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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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TCfeline Premix?

I've mentioned before my difficulties in doing homemade raw due to lack of organ variety (I seem to live in some kind of void with no butcher shops, and local stores don't have much other than standard muscle meats).

My cats are on commercial raw at the moment (Primal, and trying out Rad Cat now that I have found it locally) but I would really love to add some actual meat chunks to their diet, for their teeth and to help with Athena's desire to chew (I'm still trying to coax her to chew chicken wings with little success).

Since I can't find all the organs I'd need to do only homemade raw, do you guys think doing a few meals a week with meat chunks and a supplement would be a good option to add some more variety and chewiness? I've always been a "supplements are never as good as the real thing" sort of person but I see they use all-natural (and recognizable!) sources for their supplements.

So anyone have any experience with this stuff? Can you do it with chunks of meat instead of grinding? Their site seems to suggest you can but I can only find instructions on how to use it with ground meat.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 08:42 PM
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I did use the TC premix for a while right after I switched for the same reason's you're listing. A few things stand out for me.

I did do chunks rather than ground, and I tried both their 'with liver' and 'without liver' mixes with the same result. The kitties loved it for the first two-three meals, then got bored and stopped eating the 'sauce' that was the mix.

I found the mix to be runny, like water. Not the thick sticky gravy I was envisioning. It smelled like kitten formula, which was a plus since Muffin had just been weaned off the formula shortly before, and the cats thought it was a treat.

They got bored of it to the point where they stopped eating the meat! However they did like just the powder without water added, so I tried just adding he powder to the meat with much greater success.

I thought originally that there was no where I could possibly get organs, but once I started really thinking about it, looking around, and asking people I found 2 places a 1/2 hour drive away. Since I was only going once a month to source food that wasn't a big deal. I stopped using the TC and haven't gone back since.

Overall I found the TC to be decent, but overpriced. I could source all the meat waaaay cheaper than just the muscle meats and adding powder. The powder cost almost as much as the meat did, once shipping was factored in. Since one of my main goals with switching to raw was cost effectivness it wasn't going to work.

I say, if you have the money to afford it and your cats like it go ahead. But buy a sample pack first and try it out to see how you and your cats like it before commiting to it.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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I just looked at the price after writing this thread and...I feel it defeats the other purpose of wanting to do more homemade (the high cost of commercial raw). :/

Hmm, perhaps a better solution for me then would just be keeping on the organ sourcing search? I mean I'm sure there are places I could go more towards LA but boy do I hate driving over that way. However I can't imagine there's nothing anywhere around here. I just need to keep looking I guess!

Are there people here who do a combo of frankenprey with commercial raw (or canned)? I know frankenprey is usually balanced over a longer period of time but I'm a little confused at the prospect of how to balance it while also offering stuff that's already balanced for some meals.

I mean I would love for just homemade to be my eventual long-term goal but having not done it at all yet I am still nervous about the time involved, the grossness, the sourcing, and the balancing. I keep waffling back and forth on it...but I sure would love to be able to give the cats more options and more dental exercise.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Heh I get the feeling I am probably just hitting the wall that a lot of people hit before they start homemade raw...it looks overwhelming before you do it, but I guess so did balancing and preparing healthy meals for myself at first.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 09:17 PM
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lol that's exactly how I felt saitenyo. I did make the jump and my first few months I weighed everything down to the oz! Now I just sort-of eye-ball it. Some meals are bigger, some are smaller, some have bones/organs, some don't. *shrugs* I know there are people who have been doing it longer than me who are still super careful, but I'm comfortable balancing everything over a longer period of time now.

If you're near LA then there should be some sort of an asian or other ethnic market nearby. That's where I was getting my organ meats for quite a while. I know from reading your other posts you're looking for organic meat mostly, so another route might be to check out a local farmer's market and talk to the organic farmers to see what they could do about keeping organs for you. A cow liver would last forever with just 2 cats!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in LA county, but right at the edge (it's a huuuge county encompassing several cities), so I'm about 45 minutes from the actual city (longer if there's traffic, which there usually is). The closest ethnic market I found is about 30 minutes away (without traffic) but yeah, I'd rather get stuff from farmers markets if I can.

There is a Sunday farmer's market right in my city...of course that's the one morning I usually can't go since that's when I go out to do my laundry. My schedule is a bit more flexible now that I'm working from home though, so I may have some more options.

I'd probably have to stick to chicken livers as Apollo vomited the last two times he had raw beef. He may be allergic to it.

I've been able to find a wide variety of muscle meat, some meat on small bones (like chicken wings) and some chicken liver...just nothing else so far (not even beef heart, but I'm not sure I could feed Apollo that anyway). So hopefully the farmer's markets will be more fruitful!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 10:55 PM
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I feed frankenprey and commercial no grain canned. I balance out the raw as if I was feeding entirely raw (percentages of bone, organ, and muscle meat). However, for their evening canned meal, I only feed about 1.5 oz of food or else they gain too much weight so the bulk of their diet is homemade raw. Every time I take one of them to the Vet, they always ask what are you doing? Their coats are lustrous, silky, and shiny, and their teeth are perfect. They haven't had any health issues for over a year and simply go to the Vet for their annual check ups.

I also wanted to go the organic, cage free, etc. route, but I found these meats weren't as varied as I needed and way more expensive. I have 4 cats, and that would've added up very quickly, but the main reason to turn to the Asian markets for my meats is variety. I hope you do find a workable middle ground that makes you happy, but sometimes you just have to settle for what you can do instead of the ideal solution.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 09:50 AM
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Have you considered just ordering from Hare Today (even though it might be pricey) for JUST the organs? A bulk order or organs every 6-12mths might be easier?

Kelly

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 10:11 AM
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Have you asked your local supermarket if they have organs in the back that they don't do anything with? Or your local "meat market"? Someone must have something you can use--a farmer who does their own butchering, a zoo supplier, a local restaurant? As long as you can get kidney and liver? Here where I live, liver is pretty easy to get, kidney not as easy, but it's such small amts that they need, when I was feeding raw even a small portion lasted quite a while with the two kitties. Admittedly, though, the majority of the stuff I found at the supermarket was beef liver and kidney. Hmmm.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 10:39 AM
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FireFlye,

Part of the hurdle Saitenyo is facing is most supermarkets in the US sell very limited varieties of meat to begin with and particularly if you want to only buy organic, hormone free, and/or cage free animals. Unfortunately, a traditional supermarket would not suit her purposes.

Hare today might be good for bulk ordering though...that's actually a pretty good option.
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