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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Options for Bone in Raw Diet

I'm getting a bit nervous because Sunny has started to reject bone after having a good start with eating it. I have tried chicken wings, a turkey neck, cornish hen wing and a turkey wing. The turkey parts were broken up a bit with a hammer because they are so large, but the chicken wing and cornish hen wing were given to him whole. He has been on the raw food diet a week today and has only eaten part of a turkey wing and probably a whole chicken wing (altogether), but that was earlier in the week.

I'm going to keep trying him with the raw bones, but I just want to be prepared as I'm nervous about him not getting the calcium he needs. So far I think he must have had enough bone for right now because he hasn't had any diarrhea. But if he won't eat bones going forward, what are my options? I know I can use bone meal (if he will eat the meat with it on there), and someone on here said something about grinding up egg shells and sprinkling them on the food. Has anyone else used these methods and how did they work?

Also, I know a lot of variety in muscle meats is ideal, but so far he is just eating pork and beef heart (and of course beef liver and tonight he had some lamb kidney). He doesn't like chicken but he may eat turkey because he did eat the wing, I just haven't gotten any yet. How concerned do I have to be about the variety right now? I do intend to increase the variety as I find other meats that he likes but is it crucial right out of the gate or will he be okay for the time being?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 05:15 PM
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Two options. You could try running everything through a grinder to mince it all. Bone is bone and as long as it's ingested it's good. Another option is adding bone meal to the slurry of eggs, vitamins and minerals. Have you ruled out dental issues?

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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No, he hasn't been to the vet yet for his wellness check since we've had him so dental issues haven't been ruled out per se. But he sure doesn't seem to have any trouble gnawing on the chunks of meat I'm giving him.

I don't do a slurry because I'm feeding frankenprey and I thought it wasn't necessary to supplement with that model. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I do plan on giving him some fish oil though since I'm not feeding any fish. I would much rather not get into grinding, but if I have to I suppose I could just grind the small bones and sprinkle it on his meat chunks.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 05:27 PM
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Bone meal is tough, because you aren't certain how much calcium is in there... a nice, easy thing to do it to take eggs shells, dry them out in the over and crush them finely - almost 100% calcium carbonate. It is easier to use that to add calcium to meals than bone meal - you know that there is almost no phosphorus.

Have you tried anything other than wings? My two hold out for bone-in meals finally started eating necks - I crush the bone up a bit. You might need to try other offerings than wings. Otherwise, sprinkling a bit of egg shell on his chunked meat works very well. Usually, 100 grams of meat would need about 1/4 teaspoon of ground egg shell.

Edit to add: For frankenprey, the only supplements I've seen recommended are occasional (weekly) fish / fish oil or egg yolk and possibly probiotics. Generally no other vitamins or nutrients are usually added - as long as you feed heart, there is plenty of taurine in the diet.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, the eggshells are definitely do-able! And I'm sure he'll eat them sprinkled on the meat. He's not that picky so far except for his not liking chicken. The only bone I've tried besides the wings was a turkey neck broken up. He was not at all interested in it. He pulled off a couple of pieces of the meat on it, but didn't attempt the bone at all.

I was so pleased because he ate lamb kidney tonight! I have had trouble sourcing a secreting organ for him to have in addition to the liver, and when I found it yesterday I was praying he would like it lol. I have also found some beef kidney that I'm going to pick up tomorrow for some variety.

What do you do with the egg yolk when you feed that? Do they just lap it off a plate or do you coat the chunks of meat with it?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Heather72754 View Post
What do you do with the egg yolk when you feed that? Do they just lap it off a plate or do you coat the chunks of meat with it?
None of my cats will eat egg yolk on it's own, so I'll mix it with commercial raw or wet food. I feed sardines a bit more often than egg yolk, just because they like them better. I've read that other cats really enjoy egg yolk, so maybe mine are weird!

If he isn't a turkey or chicken fan, maybe try duck if you can source it. It seems to be a favorite because it is a bit fatty. He might eat those bones or maybe rabbit? I haven't fed mine rabbit yet. Mine seem to prefer dark meat, the chicken drumsticks are favorites and the two cats that will eat anything will munch right through them, thighbone and all. The other two cats pick the meat off and leave the bone.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I'll have to try him with the egg yolk to see if he likes it. He won't eat any kind of cat food, which is how I ended up starting him on a raw diet after a week of trying to coax him to eat just enough to keep body and soul together, so mixing it with that isn't an option. He does like baby food though, so maybe I can incorporate that somehow. There are no commercial raw foods around here, and with the shipping charges that isn't an option.

What kind of sardines do you buy? I found some in the store that were packed in water but every variety I could find had added salt, which I didn't think was the best choice.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 09:24 PM
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I'm sure you can just coat chunks of meat with egg yolk if he doesn't eat it on its own!

I found sardines with just water, no salt added. I also went to a fish market and found small bait fish that should be healthy for them - whole, tiny, frozen fish... the kind of thing you'd assume every cat would love! But mine won't have anything to do with them. They aren't huge fans of sardines but at least will eat them. Egg yolk and the small whole fish are about the only things they won't eat. They will eat pieces of salmon or other fish, so I sometimes buy sushi grade fish for humans and give them some but that is expensive so it isn't often!

If he ate chicken and bones before, any idea why he isn't eating them now? Is he maybe holding out for the things he likes better? Just curious.

Last edited by marie73; 01-14-2014 at 07:04 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well he never ate chicken chunks but he did eat a partial chicken wing twice, but truthfully I think he was so hungry then that he was less picky. If he was eating an ounce of cat food twice a day he was lucky so he was much more willing to eat anything as long as it wasn't cat food.

When I first started feeding him raw food, he would follow me down the hall nearly screaming - he meowed so loud he scared my other two cats lol. But now he knows he will be getting his raw meals he's much more relaxed, and much more likely to pick through for the things he likes best. He's so funny - he always cleans up the beef heart first, then goes to the pork and then the liver or kidney (if there is any).

But when I'm trying to get him to eat bone, I'll just give him the bone and nothing else until after he either eats it or completely rejects it. I don't give him the food right away if he rejects it though, I'll wait a while.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, he's not a fan of any chicken parts so far, although I haven't specifically tried chicken necks. Yes, when I said I feed him bones and 'nothing else' I meant I don't give him his chunks of meat at the same time so he has the option of just eating them in favor of the bone, but they are definitely raw meaty bones with plenty of meat attached.

I have tried him with bones in the morning as well as the evening, and actually with our schedule there are more hours between his morning and evening feedings than between his evening and morning so for us I thought we would have more success in the evening.

As a side note, he's been on the raw diet a week now and just today I discovered the definite litter box evidence! The lighter-colored, small volume, non smelly poop - just like in the video lol.
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