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A bit confused and stressed.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I really hope I can get some help.

Here's my deal.

My parents and I have 5 cats all together; Frodo (7-9y/o fat, female), Yuna (2y/o thinner built female), Bubba (1y/o Huge/kinda fat, male. Son of Yuna), Winnie (1-2y/o female) and Noodle (4-5 months, female). We have dogs as well but I digress since this is a cat forum.

We've been attempting to make the switch to a complete Raw diet for our pets (My mother gave into the idea although she was very skeptical. ) after I'd been researching about how crappy kibble can be. We've found that it IS indeed a lot cheaper BUT we're having issues switching our cats (the dogs were a breeze).

I'm getting incredibly stressed with the ordeal seeing as 3 of out 5 cats are incredibly skeptical about eating raw. Frodo will turn her nose up at it unless I've mixed it perfectly with wet cat food, Winnie generally just walks away, sometimes eating a bit if there's cat food in it, Bubba will eat sometimes and sometimes not. Yuna and Noodle are actually eating with general ease. I feel like I want to just give up and give them their freaking crappy cat food but then my efforts to switch them over would be all for naught. I get stressed over the fact that they might not be getting the proper nutrients because they're so picky. I just need a little reassurance, advice and help.

Here's a run down of the foods we have at our disposal:
120lbs of whole ground chicken carcasses
3-4 Turkey necks
1-2 Turkey wings
An abundant amount of Chicken Hearts and gizzards
Beef Liver and chicken liver
Beef Kidney


What else do I need? How do I switch the reluctant cats over? What do I do if they still refuse? Any additional advice would be absolutely fantastic.

I love my cats to death (despite the pain they inflict on me) and it would kill me to know that I'm not doing the best I can for them.

I'd like to add that the reluctant cats are all eating small amounts and that they're not completely going without food.
post #2 of 16
Do you feed them at only certain times of the day?

I don't know if it is just my cats but lamb heart to them is the most awesome meat ever! Its actually what helped me switch Clover over to raw, she ate that for one meal and is now perfectly fine with whatever food the farm cats are getting.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
They get fed in the morning around 9-10am and in the evening around 6-7pm
post #4 of 16
start with offering necks and see if they go from there ...

many start by mixing raw and canned and then tapering off to all raw

some start with ground muscle meat or strait organs..
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've tried the turkey necks and wing tips. They just simply don't register it as food. They sniff it, bat it around, and then walk away.

My 6m.o will gnaw on it for 5 minute and then get bored and want something else.
post #6 of 16
Whatever you do, you must make the switch very, *very* *VERY* SLOWLY. While it is true that cats are carnivores meant to eat raw food, you can't just stick it in front of them and expect them to eat it.

Why? Because they aren't used to it. They are used to eating their dry kibbles and canned food which smells and tastes much differently. And the texture is different too!

This means that their stomachs are used to handling the dry and canned but not the raw, they need *time* to get used it, to the smell, taste and texture and more importantly time for their tummies to get used to digesting it.

Even if your cats *loved* the raw and immediately took to it, you can be sure that within a few days they would be sick and throwing it up. Not because it's not good for them, but because their digestive system needs time to adapt. So again, I reiterate, you must make the change slowly!

If you force the change too quickly your cats could end up getting seriously ill. Plus, you simply *can't* force them to eat it. Cats are incredibly picky and stubborn animals. Unlike dogs who will eat mostly anything if they are hungry enough, a cat will rather starve itself to death, rather than eat something it does not like.

Also when they do start eating the raw, don't automatically take away the dry and the canned, keep offering it to them until they no longer want them anymore.

Just keep this in mind as you make that change and be patient, it could take up to 6 months to a year. Good luck and keep us posted!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I've learned that this is going to be a long, tedious process seeing as my one cat just simply refuses. lol
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanosaurus View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I've learned that this is going to be a long, tedious process seeing as my one cat just simply refuses. lol
It can be. One of mine just recently decided to start eating raw after over a year of me trying different things. She would always nibble a little but would never eat more than a small amount. Then one day I gave her something new and she wolfed it down. She's eaten strictly raw ever since.

My last remaining hold out on the other hand has always refused to even *taste* raw.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Tonight we tried again.

Partial wet food, a little bit of chopped liver and ground whole chicken carcass. They all ate except for Frodo, the old fat cat. It's like three strikes and I'm out. If I don't get it right in time, She's not interested.

An hour later when all the cats had eaten and she was still lingering around, I made her another small batch of Wetfood/raw. She ate a TINY bit and was done. She's so bloody difficult. She was like this even when on normal cat food.

Sometimes I just wanna toss her out the window. She's so difficult.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanynne View Post
Whatever you do, you must make the switch very, *very* *VERY* SLOWLY. While it is true that cats are carnivores meant to eat raw food, you can't just stick it in front of them and expect them to eat it.

...Even if your cats *loved* the raw and immediately took to it, you can be sure that within a few days they would be sick and throwing it up. Not because it's not good for them, but because their digestive system needs time to adapt...
Hi, Shanynne!

If you don't mind, can you tell me what you base this statement on or where you found this info? I've never heard such a thing, nor have I encountered anyone who has had this kind of a problem.

Cats who are used to kibble or canned do need to learn how to chew raw foods and bones and can sometimes try to swallow chunks that are too large for them, which could 'cause vomiting, and - if they're really excited about being given "real" food - they could eat too fast, which could, again, cause subsequent vomiting.

But I've never heard that their bodies need to "adapt" to eating a natural diet. A cat's digestive system evolved to handle raw meat; that doesn't change when they're fed other foods. I'd like to understand what you mean.

Thanks in advance!

And, Shanosaurus, it's okay that your kitties are making the transition slow. I know some people whose cats took an entire year to wean themselves off kibble - that stuff is manufactured to be addictive. ;-)

Here are a few transition articles that you might find helpful...

http://www.catinfo.org/#Transitionin...o_Canned_Food_

http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

http://fnes.org/index.php?option=com...eding&Itemid=3
post #11 of 16
I tried raw meat with my crew for the first time this week too.

I cut up some chicken wings into tiny pieces, the size of a pencil eraser and put it on their plate with the bones.... 4 proceeded to sniff the meat then walk off, and 1 just went at it and ate it. I was about to give up on the others when I got an idea... I got a can of wet, and poured the gravy over the meat.

They all ate it like it was crack! To the point they were growling at each other over it, I have never seen any of them be food possesive before - it was funny! After the meat was gone they went for the bones... still growling if another cat came near their 'prey.' My little lions.

Edit: Mine didn't throw up or get sick, granted I didn't give it to them as a meal, more like a treat. They tollerated it fine.

I wish you luck! I feel fortunate that my crew loves raw. I do not plan on going 100% raw, I don't feel confident in getting the levels right. I will give them raw at least once a week to increase teeth/gum/overall health.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
Hi, Shanynne!

If you don't mind, can you tell me what you base this statement on or where you found this info? I've never heard such a thing, nor have I encountered anyone who has had this kind of a problem.

Cats who are used to kibble or canned do need to learn how to chew raw foods and bones and can sometimes try to swallow chunks that are too large for them, which could 'cause vomiting, and - if they're really excited about being given "real" food - they could eat too fast, which could, again, cause subsequent vomiting.

But I've never heard that their bodies need to "adapt" to eating a natural diet. A cat's digestive system evolved to handle raw meat; that doesn't change when they're fed other foods. I'd like to understand what you mean.

Thanks in advance!

And, Shanosaurus, it's okay that your kitties are making the transition slow. I know some people whose cats took an entire year to wean themselves off kibble - that stuff is manufactured to be addictive. ;-)

Here are a few transition articles that you might find helpful...

http://www.catinfo.org/#Transitionin...o_Canned_Food_

http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

http://fnes.org/index.php?option=com...eding&Itemid=3
Hi Auntie Crazy

I got my from information from these links, which I originally got from this site. Hope it helps...Wait a minute, it looks like some of our links are the same?


http://www.catinfo.org/index.htm#Tra...o_Canned_Food_

http://www.catinfo.org/#My_Cat_is_Do...ne_on_Dry_Food

http://www.catnutrition.org/index.php
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaynne
Whatever you do, you must make the switch very, *very* *VERY* SLOWLY. While it is true that cats are carnivores meant to eat raw food, you can't just stick it in front of them and expect them to eat it.

...Even if your cats *loved* the raw and immediately took to it, you can be sure that within a few days they would be sick and throwing it up. Not because it's not good for them, but because their digestive system needs time to adapt...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy
Hi, Shanynne!

If you don't mind, can you tell me what you base this statement on or where you found this info? I've never heard such a thing, nor have I encountered anyone who has had this kind of a problem.
I've seen it stated on several sites that *some* cats and dogs may have intestinal or stomach upset when first transitioned to raw. For that reason some people recommend the use of some combination of prebiotics/probiotics and digestive enzymes in the early stages of the transition.

It certainly is not a universal truth that *all* cats will experience the upset. I switched all 3 of mine "cold turkey" and none of them had a problem.
post #14 of 16
Ah, I see, it's one of those - "a few cats may have issues with...." cautions.

None of mine have ever evidenced any digestive upsets, with the sole exception of Rachel tossing up beef chunks that she didn't cut down small enough the first time 'round, nor have I ever heard of anyone with this type of complaint, which is why I was so thrown by the warning.

KatKisses, that's great! It's funny when they figure out just how good raw food is.

Shanosaurus, it's all about transitioning in the cat's time. They can be difficult, for sure. I have one kitty, Rachel, for whom I have to sprinkle crumbled treats (Whole Life's freeze-dried chicken) over the raw food probably once a week to tempt her to eat what she gobbled down happily the day before. Thank goodness the treats have never failed to get her interested in the food (well, except for the mice, but that's a different story).

Inhale deeply...., now let it out, repeat as necessary. It may take time to transition that last cat, but it is very much worth it. <<<hugs>>>
post #15 of 16
I had all intentions of feeding Blossom raw when she was 1st weaned. I used to cut off the chicken meat off wings etc I had for the dogs. Laziness over took & she mostly eats kibble/wet food. Over time I hardly ever gave her raw & she didn't seem as interested in it as she did as a baby.

Anyway over the last couple of weeks she has stollen chicken wings/necks I had defrosting in the sink for the dogs so I thought it a good time to try her on raw again. It didn't take her long to devour a raw chicken wing one night & a raw chicken neck a few nights later.

I started again to try the raw because as she's now 3 y/o her teeth are slighty yellow. Time for a good chew on some raw bones.

I have heard that if you warm the raw meat/bones slightly it enhances the aroma of it & she may become more interested in it. While giving Blossom her raw bones I lock her in the bathroom so she can't get away from the food. I have found this helps.
post #16 of 16
What warming methods do you use, Kalikat?
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