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Old 02-10-2013, 09:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default raw chicken gizzards

i did a lot of nutrition research and finally got a recipe for homemade cat food that includes raw chicken hearts and livers even when the remaining meat is lightly cooked, with bone meal, nutritional yeast and lots of vitamins added in (plus salmon oil and vitamin E).

the liver was kind of a bust, they wouldn't eat the food with it in there, so i had to resort to adding vitamin A and D, but the rest of it was fine. the only thing i've run into is that all i could find at king soopers was foster farms hearts and gizzards. it's not organic i don't think, but they don't put a lot of additives, etc. in it so it's probably the best i can do at the grocery store.

the first time i picked out all the gizzards because i didn't think the cats would go for the gristle. tonight i picked out some hearts and chopped them up a little and gave them to my cats raw. two loved them, one was like, "i think not."

then i was reading on feline-nutrition.org that gizzards are high in taurine, and somewhere else that if your cats will eat gizzards, then give them hearts and liver. my question is: how do you cut all that gristle off? i tried with a knife, ending up taking my gloves off so i wouldn't cut the end of one of my fingers off, and resorted to cutting the gizzards up with my scissors. i'm sure i ruined them but i didn't know what else to use.

i just wondered if anyone else feeds their cats raw gizzards and how they deal with the gristle issue.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't do much to the gizzard. I just wash and cut it up and give it to my cats. You don't have to remove anything from it.
Instead of giving them cold meat just out of the fridge, I add warm water, or put it in ther ziplock bag and run it through warm water. It makes the food somewhat more appetizing.

My cats like anything called "snack" and gizzard or hearts are their fav.

As for liver, you don't have to give them a lot. If they won't eat it, I think cooked liver is fine too. Vitamine A and D are less susceptible to heat.
Usually I find the liver from whole foods market, as I saw somewhere it's better to serve liver from organic chicken, otherwise it can contain much toxins.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks! you mean your cats eat the gristle and all? one of the cats who likes it could probably chew through it, but the other one is almost 16 and missing some teeth. i guess i could try but this batch is already trimmed. i froze it in little 6 oz. containers.

i know liver stores the most toxins of anything in the body. i'm vegan/vegetarian (37 years) so this was a true act of love on my part LOL. since they don't like liver anyway, i'm not going to worry about that too much.

i have my groceries delivered from king soopers so whole foods would be way out of the way for me or else i'd go there just for the hearts. once in awhile i go to alfalfa's and they might have them there, but i'm not really sure. i never noticed any meat but i was never looking for it either.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually, gristle is the part that makes the gizzard good for cats, to exercise their jaw.
You can give it a try next time.
At Whole Foods, they sometimes have the liver sometimes don't, they rarely have chicken hearts, so if you don't have the store nearby, I'd guess you are out of luck.

Most of all, I like giving my cats variety. So, I give them all parts of chicken, rabbit, turkey, sometimes Primal, even can food, just to make sure I round out any deficiency. You probably already know all these... :p

I am not vegetarian but don't like the odd parts of a chicken, it feels weird check out to bunch of liver/gizzard packages at the cashier.
How awkward would that feel for you to hang around and keenly observe the meat section!
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i'll give it a try. i read online (ehow though lol) to cut off the gristle if they're new to raw. i just gave them hearts, about 1 1/2 - 2 each, cut up in small pieces.

speaking of, could that have given diotima bad diarrhea? she had an episode in the bathroom and couldn't make it to the litter box (but she used a wee-wee pad haha). there wasn't much, and she seems fine today. that's the only thing that was different. and she never has the runs. she also never misses the litter box. she's 16 though. i feed them canned, but they've only had a little raw (pet store gave me rad cat samples--$$$$ but it's probably good) once before.

i've been going to the same king soopers since 1983, any checkers left all know me, and the butcher used to be in dairy so when i asked for chicken hearts, he was all, "WHA???????????" scooby doo style. i told him it was for my cats and he said, "i think your cats probably eat better than i do. my wife won't even cook for me."

i'm considering kidneys, tongue and maybe rocky mountain oysters. MAYBE lol. i don't know if i can touch those. i refuse to make kitty chitlins. you have to clean those waaaaaaaaay more than kidneys. i know people eat both, but i'm not going anywhere near intestines. i don't think i'll use tripe either. my neighbors made menudo one day (hot chiles, hominy and tripe and some other stuff) and they burned it. i kid you not, it smelled like they were burning vomit!!! there are just some parts of making cat food that i know i would not be able to do.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd say it's normal that a cat get diarrhea on new food.
In addition, give them Digestive Engyme, especially for your older cat, it's going to help with kidney health.
My young cat used to have occasional diarrhea and it stopped after giving him the engyme supplement. I get them Prozyme Engyme from onlynaturalpetfood.com. It's somewhat expensive but with a big bottle, it lasts forever.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks! i use probiotics for myself, i honestly never really thought about giving them to my cats but it makes sense.

i saw on a blog where a woman uses dr. goodpet's digestive enzymes, and she said it's odorless and tasteless. it's about 1/2 as expensive as prozyme, unless it's because of the size of containers. there were reviews on amazon for dr. goodpets but not a single one for prozyme. sometimes i start with a cheaper alternative and if that isn't good enough, i'll buy a more expensive version later.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Start with small pieces of gizzard and work up to larger. Don't cut anything off, use all of the gizzard. I have one who can eat a chunk of gizzard one or more inches in diameter, the other two still need their gizzards in smaller pieces, one needs smaller than the other.

Since the packages of chicken gizzards and hearts sold in my grocery stores are all mostly gizzards, with only two or three hearts I have bought some freeze dried raw turkey and duck hearts. On gizzard day they each get a nice chunk of freeze dried (raw) duck or turkey heart too. Very nutritious, and they love them!
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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How do you "teach" the cats to chew the gizzards? I feed supplemented ground raw with a little canned as the snack. Since this does nothing for their teeth, I thought I'd try gizzards as the snack. The pieces were 1 to 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide, depending on the piece. Two of my cats sucked down the meat with no chewing at all. So no benefit to keep the teeth clean, and a big piece of meat sitting in their stomach.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How do you teach them to chew gizzards: good question... maybe a little at a time. Or, mix it with another food? Do you also feed bone?
I didn't know gizzards had a lot of taurine; I know hearts (all kinds) do.
Digestive Engyme isn't necessarily the same as probiotics, especially if it is pre-digestive. Just check the description carefully.
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