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Discussion Starter #1
it's been a few weeks now of part time raw for our kitties, and they are finally taking to the raw on a more consistent basis. still haven't convinced them to trying pork kidney though, and i do need to cut the meat in small pieces still. they are happy with chicken, quail eggs, chicken hearts and a little bit of chicken liver.

i don't know if i'm spoiling them, but i have very slowly been increasing the size of the meat for them. it's still small though, maybe the size of a lima bean or so. any bigger and they wait for mom to do something about it O_O

i have a few quails sitting in the freezer but i'm still a little hesitant in terms of their readiness to take on some meat with bones in it. i am tempted to just give it a shot this weekend, maybe a small quail wing each...

just wondering how long it took your kitties to dive into eating some bones :)
 

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Apollo got the hang of bones the first time I offered him one. Athena's still not there yet. You could try offering them a small meaty bone each and see how it goes!
 

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I must say reading about other people's cats makes me appreciate my little monsters at home that much more. They pretty much eat anything that falls into their bowls. Then again, they know if they don't eat what I offer, the bowl will be removed within 15 minutes or so and they won't eat until the next meal. They get 2 meals per day.

But, to answer your question, my cats got the hang of it pretty quickly like Saitenyo stated. We started out with quail bones and chicken wing tips. They were on that for a good 2 weeks or so and then, moved on to necks, and chicken backs. I simply allowed them more time to finish the meal since they had to work through the bone.

Cutting the meat in such small pieces is not a good idea. It is more of a choking hazzard since the tendency is to eat very quickly if they are really hungry, many times swallowing without even chewing. They should have pieces they need to chew through or else the jaw strength will never be developed. Remember they are cats, not babies. They were made to tear and shred through meat and bone.
 

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My Miu and Cap'n Jack just dived in the first meal. I didn't have to wait for a transition. Although I did have to learn exactly how Miu liked her bone meals. I started out giving her just the tip of the quail wing. She threw that out. She only ate it when I gave her the whole wing.

Sorry to threadjack..

@dweamgoil: I know about not chopping the meat up into little pieces, but exactly how big of a piece should I be giving?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i cut up a quail for the kitties and aster went crunching away! cody spit out some bony pieces and then he decided the bones were a little too much work lol. next time i will add some parmesan cheese, that seems to work like magic for him..

dweamgoil, the kitties currently are chewing their little bite sized pieces. i'm slowly working on them to go larger as i know that small chunks aren't ideal but it seems like if i give them a larger piece they won't take to it and just sniff and bat at it..anymore tips for transitioning them would be appreciated!!
 

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Well for an idea, I've been feeding my dog raw for about 2 yrs, Miu for almost a year and Cap'n Jack for 3/4 of a year. I butcher up the quail into sections and feed them that. They crunch the bone pretty good. To entice, you can also try tuna juice, some wet canned food, crumbled cat treats, freeze dried chicken breast.

If I have boneless meat, I currently chop it up into 1/2 inch meat cubes. At first Cap'n Jack choked a bit with the size cuz he's very food driven and eats fast, but he's since gotten used to it and he's fine now. I think I may start increasing the size of the meat chunks into strips first then slowly increasing the diameter of the strips.
 

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Sorry, I didn't respond sooner. The chunks should be large enough that they can't just swallow them without chewing through them so as large as big stew pieces.
 

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Although I've only done a single treat as raw so far (LOL!), just a thought. Have you tried doing just large chunks they can take bites out of? Slightly warmed meat of a size they cant just put all in their mouths that smells REALLY REALLY REALLY good to them would make sense to me. My bird goes for ANYTHING that smells good, and chomps down (steak for example). Rats the same thing. And the kittens? Gave them steak tonight and they went BALISTIC. Grabbed the pieces and tore bite sized chunks out and just scarfed it down in no time!

Thus, I'm now in the raw diet forum considering a raw diet for my kitties that seem to like raw so very very very very much. ;)
 

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@littlesushi: did the cheese work for u?

I know neither of you were addressing me, but I thought I'd through this out there anyway.

The best transition method I've seen so far is to cut the meat into long, thin strips... the newer the cat is to raw food, the thinner the strip. This will allow the cat to very easily fit one end into his mouth so he can concentrate on using his side teeth for slicing off pieces to be swallowed (cats don't actually chew their food). As he becomes more experienced and stronger, you can make the pieces thicker and shorter, until you're just tossing down chunks.

Good luck, you two!

AC
I was thinking about strips too. However, if it gets stuck in the throat, wouldn't coughing up a strip be harder than coughing up a chunk? I know it sounds nitpicky but just wondering. I feed in 1/2 inch chunks for a while now (at least 6 months now for Jack). All of them are used to the size and not choking. I'm hesitant to mess with it if there's no probs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yes! the cheese really does work. they go from sniffing to chowing down everything. i think the fact that i'm feeding them canned part time throws them off as the raw isn't nearly as smelly as the canned so they need a little extra smelliness to get them started.

i am also feeding chunks and the kittens seem to be ok with it, doing the chewing and everything...i am still working on making larger pieces look attractive, but will try with the strips...i have lazy kittens!!
 

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Nope. For one, longer is easier to toss back up than thicker. Even if it wasn't, cats are masters at regurgitating foods and if, for some reason, they try to swallow a long strip instead of scissoring off bite-sized pieces, they won't have any trouble horking the food back up for another go at it.

AC
Thanks...very graphic. LOL, however, I get the picture. Yes, at the beginning, Cap'n Jack had to hork up some cuz he wasn't used to it. It's scary to see, but he managed fine.

Hmm, I get it..it does make sense. I mean if the piece was thicker, it would get stuck. I would have thought it was harder to hork up something that's long in shape cuz u can't hork it all in one go since it's long.
 
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