Not Just For Dogs. Curious Cats: Our Getting Started Guide For Feline Friends.
On first impressions, you might think Top Dog is just for dogs… but names can be deceiving! Here at Top Dog Food & Supply, we embrace a whole host of creatures who are designed to thrive on a raw diet. Our story started with Monty, our beloved chocolate Labrador, but since entering the world of raw feeding – we have learned so much about other animal lovers who believe raw is best for their pets.
Some would argue that doggy diets are unparalleled, however... you’d be surprised to know just how many different animals share a similar taste to us. It appears the world of raw is much broader than it first seems.
We are part of an exciting community, where everyone is unique. It’s not just for dogs… but cats, ferrets, and everything in between.
Let’s take a look at some of Monty’s most rivaled raw eaters… despite the tainted relationship between canines, and their feline counterparts – it turns out they actually share food. I mean… they are sworn “frenemies” after all!
Although cats and dogs might order off the same menu, their dishes are definitely served differently. Every animal is unique, and its diet should be tailored to its specific needs. Felines are obligate carnivores (as are ferrets, lizards, and most amphibians), and depend on the nutrients found only in animal flesh. Unlike dogs (scavenging carnivores), who are primarily meat-eaters, cats lack the right physiology to fully digest plant matter. ‘Deep down, cats are still all-out hunters – this applies to their behavior and especially to their organs, which match those of wild small cats!’ – Zooplus Magazine.
Because of this, our friends at Top Quality Dog Food recommend that cats and ferrets, ‘should stick to the PMR diet that includes only muscle meat, bones, and organs.’ Also highlighting their essential need for Taurine, ‘an amino acid found naturally in meat protein.’ Said to be critical for a healthy immune system, normal vision, digestion, heart muscle function, pregnancy, and fetal development in cats.
Another reason to feed your cat raw is due to the link between traditional kibble and resulting kidney problems, as well as a higher risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus (DM). Veterinary Practice News confirms that cats eating dry food don’t drink enough water which, ‘increases the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and lower urinary tract diseases, such as feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) and urolithiasis.’
BARF vs. PMR
It’s not really a matter of debate, but more a matter of opinion when it comes to choosing BARF (biologically-appropriate raw food/bones and raw food) vs. the PMR (prey model raw) model. So, what can you feed your cat? Whatever tickles your whiskers, or takes your feline fancy...
Jokes aside. Here’s our basic getting started guide for raw feeding.
Top Quality Dog Food recommends rotating between both raw feeding styles as they have their own unique benefits, and explains that the PMR diet is based on ‘80% muscle meat, 10% edible bone, 10% organ.’ As opposed to BARF which is based on, ‘80% muscle meat, 10 % edible bone, 5% organs, and 5% fruits and veggies.’
Our PMR Grinds, which slightly differ from PMR diet percentages, are great for beginners who want a simple start to introducing raw for their pets. While our HVM (healthy variety mix) option closely mirrors the BARF model of feeding, and the fiber element can help regulate cats’ digestion.
Our most interesting, and unusual domestic species (we’ve discovered to eat raw so far) is… Can you guess? Yes, Piranhas! Top Quality Dog Food’s loyal customers are known to solely order ‘beef heart ground’ for these somewhat aggressive eaters. Piranhas don’t tend to be too fussy about what’s dropped in the tank for them to devour, however, their diet should closely mirror what they would eat in the wild.
It goes without saying, that we wouldn’t be Top Dog without our adoring canine companions. So here’s a special mention, highlighting one of the products that you won’t be able to resist adding to your basket.
Sardines (with skin and bones intact) are an incredible, natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. Deemed to be one of the best fish to eat for your health, as they, ‘provide 2 grams of heart-healthy omega-3s per 3 ounce serving, which is one of the highest levels of omega-3 and the lowest levels of mercury of any fish. They contain a great source of calcium and Vitamin D, so they support bone health, too.’ The Kennel Club has identified this anti-inflammatory superfood to have numerous benefits that include: assisting healing, boosting brain function, improving mobility, and the condition of your dog’s skin and coat.
Just remember that sardines are high in fat, so be mindful of how much you are feeding. Ideally, you can introduce them 2-3 times a week as part of a balanced diet! Again, these are not just for dogs… but cats, ferrets, ‘beardies’ and other lizards too.
Our cold-blooded cousins are also partial to wild prey such as mice, whole caterpillars, and some owners feed ground beef, turkey, and chicken. The possibilities are truly endless!