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Discussion Starter #1
Well Sunny has forced my hand with the raw feeding lol. We have had such a hard time getting him to eat since he came to us on December 21st, and the other day I took a pork roast out of the wrapping to prepare it for the oven and he nearly lost his mind. I have never heard a cat meow that loud - he was gargling lol. So of course I gave him some raw chunks and he was in heaven. He was purring the whole time he was eating them.

Anyway, he clearly knows best and wants NO part of dry food and only grudgingly will eat a bit of canned - I can't tell you how many varieties I've tried. Yesterday I shopped for frankenprey components for him and came home with pork, chicken, beef hearts, beef liver and chicken wings. He ate most everything enthusiastically but it turns out he is not a fan of chicken and picked his way around the chicken chunks, and wouldn't hardly touch the wing. I am going to try some turkey necks and hopefully that will work for the bone component, but if not I am not sure what to do. I know he needs to have bone included.

My question is this: Has anyone ever coated the chunked raw food with bone meal? Does it have a flavor that would put the cat off eating it? If I can't get him to eat bone I'm going to be stuck with grinding I guess, which is not something I'm looking to do and I'm not even sure he would eat it as he's SO into the chunks. I'd rather do the frankenprey model. Any other suggestions for readily available (in the U.S., only regular grocery stores around me, no Asian markets, etc) acceptable bone besides chicken and turkey?
 

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I'd try other kinds of bone before jumping the gun on buying bone meal. Actual raw bones are way better than bone meal...and goodness only knows what they do to that bone and where they get it from!

Try quail, and cornish game hens, at least before you give up. You can also look for pork ribs, or riblets although he might have a harder time with those.

Another good trick is to 'baste' the less enjoyable meats in something delicious. I've used tuna juice, canned food, baby food mixed with water, ect. Basically you use the bones you've bought - like chicken wings - and then rub it really good with something he does like. Sometimes you can trick them into eating it all.

My kitty Torri doesn't like chicken either, but I can occasionally trick her into eating a chicken wing (or part of one) or neck if I rub it in dehydrated duck, or the new favorite is dehydrated salmon flakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks librarychick - I think my problem is going to be finding something he likes well enough to entice him to eat something he doesn't like. When I was trying to get him to eat canned food I tried tuna juice, actual tuna, baby food, bonito flakes, warming the food, etc. and no dice. But maybe if those things are rubbed onto raw chicken chunks or chicken wings it might be a different story I guess. Also it just dawned on me that I haven't tried the Fortiflora, which a lot of people say is very enticing to their cats.

I don't think there is anywhere around here where I could get quail, and Cornish game hens are fairly expensive so I wouldn't be looking to do that on a regular basis. And as far as ordering online, the shipping charges for frozen food are really prohibitive.
 

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I know what you mean on the cost!

If you look carefully though you'd be surprised what you can find, especially if you're checking regularly. There are three major chains near me, and a few different asian markets depending on how far I need to drive. The three big chains each carry the occasional item on my list at a decent price. So I check every time I'm there (once a week or so).

I recently found tiny little cornish game hens (about 1lb total) packaged as pairs for $6. I bought a bunch and am keeping them in my freezer to gradually feed the kitties. Quail is expensive, and my guys only get it for holidays, lol. Twice a year one of the big chains has salmon on super sale, if you buy them whole with just the guts removed. So, I buy a bunch and break them down for my BF and myself...and then keep all the scraps for the cats! Free cat food :)

Sometimes it's just a matter of being creative...but TBH asian, or other ethnic, markets are amazing for raw feeding. The variety they have is simple astounding. See if there's one in a reasonable drive for you. Even if you can only make a trip once a month you can stock up and then portion the bits you can't find closer to home out throughout the month.
 

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Have you considered feeder mice? Most pet stores that cater to reptiles will have frozen feeder mice etc. I'm not sure what each mouse would cost in your area though, they run at about $1.50 each here for an adult/large. Pinkies are very expensive in my area.

Of course you have to be ok with feeding a mouse too, it's certainly not for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll have to google the Asian markets and see what the closest to me are. I know there aren't any nearby but like you say, if I made a trip once a month it wouldn't be that bad. That's not a bad price at all for those Cornish hens you found!

As far as feeding mice, I think I'd be ok with it as long as I didn't have to cut them in half like some people say they have to lol.

I talked to the head guy in the meat dept. at the large chain store I generally shop at yesterday to see if I could buy some parts that aren't for human consumption like pancreas, etc. They said they are not allowed to give/sell those parts to the public and they have to simply dispose of them in a large barrel. What a waste.
 

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I have a couple cats that are reluctant to eat bone in meals as well - one will eat small mice and I'm hoping he'll eventually start taking cornish hen bones but he's not making it easy! Regarding mice - I don't have any cats that will eat a whole mouse readily... whole mice are a toy that they want to play with and carry through the house and probably run off with straight to your walk in closet... I have two cats that LOVE mice but I still chop them in half to get them to eat them rather than play. So if you're not ok with chopping them, they might not be a good option!

Egg shell is a bit easier to measure calcium with rather than bone meal - egg shell is almost 100% calcium carbonate whereas bone meal has varying amounts of calcium, so some people prefer to use egg shell to add calcium to meals.

Good luck getting your cat to eat bone in meals!
 

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Have you tried mashing up just the bone portion? Chicken wing bones are very easy to break, and quite frankly, if he won't eat the chicken bones when they are broken up, a grinder might not help. Most grinders sold for the average home can only do rabbit and chicken bones (though yes, I suppose quail and all the other small prey animal mentioned above as well), but not turkey, beef, or pork.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was thinking of the grinder to use to grind raw food that I could add bone meal to and mix up, not for actually grinding the bones because I don't think I'd be getting that heavy duty of a grinder. But like I said, I'm really hoping to avoid that. I really think the issue with the chicken bones might not be the bones themselves, it might be the fact that he doesn't like chicken. He didn't eat the chunks of chicken I gave him either.

Tonight when he's hungry I'm going to try giving him just a smashed up turkey neck and nothing else to begin with and see if he makes a stab at it when he's got nothing else on the plate. Then I'll give him the rest of the chunked food after a bit. I was really glad to see that he readily ate at least some variety already though - between the pork, beef heart and beef liver. Hopefully I'll get him to eat turkey as well and then those can all be regular staples (since I know I can find them regularly) and then hopefully supplement with some more unusual proteins as/when I find them.
 

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Oh boy, well we have good news and bad news - the good news is that Sunny ate bone tonight! The bad news is that it was a chicken wing bone and he swallowed about a 2 inch piece of bone whole. :shock: I was shocked - is this okay? Is he going to be able to pass a piece of bone like this? Oy, I'm a bit nervous.
 

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If they eat it, they will digest / pass it! I gave one of my cats a whole chicken thigh with some of the meat on it, thinking it would slow him down by having to strip the meat from the bone so he wouldn't be running around stealing other cats food. To my surprise, he crunched through the entire thing easily and then proceeded to try to steal the slower eaters chicken chunks...
 

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Oh ok good, that makes me feel a bit better lol. I couldn't believe it when I saw that big piece of bone just slide down. He, on the other hand, was totally unconcerned. He seems so far to be the perfect raw food candidate - he's certainly not requiring any coaxing, he loves the chunks and is getting there with the bone. He cracks me up too the noises he makes while chowing down on it, all the munching, lip-smacking, chomping, purring, etc. :)
 

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I would suggest giving him larger bone pieces to keep him from swallowing them whole though. If he got it down then it's fine, but a larger piece like that could get stuck in his throat. You need him to chew!
 

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Okay, he is now gnawing on part of a turkey wing. My husband smashed it up somewhat, but he said the bones on it are thick. Is this okay for him to have?
 

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Well, I'm so proud of my boy. :thumb He went to town on that turkey wing and actually ate about half of it - but when I say 'turkey wing' I don't mean the whole thing, man those things are big. I mean just the end part with a bit of the part just past the first joint (if you know what I mean). Anyway, it definitely fell into the category of bone he couldn't swallow lol. He chewed and chewed on that thing and did very well. I only gave him that at first until he had chewed on it and eaten all of it that he would eat - then I gave him the chunks, and he ate all those too. He's doing great.

We are going to Florida at the end of this month, and when we come back I am going to transition Mystique to full raw as well. I haven't tried her with any bones yet though so we'll see how she does. I just don't want the cat sitter to have to deal with two cats on raw - with Sunny we have no choice though because he just flat out wasn't eating. I'm going to try with Penny too, but I have my doubts.
 
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