This blog has been primarily about my dogs and mostly about Seppel, I was thinking that I haven't really written about what I feed my cat, why I feed it, and where I buy his food.
I feed my cat Columbia River Natural and I purchase it from Moe's Meats in downtown Portland.
I have been purchasing food from Moe's Meats since November of 2013. I've been feeding my cat raw food since sometime in 2013.
My cat Napolean has severe food allergies. When I got Napolean as a kitten he had an ear infection, we thought it was ear mites but it was just yeast. I treated his ears with different medications, a few weeks went by and he started to scratch his face, to the point he had broken off several whiskers and was creating small hot spots on his head. Our vet suggested that Napolean had a food allergy. It's been so long now, [he will be 10 this year!], but we have tried nearly any cat food you can possibly think of. He seems to react the least to fish based foods [which is a bit odd as fish is considered a common allergen], I've tried multiple prescription diets all of which contain peas, which he seems to be allergic to. We even tried going to a holistic vet who basically told me that even though my cat is allergic to chicken, that he could handle it raw and I should feed it to him. While I thought that was stupid [if you are deathly allergic to peanuts in general, would you try them prepared another way? Probably not!], I did give it a short go and my cat scratched his face off.
It was sometime in 2013 that I decided to give raw food a good solid go. My cat would not touch Instinct Raw, it smells like tea leaves - that's the best example I can give for the smell. My dog Seth won't even touch the stuff and it doesn't matter what protein you buy, it all smells the same. My local Nature's Pet carried Primal Raw and at the time they had Pheasant and Quail but they only make Pheasant now[they also have a few other proteins to choose from]. I was paying $30 for 12 days worth of food. So that was about $60 for less than a month's worth. At some point after eating the primal for several months Napolean started getting finicky and wasn't always finishing his food. He has had issues with hair balls on and off, I suspect he really wants to have IBD, so it isn't uncommon for him to occasionally not eat as well for a meal or two because he needs to hack up a hair ball. However, he was not finishing a lot of meals and unfortunately I was having to throw the food away which was a huge waste. I started googling raw food companies and found that Columbia River Natural carried ground pheasant and ground quail, they also had guinea hen.
Since we started buying from Moe's I have gotten pheasant and quail exclusively. It comes in 2lb chubs and costs me $6.75 per 2lbs. I buy 20lbs at a time and it lasts me several months which is a huge savings. I also add Evanger's Wild Salmon to his food to make it more palatable, I have not been able to convince him that raw food is totally food.
My cat does extremely well on the raw food. There is no way to tell but he seems to be allergic to meat protein in general. As I mentioned before we have tried several different kinds of food from prescription diets, to grain free, and holistic brands. Often times he could eat certain foods for a few months before he would start itching. Unfortunately a lot of the grain free dry foods all contain peas or contain similar ingredients, and even if they contain a lot of protein they still have ingredients he could be allergic to, processing has a lot to do with it as well and it's impossible to know what he's really reacting to. I will say on the cat forum I was on, everyone always said to feed raw, because it would fix everything.
Switching to raw has NOT fixed everything. Several times a year he still goes through periods of scratching, however, it is not nearly as bad as it was when he was eating canned/kibble. He doesn't get horrible ear infections anymore - which he did prior to switching to raw. He has also not had a steroid injection in a long time. For several years of his young life I had to give him a depo-medrol injection to keep the itching at bay.
I do feel that for cats, raw is a biologically appropriate food. In the future if I ever had other cats, I would feed raw. I think a lot of the allergies and urinary tract problems we see are from feeding kibble. Napolean has been blocked before, because of his allergies I could not switch him to a prescription food, I switched him to all canned which completely eliminated the crystals in his bladder. He has had no issues with crystals since he has been on raw as well.
Below are pictures of the food I am feeding. This particular chub is pheasant, the quail is a bit bloodier.
The last picture is what his food looks like when I feed it to him. I add water to it, as well as 1/4tsp miralax, and 1/4tsp of crushed up taurine. The ground raw contains organ meat[heart and liver] but I worry that there may not be enough taurine. You can't really overdose them on taurine, so I add it just to be on the safe side. You can read here about taurine deficiency. I add the miralax because commercially prepared raw foods tend to contain a lot of bone - which can lead to constipation.
Hope this helps some folks out, Moe's sells food and bones for dogs too! Their prices are really reasonable and they have been easy to purchase from, so if you are in the PNW you should check them out.
Lastly, here is the cat in question: