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Marcus Is One Lucky Cat!

By Kate Bendix; broadcaster, journalist, founder of My Itchy Dog 5 months ago 4970 Views

I have a 14 week old kitten, his name is Marcus. I got him at 8 weeks old and I am staggered he’s still alive. Because, kittens it seems, have a death wish like no other animal on the planet!

In his short residency with me he has so far: tippy toed up to the dog (daily) wrapped all four limbs around her back leg and set to work on chewing it with gusto. Dined out on English mustard only to run around foaming at the mouth and end up with his head under the tap while I wash it out. Found nirvana in the tangle of wires at the back of the TV resulting in the wireless router box toppling down on him. And when he’s not being kicked in the head by yours truly, because he’s snuck right up to my feet in total silence, he’s narrowly avoiding getting squashed to death as I turn over in bed not noticing he’s snuggled right up to my back.

He is now venturing into the garden and has discovered the trellis. I can only imagine what comes next…

So, I have come to the conclusion, that I can’t really protect him from his “kittenness”, he’s going to have to problem solve for himself and learn from his mistakes. The only thing I can do is make him the best cat he can be from the inside, with his diet.

My last two cats, Pearl and Dave were fed on pretty poor cat food until I knew better. Once I’d learned to read the back of a packet, they were then fed on a really food wet food, but I never tried either on raw. So, I wondered, could I start Marcus from scratch on raw? Or would the wet kitten food be better? There was only one way to find out.

Because Marcus is so young and not venturing far he has a litter tray at his disposal (lucky me!) so I could keep an eye on what went in and what came out while I experimented.

For the past six weeks Marcus has been eating a combination of mostly Natural Instinct Weaning Paste with a few days of wet kitten food thrown in to enable me to analyse the difference.

I was going to follow this up with a detailed breakdown of how it went but I can honestly say while the wet food was OK the raw food has been a total success.

He eats both with equal enthusiasm but seems to last longer between meals and need less of the raw. That’s not to say I starve him but it’s just worked out that way.

His breath is sweeter on raw than wet. I don’t know if it’s coming from his mouth or his gut but either way it’s easier to be up close and personal to the raw fed Marcus!

He’s got a great cat litter but on wet food his poo stinks. There is no better word for it. It emanates throughout the house and hits you in the face. Poo from a raw fed cat is lighter in colour, smaller in volume and doesn’t smell, I really mean it. The end result is far easier to deal with.

On a more serious note, I also know that by feeding raw I’m giving Marcus access to taurine, an amino acid cats need but can’t make themselves, in a more bioavailable form. Taurine is found in muscle meat and organs; heart, kidney, liver etc., and cats find it hard to synthesise so need it added to food. If they don’t get enough from food it can lead to problems with eyesight, reproduction and heart health. Taurine is added to all wet and dry food in the UK. With Natural Instinct it’s naturally occurring in the high meat content.

Not only that, but cats are what’s known as obligate carnivores. Their diet can consist of all meat, fish and bone. They need very little else so I’m happy that Marcus is getting in his Natural Instinct diet. Though I’m sure he’ll be getting mice in the future too when he learns how to hunt!

In six weeks his weight has gone from 700g to 1400g. He is bouncy, bright and running full pelt around the house. He’s gone from not being able to jump onto my bed (to the dog’s delight) to jumping from the floor and landing square in the middle. He’s alert, energetic and infinitely stupid.

Like I said, I can do nothing about his “kittenness”. He may never make it to his first birthday with all the household hazards he has at his disposal, but it’s safe to say he will grow up and live as a raw fed cat. He’s off the Weaning Paste and on to Natural Instinct Chicken and Beef, I may even give the Venison a go.

Vive la difference! And all that.

Tags: catcat food
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