Raw Food Lover in the Making - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,778
Raw Food Lover in the Making

My new kitty Mystique (10 mo. old rescue girl) has a really healthy appetite. She came to me on Purina Focus kitten canned and dry, but I am definitely taking her off the dry. Right now I'm feeding her a 3 oz. can of the Focus morning and night, which she's cleaning up and seems satisfied with. Today I bought some grain free higher quality food though so I'm going to be mixing the two types to transition her over to grain free.

The other night I cooked a whole chicken and since I've been reading about feeding raw and I'd like to try it, I figured I'd cut up some of the heart and liver that comes wrapped up in the middle and see if she would eat it. Did she ever! She pranced around the kitchen looking for more even, it was comical. So it seems like she will be a natural for raw.

My question is this, until I actually get her on full raw is it okay to just cut up some raw chicken livers, hearts and gizzards and give them to her as a snack in addition to her 6 oz. of canned food? Not sure how much she should be eating. She probably weighs about 5 lb. and is very long and lean right now. Being a rescue cat she was a stray so probably didn't eat very regularly then.
Heather72754 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 09:13 PM
Cat Addict
 
howsefrau32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,831
How cute! I have done that before, give my cats the heart and gizzards, or EVERY time we make steak, I cut a few strips off for them, and they are meowing around my ankles the entire time for their steak. Hopefully someone who is a raw feeder can answer your question about if this is ok, but I know that I have done it, but I don't do it on a regular basis, but I don't think it can hurt. What I do know is that you are not supposed to feed dry and raw together, ever, ever, because dry digests much more slowly than raw, and it can slow down the digestion of the raw food and cause problems for the cat, I guess from it remaining inside the cats intestines too long? Not sure the actual reason, but this is what I thought I took from what I have heard about this discussion, but one of the experts here on raw will likely give you a good answer. I am sure there are threads on this board about it as well, if you look under health and nutrition.

Mystique must have been sooo thrilled with her yummy chicken innards, lol! I know how over the moon my cats get when they get some raw food, I just love to watch them go crazy over that stuff
howsefrau32 is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,778
Ooh, thanks for bringing up the point about the dry and raw together - I haven't totally stopped the dry yet so I will just pick that bowl right up. There is really no reason to have it there, as I am sure she is getting enough canned and she eats it well.

Yes, she thought she had died and gone to cat heaven for sure! She was even making little chirping sounds and trying to stand up on the cabinets begging for more. She was so adorable.
Heather72754 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 01:52 AM
Cat
 
Kytkattin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: California
Posts: 147
Howsefrau hit the nail on the head about feeding raw and kibble.

As for how much she can get along with the wet food (grain free is definitely better for quicker digestion too), I would definitely keep it to one or two small bites. The heart and gizzard parts are ok to feed in larger amounts because they are a meat, not an organ. They should not cause her to have loose stool. You just want to make sure she is getting balanced nutrients from her canned diet and not filling up on raw unless you are feeding a balanced version of that. So use them as treats/appetizers/rewards/bribes/etc. The heart is rich in taurine, which makes it very nutritious for cats.

As for the liver, make sure that is just a tiny little piece/treat. Mostly because it can cause loose stools, which aren't fun for anyone. But also, even in a raw diet organs are only 8-10% of the meal. They are rich in vitamins, some of which can be toxic in high amounts. Though really, you are probably going to be dealing with poopy butt long before anything would reach a dangerous level.

I am kind of forgetting how tiny a kitten might be, but I would say feed maybe no more than a chunk of heart/gizzard the size of a quarter, cut into as many smaller pieces as you want. If you have a scale, I would say maybe 1/2 an ounce per day. Seeing as my cat eats 4 ounces of raw for a balanced diet per day, maybe that is even too much for a kitten half his size? Or maybe not since a kitten might eat more than 4 ounces because they are growing and it's not like that 1/2 ounce is completely devoid of nutrition. Someone else should weigh in.
Kytkattin is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 04:44 AM
Cat Addict
 
howsefrau32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,831
Yeah, I'm glad you got a response about raw feeding, since I don't know much about it, but I'm glad I didn't tell you anything too bad

I think if you are going to feed raw on a regular basis, there probably is not much need at all to feed dry food. LIke you said, they really aren't eating it anyway, and there is no need to constantly leave out dry food, I think it just encourages overeating. I know she is still a kitten and they are little eating machines, but she is not a tiny kitten still, so she probably does not need access to dry food 24/7. I don't much care for dry food at all, if anything, we use it as a treat, giving few kibbles here and there as a treat. My youngest cat is a little older than Mystique, he is about 1 1/2, and he is still pretty hungry, but doesn't eat as much as he did when he was a littler kitten. He eats canned food 3 times a day, with water mixed in the food. The middle of the day meal, around 4:00 pm, is more or less a "snack" for him, just a few spoonfulls of food with water mixed in. He gets a meal at 5:30 am (we get up early here ) and he gets his biggest meal at bedtime, 9:30 pm. It helps with my sanity, because he sleeps better, eating his big meal right before bedtime....it encourages that "cat coma" thing, where he is in one in his cat tree. And he does sleep put up at night, in a bedroom, also for my sanity and he has learned that even though he is a little nocturnal animal, he is supposed to sleep at night, like his humans do and he does pretty well, because he has learned it.

Tonight, however, it's crazy, because my 15 year old woke up with a raging fever and he sleeps in her room at night, so he was let out of his room at 3:30 am and is running zoomies up and down the hall....PARTY TIME!! So he thinks! Oh boy. THis is why I am here at 4:30 am

Last edited by marie73; 11-10-2013 at 05:36 PM. Reason: language
howsefrau32 is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 01:32 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,170
Send a message via Skype™ to laurief
A 10 mo old kitten should be pretty much adult sized. Five lbs, though, is a very small cat. Is she underweight, or just very petite? If she's underweight, you should be feeding her more so that she can continue to grow and fill out properly (a kitten should NEVER be underweight, because it can permanently stunt her growth). If she's at a proper weight for her frame, then she's probably fine with 6 oz/day of canned and/or raw.

The good thing about raw is that, because it is a natural, species-appropriate diet, you really don't have to transition her to it. You should be able to just switch her over cold-turkey, providing she continues to eat it well. But if you're not ready to do that, you can continue to feed her bits of raw meat as treats while continuing to feed primarily canned foods.

A few cautions ...

Feed her a variety of raw meats and organs. Felines can become addicted to certain foods if it's all they're used to eating. I have had that problem with my cats when I have fed an abundance of one type of meat for an extended period of time. It's much easier if you introduce her to as wide a variety as possible right off the bat - chicken, turkey, beef, pork, game meats, etc. (including all body parts, light and dark meats, etc.) - and as many different organs as possible - liver, kidney, spleen, testicle, etc. Feeding a variety not only helps prevent pickiness, but it provides a more nutritionally rounded and complete diet.

As far as liver and other organs are concerned, you do need to be careful about the amounts you are feeding. Liver, for instance, is very high in Vitamin A and iron - both of which can be toxic in excess. Most other organ meats are also high in iron, so should be fed in small amounts. If you choose to feed a Raw Prey Model diet, the rule of proportions is 80% muscle meat, 10% edible bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organ. If you stray too far from those percentages, you risk nutrient imbalances, excesses, and/or deficiencies that can potentially cause serious health problems.

Laurie
laurief is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,778
Good points Laurie, I wouldn't have thought of the addiction issue. Although I should have because my older cat Penny got addicted to Fancy Feast ocean whitefish and tuna (before we knew better), and for a while it was the ONLY type of food we could get her to eat. She is doing much better now, and I'm transitioning her to grain free along with Mystique. I don't think she'll do raw though - at least not without a long process of mixing it with her canned food, etc. I gave her the same raw that Mystique got the other night and she looked at me like I had lost my mind lol. She wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.

I really think Mystique is underweight. She is petite with small paws and a little face, but her body is long and she seems overly lean to me. I'm guessing on the 5 lbs. as I haven't actually had her on a scale, but my husband thought that was about what she weighed too. She is going to the vet next week to be checked out though so I will talk to her about it. I'm taking her to a cat only vet so hopefully she will be versed in feline nutrition. If she tells me to feed dry though I'm out of there lol. But the reason I'm still only feeding her 6 oz a day is because she always leaves a little of the 3 oz can and walks away from the dish, so I know she's satisfied. She will come back and clean it up a bit later, but I don't know how much more she would eat. I don't know how long she was a stray before the rescue picked her up, but she wasn't spayed and the odds are she had been out there a while so she probably didn't get that much to eat.

I'll keep giving her the raw as between meal snacks and be very careful with the liver, as has been mentioned. So far she hasn't had any diarrhea so I think she is handling it okay, but I haven't given her a lot at any rate. I want to make my own raw food as opposed to buying it ready made, and I've had a knee injury that prevents that right now. As soon as I'm able though it's good to know I won't really have to transition her.
Heather72754 is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 03:15 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,170
Send a message via Skype™ to laurief
If you think Mystique is underweight, it would be advisable to give her a third meal. 3 oz per meal is as much or more than most cats will eat, but she may be willing to eat a third meal to increase her daily caloric intake.

Kittens typically take to raw meat readily. It is, after all, feline instinct to eat raw meat.
Adult cats, however, can be trickier to transition to raw, esp. if they've been eating kibble or highly flavorized canned foods for a long time. I had 15 adult cats when I transitioned them to raw back in 2007. Some took to it easily; some looked at me like I was putting poison on a plate. Here are a few tricks that worked to get all of mine successfully eating raw. Bear in mind, though, that these tricks should be used as temporary measures to jump-start reluctant eaters.

1) Cut meat into small, bite-sized pieces. Many cats find these less intimidating and easier to handle than mouse-sized chunks.

2) Warm meat to mouse-body temp by placing it in a baggie and then in a sink of warm water for a few minutes right before feeding. This will both warm the meat and bring out its aroma.

3) Offer game meats (game birds, venison, etc.), if you can get them. Game meats have much stronger flavors and aromas than domestic meats, and can pique interest in cats who otherwise ignore domestic meats. In most cases, once a cat starts eating game meats, their interest will extend to domestic meats, as well.

4) Offer small amounts of meat at a time. Cats are much more likely to eat a single, bite-sized piece of meat than a whole plate full. If the cat refuses to eat any meat off of a plate or bowl, try "accidentally" dropping a piece of meat on the floor near the cat. "Found" or "stolen" meat is often MUCH more appealing than meat that is freely offered.

5) When introducing edible bones, many cats are more willing to start eating them if the bones are ground or smashed. Also, very small, soft bones (mouse, quail, etc.) make the transition to whole bones much easier.

6) NEVER watch the cat eat. Cats HATE that. Give the cat her privacy.

Laurie
laurief is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,778
I can hardly get past the '15 cats' part...wow! That is a lot of cats. And what an amazing undertaking feeding that many cats a raw diet, my hat is off to you.

Anyway, these are all great suggestions! Penny is very weird with food though, and has never ever eaten a piece of people food so she doesn't hang around the kitchen at all when I am cooking. Probably wouldn't fall for the 'accidental' dropping of the meat lol. She doesn't even eat cat treats of any kind that I've yet discovered - just canned and dry cat food (before I stopped the dry). I can see that that would probably work for a lot of cats though for sure.

As far as the bones go, don't you grind them up? I didn't realize people gave their cats actual bones. I thought that was part of what the grinder was for. Interesting. I obviously have a lot to learn about feeding raw still.

Yeah, I think I am going to try Mystique on a third meal. Even when I'm working, if I feed her as soon as I get home it would be a few hours between then and when I go to bed and she may be willing to eat again.
Heather72754 is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2013, 09:40 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,170
Send a message via Skype™ to laurief
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather72754 View Post
Penny is very weird with food though, and has never ever eaten a piece of people food so she doesn't hang around the kitchen at all when I am cooking. Probably wouldn't fall for the 'accidental' dropping of the meat lol.
Do the "accidental drop" near her own food bowl and at her own mealtimes. If she doesn't eat in the kitchen, she won't be likely to respond to dropped food there.

Quote:
As far as the bones go, don't you grind them up?
The only time I ever ground bones was when I ran out of chicken necks and had to grind the larger chicken backs so that they could eat them. I do, however, smash chicken neck pieces with a hammer for my cats who either don't have enough teeth or simply refuse to eat whole bones. That means that I end up smashing bones for about half of the cats, while the others eat whole, unsmashed bones. I must admit that taking a ball-peen hammer to chicken necks can be a great stress outlet at the end of a trying day.

One of the primary benefits of raw prey model is that the chewing of whole bones helps strengthen the jaws and clean the teeth. Ground or smashed bones serve neither purpose.

Quote:
I didn't realize people gave their cats actual bones.
Well, sure. Raw Prey Model and Whole Prey diets both involve feeding whole, edible bones and larger chunks of meat. The idea is to replicate natural prey, and natural prey isn't ground into a neat little patty.

Quote:
Yeah, I think I am going to try Mystique on a third meal.
I hope that works well for her. Even if she only wants to eat an ounce or two in the extra meal, that should help her pick up some weight.

Laurie
laurief is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome