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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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bottled to raw

I'm wondering the best way to convert my 4week old that is a bit behind in maturity from previous poor feeding and currently eating goat milk and egg to raw. I do not have access to fine ground food items at the moment. I have whole guinea pig, rabbit, and chicken in my freezer which I can turn into any size of piece or very rough grind through a hand turned grinder. My magic bullet might actually work better than the grinder. I put granite grit in the thing once for the button quail and it's still running 5 years later aside from leaky and missing o-rings.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 12:13 PM
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Hi kaliska,

If your kitten is willing to eat raw, you can feed tiny pieces of raw meat instead of that "meatshake" you're currently providing. You'd have to feed the kitten often, however, like every 4-6 hours around the clock if you want to go raw. Kittens that small can't eat large amounts like an adult, so they'll need the frequent feedings.

I think the meats you have are great. Are you familiar with the PMR (prey model raw) diet instead of grinding meat? That may be easier for you, you'd just need to balance out the meats, organ and bone content to the 80/10/5/5 rule. (80% muscle meat, which includes hearts & gizzards), 5-10% bone, 5% organ meats like liver and 5% secreting organs such as pancreas, kidneys, brain, testes, thyroid). I'd probably add at least one other protein source, as cats on PMR diets do better on a wider assortment of meats so they don't get obsessed with one type of meat and get a much more nutritionally balanced diet that allows for healthier growth and a less finicky cat. Do realize that all cats need bones or they'll be calcium deficient and may even develop rickets! You can certainly feed a kitten this young by smashing a chicken neck into very tiny bits with a hammer. Bone is a lot more nutritious than eggshells or bone meals, due to the bone marrow where they get much more than just calcium, too. As for meats, you'll want to know that taurine is an essential amino acid that is prevalent only in raw meats. Choosing muscle meats that works hardest will contain a lot of taurine. Examples include all hearts, and more often legs/thighs than say, chicken breast. Taurine is also water soluble, so any excess that a cat consumed will be exceted in their urine, so no worries about toxic doses.

Hope that helps some for you, you may want to consider doing further research on this topic, too. Raw feeding isn't that difficult, but can be quite intimidating for someone who isn't prepared.

Some related links on raw feeding:
Nature's Prey Model
Why Prey-Model and Not BARF?
How to Transition Your Cat to a Raw Diet - Feline Nutrition
Raw Diets and Cats, What About Bones? - Feline Nutrition

There are other sites, but if you need more info, feel free to PM me. Good luck!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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We feed prey model to the dogs. I'm just adjusting it to the cats and trying to figure out how to move Miyu from bottle to solid food. She seems like she's rather tired of sucking her food out of a bottle and I offered her a 96% meat canned food we keep on hand multiple times the past couple days but even with milk mixed in she hasn't gotten it yet. I tried to get her to drink off a spoon or out of a shallow dish a few times but she just isn't putting together finding her own food and lining up with it rather than having a nipple placed right at her mouth.

I found someone supplying high quality feeder mice and rats. We did have a gerbil source for our previous cats and they loooooved gerbil day. I cut the gerbils in half to make them easier to eat and fed in the bathroom. They always made a huge blood splattered area half playing with them by shaking, throwing, and dragging them around. I had to clean it up before my husband got home because he is a bit disturbed by raw feeding. He's capable of handing the dogs frozen, skinned rabbit now. I had to cut the legs off the rabbits and show him that they looked like chicken wings and increase the handling of the butchered animals slowly from there.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 02:38 PM
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Wow, you sure are brave cutting up the gerbils in half! Lol. I am not so sure I can do that!

Perhaps you need to give your kitten a bit more time to get used to eating on her own, though? I've never had a kitten so young as yours, so I'm really clueless as to advise.

There is a raw cat forum on yahoo, where I've been able to learn a lot more though. You need to join to be able to read older threads and to ask questions. I'm sure someone there can give you better tips than I can if you continue to struggle.

Let us know how it goes with your kitten though, I'd love to know how she does!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 04:37 PM
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Ugh, I'm with the husband in not wanting to come home to a blood spattered bathroom from the cats throwing around gerbils who recently were cut in half.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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I butcher my own rabbits. I also have to do that while my husband isn't home. Cutting dead gerbils in half is not really a big deal.... I tried hamsters as cat food but no one sells prekill since they aren't a normal reptile food and hamsters are so darn durable it was hard to find a humane way to put them down. I quit using them because I just didn't feel I could handle them properly without a very expensive, better regulated co2 system. If I can't do it more humanely than what would go into cat food I am not doing it.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 04:05 PM
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You really are an amazing woman, kaliska! Don't know many willing to do what you do.

How is your little kitten eating now? No change?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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We are feeding the other kitten her morning meal in the pen together and Miyu has licked some foods but not taken a real bite of anything and she quickly goes back to meowing so she's still getting a bottle 2-3times a day. My husband put canned food gravy in with the formula yesterday and she drank it but just the tiny bit of food that came with the gravy partially clogged the bottle. She has all the teeth necessary and sometimes she just starts chomping on the nipple in frustration because she seems to want something more but she's not putting together even formula coated items as food.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 05:06 PM
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Aww, I think she'll get the hang of it, especially if she's hungry, and most kittens get hungry often, thank goodness!

Great idea on placing her with another kitten, though. She can learn a lot from another!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm hoping she learns some biting and clawing control from Misaki who is very good at not being too rough with all her pointy parts. They played for the first time today. My last kitten I found on the highway and raised from about 3 weeks was alone with just my akita dog and she was rather dangerous when playful because she'd never had to restrict the use of her claws and teeth any. I have a few scars.
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