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Finicky about larger bones

1952 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  beckyhiker
Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone might have an idea of how to deal with a problem that I've been having with Shade.

A bit of background, Shade is 3-1/2 years old and has been eating a mostly prey model diet for the last 3 years (3 meals a day, usually canned in a.m., and 2 raw meals in the p.m.). When I first started him on raw he had no problem plowing through any bone he was given, including chicken thighs and drumsticks. Unfortunately, as time has gone by, he is becoming very picky about bones and sometimes won't even attempt the rmb's that I give him which include rabbit, game hens, chicken necks, and chicken wings. Sometimes he will eat part of one if I sit on the floor and hold it and sometimes he suddenly decides that he wants to eat an entire rmb all on his own. Also, I've been finding that I have to cut up his muscle meat into smaller sized peices or he doesn't want to be bothered eating them either. Could he just be getting lazy; does that happen?

This problem has developed gradually over time, so I don't think that he scared himself with a bone getting stuck in his mouth or anything like that. In fact, I almost always watch them eat to be safe and to make sure that they (I have 4 cats) aren't stealing eachother's food, so I think that I would have noticed if something had happened.

I would really appreciate any ideas that anyone might have!

Thanks a lot!:smile:
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Have you checked his teeth? That's the only thing that I can think of.
Same. First thing I thought was maybe he's cracked a tooth and it hurts to crunch bones?
I think it's a good idea to check teeth just in case. But I think laziness definitely can come into play with their willingness to work through bones. I know some cats must love bone, but mine both find it a chore. My younger cat happily crunched through chicken wings the first time I offered them to her - now she's used to quail bones, and walks away from chicken wings like I'm asking her to do something unreasonable :roll:
Another good point. We have a kitty that decided bones other than quail we're too much work (necks, and wings from chickens) so he went on a hunger strike. We had to wait him out! Offer the same meal repeatedly until he ate. :)
Hi, and thanks for your replies! I've looked in his mouth recently and he had his well care, wow, back in October now, and neither the vet nor I saw any sign that he has a problem with his teeth or mouth. I can't discount that we missed something, but this problem started about a year or more ago, so I would think we would have noticed something in October. Also, sometimes he does crunch through big-ish bones, it's just that most of the time he doesn't.

I honestly think he is just being lazy. :? You should see the look he gives me if he thinks something is too big, kind of like "come here and fix it!".

I just wish I could think of a "fix" that would get him to eat his rmb's and large chunks other than me going to his dish with my shears to cut everything up.

Thanks again!
Then he does sound lazy or, another possibility is, that he knows how much bone his body needs and he just does not want it because he does not need it. In total relation to the amount of food cats eat, they really don't need a lot of bone. For instance, I feed 1 pound of food a day for my three cats. Of that, they need an ounce of bone each, or the amount equal to 1 chicken wing a day each (based on the assumption that a chicken wing is 1 ounce).
I honestly think he is just being lazy. :? You should see the look he gives me if he thinks something is too big, kind of like "come here and fix it!".
Oh yeah, I'm definitely familiar with that look! My older cat will actually come over to me and lead me back to her bowl to complain if she thinks her pieces of meat are too big. She's almost 15 now and has only been on raw for the past few months, so I do humor her a bit. She is tonnes better than she was at first - her first few days on raw I actually used a really fine cheese grater to get the meat so super fine she didn't even have to chew it. I've been gradually increasing the size of her meat chunks since then, and now she'll willingly eat pieces about the size of a nickle. I call that progress :p

I think the same method would work for your cat if you wanted him eating bigger pieces. Next time you feed him cut the pieces a little bigger. And then once he's fine with that size, start making them a little bigger. There probably will be times when you have to wait him out, but we can totally be more stubborn than our cats! ...I think. :wink Good luck
There probably will be times when you have to wait him out, but we can totally be more stubborn than our cats! ...I think.
:lol: I suppose that's possible!

Quick question, when you guys feed a bone meal, do you serve muscle meat along with the bone, or just give them a bone? For instance, if I were to give them a half a chicken neck or a chicken wing, I'd also give them maybe 3 or 4 chunks of muscle meat too because there just isn't that much on those rmb's. With a rabbit rmb however, I don't give them anything else because usually there's quite a bit of meat on there.

I don't offer meat on boney days to anyone but my eldest (who can't handle bone in large quantities like everyone else). They will usually get meat for the other meal of the day, though.
I would never feed bone without any meat. It's just my personal preference, but I would worry about constipation from an all bone meal. There's times where I've offered (like today) a very boney meal with some meat, but never a boneless meal. Today, I offered the breast plate and back of a chicken and a bit of pork.
Whether they're getting quail, chicken wings, or ribs I just measure out their usual portions (1 oz and 1 1/4th oz), including whatever meat is attached to the bone. Cuz even with chicken necks there is meat attached. However my cats have REALLY small appetites when they're on raw. If they got any extra meat with their bone-in meals they would just eat the meat and not be hungry enough to tackle the bones.
Ok, well it sounds like most of us do about the same thing. Two of my cats have absolutely no problem with bones and the other two are more finicky. I could try just offering Shade a whole neck as a meal, but my bet is that he'd walk away after a minute or two and none of my cats like necks very much anyway.

Thanks everyone!
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