hxYesterday we did another Q & A with a sphynx cat group. We got some awesome questions. Check out our thread below, maybe some of your own questions will be answered!
Q: What is your feeling about supplements? i feed raw and have for ~15yrs? but i don't supplement with anything at all yet a lot of recipes call for this, that and the other thing- am i mistaken in thinking that everything they need is in the meat, organ, bone , sardines, eggs?
A: I personally do not supplement. I believe that if one is feeding the 80:5:5:10 ratio and one rotates proteins your companions will get everything they need. If you take a look at this chart, meat, organs and bone have every vitamin and mineral that our cats need to thrive. https://www.thenutritioncode.info/noneed-to-supplementI also believe from my research that supplements are doing more harm than good. Almost all supplements are artificially made in the lab. Although they may look like the natural thing they do not contain the same buffers or components the natural thing does, they often just contain the singular component of interest. Many also contain petroleum and tars that only tax the body's organs and certainly shouldn't be ingested. Many vitamin and mineral supplement are also made in China. China as many of use know has a bad track record of dangerous ingredients or having been caught in other suspicious activities. That being said any products imported into america at least aren't really examined. Only about 1-3% are.Vitamins and minerals are also loosely regulated. For example companies are required to perform certain tests on their products but are not required to actually submit them to a regulating body. There unfortunately are many loop holes.Here is another article further explaining supplementation https://www.thenutritioncode.info/dangers-of-vitamins-and...Your best option as you mentioned is to provide whole food options in animal based ingredients. In addition to feeding meat, organs and bone, eggs, fish (like the sardines you mentioned) krill and fish oil etc. are great "supplements" to the diet.
Q: I have reservations about vegetables in commercial raw food for cats - would love to hear your opinions.
A: Your gut is absolutely right. All cats even domestic cats are obligate carnivores meaning they are designed anatomically and physiologically to consume meat, organs and bones. This is evident in many aspects of the body.Starting at the mouth the teeth are sharp designed for shearing, tearing and grabbing. They are not flat like the teeth of herbivores or omnivores. Their mouths also open wide vertically to consume large pieces of food. The mouth also does not contain any enzymes to start the break down of carbohydrates like herbivores. Although the pancreas does produce a VERY small amount of amylase, very little is produced to break down a carbohydrate load. The the abundance of these products in commercial pet food, simply heavily taxes pancreas. The body also cannot produce cellulase which breaks down the cell wall of plants.The digestive tract is also very short. It is only about 2.5-3 x time as long as the animal where as in humans for example the digestive tract is about 30 feet long! Plant material is also not as bioavailable as meat and because plant material takes so long to breakdown it passes relatively quickly through the digestive tract undigested. This is evident in the large, frequent and very smell fecal matter that most animals on a commercial diet are producing.The problem is that people are humanizing our companions. Fruits, veggies and grains do have beneficial nutrients but ONLY for those animals that can utilize them. This is not carnivores. Furthermore industry is using our companions as a trash can. Unused fruits, veggies and grains that are not fit for human consumption can not be incinerated or put in a dump because the moisture would make these processes and services expensive so they put the ingredients into our pet foods. Unfortunately because of this It is very hard to find a pre made raw product that doesn't have plant matter in it but a few options are:Whole grinds from Raw Feeding Miami or My Pet Carnivore or pre made products available at local pet stores such as Rad Cat and Answers Straight . There are also freeze dried raw products like Vital Essentials (which also comes in frozen chubs)
Q: I supplement my cats raw diet. I have done loads of research over the years on what is lacking in our raw diets of basic 80:10:10 as well as a basic diet analyses according to AAFCO standards. Cats naturally would eat whole small prey which lives outdoors. Many of us make our raw diet from store bought meats of just muscle meat, bone and organ (usually just liver). This leaves a lot of missing elements that a cat naturally would get. Essential things like omega-3's, Vitamin D, iodine, Choline and a few others have been shown to be missing in a basic meat, bone and organ home prepared diet using human grade meats. I supplement where I know things are lacking in my cats diet but I don't do a full wide range supplement. I also ensure I rotate proteins and I feed whole prey animals (frozen/thawed) to those cats that will eat them. There is an article above referencing over supplementing which is good and very valid but I think there is just as much harm or even more when the basic and essential nutrients are missing. This is my opinion based on my own years of research!
A: I certainly understand where you are coming from however the AAFCO actually don’t perform any analytical testing of foods. The AAFCO also is not a regulatory body and include representatives from Hill pet Nutrition, Nutro Products, Nestle Purina, and Cargill Animal Nutrition which as you probably know are some of the largest pet food conglomerates.The standards are based on what the organization calls "commonly used ingredients" This list is cited to include such ingredients as:
Meat and bone meal
Animal byproduct meal
Chicken liver meal
I don't know about you but these ingredients don't seem very species appropriate. Here is a list of ingredients most of which are artificial vitamins and minerals from common dry, wet/canned, freeze dried, dehydrated and commercial raw foods. Other than being artificial most have some not so nice side effects https://www.thenutritioncode.info/deciphering-the-babble
At the end of the day just remember 90 to 95% of cats who get diseases like cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergies, renal failure or irritable bowel diseases developed their diseases after a lifetime of eating foods that passed AAFCO standards.
Q: I am a raw feeder, and whole prey (mice, doc...) feeder....Can you please share your ratio breakdown ?And with which proteins do you rotate ?
A: Fantastic! Whole prey is definitely the way to go if your pocket book can handle it! I follow the Prey model raw ratios of 80% muscle meat, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organ and 10% bone.For ease with making menus I have broken it down as follows:
50-59% muscle meat
6% raw egg (yolk and white)
5% kidney (this is the easiest for me to source but I also have done spleen and I have found a few companies who do organ grinds with 50% liver 50% spleen, pancreas, kidney, brain etc)
Usually chicken necks for the 10% bone as it's easy to portion and all my cats will eat them lol but I've also done duck and chicken wings, whole prey, rabbit limbs, quartered Cornish game hen etc.
My Cats have eaten:
Cornish Game Hen
and in the fall we are trying muskrat, beaver, llama, alpaca and goose. I usually do about 6-10 menus per month. This last month we did:
Pork, beef, rabbit, chicken, turkey, venison, pork and emu, lamb and goat plus some whole prey quail
Q: I have a question. Right now I use Primal Grinds which are 80/10/10 as no veggies or fruits but I have been supplementing because I fear not enough Taurine. Even if I use beef liver powder as an additional source for my Taurine, still not a good idea?
A: If you want to supplement taurine I'd recommend whole food options. The best meats are those that work really hard. This includes heart (probably the easiest source) tongue, thigh meat and shoulder meats. What I do is make 15% of the 80% portion of meat, heart so even when I don't use thigh meat they are still getting plenty of taurine. I would not add more liver as this could result in Vitamin A toxicity. Keeping liver at 5% is best.
Q: I have a doubt I would like advice on. I've started feeding raw a month ago and seen great improvement but I haven't made the whole transition. I go out a lot and have some travel plans in the near future and my kitty comes along with me all the time. So I'm afraid if I feed only raw when I go out and have to feed her kibble during those times it might upset her stomach if she isn't accustomed to it anymore. does anyone travel a lot with their cat and still feed raw? And if so how do you manage it?
A: You can either bring a cooler with you with enough meals in it or purchased some freeze dried raw that only needs reconstituting. It's is light weight and lasts a very long time. Also a great thing to have on hands for emergencies. Vital Essentials is a great brand to consider
Q: So, at the risk of sounding newbie, what exactly is a daily routine of feeding? I feed my family well, but want to go raw diet. I understand human macros/healthy food, but don't know what food to use to get the correct macros for my babes. Can you post your feeding schedule? I.e. What food, how much, when, per cat/per day? As a baseline? Thank you so much!
A: My adults are fed twice a day about 3% of their body weight. I have bengals but for sphynx you will want to do 4%. My kittens are feed as much as they would like to eat from a balanced batch (I'll tag you in thread that relates to this). They are served at least three meals per day if not more until they reach adulthood.
Q: We are on raw since March this year..I am only having doubts at the protein amounts/variety. I mostly feed chicken/turkey/beef because other meat is quite expensive and I cannot afford it and pork is cheap yet not safe in my country. Will they still get everything they need? They eat fine and love the mix.
A: They should be fine if you are feeding the ideal ratio 80% meat 5% liver 5% other secreting organ and 10% bone. Although more the merrier, 3-4 proteins is recommended at least.