Transitioning - Our Story

We transitioned to the raw food diet very slowly because Mamaw was doing a lot of researches about it. Here I will tell you how we did it. First, when Figaro game home from the pet orphanage, he was really sick - he hadded Rhinotracheitis. He was sneezing a lot, a LOT! We tooked him to the vet but he said just to get a lot of rest. And he made me sick too. So then I had to go see a vet because my eyes got swollened shut. And I had a lot of stuff coming out my eyes and I was sneezing too. But I went to a different vet since that vet we didn't like him, and that vet gave me a prescription of Clavamax (antibiotics.) Then Figaro got more sick with his eye swollened too, and we took him to my new vet and he gave him the Clavamax too. But while I got better, when he got sicker, he infected me AGAIN so I had to go get another prescriptions. Finally we were all better. Thank goodness!

But Figaro had very very smelly #2s. They were so smelly that when he used the litter box, we could smell it all through the house. I was so embarrassed for him!!! He also had very cracked dry paws and he had smelly smely breath. Mamaw thought maybe he is sick again with something else. But the vet said he was just fine. So after we already spended so much on the vet, Mamaw decided to do some research on his diet. And she found out some bad things! For example in some of the kibbles and canned foods they use "animal by-products" which can be other dead kitties from the pound, or animals that died in the zoo, or in road kills!!! And also it has a lot of ingredients that are not really good for kitties, like a lot of carbohydrates. First Mamaw tried finding "better" kibble or "better" canned foods. She founded out that kibble is never, ever good! And "better" canned food is very expensive and not that great. And frozen raw food cans are too expensive! So after reading all the books in the "Books" topic, and reading all the websites linked on our page, Mamaw decided we were going to get a better diet and she was gonna make it herself.
First Mamaw was worried about giving uncooked diet, especially since we were just sick and our immune systems were very weaks. So over Thanksgiving 2007, Mamaw decided we need to start better nutritions. First she went and bought some meat at the store, and used the recipe from Whole Health For Happy Cats, but she cooked it and added some taurine (because when you cook meats you have to add taurine supplements.) She also bought Platinum Performance vitamins because that was recommended in the Your Cat book. And she made us some cooked food. She cooked it like a meatlofs and then cut it in pieces. We liked it. After that she took away all of our kibbles, and let us only have the meatlofs food. Then the next time she bought tons of chickens, and 1-cup size containers, and made a lot of chickens with liver and giblet mix and cooked it and freezed it. So between late November and early Febuary we were eating only the special cooked mix. This was great because Figaro no longer had the smelly #2s, and he had much better paws, not cracked anymore. Plus neither of us have gotten sick since then, because we are eating healthy now.
BUT Figaro still had the smelly breaths! And my breath wasn't so great either. So Mamaw increased our tooth brushing schedules. Usually she brushed our teeth two times per week. We use Petrodex toothpaste from PetSmart. But we do not like it. Even she started brushing Figaro's teeths 2 times per day! But he still had bad breath, and also, bleeding gums! Then she decided, okay, she was gonna make some changes. She joined the Raw Feeding group on yahoogroups (join it by clicking in the sidebar). And read some more websites. I helped her look at the pictures in the websites. So she decided - okay, for our healths, we need raw foods. Since we are only 11 months and 7 months old, it wasn't so difficult as for some people with older kitties. First she gave some of our cooked food, and made it into a gravy with some water. And then she put in small chunks of raw chickens. And at first we were unsure but then we started eating it. We have been eating the raw food now for 3 weeks together with cooked. But the past couple of days we will even eat raw food on its own, without any special gravy. The cooked gravy just made us want to eat the raw food because it was very nice smelling. We also have tried pork and beef, although Figaro does not like beef.

Good Books!

Here are some good books that my Mamaw read before she transitioned us to raw food diet. We recommend all of them.

Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, by Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.
This is a good book for checking on various conditions, herbs, vitamins, and supplements. It has information on natural remedies and traditional remedies. Even for a kitty household who is not eating raw diets, it is a great book! It does not really advocate raw diets but does have a section on them.

Whole Health for Happy Cats, by Sandy Arora
This is not by a doctor, and while I usually like to prefer books by qualified individuals, we liked reading this one. I liked looking at the pictures of the kitties which are very colorful and cute, and Mamaw liked the information in it. The "whole prey model" concept prevails in this book and you get an easy look at how to have that diet with some good mix 'n match recipes.

Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life, by Elizabeth Hodgkins, D.V.M.
This is a great book that advocates raw diets. There are a lot of case studies that explain about how many health problems were avoided by transitioning to raw diets. However she talks about feeding only ground meats, while we think that feeding whole meats is better since then we chew it and have strong teeths. The recipe in this is not as good.

If you only buy one book, we suggest Natural Health Bible for your reference guide, and subscribing to the Raw Cat Yahoo Group (see left sidebar). If you want to be convinced why raw diets are good, we suggest Your Cat. If you want a nice colorful book which also has useful recipes, we suggest Whole Health for Happy Cats.


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