We're Officially Jumping In with Homemade Raw - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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We're Officially Jumping In with Homemade Raw

The switch from low-quality canned to grain-free premium canned has made me an absolute believer in feeding the best you can give to your cat...the changes in their coats, energy levels, not to mention the litter boxes are too strong to ignore. And so after months and months of debating and questioning, I'm finally going to just do it already! XD I did get some premade raw sample packs, so we'll be finishing those up first, then moving onto homemade.

I won't be able to get started switching to raw till next week, but I wanted to clear up a few questions/concerns first. Big shout out to Saitenyo for your awesome thread and getting quite a few of my own questions answered (I'm a chronic worrier, so I love your thoroughness!).

I don't have a reliable organ source, and this is one of the main reasons I've been so hesitant to try raw. I found a raw supplement called Alnutrin, where all you do is add the mix with water, in with your raw boneless ground meat and fresh liver (the only organ I can get). I'd be giving the supplemented meal most feedings, and then I figure once we move up to bone (not gonna lie, bone terrifies me), I'd get random with it and give maybe 3/4 supplemented and 1/4 bone-in meals (separate meals not mixed). Does this sound adequate? Is that enough bone-in meals to make a difference on their teeth or would a more half and half ratio be better?

I know variety is good, but I'm only really going to have access to really common meats, like chicken, beef, and turkey. I may get lamb in there, if I'm lucky. I can also do sardines in water as a snack occasionally. Is that enough variety to go around? I worry because Samantha gets bored with flavors very quickly...

I guess thats all I can think of for now. I'll be picking up a nice food processor early next week, and I've got my awesome scale and handy-dandy notebook all ready to go. I'm so excited to finally try this out! I hope the girls get as into it as I am.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 02:10 PM
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Congrats! I was extremely against feeding raw, simply because of the gross factor, but after feeding raw for a few months now, I can honestly say you get over it, and it's really no big deal. Now, I can't ever imagine how I dealt with the smell of those awful cans of processed cat food! THAT'S gross!
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 02:14 PM
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Hehe, I'm glad my own chronic worrying can be helpful to others.

I totally know exactly what you're going through right now, being there so recently myself. You see these dramatic changes and it just "wows" you. Just wait until they start eating the raw! If they're already healthy cats the most change you'll probably notice is softer coats and waaay less litterbox smell. For me it was like night and day though because of Athena and her digestive issues, seeing them completely resolve on raw. I'd never been so excited over poo. XD

I'll leave the detailed advice to more experienced raw feeders, as I'm still using premade with occasional tidbits of chunked raw. Like you I'm still struggling to find a good organ source.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Geri - Haha, yeah, I think canned smells pretty terrible too. Even the premium stuff. I actually had a lot of fun getting the samplers all cut up, portioned, and ready for small additions to their food. They've been getting chicken liver as the occasional treat, and Alice and Samantha are already taking it whole...I have to cut Rochelle's up pretty fine yet, but at least she's eating it.

Saitenyo - Seriously, your thread is awesome. You asked many of the questions I wanted to, and I got so much info there from the replies and from your own experiences. It's amazing that a change of food could do so much for Athena! Alice's stools have always been on the softer side, but the past few days they've really firmed up. Samantha has had chronic ear infections since I've gotten her, but I can already notice a significant drop in amount of ear scratching and discharge (I'm wondering now if it was something she was allergic to). And this is just switching to grain-free canned. I can't wait to see what raw will do!
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Got another question. There's dehydrated mixes out there like Honest Kitchen's - Prowl. With chicken liver as my only fresh organ, could I get away with using something like the Prowl as a base, with a bit of chunked raw meat for their teeth mixed in?

I think Rochelle might really like something more watery based, as she looooooves gravy...I'm thinking it might be easier to transition her to raw that way. Not to mention, I got a free sample of this stuff from one of the pet stores I've visited over the past week.

Would I need to add extra Taurine with this stuff? I'm slightly confused because the back of my package says that the Guaranteed Analysis of Taurine in the product is min 0.12% max 0.14%. But there's no extra Taurine listed in the ingredient list.

Thoughts on the dehydrated stuff? Yay or nay?
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I just found a nutrient list on their website that says "As Served (Hydrated) - Taurine 0.05%". Isn't that a little low? Would the raw meat and liver, along with a sardine here and there be enough or would I have to add Taurine myself? Just being hypothetical here...I'm interested in whether this stuff is worth it or not.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 10:46 PM
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I am not that crazy about Honest Kitchen. It contains vegetable, honey... eh... for what...? Also, I don't know how much of such "fillers" that they added.
After I did commercial raw food, I transitioned to semi-homemade using the premix, similar to the stuff that you mention. I used tcfeline mix. There is an internet order and it's free shipping for more than $10 order.

My cats loved it but I did not like it because I am not giving them all the benefit of bones and it is not as cheap as fully home-made. I think the premix+meat mix is good for a short term before you do the complete home-made.

I now feed my cats the food made with recipe from catinfo.org and feline-nutrition.org. I also give them chunk piece of meats as snack or part of their meal to get their jaws exercised.

I understand frankenprey is a good choice but I am just not able to provide a lot of variety to balance their diet so I am sticking with meat+(liver/heart)+bone+egg yoke+supplement mix.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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ccomaya - Thanks for your reply and for your insight on dehydrated and pre-mixes. *sigh* Unfortunately, we always come back to the dreaded bones. I am very interested in the recipe you linked, in that it doesn't force me to have all organs on hand...liver is enough. I guess I should start price checking those supplements and see where I can get them cheapest around here.

For the transition from canned to raw, I think I'm going to use the Honest Kitchen Prowl mix, because I don't want to jump into bones right away (and why not, it was free?). I figure getting them used to bigger and bigger chunks of meat is more important first. So a mix of Prowl and meat bits/chunks for the transition. And once I get all these supplements and taurine and bone figured out, I'd like to do the recipe you linked full time.

Is this plan sounding feasible so far?
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm. I've been running across recipes that use dried egg shells in place of bone...this is something I could easily make myself and add to my own recipes. But I'm worried about the nutritional value.

If I were to make my own batch of homemade food, and used egg shell powder in place of bone, would this be sufficient for calcium/bone minerals in the diet, when not getting bone-in meals? If I were to do this, the egg shell raw would only be supplemental, and at least one bone-in meal (wing, thigh, rib meat) would be served each day.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 11:24 AM
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Egg shell is a pure calcium. You could use bone-meal... However, I really recommend to use the fresh bone because it;s not just the calcium that makes the bone beneficial to cats.
I also agree that you should go at the pace that is comfortable to you and your cat. I shuddered at the thought of giving my cat raw food at first, that was why I used commercial at first. Even that took some getting used to. When I first fed Piper can+itchy-bitchy of raw patty, I checked on her every five minutes to see if she shows any sign of tummy trouble.

I don't know how often and how much to feed if I add meaty bone meal (or chunky meal) in addition to the ground meal... I was wondering about that too.

Last edited by ccomaya; 02-11-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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