Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Raw Feeding

As promised to "Roxy's Mom" in my earlier blog, I wanted to just give a little info about
"Raw Feeding"....she is switching to a raw foods diet for her Roxy who suffered from bladder stones. As in all diets there are pros and cons to everything....my opinion is whatever works for you and the health of your cat is what you should do....my  Bobo lived to the grand age of 18 eating a diet of kibble and commercial canned cat food as well as many, many pieces of chicken, peas, broccoli and various other cooked meats that he got from me while I was cooking just because he was so adorable!

I wasn't familiar with a raw food diet until "Roxy's Mom" mentioned it so I went straight to Wikipedia to get enlightened.

"Raw Feeding" is the "practice of feeding domestic cats (and dogs) a diet primarily of uncooked meat, edible bones and organs". People who support raw feeding feel that the "natural" diet that an animal in the wild has is what it is meant to eat. Some of what they believe the benefits to be are that it "gives the animal a healthier coat, cleaner teeth and breath, reduced stool volume and odor and better overall health."

Those who oppose raw feeding feel that it presents a "risk of nutritional imbalance,  intestinal perforations and foodborne illnesses posed by the handling and feeding of raw meat and bones" and that these risks would outweigh any benefits. The bottom line from Wikipedia is that "few studies have been done to support the numerous beneficial claims of a raw diet".

I am a huge believer in the role genetics plays both with animals and in reference to humans. I remember when Bobo was a kitten and my vet examined him for the first time, he had said that cat was given "an amazing gene pool and that he would dance on all of our graves". A cat living until the age of 18 having eaten kibble, canned cat food and various homecooked goodies along the way, with NO major health concerns until he was about 16, (which were heart related and not caused by his diet) isn't to shabby....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bladder Stone Response

Many thanks to "Roxy's Mom" for the informative response to my previous blog....she obviously knows alot about this topic and I think she presented the following info better than I could have!! Thanks so much!! Remember, this is just one opinion, research all options in reference to you and your cat, you make the sole decision as to what is best for your cat but thank you "Roxy's Mom!" Any and all opinions/comments are welcome!
 "I think the biggest thing I've learned from this bladder stone experience is that a diet change is essential. We pet owners need to be aware of the "junk food" we are unknowingly feeding our animals in the form of dry kibble. Our animals don't need corn or wheat or any other fillers. Cats are carnivores. They need protein. Small mammal prey is about 55% protein, with very less than 2% carbohydrates (ie. wheat/corn/rice..."fillers.") Look at your pet food labels. You might be surprised at the content. There are good nutritionallly sound canned food out there...you just have to start reading the labels. Also, you may be paying more up front for a high-end food, but if your cat eats less of it because it doesn't have any fillers in it you are cost-wise even.

We also need to be aware that the pH level in our cat's urine is affected by diet. A meat consuming cat should have a pH below 7.5 (acidic). A dry kibble diet causes the urine to have an alkaline pH (above 7.4). This alkaline environment can then cause inflammation of the bladder which can lead to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and then lead on to bladder stones. Also, dry kibble-fed cats are severely dehydrated and their urine is very concentrated. Combined with the pH level being off, the conditions in the bladder are prime for UTIs.

I personally chose to pursue a raw food diet for Roxy because my research convinced me that this was the proper combination of nutrition and moisture for her. To others who may be considering a vet recommended "special diet" to eliminate stones (as I was offered by Roxy's vet), please read the labels for these foods. I don't think we should have to sacrifice nutrition in order to eliminate urinary tract issues in our kitties.

Sorry it's a bit of a windy comment, but I'm really happy we are opening a discussion about this. Two months ago I was devastated by the news about bladder stones in my 3 yr old kitty. If I had her stones removed and didn't make the best decisions for her health to prevent them from re-occuring, then what sort of pet owner would I be?"

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bladder Stones And Cats

A kind reader of my blog brought to my attention last week that her dear kitty (Roxy)  recently had to have bladder stone surgery. Bladder stones? I have heard of cats having kidney stones (my Angel Bobo had to have surgery to have 6 kidney stones removed) and by the way bladder stones and kidney stones are NOT one and the same. Bladder stones are also not related to gall stones.

Since I am going through the "after shock" from my Lithotripsy this past Friday for my own stone issues (kidney stones for me) I figured it was only appropriate whether the two are related or not to  post some information about cats and bladder stones.


I found out through "Pet-Yard.Com" that bladder stones "resemble a rock-like formation in the urinary tract, more particularly in the bladder. The stones are usually made of mineral residue in the blood" Like kidney stones and gall stones they "obstruct the normal flow of blood, urine and other fluids inside the body, causing extreme pain."


blood in your pets' urine
pain or straining during urination


There are varying opinions on this but one theory is diet (high salt content)
"They may also be caused by a certain type of bacteria or infection which makes the cats' system become irregular leading to an overproduction of certain minerals that would only solidify in the bladder, leading to bladder stones."


Usually done by Xrays but Ultrasound seems to be the preferred method for diagonosing the stones.


A vet prescribed special diet and medication
Surgery (which according to "Pet-Yard.com" is the fastest way to get rid of the stones"

The woman who brought the bladder stones to my attention is going to start her cat on a "raw food" diet....has anyone out there tried this type of diet with their cat? I am interested in hearing any and all feedback.

I recently researched some info myself about the "raw food" diet and will be doing a blog about that soon.

Until then,  regardless of not being the same, kidney stones, gall stones and bladder stones do cause a ton of pain in both cats and we humans who suffer from them and if left untreated can cause a myriad of other serious health issues. If your cat exhibits any of the symptoms listed above consult your veterinarian.