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Food Handling and Safety

L

Louie'sDad

Guest
What, if any, might be the difference(s) in microorganisms that can grow on food left unrefrigerated in the home, and those encountered by our cats in the wild?
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I don't know if there are any studies...but my suspicion is the the gut flora of animals in captivity and domestic bred for countless generations with all the antibiotics and hormones that go into commercial feed and the flora of a wild animal would be very different.
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
I like the logic Brigitte.
That said, the life span of house cats versus wild cats is probably at least a factor of 2. House cats generally live a lot longer.
 
L

Louie'sDad

Guest
Brigitte,

Check your inbox here. Don't mind the shorthand, but there's a 400 character limit for private messages.

Reason I started this thread is because in lieu of canned and/or raw feeding, I am trying to see if Lou will eat kibble which has been moistened.

He eats it so long as I keep the water level below the top of the kibble. Sometimes I have to put my face into his bowl and make eating noises to get him started. :) Continuous "Good boy" keeps him going. Not sure how long to keep it out because he never eats all of it at feeding time. I have now started to split his feed into 2 sessions, 1/2 each with moistened kibble. I think that at 11 months I can stop giving him "all he can eat all day long" and start monitoring his intake.

He may be drinking from the fountain as well. He has, at least for now, stopped flinging it about the kitchen.:big grin:

Results are gratifying: no more ammonia urine!
 
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D

Dantes

Guest
Brigitte,

Check your inbox here. Don't mind the shorthand, but there's a 400 character limit for private messages.

Reason I started this thread is because in lieu of canned and/or raw feeding, I am trying to see if Lou will eat kibble which has been moistened.

He eats it so long as I keep the water level below the top of the kibble. Sometimes I have to put my face into his bowl and make eating noises to get him started. :) Continuous "Good boy" keeps him going. Not sure how long to keep it out because he never eats all of it at feeding time. I have now started to split his feed into 2 sessions, 1/2 each with moistened kibble. I think that at 11 months I can stop giving him "all he can eat all day long" and start monitoring his intake.

He may be drinking from the fountain as well. He has, at least for now, stopped flinging it about the kitchen.:big grin:

Results are gratifying: no more ammonia urine!
Hi Louie's Dad,

I can't find where I read this (if I do find it I will post it), but in answer to your question "not sure how long to keep it out" I wouldn't keep moistened kibble out too long. The reason is that kibble tends to have just as much in the way of dangerous bacteria and mold (and salmonella, as noted by frequent recalls) as anything else.

Ah, here it is, along with a few additional relevant links:

http://www.catinfo.org/
"Speaking of texture, a common question is "can I just soak the dry food in water?" I hedge more than just a bit at this question. Dry food often has a very high bacterial content. Mold is also often found in dry food. Both organisms flourish in moist environments. There have been many deaths of dogs and cats secondary to eating mold mycotoxins, vomitoxins and aflatoxins which often contaminate the grains found in dry food. If you want to try the trick of wetting down the dry food to alter the texture, please leave it out for only 20-30 minutes then discard it. "

Also here: http://catinfo.org/#The_Safety_of_Dry_Food

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359

http://thebark.com/content/donald-r-strombeck-talks-dog-nutrition-and-pet-food-recalls?page=2
"DS: Did you read the information in my book about kibble being contaminated with bacteria? Veterinarians know this. I got money to research this, and gave it to Jim Cullor, a good researcher; I asked him to do a study to determine the numbers and kinds of bacteria that could be cultured from kibble. And he did it, but I don’t know if it was ever published. [Editor’s note: We are checking on this.] The guy who was in charge of public programs at Davis was adamantly opposed to having this published, because he wanted to protect the industry. Also, I remember when the pet food industry would say on the bag of puppy food, “moisten this food” and put it down for them. But bacteria multiply rapidly on moistened dry food. You know that puppies, a lot of times, eat a little bite and wander off, then come back to it, so the food could be there all day long. It is a good way for them to get diarrhea."

http://www.naturalcaninediet.com/home/announcements/whykibbleisarecipeforbloatgastrictorsion
 
L

Louie'sDad

Guest
When you feed raw food, I assume you feed 2x/day. Whatever you do, how long do you leave it out if they don't eat it all? I assume that you re-refrigerate the leftover portion, and then top it off with fresh for the next feeding.

Same question for those that feed canned food.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
For raw food I never thaw more than what is consumed in 48 hours. We are currently feeding 3x a day and try not to leave out their food for more than 30 minutes. The cats prefer their food to be at room temperature, it takes a little bit of time for it to get there and that's when it has more aroma that gets their scent glands going.

Whatever they don't eat I discard and if at any point I feel they are still hungry I will load up a puzzle feeder with some kibble. Not ideal, but I can adjust quantities of raw the following day. I don't want them going hungry but I also don't want to be catering to round the clock meal service at their whims. It's a balancing act that you can only keep up with by monitoring things. Last thing is I don't want to get scammed into the kibble being something that makes them uninterested in eating their raw the following day.

Hope that helps.
 
L

Louie'sDad

Guest
For raw food I never thaw more than what is consumed in 48 hours. We are currently feeding 3x a day and try not to leave out their food for more than 30 minutes. The cats prefer their food to be at room temperature, it takes a little bit of time for it to get there and that's when it has more aroma that gets their scent glands going.

Whatever they don't eat I discard and if at any point I feel they are still hungry I will load up a puzzle feeder with some kibble. Not ideal, but I can adjust quantities of raw the following day. I don't want them going hungry but I also don't want to be catering to round the clock meal service at their whims. It's a balancing act that you can only keep up with by monitoring things. Last thing is I don't want to get scammed into the kibble being something that makes them uninterested in eating their raw the following day.

Hope that helps.

John,

Thanks for the forthright answer. I believe, now, that if you take an interest in your cat's health, and longevity, then feeding is indeed a "balancing act". I'm learning, and trying to find the point of diminishing returns, as the cost of human suffering should be prudently balanced against your cat's whims, as well as his welfare.

It seems to me, that if one is to feed with a product that contains moisture, whether it be raw, canned, wet kibble, or any combination thereof, that time at room temperature will become a factor. That said, I'm coming to believe that the best barometer for feeding, might be how your cat communicates that he's hungry. I find that Louie's behavior changes when he's hungry. When he becomes restless, sleeps less and hunts more, then I know that he's hungry. Sometimes he "tells" me so, by vocalizing.

There seems to be no hard and fast rule, I think. I am coming to believe that, when I see the signals, whether vocal or behavioral, that I'll give him enough wet kibble (small portions) to satisfy him with minimal/no leftovers, which will entail multiple feedings/day. The small portions, I reckon, should put less load on his short gut, and enhance digestive health.

I can say that when Louie's hungry, I can pull the leftovers right out of the fridge, and he'll glom it all up quick.

BTW: Since you're a car guy, you might appreciate reading this thread. I am "65tripleblack", and if you like smallblock engines, then you might enjoy this:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c1-and-c2-corvettes/3351939-rear-wheel-horsepower.html
 
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