Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require meat in their diet and need little carbohydrates. Russian Blues should be fed with high-protein, premium cat food to keep their coat shiny and soft.
We feed a mixture of nutritionally balanced home-made raw food with varied proteins (pheasant, chicken, quail, beef, venison, turkey, ostrich, etc), premium canned food (TikiCat, FirstMate, TikiCat, Stella&Chewy), and some premium dry kibbles (TikiCat, Orijen). It is very important to keep the pet RB hydrated (especially the male RB) to prevent urinary problems, so it is better to feed mainly wet food (raw or canned) with occasional dry food.
Don't feed dog foods to cats. They have different nutritional needs!
Feeding raw guarantees the highest nutrition absorption efficiency as that's what cats were born to eat (mice are raw). Raw food is also high in water content so it keeps your cat hydrated. As raw food is mostly protein and fat with very little artificial carbs, the food is better digested and your cat will have fewer and less stinky poops— also less likely to have diarrhea.
DIY Raw Food
If you would like to spend time making BALANCED raw food for your cat, it would be the cheapest way to get them hydrated with great nutrition. However, you need to prepare the food with the right bone:meat:liver ratios. If you need more info, you can ask us or join the raw feeding FB groups for recipes and local co-op groups for good meat sources. More info on feline nutrition here. You should feed the meal within an hour so that food doesn't go bad.
Commercial Frozen Raw Food
Commercial frozen raw food is a good and convenient option. All you need to do is to thaw the food ahead of time and put the thawed food into dishes. We have used Primal frozen raw food and Miro loved them. You can check the following brands: Primal, Stella Chewy, Small Batch, Instinct, Kiwi Kitchens, etc. They are usually available in local pet food stores such as Petfood Express. You can ask if they offer a refund during tasting periods. You should feed the meal within an hour so that food doesn't go bad.
Commercial Freeze-dried Raw Food
Commercial freeze-dried raw food is dry food with maximum nutrition retained as the freeze-drying process doesn't include high-temperature treatment that damages enzymes/amino acids/heat-sensitive nutrients. It is easy to store and has a long shelf life. Freeze-dried raw foods can be fed hydrated or just as dry (make sure to keep cat hydrated with water intake if fed dry). If fed as dry, you can leave it out for a day.
Remember to make sure it is BALANCED MEAL instead of TREAT when you order the freeze-dried raw food on Chewy or local stores. The brands we used are Primal, Stella Chewy, Nulo. Primal has a free refund policy during the tasting period and it's better to buy in person for the first few times in local stores.
People might think feeding commercial raw food is more costly than wet food. However, we have compared Primal with premium wet food and realized that the cost is similar (both~$2-4/day).
Wet food is a great way to keep cats hydrated.
Commercial Canned Food
We recommend grain-free high-protein premium brands like Kiwi Kitchens, Ziwi Peak, Weruva, FirstMate/Kasik, Tiki Cat, Stella Chewy’s etc.
- Sometimes the fish ingredients were sourced in areas with pollution/heavy metal which could accumulate in cats' bodies.
- Fish is less efficiently digested and will lead to STINKY poop.
- Cats may get addicted to fish flavors and may become more picky eaters. You should feed the meal within 2 hours so that food doesn't go bad.
Commercial Cooked Frozen / Refrigerated
We haven't tried this type but we have heard great things about the wholesome ingredients (fewer fillers/preservatives). Some brands like Smalls. You should feed the meal within an hour so that food doesn't go bad.
Dry food is usually used as treats/emergency food in our house. It is densely packed with nutrition and is easy to feed/carry. We feed kibbles more often when kittens need a lot of nutrition to grow up, but feed rarely when they're fully grown. It is also good to be left out for a day.
Premium Dry Food
We feed premium dry food like Farmina, Orijen, Acana, TikiCat. Transition the food slowly to avoid soft poop. Single-protein is usually better to avoid potential food allergies, so you can try to get the single-protein ones at first and then get the multi-protein ones. It is recommended to rotate the brands/flavors every now and then to get a balanced nutrition profile.
We haven't tried this but heard great things about the air-dried food. It has fewer fillers and only needs fewer pieces to make cats full: Ziwi Peak (venison only), Kiwi Kitchens (all flavors).
We feed egg yolk (cooked or raw) sometimes to the cats as vitamin/mineral supplements. We also tried many commercial supplements and this chew is well received. You can also check out Kitty Bloom which is usually used among breeders.
Omega-3 is an important supplement for cardiac health, brain support, vision, and coat health. It is necessary to keep the Omega-6: Omega-3 balanced but Omega-6 is usually disproportionally high in commercial food.
You should feed extra Omega-3 because:
- Even though commercial food claims they have enough Omega-3, during transportation there will be loss in Omega-3 due to heat/light exposure.
- Once you open the package, any Omega-3 will be gone in a day as it's highly oxidative.
We recommend 2 ways of Omega-3 supplementation:
- Fish oil/omega3 capsules: Don't buy the pump-bottled fish oil, because once you opened the pump the air goes in and the entire bottle of omega-3 will be oxidized. Buy the HUMAN-GRADE capsules that are >1000mg fish oil (like this). Feed one capsule every 3-4 days— use a cutlery knife/scissor to cut open the capsule and drizzle on their favorite treat. You can take these capsules too as they are good for your health!
- Cooked & deboned wild-caught sardines or mackerel. You can buy fresh mackerels and cook at home, or you can buy canned sardines/mackerel and feed directly. The canned sardines/mackerel are preferably soaked in water: feed 100-200g wild-caught sardines/mackerel every week. Your cats should eat it readily. These should be available in Costco/TraderJoes/grocery stores. If you can't find water-soaked ones, you can buy olive-oil-soaked ones but make sure to wipe off the olive oil and rinse a bit with water and feed directly.
Probiotics are useful when the cat has a soft poop or has mild diarrhea. Sometimes the soft poop/mild diarrhea happens due to overfeeding in one meal, or fast food transition. We fast our cat for a few hours, feed half/an entire capsule of slippery elm with the next meal to stop diarrhea, and follow with a half capsule of Jarrow probiotics to slowly adjust the poop to normal hard texture. These are all human-grade and you can eat those capsules when you have diarrhea...
These will make your cats crazy. Don't over-feed because they will be picky. Only use occasionally. We buy freeze-dried treats, grain-free lickable treats (for clicker-training), hairball treats. Brands we've used: Purebites, Churu, Greenies hairball treats.
Sometimes we feed chicken necks (once a week), either the commercial freeze-dried chicken neck or thawed chicken neck, to make the cats chew hard to help with tartar removal. We usually give a small chunk for them to finish. Make sure you monitor them eating through the process and you should touch and feel the piece to make sure there are no sharp bone edges before feeding.
We use BIG and SHALLOW food dishes to avoid whisker fatigue... Apparently, our cats prefer to eat with these plates instead of small deep bowls (consider you eating ice-cream inside a deep small bowl with your mouth only and your nose touches the ice-cream before your tongue...). You can get fancy ones designated for cats or just get some basic ones.
The bowl should be either stainless steel or ceramic and need to be washed after every meal if feeding raw/wet food. We don't use plastic feeders as germs grow more easily on plastic dishes.
How much to feed, free feeding?
For a grown-up cat, don't free-feed him/her. Free-feeding can lead to weight issues. Establishing a feeding schedule can also help the cat adjust to environmental change (new cat/ new home, etc).
Automatic food dispenser
We have only used one dispenser for dry kibbles and liked it for timed feeding/snacking when we're out for a long day.