A bit confused and stressed. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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A bit confused and stressed.

I really hope I can get some help.

Here's my deal.

My parents and I have 5 cats all together; Frodo (7-9y/o fat, female), Yuna (2y/o thinner built female), Bubba (1y/o Huge/kinda fat, male. Son of Yuna), Winnie (1-2y/o female) and Noodle (4-5 months, female). We have dogs as well but I digress since this is a cat forum.

We've been attempting to make the switch to a complete Raw diet for our pets (My mother gave into the idea although she was very skeptical. ) after I'd been researching about how crappy kibble can be. We've found that it IS indeed a lot cheaper BUT we're having issues switching our cats (the dogs were a breeze).

I'm getting incredibly stressed with the ordeal seeing as 3 of out 5 cats are incredibly skeptical about eating raw. Frodo will turn her nose up at it unless I've mixed it perfectly with wet cat food, Winnie generally just walks away, sometimes eating a bit if there's cat food in it, Bubba will eat sometimes and sometimes not. Yuna and Noodle are actually eating with general ease. I feel like I want to just give up and give them their freaking crappy cat food but then my efforts to switch them over would be all for naught. I get stressed over the fact that they might not be getting the proper nutrients because they're so picky. I just need a little reassurance, advice and help.

Here's a run down of the foods we have at our disposal:
120lbs of whole ground chicken carcasses
3-4 Turkey necks
1-2 Turkey wings
An abundant amount of Chicken Hearts and gizzards
Beef Liver and chicken liver
Beef Kidney


What else do I need? How do I switch the reluctant cats over? What do I do if they still refuse? Any additional advice would be absolutely fantastic.

I love my cats to death (despite the pain they inflict on me) and it would kill me to know that I'm not doing the best I can for them.

I'd like to add that the reluctant cats are all eating small amounts and that they're not completely going without food.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:29 AM
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Re: A bit confused and stressed.

We switched four cats (13y/o fat boy, 4 y/o FAT girl, two 1y/o cats).

Let me just tell you, it took us EIGHT MONTHS to switch everyone to raw only. So don't feel rushed. It will take a while.

We did it this way:

Week 1-2 - tsp or less or ground raw in canned.
Week 3-4 - 2 tsp of ground raw in canned
Week 5-6 - 3 tsp of ground raw in canned
Etc, etc.

If the cats turn their noses up at the 2tsp on week three, go an extra week with only ONE tsp in.. don't force anyone to eat it. The ones who already LIKE the raw can have some chopped up heart along side or mixed in, too. BUT, we went by the slowest member to switch and no faster than him for everyone.

At one point, we were at a hunk of ground raw and a smear of wet. Then we just stopped giving wet completely, and started to transistion them all to CHUNKS instead of the ground they had previously been getting. Now they'll eat ribs and wings, etc no problems.

Goodluck! It is possible, especially if I can get a 13 year old who until the kittens came that year had only ever eaten DRY FOOD (and Iams to boot!) to switch over in just under a year.

Kelly

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:42 AM
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Re: A bit confused and stressed.

My cats go crazy for lamb heart! Clover finally decided that I wasn't trying to kill her when i gave her lamb heart. Clover was fed Purina indoor cat chow all her life so i think that if she managed to switch over other cats fed junk like she was can.

Have you tried lamb heart?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: A bit confused and stressed.

I haven't tried it because I haven't been able to find any ):
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: A bit confused and stressed.

Tonight we tried again.

Partial wet food, a little bit of chopped liver and ground whole chicken carcass. They all ate except for Frodo, the old fat cat. It's like three strikes and I'm out. If I don't get it right in time, She's not interested.

An hour later when all the cats had eaten and she was still lingering around, I made her another small batch of Wetfood/raw. She ate a TINY bit and was done. She's so bloody difficult. She was like this even when on normal cat food.

Sometimes I just wanna toss her out the window. She's so difficult.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 04:16 PM
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Re: A bit confused and stressed.

Don't give up! Cats are picky for good reason -- unlike dogs, their GI tracts aren't capable of handling pretty much anything (rotten meat, etc.), so they have to be careful. It takes time -- just realize that and don't rush it. Be sure to read this site:

http://www.rawfedcats.org/

The Practical Guide is esp. helpful.

My cats went from grain-free kibble to grain-free canned to 75% canned/24% ground whole rabbit to 50/50 canned/rabbit to 25/75 canned rabbit, and then to ALL rabbit. That took a few weeks. Then I started offering rabbit chunks (bone-in). They got that a.m. and the ground p.m. It only took them a few days to figure that out--at first they cleaned the meat off and left the bone, but then they started eating the bone, too. Then we tried cornish game hen quarters. Then beef chunks/beef heart/venison chunks. They now eat all these things PLUS pork, whole mice, and whole chicks.

There are 2 issues to be aware of -- first, it's a psychological thing. They're used to eating kibble or canned and the new food is unfamiliar. Second, it's a PHYSICAL thing. My Lincoln had gone 11 years without using his jaws for ANYTHING. The muscles atrophy. It's not only hard to chew bone -- it's hard to chew MEAT! They don't chew kibble or canned at ALL, so they have no way of knowing they can do it. It takes time to develop the muscles. So keep them eating however you have to (adding canned, using ground raw, etc.) but all the while keep offering more complicated food. My cats now know that if I put it on the floor it's FOOD and they will try anything I put down.

Hang in there!
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