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Raw Feeding Your Cat and the Risk of Salmonella

May 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 141

The risk of your healthy cat acquiring a salmonella infection as a result of raw feeding is negligible. Of course that statement is based on the assumption that you are not just tossing road kill into the food bowl, but feeding your cat unspoiled poultry or red meat certified for human consumption. As a cat owner, you probably already know that cats are obligate carnivores. In case you aren't familiar with that term, it means cats must eat meat to survive. I am taking that definition a step farther by saying cats should eat meat, only meat, and nothing but meat (with the possible exception of a few sprigs of greenery and a couple of berries tucked around the corners).

Cat gut is engineered to process large quantities of protein with ease. Therefore there is a whole lot of acid in their stomach. Salmonella bacteria simply cannot live in an acidic environment, and if ingested by a healthy cat, they die.

Grain of course is a carbohydrate and that requires a specific set of enzymes for proper digestion. When grain is added to a system designed exclusively for protein, it is not thoroughly digested and assimilated. It could potentially interfere with the naturally high acid levels in the stomach and leaving the cat more vulnerable to salmonella infection that normal. At the same time, this opens the door to further trouble down the road.

Unhealthy Adult Cats Requires Extra Steps to Reduce Risk

Although healthy adult cats, properly fed on protein can easily deal with any salmonella bacteria, this is not necessarily the case for unhealthy cats. Although you will maintain these cats with a protein diet, you will also want to clear any surface bacteria from meat you feed a cat that has a compromised digestive system, or a disordered immune system.

Raw Feeding Kittens Requires Extra Steps to Reduce Risk

Kittens should be introduced to raw food as they are weaned. With kittens, as with unhealthy adult cats, you will want to clear potential bacteria from the surface of the meat before feeding it to your kittens. However, even though you intend to raw feed your cats, it is very important to introduce kittens to a wide variety of food, including canned cat food and dry food. In the event of an emergency, raw food may simply not be available. During that time, you want your cat to accept any food at hand, because there is a real danger of health damage when cats go more than fifteen hours without food.

Procedure for Reducing Salmonella Risk

One simple procedure for reducing the risk of salmonella contamination is to immerse the raw food into a "bath" of one part food grade hydrogen peroxide diluted with four parts water. Soak the meat from five to ten minutes, rinse it well, and then cook it briefly in boiling water. The amount of cooking time depends upon the thickness of the piece of meat. However, leave the center portion of the meat rare so that your cat can still have some of the raw enzymes available.

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide Should be Seventeen Percent Solution

It is easy to purchase a seventeen percent dilution of food grade hydrogen peroxide at a reasonable cost through the internet. This dilution rate is mild enough to be shipped without requiring hazardous material packaging, and yet it is still too strong to use without diluting. Always be sure to follow the shipper's instructions for using this solution.

One of the best ways to keep your cats healthy and happy is through good nutrition. Cats need food that is all protein and free of grain. Making your own cat food can be simple and easy and you will find information at

Source: EzineArticles
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