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New Raw Feeders Chronicles - Page 3

post #61 of 73
My cats are very picky with rabbit, they like fresh rabbit but don't care for rabbit that has been frozen for some time.
They also don't like the skin much (but it is not bad if they want to eat it, some roughage is good for the digestion) and will eat around it, if I feed rabbit leg with skin they push it down like a sock.

The average whole rabbit (I have two in the freezer described as small size by my supplier, they weigh 3 kilograms) is too much too eat in one sitting so you will have to make portions of it, I found using scissors (regular kind you buy for next to nothing) easier than using a knife, but if you plan on doing much of that kind of thing you could also buy some poultry shears.
If they will portion them for you that would be even better.

My cats always leave most of the bones, they find them too hard. I think if you can get a smaller sized (younger) rabbit that would be more suited to what the average cat can handle as the bones would be softer.
post #62 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by proudmamiof4 View Post
1.to intoroduce them to raw food,can I give them a peice of regular chicken( a chunk cut off) or does it have to be a pet food, or organic?
You can give them just plain bits of chicken on occasion but muscle meat alone isn't a complete diet for cats.

Quote:
2.would the cost be equal to what we are spending now for food? we have 5 cats and spend roughly 150.00 a month on thier food?
Generally it doesn't cost any more than premium wet foods. The prepared, ready to serve raws can be expensive. If you buy the meat and organs yourself and add any needed additional supplements, it's a lot cheaper but more work.

Quote:
3.how do you figure out how much to feed?
My average size, youngish adults get about 4 oz a day. They eat less raw than what they ate of processed food because the raw is more nutrient dense.

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4.can cats eat the bones?do I have to grind it?
Bones are good as a calcium source and chewing on whole ones are good for dental hygiene. They don't have to be ground. My won't yet eat whole bones so they get ground bones in their raw.

Quote:
5.lastly what (if any) supplements would I have to buy and add?
It's possible to feed meals of raw that are pretty close to what they would eat in the wild, that is muscle meat, organs, bones, etc. In that case you don't need supplements. If you aren't careful to mimic what they would eat in the wild, you need to add supplements.

Quote:
thanks so much everyone....I would really love top feed raw, and I think my cats would enjoy it too
They would likely be healthier for it also.

Just a heads up, if you talk to your vet about feeding raw there is a very good chance they will try to talk you out of it. This is an issue vets do not agree on. Some acknowledge it is a healthier way to feed cats and others contend it is dangerous. I strongly advise you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Make sure you understand how to feed raw properly. It isn't difficult at all. Here are a couple more sites you might be interested in:

http://holisticat.com
http://catinfo.org
post #63 of 73
Thanks Mimosa that was very hepful, I will try him on one and try to get a smaller one.
Another question, on the same note, what would I do with a fresh chicken? Would I ask the butcher to take the feathers off? Is that a silly question? Would I keep the feet or would I get him to take all of that stuff off and have the skin, bones and meat. I would ask the butcher to cut it up. How many meals would 1 whole chicken be for a cat? Would the whole chicken be full of everything he needs? Thanks again
post #64 of 73
You can feed chicken with the feathers on or off, whatever your cat accepts better. Without might be better at first, but you never know until you try. (I'm surprised you've found somewhere that sells feathered chicken, I've never even seen those at the poulterer)

In the Netherlands all factory farmed chicken is just six weeks old when slaughtered and they have pretty soft bones. If my cats don't feel too lazy they can handle that. If you get older chicken like organic or for soup their bones are harder. If your cat has difficulty with chicken bones you can get him Cornish game hen.

You can keep the feet, head and what have you, but it depends on your cat if he will eat it. My cats always leave the feet (I don't feed whole chicken but their quail and pigeon feet) and often leave the head as well. They also leave the big wing- and tailfeathers.
Your butcher will probably only save the giblets (heart, liver, gizzard, neck) when he cleans a chicken because most people don't have any interest in the kidneys, ovaries etc. I don't know if he would be willing/able to save you more organs. When I feed whole quail, pigeon etc the cats get all the organs except for the bowels, I remove those as I don't want bowel contents to leak all over the meat.
Removing anything from a prey animal seems to fly in the face of the philosophy "whole prey is a package containg all the nutrients a cat needs" , but I don't think a cat needs to consume every snippet of its prey. When you look at a site like http://www.whatjeffkilled.com/ you see that that semiferal cat often leaves the entrails.

So a whole chicken in theory contains all the nutrients your cat would need. However, he would need to eat most of the bone and almost all the organs too. If it doesn't work that way in practice you can supplement lost organs with a bit of extra organ you cán get and bones that were too hard with some softer bones (like chicken necks) or ground eggshell powder or another kind of calcium supplement.
I know people who feed like this but to me it sounds like too much work, so I feed smaller prey animals my cats are able to devour whole.

How many meals one chicken is for one cat depends on the weight of the chicken and the weight, age and activity level of the cat. (weather can make a difference as well, cold makes mine hungry) Most people advise to feed 3% of the cat's body weight daily.
My cats ate A LOT when I first switched them, after a few weeks they became more satisfied and started to selfregulate. My cats eat 50-60 grams per meal, three times a day.

Also remember that you don't have to do everything perfectly, everything down to the last gram or percent. It is not that exact of a science. Just try to keep to prey percentages somewhat.
post #65 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimosa View Post
I know people who feed like this but to me it sounds like too much work, so I feed smaller prey animals my cats are able to devour whole.
How do you control the mess when you feed whole prey? Don't they drag the carcass all over the house, leaving a mess all along the way??? I have no idea how I would manage this unless I worked out a way to feed them outside.
post #66 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
How do you control the mess when you feed whole prey? Don't they drag the carcass all over the house, leaving a mess all along the way??? I have no idea how I would manage this unless I worked out a way to feed them outside.
Most of it comes down to being consistent with your cat; when they try to take their prey elsewhere, you take it back to where you want it.
And they do get it, better than I expected actually. The cats eat in the kitchen, when I first fed them mice for some reason I decided I would hand them out it in the living room (probably because I wanted pictures and it is harder to photograph in the kitchen). They didn't eat the mice, they just played with them. Then Flynn decided it was time to eat, took his mouse to the kitchen and ate it there. The other boys followed suit. I stood corrected

I use this kind of low cardboard box I get from the garden center where I buy kitty litter :



I used to feed them on placemats but that didn't work very well for us, they would get blood on the floor next to the placemat sometimes.

Some people use vinyl tablecloth (the kind you buy by the yard), you can get just the size you need for more cats or a large dog and it is easy to clean.
post #67 of 73
Thanks Mimosa, I know what to ask for now!!! You are a fountain of knowledge and I appreciate you passing it on I am now going to go to the butcher confident that I am asking for the right things. I will ask him to skin it, take out the bowls, prob remove the head I will get a young one too so the bones are softer and I will get the butcher to chop it up a bit. I will try a rabbit too! Your cats are gorgeous
post #68 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
You can give them just plain bits of chicken on occasion but muscle meat alone isn't a complete diet for cats.



Generally it doesn't cost any more than premium wet foods. The prepared, ready to serve raws can be expensive. If you buy the meat and organs yourself and add any needed additional supplements, it's a lot cheaper but more work.



My average size, youngish adults get about 4 oz a day. They eat less raw than what they ate of processed food because the raw is more nutrient dense.



Bones are good as a calcium source and chewing on whole ones are good for dental hygiene. They don't have to be ground. My won't yet eat whole bones so they get ground bones in their raw.



It's possible to feed meals of raw that are pretty close to what they would eat in the wild, that is muscle meat, organs, bones, etc. In that case you don't need supplements. If you aren't careful to mimic what they would eat in the wild, you need to add supplements.



They would likely be healthier for it also.

Just a heads up, if you talk to your vet about feeding raw there is a very good chance they will try to talk you out of it. This is an issue vets do not agree on. Some acknowledge it is a healthier way to feed cats and others contend it is dangerous. I strongly advise you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Make sure you understand how to feed raw properly. It isn't difficult at all. Here are a couple more sites you might be interested in:

http://holisticat.com
http://catinfo.org

Thanks for the heads up about the vet....and all the great info! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all my questions
post #69 of 73
Although I"m not currently feeding raw...I just couldn't resist asking this question:

Mimosa- where do you get your mice at and do you get them fresh, live, frozen, etc? I was having visions of those packages of frozen mice you can get for herps....

Art
post #70 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Although I"m not currently feeding raw...I just couldn't resist asking this question:

Mimosa- where do you get your mice at and do you get them fresh, live, frozen, etc? I was having visions of those packages of frozen mice you can get for herps....

Art
Feeding dead prey is going fine and thus I feel it would needlessly cruel to buy live prey for my cats.
I get them wholesale from a company that supplies prey animals to zoos, falconers etc (I know they also sell to the reptile zoo in the next town, so yes, also for herps). All prey comes frozen, killed as humanely as possible.
This company had a rather interesting backstory, actually: http://online.wsj.com/public/article..._20050728.html
They also sell to people in the UK, by the way.

I've bought mice at the pet store too but I've never liked that, I don't think they are able to breed SPF (specific pathogen free) mice and several pet store owners have told me nasty stories about how they kill them. What irks me is that my cats like the ultra fresh killed prey better though

People from the yahoo rawcat list have had good experiences with "mice on ice" and "Hare today".
post #71 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I just got some duck because Zara seems to have a problem with raw poultry. She can eat processed, canned chicken and turkey but when she eats raw chicken or turkey she throws up. *Every time*! I'm going to she if she can tolerate the duck better but what I got is fresh killed from a friend and I'm going to keep it frozen for 3 weeks before I use it. I'm told that will kill any parasites and some bacteria.

Someone else whose cats can't eat raw poultry says her cat can eat raw quail. I'm going to try that also.
Just a quick update on Zara. For the past week she has been eating raw exclusively again. She is eating chicken, turkey, beef and cornish game hen and not throwing up anything! I have no idea what was going on during the time she was throwing up raw but whatever it was seems to be past. She is quite enjoying the raw! She eats all of hers and usually some of Jeta's if Jeta doesn't finish all of hers before Zara gets to it!
post #72 of 73
This thread has been great, I am going to feed Willie his first raw meal tonight. I can't actually switch him to raw because My parents will not continue it once I leave for College. I am going to give him raw meat a few times a week for oral health and tonight he is getting an entire meal of turkey, he's getting the neck w/bone and the liver. He is pretty new to the raw thing, he's only had chicken breast meat and chicken neck (he didn't eat the bone) but hopefully he'll like something from the turkey!
post #73 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
This thread has been great, I am going to feed Willie his first raw meal tonight. I can't actually switch him to raw because My parents will not continue it once I leave for College. I am going to give him raw meat a few times a week for oral health and tonight he is getting an entire meal of turkey, he's getting the neck w/bone and the liver. He is pretty new to the raw thing, he's only had chicken breast meat and chicken neck (he didn't eat the bone) but hopefully he'll like something from the turkey!
I'm sure he will enjoy his occasional raw meal! I guess he chews on the chicken neck to get the meat? That would be great for his teeth. Maybe your parents could at least give him a chicken neck once or twice a week while you're at college.
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