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Adding cooked meat for extra protien?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,

I'm seriously considering adding some extra protien to my kittens' diets...They are on nutro nat. choice kitten and getting about 1/4 of a 5.5oz can of wet food a day, but I still think that some extra protien and/or fat wouldn't hurt...especially since my local selection of quality dry foods is sparse at best.

Last night, we had some baked chicken for dinner. I had some extra, so I decided to give it to the cats to see what they thought of it. I rinsed it to remove any salt/seasonings from the surface, cut it up, and gave it to them (no bones, it was boneless breast meat). They wolfed it down, once they figured out how to eat it.

Would adding something like cooked chicken or another meat be healthy for them or not? If so, which meats/parts would be best? I have no intentions of feeding a totally home-cooked diet, but I would like to be able to supplement what I am currently feeding.

I am also considering the "honest kitchen" raw/dehydrated foods, but they are very pricey on my budget and I am unsure about food safety, etc. with a raw diet.

Thanks for your help and advice, as always!
Art
post #2 of 11
I am going to discuss honest kitchen with my vet.. reading it makes my head spin... the grain is cooked and there are thing s like honey so I will bounce off a REAL expert

up to 10% cooked meat is not an issue

I actually buy the cheaper cuts .... for like beef less fat and more protein
post #3 of 11
I do it all the time - anytime we have hamburger or chicken for supper the cats and the dogs get a few pieces with their supper.
post #4 of 11
I often share with the cats, too. They each get a few pieces of whatever meat we had for dinner. I think it's good for their teeth, too. Those chunks of meat are the only things my cats will actually chew, as opposed to swallowing whole or just licking.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies...

I was thinking of giving it to them 2-4 times a week, but how much could I give at one time? The other night I gave one of the kittens about 1/3 cup of the cooked chicken and he had no problem consuming all of it.

At present they're getting 2/3-1 cup dry kitten food a day and 1/4 of a 5.5oz can of wet food (when I can get them to eat that much)... So the cooked meat (if given daily) would need to be 10% of ~10oz of food...1oz?

So I should look for less fattening cuts/types of meat? Other than chicken and ground turkey, lean beef? My main goal in adding the meat is to get extra protien and possibly fat, since I think the nutro is sorta light on fat/protien.

What about cooked organ meats, cartilage, etc (or should I just avoid them)?

Also, how should I cook it, does it matter? I was thinking of cutting it up, stir-frying it (or baking/boiling it) without any salt/seasonings and then bagging it (small, serving sized ziplocs inside a gallon-sized freezer bag) and taking out and thawing as needed. I figure that will cut down on the hassle of having to make it more often and make it easier/faster to serve.


I'll try and find some more research online about adding meat to their diet, but I don't think there's much for just "supplementing" with homecooked foods (instead of feeding a totally home-made / raw diet).

My only problem with supplementing with raw, other than time factors, is safety, especially as my little nephew is now living with us and I don't want to risk kittens (that just ate raw) interacting with a baby, etc.

The only reason that the honest kitchen might work is that it is dehydrated, so easy to fix, BUT still leaves me with the above-mentioned safety issues...And, it is NOT cheap, so that is also a minus.

Art
post #6 of 11
[quote=artgecko;2031648]Thanks for your replies...

I was thinking of giving it to them 2-4 times a week, but how much could I give at one time? The other night I gave one of the kittens about 1/3 cup of the cooked chicken and he had no problem consuming all of it.

At present they're getting 2/3-1 cup dry kitten food a day and 1/4 of a 5.5oz can of wet food (when I can get them to eat that much)... So the cooked meat (if given daily) would need to be 10% of ~10oz of food...1oz?
YEP about right... thou I would start off with much less
So I should look for less fattening cuts/types of meat? Other than chicken and ground turkey, lean beef? My main goal in adding the meat is to get extra protien and possibly fat, since I think the nutro is sorta light on fat/protien.
I stick to lean since that is what my girls do best on ... some nutros are lighter in the fat but protein is moderate
What about cooked organ meats, cartilage, etc (or should I just avoid them)?
organs are good ....
Also, how should I cook it, does it matter? I was thinking of cutting it up, stir-frying it (or baking/boiling it) without any salt/seasonings and then bagging it (small, serving sized ziplocs inside a gallon-sized freezer bag) and taking out and thawing as needed. I figure that will cut down on the hassle of having to make it more often and make it easier/faster to serve.

I pan fry no oil or braise meats here

I'll try and find some more research online about adding meat to their diet, but I don't think there's much for just "supplementing" with homecooked foods (instead of feeding a totally home-made / raw diet).
THIS IS why I suggest a vets help...
My only problem with supplementing with raw, other than time factors, is safety, especially as my little nephew is now living with us and I don't want to risk kittens (that just ate raw) interacting with a baby, etc.

The only reason that the honest kitchen might work is that it is dehydrated, so easy to fix, BUT still leaves me with the above-mentioned safety issues...And, it is NOT cheap, so that is also a minus.

Art
post #7 of 11
I've always been told to boil any meat you are cooking specifically for the animals if you want to cook it that is. It breaks down the fewest nutritients that way. Exception would be if you don't want to fully cook it but have an animal that won't eat that particular meat raw (mine hate raw liver but love it after it's slightly cooked) then you can just toss it on a pan to sear the outside. You don't really need to cook any meat you give them. There are no health issues feeding raw so long as you disinfect anything the raw meat has touched. The bacteria is destroyed in the animal's mouth before it could come in contact with anything else. I know plenty of people who feed their dog's raw and then the dog goes and licks the kids a couple minutes later. Even those people who have been doing it for years have never had anyone get sick.

You can include some organ meats but since you aren't relying completely on a raw diet I'd think of it more as a treat. Maybe once a week I feed an organ meat and 4-5days out of the week they'll get some type of muscle meat. The first and main thing that's going to come up missing in a diet like this is calcium. Your commercial food will still add any trace nutrients that might not exist in the raw meals but meat adds lots of phosphorous and no calcium. You always want more calcium going into the diet than phosphorous so only feeding meat will quickly give you an inverse ratio. That's why if your feeding several meals of raw a week you should consider adding some type of bone. Chicken necks are a favorite because they have fairly soft bones that most eat without issue. Harder bones depend on the cat (and dogs too) because some will chew them properly and some will try to swallow chunks. For those pets who don't chew bones properly people will grind the bones or add some bone meal which is already powdered to every 3 or 4 raw meals they give. Never give any type of cooked bone. Cooking the bones is what causes them to splinter and become a health hazard while most raw bones can be eaten and digested without issue so long as they are chewed properly in the first place.
post #8 of 11
If you feed a substantial amount of cooked meat you should add 1,000 mg calcium per pound of meat. Bones also provide calcium but they can only be fed raw. Based on what I've read, as long as you add calcium you can make this up to 25% of the diet. More than that and it would need to be balanced with other vitamins and minerals.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great information!

I went to wal-mart tonight and bought some sliced beef heart...I was surprised that they actually had some in the store. I have cleaned it and I've decided to cook it via the crock pot (with water) so that it won't be too tough. This should be plenty of meat for them for a while, so I'll see how they take to it. If they like the added meat, I'll buy some chicken and turkey to add to the mix.

I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Art
post #10 of 11
I think it's a great idea! You can also buy from the butcher's various organ meats, like kidney, gizzards, hearts, etc... if you can stomach it. I've heard most cats go crazy for them. You are supposed to boil those as well, though I am not sure how long.

I've tried giving my cat salmon, tuna, chicken, etc. but he never goes for it. Herring is what I am going to try next, because I hear it is a bit smellier.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarius View Post
I think it's a great idea! You can also buy from the butcher's various organ meats, like kidney, gizzards, hearts, etc... if you can stomach it. I've heard most cats go crazy for them. You are supposed to boil those as well, though I am not sure how long.

I've tried giving my cat salmon, tuna, chicken, etc. but he never goes for it. Herring is what I am going to try next, because I hear it is a bit smellier.
boiling will leave organs rubbery... I either lightly fry or give raw
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