Questions about going to raw diet - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about going to raw diet

I have been interested in getting the cats onto raw diets but have held off due to a severe lack of time with university and working nights. I was at the pet store today looking for a food that had no poultry or fish (kitty may have allergies) and noticed they started stocking raw foods by a company called Home made 4 Life. I thought I would give it a try so i took a package home with me. I mixed a little in with the regular canned food and the 1 year old gobbled it right up. My 4 year old, sniffed it, looked at me, turned his back to the dish and sat there (I swear i heard a little "hmph!") and he wouldn't touch it.

So....I have 2 questions....

1) Does anyone have any tricks that might work in getting the 4 year old to try the raw food? He loves canned food but i put just the smallest amount of raw in with it and he wont touch it.

2) I want to make sure this new raw food that i bought is nutritionally good for them before going full force into this switch so i have the ingredients listed as follows...
Duck and duck bone, duck and giblets (duck heart, duck liver and duck gizzard), mustard greens,turnip greens,green beans, alphalfa sprouts,papaya, cranberry,sunflower seeds, almond meal, walnut meal, grapefruit seed extract.
Protien min 16%
fat 4%
fiber 1%
moisture 75%

Should I be adding supplements to this or would they be getting what they need from it well enough?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 06:51 PM
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Re: Questions about going to raw diet

Hi there, i dont know much about raw food, so cant help you much there.....

but you can try a more gradual mixing of the foods to get kitty used to it. like starting with a VERY small amount of the new food mixed into the food the kitty likes.... then after you find a mixture kitty will accept, slowly start putting more and more of the new food in the mixture over the course of a week, or two weeks....depending on how picky kitty is. I know there are some charts/spreadsheets out there that have the whole food change down to a science. if you google it, you can probably find a very detailed explanation of it.

actually, im POSITIVE someone....... possibly multiple people on here can give you an extremely specific break down of amounts/time. with all the people on here who have 5 to 15 cats they are taking care of at any given moment, there are some serious cat-scientists who have whatever answer you desire!

i dont know if its because both my kittens are under 5 months old, or just not picky. but when i changed thier food, they didnt even seem to notice. put a completly different type of food out, even smelled drastically different to ME....they gobbled it right up!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 11:34 PM
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Re: Questions about going to raw diet

I would try putting a few small pieces of one type of protein on a plate. Offer it with dinner, and see how interested they are.

Now, I mean putting like 5-6 pieces that are approx. 1/2 inch pieces of something like chicken on a big plate and leaving it down. If you are concerned that your younger kitty would steal it all (which I would think likely, lol) you could either add more pieces occasionally and let jealousy do it's thing, or lock the younger kitty up.

Another trick I used was leaving a plate of chicken pieces on the table, where they aren't allowed, and acting like they couldn't have it. I don't know that it's only my cats that like forbidden things better, but it got my oldest girl (5 years) to try it.

You could feed that mix, but IMO the veggies and greens are unnecessary. I feed my 4 just raw meat, and there's no issues with any of them, not to mention they have no interest in it!
It's fine for cats to just eat meat, and better for them if it's muscle/bone chunks rather than ground meat. The muscle helps keep their teeth clean, and the bone scratches the teeth clean. Mine also like whole chunks MUCH better than ground. To the point that if I feed ground 3, or even 2, days in a row they stop finishing their meals!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions about going to raw diet

Well I had a bit more success today with my older guy. He didn't want anything to do with his breakfast this morning so instead of caving and giving the usual I just took it away. I tried again before i left for work tonight at 10 pm and i guess he was hungry enough to give it a go and he cleaned the plate. Hopefully this keeps up.
I am iffy about the veggies in the food too. I know vitamin and mineral wise, it does have benfits but I am also looking into another company that makes raw diets so we shall see which one looks better for them.

Thanks for the info!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 06:08 PM
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Re: Questions about going to raw diet

I agree about the fruits and veggies. Cats don't need them and aren't physiologically designed to utilize them. If you're going to use a pre-made raw diet, stick with one with as high a proportion of real animal parts as possible.

When I transitioned my cats to raw, it was rough going for a while. Some started eating raw chicken right away, while others wouldn't eat it to save their lives. What worked for me was to keep offering different types of meats and organs in small, bite-sized pieces. One of my last hold-outs wouldn't touch any type of meat until I served her venison. She went NUTS for venison, and after finally taking her first taste of raw meat, she decided she would then eat ANY raw meat I put in front of her ... including all of the meats she had rejected before.

They all have their preferences. Most of them love venison. Some love pork nearly as much. The other meats are enjoyed by some and ignored by others. A few of the cats will chew on larger pieces of meat, but most of mine prefer their meat cut into bite-sized pieces. Most of mine much prefer pieces over ground meat. It's all very individual, though, and sometimes even the individual's preferences change over time. It can be frustrating trying to keep up with all the fussy feline feasters.

Even so, there is something so satisfying about hearing the cats crunching away on their chicken neck pieces (though some of them won't crunch bones and insist that I pulverize the pieces with a hammer before they'll eat them).

So if your older guy suddenly decides he won't eat the raw again, don't be surprised. Offer him some variety and see if you can keep his interest piqued.

Good luck!

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 08:26 PM
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Re: Questions about going to raw diet

A trick I learned when I transitioned mine to raw (and still use when someone suddenly balks at dinner-time) - crumble some Whole Life Freeze-dried 100% meat treats over the food. I've had really good luck using this. In fact, I've yet to have a cat refuse to eat something after I sprinkled the Whole Life treats over it.

It's an expensive item, but well worth it.

And Laurief, I echo your satisfaction. Don't know exactly why, but darned if I don't get all puffed-up and happy when I see my five chowing down on a hunk of liver or breaking down some rib bones. Just makes me want to go hug someone.

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