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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking about going raw...

I think you guys see these types of threads all the time, but I'd still like help/suggestions if possible.

I have two almost-10-month-old cats and one almost-8-month-old. My husband and I are gone at work for 10 hours a day, and they are still kittens with tons of energy, so I had them on EVO dry but recently switched to Wellness Core dry, which is always available to them. I also feed them wet food twice a day (Wellness, Wellness Core, EVO, Halo...I give a variety). They seem to really enjoy chicken and liver flavors best, but also like duck and quail when it's given occasionally.

They're really doing great with this...my little girl had a lot of loose stools when we first got her, and she's better now for the most part (very occasionally there's a loose stool). Their fur is very glossy and they're very healthy-looking...much better than when we first got them. I've heard that raw diets can mean pooping less...and less stinky poop!...so I'd be really excited if that happened, lol.

In a few months (probably after the holiday craziness), I'm thinking about switching them all to raw. I've already joined that raw website that Auntie Crazy posted about, and have read many of the articles there, including the ones about the companies you can order from (commercial raw) that are a little more pricey but convenient for busy people.

I know I'll have to take away their kibble first and get them on canned only...how many ounces a day? Allegro is about 9.5 pounds, Coda is 8 pounds, and Forte is about 8 pounds.

Can I start giving them raw treats occasionally, even though they're eating kibble? Right now the treats I give them are those freeze-dried chicken breast chunks and the dehydrated chicken breast VitaKitty. They really love those.

The only thing I'm worried about with raw feeding is if they decide to pick it up in their mouth and bring it over to the carpeted living room to eat. That would be a HUGE problem once we have kids crawling around in a few years. Does anyone here feed raw AND have little kids? How does that work?

Their current eating spot is in the kitchen, but it's an unused area of the kitchen, for the most part, in a little alcove, so I believe they feel safe there. Has anyone else had a problem with the cats bringing raw food to other areas of the house to tear/chew on?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 09:19 AM
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I have young kids (a 7 year old and 5 year old twins) and am in the process of switching a senior cat over to raw. He’s not very active but I’ve had no problem with him dragging food around the house. The most he does is drop it within a foot of his bowl. That said, he has no competition and he’s only playing around with chicken necks at this point so I’m not sure how it would be with 3 younger cats. Maybe you could find a way to gate off the alcove for mealtimes.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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That's a good idea, although our cats can jump gates with ease. I'll definitely be gating off the kitchen and the stairway so that any little ones would stay in the carpeted area, so at least there's no risk of them trying to touch the raw food during feeding times or get to the litter boxes.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 09:49 AM
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We don't have kids, but we do feed the kids in their "spots". The dogs eat locked in their gated off area on their particular beds, and the cats eat on various cat trees in their "spots". This is where we have their plates, and every cat eats at the same spot for every meal. Every day.

I guess we could claim we trained them to eat there, but in reality - they picked the spot, we just enforced you eat there all the time.

I wouldn't do raw treats unless you cut out kibble, especially if your ladycat already has a sensitive tummy. Maybe wait until you only offer canned food.

Kelly

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:11 PM
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Good that you are thinking of switching to raw. I started my kittes with raw when they were 4 months, with a lot of help from Auntie Crazy. And I do give them commercial raw from time to time. At times that I do not have time to make my own and a back up if I messed up the balancing. My cats like Feline's Pride and Rad Cats the best.

And YES, Panther will bring the raw food to the carpet. We tried to stop / gate him, but that does now work, so we just clean up after him. Maybe your kitties can still be trained.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by paperbacknovel View Post
I know I'll have to take away their kibble first and get them on canned only...how many ounces a day? Allegro is about 9.5 pounds, Coda is 8 pounds, and Forte is about 8 pounds.
If you use the large (12-13oz) cans of Evo 95% meat formulae, try 1/3 can for each cat twice a day. That may be too much, but you can tweak it as needed (weigh cats weekly) and you won't be feeding it for long anyway once you transition.

rawfedcats.org is, IMO, the best place to go for info--here is the transitioning guide.

Practical Guide

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Can I start giving them raw treats occasionally, even though they're eating kibble? Right now the treats I give them are those freeze-dried chicken breast chunks and the dehydrated chicken breast VitaKitty. They really love those.
Sure--try offering chicken gizzards as treats. They're chewy and help build jaw strength. But get off the kibble ASAP!!
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The only thing I'm worried about with raw feeding is if they decide to pick it up in their mouth and bring it over to the carpeted living room to eat. That would be a HUGE problem once we have kids crawling around in a few years. Does anyone here feed raw AND have little kids? How does that work?
You need to feed them separately and confine them for feeding. Otherwise, yes, they may drag food around, but more important, you can't be sure who is eating what. When I had 3 cats, Jonah ate in the bathroom, Lincoln ate in the storeroom, and Calvin ate in the dining room, right outside the storeroom. It takes them no time at ALL to learn the feeding order and they just go to the right places. 10-15 min. later I return, let them out, and take up bowls. If someone didn't eat it all I know right away and can be on the alert in case something is wrong.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperbacknovel View Post
I think you guys see these types of threads all the time, but I'd still like help/suggestions if possible.

I have two almost-10-month-old cats and one almost-8-month-old. My husband and I are gone at work for 10 hours a day, and they are still kittens with tons of energy, so I had them on EVO dry but recently switched to Wellness Core dry, which is always available to them. I also feed them wet food twice a day (Wellness, Wellness Core, EVO, Halo...I give a variety). They seem to really enjoy chicken and liver flavors best, but also like duck and quail when it's given occasionally.

!
I had to laugh. We seem to have similar tastes, or cats with similar tastes. Besides VitaKitty and PureBites, which we both use, I also feed my cats EVO wet, EVO dry, Wellness Core and Chicken, though also Weruva. AND, in the last four days I also posted on the Raw Diet subgroup about transitioning to raw in the near future. The main difference between us (I hope) is that I had to use baby gates for five months before Snowball and Blizzy (DSHs, neither is a Havana mix) were able to coexist, and hopefully your intro period will prove much shorter (it WAS 45 days between Hershey and Snowball though, if Coda is a bit prickly like my Snowby is).


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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That IS funny, NewRescueDad! I just sent you a PM...things still aren't going well with Forte's introduction, but we're trying something new tonight. I don't want to give up on him, but at some point he is just going to be miserable, and if there's no improvement after a month, we may have to give him back (the rescue may insist upon it).

Hoofmaiden, are they going to be OK during the day not having lunch? That was the only reason we had kibble.

We really don't have many places to confine them and separate them...our house has one of those new open floor plans...but I might try feeding them all by confining all 3 of them in the spare bathroom upstairs and just be there and watch them? That way they can't leave the room to drag the food, and I can still make sure they're all eating what they're supposed to.

Where do I get chicken gizzards? The supermarket/grocery store? I don't think we have a local butcher...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 02:15 PM
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Hoofmaiden, are they going to be OK during the day not having lunch? That was the only reason we had kibble.
Why would they need lunch? They're all well past the point where they need more than 2 meals a day. I recommend not feeding them in the a.m. until you've been up and about for at least an hour (otherwise they will learn to get you up!). Feed again at 6 p.m. or so, and it's never a bad idea to give a small meal at bedtime (to try to prevent the whole "getting you up thing! )
Quote:
We really don't have many places to confine them and separate them...our house has one of those new open floor plans...but I might try feeding them all by confining all 3 of them in the spare bathroom upstairs and just be there and watch them? That way they can't leave the room to drag the food, and I can still make sure they're all eating what they're supposed to.
You can, but it will get old fast, and there may be arguments. You could put one in the bathroom and put the other 2 in largish crates/carriers. They'll get used to running in and waiting for their bowls in no time!
Quote:
Where do I get chicken gizzards? The supermarket/grocery store? I don't think we have a local butcher...
Most grocery stores carry them. Just ask. If not, look for an Asian or Mexican market. You may not think you have one, but you probably do. I get all my organ meat (as well as heart and gizzards) at one.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, we do have a Mexican market AND an Asian market at a strip mall somewhat nearby, so I'll look there if the grocery store doesn't have them.

So far we feed the 2 next to each other when I give them their canned food and no arguments (the 3rd cat is still isolated in safety room)...is it different with raw? In other words, are they more likely to argue?
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