On the fast track to raw! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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On the fast track to raw!

Hello everyone, this is my first post and I hope you'll excuse me if it's a bit long.

My partner and I have recently adopted a lovely 10 month old black moggy from a friend who could no longer keep him. We were warned that he was "a brilliant hunter but a picky eater". We live in a 1st floor apartment so he no longer has the opportunity to hunt (this will change when we move in 3 months).

Right away I saw that he didn't like the cat food we gave him. He'd often ignore it totally, then force it down when he was really hungry. I started reading up on cat nutrition and was horrified when I saw what was in pet food. No wonder he didn't want to eat the nasty stuff! I tried him with some pre-packaged ground raw, which he wolfed down like a shot. After more research I now know that is not the best, so I'm going to try and get him onto a proper balanced 80/10/5/5 raw diet.

As per all the advice, I would love to move him slowly onto a raw diet, making sure he was happy with each element before going totally raw. The problem is, after having a taste of raw, this cat has absolutely no intention of eating anything else! Though he was never keen in the first place, he now looks at me like I have horns if I put down cat food. I'm hoping the sudden transition isn't going to cause any problems.

So far, he's totally happy with plain old raw meat, so I have no worries there. He also wolfed down half a lamb's kidney yesterday with no complaint! I'm going to introduce him to liver over the weekend, and maybe start the big task of bones next week.

So I guess my question is, if it takes me a few weeks to get him settled into his new diet, are there likely to be any dire consequences for him? For example, if he's happy enough with the meat and kidneys, but hates the liver and won't eat the bones at first, will he be ok on just the meat and kidneys for a few weeks until I get him settled? Are there any supplements I ought to invest in?

I'm just a little nervous as this is all happening very fast and it's not something I would have even thought of a couple of weeks ago. But Mister Hooker has made his choice and it's yes to raw, no to catfood!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your advice
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 10:11 PM
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Welcome to Cat Forum, SarahKay! And congrats on your new family member.

My cats also made a very fast transition; certainly, they quit eating canned food before I was ready to go completely raw. Here's my transition thread, Taking the plunge into raw., just in case you may find it helpful. There are others around here, too.

Making a "good" transition isn't about moving fast or slow, really, it's about moving at the speed the cat is comfortable with, so I think you'll be fine as long as you gather together the right ingredients quickly enough (I'm thinking more about bones - and keeping the stools firm - than about anything else).

Best regards!

AC
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 12:00 AM
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You could also keep giving him the prepackaged raw that has bone-in for the first little while for one meal a day to help alleviate your fears! Our cats eat a combo of bone-in ground and chunk/bone-in wings etc. and we haven't had any problem with their stools. Neither one of them like organ meat very much and will only eat it if we give it to them when they're ravenous, so rather than worry about them getting enough I fall back on pre-packaged stuff.

We started our cats on chicken wings for bone because they already liked chicken meat--neither one of them had any problem and they're easy to get! They get a few a week and usually finish most of the bone.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 10:10 PM
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Just a note on transition... I know some cats are very picky (taking a couple of months) and others are quicker. For my boy, he transitioned pretty much over night after I figured some things out.

I tried the commercial raw brand first and he liked it OK. It was about a week on that mixed with canned. I could tell that he wasn't enjoying it so I thought, what the hey, and just gave a chunk of meat. He pretty much inhaled it and that was that.

So as AC said, go the speed your cat is willing to go and it'll make the transition much easier on both of you!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! It looks like my worries about bone were unfounded - I gave him a whole chicken wing last night, and after an epic battle where he threw it around the room, he devoured the whole thing down to just a nub of bone! Looks like my little champ is a natural carnivore. He's had some chunks of pork and beef today and seemed to enjoy them. So great to see him ripping into a piece of "prey" with such gusto!

Just liver to go, and he'll have eaten the whole bunch...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 01:02 PM
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A WHOLE chicken wing? As in, all three joints? That's awesome work on the cat's behalf, really! You go, kitty!

Just a slight caution, though.... unless your kitty is really large, an entire wing might be just a bit too much bone at one time, especially since he's still eating balanced commercial products. I would watch him very carefully over the next 24 - 48 hours and make sure he doesn't having any constipation trouble.

AC
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Auntie yes, a whole wing! I was going to chop it up, and then I thought, I'll just see when he does with it. 20 mins later, there was just a nubbin of bone left!

I didn't realise that would be too much bone, I'll be very careful from now on - would you say 2 wings a week would be ok? He's off commercial stuff now (not by my choice, by his!) He's eating all the elements now, except I haven't tried him with liver yet - that will be tomorrow's task! I've never seen him so happy and enthusiastic about food
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahKay1982 View Post
Auntie yes, a whole wing! I was going to chop it up, and then I thought, I'll just see when he does with it. 20 mins later, there was just a nubbin of bone left!

I didn't realise that would be too much bone, I'll be very careful from now on - would you say 2 wings a week would be ok? He's off commercial stuff now (not by my choice, by his!) He's eating all the elements now, except I haven't tried him with liver yet - that will be tomorrow's task! I've never seen him so happy and enthusiastic about food
If he's not eating any commercial at all, then two wings a week might just be perfect for him. I have found that eating a bone-in meal only twice a week wasn't quite frequent enough for my cats, so I feed slightly less at each meal (only the first two joints), but serve three bone-in meals a week instead of two.

AC
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