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We have been trying to switch our very addicted to dry food cats over to raw. We are going for the frankenprey approach. So far they will only really touch it when it's mixed with canned wet food. But it's been so very slow. Is it normal for it to take so long for them to adjust?

Also, they won't eat bones at this point, so how can I ensure they're getting everything they need?

It's absolutely necessary for our cats to be switched over as we have one cat who has major skin and digestion problems. We've tried once before and weren't completely successful with a complete switch over. They were still eating canned wet food. But our cat with problems stopped pulling his hair out, his eyes cleared and he stopped vomiting his dinner up on the floor. Well one day they all just stopped eating the raw food all together, so out of fear I started putting dry kibble out again. Well, Timmy, the one with problems, starting pulling his hair out, gunky eyes and vomiting again. So we NEED to get them switched over. I may be able to grind bones with my mom grinder but I will have to try first to see if it can handle it. Are there other options other than feeding bones that wouldn't be so time consuming? And I will have to sit down and do the math on the amounts of food they all need.

But I am happy to say that our two some what overweight cats have lost weight and are within the healthy ranges again!! Raw cat food is just simply the best way to feed a feline. So many benefits and I'm so thankful for having found this site. Thanks to any of the replies I may get. :luv
 

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First of all, get rid of kibble. Make it a rule that it never is in your home ever again...EVER again...

Second, will your cats eat cooked meat? If so, get rid of the canned too. Here's what you will need to do. You need to save all of the egg shells you use. If you don't use eggs, start or ask your friends and family to save them for you. Dry them out in the oven. Just until they are crispy (usually an hour at 250 degrees). Grind them up finely. A pinch a day per cat will be plenty for a bone substitution.

You need to gently boil your pet's meat until it is cooked through. The meat should be cut up into cubes. Start smaller (like minced) and gradually increase the size of the meat piece. Keep a bit of the liquid with the meat. My cats went CRAZY for the liquid. Add a pinch of the ground egg shell.

Gradually, over the course of 3-6 months, cut back on the amount of time you're cooking the meat until you end up with it being completely raw. It should be so gradual that your cats do not notice it.

When you're doing this, make sure they get a decent variety, including liver and other organs. Your cats will imprint on certain foods at this point as being "safe" foods. Once you are close to being completely raw, you can start adding in minced up chicken necks or broken up chicken wings (use a hammer).

This is how I switched 2 of my 4 cats. My other two cats took to raw the moment I brought them home (lucky break for me).
 

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It took our cats (4 of them - ages 2yrs to 14yrs) 8 MONTHS to switch. Yes, it was a long process.. was it worth it in the end? Absolutely. Nothing in life that is worth while is every easy, as they say. :) To see my now 17 year old cat run around like a kitten, when he previously wouldn't move because he was overweight and in a lot of pain from his arthritis.. well... it was worth the time.

We did this.

Switch to canned only, on a two meal a day schedule. All kibble was removed from the house and never brought back.

Once they were all okay with canned, we started to add a tsp of raw to each plate mixed into the canned (we used ground 80/10 meat/bone - but later with new kitties just chunked up some actual meat into tiny tiny squares). Once everyone would eat and clear their plates, we added another tsp per meal. Every two weeks roughly, we'd add more raw to the canned.. once they were eating more raw than canned, we started to build up the size of the chunks.
 

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Thank you so very much for the tip on egg shells!! I'll be asking my family to save them for me from here on out. I did smash up some wings and thighs with a hammer but they wouldn't touch their supper. So we just went back to cut up meat, no bones. We are mixing in some canned cat food but only a tbsp at a time. We have removed all dry kibble from the house, we absolutely cannot have it in the house or ever feed it again. Our male siamese just has too many issues when on dry cat food, and I'm quite partial to his fur coat, lol. He loves to pull hair out when he's on dry food.

So we have had success since I last posted and I apologize for it taking so long for me to get back over here.

What kinds of meat do you guys feed your cats? I've done beef but the cats didn't like it much. But that was also in the beginning when they weren't eating much of anything. Do you feed pork as well? So far we've done pretty much all chicken. What are your thoughts on fish? I've heard conflicting advice on fish. Thanks again!!!
 

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It took my oldest about a year to go from canned to eating raw by itself.

Favorite meats in descending order:

Rabbit
Venison
Beef
Chicken

I've never tried pork. I don't really eat it myself, but that's a thought...maybe I could try it for them. As for fish, I've never given it raw before - but I hear fish just plain isn't healthy for cats so I avoid it for now.
 

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Ritz' all time favorite meat is rabbit, but it's very low in fat so she eats a lot of it (and, expensive, at around $4 to $8 a pound). Boney, so I save the bones for when I fed her a bone-in meal
Next favorite, Chicken (breast, not thigh; she doesn't like the sliminess of thigh meat)
Quail, often give her the bones with this protein
Pork, likes it a lot
Beef, she'll eat it, not her favorite
Venison, she likes it, but I don't have a consistent access to it
Lamb, she's thrown it up once or twice, it's on sale/reduced, I'll buy it and try it again

Bottom line, I've been really lucky. Ritz will eat almost any kind of meat. This is a cat who before I transitioned her to Raw, would eat ONLY fish based wet food, and it had to be Fancy Feast Classic.
 

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Patches was the absolute hardest to switch also, she was a dry food junky as well. It took a while, but I switched her over using boiled chicken breast, and Parmesan cheese. The cheese was an attractant for her, and I couldn't get her to eat anything without it. I was switching over to canned at the time, and slowly added in the wet. After she was fine with that, I started to slowly add in teeny tiny bits of ground raw. It was a very long process with her, but she did switch.
 

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Thank you all so very much for all the helpful tips!! :thumb

I'm so glad I found this site. I have to go out and buy more meat tomorrow as the cats are tiring of just chicken. I was lucky enough to butcher some old hens with my grandpa not too long ago and they weren't good for roasting or soup, but the cats sure have enjoyed them. I'll definitely be picking up some beef and pork, give that a whirl and see what happens.

One more question, how do you know your cats are getting everything they need? Other than the obvious not looking well. Just a concern I have. Thanks again!!
 

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It has taken my cats a year to switch to raw and most of them still don't know what to do with the bones. I give them multivitamins twice a day to ensure they ate getting all the nutrients they need. Luckily the two who won't eat the vitamins, will eat bone.
 

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I had some concern about making sure my cats were getting everything they needed when I started frankenprey. Make sure you stick to the 80%/10%/5%/5% rule (80% muscle meat, 10% or less bone, 5% liver and 5% of another secreting organ) and try to provide as much variety as you can, and your cats should be fine. Variety is important - different meats and even different cuts of meat contain different nutrients.

For instance I just finished a big shopping trip, so my freezer is packed with quail, beef, chicken, duck, pork, turkey, and lamb. I rotate pork, beef and chicken liver; pork and beef kidney for their other organ source; and they get beef, pork and chicken heart (remember that heart is considered a muscle meat, not an organ meat, by raw feeders). I also picked up some chicken gizzards and pork tongue (which is by far the grossest thing I've ever offered my guys, but they really seem to like it :-?).

I don't add any supplements, my cats eat canned food very rarely, and they're doing great on their new diet. I do give them a quail egg with the shell once a week (I feed the whole quail egg, but when they get chicken eggs I stick to just the yolk), and they split a can of sardines a couple times a month for the omega 3's.
 

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Awesome, thank you all so very much. We have had tons of success lately with the raw, today I didn't even have to mix a half tsp of canned in it!! YAY!! So far they love everything I've given them, although chicken hearts are a work in progress. Again THANK YOU!!!
 
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