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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Question Raw Food Balance

Hi All,

We have two new 3 month old kittens and have decided to try feeding them raw - breeder had them on dry with some raw. All is going well so far and I wanted to ask some questions to ensure we have everything covered.

We are using the rough 80/10/10 frankenprey percentages, with foods as follows:

Meat - 80% - fed as chunks, not ground
Beef - they love this!
Chicken - went down well
Salmon - went for it the first time, less keen the second time
Venison - TBC *being delivered tomorrow from Nurturing by Nature
Heart (various) - TBC*

Bones - 10%
Chicken neck - TBC*
Chicken wings - TBC*
Sprat - TBC*
Partridge - TBC*

Organs - 5% Liver/5% Other
Lambs Liver - went down well
Kidney - need to get some
Gizzards - need to get some

Misc
Occasional egg - TBC
Occasional fish oil if they don't take to eating oily fish
Cat grass (a plant, not dried) - may get this or something similar for them to nibble on

The list isn't exhaustive, just what I have planned for now, so other game and meat/organs from animals listed will also be fed over time.

Questions
  1. Does this look varied enough?
  2. Given there is a decent amount of dark meat here and I'm not grinding anything, my research suggests that this should provide enough taurine, is this the case?
  3. I've seen some posts that mention other supplements, is this really necessary?
Apologies for the long post. Any advice much appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 04:52 PM
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Im not sure what 'sprat' is, but you've got a fair variety. The more the merrier though - I'd add in some pork, duck, turkey, and game meats too if you can get them.

I'm guessing TBC means you haven't tried yet? If so, get the bones in there ASAP! Those kittens will need the minerals in the bones to grow. Start with smaller bones like chicken ribs, wingtips, etc. but build up too by smashing larger bones a bit to get them started.

I don't personally add supplements, but you need a bigger variety of organs to manage that.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 06:18 PM
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There's a lot of evidence out there that fish is not good to feed to cats as a long-term thing.

Why Fish is Dangerous for Cats | Little Big Cat

The article is aimed at commercial foods with salmon in them, but I believe what Dr. Hofve mentions about salmon would hold true for raw-feeders as well.

I personally would not feed my cat fish after the reading I've done, but some people say that smaller fish like anchovies and sardines are okay, because they have short lifespans and cannot accumulate the toxins that other, longer-lived fish do. And those fish have the added benefits of being high in the good kind of fish oil.

I think your balances look great otherwise, you've even got the lower liver percentage that some people miss.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. The food delivery arrived this morning, so the little ones well be getting their first shot at chicken necks later on.

Interesting point about salmon. To be honest, it tends to be more expensive than other options, so I see no reason to take the risk. I agree that smaller fish shouldn't present much risk as they aren't high up the food chain (which is where the heavy metals end up accumulating).

Will try them on sprat (which are little, sardine sized fish), but won't rush to purchase again, unless they really love it. I like the idea of them eating game meat (plus meat from larger animals - even if it is a bit unnatural...) more than fish in any case.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2016, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maclrc View Post
I like the idea of them eating game meat (plus meat from larger animals - even if it is a bit unnatural...) more than fish in any case.
Smaller fish should be fine, but I wouldn't feed them very often. I have a very large freezer, so it helps a lot with keeping things good while on the lower levels of my rotation. I've also found that they go through phases - for a while they all LOVE Cornish game hen, then they all decide they don't like it. I wait a month or so before trying again and now it's delicious again.

The big thing to remember is that variety is the very biggest issue with raw feeding. Minerals and vitamins are in different animals (and parts of animals) in different concentrations. Feeding whole animals as much as you can is best, but you can also get the same effect by feeding a variety of protein sources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakotaWolf View Post
There's a lot of evidence out there that fish is not good to feed to cats as a long-term thing.
Personally, I see it as a moderation issue. My So and I don't buy salmon anymore (after I watched a great documentary called Salmon Confidential), but more because of how the production/catching's effect on our environment than anything else. To be honest, we were only eating salmon maybe 3 times a year before that, so it wasn't exactly a great sacrifice. I switched to locally caught trout.

For the cats I think of it in much the same way - as an occasional treat it will be fine, but it shouldn't be fed more than once a month, IMO. I'd be ok with smaller fish twice a month, but it's a hard sell for my cats.

Last edited by marie73; 06-13-2016 at 01:45 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Bit of an update. Kittens continue on the raw only diet, but I do have some concerns with how I'm feeding them bones.

Both kittens had a chicken neck each a few days ago. I broke them up using a mallet and they ate almost all of it. However, both have been constipated since. One has lost appetite a bit (although not completely) and the other has been eating well but has vomited meals up twice; I'm guessing he is a bit blocked up and his body is rejecting the extra food going in?

This got me thinking that maybe they have had too much bone in one go. Is it best to give them less broken up bones (e.g. a chicken wing and let them strip the meat and chew any bone they want to eat) or break the bones into small pieces so they eat more?

I assume that once they grow and have stronger jaws, etc. they will simply chew whatever bone they want, but the kittens seem to struggle!

It also seems to be difficult to judged how much 10% bones will end up being...

Any advice much appreciated
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Bit of extra detail:

They currently eat:

- A half liver/half meat meal every 10 meals
- A half other organ/half meat meal every 10 meals
- A bone meal (e.g. chicken neck, chicken wing, or sprat) meal every 10 meals

This gives the meat:bone:liver: other organ ratio of 80:10:5:5 - but as I mention in the previous post, I am concerned with how the bone component should be worked out.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 01:12 PM
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It does sound like the bone is causing constipation. I'd still use chicken necks, but chop them into 1 inch chunks and feed a bit more often, rather than in one whole meal.

They should be able to chomp down chicken wingtips and maybe the middle bit with two bones now, without them being smashed. Let them try it anyways.

Also, keep in mind that the percentages don't need to be perfect, especially the bone one. Some cats can't handle 10% without being constipated, others need more like 15%. It's all a bit more fluid, and you'll come to find a balance with time and attention.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2016, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quick update; have had to play around with portion sizes, sizes of chunks, and the order meals are fed (e.g. dense meat like beef after a bone meal, tends to make one of the kittens vomit), but making progress
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