Re: [FH] Have you fed your feline Primal Pet Food?
- Hi Sarah,
In a message dated 11/20/04 2:32:38 PM, burke43@... writes:
<< I am searching for ways to improve the quality of the food my cat
That's great. Nutrition is the foundation of health, as it provides the
building blocks the cat's body needs to maintain and repair itself.
<< I going to add the two Primal feline formulas to his
It may be a good idea to start with *one* product (perhaps the chicken),
introduce that...and when the cat is transitioned completely, then add the second
<< As well, he is taking digestive enzymes to help with the
transition to a new raw food diet >>
Just a note on this. Enzymes don't help with the acceptance/palatability part
of the transition, nor do they directly affect the gut flora. Their purpose
is to break down macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate) into
micronutrients. And, sorry to be repeating, but cats' bodies already produce their own
enzymes to do this...so there is some question about the desirability of suppleme
nting with digestive enzymes unless the cat has documented pancreatic
insufficiency, in which case animal-source (not plant-source) enzymes are generally
used. Further, since cats have little to no evolutionary history of ingesting
plant-source enzymes (bromelain, eg, comes from pineapple, which has no place in
the evolutionary diet of felids), there is question about whether they are
effective for an obligate carnivore.
It is, of course, entirely your decision whether you use them. It's just
useful to evaluate the information about them from various perspectives when
making the decision.
<< of course I am slowing adding the
new food to his diet. >>
This is always the safest, soundest course for a variety of reasons, mainly
that you increase the likelihood of palatability/acceptance and reduce the
likelihood of abrupt disturbance to the gut flora. "Slow," however, is relative to
the individual...and is influenced by various complex factors, incl which
foods and food sources the individual cat imprinted on in early life. Since there
is *no* way to predict in advance the outcome of a diet transition for any
*individual*, it is wise to proceed slowly, but relative to the pace acceptable
to your cat.
<< Thank you for any feedback on this product. >>
The site touches on many important issues about the carnivorous diet, incl
the necessity of specific nutrient balance...which is *essential* to a cat and
*not* comparable to the dietary needs of dogs and most other animals. The mfr
also seems to take care in selecting ingredients. So, in general, this looks
like a quality product that has been formulated with a cat's unique nutritional
needs in mind.
There are 3 issues that stand out:
1) The "meat" portion of the meals consist of 25% fish; even tho salmon is
considered one of the less noxious fishes for cats, I would be concerned about
feeding fish over time (for various reasons, incl urinary, digestive, and
immune system health). So, if you want to use this product to start, that's your
choice...but after acceptance, it may be useful to consider finding another
grainfree, well-balanced premade raw that does not include fish and either feeding
it exclusively or alternating between this and a non-fish product.
2) The Ca:P looks a bit high. The desirable ratio (as far as anyone knows,
based on what is known about *typical* small-felid prey, which can vary widely
among species and individuals and which has not been analyzed thoroughly) is
*about* 1.2-1.4:1. The Intl Wildlife Rehabilitation Council used to have a
helpful chart with the Ca:P of typical prey animals, but it's been gone for about a
yr now. So, while I'm not recommending that you make any change in the
nutrient balance or reject this product b/c of the Ca:P, I'm just mentioning that it
is something to be aware of.
As you know, the Ca:P is *crucial* to the feline diet. For this reason, it
would *not* be recommended to make any modifications to the product by adding
either more meat (which would change the phosphorus content) or more
bone/supplements (which would change the calcium content).
3) They recommended feeding by percentage of body weight. A more relevant
guideline is feeding a volume of the product with sufficient calories to provide
about 20-30 calories per lb of ideal body weight per day (adjusted for age,
activity, metabolism, etc). So it may be helpful to contact them about caloric
content of a certain unit (eg, 1 oz), then calculate the volume of the product
you need to feed to meet the cat's calorie requirements. They also recommend
feeding twice per day. While this is convenient for humans and is certainly the
choice of the individual caregiver, it's important to keep in mind that the
metabolism of a small felid is unique in that it doesn't shut "off"...b/c cats
have evolved over tens of millions of yrs to eat up to about 15 times per day.