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Raw Diet for a Very Young Kitten

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's been a while since I've posted yet, but I've been trying to do some research on this and haven't had much luck.

So I guess this question would be best answered by a breeder who feeds raw or a foster parent who does.

I've been working at an animal shelter this summer and I guess it was just a matter of time before I fell in love (although I did several times).

The new baby was born July 15th and was abandoned with the shelter without his mom. He really is adorable and I will get pictures up when I bring him home.

Anyway, I want to get him on a raw diet early. He's still on KMR but has also been eating wet canned food at the shelter. I have been trying to do a lot of research on what kind of raw meat to feed to a kitten this young (just 4 weeks). I live in an area with an active agricultural community and I have access to some great stuff (raw milk, buying half a cow, etc)

I've never had a kitten this young so I've been doing a lot of research on what I will need to care for him.

Any info will be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 18
That's great that you want to get the little guy started on raw right away. Kudos to you, Jillie!

Kittens don't eat anything different than adults do, but you will likely have to feed him smaller meals more often and give him verra small pieces, then let him work his way up to handling chunks and bone-in meals.

Good luck!
post #3 of 18
I raw feed my kittens, they start on chicken mince at 4 weeks moving up to small chunks of chicken and beef at 5 weeks.
6 weeks they get larger chunks and I add in lamb, pork, veal and cut up chicken necks in 1/2" pieces. 9-12 weeks they eat the same size meat chunks as the adults, I still cut the necks in half at that age though.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
I raw feed my kittens, they start on chicken mince at 4 weeks moving up to small chunks of chicken and beef at 5 weeks.
6 weeks they get larger chunks and I add in lamb, pork, veal and cut up chicken necks in 1/2" pieces. 9-12 weeks they eat the same size meat chunks as the adults, I still cut the necks in half at that age though.
For those who may not understand what is chicken mince??
post #5 of 18
Mince=ground meat
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to update on Freddie's raw feeding. He's exclusively eating ground meat, turkey and beef so far. I'm planning on graduating him to whole pieces of chicken gizzards soon, and then to meat with a bone, but right now he's only 6 weeks old. Also, from the first day he was given the raw meat, he preferred it over the canned food. I'm so proud of him. I've offered some sweet potato baby food, but he doesn't seem to like it very much. Does anybody have any suggestions on further supplementing his diet?
post #7 of 18
If Freddie's not yet accustomed to eating chunks, you might want to start him off on something easy to chew, like chicken breast; chicken gizzards are just about the toughest piece of meat you could offer him.

Is Freddie eating ONLY ground turkey and beef? If he's on an all-raw diet, he should also be eating organ products and, if not bone itself, then some kind of a bone supplement.

This thread reviews raw-feeding at a fairly high level, but it hits all the most important bits and you might find it helpful: Natural Diet Information Resources.

Good luck!

AC
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
The meat I give him is mixed with Missing Link Feline Formula and occasionally fish oil.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillie View Post
The meat I give him is mixed with Missing Link Feline Formula and occasionally fish oil.
I would suggest writing and asking missing link if there supplement is designed for raw food .... by the ingredients I would say no ... Feline Future is one designed for this use http://www.felinefuture.com/?page_id=26
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillie View Post
The meat I give him is mixed with Missing Link Feline Formula and occasionally fish oil.
So Freddie's not getting any bone or organ products? Not to point too fine a point on it, but that's a profoundly unbalanced diet.

Freddie's menu should be divided into the following percentages:
80% = ounces of meat
10% = ounces of bone
5% = ounces of liver
5% = ounces of non-liver organ (spleen, kidneys, etc.)

You're only offering one of the four components of a balanced raw diet, and that powder isn't sufficient to replace the missing parts. While it's possible (and quite frequently done) to spread the percentages out over a week's time - rather than a day's time - all components of the diet must be fed.

How are your kitty's stools? How long has he been eating 100% raw?
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for pointing that out to me! I have been buying his food at a regular grocery store so I was only buying the meat that was offered as ground/minced. I have a butcher in town so I'm going to go and make a special request to accommodate better do Freddie's diet.
He's been 100% raw fed for a little less than a week now. His stools improved significantly since he stopped eating canned. They are nearly odorless (unless you put your nose to them!) and firm and brown. Before they were much looser and a lighter color, and boy did they stink.
I've read in many places that when starting the raw diet, it's best to transition your cat into the full diet, starting with just ground meat, then adding the organ meat, then full pieces with no bone, then pieces with bone, etc, no?
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillie View Post
Thank you for pointing that out to me! I have been buying his food at a regular grocery store so I was only buying the meat that was offered as ground/minced. I have a butcher in town so I'm going to go and make a special request to accommodate better do Freddie's diet.
He's been 100% raw fed for a little less than a week now. His stools improved significantly since he stopped eating canned. They are nearly odorless (unless you put your nose to them!) and firm and brown. Before they were much looser and a lighter color, and boy did they stink.
I've read in many places that when starting the raw diet, it's best to transition your cat into the full diet, starting with just ground meat, then adding the organ meat, then full pieces with no bone, then pieces with bone, etc, no?
Yes that is a basic intro usually used for an older cat .... With a kitten who is still young enough to be weaning many do how Missmotus does..

As with rule one on this site
1. No online advice can replace direct veterinary intervention. If you suspect that your cat may be ill, please contact your vet immediately. You are welcome to look for advice in the health forum while waiting for that appointment, but never delay proper veterinary care waiting for Internet advice. Remember that cats, and especially kittens, are very adept in keeping pain to themselves and delaying treatment may cause irreversible damage.

while not an immediate issue consult a vet to ensure you are giving the right amount on nutrients
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillie View Post
Thank you for pointing that out to me! I have been buying his food at a regular grocery store so I was only buying the meat that was offered as ground/minced. I have a butcher in town so I'm going to go and make a special request to accommodate better do Freddie's diet.
He's been 100% raw fed for a little less than a week now. His stools improved significantly since he stopped eating canned. They are nearly odorless (unless you put your nose to them!) and firm and brown. Before they were much looser and a lighter color, and boy did they stink.
I've read in many places that when starting the raw diet, it's best to transition your cat into the full diet, starting with just ground meat, then adding the organ meat, then full pieces with no bone, then pieces with bone, etc, no?
You're welcome. It's good it's only been a week and, yep, stool quantity and stinkyness definitely drop when cats are transitioned to a natural diet!

Transitions can be done as you've described, yes, but you want to get your cat on organs and bones as soon as possible. Without bone, your furbaby's stools are going to get really soft really quick. And the nutrients in both bones and organs are important to growing kitties.

Sounds like you're doing your research, though, so major kudos to you! I think you're doing great!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I really do appreciate your expertise. I weighed, measured and portioned so that Freddie's meals now include liver, gizzards and hearts. I left some whole, but he hasn't been able to eat it, though he licks it and is interested. He's just shy of 7 weeks. When do you think that he will be able to eat chunks of raw meat, and then bone?
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
I raw feed my kittens, they start on chicken mince at 4 weeks moving up to small chunks of chicken and beef at 5 weeks.
6 weeks they get larger chunks and I add in lamb, pork, veal and cut up chicken necks in 1/2" pieces. 9-12 weeks they eat the same size meat chunks as the adults, I still cut the necks in half at that age though.
Re read this ... as this is someone who DOES breed and does truly know the feeding regime for a kitten in raw
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sharky, Yeah, I did re-read the whole thread, but I suspect that Freddie may be a little late in development due to his start. I guess what I meant was, how will I know when he will be able to handle each phase of raw feeding. His teeth right now are so tiny, and I just have a really hard time seeing how he will be able to eat any bone. I guess I am probably just being overbearing and a worry wart.

Oh, and I did not miss your last post. The vet I've been going to, for literally my entire life, is a holistic vet. While he offers traditional western medicine, his forte is in the holistic field. I have an appointment soon for Freddie's first check up with him and will be sure to discuss his diet, as I know he will have a lot of great information to share.
post #17 of 18


Glad you have Freddie and bet so is he
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillie View Post
I really do appreciate your expertise. I weighed, measured and portioned so that Freddie's meals now include liver, gizzards and hearts. I left some whole, but he hasn't been able to eat it, though he licks it and is interested. He's just shy of 7 weeks. When do you think that he will be able to eat chunks of raw meat, and then bone?
Cool! Keep in mind that gizzards and hearts are both considered muscle meats and do not count for any of the organ percentages. Also, gizzards are a really, really tough meat and Freddie will have to work hard to eat his gizzard dinners. That's a good thing, though, if he's able to do it.

Progressing is all up to the cat. Just keep trying him on steadily larger pieces; if he can handle it, he's ready, if not, you'll have to step down a bit. As Fredie's owner - and clearly someone who loves him dearly - you'll know when he's ready!

AC
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