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After trying to find the purrfect food for my kitty, I have lost at the game of dry and canned food for SkipJack. He is passing gas like crazy and the stools...oh the stools are slimy and stinky! They are horrendous. The vet has done 2 separate fecal exams, both came back negative for parasites, just very high in lipids (fat content). For that, I would like to start him into a raw diet, but worried on how much it's going to cost me. I read Pierson's links thoroughly, but when I added up all the ingredients it came out to be nearly $100 for 40-44 days ($22 for shipping the rabbit ground meat added into cost), and that's without the grinder factored into the cost. Does this sound correct to anybody feeding raw? Also, I would be keeping the rest of the food in the freezer. Do I really need to pressure cook the ballpark jars? I don't have a pressure cooker, and really don't want to spend anymore than I have to for feeding my baby raw.
 

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Do you really want to do the rabbit?? Why not just go to the store, buy a whole young chicken, chop it up grind it up and voila! No pressure cooking at all. Take a look at this website - it is a bit easier to navigate and less complicated, IMHO.

Feline Nutrition
 

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For me it's actually much more economical. The vitamins and supplement cost me about $50, but that's probably going to last a year or so. I've only done chicken so far, 3lbs of chicken thighs cost about $10 here and the chicken liver is another $1.50 or so. Leelu only eats about 3-4oz/day so it's about $25/month.
I'm in Canada, so these are Canadian dollars.

How did you come up with your figure?


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I'm headed back to raw myself here pretty soon I think.

No way am I canning food. I freeze. I'll do a mass shop once a month and freeze their daily meals in small containers like these.

Freezer tape on top with the cat's name and the date to feed it (or better yet a little label maker if I can find a cheapo one).

I'll give each cat a bin in the freezer to stack their food in and then just pop tomorrows feedings into the fridge each evening to defrost.
 

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I use these and freeze them. Raw chicken is SO much cheaper than the canned and healthier, but investing in a good quality grinder is a must. They defrost quickly, like MowMow said, too. A 5 pound chicken will fill at least the entire case of these jars (1/2 pint - 8oz.)


 

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Not sure I agree about the grinder being a must. Both my guys much prefer small chunks of raw meat than ground meat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you really want to do the rabbit?? Why not just go to the store, buy a whole young chicken, chop it up grind it up and voila! No pressure cooking at all. Take a look at this website - it is a bit easier to navigate and less complicated, IMHO.

Feline Nutrition
Thanks for the website, so much better to navigate like you said! I don't necessarily need rabbit, but thought it was a good option oppose to all chicken.
 

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For me it's actually much more economical. The vitamins and supplement cost me about $50, but that's probably going to last a year or so. I've only done chicken so far, 3lbs of chicken thighs cost about $10 here and the chicken liver is another $1.50 or so. Leelu only eats about 3-4oz/day so it's about $25/month.
I'm in Canada, so these are Canadian dollars.

How did you come up with your figure?


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I came up with the figure at $76.98 for the meat at Hare Today Gone Tomorrow, included in cost is their shipping and handling. They won't ship anything under 10lbs that's why I doubled the rabbit and chicken thighs on their website. I guesstimated another $25 on vitamins/supplements plus food storage for the freezer. Ultimately, I'm probably going to go with just chicken for now and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks MowMow and Marcia for the feedback. I was only going to get the grinder to grind the bones down as well, since I don't want them to get stuck in his throat and whatnot so thought it was best to grind all down to a fine ground. Thoughts?
 

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So long as the bones aren't cooked they shouldn't cause a problem, the splintering issues only arise with cooked bones. I mean, cats aren't going to be able to swallow a chicken thigh whole anyways but if you decide to avoid the grinder raw chicken wings and necks are a really good source of bone that's pretty easy for cats to crunch on.
 

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I came up with the figure at $76.98 for the meat at Hare Today Gone Tomorrow, included in cost is their shipping and handling. They won't ship anything under 10lbs that's why I doubled the rabbit and chicken thighs on their website. I guesstimated another $25 on vitamins/supplements plus food storage for the freezer. Ultimately, I'm probably going to go with just chicken for now and see how it goes.

Oh ok, yes if I were you I would just start with the chicken and see how you go. If your cat likes rabbit you can make it an occasional treat rather than a staple. The vitamins/supplements come in big jars, so while that's an expense at first it's really not going to cost much over time as it will last for ages.
I'm using cheap plastic containers to freeze right now. I'm going to switch to mason jars for the next badge though.

I did end up getting an electric grinder as I believe it's better than bone meal. It works really well and has paid for itself already. Leelu is useless in eating a whole chicken wing. Haha, so if I want her to eat bone I need to grind it. I'm saving almost $50/month since the switch to raw, so I figured the cost was worth it. I also grind meat for myself. It's nice to know what exactly is in my burger patty.


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I grind only the bones and organs and chunk the rest of the meat. It works great, all my pets love it. I personally started raw because I was spending over $2 per day on JUST my cat, now I spend under $3 per day on 2 dogs and a cat. Much more affordable, and the grinder has pretty much paid for itself over a year later.

Some things I have found: beef organs are a lot more nutritious than chicken organs. If you can feed any organs other than chicken you will be better off nutritionally. I buy 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters for $7. As leg quarters are approx 30% bone, I remove the bone from the drumstick portion, leaving me with about 20% bone. I add in another 10 lbs of various muscle meat (gizzards, beef heart, pork shoulder), making the ratio now about 10% bone. It is a little more work, and since you only have 1 cat, maybe not worth it, but it's an idea. Also, grinding the organs makes it easier to mix with the bones and chunks of meat, making sure it is evenly spread out. Be careful adding vitamin B12 if you add any other sources of meat than chicken (not sure about rabbit). Since the beef organs are very high in B12, I no longer add that as a supplement. Check if your fish oil already contains vitamin E, as if it does you shouldn't supplement that either.
 

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I figure between the grinder (Tasin 108 is $150) and the supplements, start-up cost is around $200, but once you get that out of the way (and if you only have one cat those supplements will go a long way), the cost to feed raw is cheaper than commercial food. Dr. Pierson says using 3 lbs. of meat will last one cat 10-14 days, so a 6-lb. batch ( or 2 3-lb. batches) will last about a month. I can get 6 lbs. of bone-in chicken thighs for less than $10 where I live.
 

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Not sure I agree about the grinder being a must. Both my guys much prefer small chunks of raw meat than ground meat.
I only meant that the grinder is a must if you want to grind up the bones with the whole chicken. For chunks of meat you bonemeal can be added.
 

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Plus you can get all the vitamins and oils and such locally from a vitamin or nutrition shop, or Amazon.com. Upfront cost is probably $200 for everything, but like 10c2d says, it pays for itself in the long run. I know I was spending at a least $150/month on canned food. Now that I supplement with raw, it's much less - probably by half now.
 

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For chunks of meat you can feed bones...I thought about ground when i first started, but I decided to try chunks first and see how it went.

I've never bought a grinder. That's a good hint on how it turned out ;)

IMO chunks is the best way to go, it's good for their teeth and jaws, it's good for their brains, and all of my 4 have no problems chowing down on chicken necks.
 

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Ah thanks for the oodles of awesome info! I can't wait to start him on raw. I came to terms that I am going to purchase the grinder (myself can use it too!), the vitamins I will get on Amazon, and the chicken...well...the chicken. I don't have a butcher around here, so it looks like Sams Club or ordering online.
 

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Why don't you see if he'll eat chunks before you fork out $200 on a grinder???

If you feed chunked raw properly you don't need any additional supplements, anyways. It can end up being MUCH cheaper than grinding.
 

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Why don't you see if he'll eat chunks before you fork out $200 on a grinder???

If you feed chunked raw properly you don't need any additional supplements, anyways. It can end up being MUCH cheaper than grinding.
Now, ya got me thinking. Although I would like the grinder for myself, I can wait it out and see if he likes the chunks. I'm just so worried about bones getting stuck in his mouth/throat :(
 

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In the beginning he'll need some help, you'll need to use a hammer or tenderizer to break up the chicken necks, but other than that it'll go fine.

When I switched to raw my youngest cat was 4 months. If he can chomp down a chicken wing with no trouble so can your boy :)
 
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