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Saturday, April 28, 2007


My Pumpkin Lumpkin, aka Zingiburrito

I've switched the little horrors to a raw meat diet. They took a while to get used to it. Madu's first bite was followed by the immediate horkment of a hairball, followed by frantic clawing activity as he tried to bury what he apparently thought was the remains of one of his little hunting forays. Yeech. Gojira loved it, but she's the ass biter in the family, so that doesn't necessarily bode well for my bum. Bandicoot acted as if there was a nefarious plot afoot to deprive him of food, and probably beat him and sell him into slavery as well. That is, he ate it all, asked for more, cleaned up everyone else's plates, finished a second helping, then barfed it all back up. Mainly as a result of having eaten too fast. He keeps acting as if we're up to something. Zingiber ate, barfed, ate again. His little tummy is a mite sensitive. I know, hard to believe when he crushes the scales at an impressive 20 (very) odd pounds. But he likes his food warm but not hot, and not cooked at all. Madu prefers his lightly cooked (too bad, kid, yer outa luck). Gustav approves.

Incidentally, the prep is a pain, and it's a commitment. Kibble you can free-feed. Raw food must be handled properly, with much washing of hands, floors, bowls, sink, utensils, and prep surfaces. You have to keep everything refrigerated or frozen until right before you feed the beasts. Do not defrost or warm up in the microwave. Warm under running hot water instead. You have to get it to the right temperature. Most cats will vomit up anything that's too cold. Anything not eaten within half an hour should be disposed of carefully, and bowls washed thoroughly so that no smell of food lingers to tempt the little horrors into guilt-tripping you. Any ingredients you use must be human-grade. No scraps. If you're going to raw-feed your animals, do the research, get a good workable recipe, source your supplies with care. Salmonella is an issue. I might consider getting frozen rabbit shipped in, but for right now, they're getting meats purchased from the local grocery store, which is NOT a chain and has an excellent reputation for high-quality, affordable foods. I'm using free-range no-hormone/antibiotic stuff locally produced, and absolutely no grain, as cats are obligate carnivores and don't need the grain. (Shut up, Bandicoot, you can't be starving when you weigh 19 lb!) You'll have to add supplements like taurine and fish oil, since cats have nutrition needs that you don't. This site offers some excellent advice. Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, especially not an animal nutritionist, and cannot guarantee that any of this information is valid. You assume the risk if you choose to feed a raw diet.

They do barf a bit - I'm not sure if it's more than when they were eating kibble. On the plus side, they seem to have a lot more catly energy. They eat, run around like crazy, then fall asleep and stay peaceful for a couple of hours, then they're up and about again. They seem healthier already. Zingiber's fur is glowing, and he's stopped those dreadful wheezing, blorting noises. Bandicoot is sneezing less, Gustav's eyes don't seem as runny. (Gustav has had feline herpes since he was a teensy kitten.) So, overall - good.

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