YES! Pork is a wonderful meat for cats. Most cats both love pork and do very well with it. At Food Fur Life and in our Raw Feeding for IBD Cats group we often recommend pork loin as a starter meat when introducing raw food to cats. For many it is essentially a “novel” protein. Of course it should be introduced properly and slowly as with any new food or new protein in a raw diet. An excellent source of taurine, pork is a healthy addition to any homemade food protein rotation (though we'd like to note the more electrically active muscles will always have much higher concentrations, e.g. tongue, lung, heart and the dark meats - in pork, being the shoulder).
The most maligned meat, many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the feeding of raw pork are simply outright misinformation; others are outdated health concerns. Let’s address those myths and fears. They are:
Of course, when we say pork is a wonderful raw meat for cats, we do not mean bacon or ham. Salted or smoked meats should never be fed to any pet, due to the sodium content, smoke flavoring chemicals, nitrates and potentially preservatives. But cuts of pork meat: loin, boneless rib meat, butt, shoulder – these are all excellent sources of protein and should be welcomed in any healthy meat rotation in a raw diet. With moderate fat, and low in saturated fats compared to other red meats, pork truly is “the other white meat.” So put your fears aside, and let your kitty enjoy this nutritious protein in its natural state.
Let’s face it - very few humans would intentionally choose to eat only dry cereal or only canned stew, even if they were designed to meet all of our daily nutritional requirements. No matter what flavorings were added, most of us would, at some point, crave an apple, a fresh juicy peach or pear, or a cold, crisp salad. Many of us badger ourselves to eat better, and we strive to eat more fresh foods - or at least just not eat as many convenience foods. And if we don’t? Our doctors encourage us to eat more fresh food.
We know the more fresh food we include in our diet, the healthier we are, the more energy we have, and the better we feel. We also know that even if we had a power bar for breakfast and fast food for lunch, if we have an apple as a snack, it is better than not eating that apple at all.
The same holds true for our cats. Some fresh meat is better than none!
Kibble and canned food for cats is convenient. That's what it is for. Our convenience. Just like bagged or canned foods for humans are called "convenience foods." And convenience foods are not the healthiest food choices for us. Just as convenience foods are not the healthiest choices for our cats. But we lead busy lives, and convenience foods make feeding our pets quick and easy; even though it's not what is best for them. And we know this. But when considering a healthier diet for our cats, most of us got – or get – overwhelmed. It is…
And some of us get to the point of almost hyperventilating by the time we’re wondering things like
What meat do I buy?
Where do I buy it?
How do I store it?
Do I need more freezer space?
How do I make sure I get it right?
Am I going to harm my cat?????????
But you know what? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. At least at first. You don’t have to commit to feeding your cat only homemade food right off the bat. ANY amount of fresh meat you add to your cat's diet is better than none. No need to fret at all. You can start really small. Baby steps! (Even just a slice of apple is better for you than none at all!)
If you’re not a vegetarian, and you make meat-based dishes for your family, you’ve already got everything you need to start. Next time you make a meal with meat, just slice off a little bit before you season it. That’s all there is to it to get started! It really IS that simple. You’re holding a tasty, healthy treat for your kitty.
When is plain meat is no longer a treat? When the amount you’re giving your cat approaches 10% of the total diet. When it's more than 2 or 3 bits of meat treat a day. Yes, at that point you need to balance that meat to make it a nutritionally complete food. You might want to consider Food Fur Life as a solution for that. EZcomplete fur Cats makes that part quick, easy, and worry-free, allowing you to prepare balanced and complete homemade raw meals in a few simple steps.
But please know that even if you’ve moved to balancing the meat, you still don’t have to commit to feeding it full time right away. One meal a week? Two? Three? In fact, we expect that no matter how much you’re able to incorporate, you’ll want to find ways to include more. You’ll see the difference. No matter how little or how much, fresh food will benefit your cat. At that point, feeding more homemade food won't seem so overwhelming. And with the ability to use the supplement with chunks or ground, and to make the food with more water for gravy – or with just a bit of water to make it stick to the meat – your complete and balanced nutritionally complete food made with EZcomplete is actually ideal for snack-style or intermittent feeding.
If you’ve been considering ways to improve your kitty’s diet, there’s no reason not to just jump right in. No logistics needed.
As Dr. Lisa Pierson’s Andy says on catinfo.org …
When a cat has a frothy vomit or throws up bile, it is almost always because there was acid or bile build-up in an empty stomach. And if kitty has stomach acid and/or bile sitting in the stomach in anticipation of a meal, that meal will most likely be regurgitated. This usually happens with breakfast, being the longest period between meals, but it can happen at any meal. When feeding homemade food, this is rarely the result of eating too quickly, which is often suggested as the cause. What you're witnessing is a kitty transitioning to a protein-based, species appropriate diet, and their bodies are returning to their more natural, more acidic state. It is not cause for alarm, and it is easily managed.
A whitish foam is stomach acid. Yellow liquid is bile.
Of course, if your cat is vomiting repeatedly, projectile vomiting, not keeping anything down (not even water), or you suspect the cat ate or drank a poisonous substance or swallowed something inedible, please take kitty to the vet. And if throwing up acid frequently continues despite these recommended steps, if your cat has not had blood work done recently, please get this done. This can be a symptom of chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.
But a cat vomiting stomach acid, bile, or breakfast is not unusual in cats new to set meal times or raw/homemade food. As explained by Lyn Thomson, BVSc DipHom writing for the Feline Nutrition Foundation in Gastric Acidity - What, How and Why
"Cats need a highly acidic stomach in order to properly digest their food. But, the carbohydrates in many processed foods make the stomach less acidic. Meat protein stimulates stomach acidity by triggering the production of hydrochloric acid in acid-secreting cells within the stomach. A complex cascade takes place when a cat or dog ingests food. Put simply, 80% of the gastric juices secreted are a direct result of chemoreceptors in the stomach detecting the presence of meat-based proteins. This keeps the stomach at a very low pH of around 1-2. A low pH means high acidity. This low stomach pH is important because digestive enzymes work best in an acidic environment and the acidity in the stomach will sterilize ingested pathogens, bacterial or fungal.
When a cat or dog swallows a commercial pet food that is high in carbohydrate and plant protein and low in meat protein, acid-secreting cells in the stomach are not stimulated to produce much hydrochloric acid. The pH within the stomach rises to around 4-5 and a high pH means low acidity. The acidic chyme leaving the stomach is the trigger for the next stage of digestion in the small intestine. The acidity encourages the flow of bile and the flow of pancreatic enzymes necessary to continue the digestive process. If the stomach contents are not sitting at a pH of around 1-2, then digestion is impaired throughout the rest of the digestive tract as well."
Cats normally, naturally, have very acidic systems. Their stomachs secrete powerful digestive enzymes with about 10 times the amount of hydrochloric acid than that of a human. As Dr. Thomson pointed out, the pH of a carnivore’s stomach is around 1-2 (highly acidic) - but they are able to maintain that highly acidic environment even with (high protein) food in the stomach. For humans, the pH ranges from 4 – 5 with food in the stomach. Thus it is that when we start feeding our cats a diet that is similar to what they naturally eat, their bodies can take some time to adjust. And we can help them.
How Do I Fix Stomach Acid/Bile Vomiting?
When to Seek Vet Care When Your Cat is Vomiting
Please note, cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or cats with hyperthyroidism (Hyper-T) can experience acid/bile vomiting as a side-effect of the disease. When was the last time your cat had blood work? How old is your cat? Is your cat drinking more water than normal? Acid / bile vomiting, especially in combination with increased water drinking, can be a symptom of chronic kidney disease or of a hyperthyroid. These conditions require a different form of management. Altering meal times and putting the stomach acid / bile to work can certainly help manage the symptoms. But these alone may not resolve the problem when there is CKD or Hyper-T.
Please also seek vet care for your cat that is throwing up along with other symptoms, such as
Adjusting meal times in combination with putting the stomach acid/bile to work is usually all it takes to resolve the overnight vomiting or breakfast/meal regurgitation. Add a third (or fourth) meal, make the last meal later, and if possible, the first meal earlier. Give your kitty a few freeze dried meat treats overnight if you can, and certainly 15 - 20 minutes before the morning meal. These simple steps are usually all it takes to resolve the problem!
Happy Independence Day!
Independence Day is a time for celebration, for family and friends gathering, for barbecues, and of course for fireworks!
While for us it is a very fun day, for our pets that means unfamiliar faces and smells and lots of loud noises... They can become very fearful and disoriented.
MORE PETS GET LOST ON 4TH OF JULY THAN ANY OTHER DAY OF THE YEAR.
Follow these steps to keep your pets safe on Independence Day: