Should you feed your cat a raw diet?

Should you feed your cat a raw diet?

What Is a Raw Diet for Cats?

A raw diet for cats involves feeding them uncooked animal products. This includes muscle meat, organ meat, and bones. This type of food is sometimes called the BARF diet, which stands for “bones and raw food” or “biologically-appropriate raw food.”

The ideal raw diet for cats is prepared based on a carefully designed recipe. Many cat owners choose to prepare these diets themselves at home, but commercial forms are also available. If you choose to feed your cat a raw diet, it should be one that has been determined complete and balanced by a veterinary nutritionist. Cats that eat an imbalanced diet are at risk for a variety of health issues.

raw cat food

Why Consider It?

Felines are obligate carnivores.2 In short, this means they must eat animal products to survive. Cats don’t actually need vegetables and carbohydrates in their diets. In fact, they can only tolerate carbohydrates in small amounts. Instead, cats thrive on high-protein, high-moisture diets that are rich in substances only found in meat. This includes amino acids such as taurine, fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Supporters of raw food diets believe that cooking meat can alter or decrease these vital substances. They advocate for a biologically-appropriate diet that closely mimics what a cat would eat in the wild. In general, small wild cats hunt and eat rodents and other small mammals, birds, fish, insects, and even reptiles. When it comes to feeding your own cat raw food, the idea is to create a diet that is similar.

There is much controversy revolving around raw food diets for pets. Those who support raw food diets have much to say about the health benefits: coats are shinier, teeth stay cleaner, obesity is prevented, and overall health is better. While these claims tend to ring true, the opposition has valid concerns about the safety of raw food diets.

Are Raw Food Diets Safe?

It is important to know that feeding raw food to your cat does come with some risks. Raw food may contain pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli that can lead to serious life-threatening infections. Cooking food removes most of these pathogens, which is why we humans tend to cook our food.

Cats often digest raw foods better than humans because they have shorter, more acidic digestive tracts. Many pathogens will pass through a cat without causing any issues. Most cats will tolerate raw food, but those with health concerns (such as immune-mediated disease) may need cooked food.

Perhaps the greatest risk of feeding and handling raw meat comes down to cross-contamination. Feeding your cat a raw food diet can expose you and other people in your home to dangerous pathogens. Pathogens may remain on preparation surfaces, food dishes, in cat fecal matter and even on your cat (especially around the face).

Raw diets should not be fed to cats living in homes with immune-compromised individuals. They should also be avoided in households with young children and/or elderly people.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all risk, there are some ways to try to be safer when feeding a raw food diet to your cat:

  • Prepare the food in a contained area of the home; clean and sanitize thoroughly when don.  (use a 1:32 bleach to water solution if possible)
  • Wear gloves when handling raw meat
  • Handle food frozen when possible
  • Use meat ingredients from a reliable source
  • Feed your cat in an area that is easy to clean (no carpeting or upholstery nearby)
  • Sanitize food bowls immediately after feeding (scrub clean, then use a 1:32 bleach to water solution, then rinse and dry bowls)

Bones are another safety concern when it comes to raw food diets. Some small whole bones or pieces of bones can cause complications such as gastrointestinal obstructions, oral injuries, and airway obstructions. If animal bones are included in your cat’s raw food diet, they should be ground up well.

See Also: Ringworm in cats: what it is and how it is spread

Complete and Balanced Raw Food Diets

One of the biggest mistakes owners make with raw food diets is not making sure the diet is complete and balanced. Some people just feed “all meat and bones” or a wide variety of meats without actually paying attention to the calorie, fat, protein, and nutrient content. Do not assume your cat is getting everything needed for good health by simply feeding “as much meat as desired.” Over time, an incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for your cat.

You may think that random raw meat is healthy because feral cats and strays can subsist on this, but it’s important to remember that wild animals have shorter life expectancies than domesticated pets. Part of this is due to diet. That’s why it’s important to follow a vet-approved recipe that is complete and balanced.

When developing your cat’s raw diet, consult with your veterinarian about recipes that offer complete and balanced nutrition for your cat. Know that many vets will not recommend raw diets due to the risks involved. If you feel strongly about trying a raw diet and your vet is not flexible at all about raw diets, seek out a veterinarian who is experienced with raw diets. Better yet, find a veterinary nutritionist with raw diet experience.

Raw Diet Alternatives

If you would like to eliminate the risks associated with raw food, but still feed your cat an optimum diet, consider home-cooked cat food. You will still need to find a recipe that is complete and balanced.

Or, choose a high-protein wet cat food made with high-quality ingredients. Most vets and experts now agree that dry kibble has too many carbohydrates to be considered optimum for cats. Fortunately, many wet foods are prepared with few carbohydrates or even none at all. Reducing or eliminating carbohydrates in your cat’s diet may increase longevity. A low-carb diet can also prevent health issues like obesity and diabetes mellitus in cats.

Six Top Recommended Cat Foods for your pet today

Six Top Recommended Cat Foods for your pet today

In our efforts to help our readers we are introducing, for your convenience, a pet supply store. We’re not putting every cat product ever made in there, rather we are just going to offer products that we believe, both through personal experience and research, are among the best for your feline family members.

best guide on cat food in 2021

Although there is significant (quite a lot of) information about cat food in the Cat Chat Corner, we thought it would be helpful and interesting to write about a few of the most popular foods that you may find worth trying.


weruva cat food

I can honestly say this is the only brand of food that all five of my cats love, including Buddy, the most finicky cat ever. I personally buy Weruva OMG (Oh My Gravy) because of its moisture-rich content, but all of their foods are quite moisture-rich.  Weruva comes in both cans and foil pouches.   Their cat stew is an extra juicy variety with shreds or chunks of either beef, turkey, or chicken. They also offer pates and a classic cat variety, which is finely chopped or flaked.  Their Cats in the Kitchen is inspired by home-cooked family meals.  Weruva has the protein and moisture your cat needs without the fillers they don’t.  It’s a bit more costly than many other foods of lesser quality, but personally, I think it’s worth it.


Tiki brand cat food

Tiki brand cat food is another great quality cat food. Tiki cat foods are low-carbohydrate foods.  Some are only made of meat and supplements, unlike many brands that have lots of grain or other unnecessary things like vegetables that cats do not need.  I do buy this brand also to encourage my five cats to eat healthily.

Tiki offers many tasty varieties: GRILL has wet fish foods that are garnished with shrimp and prawns.


Tiki VELVET cat food

Velvet is a variety of Tiki cat food that offers smooth mousses for cats who prefer that texture.  ALOHA FRIENDS are foods supplemented with pumpkin.  I will say my cats are not too fond of this one —  the pumpkin is not a mixed-in puree, but rather tiny chunks of pumpkin.  I solved this problem by mashing up the pumpkin and mixing it in with the food.  AFTER DARK – contains organs which are very nutrient-rich plus muscle meat.  BORN CARNIVORE – a baked kibble diet.  On average this variety contains 44% protein and best of all doesn’t contain wheat, corn, potatoes, or rice.


wellness cat food

The CORE line of Wellness foods are made from high-quality ingredients and are rich in species-appropriate animal protein. Other Wellness varieties are not as good as the CORE line as they have higher carbohydrate levels than cats need. Most cats love Wellness cat food.


hills cat food

This is one of the most respected brands of cat food. Hills offers several lines of cat food including Hills Prescription Diet, Hills Ideal Balance, Hills Healthy Advantage, and Hills Science Diet. Hills Healthy Advantage is sold exclusively by veterinarians. Each food in this line has been formulated for five different health issues – skin and coat health, urinary health, weight management, digestion, and immunity. Hills Prescription Diet requires a veterinarian’s prescription. This line of cat food focuses on both special needs and health conditions including hyperthyroidism, diabetes, IBD, and urinary tract health.  The Ideal Balance line is made with natural ingredients.


blue buffalo cat food

Blue Buffalo is America’s leading natural pet food company. The company offers five cat food lines – Blue Freedom, which is grain-free, Blue Basics limited –ingredient foods, Blue Wilderness, a meat-rich food, Blue Natural Veterinary Diet, available only through veterinarians, and the original Blue.

We hope you find this article helpful when it comes to selecting the right foods for your felines. We always recommend consulting with your veterinarian on the proper diet for your pets.



Safe, Natural Cat Care that Works!

Safe, Natural Cat Care that Works!

Hello cat lovers!  I’m writing this today to share both my experience and also to introduce you to a line of natural cat health products that I sincerely believe can be life-changing for your precious felines.

I have five cats – Buddy, Tapas, Tanner, Tamale, and Yogurt.  Yogurt is my senior cat, 17 years old.  I adopted her when she was seven years old, and up until a year ago, she was in excellent health. Then she stopped eating – nothing I gave her to eat tempted her;  I was at my wit’s end.  I started searching online and came across a line of holistic products for cats. One of their products was for cats with kidney disease.

I ordered the Kitty Kidney Kit.  It arrived quickly. To my astonishment, by the next day, Yogurt started eating again! She has had a good appetite ever since. Her recent checkup was good, and she’s maintaining her weight. She does get infusions every few days at home as well, but she had been getting them when she lost her appetite. I’ve read so many posts about cats with kidney disease, and I’m hoping those of you with cats experiencing this problem will try the Kitty Kidney Kit.

There are products for virtually all of the most common cat conditions. If you have an aggressive and/or anxious cat, then Cat Calm works wonders.

If your cat suffers from allergies, it’s important to determine the culprit by elimination, and that may solve the problem.  Oxy-Cat and Catalyst can help boost your cat’s immune system conquer allergies head-on!

Now here’s one that most people laugh about when I talk about it…acne?  On a cat?  Well, I might not have believed it myself had it not been for a cat I had years ago, Boots.  Boots developed what I thought was a nasty rash.  My vet told me it was acne!  So now you know.  I had been feeding him out of plastic dishes — that is a no-no! Always use ceramic or stainless steel bowls and treat the acne both topically and internally with Oxy-Cat.

Is your kitty anxious or stressed? Cat Calm is a wonderful stress reliever without chemical-based anxiety medications. It also helps with stress-induced conditions such as Feline Idiopathic cystitis and more.

One of the biggest health issues I hear about is feline diabetes. While there is no cure for diabetes, CatAlyst Antioxidant Formula does wonders for diabetic cats!

One of the most common problems cats experience is hairballs. The enzymes in CatAlyst help by breaking down ingested hairs and also strengthening your cat’s coat and reducing excess shedding. All I know is, my cats rarely have hairballs.

Feline diarrhea – I think It’s safe to say anyone who’s ever had a cat has experienced this problem with their kitty. Of course, if something serious is suspected, take the kitty to the vet, but CatALyst can help ease the discomfort by helping your cat to better digest and utilize the nutrients within the food. Another great product, Oxy-Cat helps with stomach acid as well as fight any possible bacterial or viral gut issues.

Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV) – One of the most well-known cat ailments. FIV is the same retrovirus as feline leukemia. Cats with FIV can live long, healthy lives with proper care, and the FeLeuk Kit can help them stay healthy. It builds the immune system and prevents intestinal viruses.

These are just a few of the conditions that the Two Crazy Cat Ladies line of health products help. Here is a list of other cat conditions these wonderful  products can help:

  • Aggression
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Coccidia
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cuts, sores, abrasions
  • Digestive problems
  • Ear mites
  • Feline herpes
  • Feline hyperesthesia
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes
  • Giardia
  • Hookworms
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Ringworm
  • Roundworm
  • Feline shedding
  • Tapeworms
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Urinary crystals
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Urinary inflammation
  • Vomiting

And remember, all TwoCrazyCatLadies products are 100% guaranteed!

Kitten Care Guide

Kitten Care Guide

Kittens are surely one of the cutest animals on the planet. They give much joy to the families they live with.  Kittens are also a big responsibility.  These darling little furballs can’t take care of themselves. It takes time, effort and patience to take proper care of a kitten, but it is well worth the effort.

To help you care for your new fur baby, I’ve provided the following informative guide.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]  Thank you and read on!

The type of care varies depending on a number of factors:

  • Age of the kitten
  • How the kitten was obtained
  • The health of the kitten

One thing that is consistent in all situations – every kitten needs loving care.  They need to feel safe.

Moving on…

The ideal age to adopt a kitten is 10 to 12 weeks.  Some kittens get adopted as early as 6 weeks, which can result in them being fearful.

In some cases, a person may find themselves responsible for newborn kittens.  It could be the result of finding stray kittens where the mother has died or abandoned her litter.  There are also occasions where both the mother cat and her litter are discovered.  While the mother cat is the best caregiver for the kittens, they all will still need help from us.  So let’s get started, my friends!

How to take care of newborn kittens

The biggest challenge in caring for newborn kittens is in the event there is no mother involved.  Newborns up to the one-week-old need to be fed every 2-3 hours. They should be weighed daily and the amount consumed at each feeding should be recorded. At 2 weeks old, kittens can be fed every 4-6 hours.  After 3 weeks old until they are weaned they should be fed every 6-8 hours.  Sometimes more frequent feedings are required.  Your veterinarian can best advise you.

Kittens should be fed kitten formula, a kitten milk replacer (KMR), which can be purchased at most pet supply stores.   You can use a syringe with a Miracle Nipple attached.  This can be found in pet stores. The nipple is good if the formula should slowly drip one drop at a time.  Newborn kittens have no gag reflex and it‘s important they not get too much formula at a time.


A newborn should eat about 8 milliliters (ml) of formula per ounce of body weight per day.  To calculate the amount to give at each feeding, divide the total amount of formula per day by the number of feedings.  Keep a log of the newborn kittens’ weight and formula consumed on a daily basis. At two weeks old kittens can be fed every 4-6 hours.

After they are 3 weeks old until they are weaned they should be fed every 6-8 hours.  Sometimes extra weak kittens may need more frequent feedings; your vet is the best to advise on this.  After feeding you should burp the kitten– hold the kitten upright against your shoulder and pat gently on its back.  Be careful not to overfeed, as this can cause diarrhea.  Kittens less than 4 weeks old will most likely go to sleep after feeding.

Older kittens may want to play.

newborn kittens

Feeding several kittens?  What seems to work best is to feed a small amount to each kitten in rotation, then repeat until they are all adequately fed.

Feed the kitten on its stomach and tilt the bottle.  Feed with your dominant hand — belly down and head up.  Feed very slowly – not too fast, because as mentioned above, newborn kittens have no gag reflex.  Gently hold the kitten’s head up – be sure they can swallow, if not, take them to a vet immediately.  If the kitten eats and then turns its head, stop the feeding.  Patience is key.  

Be sure to keep kittens warm – newborns cannot control their own body temperature.  Place a heating pad turned on low (no more than 100 degrees) under a thick blanket or some thick towels, test the warmth and then keep the kittens on it.

Another task that needs to be done for motherless kittens is that you must stimulate the newborn kitten so it can urinate and defecate.  So, after each feeding takes a cotton ball or cotton pad or tissues moistened with warm water and gently rub the kitten on its lower abdomen and the genitals and rectum. Just rub only long enough for them to urinate with each stimulation, and defecate once a day.  Be careful not to overstimulate so as not to cause chafing.  Make sure the area is kept clean as well.

When the kittens are about 4 weeks old, you can introduce them to a litterbox.  Buy a litterbox with low enough sides for kittens to get in and out of easily.  Use a non-clumping litter (kittens can sometimes nibble on litter clumps.)  The kittens should catch on soon – if not, just do a scratching motion with the kitten’s paw in the litterbox.

How to care for kittens with a mother – If you find a litter of kittens alone, don’t automatically assume that their mother is not around.  If the kittens are sleeping peacefully and look clean, the mother is most likely around and caring for them.

No matter how good a cat mother is, and the mother is the best caretaker of newborn kittens, both she and her litter need rescuing.  Think about it – the mother cat will go into heat again, get pregnant again.

All of her kittens who survive will keep reproducing as well.  TNR, or trap-neuter-release, works to help this problem of overpopulation by neutering feral cats (feral means these stray cats have not been socialized and are not adoptable).

These feral cats are also given medical treatment before they are released.  It does seem sad to release them, but they are not domesticated and are not adoptable into families.

However, what the rescue group I volunteer for does to help many of these feral cats is instead of releasing all of them, we offer them to factories, farms, etc., where they are cared for and these cats are excellent at ridding properties of their rodent infestation.  In some cases, these cats actually lose some of their feral ways and actually become affectionate.

Truly a win-win situation!!

How often to take kittens to your veterinarian



credit: Pet Education


credit: Pet Education

I hope this information has been of help to you, my wonderful readers!!

Can Cats Eat Dog Food?

Can Cats Eat Dog Food?

Can Cats Eat Dog Food?

Cats cannot survive on dog food alone, and the same holds true for dogs eating cat food. Cats need sufficient vitamin A and taurine to live healthy lives.  Dog food is lacking in these, as well as lacking in arachidonic acid (a polyunsaturated fatty acid present in animal fats) and adequate meat protein levels cats require.  Our feline friends require sufficient vitamin A and taurine to live healthy lives.  Dog food is lacking in these, as well as lacking in arachidonic acid and adequate meat-protein levels cats require.

Can cats eat human food?

Cats are carnivores.  Most of their diet should be made up of protein.  A raw food diet is not recommended, as, without cooking, the food can contain live bacteria such as listeria, salmonella or e-coli.

Some human foods that you can treat your cat to sparingly are cooked salmon, skinless chicken or turkey, lamb, cooked eggs or lean beef.  DO NOT feed kitty raw meat or fish, fat, bones or raw eggs.  Also, be sure NOT to add any spices or powders – they could be lethal!  In addition, NEVER feed kitty foods such as garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, shallots or chives.

It’s okay to feed some human foods such as a little steamed carrot, broccoli, green beans or asparagus.  A bit of blueberry or banana is safe.  Personally, I’ve never encountered a cat who liked fruits and vegetables, but there may be some cats who do.

Speaking of safe fruits – can cats eat strawberries?  Strawberries are non-toxic but do not offer much in terms of nutritional value.


Can cats eat chocolate?

A big, resounding NO because it can be lethal to cats.  Cats do not like chocolate unlike we humans, who go crazy for it.)  It contains an agent that is toxic to cats called theobromine.  Even white chocolate contains it.  This delicious food can give cats seizures, abnormal heart rhythms,  tremors, and death.

Other food (or foods) cats should not eat are dairy foods—milk, cheese, etc.  Cats are lactose intolerant.


On the flip side, can dogs eat cat food?

No, not in the long term, because this food is not properly balanced for a dog.  For one thing, it is so high in protein it can be hard on a dog’s liver and kidneys.  Cats need to eat meat as their primary food source.  On the other hand, dogs require more fiber than cat food provides.    There are four different types of commercial food for cats:

  • Canned food contains about 60-78% of water.
  • Semi-moist foods in pouches contain 25-35% water.
  • Fresh pet foods are similar in water content to canned foods
  • Kibble only has 3-11% of water.

So, further comparing the difference between food made for cats and food made for dogs – food made for cats tends to be higher in protein, fat and vitamins and minerals.  While cat and dog foods share many of the same ingredients, cats are obligate carnivores and require more protein, fatty acids, essential amino acids plus many vitamins.

It’s pretty clear what all this information shows – cats should eat cat food, dogs should eat dog food, with an occasional fruit or veggie treat you know is safe.



What is FIV in cats?

FIV typically causes a cat’s immune system to weaken.  It is comparable to HIV in humans, however, only cats get FIV.  The most common means of transmission is a deep bite wound from an FIV-positive cat to another cat.  Other means of transmission are via blood, in utero and from milk from an infected mother cat.

It’s very rare for cats to get FIV just by being around infected cats or sharing food or being touched by someone who has touched an infected cat.  FIV negative and FIV positive cats can live together without the infection being transmitted.

While FIV positive cats are more susceptible to infections such as dental disease, ringworm, and upper respiratory infections, the cat’s life expectancy is normal.

TESTING FOR FIV – A blood test called an Elisa test, also known as a Snap test is done by your veterinarian.  A cat can test positive 2-4 weeks or up to 8 weeks after exposure.  Kittens less than 6 months old may have a false negative.  It’s best to test kittens older than 6 months old.


  • Keep your cat indoors only
  • While I strongly advocate keeping all pet cats indoors for their own safety, it is absolutely imperative that you keep FIV positive cats indoors. These cats have an infectious disease and you don’t want to infect other cats.  Even if your cat cries and cries to go out, eventually kitty will adjust to being an indoor cat.

FEEDING – do not feed kitty any raw foods, as uncooked foods may contain pathogens or parasites that can wreak havoc on an immune-compromised cat.

VACCINATION – vaccinating FIV positive cats is controversial because vaccinating may encourage the virus to activate.  Unless required by law, if your cat lives indoors only and no other cats live outdoors, then forgoing vaccination is reasonable.

In summation:  discuss the best ways to help maintain your cat’s health with your veterinarian.



Feline leukemia is a transmittable RNA retrovirus.  In short, retroviruses are enveloped viruses that belong to the viral family.  Retroviruses are a type of virus that uses a special enzyme called reverse transcriptase to translate its genetic information into DNA.  The DNA can then integrate into the cell’s DNA.  This virus can severely inhibit a cat’s immune system and is one of the most common causes of disease and death in domestic cats.  Every newly adopted cat should be tested because symptoms don’t appear right away.

Cats with feline leukemia have drastically abnormal numbers of white blood cells, either higher or lower than normal.  This causes severe infections and tumors.  Leukemia in cats is contagious to other cats and ultimately fatal.


Cats can get heartworm when mosquitoes carry infective heartworm larvae enter a cat’s body when a mosquito feeds.  The larvae migrate from the bite wound through the body of the cat, then they mature until they reach the heart and blood vessels of the cat‘s lungs as adults.

Cats with heartworm cannot be treated in the same way as dogs with heartworm, because the drug of choice used to treat dogs, Melarsomine, is toxic to cats.   Therefore, heartworm in cats is managed with corticosteroids such as prednisone or prednisolone for their anti-inflammatory effects.


  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing

Other symptoms may include fainting or seizures or fluid accumulation in the abdomen.  One symptom that cats (but not dogs) may have is intermittent vomiting not related to eating.

Treatment for heartworm often continues until the adult worms die and are cleared from the lungs.  This is a two to three-year process.


In heartworm endemic areas cats should receive preventive medication beginning at 8 weeks old.  While it‘s best for cats to live totally indoors, there is no 100% guarantee a cat won’t get heartworm.

ASK YOUR VET – if your cat has been screened for heartworm disease, or should be on preventive medication and if so, how should it be administered?  What symptoms should you look out for?


RINGWORM – signs of ringworm include red lesions on the cat’s chest, head, a ridge of the back of forelegs.  There can be scaling, crusting, thickening and reddening.  Hair loss on the tail or back is also a symptom.  Ringworm is contagious – exposure to contaminated bedding or grooming utensils are ways to contract heartworm.

HIGH-RISE SYNDROME – this one was new to me!  It’s the phenomenon of cats falling higher than two stories and also refers to injuries from these falls.

DIABETES – there is a surprisingly large number of cats developing diabetes mellitus.  Diabetes is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar (glucose) levels.  An untreated diabetic cat can be vomiting, have a loss of appetite, experience motor function problems, dehydration, coma and possibly death.

If you notice that your cat is increasingly thirsty, urinating more frequently, is less active, losing his appetite, lethargic, having difficulty walking, vomiting, please see your vet as soon as possible.

Treatment of diabetes may include oral medications, insulin, dietary changes.  An overweight cat may be placed on a diet.  Cats who get proper treatment for their diabetes can enjoy a normal life expectancy.

We all love our cats.   They are part of our family, loving us and being loved.  Cats trust us to take good care of them.  The best way to honor that trust is to provide them with a warm and loving home and taking them to the vet for both regular checkups and vet care when they are sick.