Raw Meat

We have fed our cats raw meat for years. With care and scrupulous cleanliness, we have never had a problem and our cats have great coats, strong bodies and solid boning. We believe supplementing their diet with raw meat benefits their health and vitality and strengthens their immune system.

We purchase RadCat, specially-prepared, organic raw meat, frozen and balanced with calcium and Taurine.

We also feed Stella & Chewy's raw frozen or freeze-dried, and Primal freeze-dried.

We moisten the freeze-dried with our homemade chicken broth or spring or filtered water. We make the broth ourselves with just the water from boiled chicken breasts, no salt, garlic or onion which is in purchased broth.

It is very important to provide spring water or filtered water -- not tap water.

Optional Supplements per pound of meat:

A capsule of 100 i.u. vitamin E and a capsule of Krill oil squeezed onto food.

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Furniture

Cat tree and kittens November 2007

A cat tree is an essential piece of furniture. From this one at our house, cats jump to the dresser, the armoire and over to another cat tree. We designed this model especially for Maine Coons, with large levels spaced far apart, although not far enough for Emmy, third level, who needs more head room.

cat tree
Fleas

Fleas have become practically non-existent since “Advantage” topical flea treatment.  If you see a flea, ask your Veterinarian for Advantage.  Please don't be fooled by less expensive alternative brands at the pet store.  We have heard frightening experiences from people that have used them. 

Coliseum walking on a leash
^ Coliseum, 14 months old, walking on a leash
Coliseum on leash
Critter Cord

We've had two devastated cat owners lose their cat to unexplained seizures. Two possible reasons come immediately to mind. First, liver or kidney damage which may be caused by the cat eating medicine dropped on the floor. (Tylenol kills.) Second is chewing on electrical cords.

Please order CritterCord, or get cord covers from the hardware store, and spend some time encasing your phone cords, computer wires, cables, appliance and light cords before you bring your Windwalker kitten home.

Desirable Ingredients

* High percentage of animal protein from small animals (chicken, fish or eggs, rather than beef, lamb, etc.)

* Animal protein as the first ingredient listed.

* Minimum 0.1% percentage of magnesium (in dry food that has 10% moisture)--as magnesium chloride, not magnesium oxide.

* Beet fiber (from beet pulp)

* Calcium pantothenate higher on the list than pyridoxine hydrochloride

* Cod liver oil

* Fermentable fiber such as beet fiber or FOS

* Vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients in an easily absorbable and biologically active form are easy for cats to absorb from meat.

* Preservation with Vitamin E and/or Vitamin C only (not yucca or rosemary extract or toxins)

* Minimum 34% protein (in dry food with 10% moisture)

* For kidney compromised cats, high protein of high animal quality, but low calories

* Suitable for 'round-the-clock' feeding

Known Toxins

* Yucca schidigera

* Alfalfa - any form especially raw

* Ethoxyquin

* BHA

* BHT

* Garlic

* Onion

* Carrageenan

* Propyl gallate

Nutritionally poor or detrimental over time
* Flax seed and flax seed oil

* All "by-products"

* Corn and corn products

* Vegetable oils

* "Tallow" or "beef tallow" as a fat source

* Rosemary extract

* Herbal ingredients in general

Nonnutritive or Irritating Ingredients
* Non-fermentable fiber. Cats cannot use fiber such as cellulose, psyllium gum, wheat bran, xanthan gum, gum karaya, oat fiber, peanut hulls, soy hulls, citrus pulp, lactulose.

 

General Care

Our cats know that a weekly nail trimming is a part of life and the scratching post is the place to scratch.  Cats can easily be taught to scratch at a post (which should be big and sturdy enough to allow the cat to stretch to its full body length).  We have cat trees several feet high placed next to windows, and the perches on these posts are one of the first places to look for a cat in our house.

Cats can get gum disease so our cats have their teeth brushed once a week.  They are so accustomed to this that we can use the electric toothbrush, which makes the job much faster and more thorough!

Toto being given a bathThe Maine Coon coat is long and shaggy with a natural oiliness to repel water (helped when they were out in the barns and woods).  They are a very "low-maintenance" cat, but we bathe them when they look oily.

In the picture above, Toto is very sure that he did not need a bath, but he's had them since he was little, so he stands quietly and endures.

Food

At Windwalker Maine Coons we believe high-quality food is extremely important to your cat's long, healthy life. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they must eat meat, not grains or vegetables. We buy organic raw meat from our natural foods coop and balance it, measured by weight, with TCFeline supplement, egg yolks and Vivalabs krill oil. TCFeline is available online and delivered to your door. It takes only five minutes to prepare and we freeze batches so that we thaw two days' consumption at a time.

We feed raw beef and rabbit, (no additives). Remember though, that you must add a supplement like TCFeline that contains calcium and the amino acid Taurine.

How much to feed? We say kittens are like Hobbits. They eat breakfast, second breakfast, wake up for afternoon tea, then dinner and Elevensies about 11 pm. Feed a kitten about 1/3 cup of raw meat mixture per serving. If kittens finish their plate we give them more food, until they are through. A kitten fed raw meat will not become overweight, and you do not diet a kitten that is growing and needs energy and nutrition.

Kitten metabolism slows down at eight months but still need to be fed as much as they request. They will have growth spurts, may weigh 13 to 15 pounds and will eat a pound of raw meat mixture a day.

If we have a cat that will not eat raw, we feed canned. The important thing is to read labels. We stick to small fish that are low on the food chain: anchovies and sardines, rather than tuna, which has accumulated so much mercury that even large humans are warned to curb consumption of it. Labeling laws have changed so tuna will now be called ocean whitefish, so we'll have to be vigilant to not be fooled.

Please avoid canned foods thickened with wheat gluten, especially for kittens. Wheat gluten is a common food sensitivity and kittens' digestive and immune systems are still developing. However, we wean our kittens on to a balanced raw meat diet and their digestive systems manage the transition from mother's milk without upset and diarrhea.

If we feed canned food, we always add NuVet vitamin powder, (see Supplements, below).

Our cats love dry food, and it's certainly convenient, but cats easily become overweight when free-feeding dry food. Older cats need a lot of liquid to help their kidneys, and dry food does not give them the moisture they need. A recent study found that a diet high in carbohydrates causes obesity because the liver converts excessive amounts of carbohydrates into body fat. The study also linked several major cat diseases to diet, and veterinarians now treat feline diabetes with a high protein diet, which means canned food. Click here for an excellent article on the subject by Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM.

Occasionally someone tells me they only feed a couple of tablespoons of canned food as a daily treat, but Please feed your cat lots of raw or canned food. Just take the time to prepare high quality meals for your cat. Your reward will be a healthier cat and fewer veterinary visits.

If you need to feed a dry food, Life's Abundance  has no corn or wheat products, no artificial flavors or colors. To order Life's Abundance shipped to your home, click here. To set up an autoship account, go to my Life's Abundance site or call the toll-free order line, 1-877-387-4564. Be sure to give my ID #10026099 when calling.

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Supplements

A deficiency in one vitamin or mineral may leave your cat vulnerable to disease. A daily nutritional supplement provides your cat with the essential nutrients and immunity support it needs to live a long, healthy life.

We use and recommend NuVet Plus for Felines vitamin powder. Click here to order online (if you sign up for autoship service you receive 15% off each order). You can also call to order, 1-800-474-7044, and give discount code 49057.

We also order Mega-C Plus, a vitamin in liquid form that's easy to give orally, from Orthomolecular Specialties. You can call 408-227-9334, or order it online.

TCFeline supplement is available online and is a very good for Taurine and calcium when you're feeding raw meat.

Other supplements that help joints and mobility, are at our small, neighborhood pet food store.

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Digestive Aids

BeneBac. For intestinal distress. We order 15 gram tubes from Revival Animal Products and store them in the refrigerator. BeneBac is a source of live naturally occurring micro-organisms to help maintain the beneficial microbial population in the digestive tract. We just squirt a measured dose in their mouth.

Wysong Pet Inoculant. This is magic stuff for intestinal problems. An orally dosed concentration of probiotic cultures and immunoglobulins, the probiotic cultures enhance healthy intestinal activity as well as combat and inhibit pathogenic E. coli bacteria. Each cc contains 200 million CFU of four bacterial species. Pet Inoculant is designed to be used in conjunction with antibiotic therapy and during any stressful condition.

For intestinal distress, we sprinkle FortiFlora, a powder which comes in packets, on food. Or our cats love Wysong F-Biotic, a concentrated source of probiotic cultures, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins, inorganic, chelated and composted minerals and nutrients . Either is especially important if cats have been on antibiotics or have had any digestive problems.

For vomiting, mix some Aloe Vera Juice (without Sodium Benzoate), liquid chlorophyll and filtered water, this is Marilyn's Magic Green Juice. Give it with a feeding syringe or dropper for digestive upsets, both stomach and intestinal.

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Water

Cats in the wild get water from their prey, but when they eat dry food, they metabolize food differently, and then they don’t drink enough water. We’ve found that FreshFlow water fountains encourage a lot of water drinking at our house.

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Vaccinations

We vaccinate our kittens against upper respiratory viruses at nine and twelve weeks and they need one more one year after their last kitten vaccination.  

In 2015 the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Academy of Feline Medicine recommended a change in vaccine protocol: no vaccines are necessary once a cat has had a vaccination after it is six months old. So a "booster"at one year old is sufficient to give immunity for life.

Please read these guidelines so you can make an informed visit to your vet. Re-vaccinating a cat after it is one year old is unnecessary and actually dangerous to the health of your cat because of the stress to their immune systems. (See Vaccinations.)

Most veterinarian schools now recognize that one "booster" vaccination one year after their last kitten vaccination provides lifetime immunity, and many veterinarians agree that over-vaccinating our cats assaults their natural immune system, making it unable to deal with viruses and environmental toxins.

As for rabies vaccinations, the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Academy of Feline Medicine recommends that you only vaccinate to the minimum legal mandates required by state and local legislation. We agree with this. If you feel you must vaccinate against rabies, please give the rabies vaccination at a separate time from other vaccinations. We give a rabies vaccination to cats that will go to cat shows or to another cattery for breeding. We wait until they're a year old and make sure the vet notes that as a 3-year rabies vaccination. They're old enough at that age that the immunization will hold and they don't need it again.

We do NOT recommend vaccinating your cat against feline leukemia and FIP, and the new veterinarian guidelines also do NOT. Since your cat will not be exposed to the outside and to other cats that may carry the diseases, there is no reason to subject your cat to unnecessary inoculations. Your Windwalker health guarantee will become null and VOID if you let your vet talk you into giving your cat these vaccinations.

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Litter

Cats are extremely clean animals. and will only use a “clean” litter pan. If you aren’t meticulous about your litter pan maintenance, you may have problems, (urinating or defecating outside the litter box). Once this starts it can be difficult to correct.

Your cat has been using World’s Best Cat Litter at our house. This 100% corn-based clumping litter is biodegradable and flushable for both septic and sewer systems.

Although it costs more than other litters, World's Best Cat Litter lasts longer, smells less, and your house doesn't get dusty from it. We send some with your kitten, and if you decide to change to a different litter, do so gradually over one to two weeks or you may have problems. Start with mostly World’s Best and add a little bit of the new product so your cat can get used to the new material. 

Note: Don't make more than one change at a time, such as changing litter and brand of food at the same time. Too much change at once can produce excess stress and problems.

WARNING: PLEASE DO NOT USE CLAY CLUMPING LITTERS! Clay clumping litters are hazardous to the health of longhaired cats such as Maine Coons that have “toe tufts” and feathery britches. When your cat cleans its feet or britches, clay clumping litter may settle and harden in the intestines and create deadly blockages.  

Litter Pan Preparation and Maintenance.   Baking soda and other odor additives are BAD and baking soda is the worst. In addition to being VERY chemically active, it is a strong alkali and will cancel the natural acidic pH of the cat's urine and make it alkaline. Cats need acid pH so they do not get urinary crystals. This is especially important for neutered male cats.

Baking soda is extremely dangerous to eat raw, it will chemically burn the digestive tract if cats lick it off their feet or britches. Litter manufacturers claim to add baking soda to supposedly cancel odors. However, odor is not a problem with the litter we use. Of course, we scoop the pans constantly. You'll notice that scooping the pans is a clear invitation to use them, (in fact, that's how we encourage elimination before a road trip), so you may often scoop again right after you've done it.

When cleaning litter pans, use a good cleaner/disinfectant such as Simple Solution, Simple Green or similar products that kill bacteria.

We recommend a “jumbo” size litter pan, without a hood, for your Maine Coon cat. It may seem extremely large at first, particularly for a kitten, but in time you will be thankful you got the largest size pan available. We actually use the dog training pans found at PetCo, or the long plastic boxes from office supply stores. (Our larger cats sometimes think they're in the box, and yes, their four feet are...) Add litter to about 3 to 4 inches deep.

We also recommend that you put a bathroom rug around the litter pan to help control tracking of litter. Finally, to avoid problems, it's a good idea to have at least one more litter pan than you have adult cats. (For two cats, have three litter pans.)

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Elimination Problems

If your kitten or cat starts eliminating in inappropriate places, first take him or her to your vet for a comprehensive physical examination.  If there are no physical reasons, think about what has changed in your cat's life: a new baby in the house, a new kitten? Social interactions between cats can often be the reason a cat starts marking or not using the litterbox. 

Then, consider the litterbox. Litterbox aversion is a common cause of inappropriate toileting. Cats are known for their fastidious nature. If the litterbox is dirty, cats will often choose another, cleaner, spot to eliminate. Each cat will tolerate a different level of litterbox cleanliness. If you suspect litterbox aversion, the litterbox should be kept scrupulously clean.

In addition to litterbox cleanliness, other aspects of the litterbox environment can result in litterbox aversion including the location of the box, the style of the box and the brand of litter. Your vet will have suggestions. Sometimes, the vet has prescribed Prozac. Before you think "oh no, I'm never putting my cat on Prozac," consider these facts:  

More cats are euthanized for inappropriate elimination than any other reason, (better calm and happy than dead).  

You are not alone. Look at the shelf space given to gallons of Enzymatic solution for urine smell and stain at the pet stores.

About ten percent of males that were neutered before they were sexually mature, and five percent of prepubertally spayed female cats show problem urine marking ([Hart and Cooper, 1984]). (You are not alone.)

Urine marking is considered a normal communication behavior in both male and female cats. However, we consider it unacceptable in our homes.

You can call or email us for additional suggestions. Sometimes we've helped the cat find a new home. There is an excellent article on litterbox problems in multi-cat homes on the CFA website.

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Taurine and Calcium

Meat is high in phosphorus and it's very important to maintain a balance of calcium to phosphorus. Also, chicken and beef are low in Taurine, an essential amino acid for cats. Rodents have two to four times as much Taurine as beef or other meat, and cats on the docks and in the barns ate so many mice and rats over the years that they lost their ability to synthesize Taurine from other amino acids. Read any prepared cat food label and you will see Taurine has been added because Taurine deficiency has been identified as a cause of one form of heart disease in cats.

To supplement Taurine in our home-made cat foods we use Kitty Bloom vitamin powder. To supplement calcium, we use Kitty Bloom Kalac M34 calcium supplement. This is mixed as directed with the Kitty Bloom vitamin supplement. The directions and proportions for mixing are on the Kitty Bloom container. For a source of Kitty Bloom near you, call 1-800-833-4748.

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DISCLAIMER
 The information on this website is NOT intended to replace
 the advice of a Veterinarian.
 If your cat is displaying symptoms of illness or discomfort,
 seek the medical advice of a Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.
 
 Windwalker Maine Coon Cats accepts no responsibility for the accuracy
 and content of the information provided by this website.


   

           

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