Current Music: Muleskinner Blues – The Cramps
I’ve been feeding my cats a raw meat diet for a few years now. Keri and I started this originally because Felix has a strange condition which conventional veterinarians were unable to successfully treat (unless success is measured by the number of times Felix got sick or ended up in the emergency hospital). This eventually led us to try a homeopathic treatment (Dr. Will Falconer specifically). Keri has always been interested in eastern medicine, and we both figured that it couldn’t do any more harm than what the conventional treatments had been doing. I’ll admit I was leery when Felix was given treatments such as sulfur crystals and arsenic crystals. However, whether it was these treatments, or just the absence of the barrage of medicines he had been given, he began doing much better. One of the conditions that Dr. Falconer sets with his clients is that they read through his web page and follow his advice about such things as vaccinations (should be given as infrequently as possible and only if that cat has a reasonable risk of being exposed to the thing they are being vaccinated for) and diet. He advocated a raw meat diet that simulated what a cat would eat in the wild. Not necessarily the exact types of things they’d eat in the wild, but a diet made up of raw meat, some veggies (which would have been in the stomachs of their prey), and some supplements to make sure they get the nutrients they need. The recipe I am currently using is raw turkey, mixed animal organs (at one time we just used livers), salmon oil (previously we used cod liver oil), and veggies. Originally we bought the meat products from Whole Foods, but as it was rather expensive, we ended up finding a raw meat co-op here in Austin (the Austin Raw Feeders’ Coop). The coop is a bunch of local folks who prepare raw meat diets for their pets, and combine to make bulk orders from organic meat suppliers. Most of the folks in the co-op prepare these diets for their dogs, but there are cat people as well.
ANYWAY, all of that is background for the fact that a couple of weeks ago someone posted to the coop mailing list that they were considering switching their cats to a whole prey diet. Not a simulated whole prey diet, which is what I’ve been doing, but giving her cats actual entire animals. She had found a company (RodentPro) which sells intact (but dead) mice, rats, guinea pigs, and chicks for this purpose. She wanted to know if anyone else in the coop wanted to go in with her for an order, since there were certain bulk discounts. If enough people are interested, it may become a regular order for the coop. Anyway, I was intrigued. I’d had a conversation with one of my vets (yes, *one* of my vets — tell me about it) about a study that showed that one of the healthiest things you could feed your cats is a steady supply of mice. I guess that’s not really so surprising. So I decided to give it a try. I placed an order for a bunch of mice and they arrive tomorrow. I know that at least four of my cats (Felix, Matilda, Wilbur, and Dusty) will love the mice. Two of my cats (Dora and Domino) may need some persuading. And Rasputin is somewhat set in his ways, so I am not optimistic that he’s going to devour any of the mice.
Right now I’m planning on just supplementing the raw meat diet with the mice. For one thing, I suspect that feeding them the mice is going to be a messy and time consuming affair. In the past they’ve eaten raw chicken wings — it took them a long time to finish them, and left the kitchen floor looking like an abattoir. The cats were also more possessive about their wings, which led to one or two chases around the house after a cat with a chicken wing in their mouth. But those experiences have left me confident that as long as I leave enough time, and only feed a few cats at a time, I should be able to pull it off. The thought of watching them devour the mice makes me a little squeamish, but in a way I prefer to seeing the animal that they are eating — why should it make me feel any better that their food has been ground up beyond recognition before I receive it? I became vegetarian myself because I knew I wouldn’t want to kill an animal in order to eat it, and I was only eating meat because I could conveniently ignore the fact that an animal had to die in order to provide me the meat. I know that cats cannot really be healthy as vegetarians, so I have chosen to feed them meat, and I kind of feel like I should really confront the fact that animals have to die to feed my cats. But whatever, I know that’s probably just me being weird.
So tomorrow night, assuming I can thaw out the mice quickly enough, my cats will be dining on mice. I’ve promised Keri I will take pictures for her. I may post select shots on here, but I promise I’ll put them behind a cut so that they will not be thrust upon the unwilling.
I know, I know, I never post and now I do and it’s all about dead mice. Oh well, what’re ya gonna do?