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Toby is on a half wet/half raw diet and one of the reasons why its only half raw is because I'm nervous of giving him bones to eat. I know the raw meals I give must be deficient in calcium and that the whole phosphate level balance must be out of whack, hence why I still give the wet.

I'd like to give Toby raw chicken necks or wings to eat but am nervous about him choking. I tried him on some pinkies a while back thinking that if he ate them, then I would be on the way to solving the problem as, after all, they are the complete package as regards to cat nutrition, but he wouldn't go near them.

Any advice much appreciated. I don't have a grinder powerful enough to cope with bone and, in any case, as Toby is FIV+ I'd rather not do that as it would introduce bacteria and I don't like the idea of bone meal.
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

melysion said:
Toby is on a half wet/half raw diet and one of the reasons why its only half raw is because I'm nervous of giving him bones to eat. I know the raw meals I give must be deficient in calcium and that the whole phosphate level balance must be out of whack, hence why I still give the wet.
Actually, you're far more likely to give to MUCH calcium than too little. Cats have a pretty low bone requirement -- max is 10% of the diet and most cats do best on 5%. That's not much. My cats get bone-in chicken maybe 3-4 meals a week out of 14, and mice 4-5 meals a week (bone in of course). Otherwise they get meatymeat, with liver/other organs in small amounts every few meals.
I'd like to give Toby raw chicken necks or wings to eat but am nervous about him choking. I tried him on some pinkies a while back thinking that if he ate them, then I would be on the way to solving the problem as, after all, they are the complete package as regards to cat nutrition, but he wouldn't go near them.
Well, pinkies aren't really that nutritious compared to adult mice but that's a good way to get a cat started. This is icky, but try cutting one in half. It really helps. Once they figure it out they all love mice.

I don't feed necks and the only wings my cats get are on cornish game hen quarters. IMO bigger chickens = too much bone. And Toby won't choke. The key is biggish pieces and he will gnaw off right-sized pieces. Those pieces may seem big to you, but trust me, he can eat them. Cats and dogs don't chew their food -- their very acidic GI tracts take care of that. They just get pieces off that will fit down their craws, and those pieces are fairly large.

Just keep trying! Start simple. Get a cornish game hen, quarter it, freeze 3 quarters, and offer him one. If he eats it, great! If not, try trimming off a little meat for him, or ribboning the flesh on the quarter so he can see that it's food. Remember that commercial cat food is unnaturally smelly on purpose -- so cats/dogs used to commercial food think food is supposed to REEK. Raw meat is surprisingly un-smelly and that takes some getting used to. :)
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

You can feed chicken necks. I would just stick to necks in your case because it will be easier to portion out. Necks are about 36% bone. So a whole one might add a little too much calcium. At 50% raw you may only need to feed an 1/8th-1/4th of the neck of you wanted to keep it a little under 10% bone guideline. That should be a small enough piece for you kitty to tackle. If not then pound it with something to break the bones.

A cornish game hen is about 39% bone. And theoretically no matter how many times you chop it up it will still be 39% unless you remove bone. I say theoretically because a whole chicken is about 32% bone but a neck is 36%, breast is about 20%, thigh about 21%, and drumstick 33%.
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

My cats eat approx. 1/3 Evo kibble and 2/3 raw, and I give each cat 1/4 chicken neck daily. Occasionally a cat will constipate with that much bone. When that happens, I feed the neck piece every other day until that cat's system straightens out again. Some of the cats will crunch their neck piece, and some will only eat it after I've pulverized it with a hammer.

Laurie
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

Believe me I am one of the most nervous raw feeders I've "met". I constantly worry about these things, nothings happened though lol.

I would start small and meaty. Willie likes rabbit ribs a lot, when I cut up the rabbit I leave meat surrounding the ribs, cornish hen ribs would be a good start too. I have to smash all of Willie's bones and I don't mind. If I don't he eats around them, just removing the meat, he won't eat ribs if they are not smashed because when he bites one part the other part swings up and touches his face which he just can't have :roll: . Chicken wings are good, chicken necks are good (might be a little big but when smashed work out fine). Ribs of chickens are good. Everything from the Cornish game hen can be fed, I throw nothing out when I feed them, pelvis, spine, everything is fine. Rabbit is good, I kept most bones form that, haven't tried them all yet though.

Try ribs first though. I don't know how to help you not worry about it, I think once you hear them crunch through that bone and realize how those teeth are really made for bone crunching it will help. I remember hearing Willie eat his first bone and being amazed how he bite into it and it appeared to be no harder than biting into a piece of kibble. Willie's takes small bite of bone to be honest, I can't really see anything happening internally with the little bite he takes (of bones, he can take lots of meat).
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

It is so hard to cross the bridge of feeling okay with them eating the bones. But after watching Pepper at 4 months plow through chicken ribs after only 4 days on raw my worries ended pretty quick.

Jack is lazy kitty and he would rather not chew if he can. He doesn't like to work at bigger pieces of bone. He gives up pretty quick. So I give him a big piece let him work his jaw some then trim it down to a more manageable size.

Harley will work at it until he gets it--as long as Jack doesn't come to annoy him.

Leslie
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

Jack&Harley said:
It is so hard to cross the bridge of feeling okay with them eating the bones. But after watching Pepper at 4 months plow through chicken ribs after only 4 days on raw my worries ended pretty quick.
Yup. And my Jonah was eating pinky mice at 3 weeks, fuzzies at 4, and at 6 weeks is now eating full-sized mice. Small bones but bones nonetheless. He's also eating a little bone-in rabbit now. Cats are equipped to handle bone. My only caution is to remember that unlike dogs, cats hunt alone--so they bring down SMALL prey, not big caribou which they share. This is why I prefer Cornish game hens. Although most cats CAN get through much full-sized chicken bone, it seems unnatural to me as no cat is going to be able to bring down a large bird. Small bones are best IMO.
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

OK ... well yesterday I brought a organic chicken and - and this doesn't happen often in the UK these days - I got the giblets! I buy Toby chicken hearts and liver normally from a local butcher so he will enjoy them. Anyway, as part of the giblets, I got a little chicken neck.

Now, the giblets are in the freezer at the moment (I always freeze raw before giving it to the Tobe) - but the presence of that neck means ... well what do you think? Shall I give it a go and just let him eat it?
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

Sure -- why not? I don't feed necks much anymore but it was one of the first bones my big kitties would try. :)
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

Wish me luck. He isn't likely to just try and swallow it whole or something daft like that, is he?
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

Nope. Give him the whole thing -- don't cut it up. Neck bone is crumbly and he'll chew off pieces the size he wants. If he doesn't want it all, rinse it off and bag it up for later in the week.
 

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Re: advice requested - bones

Well ... eventually got around to defrosting the giblets last night. Toby ate the organ meat but he was very funny with the neck. Kept batting at it with his little paw! Had no idea how to tackle it at all until I cut it up into three bits. He then chewed on one of the bits, but didn't make much headway to be honest.

Poor little guy just couldn't figure out what he was supposed to be doing!

Any suggestions? :lol:
 

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It's funny you should mention that because I found chicken necks at the grocery store the other night. I picked some up and cut them into big chunks for the ladies.

Stormy went to town on them, crunching bones like a little lion. But Misty only chewed on it a little.

Of course, the fun thing about chicken necks is they're PORTABLE! You can take one out of your sisters' bowl and drop it in your own bowl! You can carry it into the living room and eat it on the throw rug! Sigh.

The next day I dropped some chicken neck parts in the food. Stormy ate the necks, but Misty just licked the food off. I think I may try some cut-up chicken meat mixed in with canned and see if Misty will tackle that.
 

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ET definitely wasn't sure how to handle bones at first. I think his first bone was a very small neck. Like most of his early raw meals, ET would just lick and lick the food, thinking that eventually it would dissolve in his mouth :roll: . I found that holding the piece in a more helpful orientation (ie. upright, directing it towards the side of his mouth) made it a little easier for him, and eventually he caught on. The side-mouth chewing was the trickiest to figure out, but now I find that he even eats wet food this way (he's still on 50:50) and treats the "big chunks" as though they were raw!

-BP
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hoofmaiden said:
Just keep offering them. He'll figure it out! He needs time -- be patient. :)
Thanks! You should have seen him. He was so cute, batting it around and then looking at me as if to say 'Muuuuuuuum! What do I do with it? Muuuuuuuum?'
 

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melysion said:
Thanks! You should have seen him. He was so cute, batting it around and then looking at me as if to say 'Muuuuuuuum! What do I do with it? Muuuuuuuum?'
PERFECTLY normal behavior. ;) The first time Lincoln got a [dead] mouse, he batted it around for a freaking HOUR and never ate it! Took my cutting it up (ewwww) to get him to finally realize it was food. Now he doesn't need that. But he definitely thought it was just a nice toy at first. :) "Gee, thanks Mom! I love it!" :lol:
 
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