I belong to a few really good raw food Yahoo groups. There is also one called Holisticat that has lots of other good info added into the raw feeding. They arent all for raw completely but they say at least give you cats canned. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Holisticat/
Supposedly, it is an old wives tale that canned food causes more tartar on teeth. My holistic vet told me a long time ago that studies have show cats that ate canned food had better teeth than the kibble fed cats did because the canned food just slides right off. The kibble gets stuck on and inbetween teeth. I can honestly say that my canned fed cats do have better teeth. I do have an overweight cat that is in the process of being switched completely to canned. I feed them Timberwolf and even when limiting his food intake he is getting NO SMALLER! I even call him Beef
I can let you know if anything changes with his weight when I can get him to understand that most cats would kill to have canned food every day!
You guys that let your cats outside to kill live prey are crazy.
There are so many diseases that they are most likely to contract by eating wild critters. Many different types of worms are passed to cats when they eat mice and birds and other wild animals. If a cat eats enough infected animals it could die! Even if a cat is treated for fleas monthly, if they go outdoors, they will be getting more on them that depending on your treatment may not kill them after the initial dose was given. Even if your cat is on tick prevention the medication is not 100%. Ticks carry some horrible diseases. Rabies is something else I would be afraid of. You might keep your pet close to home but you can't keep rabid animals away from your pets. All it takes is saliva! Pet cats are the number 1 domestic animal found to have rabies!
Feline Leukemia is a horrific disease for a cat to catch. The virus is shed in feces, milk, and tears, but spread between cats primarily via saliva by grooming, licking, biting, and shared food dishes. If your cats go outdoors and come in contact with a sick animals feces somewhere in their yard you can almost bet they are going to suffer from this disease. I believe most of these diseases can lay dormant up to years in soil. This is the same for some types of worms. Also, a cat can have Leukemia but become immune to it. It will be a carrier for the rest of it's life, though. If you have neighbors that have roaming cats or there are ferals/strays they can look healthy but kill your cat.
Panleukopenia is extremely contagious! This can even be contracted airborne. It can be picked up on your clothing or even inanimate objects. This is another disease where it attacks the immune system and kills rapidly. Most kittens will die from this and some adults if they dont get medical treatment immediately.
There is Feline Infectious Peritonitis where no cure exists. There is a vaccine for it but most say it is not effective. This is another virus that *will* take a cats life. I have heard of many cases over the years but only one kitty made it through. It cost that woman thousands and thousands of dollars to do it.
I have two cats that have Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Both contracted it from their mother at birth or through her milk but it is known as the "fighting disease" because it is almost always passed through biting and wounds. It is almost the same as human HIV where it will attack the immune system for the rest of the cats life. You have to watch these cats for any sign of illness becuase they could die from something as simple as a slight cold. There are many states where FIV is such a huge problem. Most cats will never be adopted because of having this disease. And many more will be euthanized before they even get the chance at being adopted. All it takes is one bite by an infected cat to give yours the virus for life.
Toxoplasmosis? Cats have this living in their intestinal tract and get it from eating rodents with the parasite living in their skin tissues. This can be passed to humans and if contracted by a pregnant woman in her first trimester, it can cause abortion of the fetus or blindness, retardation, or seizures in the newborn. Cats are the only animal that the parasite can live its entire life cycle in and be passed through the feces.
The Plague is a bacterial disease primarily found in the southwest and California. It is transmitted primarily by wild rodents fleas. Cats become infected by the fleas biting them or eating the infected rodents. Your cats can pass this to you in many different ways. Scratches, bites, open cuts, and even if they cough or sneeze near you.
Roundworms and Hookworms are two worms that can be passed to humans. They can get this from eating wildlife or in other animals infected feces.
Needless to say, I keep my cats inside where they are safest. I got them a puppy to hunt and chase
Most of mine have been stray and feral cats and not one of them begs to go outside anymore. Some were harder than others, but it is always possible to keep a cat happy inside or safely on a harness outside where there is no risk of getting sick.