Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
When I rescued the GoBoys, they were about 5 weeks old. I didn't know if they'd be able to handle raw meat at that age (though they probably could have), so I kept them on canned food until they were about 8 weeks old. The first time I put little pieces of raw chicken on plates in front of them, they turned into ferocious little tigers! They SNATCHED those meat pieces and growled fiercely at each other while tearing the meat apart! They knew exactly what that raw meat was for, and there was no stopping them and no looking back!
I did wait a couple of weeks before incorporating bone. I wanted to build up their jaw strength by giving them bigger and bigger meat pieces. But really, they would have had no problem shredding a T-bone!
Even so, I wasn't comfortable giving them whole bones when their mouths and teeth were so small, so I smashed pieces of chicken neck with a hammer for them. I continued that for months until they suddenly started rejecting the smashed bones. I tried offering them unsmashed chicken neck pieces, instead, and it was apparently what they'd been waiting for. They wanted to crunch those bones!
I might have offered them whole bones earlier if I'd had access to small quail or rodents - prey animals with small, soft bones. But chicken bones are substantially larger and more dense than any natural prey a feline might eat on its own. Of course if you choose to feed one of the raw ground diets, bone size will only be dictated by the power of the grinder you buy.