Raw Food Diet Helps Sick Cat

How a natural diet saved our cat’s life

by Amy Butchko, Guest Blogger

My husband Michael and I have been followers of the nutritional advice of the Weston A. Price Foundation and subscribers to the Hartke is Online! blog for several years, and we’ve seen great results in our health. This post is not about us though; it’s about how we used what we’ve learned about natural diets to totally turn around the health of a very sweet but very sick cat.

Shadow is our nearly 4 year old Ragdoll cat. In December of 2010 (when he was not yet 3), Shadow started running a high fever and Michael rushed him to the emergency vet where they ran all kinds of tests, and the results were bad: Shadow had a cardiomyopathy, which could shorten his life dramatically, he’d have to be on prescriptions and he’d need regular ultrasounds to track the progression of the disease.

We were devastated, and part of the reason was we knew we’d had a role in all this. For ourselves, we’d chosen grassfed meats, organic veggies and were careful with grains. I’d taken Monica Corrado’s cooking classes, and we were “all aboard” a whole foods lifestyle. For our cats, we were feeding a store-bought kibble and canned organic food. We knew it was just “ok”, but we had no idea the danger we’d put our cat in with this decision.

We’d talked about switching to raw food, but we just didn’t know where to start. Now, we knew we had to figure it out.

Transitioning to a Raw Food Diet

We started with a book: Whole Health for Happy Cats, and decided to make one batch to find out if our cats would eat it. In addition to Shadow, we have Clementine, a Siberian who we were also going to switch to raw. We knew this was no small feat: cats will often reject changes to their diets.

It’s now a year later, and I’m thrilled to report that both cats are happily on a raw diet. Shadow lost about 5 pounds out of his belly when we switched, but added the weight back in muscle within a couple of months. He is so strong now! He can jump and run and has the energy of a kitten. He’s on no prescriptions, and we don’t do any other interventions for his health other than create great food for him to eat.

This has been a remarkable experience, exceeding all of our expectations. In the videos below, you’ll see exactly what we do 4 times a year to make sure our two cats have the best possible diet for their situation.

Here are the videos:

And, if you need the resources in the videos, here are some links that will send you there:

Visit my Wellness Works Amazon store for supplies.

Get the spreadsheet conversion recipe chart.

This is a picture of the finished product before we run it down to the freezer, 41 containers! It’s not an easy thing: creating all this food takes a minimum of 3 hours for the amount we make (we use chickens from our WAPF farmer), and we had to acquire some supplies like a meat grinder that are a little out of the ordinary for this raw food diet.


Made in Large Batches, Raw Pet Food is Easy to Store

On the other hand, the results are two healthy cats and two cat parents (us) who are a lot less stressed. We don’t have to worry about catastrophic decisions or stress and bills coming from visits to the vet anymore. And we know that we’ll have our two companions with us for a long, long time eating their natural raw food diet.

Here’s part of the fan club: Clementine eating her raw food diet breakfast.


Amy Butchko

Amy Butchko blogs and publishes an ezine about life, work, parenting and fitting a little bit of healthy livin’ into 168 hours a week. Visit her online at

This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival. See more kibbles and bits at

Editors Note: And, if you are sick, check out Recipes for Life a book about a raw food diet for people! This book got a thumbs up review from Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation.