A Senior Cat’s Second Chance: A Raw Diet Success Story
I never thought of myself as a “cat person,” but my perspective changed when I started working at an animal clinic and later at the Humane Society. I started falling in love with cats and among the hundreds of cats I met, Ferguson was the one who caught my eye and changed my life forever.
His grumpy little Persian face and striking silver shaded coat won my heart. Sadly, his coat had been shaved due to matting, and grooming was a challenge since he wasn’t brushed in his previous home. He wasn’t very playful but I attributed it to him being a senior and prior life.
Exploring Nutrition Solutions for Ferguson’s Health
When I adopted Ferguson, I was told he may or may not have IBD. He was supposed to be on a veterinary prescribed “digestion formula” kibble and wet food. He wasn’t a fan of this diet, and I believed there were better quality options available.
After some experimentation, I settled on Origin kibble, which he loved. Yet, he still faced bouts of diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and eventually, early-stage kidney disease.
Thankfully he wasn’t at the level of needing prescription food. A recommendation was made to try a therapeutic diet of kibble and wet food that had specific levels of phosphorus. I even switched his water bowl to a fountain and tried to offer wet food more than kibble.
These nutrition changes helped to reduce his urinary issues–it has been more than 6 months since his last UTI!
Raw Feeding Revolution: Ferguson’s Transformation
Once I started working at NorthPoint I learned more about raw feeding and how a raw diet can be beneficial to cats in early stage kidney disease. While I was very interested in trying raw, I was also working within a tight budget having two senior dogs who also eat fresh food.
I decided to make a list of each pet’s diet, how much I would have to feed, and how much it would cost every month. Shockingly, I discovered that feeding my cat raw would be almost half the cost of feeding canned food!
Plus, a high moisture diet was preferable to help his kidneys not have to work as hard. Even better, Jenna helped me find a raw food made with crushed eggshell instead of bone, keeping phosphorus levels low.
Thankfully Ferguson’s transition from kibble was easy, he was pretty happy with his raw food. Adjusting from having kibble available all day to scheduled feedings was a little more difficult but after a few weeks he got the hang of our routine. Like most pets, Ferguson LOVES routine!
Ferguson’s New Lease on Life
I’ve had him on raw food for 6 months and everything that people say happens when pets are on raw food has happened.
My senior kitty, who used to play once in a blue moon, now plays with toys multiple times a day. He hasn’t had any diarrhea or UTIs. And, after using Gut Soothe Probiotic by Adored Beast Apothecary he rarely has hairballs anymore. His hairballs were an everyday struggle, but he is doing much better after 6-8 weeks of using Gut Soothe daily and pumpkin intermittently.
His coat is also much softer and through positive reinforcement training I’m able to brush him almost daily without issue. Ferguson probably wasn’t the best choice for a first time cat owner, but we’ve learned a lot together and I’m determined to give him the best life possible!