Live Q & A

March 7, 2018

I would like to know more about probiotics. Should I be giving a teaspoon of kefir? Should I make it myself? What could I give my cats that is natural and good for their gut bacteria? That is my question

 

-Probiotics are time microorganisms often found in the digestive tract to help breakdown and more efficiently utilize nutrients in the food our carnivore companion consume. Due to various stressors or history of like over vaccination, the use of chemical flea, tick, worm and other parasite medications, antibiotics, steroid or other medications as well was inappropriate diets all can contribute to digestive impairment including general upset such as diarrhea or vomiting, IBS, IBD, leaky gut syndrome, cancers and much more.

Probiotics come in many forms including commercial powders and capsules found at the pet store, some raw dairy products and homemade products which can include kefir a type of fermented milk from cows, goats etc.

Kefir is a wonderful option and making it yourself is even better. Making most things your self will give you the power to know exactly what is going into your companions’ mouth. Typically homemade products also are packed even more full of beneficial probiotics and probiotics that many commercial products are missing or are overshadowed with added ingredient like sugars and flavors.

All you need to do to make kefir is find a place to purchase kefir grains. You don’t need to much. In a mason jar put about 1 teaspoon of kefir with 1 cup or so of raw goats or cows milk. Let this sit at room temperature covered with a cheese close for about 24 hours. The next day put it in the fridge for another 24 hours. This will allow plenty of fermentation time.  You can then sift out the kefir grains and start again.

Kefir will smell and taste kind of sour but I promise it’s perfectly fine.

For cats I would recommend 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. I suggest starting slow only about an 1/8 of a teaspoon to start than very slowly increase the dose. 

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Will cats turn their nose up at a certain protein if they know you will replace it with something else they like? I have a feeling mine will do this and it is a waiting game. Sometimes I give in and swap their food and sometimes, I let them be and they realize that is their meal and start to eat. 

 

-Cats can be very smart. Some will definitely know how to play you and get their way when it comes to food. Its not the best idea to fast or starve your cat as they could develop fatty liver disease which can become fatal if not treated properly. Luckily there are tons of other proteins you can try. Just like humans there are some things individual cats just don’t like.

My cats personally have had:

Beef

Chicken

Cornish Game Hen

Salmon

Pork

Lamb 

Duck

Turkey

Rabbit

Mice

Bison

Venison

Goat

Quail

Sardines

Emu

Mackerel 

Tripe

Elk

Alpaca

Also keep in mind that if your companion was previously on a kibble or other commercial food diet they may still be addicted to the added flavors that they were used to before. There are many things in pet foods at make it addicting and for some cats it’s hard breaking away from that, just like a person giving up sweets for example.

Be persistent, stay positive and try some new proteins and mixture.

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I also am having a hard time getting my cat to eat larger chunks of food. At this time she will leave the larger chunks and only eat 1/2-3/4 of her meals. This can happen for a couple days, so I am not sure if waiting her out is going to work. Any thoughts? 

 

-Just like flavor chunks can be foreign to some cats. The texture is much different than kibble and even canned foods that may already have chunks. The key is to do a progression of texture/chunk sizes. With cats it’s all about making them think eating raw is 100% their idea.

Start of with a pate consistency, after a week or two start adding in small chunks over time continually increase the size if they are doing well with the step before. While some cats will take to this quickly and progress faster, others may take weeks or even several months. 

 

One other note. Make sure you are feeding the right ratios and percentage of body weight account for activity and life stage. One of my cats is adult but still eats 3 meals a day of 1/2 cup of food per meal. She doesn’t have an ounce of fat on her body, just all muscle and if very active, while one of my domestics only eats 2 oz per meal twice a day and gains weights very easily. 

 

It is important to remain patient, but with persistence they will be eating a fully raw and chunked diet!

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Can a dog thrive on a cats diet?

 

-Yes absolutely. A carnivore is a carnivore. The only difference in the Prey Model Raw diet of a cat is that they require more taurine in the diet because they cannot synthesize it themselves. Taurine can be found in higher quantities in small whole prey such as mice, heart, thigh and shoulder meat. All parts of a raw diet a dog can eat. 

 

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Someone told me depending on how dominant a dog is may affect what organs they eat is that true

 

In the wild wolves and other carnivores often eat in order of hierarchy which does show the dominance structure. At times these more dominant members may eat the organs first. Organs are nutrient dense and like natures vitamin/mineral supplements. There is also less in the body comparable to meat and bones. Unless you feed in a packs type style including whole prey, this behavior probably won’t be seen in your home.

In regards to dominance affecting what specific organs are eaten, I have not found any research on this topic to support that notion. However I will continue looking just in case.

 

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:) I want to get my cats chewing more so can I buy my cat a turkey leg or a pork rib and will they chew the meat off the bone? I know they won't eat the bone, but would like more of that chewing action to clean their teeth. I am still working on chicken necks by the way. My boy chews it but never finishes it, so I guess I am getting some scrubbing of his teeth.

For cats turkey legs are two big for them to chew and most won’t eat ribs. You can carefully surprise while they have fun tearing off the meat however.

Starting with chicken necks is a great idea. They are pretty soft, completely edible and the sinewy meat can help floss the teeth while the bone is abrasive enough to scrape the teeth clean.

Other bone you can try to tickle your cats fancy include 

 

  • Rabbit Ribs

  • Chicken Ribs

  • Chicken Wings

  • Chicken Wing tips

  • Duck feet

  • Cornish Game Hen

  • Rabbit

  • Duck necks

  • Small Whole Prey (quail, chicks, mice, rats etc.) 

 

Believe it or not some carnivore companions just don’t like some types of bone but will happily eat others when given the opportunity.

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What are some creative ideas for getting fish oil or krill oil in my cat's diet? I'm afraid to mix it in a whole batch on the chance that they won't eat it. 

 

You are on the right track. Typically you want to add your oils at each meal. Freezing potentially could alter the product.

Some creative ideas that also include options involving the fish itself include:


-Dehydrated or freeze dried fish
-Fish flakes (these are treats you can find at most stores)
-Dehydrated or freeze dried fish skin
-Blitzed to make a soup which you could mix with eggs
-small whole prey fish

 

If you sole want to use fish oil or krill oil you can slowly add it in over time, build up the tolerance so to say. Some cats are not a fan of fish despite popular belief so another option you can explore is phytoplankton. This is another great source of omega 3s. While this is a micro-algae, algae is actually where fish obtain their omega’s from. Therefore it is a direct source and less likely to contain hard metals and other contaminants like large fish species. Worth a try as well

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How long is too long to be on two proteins? I have two cats that don't want to stray from their normal protein. But I do manage to get in other proteins mixed in through hearts and offal and sometimes a small % of muscle meat. But the meals are 50-60% 1 protein. 

 

Example. Cat is eating a pork venison mix for muscle with lamb kidney and liver with chicken eggs. Is that ok? She loves the smell of venison muscle meat so I can sometimes sneak in a 1/2 tsp of goat or rabbit. She doesn't care for rabbit anymore. I just don't want to do wrong by her so knowing if this is ok until I can get more of another protein in would be helpful. Her tastes have changed! Little stinker

 

 

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