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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone
I'm starting to look into feeding my 6 cats a franken prey diet. I am currently feeding them felidae grain free canned in the morning and leaving a bowl of taste of the wild dry out. I have wanted to eliminate the dry completely but feeding 6 cats a grain free canned food is astrinomical cost wise. So, I've started to look into feeding raw.

Here are my main questions:
1. Am i deluding myself thinking that raw is more cost efficient?

2. Do i need to feed my cats on 6 different plates so they get their own portion? 4 out of 6 are pretty much the same size and there are 2 smaller ones. Currently, i give them their canned food on one big plate that they all gather around.

3. I live in a small town and I'm not sure if i can get a variety of organ, heart and bone source. If i can only get one type of these but use a variety of meat is that ok?

4. Do i need to take the skin off of the chicken wings or just the other meaty parts?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6cats2dogs2kids View Post
Hi Everyone
I'm starting to look into feeding my 6 cats a franken prey diet. I am currently feeding them felidae grain free canned in the morning and leaving a bowl of taste of the wild dry out. I have wanted to eliminate the dry completely but feeding 6 cats a grain free canned food is astrinomical cost wise. So, I've started to look into feeding raw.

Here are my main questions:
1. Am i deluding myself thinking that raw is more cost efficient?
Welcome, and congrats on deciding to switch! I feed my four cats raw and I did used to feed them grain free canned (more than 2 years ago now), so I can give you a good idea of what you're dealing with.

I'v definitely found raw to be more cost effective! When I was buying grain free canned I was paying around $80-100 a month to feed the four of them, and the boys were just babies! Now I pay about $60/month, even buying most things from a 'pet food' company. Of course it depends on how much time you want to spend sourcing meats, but last year I had 1-2 months completely free. I did get pretty lucky there, but it IS possible.

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Originally Posted by 6cats2dogs2kids View Post
2. Do i need to feed my cats on 6 different plates so they get their own portion? 4 out of 6 are pretty much the same size and there are 2 smaller ones. Currently, i give them their canned food on one big plate that they all gather around.
More than anything else this depends on your cats. I feed three of mine together on one plate, and the other eats seperately. I keep a really close eye on their body condition, and if one starts to feel a little chunky, or too thin I pull that one out to feed seperately. For the most part though it works out. I make sure to rotate foods that they like, so one night Doran will eat a ton, then the next hardly at all, ect. That takes some knowledge of your cats, but TBH they all stay pretty close to ideal as far as weight goes.

When I was feeding chunks of organ rather than bone/organ/meat ground mixes I'd feed the organs seperately so I knew each cat was getting the right amount. Jitzu would eat all the bones and organs if I let her, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6cats2dogs2kids View Post
3. I live in a small town and I'm not sure if i can get a variety of organ, heart and bone source. If i can only get one type of these but use a variety of meat is that ok?
It's much better to have a wide variety. I bet if you get creative you can find other sources. Do you know hunters? Ask them to save the organs and give them to you. Deer/elk/moose organs are HUGE and will last you and your cats quite a while if you do it properly. Chicken organs are usally pretty easy to find, and so are beef/pork.

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Originally Posted by 6cats2dogs2kids View Post
4. Do i need to take the skin off of the chicken wings or just the other meaty parts?
When I feed chicken I take the skin off of half of it. They do still need some fat, but chicken skin has lots of fat. I never take the skin off of wings, it's such a pain.

That's just me, I know others will chime in here too. I DO know that I won't ever switch them to anything else. They all do so much better on raw than they did on anything else, I just couldn't go back!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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I am pretty sure i can get pork and beef organs too. I have seen quail occasionally but I think more around the holidays. I dont have the stomach to give them mice.

I did mix some chcken leg meat in with their canned this morning and it was fun to watch them chewing away at the chunks. I knew that they would like chicken because they've stolen packages I've left on the counter to dethaw.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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I went to my local market and the next nearest town's market and i found chicken backs, beef liver, heR and kidney but no other organ meat. The clsest Asian market is an hour away.... This is going to be harder than i thought.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 04:30 PM
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Did you ask at the butcher counter? My store has beef and pork kidneys/livers but you have to actually ASK for them, they aren't set out.

I'd suggest ringing the local grocery stores and asking for the butcher department and tell them what you want and why. SOmetimes they can order stuff for you on a periodic basis.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6cats2dogs2kids View Post
Hi Everyone
I'm starting to look into feeding my 6 cats a franken prey diet. I am currently feeding them felidae grain free canned in the morning and leaving a bowl of taste of the wild dry out. I have wanted to eliminate the dry completely but feeding 6 cats a grain free canned food is astrinomical cost wise. So, I've started to look into feeding raw.

Here are my main questions:
1. Am i deluding myself thinking that raw is more cost efficient?

2. Do i need to feed my cats on 6 different plates so they get their own portion? 4 out of 6 are pretty much the same size and there are 2 smaller ones. Currently, i give them their canned food on one big plate that they all gather around.

3. I live in a small town and I'm not sure if i can get a variety of organ, heart and bone source. If i can only get one type of these but use a variety of meat is that ok?

4. Do i need to take the skin off of the chicken wings or just the other meaty parts?
Welcome! Goodluck getting that evil kibble out of your kitties diets! It's definately a good idea, especially if you're free feeding it and they get raw meat for meals. They digest differently and can sometimes cause stomach upset. If the grainfree canned food is too costly, is your main goal a 100% raw diet? If so, I would suggest compromising the quality of the canned food to make it more affordable (short term) while you get everyone on 100% raw.

1. Raw is more cost effective if you don't buy everything at regular supermarket prices. Get the meat on sale (usually when it's about to go "off"), find local butchers who will let you dig through their garbage, find hunters who can give you scraps, ask other butchers for scraps (or cuts of meat that aren't good for people at a cheaper price). Buy old meat from the butchers (about to go off and on sale). Ask friends/family that are going through freezer burnt stuff to give it to YOU instead of the trash.

2. I would never feed this way. It's too easy for one or two cats to over eat, and one or two to get less. We feed in seperate kennels (each cat has a wire crate just big enough to lay comfortably in) - these are also great for cleaning, as you just take the trays at the bottom and soak in hot water and vinegar.

3. Variety IS important. However, if the only bones you can get are chicken bones - it's not the end of the world. We do the best we can when it comes to variety, but our bones are either chicken or quail (pricey!!! so not often), and sometimes the odd frog. Organ wise, we do a lot of beef liver/kidneys because that's what's most common. We also do some chicken livers, and pork kidneys when we can. Heart counts as muscle meat, so that's all good.

4. You don't need to take the skin off ANYTHING. Skin is fatty and important for cats! Sometimes people find it easier transitioning to raw with less skin in the diet (to keep stools firm) but it's not necessary.

We have 5 cats currently, and the odd foster, as well as two chihuahuas all on raw. Switched everyone from kittens to a 13 year old cat!

Kelly

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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The two markets didnt even have a meat counter where you could get unpackaged meat. Tomorrow i will go to a butcher in a town a little further away to see if i can get a variety of organ meats. I was actually surprised to see fresh chicken backs at my local store.

So, if i for some strange reason I can only find beef heart, kidney, liver and chicken bone source, will the cats still be healthy from eating those plus beef, chicken, pork and occasionally lamb meat? Or should i consider a half grain free canned diet and half raw?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 07:38 PM
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Muscle meat will be 80% of their diet, so as long as you can vary the muscle meat, you really don't need to fret about limited variety in the organs and edible bones.

I live in a farming and hunting area, so I get all the organ meats I want for free from a local butcher who slaughters farm animals. About all the farmers want is the muscle meat and hearts. The butcher saves just about everything else for me. Still, I rarely feed any organs other than pork and beef liver, kidney, and spleen (and occasional testicles). I rarely feed any edible bone other than chicken necks.

You are fortunate to have an Asian market just an hour away. If you have a large freezer, you can make one trip and load up your freezer with enough organ meats to last months.

Laurie
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