The raw deal report (after 1 month)

I made the decision to convert all our cats to raw food on 27th September 2019. There is a lot of literature about the benefits of raw food for cats because cats are obligate carnivores. The literature says that converting your cat to a raw food diet is about the best thing you could do for your cat, nutrition-wise.

I had known about the benefits of raw food for a very long time now but was hesitant to do a full conversion for our cats because they are all geriatric and I thought it would be very difficult to achieve a 100% conversion. So I opted for a rojak of raw-canned-kibble not knowing that by doing so, I would upset their digestive system.

So, we started the big full conversion project one month ago. Pole and Cleo did not need any conversion because they were both already on raw food. I only had to take away the canned and kibble treats that they occasional got.

For Cow and Bunny who used to be on the rojak diet of raw-canned-kibble, I was surprised that it was easier than expected to take away the canned and kibble. However, they still wanted their after-meal reward (which used to be kibble). So I used Primal to replace the kibble reward. It worked. It was only recently that I was able to take away the “reward” at the end of a meal.

The best thing that happened for Bunny is that his intermittent vomiting problem stopped after the full conversion. All this while I had erroneously thought that cooked food would be easier to digest for Bunny. I was so wrong. Actually, raw food is easier to digest because it has natural enzymes.

It wasn’t easy for Indy, though. He still demanded for his kibble every night. That took some effort. He would boycott the meals and demand for what he wanted. It definitely took more time with Indy.

Tabs was okay. She just needed sprinkles of Primal on top of the Cubgrub and she would eat it all up. Ginger needed more effort as he is pretty demanding. He would boycott food if you don’t get it right.

Of all the 8 cats, Heidi was the most difficult to convert. She was okay with the kibble being taken away, but she demanded for her canned food…or else. So, I still gave her her canned food, but I would put a tiny bit of Cubgrub beside it. Initially, she would walk away from the bowl. In time, she accepted the tiny bit of Cubgrub in her bowl and would eat around it.

The effort to convert Heidi had its ups and downs. If I got lucky, she would even eat a whole Cubgrub meal by herself. If not, she would boycott it and walk away. I didn’t want her to starve or miss a meal, so I would cave and give her her canned food. I’ll admit I wasn’t firm enough to implement the “eat or starve” order!

During this conversion period, Cubgrub was closed for 18 days. It was my mistake of not ordering enough as I had not expected the conversion to happen so fast. So, I did not have enough Cubgrub for everyone. I had to supplement with Primal and Coco&Joe, both of which are raw foods. Of course the mixing of food was not exactly good in that the cats could now demand for whatever they wanted and that made it very difficult for me. I rationed the Cubgrub so that I had enough to still give everyone a little bit of it for each meal.

The moment Cubgrub reopened, Lin Li was so, so kind and she quickly rushed up a batch of 20 jars for us (thank you so much for being so caring, Lin Li!). Now with sufficient food, it was much easier because I could make Cubgrub the staple food again. Primal will remain as sprinkles or the supper snack (only if it’s a cold day). So far, only Pole, Cleo and Ginger eat Coco&Joe, so they do get that too. Cow and Bunny are learning to eat Coco&Joe as well.

So far, everyone has been eating Cubgrub’s chicken. The next thing I need to do is to look at protein rotation and Coco&Joe has several mixed recipes (Chicken & Fish, Turkey with Chicken, Rabbit with Chicken). Alternatively, for convenience, there’s Primal Turkey. Or I could try Cubgrub’s other pure protein flavours like quail, duck or rabbit. But I hear cats are super fussy and suspicious with new tastes and smells. So I do foresee some difficult in introducing new proteins to them – they might boycott it altogether. So far, they are willing to eat Primal Turkey (everyone except Heidi) so at least I’ve already got one alternative there.

For the last 2 days, Heidi has eaten nothing but Cubgrub without the need for any canned food as toppings. It’s quite a miracle, really. I didn’t expect to be able to convert her at all. I thought we’d just end up mixing it for her (raw and canned).

Cubgrub’s recipes are from Dr Lisa Pierson, an authority on cat nutrition:

Good girl, Heidi.

This is the difficult fellow. He is very demanding and he knows he can have Cubgrub, Primal or Coco&Joe. But I don’t let him call the shots now that his Avatar-Klingon-Flowerhorn Fish nose problem is resolved. He would just have to eat whatever is served.

A short article from the link above:

What to feed your cat can be one of the most important decisions you make in the health and well-being of your feline family member. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they are especially adapted to a diet consisting of the flesh of other creatures. They are uniquely equipped to eat a diet of small prey and they evolved to eat this diet raw. There are no vegan cats.
Cats have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates. Period. They evolved to get almost all of their fluid intake from the food they eat. A mouse, a typical prey food, is about 70% water. Dry kibble food contains far too much carbohydrates and far too little moisture to be an appropriate food for cats.
There are many ways to feed bio-appropriate raw food for cats. You can make your own ground raw cat food at home or buy commercially ground meat/bone/organ mixes especially made for pets. You can buy commercially-prepared complete meals that are available frozen or dehydrated. You can feed whole meat cuts or small, whole prey foods. Many people feed a combination of some or all of these.
If you and your cats are new to raw cat food, transitioning is the next step. Whether this is fast or slow depends on your cat’s particular situation. Many cats take to a raw meat diet right away. Making the change is worth it, the benefits are tremendous for your cat and for you.

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