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For everyone following Oliver’s toilet training journey, we had a very quiet and uneventful second week. He switched to level two on April 16 (day 20 of training), which is the one with a small hole in the center. I could’ve easily started him on level two a week earlier, but we’ve been traveling and I didn’t want to confuse him.

  • Day Twenty

Monday, April 16, 2018

I could hardly wait to start Oliver on the second level of training. The small hole in the center makes it looks like an actual toilet not a raised litter box, and I was very happy to see he had no trouble adjusting to the system or balancing himself over the hole.

Unlike the reviews I have followed, he didn’t try to touch the water through the hole or put his head in it. He basically acted like the hole isn’t even there. This is much easier than I thought!

  • Day Twenty One

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Oliver pees right in the center. His schedule is the same, he seems comfortable and there’s no mess around the toilet.

  • Day Twenty Two

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The first pee hour didn’t happen this morning, but I had a bunch of things to do and we had to run out the door after Oliver had his lunch, around 12:15.

He got buckled up in his car seat and silently judged all the terrible drivers on the freeway.

As soon as we got to the office, he was greeted by a bunch of people who were so happy to see him, he got a lot of attention and love as usual and then…he suddenly started peeing all over the floor! He was so calm and collected. No signs of stress or fear, he just peed everywhere, looking very relaxed and comfortable!

Did he see someone he doesn’t like? Is this his way of quietly showing his anger towards an asshole colleague?! He obviously doesn’t have a bladder problem, what could it possibly be?

Then it suddenly hit me;

He didn’t pee in the morning and I just brought him out with a full bladder. Great!

Of course, I let him finish, everyone acted like nothing happened and continued petting him to make sure he’s comfortable. I took him to the bathroom to wash his butt and paws, I dried him up and took him back to the car. I buckled him up, he looked up at me and gave me a face, with his famous tongue out.

“Did you just do that for attention?!” I asked.

He didn’t answer, because you know, he doesn’t speak English.

We stopped by at a corporate park to drop off some paperwork. He walked on a leash and sat on a table. “I peed in your office” he thought in cat “everyone loves me anyway”.

FINAL THOUGHTS OF OVERALL THREE WEEKS

This entire process is seriously easier than I had imagined. It has been a while I have the training toilet there and so far experienced no mess at all.

As I wrote before, please make sure the training toilet is always clean. The space is very limited and your cat is not going to be happy if it’s not cleaned after each use.

There is a possibility that your cat’s appetite may slightly change as their bowel movement schedule also changes to adapt to the new system. Don’t worry about this, but be aware if your cat feels constipated or hasn’t pooped in days. There are many reasons for cats not wanting to go on the training toilet:

  1. It’s not cleaned.
  2. It’s too high (if your cat is too small, use a small stool or box to help them climb to the toilet)
  3. You switched to the next level too early.
OUR RESULTS AFTER 43 DAYS

If you have followed Oliver’s journey through his toilet training you know that I started training him on March 28, exactly 43 days ago. I am in absolutely no rush to train him faster and get it over with. Toilet training your cat is not some Internet challenge, you don’t win a prize for pushing your cat to learn something outside of his nature in “30 days or less”. Give it time, and be patient. If your cat has an accident somewhere else in your house, never, ever punish them. Punishment does not teach a cat what to do. Cats often do their own thing and because of this, most people believe they are not trainable animals but this cannot be further from the truth. Any animal can be trained as long as you spend the necessary time and effort.

Toilet training is cool, but is it right for your cat?

Pooping should not be stressful.

It is important to remember that toilet training goes against your cat’s natural instinct to dig, eliminate and cover. Some people jump into the toilet training bandwagon without fully understanding what the cat has to deal with and what the owners will be facing for the next couple of months.

A common reason people are attracted to the idea of toilet training their cats is that they are tired of cleaning the litter box. But the main reason litter boxes are often smelly and disgusting is that cat owners don’t scoop them as often as they should. If you are too lazy to maintain an average litter box, don’t even think about toilet training your cat. Unlike a traditional litter box you can leave unclean for a day, a training toilet MUST be constantly clean in order for a cat to be attracted to using it.

Balancing themselves on a human toilet can be difficult for cats that are old, ill or in pain. Toilet seats have a slippery surface and using them could be challenging and stressful for less healthy cats. Keep in mind that as cats grow older, some develop problems in their joints and back. This will have an effect on successfully going through the procedure of safely eliminating waste.

It only takes ONE tiny incident for your cat to be scared of using the toilet forever:

Scenario One

Your friends always say you are a very impatient person, but you don’t think that’s true. You are going to prove them wrong by toilet training your kitten. Your cat is very small. You switched to level two too early. Little Cupcake isn’t strong enough to balance herself on the training toilet yet and doesn’t know what any of this means. She falls through the hole and panics. She thinks to herself: “I’m done with this shit” and poops on your bed from tomorrow.

You’re fucked.

Scenario Two

You are a busy professional who is rarely home. You decided to get a cat instead of a dog, because cats are “totally low maintenance bro”. What’s better than toilet training your cat so you don’t even have to lift heavy bags of litter all the time? You are not a big fan of scooping the litter box twice a day anyway. The toilet training kit is set. You leave in the morning and come home late at night. Your cat has been left alone all day and the training toilet was cleaned 24 hours ago. In the meantime, Joey decides to poop after lunch. He hops on the toilet and steps on his own pee. This experience is slightly unpleasant for little Joey. He thinks to himself: “I’m done with this shit” and poops on your fluffy, expensive carpet instead.

You’re fucked.

Scenario Three

You just moved to Los Angeles with a big dream of becoming an actress. It can get lonely sometimes not knowing anyone in a new city, so you get a cat to cuddle with at nights when you come home tired from your waitressing job. Your favorite movie is Meet the Fockers, so you start toilet training your kitten to be just like Mr. Jinx. Everything is going well and your cat is adapting to her new toilet. Fast forward two months and you just met a super hot guy who happens to be the lead guitarist at some unknown, local band. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have money or most probably any future in music, because “oh my god have you seen those sexy tattoos?!” And he happens to want to take a weekend trip to Santa Barbara, but you can’t take a cat wine tasting, so you find a boarding place in Agoura Hills that has decent reviews on Yelp and drop off Miss Daisy the day before your trip. No one at the kitty hotel cares about toilet training and Miss Daisy is left in a place with a small, standard litter box. When you pick her up after four days, she is confused and not so happy you are making her climb on top of something to pee. She thinks to herself: “I’m done with this shit” and pees in the carry-on bag you left open in the middle of the living room. You think about re-training her, but you find her poop in your left shoe in the morning. This goes on for the next couple of days. You give up.

You’re fucked.

Scenario Four

You live with 17 cats in a one bedroom, one bath apartment…!

You get the idea!

Make sure you do your research, ask questions, and don’t forget to be patient because your cat WILL find a better place to poop and you will most certainly not like it.

So far for us, everything is good. I’m dealing with no mess and a cat who climbs up the toilet carefully and comfortably. He has used the training toilet in other houses when we go away for the weekends and he has had no trouble at all. Of course, I plan on finishing the training but as I’ve said before, I am in no rush to ‘get him there’. I will post more updates here and you can see some videos of him using the toilet on Instagram. Please feel free to ask any questions and share your toilet training experiences!

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Raw feeders, animal nutrition enthusiasts and self-proclaimed pet chefs all agree that feeding your animals a specie appropriate diet is commitment.

Of course, It is a little more expensive to feed a cat lamb every day, compared to buying 5lbs of mystery ingredients for $10, But how much do we really spend? This is a very common question people ask and I always ignore, because I never pay attention how much I actually spend every month on Oliver’s food. No, I’m not a Rockefeller! I just care deeply about my cat’s health and well-being, just like all of you reading this blog. After hearing this question five times this week, I decided to finally break it down and check my costs. Could I have bought another car if I didn’t have a cat?! Let’s see…

Of course, the prices of everything could vary greatly depending on where you live, how many times you feed and how, our cat’s special dietary needs and many other factors, so here are some things you should know before you continue reading:

  • Oliver is a Russian Blue who just turned one year old on March 30. He has not always been on a raw diet, but has never been introduced to commercial food from the beginning.
  • He eats three meals a day.
  • All the meats I purchase are certified organic, grass-fed and locally sourced.
  • I don’t freeze anything or do weekly meal preps. I buy enough for two days and go back to the butcher for more.
  • I don’t buy anything on sale or previously frozen.
  • There’s no canned food in Oliver’s diet. Human-grade, or cat. We are an anti-tin family!
  • We live in Southern California and besides my personal meat and egg sources, I shop from Whole Foods, Sprouts and Ralph’s as well as a few trusted local, international markets.
  • Oliver is extremely active. He constantly runs around the house and we go to the park to play daily. His vet is well aware of the portions I feed and is in complete agreement. His weight is perfect, his coat is shiny and he is incredibly healthy, so no, I’m not feeding him too much!

I believe that with a little creative financial juggling, anyone is able to feed their animals high quality, raw food. When you think about how many illnesses can be eliminated or prevented entirely only through proper nutrition, the dollar amounts don’t seem as alarming. Each time you feel like feeding raw is too expensive, think about it this way: by taking care of your pet’s health today, you are reducing the costs of vet bills tomorrow.

Our pets enrich our lives and by feeding them a specie appropriate diet we ensure their long-term health and happiness. This, is totally worth paying for.

The Breakdown

The meats I buy are lamb, veal, bison, beef, rabbit, duck, quail and sometimes chicken. Since Oliver isn’t too crazy about chicken, I only use chicken liver, heart and gizzards (on occasion) in his diet.

The lamb I buy from my butcher is $8.99 per pound. Veal prices vary slightly, but for the most part remain the same. One pound of lamb (or veal) gives me about four portions. Let’s say tonight’s dinner has lamb as the main protein. I will add two or three chicken hearts (1lbs $3), a piece of chicken neck ($2 each, unless you already have the whole chicken, then it’s technically free!) and some chicken liver (about $3)

The cost for one plate of food turns out to be somewhere around $3.50

Oliver eats one quail egg every day, usually for breakfast. I buy 15 fresh quail eggs from a local supplier for $4.00. That’s only $.26/Day.

To get into a little more detail, here is what I bought and prepared for the next five meals:

  • Bison steak – 8 OZ (226 g) – Vegetarian fed, free of preservatives, hormones and antibiotics – $26.95
  • Beef ribeye steak – 0.45 lbs – Grass fed, certified organic pasture, free of preservatives, antibiotics and hormones – $18.99
  • USDA Choice eye round steak – 0.57 lbs – $6.99
  • Veal 0.87 lbs – Certified organic pasture, free of preservatives, hormones and antibiotics – $9.99
Portioned out, it looks something like this:To make these meals complete I also bought: Chicken hearts – 1 lbs – From free Range and organically raised local chicken – $3.00

Chicken liver – 1 lbs – From the same small farm – $3.00

Bones – Prices vary, because some days I feed chicken neck, some days duck, chicken wings, turkey neck and sometimes egg shells. Of course, bones don’t really cost much.

The total of what I spent today comes down to $68.92. That amount has given me five complete meals plus three extra portions of eye round steak to mix with other things later.

When I did my shopping this morning, I specifically wanted to get a bunch of different things so that I can easily calculate my costs. I realized it has always been difficult for me to answer how much I spend every month because I go to the butcher almost daily and never pay attention to how much I spend. However, I wasn’t expecting to see I almost spent $70 on just a few meals today. Bison was the most expensive protein I purchased and it’s a type of meat Oliver only eats three or four times a month. Based on what I’ve calculated today, I spend an average of $200 a month for his food, including everything from meats and organs to raw, freeze dried treats and dehydrated snacks.

Now Treats!

I know that early on I’ve said we are an anti-tin family, but I do purchase a few canned items on occasion, to add to Oliver’s diet for some variety. Canned lobster is one of those items.

Even with our amazing and expansive coastline, finding fresh lobster in California can be a little tricky. Lobster is seasonal and only shows up previously frozen around Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day in Southern California markets. I like to keep some high-quality canned lobster on hand for Oliver to munch on every now and then.This canned lobster is an excellent brand directly from Maine. The only ingredient is certified premium Maine lobster meat, water and a dash of salt. I purchase these for $26 per can from my local Ralph’s. I have seen that the price of these vary a lot, depending on where you get them from. Amazon has them for $20 per can and in some online stores you can even get them for as little as $12. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this information before I started writing this blog, and I have already bought all of that ridiculously expensive canned lobster! But hey, I live within walking distance to the supermarket so at least it was convenient! (insert face palm!) Another great option is this wild sockeye salmon that contains nothing else but sea salt. The fish is caught in the Pacific Northwest, it is boneless, skinless, top quality and sustainable. I also buy these from my local Ralph’s for $8.99 per can. I consider these canned seafoods treats or as a fun occasional addition to his food, because I feed Oliver fresh fish once a week anyway and he doesn’t eat anything else from a can. These two are the only canned items I purchase for Oliver. His daily treats consists of raw, freeze-dried animal organs like chicken heart, chicken gizzards, salmon skin, pig snout and duck wings.

Now that we have established I probably spend way too much on cat food, here’s what I think you could do to save some money:

  • Befriend a hunter! If you live in Alaska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Wyoming, Montana, South Carolina or anywhere else around that general region, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a friend who shoots animals! South Dakota, the pheasant capital of the world, offers hotels with hunting packages and free bird cleaning!
  • Make friends with your butcher. I find this to be extremely important and very useful when it comes to feeding raw. Real butchers are a wonderful source of information and they can be quite helpful when it comes to finding specific cuts of meat. If you like to start by feeding ground meats to your pets, knowing a butcher on a personal level can be very useful. Some places have an extra charge to ground meats, but your butcher friend will most probably do it for you at no additional charge.
  • Shop from international/ethnic markets. This is a SUPER important point to address. People from all over the world prepare all kinds of muscle and organ meats. Contrary to uneducated racist beliefs, the Middle East is not the only part of the world that consumes organs. “Lengua en escabeche” (pickled tongue) is a popular appetizer in Argentina. In Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay and all over South America people eat “Chinchulines” which is roasted or grilled small intestine of cow or pork. Bolivia has their famous kidney soup called “Jolke”. Tongue is stewed and served over rice in Peru. Every part of the cow, from it’s mouth to legs to organs are eaten in Spain. “Rabo de toro” (bull’s tail) is a typical dish from the south of Spain, dating back to 16th century when it was prepared from bulls killed during bullfighting. ” Criadillasis” another famous Spanish dish made from any animal’s testicles. Pig intestines and ears are often used in Cantonese cooking. Don’t forget, the French invented the “foie gras”, and one of the best treatments of tripe in the world also comes from France, “tripes à la mode de Caen” that consists of all four chambers of a beef cattle’s stomach as well as part of the large intestine. You will find goat brain masala and lamb kidney stew in India. Sicilians have a traditional spleen sandwich called “Pani ca meusa”. Liver and onions originated in Venice. “Menudo”, a popular Mexican hangover remedy is tripe soup. Pig feet are fried in the Philippines. People of Poland also make a tripe soup called “flaki”. Calf’s brain and feet are also popular in Polish cooking. Shredded tongue salad is a favorite Russian dish. “Smalahove” is a very traditional Western Norwegian dish made from sheep head, usually served around Christmas. The Swedish “Pölsa” is made from liver, hearts and onions, as well as “levergryta” (liver stew). “Tablier de sapeur”, a Lyonnaise specialty is made from beef tripe. An old school Viennese dish, “Beuschel” is made from heart and lungs. In Belgium, several classic dishes are made from organ meats. In Italy, consumption of entrails and internal organs is very widespread. Among the most popular, are fried or stewed brains and boiled stomach usually served in tomato sauce. In Umbria, pig’s bowls are cured with herbs. “Pajata”, A classic Roman dish is made from the intestines of an unweaned calf. In Greece, Turkey and Albania brain, eyes, spleen, lungs and kidney are prepared a variety of ways. Variety of traditional Hungarian dishes are made with offal meats, like “pacalpörkölt” made from beef tripe. In Iran, chicken or lamb liver and heart is a popular grilled dish in mountainside restaurants. People of Israel cook chicken liver, heart and spleen on a flat grill, mixed with onions and spices. THE WORLD is literally filled with people from countries who eat a wide variety of animal organs. Take advantage of that. Ask questions. Go to international markets and buy variety of foods for your pet. Step out of your comfort zone. One of the best reasons to purchase organ and muscle meats from various international markets is that they are cheap. Growing up in a Persian household, I was raised eating differently prepared chicken liver and hearts. Lamb is the national meat of Iran and what most classic dishes are prepared with. Buying lamb from a Persian market is far cheaper than Whole Foods for example, and you will absolutely get a much, much higher quality ingredient because Persians take their lamb very seriously! For us, chicken liver is not a delicacy, so it costs less. However, because we know exactly what to do with it, our markets bring only the highest quality available.
  • Mix it up. You don’t have to go full-on raw to start. If you choose to buy meat on sale and are not so comfortable feeding it raw, you can cook it to kill off some of the bacteria. Some people even mix high-quality canned food with raw meats, that way they don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing raw food, and they might save some money in process.

Whatever you do, DON’T:

  • Buy packaged ground meat. Ground meat does not contain all the nutrients pets need to grow. Not all ground meat is created equal, but it is no surprise that most food recalls in the United States involve ground meat. If you have the choice, buy quality cuts and grind them at home. If not, ask your local butcher and they’ll be happy to do it for you.
  • Stick with one protein forever. Chicken is easily available and the cheapest kind of meat for most people, but a chicken-only diet is not a balanced diet. A single protein source is not going to provide all the necessary nutrients needed to reach optimal health. Wild, carnivorous dies consist of multiple proteins. Not all proteins are nutritionally equal. Red meats are nutritionally more dense than white meat options, which directly relates to the muscle movement of the animal during its life. The classification of red and white meat has to do with the muscle spasm of the animal when they move. Harder working muscles contain more nutrients which is directly related to their muscle activity. What makes red meats more nutritionally favorable is the higher concentration of fat and vitamins.

Please do your research, read books, talk to your veterinarian and ask questions. There are so many different cost-effective ways to feed your animals a specie appropriate diet. Don’t give up if your pet doesn’t seem interested in the beginning. Our cats are designed to hunt, kill and eat raw meat. Don’t be selfish, don’t try to change their mature because it’s convenient and comfortable for you.

I have not been paid to promote or advertise the two seafood brands and I did not receive them as a promotional gift.
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  • Day One

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Breakfast is served at 8 AM every day and Oliver uses his litter box exactly half an hour after eating.

I wasn’t sure how he would react to the toilet training system, so I let him pee before I took away his litter box in the morning.

I cleaned the litter box like I do every day while he watched, but I think he knew something was up this time, because he kept tapping on the litter box and the floor while I was cleaning it. I took the litter box to the patio and left it there until I can get back and clean things up. Oliver was climbing on the screen door, staring at his litter box with worried eyes! “Where am I supposed to poop now?!” I’m sure he thought.

***

Ignoring the instructional DVD and reviews, I put the first step of the toilet training system on the floor instead of directly on the toilet. Considering that his new “box” is a different shape, and the litter is a completely different texture, I wanted him to get used to the new system before having to climb on the toilet to do his business.

I had prepared myself for the messiest, most horrifying first day ever. But surprisingly, he didn’t make a mess at all. All he did was walk around it and smell. He didn’t touch the litter or attempt to go inside and I didn’t make him to. I just let it be. About three hours later (11:30 AM), I decided to sprinkle a little bit of his old litter on top of the new one, just so he can smell something familiar.

Oliver eats lunch at 12:30 PM, sharp. He usually poops about an hour after lunch and pees for the second time. His lunch was grilled chicken breast pieces served in homemade bone broth and mint.

At 2:15, he peed directly in the center of his new toilet. There was no sign of scattered litter anywhere, but his urine was perfectly covered. No poop yet.

  • Day Two

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I found Oliver sitting in front of his training toilet this morning when I walked in the bathroom to put in my contact lenses. He looked up at me and stared back at the toilet.

“I’m sorry baby…” I said, as I realized how much in his life I’ve suddenly changed. The litter box he has grown to love so much is gone, the nicely scented litter he was so used to is now replaced by this strange wheat product and poor thing has to get used to it all.

He followed me out of the bathroom to get his breakfast. Instead of running around and playing with his little mouse like he normally does after eating, he watched me do yoga for one hour. It was only about half an hour before lunchtime when he decided to finally pee again. This was the first and last time he peed today, even though he stepped in and out of his training toilet a couple of times during the day. No poop yet, but I’m not worried. Because of his raw diet, Oliver doesn’t poop as much as other cats. He does however drink lots of water and broth with his food, so he pees a lot more than once a day.

I’m not sure why he doesn’t poop in the training toilet but has no problem peeing. There’s more than enough litter for him to comfortably do whatever he wants. Maybe pooping somewhere requires more trust?! I have to modify certain things in his diet if he doesn’t poop by tomorrow.

  • Day Three

Friday, March 30, 2018

Today is Oliver’s first birthday.

He’s going to turn one year old today and instead of giving him something fun to play with, what do I do?! I take away one thing he cares about; his litter box!

I thought about getting him one of those cool backpacks that makes him look like a fluffy astronaut, but he’s leash trained and has a car seat so that would’ve been a useless purchase. I just have to keep reminding myself that a toilet training kit was the best birthday present I could possibly give him!

1:15 PM – Oliver pooped on schedule, right in the middle of the training toilet, covering it perfectly. Zero mess. Party time!

  • Day Four

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Today started out with Oliver standing in the training toilet for a few seconds before walking away. He did that a couple of times in the morning without actually using it, he simply stood there and moved his paws around, trying to get a feel of the litter.

He peed at 2:20 PM, later than his usual schedule, but he did pee twice during the day. His appetite remains the same, however, he did not poop today. I examined his belly and he doesn’t feel bloated or constipated. I guess he just needs a little more time.

So far the only thing that the training toilet has messed up is his pooping schedule.

  • Day Five

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Oh the joys of working from home!

I can wake up and anticipate my cat poop all day! Is that going to happen today?! I think this has become some sort of a challenge, or a game for me!

Knowing that Oliver is very smart and has no difficulty learning new tricks warms my cat lady heart!

Oliver finished his breakfast and half of his lunch before walking away from his bowl and starting to run around the house and finally stopped for a nice poop!

The funniest thing I’ve ever witnessed is seeing him lie down on the bathroom floor next to his training toilet, with the funniest little grin on his face like he was so proud and satisfied of his poop!

He spent about an hour lying on the floor, admiring his work.

  • Day Six

Monday, April 2, 2018

Appetite is back to normal, he peed a lot and pooped today. Right on schedule, and absolutely no mess. I think he’s back!

  • Day Seven

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

It’s been a week. The training toilet is still on the bathroom floor and Oliver is officially back on his regular pooping schedule. So far I think one of the most difficult things I had to deal with was seeing him not poop. I add fresh litter after each use because the space is very small. I noticed this helps excessive digging, leading to a cleaner bathroom. So far I have not experienced any mess at all. Maybe that’ll come when I put the thing on the actual toilet. I’m planning on doing that on Friday, that way I’ll give him some more time getting used to the whole new system.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON WEEK ONE

I researched toilet training systems for months before I made the purchase. I watched all the videos and every single review ever written, but there is still a lot of information missing.

When you first decide to toilet train your cat, the main thing you will hear and read is how terribly messy it is. Of course, this varies from one cat to another, but there are definitely some things that could be prevented.

The training toilet is very small, compared to an average litter box. This means that it needs to be cleaned multiple times during the day so that your cat has enough space if they need to use it again. You need to add more litter, more often. When the training toilet has enough litter in it, your cat is less likely to throw litter around the bathroom. Make sure to use ONLY biodegradable flushable litter.

Take your time.

Don’t rush into the steps. Remember that you have changed something pretty major in your cat’s life. Allow them to get used to it and become completely comfortable before moving to the next step. That means, leave it on the floor for as long as you think it’s necessary. The toilet training system asks that you start level one directly on the toilet. I disagree with that. Its simple; you want your cat to pee and poop in an entirely different container, filled with an entirely new litter. Is it really logical to add another extra step to learn? I don’t think so. Leave the training toilet on the floor first. Let your cat get their paws in the new litter, to feel and smell it. Take . Your . Time.

It doesn’t have to be messy.

As long as you clean up immediately after each use, replace the litter often and sweep any excess off the floor, it’s really not as messy as people say it is.

It’s better to train only one cat.

Although the system states you can train multiple cats at the same time, having only one cat to focus all your energy on is probably your best bet.

Reasons I didn’t have many of the common problems:

  • I have always closely monitored Oliver’s bowel movement. I know his schedule very well and I know how his poop looks like so I know what to expect when something is different.
  • I work from home. This gives me a lot of time and flexibility to really take care of and train Oliver the way I want. I have lots of patience, and spend a lot of time teaching him different things every day.
  • I’ve had Oliver since he was only three weeks old so he grew up experiencing things I wanted him to be exposed to; like brushing his teeth and being in the car every day has become a regular part of his life. Because of this, he is a much more flexible and trainable cat.
  • Oliver’s litter box has always been in the bathroom, in front of the toilet. I’ve heard many people having problems getting their cats to the bathroom to begin with. Many cats often fear the sound of water or toilet flushing. Oliver doesn’t have this problem since he still jumps in the shower with me and has no problem with any kind of sound in general.

Who I Recommend This To:

  • Someone who has a flexible schedule, ideally someone working from home.
  • An incredibly patient person.
  • Someone who cares a lot about cleanliness and doesn’t mind changing the litter box and cleaning it’s surroundings multiple times a day.
  • Someone with only one cat.
  • Someone who is very aware about their cat’s regular bowel movements and schedule.

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With the cold and flu season among us in California it is valid to wonder, can cats catch a cold from us?

The answer is yes.

Unlike what our grandmothers used to say, viruses are not contracted from being out in the cold with wet hair. Despite this popular misconception, cold viruses are contracted from someone else who is sick. Although there is no concern for human to dog or dog to human transmission of virus, cats can in fact catch cold and flu from us. Although this may not commonly occur, cats can catch your cold depending on what kind of virus it is. Similar to humans, cold and flu viruses attach to cells in a cat’s respiratory tract and make them sick. It is always best to wash your hands often, especially when handling your pet while having a cold.

Of course, the common cold that we contract is a virus and most viruses are species-specific, so again, it is not very likely that your cat will catch your cold unless you are dealing with a viral infection.

Indoor cat parents are surprised that their cats are even able to contract upper respiratory infections without being in contact with other cats. Most viruses that cause these infections are airborne and since it’s impossible to filter all outside air entering a home, indoor kitties are still at risk.

What should you do if you suspect your cat has an upper respiratory infection? The first thing is to assess your cat’s ability to breathe adequately, eat and drink. Most of the time if your cat is drinking relatively normally and has the same appetite, wiping the eyes and nose may be all that’s needed. If your fur buddy seems depressed or has difficulty breathing, you should probably have him examined by your trusted veterinarian. Here are some things you may want to know about feline upper respiratory infections:

Symptoms

Sneezing, sniffling, coughing and clear discharge from the eyes and/or nose are some of the common symptoms of an upper respiratory infection in cats. Upon examination, your vet may also check for oral ulcers. A fever and poor appetite is generally more specific symptoms of a URI.

General duration

The infection usually lasts for 7 to 20 days. The time period from the point of infection to when signs become apparent is between 2 to 10 days, it is known that this incubation period is the time of highest contagion.

Diagnosis

The clinical signs and symptoms are usually enough to make a diagnosis, but there are certain tests that may be required to determine the cause of the infection, so your vet may recommend the following tests:

  • Urine test to screen and evaluate the ability of kidneys to concentrate urine, as well as checking for possible urinary tract infection and other diseases.
  • A complete blood count to rule out any possible blood-related conditions.
  • Electrolyte test to ensure your furry friend isn’t dehydrated.
  • Feline leukemia virus test, unless your cat has already been vaccinated.

Treatment

Your vet will determine the best treatment for your cat, which may include prescription medication depending on the severity of the infection, for milder infections however you can try:

  • Increasing humidity within your home.
  • Clearing the eyes and nose of any discharge by wiping with a clean, moistened washcloth.
  • Slightly changing the diet to foods that are more appetizing to your pet, to encourage eating.

Always remember to be patient and not have any unrealistic expectations of how long you think it should take for your cat to completely recover from an infection. Think about the last time you had a cold, even though you may have felt better after a couple of days, you were probably blowing your nose for quite a while and the same can be true for cats. Try to keep your cat as comfortable as possible, nurse your little buddy and help him feel better by cleaning his area of food and water regularly and humidifying air that can help him breathe easier. Allow your cat to rest, make sure he drinks plenty of water and seek your veterinary advice if any signs progress.

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Oliver The Kitty by Mary Mehrmand - 8M ago

I heard so many dramatic stories about how cats behave after a neutering procedure, how scared or depressed they may become, how much in pain they will be and I was incredibly anxious when I took Oliver to have his little surgery done exactly 14 days ago.

This is the story of how quickly Oliver recovered…

***

We came home about 4:30 in the afternoon. Oliver was in his crate after a very long time and even though I was a little worried he might get anxious in there, I was slightly relieved to know he is still probably still high from anesthesia drugs!

It only took a few minutes for him to wobble around the house and find his way while bumping his little head all over the place. It was funny watching him act like a little drunk, but I was also feeling guilty for laughing at him. His vet recommended to only feed him a little bit, but he was very hungry so he had a full dinner portion. He didn’t seem any different, his appetite was exactly the same and he didn’t vomit at night (as expected). He ate from my hand because I just couldn’t watch him try to figure out how to eat from his bowl.

The next day, he woke up at his usual time, he had the same portion of breakfast (from my hand) and pooped on time. He was prescribed painkillers as well as antibiotics which I gave him by spoon, and the third day mixed in his food. The prescribed painkillers were in individual syringes containing only a small drop of medicine and he was supposed to take them for two weeks. Over the course of a few days, Oliver’s behavior never changed, his appetite was the same and he was his playful little self, with the minor difference of having a stupid piece of plastic wrapped around his neck.

After speaking to his doctor, I stopped administrating the painkillers after the third day. He wasn’t showing any signs of distress whatsoever, so the extra medicine didn’t seem necessary. This made me super happy because I didn’t even want him to take painkillers to begin with, even if it was a very small dose. When it came to the cone (aka Elizabethan collar), I’m pretty sure I hated it much more than he did. He didn’t seem to care much at all, he was living life normally and looking at him sometimes made me wonder what goes on in his head. Does he think maybe that’s his life now and he has to deal with a plastic thing wrapped around his neck forever?! He seemed to be adjusting perfectly fine. For two weeks, I fed him by hand, I developed a synchronized scratching system each time he tried to scratch his neck but wasn’t able to do so because of the cone. I even quickly covered his poop for him so he doesn’t have to smell it while wearing something around his head!

Of course, he was able to figure out how to drink water while wearing the cone the first day, but ever since I fed him by hand he decided he doesn’t like to eat on his own anymore! Why do that when you have a full-time servant, right?!

Tomorrow marks exactly 14 days after Oliver had his procedure. I took the cone off on the 6th day and I’m so happy he never once cried like people told me he would. He had no problem adjusting to the new litter, I basically gave him no painkillers, he had the same appetite and the same attitude.

Oliver is my fluffy little hero!

Is your cat spayed or neutered? What was your post operation experience? Did your vet recommend a cone? If so, how long did your pet have to wear it and how did they react?

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Oliver The Kitty by Mary Mehrmand - 8M ago

I heard so many dramatic stories about how cats behave after a neutering procedure, how scared or depressed they may become, how much in pain they will be and I was incredibly anxious when I took Oliver to have his little surgery done exactly 14 days ago.

This is the story of how quickly Oliver recovered…

***

We came home about 4:30 in the afternoon. Oliver was in his crate after a very long time and even though I was a little worried he might get anxious in there, I was slightly relieved to know he is still probably still high from anesthesia drugs!

It only took a few minutes for him to wobble around the house and find his way while bumping his little head all over the place. It was funny watching him act like a little drunk, but I was also feeling guilty for laughing at him. His vet recommended to only feed him a little bit, but he was very hungry so he had a full dinner portion. He didn’t seem any different, his appetite was exactly the same and he didn’t vomit at night (as expected). He ate from my hand because I just couldn’t watch him try to figure out how to eat from his bowl.

The next day, he woke up at his usual time, he had the same portion of breakfast (from my hand) and pooped on time. He was prescribed painkillers as well as antibiotics which I gave him by spoon, and the third day mixed in his food. The prescribed painkillers were in individual syringes containing only a small drop of medicine and he was supposed to take them for two weeks. Over the course of a few days, Oliver’s behavior never changed, his appetite was the same and he was his playful little self, with the minor difference of having a stupid piece of plastic wrapped around his neck.

After speaking to his doctor, I stopped administrating the painkillers after the third day. He wasn’t showing any signs of distress whatsoever, so the extra medicine didn’t seem necessary. This made me super happy because I didn’t even want him to take painkillers to begin with, even if it was a very small dose. When it came to the cone (aka Elizabethan collar), I’m pretty sure I hated it much more than he did. He didn’t seem to care much at all, he was living life normally and looking at him sometimes made me wonder what goes on in his head. Does he think maybe that’s his life now and he has to deal with a plastic thing wrapped around his neck forever?! He seemed to be adjusting perfectly fine. For two weeks, I fed him by hand, I developed a synchronized scratching system each time he tried to scratch his neck but wasn’t able to do so because of the cone. I even quickly covered his poop for him so he doesn’t have to smell it while wearing something around his head!

Of course, he was able to figure out how to drink water while wearing the cone the first day, but ever since I fed him by hand he decided he doesn’t like to eat on his own anymore! Why do that when you have a full-time servant, right?!

Tomorrow marks exactly 14 days after Oliver had his procedure. I took the cone off on the 6th day and I’m so happy he never once cried like people told me he would. He had no problem adjusting to the new litter, I basically gave him no painkillers, he had the same appetite and the same attitude.

Oliver is my fluffy little hero!

Is your cat spayed or neutered? What was your post operation experience? Did your vet recommend a cone? If so, how long did your pet have to wear it and how did they react?


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Oliver The Kitty by Mary Mehrmand - 9M ago

Hairballs are gross especially when you accidentally step on it!

But what causes hairballs anyway? And why do some cats produce them while others never do?

If you’re a cat parent you already know that cats are amazing groomers. One of the mistakes is assuming that a cat doesn’t need help grooming because they do it all on their own. A cat needs help removing excess hair especially during heavy shedding seasons and just like everything else, introducing your cat to a brush as early as possible helps grooming an easier task. Any cat that’s accustomed to being brushed from a young age will learn to not only accept, but enjoy it throughout adulthood. On top of improving the health of your cat’s skin and coat, regular grooming helps you keep an eye on its health as well as preventing health issues like digestive problems caused by hairballs.

People always make comments about Oliver’s incredibly shiny coat. Of course, part of this is because of genetics, but a lot has to do with diet and grooming habits. The best way to prevent hairballs for a cat is to brush them regularly. Make a point to brush every day to get rid of excess fur. Even though brushing twice a week should be plenty for most shorthaired breeds, I brush Oliver at least five times a week, for a minimum of half an hour, only because he really enjoys it.

Understand that cats who are brushed regularly, swallow less hair, which obviously means less or no hairballs.

Before you start, make sure you have the right brush on hand. Do your research before buying whatever looks good. Not all brushes are created equal. Here’s what you might encounter as you shop for grooming tools:

  • Wire pin brush

Usually preferred for cats with medium to long hair, they come with or without rubber tipped ends.

  • Bristle brush

These brushes can be used on most coats. The longer the hair, the more widely spaced and longer the bristles are.

  • Fine-toothed brush

Useful for removing small knots, but not for severe knots or mats.

  • Rubber brush

Just like the name they are made from rubber and are very effective at removing dead hair and massaging the skin.

I have tried them all, but my favorite is a rubber brush. It is great for removing excess hair and it works well for massage and stimulate the skin to help produce and distribute natural oils for a shiny coat. The rubber material attracts loose hair like a magnet and cleanup is always very easy.

Another easy way to prevent hairballs from happening is to add a little bit fiber to your cat’s diet. To keep moving along, a high-fiber diet improves digestion, allowing hair to pass through the cat’s digestive tract. Puréed pumpkin is a great example of a high-fiber vegetable cats enjoy. A daily addition of fruits and vegetables is a great way to increase fiber intake and help your cat move hairballs out of the digestive system. If your cat is picky, try cutting the veggies into smaller pieces and mixing it with what they already eat, or make a simple sauce using puréed things like sweet potatoes, carrots or pumpkin. As a bonus, many oils are safe for cat’s digestion and can not only help with shine, they also grease the digestive tract so that your cat can pass them easily without having to throw it up. In my experience, fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel marinated in on olive oil is a fantastic option.

If your cat is constantly vomiting but you don’t always see hairballs, that may not be the source of the problem. Your cat might have gastrointestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, so if your cat vomits regularly, don’t assume they have a hairball problem. Ask your vet what else might be causing these symptoms instead.


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If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering when is a good time to spay or neuter your cat, and whether if is a good idea.

Oliver is scheduled to be neutered and microchipped tomorrow morning. He will be ten months old in a few days and even though he has not yet shown any signs of sexual maturity, I thought it’s a good time to go through this procedure. Pushing it as long as I did helped a lot with his muscle development and shaping his behavior. I was not planning on waiting until he goes in heat and suffers, so now seems to be the right time.

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about when cats need to be neutered and some people are even against this procedure entirely.

Normally, cats are neutered between 6 to 8 months of age but some shelters choose to neuter kittens as early as 8 to 12 weeks old so that they are neutered prior to adoption. At only three weeks old, Oliver was not neutered or even vaccinated. Just like you, I have also heard different opinions when it comes to this topic. Many cat owners, and most vets recommend cats to be neutered as early as possible, what they don’t tell you is what’s really the rush?

There is of course the risk of undesirable behavior like aggression, excessive vocalization and inappropriate elimination, but I think some of these are considered “undesirable” depending on the owner.

In 2014, a study by Natalie Porters et al of Ghent University in Belgium was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. She studied a sample of 800 shelter kittens, half of which were assigned to an early neutering group and the other half to be neutered at the traditional age. There were approximately an even number of male and female kittens in each group. Those were adopted the kittens were asked to take part in the study by completing a daily diary for the first month as a follow up, and were surveyed on several occasions up until 24 months later. In the final analysis, 480 cats were included in the study.

Whether or not behaviors like sucking on fabric or vocalization was problematic to the owner was also included in the final questionnaire. The results of the study are good news for those that want to neuter kittens very early. Behavior problems are not more common in cats when this procedure is done at an early age, compared to those who were neutered at a traditional age. However, the short-term follow-up found that if owners report use of punishment, their cats are more likely to show inappropriate elimination regardless of when they were neutered. Also in the first month after adoption, studies showed if owners used physical or verbal punishment, they were most likely to report aggression, destructive behavior and a fearful response to noises and movement.

In short-term follow-up, cats whose owners spend more time with them were less likely to eliminate inappropriately or become fearful.

Statistics on The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals places the U.S. pet cat population at anywhere between 74 and 96 million – and there may be as many as 70 million strays. Unfortunately, the ASPCA also estimates that 41% of cats who enter shelters (most of who come in as strays) cannot find a home and end up being euthanized. Whatever the age of your cat, there are definitely health benefits for cats of either sex to have this procedure done.

Spaying your female cat before her first heat cycle greatly reduces her risk of cervical and ovarian cancer. Since removing the ovaries reduces the level of hormones that encourage the growth of cancerous tumors, spaying your cat reduces her risk of mammary cancer as well. When it comes to males, un-neutered cats are driven by their hormones to seek mates and defend their territory. By neutering your cat, you reduce their aggressive instincts.

Both female and male cats are driven by hormones and their mating instinct so when the time comes, they will try to escape every time you open the door so that they can find one. This can put them at risk of being injured as they cross roads or highways to find a mate. By neutering your cat, you will reduce the risk of roaming and keep them safe at home.

To mark their territory, male cats spray their urine on surfaces to alert other males that there is another guy nearby who has already claimed that area as his turf. This also alerts the females he’s waiting for his opportunity to mate with them. Neutering a cat illuminates the urge to spray, and the result is a more sanitary living environment.

Even though it can be nerve-racking to bring your fur baby to the vet’s office for surgery, the benefits of neutering a cat outweighs any drawbacks.

Is your cat spayed/neutered? If so what age was it done?


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Hi everyone and welcome back!

I’m so happy that I was able to answer your food and cooking related questions here and through private messages on Instagram and emails.

To continue from last week, I have picked a few questions that I thought might be useful for all our readers. I appreciate every single one of you for your kind words and your trust in me. Nothing makes me happier than when I hear someone inspired by my cooking, and is doing the same thing for their pets!

Here are some of the interesting questions I thought I’d share with you today:

  • I have always heard that dry food is better for cats and their health. Don’t you think you should at least add dry food to the diet?

Simple answer: No!

Dry food is not healthier, it’s just more convenient for people, and one of the leading causes in urinary tract problems in cats. I have written a four-part article on nutrition, for more information you can read more here, here, and here.

  • My cat seems to really hate the taste of meat. What do I do?

Cats being obligate carnivores, instinctively don’t hate meat. However, it might take a little time for them to adjust to a new diet if they’ve been only eating kibbles. Start with slow cooking your meat and shredding it so it’s easier for your cat to digest and get used to the new texture.

  • I want to start feeding raw, but my cat only eats pâté and nothing else. Sometimes she doesn’t even eat the pâté. How can I incorporate raw meat into her existing food?

We all know that some cats are pickier than others, but it’s easier to start a cat on a raw diet if they are already introduced to wet food. Even though Oliver eats raw 99% of the time, I also incorporate cooked protein into his dishes for more variety. Who wants to eat the same thing every day anyway?!

Instead of throwing raw meat in front of your cat, try making a sauce to go with it. Many herbs like mint are safe for cat consumption and they can not only elevate the taste of your dish, but also deliver some benefits as well. If you don’t want to start making homemade sauces and gravy, you can use the pâté you already have. By taking a spoonful of pâté and mixing it with a little bit of water you basically have a delicious, salty sauce to mix your raw protein with.

Experiment with flavors your cat already likes and she’ll be eating raw in no time!

  • What is Oliver’s favorite protein and favorite food brand?

Oliver’s favorites are lamb and veal. His third choice for raw would be beef, but only fillet. He doesn’t have a favorite food brand because he doesn’t eat commercial food and has never been introduced to it from the beginning.

  • What kind of meat do you recommend for someone who is just starting their cat on a raw diet?

Proteins like lamb and veal are very good options when starting a raw diet because they are the most tender protein compared to beef or chicken. They are both easier to chew and digest. I choose to purchase humanely raised, high quality meats from a trusted butcher because when it comes to raw feeding, you don’t want to risk feeding your cat any pesticides, hormones, and other unnecessary ingredients in their meat. Remember that kittens are far easier to introduce to a raw diet that adult cats. The earlier you start, The better chances you have in making sure your cat eats a variety of different proteins.

  • I’m a vegetarian and so are my kids. Do you have any vegetarian cat food recipes?

I don’t have any vegetarian cat food recipes to share and I encourage you not to feed your cat a vegetarian diet. Meat is necessary for cats to survive, it is biologically necessary for them to feed on animal protein only. This has to do with amino acid profile found in animal tissue that is considered complete compared to what’s found in plant proteins. Cats are also not designed to eat carbohydrates because their bodies does not produce enzymes required to digest carbs. Taurine deficiency causes serious health problems in cats, including cardiovascular diseases, blindness and many other problems. Taurine is found in animal muscle meat including heart and liver. You might find organ meat disgusting for your own consumption, but don’t do this to your cat. Your cats ancestors lived in the wild, cats prey and eat every piece of what they hunt. It is perfectly fine for your cat to have some vegetables on the side, Oliver loves puréed spinach, boiled peas and raw celery, but it is absolutely not OK to feed your cat an entirely vegetarian or vegan diet. Next time you let your cat chew on a piece of tempeh, ask yourself, does tempeh run in the wild?

  • Does Oliver poop a lot more than other cats because of the way he eats?

Actually, Oliver only poops once a day and on schedule! The reason is, he also eats on schedule. He follows a very strict routine when it comes to food and sleeping, and it has worked perfectly. Your pet’s poop will radically change as you transition into a raw diet. What fresh, raw food does is that it creates small, hard balls of poop that is very easily picked up and scooped. It might be unbelievable to a lot of people, but it also has zero smell, which I think is reason enough to switch your cat to feeding raw!

If you have any questions about anything or need more details about a certain issue, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer everyone as soon as possible!

Happy holidays to everyone, whatever you are celebrating or not celebrating!

Much love from Oliver and me.


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I have always had a love for cooking.

Ever since I was a little girl, I remember my mom who always managed to host the biggest, most extravagant parties on her own. She cooked tens of dishes and baked the most amazing 3-D cakes every year on my birthday without once taking a cooking class or getting any help. The most magical thing about her was that no one ever saw her in the kitchen! She was always with the crowd, dancing and socializing while the food cooked and magically appeared on the table.

The joy of cooking and entertaining never left me and I became more and more interested in creating my own recipes throughout the years. Being raised in a highly politically active family, it was easy to understand that food is the one thing that can bridge the cultural divides we face in our interactions with others. Food is what the earth produces for everyone regardless of where they come from. Food is not political.

Currently in my late 20s, I can cook any dish from any country or region! The amount of research I have done on food is ridiculous considering I’m not in culinary school and don’t have a career in the food industry! However, I am able to give my family what they like to call “culinary trips”. Each time I host a gathering, we travel to some part of the world. We can have lunch in India and travel to Germany for dinner, only through our plates.

But this is not about me and my awesome culinary skills! It’s about answering your questions on feline nutrition!

For the past 24 hours I received an overwhelming number of questions from our lovely followers on Instagram. I tried to respond to each message and comment individually and promised to write a more comprehensive response to each question in this article. I didn’t expect to receive so many questions from all of you, so this Q&A will be made into two parts.

If you don’t see your question answered here today, please come back next Thursday for the second part of the Q&A.

Here are some of my favorite questions this week:

  • I like to cook for my pets, but the process seems too time-consuming. How many hours a day do you spend for Oliver’s food preparation?

The process of cooking for your pets is naturally more time-consuming than opening up a can in the morning, but the results are well worth it. I feed Oliver a combination of cooked and raw animal protein as well as vegetables. To make serving easier, I do prep work ahead of time. I purchase my meat from a local butcher every Saturday morning and dice everything up when I get home. I separate different types of meat in different containers even if they are all raw or all cooked. keeping everything in separate containers helps me find things easily, especially since I don’t feed Oliver the same thing every day. I could say I spend about two hours every Saturday to do the prep work for four days. After that, I shop daily until next Saturday.

  • Isn’t it just cheaper to buy high-quality cat food?

Yes and no. Depending on where you live and what you buy, meat prices vary of course. But is it really cheaper to buy high-quality prepared food compared to making it yourself? Let’s take a look:

Applaws is a great example of high-quality, limited ingredient wet food. Their 100% natural, additive-free cat food has between 3 to 4 ingredients and is sold for $1.99 per 2.12oz (60g) at my local pet store. It is recommended to feed two containers a day if your cat weighs over 5lbs.

Instinct makes grain-free foods with ingredients you can pronounce. Just as an example, the minced rabbit recipe goes for $1.99 per 3.5oz (99g) and it is recommended to feed adult cats 2 to 2 1/2 bowls per 6 to 8 pounds of body weight per day.

You can see how quickly this cost can add up. On the other hand, I buy 1lbs of lamb from my butcher for $6.99 that will give me at least five days and multiple portions of food. Veal is about $8.99/lbs at my local store and since I only feed raw veal, I usually only use one pound per week. Vegetables aren’t too expensive and can often be purchased on sale. A pack of organic, frozen peas is about $1 and will last a long time. Local farmers markets always have good deals for quality produce.

  • How do you make Oliver eat everything?

It’s simple really…I’ve had Oliver since he was only three weeks old and from the first day I brought him home, I gave him human food. He was never introduced to a typical commercial diet so he is not even familiar with kibbles. Just like human children, what you feed your kitten from the beginning is what shapes their diet, likes and dislikes in the future.

  • What are your thoughts on feeding bones to cat for calcium? I’m scared my nine month old cat won’t eat it.

I encourage you to refer to an extensive article I’ve written on “How To Add Calcium To Your Cat’s Diet Naturally”. It is completely normal to freak out the first time you give your cat a raw bone. The first time I gave Oliver a raw chicken wing, I watched him play with it for an hour before he decided to finally sit down and take a bite. It was amazing to see how he quickly and thoroughly broke down every fiber of that bone and swallowed the entire thing. Whatever you do, please make sure to never, ever give your cat cooked bones as it may break and cause internal damage. It’s in your cat’s nature to treat a raw bone like prey, so don’t be afraid and just go for it.

  • How do you feel about the benefits of bone broth?

Another great question you can find more information on by clicking here. Bone broth, along with any other type of broth is a great addition to your pet’s diet. It’s a shame to throw away hours of work required to make broth and one of the easiest way to use it is to add it to your cooked meats to keep them moist in the container. I like to pour some homemade chicken broth in an ice cube tray and serve a piece or two as a treat on a hot day. Alternatively, I make mini bone broth popsicles Oliver loves to lick on in the car.

  • How do I transition my senior cat to a raw diet?

The key to any dietary transition is patience. We all know that each cat has a very unique personality, so this transition can be very fast or very slow. If you have a picky eater on your hands, do the transition gradually. Start feeding your cat quality grain-free canned food if they’ve only been on a dry food diet, cats can get addicted to dry food, so this is probably the most difficult step. Don’t give up! I’m not a fan of anything canned, but I do recommend choosing baby meat food that has no preservatives. Earth’s Best is my favorite and what Oliver really likes. They have a good variety of beef, turkey and chicken to choose from. Beechnut is also a great option and both brands can be easily purchased online or at local supermarkets. Cats who are used to eating only dry foods might be tempted to have the gravy in canned food, but not necessarily the rest of it. Replacing canned food with baby food is a nice alternative in this case. The transition will be much easier if your cat eats both canned and dry food. Just take away the dry food and only feed them canned instead. Eventually, you can move into cooked protein when you’re comfortable and add a few diced raw pieces in the dish. To get your cat used two new flavors and textures, cook your meat long enough so that it is as tender as it can possibly be. The best option for raw feeding is lamb and veal, since they are the most tender compared to beef or chicken. At the end, make sure the raw food you serve is warm. Think of the body temperature of a mouse. Don’t microwave raw protein. It’s worth it to get up an hour before breakfast to plate and leave the food somewhere to become room temperature before it’s time to serve.

Thank you so much again for all your questions and lovely comments. I look forward hearing from all of you soon. More food-related questions will be answered next Thursday, so stay tuned!


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