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Old 02-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with Lucky and his raw diet!

Lucky is a 7 year old tuxedo cat. He has been having some teeth issues (He had 2 pulled last year) as well as serious urinary tract issues. I almost lost him last year due to that. I feel so guilty, I was moving across the state and didn't notice how bad he was until he couldn't get off the floor. He has been on RX UT kibble and before that it was whatever is cheapest as we were really struggling with my ex smoking and drinking away our money. Anyways I learned about Raw feeding from Canadiancomforts andLibraryChick but I still have a ton of questions, concerns and such. I have read a BUNCH of internet articles already but am not finding the answers I need. Here's the back ground so far.

Gave lucky 2oz of raw boneless skinless chicken breast for dinner on Monday night for the first time as a test to see if he would eat it.

Tuesday breakfast: gave him some more chicken breast since I had no other meat as we don't eat it.

Tuesday lunch: cut up some beef round stakes and some pork short ribs. Didn't eat it so I ground it up a little in my food processor. Didn't eat it so I mixed it up with a little canned cat food. He licked at it a little.

Tuesday Dinner: gave him some of the ground up stuff and some canned cat food and wouldn't eat it.

Wed breakfast: same thing ground stuff and canned cat food. Wouldn't eat it.

Wed lunch: ground stuff with chicken baby food. He licked off some of the baby food.

Wed dinner (just now): large chunks of boneless, skinnless chicken breast he gobbled up.

He has always eaten my guinea pigs hay and his cardboard cat scratcher and has continued doing it these last few days except he threw up some water and hay today which he has only done 2-3 times in his life. He also acts SOO hungry. Anytime I move towards the kitchen he gets up and freaks out when I go in the kitchen giving me the eyes and face.

He'll eat canned cat food, infant baby meats, canned tuna and any fish/seafood cooked (I've never tried raw) and boneless skinless chicken breasts. How do I get him to eat anything else???







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Old 02-02-2012, 07:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok, let's back up a bit. What was his normal food before you changed it Monday night? The best way to change a cat's diet is gradually, not instantly. Instant change can cause digestive problems as well as outright refusal to eat.

Assuming that Lucky has been eating canned food, probably the best way to get him to eat a raw diet is either by mixing in a bit of small, chunked up raw into his canned or by offering him some small pieces of raw as an appetizer right before giving him his canned food.

You say he's eaten raw chicken breast, but refused ground pork bones mixed with, sorry I can't remember what you mixed it with. Chicken is often offered as the first meat when converting cat's to a raw diet. The ground pork bones might be a bit to much in the bone department.

Keep in mind the all cats do not like all meat, just like people sometimes don't like something. Why don't you stick with poultry for a bit. Get some chicken thighs, gizzards, hearts, and liver to expand his horizons a bit. Also look for some turkey. Stick with boneless meat for a week or so, Lucky will be ok without bone for that time period, especially if he is still getting some canned food. Make sure that any meat you buy is not enhanced, but natural.

When you think that he's getting used to raw, you can try some chicken wings or a game hen for bone, although you might have to smash up the bones a bit for him at first. You can also try some other meat, like beef, pork, lamb, and rabbit if you can find it. If you can find quail, they have very small bones than cats can easily crunch through. Avoid bones from large animals like pigs, sheep, and beef, they are too large for cats and even ground up the pieces can be too large.

All the best!
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Since Lucky isn't starting on raw as a kitten, it would be a better idea to go simple and slow as beckyhiker says.

Start on only one protein. Chicken is easy to digest, not too exotic, easily obtainable. No bones at this point, either you debone it or use chicken breast. Hide bits in his usual food for a week or two. There really is no hurry and it's better safe than sorry.

After that, you can start organs. remember, the ratios are meat 80%, bone 10%, liver 5%, other secreting organs 5%. Heart is counted as meat. I don't measure precisely since I feed a 50% canned and 50% raw diet. You might want to keep one of his meals canned during the transition and also you will have to make a decision if you want him 100% raw or 50% or whatever.

For bones, I don't try anything bigger than quail which I don't have to smash. Your choice. Some people have no probs feeding chicken ribs and chicken wing tips.

For my 10lb cat, a typical day at the moment is:

Breakfast: 2.6 oz canned, variation between venison, duck, lamb, chicken
Dinner: 1.7oz quail with bones and innards, chicken or beef, sometimes 1/2 a chicken heart
Snack: 0.5oz Nature's variety instinct raw in whatever meat I buy. This time it's bison.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll try to answer questions:

As I posted in my first one Lucky has been on a RX UT kibble food since his UTI last year. I heard it was best to switch cold turkey on one website as kibble digests differently and the change between raw and kibble will cause stomach issues? I don't know this is all new to me and we don't eat much meat so I really don't know much about them. I had a very hard time getting the meat I did get and trying to cut/grind it for him. We live in the middle of no where with a tiny meat and grocery store and a super walmart. Thats it for like 60 miles to the next biggest city. They have very few meats other than very expensive stew/roast/steaks at over $6/lb and ground meats. That was what I could find. I did find chicken organ parts but he refuses them.

So, I should stick with chicken/poultry for a little while? I can try that. I'll keep my eye out for other birds. I'll mix some canned cat food with some raw without bones for a while. He did eat the ground up raw and some cannned this morning. He didn't touch his lunch which was the same. Do you think feeding him 3 times a day is too much? He used to get about 3/4 of a cup of kibble because he is a little bit chubby. Do you think I should just feed him 2 meals or keep trying 3?
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi onetwo. Sorry that I missed that you were feeding Lucky kibble. What is generally recommended for kibble only fed cats is that the cat be converted to canned first and then converted to raw. This is discussed on catinfo.org.

There are several problems with feeding kibble and raw. The main issue is that kibble, because of it's lack of moisture and high carbohydrate content, moves very slowly through the feline digestive tract. This slow moving mass of food blocks subsequently fed raw and any bacteria on it from moving quickly through like it normally would. The bacteria are then given time to start multiplying. Additionally, constant feeding of kibble increases the pH of the digestive tract. It is the low, acidic, pH that kills bacteria. Raising the pH gives bacteria a more hospitable environment to inhabit.

Good luck finding meat.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting! Thanks for the info.

Lucky never had an issue eating canned food his vet recommended last year I stop giving it because of his teeth getting so decayed! He is doing much better today. I am mixing the canned and some munched raw meat from yesterday and he has been eating most of it except some harder bits of bone and meat.

I have read a bunch of stuff on it but I don't have a lot of time or ability to read dozens and dozens of pages in one sitting. I have Chronic migrains and reading on the comp triggers them. I also am a divorced mom to a 3 year old and 6 year old boy so not much time in general. Haha

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We adopted a kitten on Friday. I've been looking for one to keep Lucky company for a few months now. I spotted one at a shelter website Wed and went to look at them on Fri and I loved him! So he is taking to the raw diet VERY well. Lucky still is only licking at the wet food and not touching the small chunks of raw. Should I blend the raw and mix it with the cat food AND maybe put in a few of the raw chunks?

Jiji is the new kitten and he even chews on the bones a bit. He also is eating all Lucky's left over meat bits. Do I need to worry about the kitten (2-3 months old) eating too much? Should I feed them in separate rooms? I've also started only feeding 2 meals 12 hours apart since Lucky doesn't touch his Lunch meal at all and 1/2 the time we arn't even home for lunch and cannot be here for lunch.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have read that it's usually recommended to feed cats at least three times a day, especially when you're dealing with younger kittens. I gave two daily feedings a try, and had problems with my older cat vomiting (which happens because the cat's highly acidic stomach can get upset when it goes too long with out food). That doesn't mean you have to rush home during your lunch hour to feed your cats three times a day - I feed mine in the morning around 8am, then again in the evening around 5-6pm (or as soon as you get home from work), and one last time right before I go to bed. I think that 12 hours is really a long time for a kitten to be going with out any food.

I also had problems getting my older cat to actually chew her raw, and not just lick all the wet food around it. There were a few things I did to help her get used to chewing her food. First thing was to switch her from pate style canned food to chunks in gravy (I used Weruva, Wellness pouches, and Tikicat canned food because that's what Sassy would eat). Having her eat chunky food got her used to the idea that she was going to have to chew at every meal. At first she wasn't thrilled with all this extra work, but she got used to it

Plus when it came to mixing raw in she HAD to chew, so she wasn't just licking all the wet and leaving all the raw. I tried mixing with pate food for a long time, but switching to chunky food was what actually got some of the raw in her. So I just thought I'd mention it.

When I finally started giving her full raw meals I was stilling giving her canned in the morning. Then in the evening, after she'd gone without food all day so she was nice and hungry, she'd get a meal of JUST raw meat. The first week I did this I actually used a fine cheese grater to turn the raw meat into textured mush. It helped - as did crumbling Temptations over said mush, or dribbling a little tuna juice over it. After about a week of that I was sick of the hassle, so I used kitchen scissors to cut her meat up. It took a long time to get her eating bigger and bigger pieces, but I just kept slowly increasing the size and kept the bribes handy. She still has trouble with bones, so those are cut up a lot smaller - but she's slowly getting better at it. Last bone-in meal there was definitely some actual crunching going on.

And, like you, I had no problems what so ever with transitioning my younger cat. While I was trying to feed Sassy itty bitty pieces of raw beef heart from my fingers, Moxie jumped up on the counter and devoured a huge chunk straight off my cutting board. The first time I offered them a chicken wing each Sassy looked at me like I'd lost my mind, while Moxie had eaten the whole thing in about 30 seconds.

Just keep trying different things, and hopefully Lucky will soon get the idea. But really, I think you should probably add another meal in there, for your younger cat especially. Kittens need a lot more food than adults. I'm not sure exactly how much (me, I'd be inclined to just let him eat until full), but hopefully someone else on here with more experience can help you there. Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I work/run errands and such at very weird times all through the week. I never know if I'm going to be home at certain times of the day/week. Between helping take care of 3 families households and my own being divorced single mom of a 3 year old and a 6 year old, kids school, activies etc... The ONLY time I can guarantee I'll be home 7 days a week is 7am and 7pm which is when I have been feeding them these last 2 days. When I have fed an afternoon meal he just snubbed it and it was wasted. They arn't having any stomach issues lately and they don't seem to be starving. Lucky is actually playing with the kids and his toys again. He hasn't done that too much since he kitty buddy left us almost 2 years ago...
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well it has been almost a year and Lucky acts like a kitten again. He has lost 5 lbs too and is finally in the healthy weight range. We also got a kitten to help him and that really got him into eating his raw meat. It also helped with getting his lazy butt off the couch because the other cat (Gigi) harasses him to play all the time! Also Lucky has gone almost 15 months with out a UTI issue. Its been nearly 4 years of vet checks every few months for UTI's before the raw meat diet! Its been a god send for us and my cats! Thanks for all the help and info! You all probably saved my cats life!
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