One of the most important things to keep in mind when
transitioning your cat to an all raw diet, and one of the reasons it can
take time to do so, is that you must never starve a cat into eating raw
food. This point cannot be overemphasized. Tough love is simply not an
option when switching cats to a raw diet. The reason for this is because
some cats that are forced to go without eating anything for more than a
day or so can become susceptible to a very serious and potentially
fatal form of liver failure called hepatic lipidosis.
Cats have a unique predisposition to contracting this
particular ailment when they stop eating food for any length of time for
What happens when a cat doesn’t eat for a prolonged
period of time is that its body begins to tap into to its stored fat
reserves in order to survive. This fat is sent to the liver to be
converted into a usable form energy. But unfortunately a cat’s liver is
easily overwhelmed and often unable to cope with this sudden increase of
fat being circulated through it. As more fat is deposited into the
liver than it is capable of metabolizing and releasing, the cells of the
liver become swollen with fatty deposits which cause serious damage to
the organ itself. Once a cat contracts hepatic lipidosis they become
terribly nauseous, which means they have no appetite and may vomit even
if they do eat, making it extremely difficult to get enough nourishment
into the cat to keep it alive.
As you can see, this is something you most definitely do NOT want to risk!
The bottom line is that when you start making the
switch to raw, if your cat doesn’t eat enough of the raw food you’re
offering him each day, then you must continue to feed him enough of
whatever he will eat to sustain him every day, even if that means
continuing to feed your pet some of his old commercial pet food.
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