Feline Instincts Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer samples of your premixes?
No. We only offer a small trial size for anyone who wants to try our recipes
Should I feed the Kidney Support Diet?
Our Kidney Support Diet is for dogs and cats with failing or aging kidney disease. You don’t need the Kidney diet unless there is a kidney problem. Download the brochure here. You can give the Kidney Support Diet as a secondary diet along with My Natural Cat diet for your older cats. This will give a variety to your recipes for your cats.
Which diet is right for my cat?
The most popular premix is My Natural Cat for all cats and kittens. This is the diet premix that has helped IBD, FUS, any kind of crystals problems and Diabetes.
Can I use cod liver oil to replace the raw liver in the recipe?
Yes and no. It is too easy to give too much vitamin A this way and cause health issues for your cat. Too much Vitamin A causes skeletal problems. Vitamin A toxicity is not commonly observed in cats but may occur if cats are fed too much beef liver, in which much vitamin A is stored. They will exhibit muscle soreness and hyperesthesia. Also, your cat would surely prefer the real vitamin A source, liver, and may not like the taste of cod liver oil. I know I despised the taste when I was a child!
My cat has a thyroid problem. Will a raw diet help?
Yes. Along with a raw diet you need additional support specifically for the thyroid. I recommend that you find a classical homeopathic vet for support, and obtain the holistic thyroid support available from Pet Wellbeing. I used it for Lady Natascha and in less than one week it worked to bring her thyroid levels back to normal. You need to switch your cat to a raw diet to have complete success.
My cat has cancer. What can I do?
I am so sorry for your pain and for your cat’s health problem. I know exactly what you are going through. I have dealt three times with cancer in my cats and have not yet found a way to get rid of it in time. However, there are options you can try if you have a vet that is open-minded enough to help you with one of them. One treatment by Buck Mountain Botanicals has been known by vets to cure cancer, but the only side effect is nausea from raw meat, so use only cooked foods during this treatment. I tried this treatment for my cat with bladder cancer, still feeding raw because he wasn’t taking treatments by mouth. Sadly, by the third bladder flush treatment the cancer had progressed too far (I had done a biopsy, which made it spread so fast). The Buck Mountain doctor will ask you to stop all other treatments. You will also need to start a liver detox right away! Only Natural Pet Store´s Liv Herb worked to bring King Ramses’ liver levels back to normal. This is most important! I put the Liv Herb in capsules, coated them with a little olive oil or butter and gave them with NO food an hour before or after so that it works alone on the liver. Though I did lose him, his liver was fine. Liv Herb is most likely OK to use with Buck Mountain treatments as they also use a liver detox. ES Clear is another product which helps manage cancer in felines, and this Feline Cancer Resources Website is very helpful.
My cat has been on antibiotics. Has this hurt his digestive and intestinal tract?
Yes. Cats and humans lose all the good bacteria from any kind of antibiotic and this causes inflammation of the intestinal and digestive tracts, in turn causing diarrhea and upset stomach. Give your kitty any good acidophilus/probiotic pill twice a day for 30 days or more.
My cat has IBD and is on prednisolone medication. Which diet is best for him?
Any good balanced raw diet like our My Natural Cat will help your kitty. Our success stories speak for themselves.
Where can I get the lactate ringers and SubQ bags of fluids for my cat with kidney failure?
When you order the solution “bags” for subcutaneous fluids, make sure you get the right solution. Mine are called Normosol-R 1000ml, Multiple Electrolytes, or ask your vet which he prefers and get a prescription from him. I found the best price from Costco and bought a case. It came to about $7 a bag. I bought all my 18 gauge Monoject needles and the IV line (Primary IV Drip, 78 ” 15 drop) from Pet Supplies 4 Less. You will find lots of good instructional videos online on how to give subQ’s to your cat.
Can I have a sample to give my conventional vet for approval?
No. Normally a conventional vet will not agree to a raw diet unless they are leaning towards holistic care for pets. We have brochures on our website to show ingredients, but most conventional vets will probably never agree to feeding raw because they are uneducated in natural nutrition for animals. It’s not their fault as they only know what vet school teaches them in the brief period devoted to nutrition.
The pet food companies’ close connection is evident in vet students’ textbook subsidies and offers based on carrying their products when they are in practice. What would be a better idea is to show your vet the video by Dr. Karen Becker on why cats and dogs need a raw diet here on our homepage.
I just ordered the My Natural Cat premix for my cat. When I receive it do I have to add anything? Or can I just put it in the bowl?
Please read the instructions on the bag when you have received it or here on our website under Recipe Instructions. Use only as directed.
Can I use your premix My Natural Cat with a readymade raw pet food?
If that product has any kind of bone or calcium, the answer is no. The only premix you can use with meats that are made with calcium/bone is our Whole Carcass
. If you have additional questions, please refer to the handling instructions printed directly on the back of the raw food package.
Aren’t raw meat diets appropriate for wild animals but not domesticated pets?
Dogs and cats are biologically the same as “wild” animals. Wolves and dogs even share the same genetics. They look different because of the way they are bred to be different. However, their digestive systems actually do function the same. Breeding changes your pet’s appearance and demeanor, not their internal organs. Cats are even more similar to wild animals than dogs since they have experienced less breeding. Dogs and cats are meat eaters by nature, especially cats.
How do I thaw the raw meals before feeding?
Defrosting your raw meat meals can be done slowly in the refrigerator or quickly by placing the container in a bowl of warm water, then refrigerating until you are ready to serve. When serving, you can warm the raw food in a glass or stainless steel bowl in a container of warm water and stir a few times until warm to finger touch. Never use a microwave to warm the meals because it can cook the nutrients in the foods, and you will have wasted all the time and money in making a really good raw diet for your cat.
How can some cats eat commercial pet foods all their life and live to be 20.
My first thought is WOW, I wonder how much longer that cat would have lived if fed a raw diet. Genes is the answer and the more we feed and breed on commercial foods and give vaccines the weaker the genes line will be. I wish I could have had a cat that came from a good gene pool like that, but those days may be far behind us unless you buy a cat from a breeder that feeds only raw and I do know of a few. It a real shame I’m too old to raise another cat that could live past 25!
Why is feeding dry (kibble) food bad for cats and dogs?
The dry foods take the water away from the cats’ (or dogs’) system causing them to drink even more water. Over time, this back and forth dehydrating and drinking of water will put a strain on their kidneys. This long term off and on again dehydration is a possible cause of chronic renal failure in dogs and cats.
Why is a raw diet more natural for my cat or dog than the commercial pet foods which say they are natural?
The word “natural” when applied to some of today’s pet foods is a real stretch of Webster’s primary definition, “of or arising from nature in accordance with what is found or expected in nature”. How many commercial pet foods have corn, wheat, soy, or barley as prominent ingredients? These are all natural products for herbivores, but how many feline carnivores (cat, lion, and tiger) have you observed in the wild feasting on these products? They are not “natural” for cats. Fresh raw meats are.
Aren’t all complete and balanced commercial pet food diets equally nutritious?
The words “complete and balanced” on packages of dog or cat food only speak of minimum nutritional adequacy. To legally use this phrase, the foods need only meet minimum requirements to keep an average pet alive. Most of us have more than average pets and want more than to just keep them alive. We want them to thrive and stay healthy as long as possible, not simply survive for a number years before illness strikes them, frequently from vaccines and/or commercial pet foods.
Are raw meat diets dangerous to feed because of the possible contaminants of salmonella and e-coli?
Dogs and cats have a natural deterrent to ingested bacteria with their short and highly acidic digestive systems. This highly acidic system also makes it possible for cats to digest the small soft bones from prey, such as birds and mice. Freezing raw meat diets and observing safe handling practices greatly reduces the chances for bacterial contamination. Use good hygiene and common sense when you handle any raw food. Always wash your hands, surfaces and food dishes – just as you would if you were preparing meat for yourself or your family.
Do you use any chemicals or preservatives in your products?
No. We do not add any artificial colors or chemical preservatives to our premixes. We use human grade and organic ingredients only.
How long can I leave the raw meals out for my pet?
Any meals that are not completely eaten should be returned to the refrigerator after 45 minutes. However, I have left them out longer without a problem because cats have a very strong acidic digestive system that kills bacteria.
Why does my Allopathic veterinarian tell me that a raw meat diet is unsafe?
Holistic vets wouldn’t agree with your vet. Unfortunately, most veterinary schools provide inadequate education on basic canine and feline nutrition. Nutrition may occupy as little as a one-week long seminar in their many years of education to become veterinarians. For answers to nutrition they look to pet food manufacturers, which readily supply them with specialty, preventative diets for all life stages and ailments. Should you ever be confronted with the situation of arguing your decision of feeding a raw meat based diet to your cat with a veterinarian, be polite. The veterinarian is simply voicing his/her true concern because they are not educated on nutrition. Remember that you cannot convince someone who does not want to be convinced. For your vet to insist that only commercially prepared foods are the best for your cat would be like a family doctor recommending fast foods over fresh fruit and vegetables for you and your family. Find yourself a holistic veterinarian because they have studied nutrition and natural health care and their knowledge will be a welcome source of educational help for you and your cat.
Is it harmful if I cook the diet before feeding it to my dog or cat?
Yes. Meat that is cooked above 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) loses its natural digestive enzymes as well as some of the important fragile amino acids such as taurine. The preventative health benefits of an uncooked, balanced, raw meat diet can be seen in the success stories of our customers. Meat eaters, from small pet ferrets through all sizes of domestic dogs and cats to lions and tigers, build strong immune defense mechanisms on raw diets, thus protecting them from infection and providing them the healthiest diet prescribed by Mother Nature: Raw Meat.
Why is there such a difference in my cats’ stools when on a raw diet?
The high biological value of the protein in raw meat diets will result in a large reduction in the amount and frequency of stool elimination. Simply put, there is less waste in a raw diet and your cat or dog will absorb more nutrition than when they ate a commercial food. Most commercial pet foods are filled with indigestible (however palatable) ingredients that cause dogs and cats to overeat which creates the need to eliminate several times a day. Animals on raw diets generally eliminate just once a day or even every other day. In addition, this kind of digestibility greatly reduces stool odor and is a healthy and more natural occurrence, just as in the wild. Simple test: stools from well-digested foods with very little waste, when placed in water will float, not sink.
What are the benefits of a raw diet for my cat or dog?
Benefits are a shiny coat, improved health, stronger immune system and more vitality. A nutritionally balanced raw meat diet has been proven to help clear up various illnesses such as diabetes, irritable bowel disease, FUS, crystals in the bladder, and in some cases has even helped put cancer in remission in combination with holistic veterinarian recommended remedies.
Why is a raw diet best for a cat and dog?
Cats (larger exotic cats too) are designed with short and acidic digestive systems so they can process raw meat. They need the undamaged enzymes and amino acids that a raw meat diet contains, which are their protein building blocks. These enzymes are essential biological catalysts that enhance the quality and quantity of nutrient assimilation that allows your carnivorous pet to conserve its own enzyme energy for more important life health benefits such as longevity. Many of the important amino acids and all digestive enzymes are destroyed when raw meats are cooked. All processed pet foods are cooked. Animals that eat processed foods often become nutritionally compromised and manifest dry and itchy skin, dull coats, weight problems, lethargy and many illnesses.
Have you read the Pottenger report on cats?
There was an excellent study on laboratory cats done by Dr. Francis Pottenger in the 1930s, in which he addressed the question of nutrients that were destroyed by heat and available only in raw foods. In his meat study (he also tested adrenal glands) he fed half of the cats raw and the other half cooked foods. All the cats on raw food thrived and had very healthy litters of kittens, while the cats that ate cooked foods became ill frequently, developed degenerative diseases by the end of the first generation and had deformed and weak litters of kittens. His book “Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition” is available from Amazon and other bookstores on the internet.
Can I make my cat or dog´s raw diet myself from scratch?
Yes, you can. However, if it’s not done with the proper balance of nutrition, you could do more harm than good. It is important to include the right ingredients and supplements. Feline Instincts has experience feeding raw meat diets to cats and has a premix to easily make your cat’s raw food recipe. In addition, by the time you accumulate all the proper ingredients, you’ll learn that Feline Instincts has done all the work for you at a very reasonable cost.
What is FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome)?
FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome) poses a threat to cats where crystals form in the urine and irritate the urinary tract. There has never been a report of a cat developing FUS as a result of being on a raw diet. Part of the reason for this is due to the well known fact that raw meat diets result in acid urine output and grain-based diets result in alkaline urine production. Acid urine is not a favorable medium for struvite crystals to form, so even if a particular cat may be predisposed to FUS, if the urine is kept acidic, the probability of crystals forming is low. Plus, the natural juices and water content of the raw meat diet ensure some natural fluid intake, unlike dry cereal-based cat foods which dehydrate the cat, thus making it drink water all the time. The dry foods take the water away from the cat´s system causing it to drink even more water. Over time, this back and forth dehydrating and drinking of water will put a strain on its kidneys. This long term off and on again dehydration is a possible cause of chronic renal failure in cats. It is my belief, that feeding an alkaline diet of processed/cooked foods creates an imbalance in your pet´s pH, and it is this imbalance which substantially contributes to urinary and kidney problems. Raw meat diets will naturally keep a cat´s systems acidic, healthy and strong, while helping to prevent illnesses.
What causes Feline Acne?
In my opinion, after dealing with King Ramses’ acne from a year old, the pores on the chin can get clogged from foods and natural oils. This is the one spot that cats cannot get to with their sandpaper tongues. And other cats rarely if ever clean each other´s chin, thus pores can become clogged infected. White-chinned cats seem to be more prone to getting acne than other cats. Our old vet back home in Key West, Florida, told us to keep Ramses’ chin clean by washing with mild soap and water. Be very careful not to rub too hard because the skin there is very thin and can easily tear. If there is an open wound, try to keep the infected area open to allow the sores to heal from the inside out by gently cleaning the chin twice a day, every day, until the chin is healed. Once it was healed we brushed Ramses’ chin often with a regular soft bristle brush. Keep a watch for returning acne, squeeze any blackheads you may see, and wash as I mention above if the acne returns. Ramses only got occasional small bouts of acne because we took close care of his chin and he ate the raw diet. What finally got rid of Ramses’ acne forever was classical homeopathy treatments.
What kind of food dish should I use to serve my cats their raw diet on?
Cat food bowls should be shallow and wide. We use open feeding dishes made of china or glass like salad plates. The more open the plate, the easier it is for your cat to get to the food and the less his chin will rub on the dish, which can lead to feline acne. We also use sandwich Tupperware containers as a base to elevate the feeding dish. We have found that, in some cases, elevation of the food dish has helped cats from vomiting after a meal, particularly if they eat fast! Cats don’t like to have their highly sensitive whiskers touched. If the bowl is too small your kitty may shy away at meal times or not finish. The bowl should also be sturdy so that it doesn’t slip around the surface as the cat eats.
I have been feeding my cat a commercial kidney diet how does your recipe compared to k/d.
Our Renal Diet cannot be compared to any kind of commercially cooked products because it is not a balanced raw diet. Phosphorous (there is no sodium in our diets) levels are 0.14% for70 grams of the renal recipe food.
As for the protein, when fed a raw diet the quality of protein makes all the difference in the world. You cannot compare “cooked” protein and artificial proteins to a raw protein diet. Anything cooked is not natural to the naturally acidic short digestive system of a cat. Please read the answer to Why is a raw diet best for a cat and dog? and see Dr Becker’s video on our homepage.
Our Renal Diet is sold by and recommended by homeopathic veterinarians. We have had a lot of success with this diet since 2003 for cats and dogs with renal failure or slight renal issues. Along with our Renal Diet, vets are adding a daily tablet supplement Renafood by Standard Process mentioned in our Renal Diet brochure and/or their own classic homeopathy for the kidneys.
Feline Instincts´ comments are based solely on what they have experienced through their own cats and hundreds of customers who have fed our kidney diet with extra supplementation prescribed by their homeopathic vets.
If the cat eats a balanced raw diet and supplements daily to support the kidneys they shouldn’t have kidney issues until maybe the natural aging process starts at around age 16-25 . However, they may not have renal failure than either because none of my older cats at ages 19-20 had a kidney problem; they were fed My Natural Cat raw meals at ages 5-6 and a daily kidney supplement Renafood by standard process every day of their life and none of them had even a slight kidney problem when they passed away.
Our experience with cats and raw diets has been documented in a controlled environment.
Can I add Vitamin C to my cats’ raw diet?
Yes, you can add vitamin C. The form most agreeable to cats and dogs is NON acidic sodium ascorbate. We use a very good one by Dr Belfield made with additional immune support ingredients. Another one we recommend is Crystal C by Dr Goodpet
. Adding Crystal-C to your pet’s food and maybe rubbing a little on their gums will prevent gingivitis and other gum disease. Both products are made in the USA and not in another country. SPECIAL NOTE: Please never use the ascorbic vitamin C because it will cause your cat´s urine to over acidify, creating oxalate crystals that cause serious blockages and infections in the male cat´s urethra.
Is the concept of feeding raw meat to dogs and cats new?
The concept of feeding dogs and cats on raw meat goes far back into history. More recently, as caring pet owners have been forced into searching for alternative diets in the hope of correcting various illnesses created by commercial diets and vaccines, the raw diet is now becoming more popular. Unfortunately, the domestic pet food market, in its rapid growth in the past few decades, opted to go with its own interests of convenience and cheapness in methods of manufacturing, transportation and storage. The emphasis was also on convenience for customers, a big selling point at the huge expense of the nutritional needs of the animals. At Feline Instincts, we take the opposite approach and commits to nutritional excellence and accept the challenge to manufacture and distribute our supplement all over the world.
Most of us know something about the importance of essential fatty acids to human health. But can they help our animal companions as well?
The answer is yes. In fact, fatty acids have become the most commonly used nutritional supplements for dogs and cats. They have been successfully used long enough that most conventional veterinarians now include them in the treatment of at least some diseases. Medicinal fatty acids are divided into two categories: omega-3 and omega-6. In general, omega-6´s tend to promote inflammation, whereas omega-3´s reduce it. Omega-3 fatty acids are therefore used in diseases where anti-inflammatory activity is needed and can be substituted for medications such as corticosteroids. Omega-6´s, meanwhile, are used mainly for coat and skin maintenance. The most commonly used fatty acid supplements are fish and flax seed oils, both of which contain omega-3´s. Flax seed oil actually has more omega-3´s than fish oil, but in an inactive form. For this reason, fish oil is generally recommended as the omega-3 fatty acid supplement of choice. It contains the active omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Flax seed oil, from the seeds of the flax plant, contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 that is ultimately converted to EPA and DHA. Flax seed oil is also a source of omega-6 fatty acids. Many animals cannot efficiently convert the ALA in flax seed oil to EPA and DHA, and it is not considered to be effective for any specific therapeutic purpose aside from improving the coat and skin, although the lignans contained in the oil may have anti-cancer benefits.
The BUN is high in my cats blood work
This is normal. Cats on a raw diet will generally have a higher then normal BUN because of the raw protein in their diet. When looking at the BUN in the blood work look also at the creatinine and phosphorus for any kidney damages. BUN alone is not all your ook at for kidney damage.
Salmon oil, Flax Seed oil or fish oil?
Fatty acids have become the most commonly used nutritional supplements for dogs and cats. They’ve been successfully used long enough that most conventional veterinarians now include them in the treatment of at least some diseases. Medicinal fatty acids are divided into two categories: omega-3 and omega-6. In general, omega-6s tend to promote inflammation, whereas omega-3s reduce it. Omega-3 fatty acids are therefore used in diseases where anti-inflammatory activity is needed, and can be substituted for medications such as corticosteroids. Omega-6s, meanwhile, are used mainly for coat and skin maintenance. The most commonly used fatty acid supplements are fish and flaxseed oils, both of which contain omega-3s. Flaxseed oil actually has more omega-3s than fish oil, but in an inactive form. For this reason, fish oil is generally recommended as the omega-3 fatty acid supplement of choice. It contains the active omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Flaxseed oil, from the seeds of the flax plant, contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 that is ultimately converted to EPA and DHA. Flaxseed oil is also a source of omega-6 fatty acids. Many animals cannot efficiently convert the ALA in flaxseed oil to EPA and DHA, and it is not considered to be effective for any specific therapeutic purpose aside from improving the coat and skin, although the lignans contained in the oil may have anti-cancer benefits Fish oil supplementation may help animals with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and cancer and has demonstrated benefits in animals with allergies, kidney disease and heart disease. It might also help with diabetes: just as people with this disease can have fatty acid derangement and require supplementation, this may also be true for animals. Fish oil has also shown benefits as an anti-depressant in people with mild depression.