Of vets and cereal

Time and again I have seen, and heard of how vets try to sell us prescription diets that are full of unnecessary ingredients. It still irks me to see these same prescription diets sitting proudly on vets’ clinic shelves, and it irritates me again to see people buying prescription diet kibble for their pets to lose weight.

(Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be better than my wonderful vet at treating ailments, or to know it all. I just simply happen to be obsessed with animal nutrition and spent a lot of time researching on my topics of interest, including reading vet medical journals. I have read both for and against raw journal writings, but I believe that despite the risks, raw is still the better way to go)

Unlike many conspiracy theorists, I don’t believe that the vets are out to harm our pets just for more repeat cases. Hey, one doesn’t become a vet because one hates animals! But what I do know is that many of these good-willed vets have never attended animal nutrition courses. They may have gone through vet school learning how to treat specific animal ailments, but perhaps, all too little thought has been given to what the animal eats—after all, they do eat whatever we give them, don’t they? (Do they really have a choice?)

Moreover, many of these vets are sponsored for their studies by big pet food companies that in turn require them to (naturally) carry their lines of pet food in the clinics.

I have had friends whose cats suffered from urinary tract infection—these cats were given prescription foods that cost $4.70 a can, or $60 a bag, and they would have to be on the food for the rest of their lives. Let’s examine the ingredients…

First few ingredients from a famous prescriptive diet line for cat UTI

Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Fish Oil,

But as you can see, it makes no sense to ask me to buy that $60 bag of prescription kibble for ‘bladder health’. We already know that cats have a low thirst drive, and that kibble will not help matters because cats mostly take their water from food. Moreover, . So it’s silly to ask me to buy kibble to treat my cat’s UTI or obesity—it will only worsen the problem! And seriously? Look at the first ingredient! Rice? No, not even…it’s brewer’s rice. That’s grains that are left over from the making of alcohol, going straight down your pet’s tummy. And then corn?


You get my gist.

Here’s the same diet, only canned:

Pork By-Products, Water, Pork Liver, Chicken, Rice, Corn Starch, Oat Fiber, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Fish Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Calcium Sulfate, Guar Gum, Fish Oil, Brewers Dried Yeast…

I hope you understand by now that a lot of what that’s in the list is not good for your pet, and that it will be on cereal for the remainder of its life.

There are numerous accounts out there, both documented and undocumented, of cats completely recovering from their UTI by the feeding of good quality raw diet. BUT, most vets do not like the idea of feeding raw. One trainee vet I met told me not to, but her answer was, to quote her completely, ‘because the pet food companies know what they are doing’.

Errrr…sorry, but no.

Some companies truly care–yes, there are such companies, but few!– but many care more about profits. When questioned further, she said that the bacteria on meat may give my cat diarrhea—the same cat that I picked off the streets having survived on rotting rubbish and what not.


Yum! What’s for dinner?

Cats and dogs are not human and can tolerate more bacteria. In any case, kibble surface has bacteria too. Improper manufacturing of kibble has caused many a recall for salmonella poisoning.

You see, that vet is right. The bacteria may indeed give my cat the runs, if I am not careful. Of course you as the owner must not buy meat from questionable sources, which may have tapeworm eggs in them, and take care to discard uneaten foods straightaway. You must balance the risk of salmonella and the goodness of healthy raw meat. Lightly cook your pet’s meat if you have to. But in the wild, mother cats and dogs will bring back scraps that they have scavenged, perhaps slices from a rotting carcass…our pets’ systems have not changed much.

But there…I must give that vet the benefit of the doubt: maybe she was worried that I could not make a balanced diet for my cat, which will of course be just as dangerous.  TAKE NOTE THAT IT IS! Even low-grade kibble is better than ‘anyhow home food’.

I choose to believe that sweet vet (yes she’s so sweet I can get diabetic from talking to her) is genuinely concerned about my cat’s health. Yes, conspiracy theorists, conspire all you want, but in the end, as I said, one does not study one’s heart out to be a vet if one doesn’t like animals even just a little bit.

feral cat eat the bunny

Mommy brings home dinner.

Still, I am happy to say that more and more vets around the world are embracing the idea of home-prepared meals, provided that good quality supplements and meats are used to make a balanced diet. Unfortunately, that moment has yet to come to Singapore, and till then, we must grit our teeth and carry on the way we did—feeding raw, and if not, good quality foods.


Picture source: dreamtime.com

Maybe, just maybe, in the future we at The Raw Explorers would be able to invite world-renowned vets and animal nutritionists to speak on this topic, to shed some light, to change things for the better. We can always dream. Will you dream with us?

Categories: Why Raw?

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