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So we've been trying to get Wicket to eat raw over the last few days (well, longer than that if you include the times we gave him raw "snacks" and tried him out on different kinds of raw meats) with some major heads butting at mealtimes.

We would put down his raw food and the kitten's. The kitten would demolish his in a matter of minutes and Wicket would still be mouthing his first piece. He would eat maybe 1/4 to 1/8th of what we put down and then start following us around, whining for his "real" food. We would put his bowl back in the fridge or throw it away and start over again at the next meal, as he always ate something, even if just a few bites.

Finally, this morning, he was REALLY mad at us, yelling for food at the top of his lungs, and I plunked down a chicken neck and the ground chicken patty mixed with a portion of beef heart and liver. He ate the chicken neck right away (first time he's eaten something bones and all!) and then yelled at us some more, but we left the food down and he finally must have realized that this was all he was going to get, because he hunkered down and ate the whole thing! So awesome! So I'm hoping this will stick and the next meal won't be a huge fight again, it's the first time he's actually finished an entire raw meal!
 

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Good for you! My two won't eat raw. I try from time to time, but haven't really used the 'tough love' approach you did to Wicket. So far, I've been the one to cave in.
 

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I totally would have been the one to cave if he had refused to eat at all...it was only because he kept eating small amounts that we were able to get to this point!
 

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Good for you! I would just go slow with giving him too many varied proteins out of the gate. Let him get used to stuff and then he can let you know what he likes. My cats have their preference. For example, Azalia HATES liver so she will nibble at that, but eat the anchovies I give her at the same time. The other two LOVE the liver, but hate the fish and on it goes. Try chicken hearts; most cats love those.
 

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That's great! It's a bit of a balance. Usually you start with one protein, no bones, no organs. However, he caved in to the mix you provided. It's always a good thing if the cat is eating. Perhaps next time cut out the liver as it tends to be rich and might give him a bit of stomach probs. But again, congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh I should have added the caveat that we've been giving them small "treats" of raw over the past 2 months so they've been exposed to chicken, beef, liver, and small amts of pork and mackerel. This is just the first time Wicket's had an entire meal (he has had chicken wings as chewtoys/snacks but always got bored before he chewed down to the bone, which is why the chicken neck is so exciting!).
 

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I'm a little late to this thread--how's Wickett doing? I have one, Hector, who has decided this past week that he doesn't want to eat raw anymore, PERIOD. He hunkers by his plate, looks at it and then up at me with those huge wet black-velvet-painting-orphan eyes, and I cave every time which I know is BAD. I admire your will power!
 

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Oh, he's still boycotting it a few times a week. It's a power trip for sure! Sometimes we cave and sometimes we make him wait for the next meal--usually he eats that one if we've skipped one. He doesn't seem to like beef very much and has thrown it up once so we might have to find some alternate meats for him....
 

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My husband is a lot stricter than I am and he won't give in to Hector's Sad Eyes, and invariably Hector will eat what he's given at the next meal. I just worry because he's quite lean (i.e. looks like a cat should look, not like a bowling ball on legs) and he doesn't need to lose a single ounce of weight.
 

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Yeah I am way stricter than my hubby, he tends to just feed a bit of canned if they're boycotting. I think they're just sick of the beef heart, we need to find some new red muscle meats for them to eat!
 

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Yay, Fyreflie - that's very exciting news! :jump

Beef is a real favorite of my Rachel's. In fact, when she first started, she swallowed it faster than she chewed it and threw it up a few times. I had to cut beef a bit smaller for her for a few weeks until she was more experienced at chewing. She hasn't gotten sick on anything since then. Perhaps Wicket is either eating too fast, or swallowing chunks too large for his tummy to comfortably handle?

- - - - - - -

I see a lot of comments on here suggesting different meats in place of other meats and sometimes organs. Also, it looks like some folks may be feeding a diet primarily of one particular type of meat.

Just because I worry so much, I'd like to remind folks that organs are a vital part of a raw diet. Liver must be 3 - 5% and at least one additional secreting organ (not heart, not lung) must be an additional 3 - 5%.

And meats must be varied. I know it can be tough sometimes, but it's pretty important. Each type of meat has a particular nutrient profile and while they are all GREAT as PART of a cat's diet, there's not one of them that is good as the cat's SOLE meat source.

For instance, heart is a great source of taurine, but it's also comparatively high in salt, and a high-salt diet is not a healthy feline diet. Chicken in high in niacin, but it's also high in fat; while cats do require more fat in their diet than people, a steady diet of chicken is too much fat. Rabbit is often a strong favorite of cats, but it's very lean (the opposite of chicken!) and there are indicators it may be comparitively low in taurine. And so on....

Just throwing this info out there in case anyone needs it!

Best regards.

AC
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I'm curious, because I'm running into this fairly often--what to do if kitties won't eat organs? Neither of my cats really enjoy liver or kidney and while I can get them to eat a tiny piece once in a while if it's mixed in with other stuff most of the time they ignore it completely. I've had a little bit of success with tongue but I thought that was more a muscle meat. I tried tiny rabbit kidneys today and they didn't even look at them! They're getting organ in the patties but the patties are also a bit higher in bone than I'd like (although, how important is that, really, if they aren't constipated and seem happy?) and so I try not to overfeed it.

Both of them LOVE pork. Love it. And they both love lamb as well. But still no organs....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On a happier note--it looks like we're moving out west in the fall, and there are SO MANY RAW SUPPLIERS! In BC and Alberta both, mostly local to where we'll be living, and so many options! So I'm excited about that!
 

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Can you find a way to tempt the kitties into eating the organs and then add them to their menu often enough that they begin to consider them just another meal? This is what I did.

You can use anything cats really like to flavor the organs: freeze-dried meat treats crumbled on top (I use Whole Life's chicken - it never fails to entice a reluctant cat to eat), tuna juice, Parmesan cheese, fish food (or Bonito) flakes... pretty much whatever the cat(s) can't resist.

I also spread the organs out enough that they never make up more than half a meal, as they are strong in flavor, can upset tummies, and can cause loose stools if fed in too large an amount at one time. Both kidney and liver are fed twice a week, on different nights, so some type of organ is fed four nights a week. Although the cats were sometimes reluctant to eat organs in the beginning, I very seldom have problems today.

AC

P.S. That's great about your move!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We've tried them with tuna, they still tend to eat around them. We have limited access to supplement and treat type stuff here, most of the pet stores in our area don't carry them--they continue to eat the patties about 1/2 the time, though, and those are organ-in so we have some leeway to play with in terms of timing. Little buggers, they certainly are occupying a lot of my time lately with feeding!

They're going to have to go back to kibble and canned for our 5 day drive, there's no way we can keep raw meat in the car for 5 days, so I'm sure we'll be re-transitioning to raw on the other end. In the meantime, we'll keep working on the organ....
 
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