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Author Topic: Cat Diet Data  (Read 5419 times)
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kalinagn
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« on: May 01, 2007, 11:10:56 AM »

I was wondering if anybody has seen data on different cat diets and what health conditions cats are more likely to develop later in life.
For example what are the risks of having the cat on a raw diet?
How about if the cat eats stuff that is already in the house like chicken, milk and so on?
Do all commercial foods increase the risk of urinary tract problems?

Thanks!
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diffuse
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2007, 06:02:42 AM »

check out catinfo.org & catnutrition.org for starters. also rawfedcats.org & rawfed.com.
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anna_2007
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 12:08:39 PM »

I was wondering if anybody has seen data on different cat diets and what health conditions cats are more likely to develop later in life.
For example what are the risks of having the cat on a raw diet?
How about if the cat eats stuff that is already in the house like chicken, milk and so on?
Do all commercial foods increase the risk of urinary tract problems?

Thanks!

My vet is working with me on the basic structure of a cat food diet. She copied a page from one of her Vet books, but here it is, It isn't rocket science either a lot of common sense.

http://mackthetonk.blogspot.com/2007/05/vet-textbook-making-cat-food-at-home.html

The reference to Europe refers to pet food Modules being available that people can assemble at home. Why on earth isn't that nutrition model available to use here in the US.








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angeltjd
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2007, 02:56:29 PM »

Why does your vet's nutritional requirements include *50%* carbohydrates?  Shocked

Cats are obligatory carnivores and have no nutritional requirements for carbohydrates.  There is some debate on carbohydrates that come from the digestive tracts of consumed prey but it's minimal at best, no where near 50%.  A mouse may contain 3-5% carbohydrate.

Please see the links in the above post by diffuse.

I've been feeding raw food for over a year to my cats and have had no health conditions develop.  I have not heard of any either from other raw feeders.  On the other hand, my cats have had medical conditions RESOLVE from feeding a canned/raw diet, ie feline diabetes and morbid obesity.  My friends have seen similar resolution of medical conditions with a raw diet, ie diabetes, IBD, obesity, FLUTD etc.

Most cats are lactose intolerant and cannot tolerate dairy products.  I wouldn't give your cats milk.  As far as meat sources go, I use chicken, pheasant, turkey and rabbit. 

A lot of commercial diets include urine acidifiers to compensate for struvite crystal development (dl-methionine).  This creates another problem for over acidification of the urine resulting in calcium oxalate crystals.  Struvite crystals can be dissolved, calcium oxalate cannot and must be removed surgically.  They can't seem to get it right.

http://felineoutreach.org/Default.asp


Heather
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 03:09:32 PM by angeltjd » Logged

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zanzie
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2007, 06:08:21 PM »

My two cats were at the vet today. It was time for a check-up, and I also wanted to talk to him about the can of recalled food that they consumed about a month ago. Here's what I learned:

1. He has tested quite a few pets who consumed recalled food but showed no ill effects. In all cases, the tests came back normal. The few cases of illness from food that he's seen have been dramatic and acute, with alarming symptoms, rapid decline and dramatic weight loss. Those are the only ones that he's seen exhibit abnormal lab tests. The longer it's been since the food was consumed, the lower the likelihood of finding any abnormality, since it would be washed out of the pet's body over time. This was reassuring to hear.

2. I asked him  to review the raw food diet recipe that I've been using (from www.catnutrition.org). He reviewed the ingredients, was pleased with the balance of ingredients, and emphasized the importance of B complex vitamins and taurine. He thought the cats would really like a raw diet, and that it would be healthy for them to eat like this for the rest of their days. He remarked that the girls had "great coats" and that obviously the food agrees with them.

3. The girls have been off commercial food for 2 weeks now. One is devouring the raw food and the other is slowly getting with the program. She is distrustful of the meat chunks, but is licking up everything else, so it's just a matter of time now. They are both the picture of health (8 years old), great weight, and very content. We've seen the skittish one become calmer, both of their coats get softer, and a reduction in both excess weight and puking on the part of our calico. They sleep well, have plenty of energy, and don't bug me quite so much at dinner time. They're hungry but even-tempered about it. They definitely seem more "in tune" with themselves in some way.

I'm absolutely sold on the raw diet for my cats. It's really not so much work if you make up a big batch and freeze it in dinner-size portions. I'm also grateful to have a vet who doesn't push pet food sales in his office, and is supportive of raw feeding. If he sells pet food, it must be hidden in another room, because it's never been evident. The only such thing I've ever seen there is a dispenser of $1 pet treats at the front desk. 
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auntie
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2007, 09:55:13 AM »

I just started my cat on Felines Pride Raw yesterday.  I can not believe how much he loves this.  The transition will not be a problem (I know I'm lucky).  He devoured the raw food like he was so grateful to be getting the food he is supposed to eat.  To get him to eat the very first bite, sprinkling a few dried bonito flakes was all it took.  I had put half raw, and half a canned of the grain free Wellness.  He devoured all the raw and left the Wellness.  I have never, ever seen him eat with so much GUSTO! 
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anna_2007
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2007, 10:46:21 AM »

Obligate carnivorism means the animal MUST have meat. It does not mean they must not eat carbs. All mammals require some form of carbohydrates, the big controversy is "how much" and "what exactly is a carb" is something western nutrition perhaps needs to pay a little catch up on. See below.

I did mention that the vet (she did not fax me her personal recipe) faxed me the page from her VET TEXT BOOK, taught at Cornell, and I reproduced the page is at my web site. It also references this page: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1399&articleid=657

What I hopefully bring to this heated controversy is not a scientific debate IMHO taken out of context...  I have some common sense and lots of experience raising cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, lamb, goats, poultry round the world, in very primitive situations, in cities, at sea level and at up to 14,000 feet ... from South America, to Europe to Asia.

I love to hear people go on about tigers roaming the plains of Africa....as I have first hand experience what they feed tigers in tiger preserves, and what those people go home and feed their dogs and cats. I have even been stunned at the mostly vegetarian lifestyle of cats in certain places South India or the 100% fish diet of seafaring cats which I have had on two cross Atlantic trip albeit 30 years ago.

What I think Western science might gain from is to stop lumping all carbs as carbs. In Ayurvedic medicine, there are not three (fats proteins carbs), but NINE categories of food. In the West, they take 2-3 of these categories and lump them together as carbs, hence the debate rages, as we are comparing apples and oranges often.

In any case, MACK decides 50% carbs are too much, and 5% carbs are too little for him, and MACK has a sense of what he needs that is highly tuned: I don't mess with it. He is alive because he walked away from the tainted pet food, and I didn't push him. If I did, he'd be dead. I never push him, but then I know this cat, this cat is extremely evolved and I know from cats, big ones AND little ones, tigers, snow leopards, designer cats like Tonks are and alley cats... your cat may vary.

I read a lot of the "you must do this" or "you must stop doing that now" - again it is just my experience and opinion but I think it's the extremist rhetoric  that ends up turning a lot of people off BARF as an option... and too many cannot objectively listen to the BARF horror stories... like they don't exist.

Perhaps with more perspective and balance... in the end, every single cat or dog is an sentient individual and their genetic diversity in learning to live with us is stunning and humbling. How dare we limit them?

The lesson to me is that their biggest evolutionary adaptations is "flexibility" - they'll eat and thrive on mostly what ever we eat and thrive on.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2007, 10:48:16 AM by anna_2007 » Logged
angeltjd
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2007, 12:18:06 PM »

Evolutionary flexibility?  Huh They may survive but I wouldn't necessarily call it thriving.

I've seen first hand what a high carb, commercial diet can do to an obligatory carnivore.  I had a morbidly obese cat that developed diabetes.  You can argue the definition of the term obligate carnivore but I've never seen a cat in the wild hunt down a herd of biscuits, start munching in a wheat field, seek out a vegetable garden or eat sawdust.  They physically may be able to eat it but it doesn't make it optimal nutrition.  Lots of processed carbohydrates are not good for us as omnivores ie diabetes and obesity.  But not everyone that eats the same crappy diet will develop diabetes and get fat.  Does that make it a good thing to do?  As far as *requiring* carbs, *IF* they did, it wouldn't be much.  A mouse (typical prey of a cat) contains 3-5% carbohydrates from predigested food the mouse ate.  Biologically cats CANNOT efficiently digest plant/vegetable matter. 

Feed a crappy carb laden diet to a true carnivore and the consequences could be devastating or they may live to 20+ years old with no ill health.  I've gone down that road and won't likely try it again.

You should visit a few of the feline diabetes forums and see how many cats are diagnosed with diabetes each day.  It's also amazing to see how many go off insulin and lose weight simply with a change to a low carb diet.


Heather
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anna_2007
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2007, 01:14:37 PM »

>>You can argue the definition of the term obligate carnivore but I've never seen a cat in the wild hunt >>down a herd of biscuits, start munching in a wheat field, seek out a vegetable garden or eat >>sawdust. 

Well, it's hardly an argument, that a definition from the medical and other dictionaries, and from vet text books. Thus, it's a matter of getting education from the right places. 

A lot of "strawman fallacies" are being presented by extremists. That means their logic presented doesn't holdup as they take facts out of context, they'll flat out deny that 1+1=2 to prove what IMO seems like a commercial agenda. There are other IMO good BARF arguments but I haven't heard any of those in ANY replies so far.

Here are some facts:

(1) High levels of diabetes in animals are not due to a slam-dunk cause of "high carbs". Again, there are good carbs and bad ones. And, bad science is bad science no matter how many forums is it being replicated.

(2) If high carbs were the cause of diabetes then vegans and vegetarians would be singularly affected, as they have a far, far higher total carb diet than omnivores" and this is not the case. I have also been on a vegan diet so know from whence I speak, along with several nutritionists regarding the blood type study (the one that said certain blood types do terrible on a veggie diet and others flourish).

(3)  If you read the scientific annals, not found in amateur forums, high protein low carb diets fed to small mammals produced larger, more active and more alert animals, and their kidneys were totally shot way before the low protein, high carb tests. They all died earlier. In addition, the high protein subjects other key visceral organs were unhealthily enlarged.

(4) Many breeds of cats and dogs have a genetic propensity to renal disease, making a high protein diet a death sentence. Other breeds have a genetic propensity to pancreatic disease making high carb diets a death sentence. A little more hard textbook research will show that no one can dictate in such extremist ways about high and low this and that. Why is this basic common sense fact so difficult for BARF fanatics to understand. It's like they don't read the details or cannot stand a world that has diversity.

(5) Too high a protein diet definitely does kill a large number of cats and dogs, and would kill mine. If any pet caretaker I contracted with to take care of Mack surreptiously replaced his specified diet with a high protein raw one, he'd be dead in a few weeks and I'd be suing big time and I would win.

(6) The chemical additives being added to pet and human food - not a sensible, customized balance of proteins, carbs and fats (actually a sensible balance of the 9 categories of food) - have the single most direct impact on organ failure.

But the best, I just love it when my direct first hand experience with the hallowed BARF argument using "tigers on the plains" and the diets of domesticated animals (healthy, long-living, you'd be shocked at how long) living next to these parks is totally disregarded by BARF fanatics. It sort of speaks for itself.

In the end, I do appreciate the dialog, because it gives me anecdotal benefit - in my other published writings - that I detect a pattern with BARF proponents where valid and accepted statistics against BARF that doesn't make their point are totally disregarded; no one can get objective BARF statistics (not from a BARF forum, not from an organization promoting BARF, not from a BARF food manufacturer, not from a vet who is aligned with the BARF pet food business) regarding the benefits and drawbacks of BARF. Anywhere.  We just get this rhetoric that kills as much as adulterated pet food does.

Here's my final BARF anecdote:
I've had a woman come up to me in a pet food store - I saw her coming, and my friend and I tried to avoid her, she had this glint in her eye. When I refused to engage in conversation, she followed us screaming that we didn't love our pets. She was thrown out of the store, I declined to press charges (her dogs were locked up in her car and would have been the real victims) , but we had yet another glimpse of a BARF fanatic.
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mikken
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 02:07:36 PM »

"(1) High levels of diabetes in animals are not due to a slam-dunk cause of "high carbs". Again, there are good carbs and bad ones. And, bad science is bad science no matter how many forums is it being replicated."

**Agreed.  But cats are designed to eat small animals and that means not a lot of carbs.  The further we stray from nature's model, the more likely we are to get it wrong.

"(2) If high carbs were the cause of diabetes then vegans and vegetarians would be singularly affected"


**What affects the omnivorous human isn't relevant to what affects the carnivore.  Omnivores have more leeway in their dietary tolerances by design.


"(3)  If you read the scientific annals, not found in amateur forums, high protein low carb diets fed to small mammals "

**Small mammals, not small carnivores.  The diets of mice and rats again cannot be extrapolated to the diet of the cat.  Mice and rats *are* the diet of the cat...that's the only relevance.

**And I would argue that the form of the protein is important as well - are we talking raw meat or soybeans, you know?


"(4) Many breeds of cats and dogs have a genetic propensity to renal disease, making a high protein diet a death sentence."


**Current research suggests that it is not the amount of protein, but the quality of the protein that affects the kidneys.  Carnivores in renal failure fail faster if they are on a low protein diet. 


"(5) Too high a protein diet definitely does kill a large number of cats and dogs,"


**That may be true, I don't know.  I haven't seen any studies on it.  But I do know that you cannot feed a "high protein" raw diet.  Raw meat is mostly water and a properly constructed raw diet is only about 18% protein as fed. 


"(6) The chemical additives being added to pet and human food - not a sensible, customized balance of proteins, carbs and fats (actually a sensible balance of the 9 categories of food) - have the single most direct impact on organ failure."

*Possible.  I don't know.  I do know that commercial foods contribute to poor oral health and poor oral health contributes to organ failure.  But these days with all the crap that we now know is being dumped into pet foods (and human foods), well, ...I just don't know.


"no one can get objective BARF statistics regarding the benefits and drawbacks of BARF"


**Because there aren't any. 


"I've had a woman come up to me in a pet food store - I saw her coming, and my friend and I tried to avoid her, she had this glint in her eye. When I refused to engage in conversation, she followed us screaming that we didn't love our pets. She was thrown out of the store"


**Crazy people are everywhere, and that's another sad statement about our society.

**But I and I'm sure others would appreciate it if you would not lump all raw feeders together into the category of "BARFer".  I do not feed BARF and I consider it a poorly constructed diet overall.  I do feed raw though and have for over six years now.  I am continually trying to improve my animals' diet (more whole prey, more wild prey), though I do not consider myself a fanatic.  I also do not accost people in the store, no matter what they're buying.  If someone asks what I feed my animals, I tell them, but that's as far as it goes unless they're interested and want to know more.

**And yes, I am feeding a cat in renal failure...but her RF isn't recall-related, just age-related (she's 20).  Right now she's hooked on quail, which is more phosphorus than I'd like and not enough fat, but we're working on that.  As I'm sure you know, you have to go with what the cat dictates on these things!

**So again I say that I am very glad to hear that you have something that works for you and Mack - truly!  Dealing with an unwell cat can tax your reserves (emotional, physical, finanacial, etc.) to the tipping point if you don't have enough support to see you through it.  The fact that you've got something that works for you AND the cat is worth gold on any level.   Believe me, I know.









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meowmeow_mom
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2007, 02:10:21 PM »

Very good read on felines and nutrition, by Dr. Debra Zoran - DVM, DACVIM, and PhD in animal nutrition - published in the JAVMA (Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association).
http://www.catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf

There is section on "Carbohydrates and Fats" in Zoran's article.  It explains why cats evolved with an expected low-carbohydrate intake - they lack digestive enzymes for carbohydrate digestion.

Another good read:  Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function by Kenneth C. BovĂ©e, DVM, MMedSc
http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Opera/2167/bovee_protein_RD.pdf

It does a great job of explaining where the dogma of protein restriction for CRF comes from.  There are no studies showing that dogs (let alone cats) truly benefit from protein restriction... though they might benefit from phosphorus limitation.  In fact, some studies showed cats fed low-protein diets experienced higher Creatinine levels and lower Hematocrit levels - had greater anemia and more muscle wastage.

See also:  
Kirk CA, Hickman MA.
Dietary protein requirement of cats with spontaneous renal disease (abstract).
J Vet Intern Med 2000; 14: 351.

Finco DR, Brown SA, Brown CA, Crowell WA, Sunvold G, Cooper TL
Protein and calorie effects on progression of induced chronic renal failure in cats
Am J Vet Res 1998; 59: 575-582

Diabetes in CATS is known to have great remission rates when fed low-carbohydrate diets.  50-70% of cats with diabetes go into remission on a low-carbohydrate diet.  Two different studies, by two different veterinarians have had this same result.  See Zoran's article (above) as well as:
http://www.antechdiagnostics.com/clients/antechNews/2003/dec03_02.htm
http://www.uq.edu.au/vetschool/centrecah/index.html?page=43391&pid=0
http://www.felinediabetes.com/DietaryRecs_Greco.htm

There's also a link between carbohydrate intake and urinary crystal formation:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14974568
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