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Generally you can't buy quail online. I get mine at an Asian grocery--some Whole Foods stores will special order them, but it's much cheaper at the Asian grocery!

I get mice from American Rodent Supply . If you're in their blue zone (which you are), shipping is FREE if you order $100 worth. That's a GREAT deal and they'll keep forever in the freezer, so stock up! Be sure to check out the sales when you go there--I usually get stuff on sale and BOY is it cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's awesome, thank you so much for the advice! I know there are some Asian markets in Hartford and New Haven (and I'm right smack dab in the middle) so I'll check those out. And free shipping RULES! Now let's see if I can muster up the courage to buy a couple tester mice from the pet store :-| At least I know the dogs will eat them if the cats won't.
 

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I ended up buying a ground mix of chicken/beef/bone/fish/organ from a woman who distributes locally. I've been mixing it with Wellness canned and they have *finally* caught on that there's no other option than to eat what I serve! Well, they understand that for now, anyway. Haha :p I think it'll be REALLY slow going but hopefully I'll eventually be able to sneak more and more chunks in there until they're eating what they should be eating. Maybe in a couple years, at this point! I had two of them to the point where they'd eat chunked beef heart and chicken necks that I bashed up a bit and marinated in the water from a can of mackerel. Then one day they decided they didn't like it anymore. Little snots! Maybe it's one of those things they'd be willing to eat once a week but not daily. I don't know. This process has been exhausting and frustrating. I don't understand how all of you lucky people have cats that will readily devour bone and organ. Bah.
 

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Rach, as I have said before - it took us eight months to switch our four cats. Doing as you are, mixing a complete ground with canned. Every two weeks we'd up the raw and decrease the canned amts by a tbsp (but tsp would do well too). Eventually they were eating mostly ground with one a smear of canned, and then we added chunks!

You can do this, we had the most stubborn ladycat ever to do the switch and while it always took her a while she switched eventually. :)

And man, getting them to eat bones took us even longer than 8mths, we'd have to give them some ground stuff a couple times a week just to get the bone in them! Organ-wise, they took okay to it.. we just kept offering and if they snubbed their noses they went without dinner (we meal feed, every 12hrs) until the next meal. They did eventually learn that they eat if they're hungry or they go without (****NOTE**** none of our cats were overweight at this point and we never let them go more than 24hrs without eating -- the next meal was always something everyone would eat, with a side of organ for the picky one).

Then our eldest started to throw up ALL beef liver he ate, so we had to get different liver for him. Argh. Pan in the butt! :p
 

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Thank you for the words of encouragement, I needed that! :)

I think our black cat, Miles, will be the toughest. He has lost weight since we started this endeavor so I'm thrilled that he's finally eating full meals of the ground with canned. I just fear that once there's too much raw for his liking he'll quit on me again. Why must our feline friends be SO FINICKY?!
 

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If you're concerned about them no wanting it anymore, I wouldn't. It's technically different every few weeks! You're adding more raw/less canned. Voila! Different food. ;)

You could also do as AC has recommended by adding bits of freeze dried liver/chicken/fish treats, fish food, etc to entice the picky one. AND! Once you get to the meat chunks level you can keep it interesting by adding new meat all the time! Our cats have had goat (didnt like it), rabbit, quail, frog, fish, moose, deer, mice, rats, chicken, goose, pheasant, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, and we're hoping every so often to get more exotic meats. Never boring here! (although, the majority of their diet is beef heart - they will NEVER tire of that stuff)
 

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Thank you for the words of encouragement, I needed that! :)

I think our black cat, Miles, will be the toughest. He has lost weight since we started this endeavor so I'm thrilled that he's finally eating full meals of the ground with canned. I just fear that once there's too much raw for his liking he'll quit on me again. Why must our feline friends be SO FINICKY?!
Yes, unfortunately it often does take a very long time. Just make the incremental increases so incredibly tiny, he doesn't realize there's more and more until voila!, it's all raw. *smile*

As for the bones - I wouldn't even try to feed any non-ground at this point, and definitely not chicken necks (I'm not sure why they seem to be one of the most oft-recommended starter bones, but they're thick and tough - my cats won't eat 'em to this day).

Hang in there, you can do it!! :)

AC
 

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Thank you, both. I really appreciate the advice and the positive reinforcement. I know this is what's best for them, so I'll keep on truckin' and hope they get with the program eventually.
 

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Rachel, some of my cats jumped on in to the raw diet with all four paws. I had some hold outs, though. One, I have to grind the food or make it really small because of the way she eats. We are working on building her jaw muscles...it's going to be awhile. Sometimes I have to hold the chunks of raw and make her bite them out of my hand. That's SO MUCH FUN with organs!

For bones, some of the cats were like, "Heck yah!" when I gave them chicken wings and drumsticks and some of them were like, "Uh....what?"

So I tried cornish game hens. Now they all go for that, (exception the one I have to grind things for), because it's smaller, so much easier for them to eat. When you get to that point, try a cornish game hen dismembered.

They won't eat it every day but every two or three days, they'll take to it.

Even the most stubborn cat is eating the cornish game hen which surprised me.

The only one I'm having a problem with is the older cat. She likes raw, she just doesn't know how to pick up a bite. I did notice that she is missing two teeth in her bottom row...poor baby....so this is part of the problem. I may have to forever grind her food, I don't know.

When I first started this, I checked her teeth, I thought they were all there, her gums were and are pink. All her teeth are white and look healthy but I pretty much held her mouth open the other day with a vice grip, (not really!!), and did some thorough investigating. Dang it all, she's missing two on the bottom row which is easy to miss because have you seen those cute little teeth they have? Those are tiny!

Sigh. I don't have a grinder yet so right now I'm putting everything in a blender and shredding it. She lapped it up yesterday in the afternoon but not so much at night.

I'll try again and see how that works. Also, I guess I'm going to just buy ground beef, ground turkey and such. It's got to be better than kibble and she'll eat the amount she should. I don't think she's eating enough right now. She's lost weight and I read not to let them lose too much too fast so I always give her extra meal times. Just takes her so long to eat those chunks with her scooping with her tongue.

I'm hoping with blending them, (there's still a chunk or two in there), she'll get the hang of it. At least get her to eat enough.

I've seen what it does to a cat that doesn't eat for too long. A roommate had a cat go missing for a few days. I happened to work at a vet at the time so we brought him in and got him some care.

It's a long, drawn out story that I don't want to get in to here but I will say, he was starting to do better. There was some mishandling over a weekend at the vets, (shouldn't have let a newbie handle this), and he didn't get enough---his health declined rapidly, it was horrible to watch and he did eventually die.

Make sure they are getting enough to eat, do not let them go without food for a day. I know you know this but I know that switching to raw, sometimes these picky little snots won't get enough and I can't stress enough that with the felines, we have to give in. Can't hold out like we do dogs.

Anyway, good luck.
 

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I just checked that link for frozen mice etc. I am thinking about it for Gracie - although it will be hard for me since I think of rodents as pets - ! Ugh :(.

We have a relatively small freezer section in our fridge. Can someone give me an idea of quantity? How much space would, say, $100 of the little hairless mice take up - ? Two shoe boxes full? Three or four gallon-storage bags??? I am trying to visualize the room I would need in the freezer...

Fran
 

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Hey guys! Kinda forgot about this thread. We've made much progress since I posted this! The cats are now eating 100% raw (a coarsely ground mix with chunks of beef heart or turkey meat or whatever the dogs are eating that day) and two of them will now eat small bones! I bought a couple CGH and that was very successful. I think I'll try either feeder mice or quail or chicks, but it'll be hard for me also because I adore rodents and I've had many as pets :( I also have pet chickens and I raised several of them from sweet little baby chickies. Siiiiigh....the things we do for our kitties.

One of my cats, actually my boyfriend's cat, never transitioned. He absolutely would not touch his canned food if there was the slightest hint of raw meat in it. I had him on a canned food diet for a while, but he'd only lick it a few times and walk away. I tried several brands and flavors; no dice. He'd like something one day and not touch it the next. Over time he lost a lot of weight and he'd vomit bile after a few days of not getting enough to eat. We finally decided to stop forcing it on him and bought him a small bag of Merrick BG to mix with his wet food. We only mix in about a tablespoon per meal but he goes nuts for it!!! I felt awful that we hadn't done it sooner. I guess you can't win 'em all, but he's on a farrrrr better diet than he was prior to moving here and my three are loving raw :)
 
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