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Discussion Starter #1
i'm such a nutrition nerd, i am super excited.

picked up a bag of nature's variety chicken medallions today and planning to have the kitties try it out this weekend. they eat dry food during the day when we are at work, so i'm aiming for a no-kibble weekend so we can incorporate raw in their diets without upsetting their tummies. until i am comfortable with buying raw meat non-commercially, their main part of their diet will still be canned.

i know buying commercial raw isn't the most economical, but right now i'm just taking it easy and trying baby steps =) i am currently a little paranoid about serving raw meat that's been sitting refrigerated at the grocery store for who knows how many days, but i'll keep looking at the forums to see some good advice from all of you :)

i like how they have individually frozen medallions so you can just take out what you need.

just thought i'd share and i'll let you know how it goes :kittyturn
 

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I think i might try out these frozen medallions, and Nature's Variety is sold at the local pet food shop that i go to on a regular basis :) hooray! Let me know how it goes though :) Maybe, i'll try it after Aster and Cody do, and if they like it then i'll get some for Rocky. Out of curiosity, if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost you for the bag of frozen medallions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It wasnt cheap, $5.99 for 12 1 oz medallions. I am thinking about feeding them 1 medallion a day to supplement canned food. according to the package, an active adult should have 3-6 medallions a day if fed exclusively (this encompasses both cats and dogs tho, so I'm assuming cats would be on the lower end?)

This is definitely pricey to feed as a main food, so if I do make the move over to raw, I'd probably have to consider other options.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Oh, I also saw primal brand ground meat in 2 lb chubs for also 5.99. I think the main difference why it's cheaper is that it's not supplemented with vitamins or pre portioned. I'm debating this might be more economical and the lack of vitamins added is ok if I only feed it as a supplement? I guess the nice part is it has ground bone in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The kittens took to it pretty well! They ate half an oz each. Aster even ate it straight out the fridge. Cody was much more interested when I warmed it up by putting it in a baggie and running warm tap water over it. I mixed it with a little canned EVO chicken and turkey, and they ate the raw first before touching the canned.

It was a little messy, as they weren't used to the chewing for raw even though it was ground meat since as they were chewing some meat would fall on the floor outside the food mat, but hopefully in time they'll get the hang of it. I think I will start serving raw in the kitchen instead if their usual spot on the hardwood dining room floor but I am so happy they took to it so well :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cody seems to be taking on the raw quite well, he is no longer making a mess too. Aster is finding eating raw to be a bit of work (she prefers pate instead of chunked canned foods) but I think she is getting there slowly.

One guy at my local pet food express was telling me that they can special order 4 2 lb chubs of natures variety for about $30, which comes out to be $3.75/lb which seems to be a steal for commercially prepared raw! This pricing is actually comparable to the grain free canned diet that I am currently feeding.

I know the most economical and best option is homemade but I'm thinking this is a good compromise -for now- without being too hard on the wallet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Progress seems to be going backwards. Seems like after a week of smelly canned food, doing raw on just the weekend is looking challenging. Maybe the novelty wore off. I got some rad cat samples from the nice lady at a local pet store and topped it with some canned food and aster sniffed and walked away. Even with parmesan cheese sprinkle on it. Cody took a couple bites and was less excited than last time. I tried adding more canned so it probably was 75% canned and 25% raw but that didn't change much. Ah, we'll keep trying. I'm thinking maybe I should go slower and sneak even less raw in, I guess I was getting my hopes up. Til the next mealtime, hopefully they will be more hungry and more willing to eat then!

On the plus side, both seem to enjoy chewing a bit more, they are more interested in chunky canned food instead of pate ( before aster wouldnt eat chunks). Baby steps..
 

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Sorry for so many posts but I think I found something that works for the kitties and me. At mealtime I started putting down a plate of raw for 5 minutes. Cody ate! Aster wasn't interested. Cody ate his and her share. Then I put down some canned and aster ate that. This morning I put down both raw and canned at the same time ( the canned had a tiny bit of raw in it) and Cody decided to have an all raw breakfast. Aster accepted the canned with the little bit of raw. Yay!! I'm hoping to slowly add more raw to the canned for aster, but it makes me so happy to see Cody preferring what nature intended them to eat! They are currently having commercially prepared ground raw but I can't wait to start introducing meat chunks to them :)
 

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Yay! I'm glad you're figuring out a way to feed raw to Aster. It looks like Cody won't have a problem at all. Maybe they prefer the Nature's Variety over the Rad Cat samples that you got?

i know buying commercial raw isn't the most economical, but right now i'm just taking it easy and trying baby steps =) i am currently a little paranoid about serving raw meat that's been sitting refrigerated at the grocery store for who knows how many days, but i'll keep looking at the forums to see some good advice from all of you :)
As for the grocery store meat, I think a lot of people recommend that you freeze the raw meat for about 48 hours before you feed it. This way, any parasites should be killed by the freezing. But then again, I think freezing also kills some of the natural nutrients...I'm still confused about some of the raw stuff. :?

Updates are always good, so keep them coming! :)
 

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As for the grocery store meat, I think a lot of people recommend that you freeze the raw meat for about 48 hours before you feed it. This way, any parasites should be killed by the freezing. But then again, I think freezing also kills some of the natural nutrients...I'm still confused about some of the raw stuff. :?
Hi, just wanted to chime in because I'm feeding both my cats just regulary grocery store meat for about 60% of their current diet. When I buy new meat I often feed it to them right out of the package (sometimes I rinse it with cold water, sometimes I don't bother). Pork is what a lot of people freeze before feeding - but they freeze it for about three weeks to kill a parasite called trichinosis. I've read that trichinosis has mostly been eradicated from pork in first world countries, so a lot of people don't even worry about it. I haven't given my cats pork yet, so I'm not sure what I'll end up doing when the times comes. Probably depends on where I get the pork. (You should still freeze any game meat for about three weeks because of the possibility for trichinosis)

I've haven't read anywhere else to freeze meat for 48 hours before feeding it. Generally is it believed that freezing causes a slight depletion in nutrients, but that it's not very much. So I don't think freezing the meat for 48 hours would actually do any harm, but I also don't think it would do any real good either :wink That's just me though, so do whatever makes you comfortable.

I hope that helps! (And that someone corrects me if I've gotten anything wrong :?)
 

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I buy store bought organs and meats, which I source primarily from my local Asian market. I usually end up freezing the meat for a few weeks since I buy in bulk for at least 1-2 months at a time. Once I bring them home, I ration the meat out in ziplocs for future use. However, I don't think long freezing times are necessary.

Like catinthemirror, I sometimes give them pieces or meals straight out the package depending on the timeline. I have never had any issue with doing this. The only time I have ever had an issue with my cats and digesting raw was back when I was still feeding raw at night. One of my cats cannot digest raw right before bedtime. Because of it, she had an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines, which caused major diarrhea and she had to take antibiotics for about 10 days. But again, this had nothing to do with the quality of the meat vs the lack of ease of digestion for that particular cat. It's been over a year since that happened, and we have not had any further issues after changing the order of the raw to the morning and the canned to the night. I feed twice a day.

All supermarket meat is human grade so it's not full of parasites or bacteria, which can harm you or your cat. If this were the case, supermarkets would be continually sued for poisoning people. Cats stomach's are not the same as ours, they breakdown the raw meat a lot more efficiently and have acids to help them deal with bacteria in the meat.

Having said that, if it makes you feel more comfortable to freeze it longer as a safety measure that is perfectly fine. The nutrients will be slightly depleted, but feeding actual raw meat in general will beat out any commercially prepared food any day.

To the original poster, I am not a big proponent of grinding the meat. I know people are initially intimidated by bones, but believe me, your cat does not see it this way, particularly for a young cat. I got my youngest kitten, Sasha, about 2 months ago, around the 10-11 week mark and he took to raw immediately. He eats large chunks and chicken wing bones and quail bones. However, we did start out slow. His previous owner fed him mostly kibble.

We started out with increasingly large chunks of gizzards and quail bones. Once I saw he was comfortable with that, he got wing tips, then the other parts of the wings, and eventually necks. My older cats can eat chicken thigh bones and backs with no problem, but they have been on raw for a while now and have developed the jaw strength. Just stay away from partially cooked meats with bones in them because the bones can splinter.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
yay, it seems like aster will eat the raw when i put the canned next to it. seems like as long as she smells the canned, then its all food to her lol.

i'm getting an opposite reaction from cody. when he smells the canned he won't eat it, cause he wants just raw! LOL. so he wants raw with no canned around it.

if only cats weren't so particular in their own ways!

i'm so happy they are finally taking up the raw, but right now i can only feed raw on the weekend since we're leaving dry food out during the day on weekdays while we are at work. i felt a little bad cause cody was stubborn and didn't want canned food but finally gave in. when we finish up the kibble in our house, i am hoping to be able to squeeze in a little raw everyday.

thank you for all your advice, i appreciate it! i'm a little confused because i hear that freezing depletes nutrients, and then one of the reasons i didn't think i could go raw was i hear many people make cat food in bulk and have an extra freezer to freeze all of it (which is not possible for us right now). it's good to know that you have given your cats meat straight out of the package without issues.

i think if i make the switch from commercial ground, i probably will be doing frankenprey and not ground, but just a little intimidated in getting the ratios of everything right and not provide them with enough balanced nutrients..i'm still working towards that though...
 

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Freezing does destroy nutrient content, but it's so minimal it's not something to worry about. Nor is there a need to be concerned about parasites, etc. with store-bought meats and organs; you can certainly feed straight from the package - like others, I do it all the time.

I have six cats, so I pretty much HAVE to buy in bulk, and there is no way I could feed raw if I didn't have a chest freezer devoted just to the kitties' meals. With only two furbabies, 'though, I imagine you really wouldn't have to store that much.

This thread might be of some help to you: What does your menu look like?

Hope things continue to progress nicely for you!

AC
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks auntie crazy for pointing out that I probably can do this without the extra freezer space.

I have a good update today!! Although I wasn't intending on feeding them raw. I brought home some chicken breast for dinner and thought to cut up a couple chunks to see what the kitties thought... Cody gobbled it up and aster had a little more trouble with the chewing but it was worth the work to her that she kept eating. No coaxing or parmesan cheese needed! I fed them their canned too but they really wanted more raw chicken! They both were like they hadn't eaten in days over it! I may have to be ditching the kibble sooner than I thought. Also i might not be buying commercial raw after all..

So proud of my kitties! They are zooming around on their raw meat high now. Thanks again for ur support and advice :)
 

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...

So proud of my kitties! They are zooming around on their raw meat high now. Thanks again for ur support and advice :)
It's funny / touching how so many raw feeders express this pride while watching their cats successfully learn to eat raw meat and bone-in meals. And I totally agree that there's little as satisfying as watching one's cat eat what nature intended for her, and then watch her fly around the house like she owns the world at that moment. :love2

AC
 

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I have a good update today!! Although I wasn't intending on feeding them raw. I brought home some chicken breast for dinner and thought to cut up a couple chunks to see what the kitties thought... Cody gobbled it up and aster had a little more trouble with the chewing but it was worth the work to her that she kept eating. No coaxing or parmesan cheese needed! I fed them their canned too but they really wanted more raw chicken! They both were like they hadn't eaten in days over it! I may have to be ditching the kibble sooner than I thought. Also i might not be buying commercial raw after all..
)
Yay! That's great! It's definitely very satisfying to see kitties transition to raw. I'm so happy it's working out for you. :)
 

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I feed two cats frankenprey raw, and am able to keep all of their ziploc baggies of meat just in the door of my freezer. I can't put the meat in the main part of the freezer because my husband is a vegetarian and is super squicked out by the meat being near his food. At some point I want to buy a tiny freezer, like the size of a dorm fridge, to move the meat to for his peace of mind, but for now I have several pounds of various meats and organs all broken down into small portions, in ziploc bags, stacked in the door.

My 11-week kitten, Fievel is very happy on raw and will often refuse to eat canned food. Right now, he eats 4 oz. of raw/day plus as much canned food as he wants. But I work days and my husband works evenings, so we have someone there to feed him most of the time. I understand your struggles to keep the kittens fed during the day! Fievel eats so much food its just crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
it's great to watch their progress, and also their own enthusiasm! this morning i left out extra canned food for them during the day instead of kibble, so they can have some more chicken for dinner. i'm taking it slow right now with small meat chunks, and hopefully work on presenting them larger and hopefully some wings and necks in due time.

i appreciate everyone's support, i really do!

and applesparks, good to know that you can fit all their food in just the door of your freezer for now, especially with a growing kitten! how old is your littler fievel? aster and cody are around the 6 month mark now.

can't wait to go on my lunch break and pick up some chicken hearts and/or gizzards at the asian grocery store. and have a look to see what kind of other organ meats they have.

so right now, i'm considering in feeding half canned and half raw - without bones, as they are still working on their jaw strength right now. is it necessary to add some kind of supplement to make sure their diet is nutritionally balanced? or is it just better to have more canned in the meantime until they can start crunching on small bones?

i'm still amazed and happy how quickly they took to fresh meat! (with the commercial patties i had to beg and plead most of the time)
 

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I've read that if the raw portion of a cat's diet exceeds 10% of the overall diet, then the raw needs to be balanced to include liver, organ, and bone-in meals. If this is just a transitory phase while you transition a cat onto raw, then as long as it doesn't extend over months, and the cat's stool don't become too hard or too soft, then you should be ok.

But at 50/50 raw/canned, LittleSushi, you really should start incorporating bone-in meals (offer the rib cage and the wings from quail - they're tiny and easy to chew!), liver, and kidney (or some other secreting organ).

AC
 
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