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-   -   Question about introducing raw food diet for cats (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=82411)

tezster October 3rd, 2012 01:48 PM

Question about introducing raw food diet for cats
 
[URL="http://www.rawfedcats.org/nogrinders.htm"]http://www.rawfedcats.org/nogrinders.htm[/URL]

I'd like some opinions on how members here feel about the information provided in the link above? I'm considering supplementing Newt's diet with raw food. Is grinding/mixing ideal? Or can I actually feed her raw chunks of meat with the bone intact?

This is just a hunch on my part, but judging by how my cat is mesmerized at what I'm doing whenever I'm cooking (especially when I'm handling raw meat), I have a feeling that cat will absolutely love a raw food diet.

There's so much to learn about pet care once you begin delving down past the basics that's it's really quite a daunting learning curve.

Love4himies October 3rd, 2012 02:09 PM

I do agree with feeding unground food (better for their teeth), but do grind mine because my Puddles only licks her food (typical for a himalayan) and Sweet Pea has had pretty much all her molars pulled. You do have to be careful of the bones you are feeding your cat as the bones have to be typical in the size of what their prey would be like in the wild. The other advantage of grinding is that all the organs get ground together so the cats can't pick & choose what they eat and it will give peace of mind they are getting a balanced diet.

When I first got Rose (she was feral for her first 3 years), I would bring her down chicken breast bones with quite a bit of meat on it and she would take it under the bed and chomp away at it.

They are very good at regurgitating when a piece of meat is still too large :yuck:. Even my young fosters were eating smaller bone chunks at 8 weeks old.

I have found that it is the tendons & ligaments that the cats have a harder time chomping through.

Good luck!

Reg October 3rd, 2012 10:56 PM

Hi:

I'm in agreement with L4H when it comes to the meat, it is better to have it in chunks than what is ground-up. The raw chunky meat helps to exercise the jaw as well as to keep the gums and teeth in good shape. And my crew seems to think that it tastes a lot better chunky than ground, there has been different times that I have ground meat and put down alongside with chunks of meat, and they would opt for the chunky meet before they touch the ground meat. Ideally the raw food made with the ground bone is the best way to go but sometimes you're better off when you're starting out just to keep it simple. Until you've had time to study the situation and see how you want to handle it.

I have also supplemented the raw food with kibble and that has also worked well. The raw meat will help to balance the pH of the urine, lessening the chance of crystals or urinary tract problems so this can be a plus.

There are a couple of recipes on the holisticat website that might be of interest to you. One is for chunk pork, and the other is a boneless no grind recipe. I use the pork recipe myself. The cats seem to prefer the pork over anything else, and I'd normally buy a leg of pork rather than loin. Its fat content is a little higher.

[url]http://www.holisticat.com/well-fed/[/url]

Do you have a butcher shop near you? if you have this would be a way to go in regards to bones and fresh ground meat, as well as meat cut the way you want it, and it's a good place to pick up chicken necks and backs for the cat to chew on, and they usually have a good selection of hearts and livers as well.

tezster October 4th, 2012 09:03 AM

Thanks for the feedback, L4H and Reg :)

Regarding the size of the bones being fed to a cat, does that mean they have to be smaller or larger? Would it be ok, for example, for me to feed them a chicken breast or thigh cut up into smaller pieces? What would constitute a choking hazard?

And as a matter of fact, there happens to be a Halal butcher shop within walking distance from where I live.

Love4himies October 4th, 2012 11:32 AM

I've never given my cats a leg bone, just the rib bones and it would be the whole rib. I have found that my cats move the bones to the side of their mouth to use the molars to cut through the bone. Small pieces bone that they can't maneuver to the side may be a choking hazard.

Reg October 5th, 2012 12:05 AM

I have only used thighbones after they've been ground a couple of times then I've mixed it in with the chicken. I avoid the thigh and leg bones due to the choking hazards. I prefer the softer bones, like the breast, backs, and chicken necks. I'll pick up a half a dozen chicken necks at the butcher shop, take them home and cut them either in half or thirds depending on their size and wrap them up tight in Saran wrap and put them in the freezer. I'll keep a couple pieces in the frig for treats, and when it comes time for the treat i'll set them in a bowl of hot water to heat them up to body temperature before giving them to the cats. Don't use a microwave to thaw out or heat raw food ever.

tezster October 5th, 2012 07:30 PM

Update! I fed Newt a few small pieces of chopped porked ribs as a test - she loved it! Practically ignoring the canned food. But, she drags the meat from the food mat onto the floor when she eating it, and when the kittens get close, she growls (like a dog) and hisses at them, at which point the kittens beat a hasty retreat. Seems a little strange to me as they all get along when eating canned food and kibble.

How do I get Newt to share the raw meat? The kittens are usually pretty daring when playing with mom and will pounce and annoy her to no end, but her reaction with the raw meat seems to have sent a pretty strong message to the kittens, and they didn't go anywhere near her.

Love4himies October 6th, 2012 07:00 AM

Pork is Jasper's favourite meat.

I would give each kitten some raw while momma is eating hers, keeps everybody happy.

Reg October 6th, 2012 11:03 PM

Our cats favour pork over other meats, same as L4H cats. It's a more mellow flavoured meat and that makes it a better meat to start feeding raw. Something else you might think of doing is using the meat as a daily treat and changing the type of meat from time to time to get them used to other types of meat. This is something you should keep doing. If you don't keep it up, and you let it slip for a prolonged period of time it could make it difficult to get them started back on the raw food diet down the road if you intend on going in that direction.


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