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Old 11-09-2012, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Want to go Home Prepared...Confused by contradicting info

Hello everyone! I am new here and searching for knowledge based on practical application, in regard to home prepared feeding. I have 9 full time cats, 7 of which are full time captives. Two are outdoor/indoor.

I currently feed Tractor Supply 4Health dry food. The most noticeable problem the indoor captives have, is a dry and uber-itchy patch, on their rump. Right in front of the tail-base. One kitten has not had a solid poop since she started pooping on her own. Other than that, everyone is outwardly "healthy" looking.

I want to start feeding home prepared meals, but there is SOO MUCH conflicting information that I am bewildered by the whole thing. Some recipes add garlic, others warn that it is toxic. One says "no beef heart", and then I find an ingredient label on a commercial raw cat food that lists that as the primary ingredient. Many home recipes include Taurine....but at WIDELY varying doses in the mix. To top that off, a number of commercial raw cat food ingredient labels don't even list it as a supplement, or ingredient!

I looking for very simple, generalized nutritional requirements, for the average joe cat, that I can prepare at home. That won't be more dangerous than feeding them neon orange kibble from the grocery store.

Recipes or basic principles of feeding that I may not be aware of would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Beef heart is high in taurine and is a good way to get that into a cat's diet. If the commercial raw that doesn't have added taurine is the one with beef heart as the first ingredient, that would explain why they didn't add additional taurine.

I recently added beef heart to my cat's diet. Who advised against it?
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi AdoptAnAngel,

Here is a link to the site that states "best not to use beef heart".
recipes - cat nutrition
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What does your cat's diet currently include?
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How rude of me; hello and welcome, Franklin St. W. ^_^

As for the beef heart, that website doesn't explain why not, but my interpretation is that it was not advised in that recipe because that part of the recipe was meant to be organ meat and for the purposes of raw feeding, beef heart counts as a muscle. I welcome disagreement with my interpretation, though, if anyone has any insight.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe they say not to use beef because a number have cats have an allergy to that protein source?? Im not sure... :/
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There is a lot conflicting information out there, especially for someone just starting off. I spent months reading about raw diets for cats before my cats ever tasted a bite of raw food. The best thing you can do is read everything you can find, and decide what will work for you and your pets. Do you want to do ground raw food (sometimes ground is easier to transition kibble addicts to right away, however it requires you purchase a grinder that can handle bones), or do you want to do franken prey or prey model (which is just chunks of meat and meaty bones following the ratio of 80% meat, 10ish% bone, 5% liver, and 5% some other organ).

I don't personally believe there's a 'right' or 'wrong' way to do a raw diet, it depends on the person/people and cat/s involved. Though I can pretty much guarantee that you're going to see a HUGE difference in your cats when you do start adding raw to their diet. I switched my two cats from poor quality kibble, to better quality kibble to canned and then to raw. I can tell you my older cat (who is 15 now) had amazing results. She's a different, much healthier cat these days.

One thing I don't believe is necessary are veggies in a raw diet. Cat's can't process vegetables, and vegetables have basically no nutritional value for an obligate carnivore. So don't pay any attention to ground recipes that tell you to add broccoli or spinach or garlic (garlic is supposedly toxic in high quantities - I think small quantities are supposed to be ok but I still don't see why cats would need it). Some recipes call for psyllium powder which can help relieve constipation. Maybe that is beneficial to some cats, but if a cat is constipated on a raw diet the first thing you should do is reduce the amount of bone they're getting. 10% bone is too much for some cats and can cause constipation.

The reason you see some ground raw food recipes calling for a taurine supplement is because grinding and freezing can destroy the taurine in meat. Taurine is vital to cats. When you are grinding and then freezing food some people feel more comfortable adding taurine to ensure their cats are getting enough. I feed my cats franken prey, and I don't feel I need to add any supplements to their diet. I do feed plenty of heart (which is high in taurine, as is any hard working muscle like chicken thigh). I do give my cats raw eggs about once a week though, and I know some people add egg yolks to ground raw food.

To you I'd suggest just trying something simple like chicken breast with all your cats. See if their interested in raw meat, and whether they're willing to chew chunks of meat or not. You can also try bones like chicken wings or quail. My older cat took a lot of work to convince her that she could eat bones, but the very first time I plopped a chicken wing in front of my younger cat she completely demolished it without hesitation.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Raw food and home prepared food was always used in my family so I took it for granted. Watching indoor / outdoor cats and ferals, I do think that they will eat some greenery although they are carnivores. For one thing, they will self medicate. Coming from a family of traditional herbalists (illegal now here) I will also use plants in medication for cats - especially purely indoor ones who can't browse.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe this could be of some interest to you. Havent tried it myself personally but I want to when I can find a grinder. Its called Feline Instincts. Its a powder supplement that you can add to any ground meat (without bones). They even have a nice little video and it seems pretty easy but like I said havent tried it myself because I have no grinder. You dont have to add liver to this one either. Its already in there.

Feline Instincts My Natural Premix

Maybe something easy to start out with?? Its probably what Im going to use when I start.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How good of you to consider raw feeding! The information can be overwhelming, so don't analyze too much or you'll be paralyzed into in-action.
KISS: keep it simple simple. You might want to start out with commercial raw. Looks like canned food so it's a good way to transition your cats, especially if they are now eating kibble/dry food. Start out with giving them some raw meat and see how they react.
I feed frankenprey because I didn't want to grind my own meat and can't quite make myself split open a (dead) mouse. But it is a matter of personal choice, time constraints, comfort level.

You mentioned something about one of your cats loosing hair; this could be a sign of an allergy to a specific protein or grain. If that's the case, try grinding meat from the same animal, in other words, chicken, chicken liver, chicken kidney. If your cats don't show improvement in that area, then write back and we'll guide you further.

Last edited by doodlebug; 11-10-2012 at 10:29 PM. Reason: removed link...site violates the forum rules
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