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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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How Much Raw Food to Feed?

Sunny is an 8 pound cat, but he is fairly tall and quite thin. I'm thinking he probably should be about 2 pounds heavier, possibly more. Right now I am feeding him about 3 ounces of raw chunks twice a day, for a total of 6 ounces, and then I throw in 1/4 ounce of liver which I will be doing 4 times a week. I have not sourced another secreting organ yet, hoping to this coming weekend. When I feed him the raw meaty bones, which I plan on doing 3 times a week, that is extra and in addition to his 3 ounces of chunks.

The problem is that he always seems to be starving. He is never satisfied with his 3 ounces, even last night when he had the turkey wing first. Every time I go into the kitchen he is up there begging for more food. I usually will give him another small chunk or two, just because he does need to gain weight and I'm not sure he's getting enough. He will eventually settle.

Any thoughts? I know about the percentage plan, but even at 4% which is the highest they recommend it would only be 5.33 ounces I'd be feeding him and I'm already exceeding that. Maybe he just really likes the food and isn't really hungry? Of course I'll be tracking his weight as I go along but I was just looking for input for right now.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 12:08 AM
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Guides are guides, and just that, IMO. Mind you, I'm not a veterinary dietician or anything like that.

Our kitten is on the opposite end of the spectrum from you. He's 9-months old and weighs about 12 pounds (large breed), very active and still growing, and he only eats ~4ozs a day, sometimes less. For the longest time, we tried giving him more, but he only wants to eat a certain amount over the course of a day. We were a bit worried, but figured he'd eat if he was hungry, and stop if he wasn't, and as long as he was healthy and growing, it didn't matter if he was below the average in terms of his eating.

From everything I've heard (being relatively new to raw diet), cats on raw diets are very good at maintaining healthy weights. If he's hungry, I'd say let him eat more! If he starts to get too heavy, then maybe re-evaluate.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 04:08 AM
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I never pay attention to amounts - I feed as much as they want until they start to get chubby then we cut back a bit. If she is skinny, then feed her more or more often. My Lacey is skinny as a rail but is such a light picky eater. I'm thrilled to get one ounce in her at a time so she eats several times a day.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 05:12 AM
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Has he been checked for worms or dewormed recently? That can definitely cause the appetite to go up!
Otherwise, I second what the others have said about them just being guidelines. I would say that if he needs to gain weight, give him as much as you can a day. As long as you are balancing it, it won't hurt him.
Also keep in mind that if he is younger (less than 2 years) or unneutered, his metabolism might be quite a bit higher still. For puppies I know it is recommend that they get up to 10% of their body weight (basically feeding as much as they will eat!).

Edit: Also, make sure you are calculating his amount based on his goal weight, not his current weight. If you think he should be 10 lbs, he should be eating almost 6.5 ounces per day at 4%.

Last edited by Kytkattin; 01-09-2014 at 05:14 AM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytkattin View Post
Edit: Also, make sure you are calculating his amount based on his goal weight, not his current weight. If you think he should be 10 lbs, he should be eating almost 6.5 ounces per day at 4%.
Right - that's true! So I am feeding him around that anyway, which is good. But yet he is still hungry, so I'm going to go with feeding him more right now because he clearly isn't satisfied with that. Like you say, with raw feeding it's not like feeding canned or kibble - they are more likely to self-regulate. I was just wary of overloading him.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Lol, yes, we're in agreement. I am very, very new to raw feeding - I've only been doing it less than a week. I'm reading everything I can about it but I am still feeling a bit unsure I guess, thus my reluctance to feed him 'too much'. It's so different with raw though, I guess I'll just go with feeding him until he's satisfied for now and if we get to the point where he is gaining too much weight for his frame then I'll worry about it then. I was also afraid he would throw up the food if he overloaded his stomach all at once. I only feed him twice a day because I work 10 hour days and my husband works full time as well.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I'll do that. I know what you mean about your vet - my vet is not in favor of raw feeding either, although she did say that she has many clients who do feed raw and she realizes it is an individual choice, so I can work with that. Her main issue was the possibility of bacteria making the cat sick, but I know that just comes from ignorance due to lack of nutritional training in vet school. Even my husband thought I was crazy initially, although he is becoming more open-minded and doing some research on it as well. He is still uncomfortable feeding bone, but we have to do it unless we're going to grind and supplement which I would prefer not to do because so many benefits are lost that way, chief among them the dental benefit and the psychological benefit of gnawing on those bones as they are meant to do. Don't get me wrong though, I know many cats won't eat bones and ground raw is certainly superior to anything else in the 'cat food' line.

Basically, our newest cat Sunny forced our hand because he would eat virtually nothing from the time we adopted him until in desperation I put him on raw food after he nearly lost his mind when I unwrapped a pork roast in my kitchen lol. He wouldn't touch dry (which I only offered because I didn't know what to do), and the only way he would eat a little bit of canned is mixed with baby food, tuna juice, etc. I gave him some chunks of raw pork and there was no going back. He munched, crunched and purred the whole time he was eating. He clearly knows what he should be eating and was holding out for the 'good stuff' lol.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 02:52 PM
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I generally feed what they want unless they are getting a but chunky. I have three that eat whatever they want, they run around and play so much that it doesn't seem to matter.

My oldest girl is getting a wee bit heavier than I'd like and she isn't nearly as active, so she is the only one that gets portioned raw meals. For the other three I just throw down chunks of meat until they are full! Well, I do weight the liver / kidney / bone in stuff to make sure my ratios are good... but if they want a bit extra I don't mind!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 03:32 PM
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I'd supplement with dry food until the cat's weight was at a good level.

I'm not big on raw food. If you do it wrong the cat ends up with worse nutrition than if you fed it just dry food. Besides the potential for salmonella in raw chicken.

We have two cats. Inky LOVES raw steak. He can smell it when you bring it into the house if it isn't frozen. He will meow for it when he smells it. He likes raw chicken, raw turkey, and raw hamburger. Patches has no interest in raw meat at all.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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No, that's incorrect advice you're giving, Bill the Cat Guy - you can NEVER feed dry food with raw because of the extreme difference in transit time through the cat's system.

And yes, if you do it 'wrong' it can be bad for the cat but I'm not planning on doing it wrong. I've done a lot of research and I'm fine with a raw, species-appropriate diet. Was just wondering about amounts is all.
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