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Raw & Kibble?

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Hi everyone!

My kitten has been losing weight recently and I think it's because she doesn't like her wet food that much. She's been eating the Nutro wet food and Acana kibble. I've made the decision to start feeding her raw instead of the Nutro but I would like to keep her on Acana too. At the pet store, they told me not to feed both because they're both digested very differently (not really explaining this right, sorry!). From the posts I've read here, it seems some of you are feeding a variety of foods without a problem. I think the following plan is good, but I would like a second opinion!

- morning: 3/8 raw patty (75 calories)
- evening: 3/8 raw patty (75 calories)
- free feeding Acana or Orijen between the meals: 17g (70 calories) (I might drop it if she stops eating it and increase the raw accordingly)
* She is currently 7.6 pounds at a bit over a year old and the vet said she only needs about 200-250 calories instead of the 300.

Information about the raw formula:

- Company: Faim Museau (local)
- Simply Beef: beef, finely crushed chicken bones, beef heart, chicken liver, lucerne, seaweeds, herring oil, cod liver oil, vitamin E
- Simply Chicken: chicken, finely crushed chicken bones, chicken heart, chicken liver, lucerne, seaweeds, herring oil, cod liver oil, vitamin E
- Hypoallergenic Duck: duck, finely crushed duck bones, duck heart, duck liver, lucerne, seaweeds, herring oil, cod liver oil, vitamin E

The company is selling their products as complete well-balanced diets, and they look like it, but I would like a more experienced opinion.
 

Abby2932

Site Supporter
#2
There is a theory that you aren't supposed to feed them together because kibble takes longer to digest, since it isn't as species-appropriate as raw food. While this is true (I think), it doesn't mean that it will cause digestive upset if fed at the same time (or meals close together).

I only feed raw so it isn't something that I can vouch for. I'm also not a specialist on the subject :) but I think that theory of "don't feed raw with kibble" has been debunked a while ago.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#3
Hola!

There are a variety of reasons to get the kibble out of the mix and for an addicted kibble eater, it can be tough to break the habit. For on-demand feedings, I would use a puzzle feeder so they need to work at it. As for differences in how they digest the food, there's probably a sliver of truth to that as there is likely more grains and other things that aren't species appropriate to hold the kibble together. Your cat doesn't need carbs, they aren't designed for them and that should be one of the things to keep an eye on for any cat food.

As for Nutro, I am not sure they provided catinfo.org information on their food. They had previously, but it doesn't look to be there now. Dr. Pierson's page with all the food profiles is the great equalizer between all the marketing and hype.

Old Page with Nutro profiles, https://catinfo.org/docs/SortableCatFoodChartCatinfo.org2-22-13.htm

New Page without Nutro profiles, https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

For canned food, start out by eliminating all the fish flavors. OK for a treat, but it shouldn't be the basis of a diet. Look for foods that are low in carbs as your cat doesn't need them. Anything over 10% of the calories coming from carbs is something you should stay away from. Better yet is to look for foods with under 5% of the calories coming from carbs. Lastly look at milligrams of phosphorous per 100 calories and try to stay in the mid 200s range. When you see the phosphorous numbers elevate, it's just too much bone.

Not sure why you are counting calories with your kitten, she still has quite a bit of growing and development to go through. Most Savannahs continue to increase in size for their first two years and certainly put on a lot of muscle mass in their third year. Personally, I let them tell me how hungry they are, I count out the 1oz scoops I feed them and pick them up after 15 minutes. If they seem to be hungry, I will give them 1 extra scoop per day the following week. Things change, cooler temperatures they tend to eat more and I am not one to play games with them being a finicky eater. They get it, we have next to no food waste and they have a varied diet.

On the raw, Cod Liver Oil isn't recommended for cats. All the A and D vitamins you need are in livers. The food company isn't adding Taurine either. You can certainly get taurine through hearts and to a limited extent dark muscle meat, but it's probably the most critical thing to be in their food. I would look elsewhere, they seem to be more dog-centric.
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#4
I had to look up "lucerne". Turns out that it is alfalfa. It looks like the food is very high quality dog food. Cod liver should not be an ingredient and Taurine should.

I agree with John that a 1 year old SV kitten should eat as much as it wants and should be putting on weight, not losing it.

One problem with feeding both is that cats do not have a strong thirst drive and cats that eat raw get their water from the meat. Some cats that eat kibble may not get enough water. Another issue that I have heard of is that the kibble can swell.
 

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#5
There is a theory that you aren't supposed to feed them together because kibble takes longer to digest, since it isn't as species-appropriate as raw food. While this is true (I think), it doesn't mean that it will cause digestive upset if fed at the same time (or meals close together).

I only feed raw so it isn't something that I can vouch for. I'm also not a specialist on the subject :) but I think that theory of "don't feed raw with kibble" has been debunked a while ago.
That makes sense, thanks. I would prefer leaving the kibble out for if she wants any extra food rather than give her the raw meat and go to bed. I would be worried about bacteria if she doesn't finish it and it sits there over night. =/

Hola!

There are a variety of reasons to get the kibble out of the mix and for an addicted kibble eater, it can be tough to break the habit. For on-demand feedings, I would use a puzzle feeder so they need to work at it. As for differences in how they digest the food, there's probably a sliver of truth to that as there is likely more grains and other things that aren't species appropriate to hold the kibble together. Your cat doesn't need carbs, they aren't designed for them and that should be one of the things to keep an eye on for any cat food.

As for Nutro, I am not sure they provided catinfo.org information on their food. They had previously, but it doesn't look to be there now. Dr. Pierson's page with all the food profiles is the great equalizer between all the marketing and hype.

Old Page with Nutro profiles, https://catinfo.org/docs/SortableCatFoodChartCatinfo.org2-22-13.htm

New Page without Nutro profiles, https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

For canned food, start out by eliminating all the fish flavors. OK for a treat, but it shouldn't be the basis of a diet. Look for foods that are low in carbs as your cat doesn't need them. Anything over 10% of the calories coming from carbs is something you should stay away from. Better yet is to look for foods with under 5% of the calories coming from carbs. Lastly look at milligrams of phosphorous per 100 calories and try to stay in the mid 200s range. When you see the phosphorous numbers elevate, it's just too much bone.

Not sure why you are counting calories with your kitten, she still has quite a bit of growing and development to go through. Most Savannahs continue to increase in size for their first two years and certainly put on a lot of muscle mass in their third year. Personally, I let them tell me how hungry they are, I count out the 1oz scoops I feed them and pick them up after 15 minutes. If they seem to be hungry, I will give them 1 extra scoop per day the following week. Things change, cooler temperatures they tend to eat more and I am not one to play games with them being a finicky eater. They get it, we have next to no food waste and they have a varied diet.

On the raw, Cod Liver Oil isn't recommended for cats. All the A and D vitamins you need are in livers. The food company isn't adding Taurine either. You can certainly get taurine through hearts and to a limited extent dark muscle meat, but it's probably the most critical thing to be in their food. I would look elsewhere, they seem to be more dog-centric.
She's by no means addicted to any food, she's actually quite the picky eater. She seems to eat to survive, not because she enjoys it. The only food she actually gets highly excited about is when I cook some fish in water for her as a treat once in a while. She totally loses her mind over it and gobbles it up like no tomorrow! This is another reason I wanted to try raw with her, she seems to be much more excited about fresh unprocessed food, which is no surprise.

I did extensive research on pet foods after my shelter cat got sick. He unfortunately passed away a year and half ago at age 7. I know to avoid foods with fish for various reasons, other than for treats. I believe Acana and Orijen are one of the highest quality dry foods, though I've never been fully satisfied with the available canned foods. My mother pushed to feed the Nutro even though I wasn't too keen on it, but it did seem to be one of the more acceptable ones.

I know I called her kitten, it's a habit and sort of a nick-name that stuck, but she's a bit over a year old now. Until when do SVs stay kittens? I was told that kittens become cats/adults at 1 year old. Im counting the calories because of this and because of what my vet said.

Alright, thanks. That's quite disappointing. I was hoping it would be a good one because this pet store is local. The one I wanted to feed her initially was Primal. I actually finally found a local store that carries the freeze dried and the raw frozen! What do you think of that brand? That one actually adds in taurine so it's a better formula I think. I don't mind throwing out the Faim Museau because I only bought 1 paddy and it was 2$.

I had to look up "lucerne". Turns out that it is alfalfa. It looks like the food is very high quality dog food. Cod liver should not be an ingredient and Taurine should.

I agree with John that a 1 year old SV kitten should eat as much as it wants and should be putting on weight, not losing it.

One problem with feeding both is that cats do not have a strong thirst drive and cats that eat raw get their water from the meat. Some cats that eat kibble may not get enough water. Another issue that I have heard of is that the kibble can swell.
Hmm the alfalfa is an odd choice to put into cat food, I don't think I've seen it in any others.

Im definitely upset that she's been losing weight. I've been tracking it to make sure she grows well, so that's why I know she's been losing. She doesn't always finish her portions so initially I thought that she was being served too much, but after checking her weight it's obviously not the case. :(
 
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Ninja-n-Bear

Site Supporter
#6
She's by no means addicted to any food, she's actually quite the picky eater. She seems to eat to survive, not because she enjoys it. The only food she actually gets highly excited about is when I cook some fish in water for her as a treat once in a while. She totally loses her mind over it and gobbles it up like no tomorrow! This is another reason I wanted to try raw with her, she seems to be much more excited about fresh unprocessed food, which is no surprise.
If she's that crazy over fish you might try getting a bag of high quality fish flakes to sprinkle on top of her food. We use mackerel flakes, and alternate with the Orijen freeze dried six fish treats. It's a very small amount of fish, and they clean their plates.

Does she ever come around when you are cooking meats for yourself? Both of ours go crazy when we cook beef, and we don't use fish flakes when I make a raw beef mix.

We also feed a small amount of Orijen kibble, but be careful if you switch to that as there have been complaints about the formulas changing and causing vomiting since they moved the factory to Kentucky. We buy the Tundra, which is the only formula still made in Canada.

Let us all know how it goes!
 

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#7
If she's that crazy over fish you might try getting a bag of high quality fish flakes to sprinkle on top of her food. We use mackerel flakes, and alternate with the Orijen freeze dried six fish treats. It's a very small amount of fish, and they clean their plates.

Does she ever come around when you are cooking meats for yourself? Both of ours go crazy when we cook beef, and we don't use fish flakes when I make a raw beef mix.

We also feed a small amount of Orijen kibble, but be careful if you switch to that as there have been complaints about the formulas changing and causing vomiting since they moved the factory to Kentucky. We buy the Tundra, which is the only formula still made in Canada.

Let us all know how it goes!
That's a good idea, the pet stores carry the orijen treats and she loves them. I haven't tried fish for her yet but I'll go buy some tomorrow to aid the transition. Where would I get the fish flakes? Is it from a grocery store?

Yeah she does actually. She seemed excited about the freeze dried food I got today (Primal, turkey recipe) but then she didn't eat much. :( I tried rehydrating with water, milk, and mixing it to her Nutro. She ate a bit but isn't thrilled. I'll have to try the fish flakes.

Yeah I know about those complaints, that's actually why I switched over to Acana since it's from the same brand and just has a bit less meat. She'll be served more of it for now so I can move her from the Nutro to Primal.
 

Ninja-n-Bear

Site Supporter
#8
We get Tiki Cat smoked mackerel flakes at the local chain store, but if you have a local specialty pet shop you might be able to find something there. If she likes the freeze dried treats you have now you can try using those, too. Fingers crossed!
 

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#9
We get Tiki Cat smoked mackerel flakes at the local chain store, but if you have a local specialty pet shop you might be able to find something there. If she likes the freeze dried treats you have now you can try using those, too. Fingers crossed!
Alright thanks, I'll check it out for sure.
I just had the idea of using the water I cook her favorite fish in as the water to rehydrate the food. I thought she would go for it, but she didn't. Then I added the actual fish in. She refused it. Then I put more fish, and a piece of it on top. She grabbed the piece, ran away with it and ate it further away. Then I mixed more fish and liquid and I thought that did it, but she simply ate all the big pieces and then walked off. u_u

She knows what Im doing and she's not happy about it. The problem is that she doesn't even like her current wet food that much to begin with since she doesn't finish her portions but obviously doesn't eat enough since she's losing weight. Im not sure what to do. :(
 
#10
She knows what Im doing and she's not happy about it. The problem is that she doesn't even like her current wet food that much to begin with since she doesn't finish her portions but obviously doesn't eat enough since she's losing weight. Im not sure what to do. :(
The downside to having super smart cats, they know, and they make us pay!
What about just cooking her some meat? We started our transition to raw with half-cooked chicken thighs (no bones!), and rare beef just to see if they'd eat it.