time, but refused to eat again afterwards. The evening of that day, he vomited the raw I fed him at lunch, and then he started having severe diarrhea. I called the vets who can't see me until Monday and said to watch out if he becomes lethargic. The next day, I put him on a diet of boiled chicken, and today, he has only passed stool twice, though it is still on the softer side!

My friend's mum suggested that his stomach may have not liked the raw food, and this makes me very upset because I want to feed him raw and not the original Royal Canin dry kibble he was on at the breeders. After the boiled chicken diet, I do not want to really go back to Royal Canin. I was hoping I could slowly put him back to the NI Chicken and Lamb, but I am kind of scared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Perhaps the change was too quick for him? NI do regularly test every batch for contamination, so it's unlikely to be this. However, if concerned, give them a ring. That's an awful long time to wait for an appointment though.
 

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Perhaps the change was too quick for him? NI do regularly test every batch for contamination, so it's unlikely to be this. However, if concerned, give them a ring. That's an awful long time to wait for an appointment though.
Yeah, I am hoping it's just the change being too quick! The only thing that got me a bit concerned was when he actually vomited (not hairballs). I am not sure if vomiting is a sign of it, I thought it was only diarrhea/loose stools. In the week when he was completely eating raw food he was still pooing quite frequently and about half of them are loose, so I was wondering when do I expect to see the improvement in bowel movements after switching to raw.
 
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