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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Succes with raw food diet!

Ok, so I don't actually have Tigger on the RFD yet but I've got all the amounts, costs and meats sorted out. I spent all yesterday up until 5am and today, working it all out. I figured if I feed Tigger on just chicken legs, wings and pig liver then it will cost me 8p a day to feed her! I worked it all out and showed my parents(they didn't believe me) and they agreed to get Tigger on it(they pay for Tigger's food but I will be paying for the kitten). Im just so excited and relieved that I worked it all out and that it's actually possible! Obviously, I won't be able to feed her on just chicken legs, wings and liver all the time, so I'm going to look round the butchers and see if I can get some organs and other meats. I'm confident we could have Tigger on 100% raw food by the time the kitten comes. We gave her some leftover chicken breast today and she gobbled it all up, she LOVES it!

My only concern is that she has pretty bad teeth and my parents won't take her to get them checked out. Is it possible that her teeth could improve on this(shes 11 years) or would the bones damage her teeth further? Should I keep smashing the bones with a hammer for her? Should I smash the bones for the kitten? We weighed her today too and she weighs 8 pounds, is that normal for her age? I thought it was really low..

Also, when the diet calls for 10% bones, is that pure bones or RMB? For instance, if I feed her chicken legs, would half contribute to the 80% meat and the other half to the 10% bones?

Thanks for all your help

Danielle
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 12:53 PM
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

I'm glad she likes it and your parents are going to let you do it. Don't forget that kidney or some other secreting organ must be a main part of the diet as well. Look for meats on sale so that you can get more variety.

As far as teeth go, if her teeth hurt she may have a lot of trouble eating raw, she might need a cleaning first. when is the last time she went to the vet? What did they say about her teeth? If her teeth are not sore then the raw may help a good amount but I doubt it will completely fix the problem. It's possible she has rotten teeth or gum disease which the raw will not help at all. During the transition you can smash the bones and if she does well start leaving them whole and see how she does. With the kitten you probably do not need to smash the bones, just make sure you use ones that are of an appropriate size (chicken ribs-you can but whole chickens, cornish hens or chicken breasts with ribs still attached, or most bones from cornish hens).

Older cats do tend to loose weight, not all do though and I'm not 100% sure why. Perhaps some eat less because they get sore teeth but I think a lot of it has to do with the muscles atrophying so the cat looses most of her muscle mass. Feeding a high protein food and exercising the cat will help to keep muscles healthy. Also make sure you keep her mind active with playing and even some simple training. The raw might activate the mind more too because they have to work harder eating it. her jaws might be very weak at this point as well because she has been eating easy food for so long. The transition might take longer for that reason.
To tell whether or not the cat is the proper weight you need to feel her and look at her. You need to be able to feel ribs but should not be able to see them. You should not be able to see the spine or hips bones but should be able to feel them.

10% bones means pure bone with no meat. Obviously you can only feed bone with meat on it so you kinda have to guess the weight of the actual bone.

Did you say before that you are getting the kitten at 6 weeks old? Keep in mind that is VERY, VERY young, way too young for any breeder to let a kitten go. Most wait until 10-12 weeks, 8 weeks is an absolute minimum. Is there a reason this kitten is coming so early? He may be freshly weaned when you get him and might have trouble with starting the raw, you might need to start feeding some wet food as well until he is strong enough to handle all the elements of the raw food.

Good luck with the transition!!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

Well, she doesn't seem in pain, she's a happy kitty most of the time, she just has bad breath and drools sometimes, I checked her teeth and her gums and she didn't seem like she was in pain then either, she was just irritated that I was poking my finger in her mouth, she usually doesn't let me do much to her apart from stroke her or pick her up. Her teeth were a really bad colour, like browny coloured. The times she's eaten raw chicken she hasn't had a problem or seemed in pain. If only I could ask her

She's only ever been to the vets before, when she got spayed. I think we got her done asap and I was only around 8 years old then so even if her teeth were a problem I wouldn't have known. She's definately not that thin that you can see her ribs but I've always thought she looked slender with a little bit of a podge when she's just eaten. I guess I just thought cats weighed more in general.

I know 6 weeks is too early, I thought this myself, I actually booked an appointment for vaccs the day I got her until I found out I was getting her at 6 weeks. I'd already put down the deposit for her and all her siblings would be going at 6 weeks, so I didn't think anything could be changed. It would be alot more convenient for me aswell as the kitten, if she was coming at 8 weeks or more as she's going to have to stay in the back bedroom until she is old enough to have vaccs(Tigger isn't vacced). I've been wondering alot about feeding her raw at 6 weeks, how long do you think I should wait before starting her on the raw?

Thanks
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 05:55 PM
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

You can introduce it right away, in fact you should, I just would not be confident that she'd be really good at eating it yet because it's a lot of chewing for little teeth and a little mouth. So I would perhaps try a raw meal everyday and then make the other meal/s wet food until you see her being able to chew through bones. Once she can do that then there is no problem going 100% raw. Don't hesitate to get her eating raw meat though, the sooner she learns that it is food the better.

I know we have a member here who did switch a young kitten, I'll see how early her kitten was able to handle bones...although I think she feeds whole prey and mouse bones are probably easier than chicken bones.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

Oh ok then

I think I know who you mean, I did pm someone earlier about it, her kitty is called Jonah but she's not on at the moment.

I feed my corn snake rat weaners so I guess I could try her with some of them and see how she handles it and then try her on chicken bone. I don't want to be feeding her too many bc they are quite expensive! They're 1.15 each from the pet shop One as a treat every now and then won't burn a hole in my pocket though

Thanks for the help
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 12:39 PM
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkWhiskers
Ok, so I don't actually have Tigger on the RFD yet but I've got all the amounts, costs and meats sorted out. I spent all yesterday up until 5am and today, working it all out. I figured if I feed Tigger on just chicken legs, wings and pig liver then it will cost me 8p a day to feed her! I worked it all out and showed my parents(they didn't believe me) and they agreed to get Tigger on it(they pay for Tigger's food but I will be paying for the kitten). Im just so excited and relieved that I worked it all out and that it's actually possible! Obviously, I won't be able to feed her on just chicken legs, wings and liver all the time, so I'm going to look round the butchers and see if I can get some organs and other meats.
Just remember that you need to shoot for 80-85% meat, 5-10% bone, and 10% organ (half of which must be liver). That is a LOT OF MEAT and NOT THAT MUCH BONE. And you will not be able to hit those numbers using primarily bone-in chicken, which is more like 30-40% bone for the parts you mentioned. You need to find a good meatymeat source. Cheap-but-good meatymeat includes heart (beef, pork, etc.), which is fed as MEAT, not organ; chicken gizzards (again, fed as meat); beef or pork "trim" (which is the part the butcher cuts off and may discard--if you can hook up w/ a butcher who will save that stuff for you, you'll be golden!).

And you need another organ, other than liver -- kidney, brains, eyes, pancreas, etc. all qualify.

I responded to your PM about the kitten -- do try to not bring a kitten home at 6 weeks -- kittens need to stay w/ the litter until at least 8 weeks (10-12 is better). Starting out on pinky mice is fine but you must move off them ASAP as immature members of any species contain less nutrition. There are mail-order suppliers of frozen mice in the UK as there are in the US -- find them and you'll save a LOT of money.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

Thanks hoofmaiden, you're a star

I was going to give them just meat/heart for breakfast everyday and then rotate the RMB and rest of the meat and organs to different days. I didn't mean I was just going to give them chicken legs and wings So, if I give chicken legs or wings I should divide the amount(weight) I give them by 30%, to find out how much bone they've had in total?

I'll check out the mail-order mice too, save some more money!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 06:39 PM
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Re: Succes with raw food diet!

Chicken leg and thigh bones are likely going to be too tough for either of your cats, especially to start with. Chicken wings are 48% bone, 52% meat (per the USDA Nutrient Database. That should help you with the calculations.
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