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#518888 - 04/02/08 07:08 AM Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies
jenbrookie08
Unregistered


Hey guys,,

I have heard that Feline food is not good for suggies, but many websites like angelfire.com have it in some of the diets they listed... they say that zoo's in Australia use it...

Im confused!!! dunno

Please educate me.... lol read read

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#518897 - 04/02/08 07:31 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
Nari
Unregistered


I will try to tackle this question, although I am sure others will come along and add more!

Are Sugar Gliders cats? Are they related to cats? No, and no! So why would you give them a food that is designed for a completely different animal? Well, I personally would not. But, everyone has to decide what they think is best for their sugar gliders. Because there is no ONE diet that has been proven to be the ONLY diet that works or is good for gliders, there are a lot of different varieties out there.

People are generally using cat food as a source of protein in their sugar glider's diet. Now, while I don't think this will kill a glider, and sometimes they actually like it, I think their are better alternatives. Especially because most cat foods add a lot of fillers that I don't think are very healthy for gliders.

Also take into consideration a sugar gliders diet in the wild. Are they eating anything that resembles a pellet? No.

In addition, most of the diets I have read that use cat food, seem to be lacking in one area of another.

I want to know which zoo's in Australia use it, because I have never heard of any.


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#518901 - 04/02/08 07:41 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
jenbrookie08
Unregistered


Thats exactly what i thought....

Here is the link to the diets zoos use... the second one has the feline food in it.


http://www.angelfire.com/nb/sugarglider/tjdiets.html


Edited by jenbrookie08 (04/02/08 07:53 AM)
Edit Reason: Attached wrong link

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#518906 - 04/02/08 07:54 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
melek007 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 3874
Loc: Eastern NC
When a sugar glider diet uses cat food, it is a much higher quality than the kinds you would normally find at a grocery store. Personally, I wouldn't feed cat food if I had other options.
_________________________
~ I miss my Alev, Nese & Levent ~

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#518909 - 04/02/08 07:59 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: melek007]
gryphon214 Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 235
Loc: Ohio
I've also heard that cat food is high in fat, which is okay for cats but not okay for dogs or sugar gliders. Can anyone verify this?

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#518911 - 04/02/08 08:03 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: gryphon214]
gryphon214 Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 235
Loc: Ohio
The second diet on that page uses Nebraska Feline diet, not just any cat food, or house cat food.

http://www.nebraskabrand.com/feline_beef_diet.htm

Looks like a diet developed for big cats.

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#518970 - 04/02/08 10:24 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: gryphon214]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


cat food that is GOOD QUALITY is not high in fat, but it IS high in protien and has a slightly higher fat content than dog food. Cat's in the wild, ONLY eat meat. That is their only sournce of nutrition, therefore cat food is made with only vitmins and minerals from meats in mind, DOGS on the other hand, need veggies and grains AND meats - so basically, if a dog were to eat an all cat food diet, and not anything else, it would become overweight and sick.

There is nothing toxic in cat food that would kill an animal, but it should not be an ONLY source of food for anything other than a cat. If you wanted to feed a dog a partial cat food, home made veggies and grain diet that is fully balanced, then cat food would be safe, but you would have to figure out the nutritional needs of a dog and compare it to what you are feeding it.

So with suggies it is the same way. We KNOW that sugar gliders need a pretty decent amount of protien in their diets because they eat eggs and small birds and such in teh wild - and also bugs. So they NEED protien, there is not doubt about that, and cat food IS a source of protien.

The thing is, like with any diet, you can not ONLY feed cat food. Gliders, like dogs, are not true carnivores, so they need fruits, veggies, and calcium. THIS is why and how cat food CAN be safe. If you were tocome up with a diet that balanced all of the needs for a glider's vitamins and use cat food as a main source of protien, then youw ould have a good diet.

It is just something that people dont like to thinka bout. NO ONE really has the knowledge to come upwith aperfectly balanced diet except those that study marsipial and more specifically sugar glider diets.

But no, cat food is NOT dangerous for gliders, but YES it absolutely HAS to be super quality cat food, and YES it has to be a small part of a bigger diet.

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#518987 - 04/02/08 10:43 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
blockamon Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
Will, the Healseville Sanctuary uses "dog chow" in their diet (although I'm sure it isn't literally Purina Dog Chow). However, it's only a very small part (1 gram per glider per day). I suspect they use it because they have it on-hand from feeding other animals. That's why the switched the vitamins in the nectar mix to bird vitamins, so it can be used with multiple species.

CAN a diet use cat food for added protein, yes it can be done. Is it the best way...I doubt it. While good quality cat food is high in MEAT protein (better than soy IMO) and low in fat, there are other factors to consider. Vitamins and minerals are one, as mentioned by others. Another is the fiber content. Some insectivore pellets have elevated fiber to simluate the chitin that animals would get from eating adult insects. I'm not sure that we know what effects a lower fiber diet would have on gliders.

Basically, my opinion is that I wouldn't feed cat food when there are a number of other (possibly better) alternatives out there. I suspect that if a glider will eat cat food, he will also eat one of the pellets specifically formulated for insectivores (e.g., Zookeeper's Secret / Insectivore Fare from Reliable Protein Products or Insectivore diet from Mazuri).

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#518990 - 04/02/08 10:52 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: blockamon]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


blockamon, that last statement about if a glider will eat cat food, theyw ill probably eat an insectivore diet isn't nessesarily true.

I do feed cat food, per my vet as part of a MUCH MUCH larger diet plan. The cat food is only once a week, and it is 100% human grade quality ingredients cat food - NOT friskies. The ONLY reason i am not this slightly different diet is that my gliders WERE NOT eating their staple. I tried BML, and HPW and then the suncoast. I thought the suncoast would be the best because they seems to hate the nectars.

The diet my gliders on is quite involved and i need to write down EVERYTHING so i can remember it.. But it is balanced, and even though i put the insectivore fare in every single night, the gliders hardly touch it. THIS is why i had to switch to cat food as a secondary source of protien - its not even their main source of protien.. But for gliders who would not TOUCH any of teh insectivore pellets out there, they sure LOVE the cat food.. if only someone could come up with a cat food flavored glider food!!

I know i am probably drumming up all sorts of controversy here because i am using an "unapproved" diet and it involves cat food, BUT i hope you all realize that i did not make this diet up on my own, andi consulted 2 vets in the area and emailed a few others about this and it has been deemed a safe diet by them..

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#519099 - 04/02/08 12:59 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
7glider7
Unregistered


I'm not about to start bashing you about it.

I imagine the cat food was originally used to supplement protein and possibly fat (but again, I have not done a lot of research on it).

That being said, there are a lot of other pellets out there that might be better formulated to glider needs to supply protein.

We use Mazuri Insectivore as part of our diet here..it's actually 50% of the staple and we blend it in with the other part of their diet. It's my gliders' main source of protein.

So, I can't really say whether cat food is ideal...a lot of people are against it. But there ARE other pellets out there that can provide a good protein source for gliders. Feel free to email me if you want to know more about the diet I feed smile

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#519107 - 04/02/08 01:07 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: jenbrookie08
Hey guys,,

I have heard that Feline food is not good for suggies, but many websites like angelfire.com have it in some of the diets they listed... they say that zoo's in Australia use it...

Im confused!!! dunno

Please educate me.... lol read read


That site is very confusing, not well researched and not one of those diets have come from Australian zoos. Chicago Zoo is definitely not in Australia and Nebraska feline mix sounds distinctly American too!!

In regards to cat food, no Australian zoo that I am aware of feeds any cat food in their diet but most do feed 1 piece of high quality dog chow (tiny pellets about the same size as cat chow) as a part of a larger diet each night. This is not to say high quality cat food is not a good substitute for this ..I am just saying what the Australian zoos do feed.

1 piece of dog/cat chow is not going to be a major nutritional contribution to the diet but it is great for maintaining healthy gums.


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#519111 - 04/02/08 01:16 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


I agree that cat food is not idea, which is why the cat food that i have been using is not their only sournce of protien, but honestly, i have tried to get protien from A LOT of other more "accepted" sources and it just didn't work. They would complete ignore it, especially if it was blended in to things. But no, cat food is not a good ONLY source of protien. With my diet, its most of just an occasionally protein boost.

basically, my gliders were obviously lacking in something, and when tested, all their normal blood work looked ok, but the vet said it was probably the lack of protien that made them less energetic and more grouchy and sleepy. So we first tried the all natural approach (since the other approved diets already failed) so we did boiled meats and eggs and stuff, and it worked a little, but it still did not seem to be enough protien for them according to the various vet's research on exactly how much protien they need (i wish i got the numbers from them, but they were doing most of this work)

So then the vet suggested the sprinkling of Wombaroo on their veggies and that still did not seem to make it enough.. so we decided that on top of the suncoast diet, we would add a weekly small dose of super high quality cat food. He said the cat food is a better source of protien than the wombaroo because the wombaroo is soy and that is not as easily digested by carnivores as meat protien.
They also get a good amount of actual bugs daily, which helps them to digest their food better and get the calcium and some protien that they need..

The vets told me that the chitin, exoskeletin on most bugs, is mainly for teeth cleaning and digestion and there is very little nutritional value in the bugs they eat. So they do get bugs often, but they also have their cork bark which they LOVE to chew on and it is VERY good for their teeth.

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#519118 - 04/02/08 01:20 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
jenbrookie08
Unregistered


This is the reason why i love this place... i love hearing everyone's "different" opinions...

Thanks a lot.. You all have "educated me" read

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#519157 - 04/02/08 02:23 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
buttercup
Unregistered


I wouldn't feed cat food, even the high quality brands. But that's just me personally. I haven't yet looked at the links above but I plan to. I like reading different articles and topics of this nature. Doesn't hurt to get ALL the information you can.

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#519169 - 04/02/08 02:37 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
blockamon Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
LindsayAnnG, good point. Perhaps I should have said that MOST gliders that will eat cat would should accept pellets formulated for insectivores. If yours won't eat them, then something else is called for. No doubt that a high quality cat food (some have ~40% protein primarily from chicken) can really boost protein levels.

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#519171 - 04/02/08 02:38 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
Guerita135 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 4645
Loc: Ohio
I offered my gliders some pieces of cat food(Innova Evo) just to see if they liked it. They threw it out of the cage, lol. I guess that was a "no". tounge

I can't imagine a glider eating it as a food. Wouldn't it be hard on their poor little teeth?
_________________________
~Nicole~

Proudly enslaved by lots of silly suggies, 3 crazy kitties, a huffy hedgie, and a pretty puppy! grin

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#519181 - 04/02/08 02:52 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: Guerita135]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


that is what i use Innova EVO brand cat food. It is 100% recommended by almost ALL vets and is super high quality..

NO hard food is hard on their "little" teeth.. they are made to chew through bones of baby mice, they can chew through some pellets.. pellets are BAD for them when that is ALL that they are eating.. You should see gliders tear through eucalyptus branches.. their teeth are NOT in any way in danger from a hard food.. actually, many vets suggest if you dont have hard food for them, to give them SOMETHING hard to chew on or their teeth will rot.

My gliders just LOVE it, they onyl get it once a week, and its only a few kernels at most each time, but they chow them down thats for sure.

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#519184 - 04/02/08 02:54 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


oh yea, buttercup.
those links posted above make no sense and aren't even worth reading.

If you want to learn more about why my vet chose the cat food for my gliders, you could PM me.

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#519230 - 04/02/08 03:54 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
7glider7
Unregistered


Well...as far as whether they like cat food...after my last roomie moved out and her room was clear, we used it as a glider playroom for a bit...she had a cat in there and there were a few pieces of cat food left in the closet that I didn't spot...

...we practically didn't even have playtime after that because my gliders were so obsessed with eating the catfood they found roflmao They LOVED IT.

Lindsay, that is great that you give them so much enrichment for helping their teeth. I want to look into getting them more things for this in the future. My gliders won't eat the Mazuri Insectivore pellets in pellet form, I have to grind them in with the nectar component of the diet, so they really aren't getting much help teeth-cleaning wise from it tounge

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#519321 - 04/02/08 05:49 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


See, i tried to do EVERYTHING to get them to eat the insectivore pellets, and its just some reason they will not eat it, and i KNOW they were not getting the nutrition they needed, and because they hated anything that was blended up or "nectared" I had very little choice.

I have had my gliders for a year, and it took me about a year of struggling trying every trick in the book with all the different diets and it just didn't work. They loved it for the first week or so, then they stopped eating it and would just eat the veggies.

I am actually very confident in the diet and my gliders, so far, have been doing great on it. They get vet checks 2 times a year, and i can not stress enough, I DID NOT MAKE THIS diet UP ON MY OWN.. It was a compilation of different vets and vet techs to get this all together. I know i am taking a gamble with my gliders being the first to be on this particular diet, but it's not like there aren't others out there like it.. and i trust my vets.. otherwise my gliders woul just be eating fruits and veggies, and that is NOT safe.

Jen, if you want to get some teeth enrichment things, i completely and totally suggest CORK BARK.. the stuff is AWESOME for teeth and i noticed i dont have to clip my glider's nails nearly as much as normal

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#519352 - 04/02/08 06:48 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
buttercup
Unregistered


Well...I do give Quincy plain cheerios from time to time. I know they aren't really hard but he likes them and I can hear him crunching away in his pouch when I do give them to him.

I read about cork bark...I guess I should see about getting some of that.

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#519367 - 04/02/08 07:36 PM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


search on this forum, there are a few posts about cork bark.

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#519649 - 04/03/08 09:18 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
GliderHappy81 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 3224
Loc: NC
You can buy cork bark HERE
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jumpKarajump

*~*GliderExpressions*~*

*~*My Gliders*~*
Burl :leu:
Aria :wfb:
Fiona :plat:


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#519657 - 04/03/08 09:28 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: GliderHappy81]
LindsayAnnG
Unregistered


that site doesnt have to tubes and does not have the buy it now buttons - i dont think they have them in stock yet..

www.corkbark.com has tubes and they are decently prices

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#519701 - 04/03/08 10:48 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
GliderHappy81 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 3224
Loc: NC
The website is Peggy's (Srlb). You can contact her here or through her website. She has plenty though, I asked her myself.
_________________________
jumpKarajump

*~*GliderExpressions*~*

*~*My Gliders*~*
Burl :leu:
Aria :wfb:
Fiona :plat:


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#551827 - 05/17/08 01:40 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
gliderdad79 Offline
Owner

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 15514
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: jenbrookie08
This is the reason why i love this place... i love hearing everyone's "different" opinions...

Thanks a lot.. You all have "educated me" read


If you want to learn more you can read about a study that was conducted from 3 diets, one was cat food. You will be surprised at how comparable it is.
_________________________
Eddie

In the Tropics somewhere between the port of indecision and southeast of disorder!

"Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people."

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching!

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#551840 - 05/17/08 06:11 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: gliderdad79]
athena_ah
Unregistered


This thread is a fascinating read. The firts time I asked if I should be feeding cat food to my gliders, people reacted like I was killing them. I was shortening their life span by half. The reaction was quite dramatic.

Now I read that some of you feed a little cat food to your gliders? So confused.

My girls have warmed up to Suncoast glider pellets which I keep in their cage at all times while I'm waiting for my shipment of Zookeeper's. The glider pellets are crunchy but not as hard as cat food. I know that the pellets aren't as full of protien as they should be, but the ingredient list is pretty impressive.

What do you all know of Zookeeper's? It is better in terms of protien? I know it's softer, so cork sounds like a good plan. I know that my Calliope loves to shred wine corks. I think it's the fermented grape smell that makes her try to actually dig the corks out of the wine bottles. smile I have a picture of her trying to do this. So cute.

So....Zookeeper's? Anyone?

Buler...Buler?

smile

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#551849 - 05/17/08 06:38 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
suggiemom1980 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 13744
Loc: Vincennes, IN, USA
I've used Zookeepers from the start (18 months) and have been very happy with it. My gliders all love it, it stays fresh in the fridge for the length of time I need it, it is soft so I don't worry about them hurting their mouths and I feel it is very nutritious and balanced for their needs. So sorry some people got the wrong idea you were feeding catfood. Maybe they read too fast and thought that was what you were doing. We all can get pretty passionate when protecting suggies, even those not our own! :-)
_________________________
Connie

812-890-9734, 24/7 Emergencies/Joey issues

SmallWorldSuggies

"The greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward"

"Glide free :rbridge: Silly "Ozball" Ozzie. You left us 11/21/12..way too soon. You're forever loved, remembered, missed."

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#551862 - 05/17/08 07:01 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: suggiemom1980]
athena_ah
Unregistered


A-ha! You do refrigerate Zookeeper's! smile I was wondering.

And whereas I was really shocked and kind of upset about the initial response to the kitten chow question - in the beginning - it's better that than to actually end up giving my babies a jaw infection. Then I'd be really upset. There's so much mis-information out there. And even breeders can be given poor advice. Craziness.

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#551932 - 05/17/08 10:59 AM Re: Is it ok to feed catfood to suggies [Re: ]
Cosmo
Unregistered


My gliders LOVE their cat food. Its only high quality variety (high protein, no wheat, no soy, no corn, etc - you won't find these varieties at your local grocery store) and only a very small portion of their diet - use more as a treat than anything to supplement their normal protein.

Luna is very picky and won't eat many of the other staples I have tried. (Cosmo on the other hand is the living glider hoover vac) But she will eat cat food, so that is why they get a bit of it.

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