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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding raw?

I have 4 cats now (one died on July 5, although I may now be keeping a foster I have that I love and have had for about 2 years). I keep reading about the raw diet, and it seems interesting. I currently feed my cats dry Purina Cat Chow, with Friskies canned food mixed in.

I've kinda looked at raw food, but I'm unsure about it. I'm a vegetarian, but I would obviously never make my cats one too. But that makes me kinda 'meh' about meat, especially in its raw form. I know where the food comes from, how it's killed, and it's not pretty. So I'm not sure I could do it...

I'm unsure of how to make sure they get everything they need, which I like to think they get when I give them dry and canned food. I'm also worried about the cost compared to what I spend now on kitty food.

Last edited by neko13_3; 07-06-2011 at 12:59 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 04:45 AM
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I'm so sorry about your loss.

I don't know anything about feeding raw, but I have read that mixing dry and wet food creates bacteria very quickly, so unless your cats are eating the food right away, it's bad to be left out.

I'm sure you'll get lots of answers to your questions tomorrow, you posted when most of the "raw" experts are asleep.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:42 AM
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There is a lot of information on the forum. Try looking through the older threads on raw. And by the way, welcome

As far as cost, frankenprey (offering numerous animal parts to try and replicate prey as it is found in the wild) is the most cost effective. I have 4 cats and I feed mine on about $35 month. I only feed 1 raw meal per day, but if I did 2 meals it would be much cheaper than their canned meals each night. I would probably spend about $50 a month total.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 10:55 AM
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My husband and I are both vegetarians, so I feel your hesitation! I think they're are actually a lot of vegetarian/vegan people on this forum that feed raw. I haven't started feeding raw yet, but I have been amassing my supplies and have gotten things that are just for the meat, like cutting board, knife, poultry shears.

I do feel an ethical dilemma about trying to do it as cheaply as possible, ie buying meat from the grocery store versus only getting organic, free range, grass-fed etc. However, I currently can't afford to buy more expensive meat, but I also believe feeding raw is the best thing for my cat, sooo.... I don't know. I'm still musing about how I feel about supporting the meat industry vs. doing what's right for my cat. I guess buying cat food means you're supporting the meat industry somewhere down the line, and you're supporting the pet food industry that doesn't really do what's best for pets, especially brands like Purina and Friskies.

Not trying to start any debate with anyone, just saying I know what you're thinking about, I think about it too.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neko13_3 View Post
I currently feed my cats dry Purina Cat Chow, with Friskies canned food mixed in.
Hi neko! If you are not ready to move to a raw diet quite yet, your first step (in my opinion) is to get rid of the kibble (dry food) altogether and feed your cats ONLY wet food. Dry food has a very large percentage of vegetable matter in it (it is typically based on corn or rice which are typically the first or second ingredients in kibble). The reason this is a problem is because cats are obligatory carnivores - they CANNOT eat vegetables because their bodies don't know how to digest it; they only know how to digest meat. So, if you cannot switch to a proper raw diet yet, stick with only wet food


Quote:
Originally Posted by applesparks View Post
I do feel an ethical dilemma about trying to do it as cheaply as possible, ie buying meat from the grocery store versus only getting organic, free range, grass-fed etc. However, I currently can't afford to buy more expensive meat, but I also believe feeding raw is the best thing for my cat, sooo.... I don't know. I'm still musing about how I feel about supporting the meat industry vs. doing what's right for my cat. I guess buying cat food means you're supporting the meat industry somewhere down the line, and you're supporting the pet food industry that doesn't really do what's best for pets, especially brands like Purina and Friskies.
Hey applesparks! I like your discussion here. I want to reassure you, though, that you CAN feed your kitties a species appropriate diet without supporting the horrid meat industry. All you have to do is feed whole prey! You can either order some feeder mice from the same place that reptile owners get theirs, or you can try to get your hands on some chicken chicks from the chicken farmer. They are rooster chicks and are thus of no use to the chicken industry so they incinerate them. Thus, you can step in a add them to the foodchain by feeding them to your cats so their lives aren't a complete waste. Right now we get our chicken chicks in a giant bag of 300 (we have 3 cats) and they cost us 2 euro cents each. So, that's 12 euro cents a day to feed 3 cats, 2 chicks each. For their other meal they get a 'Frankenprey' meal with bio (Europe's version of 'organic') meats. We calculated a cost of 45-50 euro cents per day for one cat. So, for three cats, let's say a maximum of 1.62 per day * 30 = 48.50. This compares to the calculated figure of 52 euro cents per portion of Hill's Science Diet SD (which, I hope you understand by now, is complete garbage.)

I hope this helps and gives you some courage to take into account both your own principles and feelings while not making your cat suffer for it. It will just take a little effort but your cat will thank you

"Good Kitty, Samhainy."
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:42 AM
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My parents raised us vegetarian, and I was dreading telling my Mom that I was elbows deep in raw meat for my cats, but she laughed and told me (she's a Lactation Consultant) that she couldn't very well advocate that human babies get species appropriate food and then think it wrong that cats would So now I just think of it that way

We support our local butcher as much as possible, supplement from the supermarket, and use about 1/2 pre-ground, bone in patties that we were lucky enough to find from a local supplier who makes raw food for dogs. Works well for us and we throw in the odd canned grain-free meal when we're away and have a sitter, and sometimes even a grain-free kibble mixed with water and canned if they're being absolute pests and don't seem to be full from their other meal of the day. I am planning on supplementing taurine just for my own comfort but I think they're getting everything else they need, both are happy, healthy, and active!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Fyreflie View Post
We support our local butcher as much as possible...
Ooo yes, this is great. Last week we had the butcher combine chicken filet with chicken liver and chicken heart into one blob of meat (using the correct portions, of course). It cost us 4.43 for four meals (3 cats). If I can provide another comparison: before switching to raw, we fed a high-quality canned food with 80% meat/fish, 1% rice and the rest water. It cost us 2.10 EACH CAN. Ouch! Next week we are going to try the raw food recipe found here: Original Raw Meat Cat Food Recipe ? rawmeatcatfood.com I am just having trouble finding the bone meal - I can't seem to get the local healthfood shop here in Holland to understand what I want

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neko13_3 View Post
I have 4 cats now (one died on July 5, although I may now be keeping a foster I have that I love and have had for about 2 years). I keep reading about the raw diet, and it seems interesting. I currently feed my cats dry Purina Cat Chow, with Friskies canned food mixed in.

I've kinda looked at raw food, but I'm unsure about it. I'm a vegetarian, but I would obviously never make my cats one too. But that makes me kinda 'meh' about meat, especially in its raw form. I know where the food comes from, how it's killed, and it's not pretty. So I'm not sure I could do it...

I'm unsure of how to make sure they get everything they need, which I like to think they get when I give them dry and canned food. I'm also worried about the cost compared to what I spend now on kitty food.
Welcome to Cat Forum, Neko!! It's awesome that you're researching a healthier diet for your cats!

Here are some resources for your reading pleasure *smile*:
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition

Cat Nutrition

Feline Nutrition Education Society
And a couple of previous threads you might find informative:
Natural Diet Information Resources

What does your menu look like?

First online order...

Info. & Links on why canned is better than all dry diet
Feeding cats what they naturally evolved to eat is by far the healthiest way to go for them. However, feeding a grain-, vegetable-, fruit-, and fish-free canned is a much better alternative to feeding any kind of kibble.

Good luck in your research! If / when you have specific questions, or you're ready to make the transition to raw and want a sanity check before you start, let us know!

AC
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Are there ways to make it less...gross? I've heard organs are such are notoriously gross to deal with (I never ate organ meat when I wasn't a vegetarian, it just seemed gross to me). I'm scared I won't get everything they need, which is particularly petrifying in light of my recent loss. I don't need to be able to blame myself.

I can't start feeding raw until I get my fosters out of the house (yeah, that would be an awesome conversation when they get adopted 'what do you feed them?' 'oh, raw meat'. That would go well).

I'd thought about whole prey, and when the cats get it themselves outside I'm fine (all of mine are indoor, but my grandma has an outdoor cat and I've had several through my life), but...I worked with the mice at PetCo and I felt horrible giving the mice to the people to feed to their snakes. I'm incredibly soft-hearted apparently, even in light of the way the food chain works. So I'm thinking I'd be going frankenprey. At least 80% of it is generally things that I once ate, and/or handled.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Another random question (I do stupid amounts of research before I do most anything): I have 5 kitties. How do you make sure each kitty gets the right amount of everything? I'm used to dumping food in a bowl and they all come and get it as they please. When I give wet cat food, I have one kitty who gets shoved out of bowls (she won't fight for it), and one who is too dignified to get into the hullaballoo until I either give her her own bowl or everyone else leaves.

Also, is it okay to feed ground? I realize it's not ideal, but it seems like a decent starting place, both for my squeamishness and their jaws. I'd be fine with doing their meat meals as more...intact? You know, cut up chicken breasts, etc. But organs and such things have me a little more...ewww..
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