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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Many raw questions!

Hi all,
My 11 week old Bengal has been on raw since she could eat solid food. She currently weighs about 2lbs 12oz and eats a TON. I feed her what my breeder fed her, which is ground up chicken thighs with bone and then I add a supplement blend recommended by her. She literally has been eating like 8 oz per day and seems to want more! Iíve only had her a few weeks and her 10lbs of ground I made is dwindling fast. I have a ton of questions but Iíll start off with a few here. I didnít want to make 10 new threads for each question. Thanks for your help in advance!

1. Any advice for the amount I feed her? Does it seem too low or too high?
2. Iím using a supplement that has quite a bit in it. My breeder said itís a good diet as long as she gets the chicken with bone and this supplement. It definitely has taurine. What else should I make sure it has? Any things I should look out for to avoid in a supplement?
3. Any recommendations on where to pick up the safest chicken? I bought the first 10lbs from whole foods. I want to avoid contamination obviously.
4. Any advice on good pre-made raw that ships in the USA (Iím in southern California). I donít mind making the raw but man, it was a ton of work and I wouldnít mind spending more to have someone else do all the work haha. Iíd want it to be safe obviously and healthy. Iíve researched some but not sure who to trust.
5. Any suggestions for good cleaning brushes for my grinder? That was some fun stuff trying to clean it! I have a Tasin TS-108 and use a 3/32 plate.
6. When grinding how long does it take you all? How do you avoid keeping the chicken out too long when doing a batch of say 10lbs? And how long is too long to take to grind 10lbs?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 10:58 PM
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I was looking for the answer to #1 and I found an interesting article.I don't agree with the whole site (for example they mention in a few places feeding a lot of fish) but the articles do make some good points. I spent several hours today chopping and weighing rabbit so I could figure out amounts. When I get the variety and everything I want for completely raw feeding the cats and dogs I may give up on calculating and see what happens. I already feed the cats more of a 95% canned cat food than they'll eat in a meal and they aren't fat yet.

I really don't like the idea of feeding 1 type of meat only even with supplements. If we gave you 1 food of every category on the food pyramid (I think they made it a food plate now) and a vitamin capsule you would not be as healthy as if you ate as big of variety as possible and got your vitamins straight from the food. It would also be rather boring eating the exact same flavors every meal. I'm aiming for at least 3 types of meat before I give up the canned food completely. I have secured sources for 2.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 11:34 PM
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Hi! I'm sure you will get a lot of answers here, and you'll learn more and more everyday. I'm new too, but the forums have helped me SO much.

#1. I have read that kittens should be able to eat as much as they want, since they are growing. Once she is close to adult size, you should give her between 2-4% of her total body weight.

#2. I believe that chicken thighs have a good amount of taurine. The more "muscular" the meat is, the more taurine it has. Heart has the highest amount. I don't think too much taurine is an issue. It is excreted in urine if there is an excess.

#3. Whole Foods is a good choice. I have gotten mine from there, Gelson's, and 99 Ranch Market (when I need to get some organ meat too).

#4. There are lots of pre-mades that ship to SoCal (I live in Los Angeles). I haven't ordered any of them online, however. I have just called around to various pet suppliers and asked if they sell pre-made raw foods for cats. Pre-made for dogs will not have the correct nutrition for a cat. I have tried Natural Instinct and Primal, but my Krystal vomits both of those up. Her stomach is extremely sensitive, though.

#5, 6. I don't grind anything for my cat. I have opted for chunks of meat since my kitty has some plaque buildup, and the shredding and tearing of meat and bone is much better for her teeth.

Good luck with everything!! I think raw is the best way to go.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 01:24 PM
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Oh, I just reread your post and I realized that you're using ground chicken thighs. In that case, it's good you're using a taurine supplement because the action of grinding will degrade taurine levels.

Please someone correct me if I've given wrong information here! I'm usually the advice-asker on the forums, not the advice-giver. Lol!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunKissedToes View Post
#1. I have read that kittens should be able to eat as much as they want, since they are growing. Once she is close to adult size, you should give her between 2-4% of her total body weight.
I've read the same. Kittens need a lot of calories since they grow so fast, so there's really no reason to worry too much about them putting on weight until they're done growing. If it were me I'd just give the little one as much as she's willing to eat

I can't give you any advice on supplements, because I don't use any. My two cats are getting about 60/40 raw food and canned at the moment, and only because I've got one stubborn older cat. I'm going with prey model feeding right now, and the way I make sure they're getting enough of everything is with lots of variety. I have over half a dozen different kinds and cuts of meat in my freezer right now, and that's not including organs. I don't grind the meat either. I feel like it's much easier and possibly healthier(?) to let them eat a variety and get all their nutrition from the food itself, rather than grinding it up and having to add supplements back in. It can actually help dental health and reduce plaque build up if the cat gets the chance to chew a bit. They can even chew bones, like chicken wing tips and flatties (the part of the wing that contains two small bones) or quail are about the right size.

I'm currently just using meat straight out of the super market, but once I have my chest freezer I'm going to bulk order hormone/antibiotic free meat from a local specialty butcher. I haven't had any problems with super market meat, this is just an ethical decision for me. I think just about any meat fit for human consumption isn't going to be contaminated, so just buy from where ever you would feel comfortable getting meat for yourself. And make sure it hasn't been 'enhanced' in any way with spices, broths, or anything else (although this is just common sense).

You should see if your little one would be willing to help you out with all the grinding and just chew some of her food herself My older cat needs her meat chopped up fairly small right now, but the younger cat can handle a whole turkey thigh, half a quail (bones included!), chunks of chicken breast and just about anything else I can throw at her. For now you could just put a few bigger chunks of chicken thigh in her usual ground meal to see how she takes it. Or try adding something new - beef stew meat is a favorite with both my cats, although I understand some don't tolerate beef well. I love it because it comes pre-cut!

From what I understand younger cats are usual pretty adaptable, so it's a great idea to get her used to chewing while she's still young. My older girl has taken a lot of work to convince that she needs to actually USE her teeth But I've noticed a difference in her kibble-caused plaque with just the little bit she's chewing right now. Even if you still decide to grind most of your cat's meals a little chewing on her part can save you from needing expensive teeth cleaning for her down the road. Good luck, and I hope some of the extremely knowledgeable people here can help you out with your grinder questions!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 03:40 PM
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Welcome to CF, Bengal_Man! Here are my answers to your questions...

1. Feed kittens at least four times a day, as much as they want to eat. Feed adults at least three times a day, around 3% of their body weight each day.

2. I use the frankenprey feeding methodology with six different meat sources (pork, beef, chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit), plus a couple dozen crickets on the weekends and three quarters of a sardine once a week (for Omega 3's)... and I don't use any supplements.

3. All my cats' foods come from the same grocery store shelves I buy my own foods, save the rabbit and some hearts that I purchase from Hare-Today.

4. I don't purchase commercially prepared foods for my kitties, so I can't make specific recommendations. I would think that those with no veggies, fruits, fish, and especially grains would be the best choices.

5. & 6. I don't grind, but Catinfo.org and Feline-nutrition.org both have a lot of info reference grinding and raw feeding in general.

Best of luck and congratulations on your new family member!

AC
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