I never really paid that much attention to what I fed my cats. I figured Iams and Friskies were good enough. All the cats I had had lived good long lives while eating that food, so it never occurred to me that there are problems with these foods. That was until I got Izzy.
Izzy is a special needs cat I adopted in 2010. He was surrendered to a shelter because he “intentionally peed on the floor” which turned out to be caused by a urinary tract infection. Although I think it’s sad that he was dumped because of his problem, it’s a shame the previous owners didn’t care enough to have him looked at, but I’m glad he was or I wouldn’t have him now. However due to the length of time he had the infection they had put him on a special food to keep the formation of crystals in his bladder from occurring.
I had no problem having a cat that needed specific food. It was a little more expensive but, eh, he is worth it. However, after about half a year he started to have problems again. I took him to the vet and he not only had an infection but crystals had started to form again. So after a couple weeks of meds and the vet putting him on some kind of hill’s special food he seemed to do ok for a while, other than gaining a ton of weight, then he began puking daily. I went back to the vet and told them, they gave me another type of food to try that was even more expensive. I poured a bowl of it and for four days it remained untouched.
Worried that he was going to starve himself, I took the food back to the vet and decided to try out the natural pet store down the road. The owner there told me how many cats cannot tolerate corn or grains and that I should try a natural kibble and ultimately switch him over to raw meat. I wasn’t so sure about the raw meat but I was game for the natural food. It was cheaper than the hill’s stuff and from what the owner was telling me would be a lot easier on his stomach. So began the journey of finding Izzy the perfect food for him.
I put him on several different kinds of kibbles and I noticed he had definitely started to look better, but he still was vomiting much too often. I began to ween him off the kibble and into moist canned foods. I tried feeding him some raw meat but he didn’t even want to touch it so I continued getting the canned stuff. He really enjoyed the canned foods so I was happy for that at least. He was staying more hydrated and for a while the puking stopped, but about six months later it started again. Around this time I was getting really frustrated cause he had not touched any of the raw meat samples I had brought home.
So, I decided to try it once again with a different brand of raw cat food and I would mix it with the canned stuff. It took about six months to fully switch him over to a strictly raw diet but now he absolutely loves it. Once he was eating only raw I noticed a huge difference. His fur was shiny and super soft. His itchiness and dandruff stopped. He lost all the extra weight he had gained while on the food the vet had put him on. He also became more active and playful rather than sitting in the corner feeling pukey. Best of all, he hasn’t had any potty problems! It is the best thing I could have done for him. Even the vet commented on how nice he looked the last time I took him for his routine shots.
It’s funny, I always thought organic raw food and cooking for your pet was a little excessive, and only the most die-hard obsessive pet owners did that for their animals. I was SO ignorant… and now I AM one of those pet owners. I’m very careful what I feed my cat, I’ve seen how changing his diet has changed his life, and I want try to help other pet owners who’s cats are struggling with health problems. I’ve done a huge amount of research on what goes into pet foods and it’s pretty disgusting what some companies get away with. I want people to become aware of what is put into cheap bags of kibble. Even if only one person finds this blog and decides to try it at least it’s done its job. Dry cat food is one of the main reasons cats develop struvite crystals and I feel that if more people knew about this a lot of cats could be saved from painful surgeries and even death. So I’ve made it sort of a mission of mine to help inform people about raw/homemade diet, or at least limited ingredient canned foods for their kitties.
I’ve compiled a list of informational links as well as links to the foods I have fed my cat!
Info and Recipes:
Pet FOOLed – An excellent documentary about pet food and the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.
Homemade Catfood Easy to follow information and recipes, tools you’ll need, how to store the food etc.
Some more Recipes for making your own cat food.
Instinct can be found at most of the larger pet stores. They make both canned and frozen foods.
Rad Cat is a balanced food, it’s ground up so easy to mix in with other foods if needed.
Stella and Chewy’s I buy the frozen nuggets of meat but they also have some freeze dried products that are great too.
Fresh Pet This is refrigerated soft food that comes in bags. It is not raw, but it’s still pretty good stuff, grain free, and affordable if you’re on a budget. You can find it at most large pet stores and Target.
EVO a canned food.
Wellness also a canned food.
Weruva BFF a good canned food brand.
Greenies! He loves these, and I still give them to him often. Sometimes I will mix it into his food just for something different.
Buddy Biscuits These are soft and chewy, he really enjoys them.
My Little Lion Another soft and chewy treat he likes.