Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

More on the value of homemade cat food

with 5 comments

Just in passing in this WaPo story:

Cats are especially susceptible to diet-related ailments. They are "pure carnivores who don’t drink much water," Murray said. So dry food, which is typically carbohydrate-heavy, can lead to urinary-tract problems and kidney failure.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 November 2009 at 9:30 am

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Food

5 Responses

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  1. I am definitely skeptical of the BARF diet for dogs and cats, as it’s claims are totally unsubstantiated and raw food carries significant risk. You’re cooking this food, yes?

    Speaking of carnivorous cats, you should read Life of Pi. I’d love to know what you think of it.


    1 November 2009 at 10:31 am

  2. I don’t know BARF, though I’ve read references to it.

    The food is raw, but I handle it with some care and freeze immediately all but the next day’s supply. So far no problems.

    From the reading I’ve done, I would guess that the problems from feeding a carnivore (like a cat) carefully prepared raw food are less than those from feeding kibble.

    I’ll check out The Life of Pi. I’ve certainly heard good things about.


    1 November 2009 at 10:37 am

  3. LeisureGuy

    1 November 2009 at 10:39 am

  4. I definitely share your skepticism of dry, carb-rich, commercial cat food. It’s just that I’ve known some people who, although dear friends of mine, swore by feeding their dogs “bones and raw food” because “it’s natural.” I pointed out that it’s also “natural” for dogs to live short, disease-filled and parasite-ridden lives. Did they want that for their pets? These same folks–longtime and dear friends–were aghast when i told them that I didn’t believe in god, or their woo woo new age spiritualism. The same folks thought I was being duped when I cited a major study indicating that echinacia didn’t do anything to prevent or shorten the common cold. Long story short, the BARF pet diet strikes me as the kernel of a good idea in the grips of anti-science nuts. That’s my bias on the phenomenon thus far.

    I’d feed my pets raw animal products in lieu of commercial food in a minute. Just so long as I had good reason to believe that the risks of injury and disease were lower than that of store-bought kibble.

    This is not a direct criticism of what you’re doing: I don’t see you having your cat swallow bones, and at least you’re freezing the stuff.


    1 November 2009 at 10:58 am

  5. Yeah, I think one can go too far in the “natural” direction—echinacea, I’ve read, does stimulate the immune system, but not if you take it daily. I don’t use it at all.

    I use meat that is aimed at human consumption and is parasite-free, and of course a cat’s digestive system can nip a fair number of potential problems in the bud—very acidic stomach juices, for example, and a very short transit through the digestive system as compared to humans.

    Bones are necessary for calcium for cats, and raw bones don’t pose any serious risks—cooked bones, because they’re brittle, can be dangerous. Plus the chewing and gnawing is good for dental health.

    Feeding cats a species-appropriate raw-food diet is not a panacea, of course, but Megs does seem to like it and I enjoy making it for her. And it’s interesting to see her actually chew her food for the first time—kibble just shatters, and the canned foods are totally ground, no chewing necessary.

    Here is one site worth reading and exploring.


    1 November 2009 at 12:35 pm

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