Showing posts with label raw food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raw food. Show all posts

Sunday 11 July 2021

Raw dog food manufactured in Europe contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria

A study has revealed that raw dog food manufactured in Europe contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria including superbugs of the type found in hospital patients. This news immediately brings to mind the advice by veterinarians in the UK and in America that cat owners should not make their own raw cat food. I have been sceptical about that advice on the basis that veterinarians want to sell commercially prepared cat food in their clinics.

Raw dog food manufactured in Europe contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria
 Raw dog food manufactured in Europe contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Is the cat food version safe?

However, the shocking news that commercially prepared raw dog food contains these pathogens supports the veterinary advice. The new research was presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (2021). This revelation about raw dog food indicates that it presents an international public health risk to the citizens of Europe. And, as mentioned, there might be wider implications.

The researchers suggested that the trend for feeding dogs raw food (and there is a general trend slowly building to feed cats raw food as well) may be fuelling the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The researchers analysed 55 samples of dog food of which 14 were raw-frozen across 25 brands available internationally and nationally. Of the raw foods analysed 54% contained enterococci. More than 40% of the enterococci were resistant to many antibiotics. There was also resistance to vancomycin and teicoplanin. The enterococci were also resistant to linezolid which is a last-resort antibiotic considered vitally important by the WHO.

They genetically sequenced the bacteria in raw dog food and found that it was identical to bacteria in hospital patients in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Comment: the news surprises me. It would seem to scotch any idea that feeding your cat or dog raw food is a good one. The news may put a halt to the increase in sales of law pet foods unless something is done about the quality. If manufacturers are unable to ensure that their raw pet foods are free of pathogens then what chance do pet owners have if they make home-made raw cat and dog food?

I would have thought that this research would prompt a review of how raw pet foods are manufactured and how they should be made in the home. Raw food should be better than commercially prepared cat and dog foods which are highly artificial. I have heard good things about raw foods in improving the digestive tract and general health. However, any improvements in health are being offset it seems to me by the risks posed as stated above.

Friday 18 July 2014

VE Kitty Tubs Help Cat Parents Transition to RAW Meat Diet

GREEN BAY, Wis. (July 18, 2014) (PetPR News Distribution) – Vital Essentials® has launched VE Kitty Tubs Frozen RAW Entrees with a “Take the 5-Day RAW Challenge” campaign. The promotion has been created to help pet store retailers educate cat parents about the “essential” benefits of RAW cat food and to provide helpful tips on transitioning kitties to RAW meat diets within 5 days.

VE Kitty Tub Frozen RAW Entrée line began shipping in late Spring 2014. VE Kitty Tubs offer complete RAW-meat meals with essential nutrients that cats instinctively crave. Each Kitty Tub Entrée is “Purely RAW” – made with only fresh, whole, single-sourced USDA animal protein and is Grain Free, Gluten Free, and Guilt Free. Varieties include – Chicken & Liver, Classic Chicken, Cold Water Catch, Duck, Turkey, and Duck & Rabbit.

The “5-Day RAW Challenge” brochure is available to cat-parents through pet store retailers that offer VE Kitty Tub Entrées. This brochure provides the essential reasons for switching to RAW including:

Absence of “Junk Food” Ingredients – As carnivores, cats are not designed to handle a steady diet of carbohydrates like corn, rice and potatoes.

Instinctively Healthier – “A RAW meat diet is exactly what nature designed the cat to thrive on.” – Dr. Richard Patton, pet nutrition expert and author of Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack (the paradox of pet nutrition).

Vital Nutrients from the Whole Animal – Cats get essential nutrients from all parts of their prey – meat, organs and bones. It’s important that a RAW diet provides whole animal nutrition.
Every cat has their own personality. Despite being an obligate carnivore by nature, most cats in America have been trained and are accustomed to eating kibble or canned food. While some cats may take to RAW meat quickly, others may require more persistence and patience.

The best transition strategy is to remain flexible, pay attention to your kitty’s responses and adjust according to your kitty’s needs. Never starve your kitty into accepting the new diet as denying food for more than a day may be unhealthy. The “5-Day RAW Challenge” brochure includes some useful tips for helping kitties switch to RAW.

About Vital Essentials®
Vital Essentials, maker of the ALPHA Prey-model diet, is the most tenured RAW pet food producer in the nation, providing RAW pet nutrition since 1968. The family owned company operates facilities in Green Bay, WI, where they manufacture high quality RAW frozen and freeze-dried pet food, snacks and treats. Sourced, made and packaged in the USA, every Vital Essentials product stands up to the same promise – Purely RAW, Instinctively Healthy.

  • Learn more about Vital Essentials at www.VitalEssentialsRaw.com.
  • Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/VitalEssentRaw
  • Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VitalEssentialsRaw
  • Pin us on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/vitalessentials/
This information is distributed by PetPR News Distribution communications

Wednesday 9 July 2014

What is the best way to improve your cat's coat?

Charlie my cat with his shinny black coat

It is a waste of time writing copious pages of waffle in answering the question in the title because the answer is straightforward and common sense: ensure your cat is healthy by being observant and taking him to the vet when needed and not putting it off, providing the highest quality food you can afford which means high quality wet food or a properly prepared and stored home made raw diet and combing his coat regularly. That stimulates the oils. I comb my cat, who has a single coat, with a flea comb all over. This is a very fine comb (32 to the inch) and he likes it a lot as it massages his skin. I use it myself to scratch my head ;)

A contented cat too will be healthier through lowered stress. That is also down to us in providing an excellent environment.

Fats - essential fatty acids (EFAs) - are important for a cat's coat. Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids help to moisturise the skin. 20-25% fat on dry matter basis is fine (how to read a label on American cat food!). High quality cat food should contain this.

Cats keep their coat in good condition through grooming. Old cats neglect grooming sometimes. We have to step in and help. Fat cats can't get at some spots. Once again we have to help.

Friday 1 June 2012

Are People Less Allergic To Raw Fed Cats?

by Elisa Black-Taylor (USA)

Are people less allergic to raw fed cats? I'm not an expert on the subject of raw fed cats, but the question has come up a few times on the raw fed cat forums I subscribe to. I hope at the end of this article those of you who have more experience with this will comment.

Let's look at what causes people to be allergic to cats. Usually it's cat dander. Dander is dead skin or bits of dead hair. This dander can remain in the air for hours after being shed by a cat. Cat dander has even been found in office buildings and schools where no cats are present. This is because it may remain on a person's clothes after they pet their cat, then go about their day without changing clothes.

Making raw cat food
Making raw cat food. Photo in the public domain.



Raw fed cats tend to have more moisture in their skin. Their coats are shinier and their hide (for lack of a better word) isn't as dry. So it's understandable that more moisture means less dander, which means less shedding. This could mean less allergies for those who suffer.

These cats not only shed fewer allergens, their flea problems are also dramatically reduced. Perhaps the skin toughens up to the extent the fleas don't find it a favorable environment. Or do fleas tend to prefer shedding dander and once this has been eliminated, they move on or die from lack of 'nourishment?'

These are all things to consider for those who want a cat but are allergic or who may be thinking of turning their cat into the shelter system because of cat allergies.

Although no official studies have been done showing raw fed cats cause less allergies, it has been shown these cats shed 75% less than cats fed a traditional commercial diet.

I've used raw chicken as treats for my cats and my vet has been very surprised at how white their teeth are. Our Furby has a movie star smile! Their fur is also extremely soft. This goes away after awhile if I don't continue to offer the raw chicken as a treat.

Have any of you experienced a reduction in cat allergies when feeding raw? We may not have an official study going on here, but I'm curious. I'd like your opinion on the subject.

Associated: Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds and Hypoallergenic Cat Food (this is food for a cat that is allergic to some types of food).

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Cat foods that can cause health problems

We know that cats are true carnivores. They have a "unique metabolism" which means that there are some foods that should not be eaten at a quantity that is greater than 10% of a cat's overall diet in order to avoid potential health problems.

Meat and Diary Products

Despite being carnivores (meat eaters) cats cannot "survive on just lean meat"1. It has excessive amounts of phosphorus in relation to calcium and it is deficient in:
  • sodium
  • copper
  • iron
  • iodine
  • vitamins
A cat living on solely a lean meat diet may develop:
  • skeletal abnormalities
  • malformed joints
  • essential fatty acid deficiencies
  • secondary hyperparathyroidism
Liver contains levels of vitamin A that are too high and it can result in unresolvable bone deformities that are painful.

As to diary products, cats like them but cow's milk contains "large quantities of fermentable sugars". To break these down an enzyme called "lactase" is required. In adult cats the lactase levels have declined from kittenhood. If there is insufficient lactase in the cat's gut the fermentable sugars reach the colon where they cause "osmotic diarrhea". Cats drinking milk sold for people and eating human diary products can get diarrhea. There are specialist cat milk products. Assume cats are lactose intolerant.

Fish

Raw fish: contains thiaminase (an enzyme). This destroys thiamine (vitamin B1). This causes thiamin deficiency in cats  - see signs. Some more on thiamin deficiency.
Fish packed in oil: Feeding too much fish can cause pansteatitis due to vitamin E deficiency.
Cheap tinned fish (e.g tuna): this apparently can contain "preformed histamine" which causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Vegetarian Diet

Some people like to feed their cats a vegetarian diet. There are few people who do, thankfully. However some people advocate it as more healthy.  Clearly these diets are ususally supplemented with vitamins etc. (taurine, vitamin A and arachidonic acid).

The cat requires meat in his/her diet. A supplemented vegetarian diet has been found to be less healthy that a conventional well balanced meat diet2.

Baby Foods

These can be deficient in arginine. Arginine is very important to cats. It may contain onion powder. This can cause "oxidative anemia". 

Dog Food

Cats might eat dog food if it is presented to them. However it may contain insufficient quantities of:
for a cat. See: Taurine Deficiency in Cats. Stick to high quality wet cat food.

Associated: Raw Food Diet for a Cat and home made raw food diet.

Note:

1. The Welfare of Cats page 237 ISBN
2. As I but page 238.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Arginine Deficiency in Cats

Cat eating rat - plenty of arginine - Photo by aj_1328
Arginine deficiency in cats is something that affects our cat rarely, but it is something that we should know about. Cats are very sensitive to arginine deficiency and it is life threatening. Provided a cat is feed a diet that contains enough protein it won't be a problem.

Arginine is an amino acid. Most species of adult animals synthesize arginine. "Synthesize" refers to a chemical reaction in which arginine is made. However cats and dogs have a limited capacity to synthesize it. It needs therefore to be in the diet as a dietary supplement. It is a "dietary essential"¹.

The metabolism of a high protein diet results in large amounts of ammonia being generated which has to be eliminated by conversion to urea for excretion from the body in urine. Arginine is essential in this process.

A lack of arginine causes an immediate and severe problem. Cats develop severe hyperammonemia "within several hours of consuming a single arginine-free meal" ¹ ("hyperammonemia" is excess ammonia in the blood).

Symptoms include: vomiting, muscular spasms, ataxia (lack of coordination), hyperesthesia, tetanic spasms, leading to coma and death. This indicates the importance of arginine. It is a hidden importance as this nutrient is almost always included in the cat's diet because it is present in nearly all protein sources.

Note: (1) The Cat It's Behavior, Nutrition & Health page 305 ISBN 978-0-8138-0331-9


Wednesday 26 October 2011

Cat Food Allergies

A lot of people are gradually coming to the realization that poor quality cat food might account for a large percentage of cat allergy problems. Veterinarians are more aware of this. Some vets will say that their most commonly encountered cat health problems relate to the immune system and allergies. It's about modern cat food manufacture using additives and chemical pesticides.

The public, however, is still largely unaware. Allergies are difficult to pin down which blurs diagnosis and assessment. Allergies generate symptoms of general ill health. Combine that with a cat's stoic nature and we end up not having a handle on cat food allergies.

Some vets would admit that too much canned cat food, dry cat food, cat food containing chemical preservatives and artificial coloring, and pet food containing moldy or rancid meats can cause cat food allergies.

The argument is that a properly prepared raw food diet is the best cat food. However, vets believe that it is unlikely that a cat owner will have sufficient expertise and time to prepare and store raw cat food to the required standard. Feeding raw cat food carries risk of ill health because of hazards such as bacterial infections.

However, raw cat food is a better cat food model. It is more nutritious and is easier to digest. Bengal cat breeders who feed raw food sing its praises saying the benefits to their cats are immediately recognizable.

Some vets will argue that raw food contributes to an increase in enzymatic activities in the gut and bowl. It strengthens the immune system.

One big benefit is that cats on a raw diet eat less. Cat obesity is a major health issue in the developed countries. Cat obesity can bring ill health.

Why does eating a raw food diet lead to cats eating less? It might be due to the high fiber content and/or high amount of mineral salts in raw food.

I don't think enough is known about cat food allergies. IBD - inflammatory bowel disease, is an immune reaction disease. The most likely stimulant for this allergic reaction is commercially produced cat food. Elements of modern cat food are treated as harmful by the immune system. A cat might demonstrate signs of IBD by becoming fidgety or licking themselves. This gives in the indication that they might have fleas.

Hyoallergenic cat food is available if people sense that their cat suffers from cat food allergies. The best cat food is a compromise.

Thursday 27 March 2008

Raw Diet Cat Food

Raw Diet Cat Food with the proper supplements is arguably best for a cat. Why can't we buy this? Cats have a greater need than dogs and other omnivores for protein in their diet. Cats are obligate carnivores. Cats are adapted through evolution to a low carbohydrate (CHO) intake. Their saliva doesn't start the digestion process as it lacks the required enzyme. Their intestine and pancreas is the same.

There are limitations to substituting plant origin food for animal origin food which are being ignored by the big manufacturers. Cats in the wild eat high protein, moderate fat and minimal CHO. Commercial cat food can lead to protein malnutrition. Cats can't adapt to lower amounts of protein in food. For cats, protein in food is required for energy as well as structural purposes.

Making your own cat food. Photo in public domain.



Cats have a need for increased amounts of amino acids such as taurine, arginine, methionine, cysteine. A cat's natural diet contains these. Taurine is essential to a cat. Some is lost into their bile. Long term (several months) deficiency of taurine can lead to blindness. You can test levels of taurine in blood.

High amounts of CHO may have a negative impact on cats. Cats cannot use starch. Abnormally high levels of CHO are used in dry cat food to make the manufacturing process work.

High levels of CHO reduce protein digestion and increases fecal pH (more alkaline). A cat's liver doesn't contain an enzyme that metabolizes (breaks them down to be digested into the body) sugars. Cats prefer foods flavored with animal products and not sweet flavors unlike people and dogs. Carnivores rely mainly on fats to provide energy.

A cat has specific and unique vitamin needs. She requires higher levels of B vitamin (thiamin, niacin). Anorexic cats can suffer from thiamin deficiency. A cat eating high levels of sea food (high in thiaminase) can suffer from thiamin deficiency. The symptoms are sever muscle weakness. B vitamins are found in animal tissue. They are added to commercial cat food demonstrating how artifical it is.

Commercial cat food has added vitamin A but caution is required in supplementing this vitamin as it can be toxic at incorrectly high levels.

Cats drink relatively small amounts of water getting it from the prey eaten. This reflects their origins in desert regions. Cats eating a dry cat food (kibble) will drink half the amount of water than if eating wet cat food. They do not compensate adequately by drinking water. Wet cat food can increase dental tartar however. My thought: balance between the two but raw diet cat food plus correct supplement is best. Mimic as near as possible prey. Why isn't this available commercially?

An estimated 25%-33% of cats are obese. Obesity can bring health problems such as diabetes. There are several reasons for this. One reason being scrutinized is the quality of cat food. High CHO cat food plus inactivity (indoor cats) means the cat is consuming too much energy producing food and not burning it off. CHO that is not used by the cat is stored as fat. The weight loss diets are not necessarily healthy either as the high fiber content can impair protein digestion.

The more I read the more I am convinced a Raw Diet Cat Food is best but how to prepare it and do we have time?

Source: Debra Zoran DM "Timely Topics in Nutrition - The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats". This source has been greatly reduced in size and content in this post. But the tenor of the source and essential information has been preserved as accurately as possible. I have only referred to limited parts of the original text.

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