Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Re: Figuring Out Bone %
I do raw feeding a little differently than most folks, probably because I'm very sensitive to the constipation issue due to having dealt with several CRF cats who are prone to constipation.
I prefer to feed the 80/10/5/5 proportions (or somewhere thereabouts) every day rather than feeding bone just 3 times a week and organs a couple of times a week like so many other folks do. I don't feed any whole prey like mice or chicks, but I figure the frankenprey I do feed should as closely approximate the prey they would eat daily as possible. Since chicks and rodents contain meat, bones, and organs, I figure that a cat's digestive tract is designed to handle all three elements in the same meal.
I also figure that feeding a lot of bone all at once is going to constipate my cats, and feeding larger chunks of organs are going to make them loose. I don't want to risk causing those sorts of digestive upsets in my cats, so I feed meat, bones, and organs in appropriate proportions every day.
I had the same question you asked about bone proportions, and I decided that the only way to do it was by eyeball and guesstimate - then monitoring stool output. I have found that most of my cats can handle 1/4 chicken neck a day, BUT that comes with a couple of caveats:
1) My cats receive a small amount of kibble for breakfast and a larger raw meal at night. Their total diet is probably around 1/3 kibble, 2/3 raw. If you feed totally raw, your cat can probably handle a bit more than 1/4 chicken neck (or bony equivalent) daily.
2) A few of my cats have constipated on 1/4 chicken neck daily, so I will occasionally skip the neck piece in their raw meal or feed them a smaller neck piece to avoid constipation.
In other words, this is all very individual, both in terms of how you want to handle raw feeding and how your cat's system handles the proportions you are feeding. Flexibility and stool monitoring are the keys to success.