A friend's daughter, Susan, was house and cat sitting, something she enjoys and which gives her an additional income. She was concerned for the cat though, as he was dirty, smelt, looked ragged and thin.
Now, healthy cats NEVER smell, are dirty or look ragged. Or are thin, for that matter, although neither is an obese cat healthy.
So I asked her what the diet was, knowing full well what the reply would be.
And it was.
Dried food, out of a box.
OK, so it wasn't up to Susan what the cat was fed, but she takes her responsibilities seriously and was concerned the cat wouldn't last til the people returned from their long holiday.
And the cat is very affectionate and wants to sleep with her. She'd prefer not to share her bed with a smelly, dirty cat and feels bad about it.
What could she do?
So I suggested she feed the cat raw cat food.
I told her what food to buy and how to manage the change over.
Older cats converting to raw cat food are likely to experience a toxin purge. Unless you're prepared for it, it can look as if your cat's health is rapidly deteriorating. It isn't, it's just having a good spring clean.
Young cats don't have such a toxin build up, so when their diet is changed to raw cat food, they don't experience the same purge.
Sure enough, once the raw food was started, Susan saw signs of a toxin purge. She was glad I'd prepared her, as it did look a bit alarming for a couple of days.
By the fourth day, she told me, the cat just seemed more content.
On day six, Susan reported that the cat was washing himself.
On day nine, she said the cat was eagerly looking forward to his meal, and ate it with gusto, consuming every scrap.
By day twelve, she told me the cat was almost like a normal cat - clean, smelt sweet, was filling out, was content and gave her no concern whatsoever for his chances of survival.
And she was happily sharing her bed with him by now, too.
It's great to report that the cat's people were amazed at the different cat they came home to. One can only hope that they retained the raw cat food diet Susan had had the courage to implement.
This cat was in his middle years, so the purging period at the start of his new diet was a bit shorter than an older cat might experience.
It's worth every minute of the disdain your cat will treat you with in the early days, while they acclimatise to raw cat food. They may look at you accusingly, refuse the food, paw the food as if to bury it, turn their back at you, the works.
Keep your eye on the long term health gain.
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