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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Switching to raw

I've been reading a lot about raw food recently on this forum and on catinfo.org and I'd really like to give it a shot.

Leelu is a very picky eater and a grazer. I keep rotating cans, but I throw away so much because it doesn't strike her fancy any particular day. She's pretty thin as it is, so I don't want her not to eat. I always feel like she gets bored of the same old and eventually refuses to touch what was the best food ever 4 months ago. I'm starting to run out of brands to try! I read people pretty much feed the same recipe all the time, do you have any issues with cats not wanting more of the same?

The other thing I wonder about is the grazing. Leelu has never managed to just eat a meal at mealtimes. She takes a few bites, wanders away, then back for a few more, etc. If I remove the food for too long, she'll gobble it up and promptly throw it up, even if it's just a little bit. For those of you who are out of the house during the day and feed raw, do you have any issues not having any food out while you're gone with grazer cats?

Right now pretty much the only cans she loves are one of the seafood weruvas, which I try not to feed more than once a month and the addiction venison. I'm thinking of buying more of the seafood stuff to help with the transition to raw. I don't really want her on a seafood diet, but I think I'd have the best success. She just picks at the other cans, so mixing in raw probably won't help. I have bought some premade raw pouches and she doesn't care for it just like that, she isn't interested in any raw trimmings of human meat either. In fact it took a few days to make her realise the premade pouches are actually food! She sniffs at it, looks at me like I'm insane and maybe takes one lick before turning up her nose and refusing to eat. Sigh...

I know I'm in for a battle of wills and will need a metric ton of patience, but I really want to try. I'm convinced it would be the best for her and her sensitive stomach.



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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 03:45 PM
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Yup, you have to out stubborn them as well as keep them eating! It can be a challenge.
I mixed the raw with Whiskas Fishy pouches (horrid I know but that's what all four would eat reliably) and slowly reduced the ratio of pouch to raw.
I also used things like very finely ground Parmesan cheese, bonito flakes & a little ground kibble sprinkled on top of the raw to get the 'this is FOOD' message across. This helped a lot. I still do it on occasion if necessary.
My IBD girl - Lisbeth, has thrived on Raw and hasn't had one attack (aka the big D) since starting it. She has had a couple of episodes of anorexia which we worked through but they were early on and she's doing really well now. She is also a grazer and this has been a challenge. She will initially sniff her meal then walk off coming back about 1/2 hr later when she will usually eat most of it. I read that some cats need to 'prime' their appetite hence the sniff, go, come back and eat. I used to fret a LOT about her eating as she lost weight when she was anorexic but she is maintaining beautifully now. What I've figured out works for her is that in the morning I just have to be around for that first 30-45 mins so I can uncover her food for her to eat when she turns up - it is covered to stop the others chowing down on it! I feed them 3 times a day. Sometimes, especially now it's summer, she won't eat her early evening meal but she makes up for it later. I separate Lisbeth and Tyrion from Effie and Coco overnight and I now just leave L & T's supper portion and well as any uneaten evening portion out for them and they eat it through the night. In fact, once I've put the 'big girls' to bed with their supper, Lisbeth will often start eating more readily. I think she needs peace and quiet and to feel safe and calm in order to eat happily and without anxiety (she's a very anxious wee cat).

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 03:56 PM
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I have had GREAT success the past two days with the raw (turkey thighs recipe). I sprinkle Fortiflora (Amazon) on top and they just gobble it up! I now have 3 out of 5 on raw. YEA!! You may find that Leelu eats more of this, therefore less hungry between meals. I found this to be true with Lacey! Also, I have not had any vomiting since I switched to raw!

I copied the recipe from Catinfo.org to post on my pantry. I added the psyllium husk because it was in another recipe on the same site. My cats tend to deal with a bit of constipation so I figured it wouldn't hurt. If the poop is too soft, I will delete it the next batch. Some of the quantities are compromises between a couple recipes I found there:


Raw Cat Food Recipe *


1 cup warm, NOT hot water
2 eggs – use the yolk raw
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon food grade bone meal
5000mg fish oil
400 IU (268mg) Vitamin E
3000mg Taurine – 1000 mg more if freezing for more than a month
50mg Vitamin B-Complex
tsp Morton salt with iodine - 3/4 tsp if using lite salt
4 tsp psyllium husk powder
3 lbs poultry – thigh meat with skins
4 oz chicken livers

Mix all ingredients except meat, making sure all the caplets and oils tabs are dissolved.
Grind meat and add to wet mixture. Freeze until ready to use.

Recipe from http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood#The_Recipe

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Last edited by Marcia; 11-17-2013 at 04:00 PM.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Pkbshrew thanks for the reply! Just to clarify, you leave the raw out overnight? Right now, I feed her in the morning and at night and leave it out all day/night and if it happens to be a can she likes, she will eat it. Thankfully she isn't too picky when it's starting to get a bit crusty, but I thought the raw food can't be left out? She's an only cat, so if it's safe to leave it out then I'd be happy to do that and she can nibble at it during the day.

Interesting about priming appetite. Leelu often wants a treat first and then she'll get hungry. It's like I have to remind her to eat or something. Strange kitties. Lol


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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Marcia. I haven't invested in a meat grinder yet, but I will. Did you ever feed any premade raw pouches like Amore? I'm assuming the taste wouldn't be all that different, but maybe I'm better of making what I plan to feed down the road than the premade stuff.


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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 04:01 PM
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I do, but having said that, they've generally finished it with in two hours and it is only about 10c here over night at the moment so it's not going to go off.

In the morning I'll leave it out - uncovering as necessary, for about 2 hours. After that I let Miss Effie finish it off. It's funny, Effie had NO idea Raw was food for ages and now she tries to steal everyone else's!

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuma View Post
Thanks Marcia. I haven't invested in a meat grinder yet, but I will. Did you ever feed any premade raw pouches like Amore? I'm assuming the taste wouldn't be all that different, but maybe I'm better of making what I plan to feed down the road than the premade stuff.


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No, I've not tried that brand. I have tried some prepackaged cat food that was in the refrigerator section, but all of my cats hated it. Total waste of money.

Most of the non meat ingredients I listed are not expensive and will go a LONG way - probably last over a year. You can purchase a hand grinder for not much $$$. I calculated that the raw per pound was about 1/2 the cost of canned - so very economical and the ingredients and grinder will pay for themselves over time.

I bought one of these years ago and it works pretty good for the money!



although I think for just a few dollars more I'd get the more heavy duty model:



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Last edited by Marcia; 11-17-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, that's actually much cheaper than I thought! And if you use bone meal then it's not much of a workout to just grind the meat manually, is it? How long does the recipe above last you? And how long can you keep a thawed portion in the fridge?

I know Amore has a bunch of veggies in it that I don't think are necessary at all, so maybe I'm better off just getting the ingredients, make a batch and go from there. Maybe I could even get a butcher to just grind up a few pounds and go from there.


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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 04:33 PM
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I freeze mine in daily portions - which is 600gms for my 4 cats, and use it within 24hrs. They have made it VERY clear (especially Wee Lisbeth) that anything older than that it totally unacceptable .... hehe.

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuma View Post
Hmmm, that's actually much cheaper than I thought! And if you use bone meal then it's not much of a workout to just grind the meat manually, is it? How long does the recipe above last you? And how long can you keep a thawed portion in the fridge?

I know Amore has a bunch of veggies in it that I don't think are necessary at all, so maybe I'm better off just getting the ingredients, make a batch and go from there. Maybe I could even get a butcher to just grind up a few pounds and go from there.


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I made a batch of 3 pounds a couple days ago and with 3 cats gobbling it up I'm ready to thaw the 4th package (I put it in 5 small containers). I am going to make another batch tomorrow, slightly bigger and put them in larger freezable jars. I will keep a container in the fridge for 3-4 days but so far I haven't had keep it that long there yet. I seem to be going through it pretty quickly. Our friend is a hunter and bagged 2 deer this weekend. He had about 20 pounds of scraps to toss so I took 10 pounds. I'm going to make a small batch of venison tomorrow and see how that goes over - may be too gamey for them.

On Dr. Pierson's website she makes very large batches and freezes for up to several months. I don't mind the effort it takes to make a batch so I will probably do it more frequently like every other week or so so it's not frozen long. Veggies are human thing, NOT a cat thing. Totally unnecessary. I'm excited about my cat's new diets!

Over the past couple days I have found that the raw food bowls get lapped up totally clean while the canned cat food gets left behind by half. That means I'm throwing 1/2 of the canned food away and very, very little of the raw that is not eaten. At the rate I'm going I will be 100% raw within a few more day for 3 of the cats.
Happy, happy, joy, joy!!

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Last edited by Marcia; 11-17-2013 at 07:31 PM.
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