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I've recently decided to transition my kitties onto a raw cat food diet. I wanted to learn about experiences, costs (if not too personal), and differences/benefits between commercial raw and homemade.
I've been reading some websites thus far, and I've looked into Darwin's brand of raw food but so far I'm overwhelmed and not quite sure where to start.
I look forward to hearing stories and experiences!!
 

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Oh, sorry for the late reply, carls.

To answer some of your questions, my experience with raw have been positive overall.. I've started my cats on raw when they were both kittens and ate a primarily 95% wet only diet, so the transition was relatively easy. They eat mostly commercial raw and a bit of canned with it since one of my cats love to lick the wet food more. The combo of wet and commercial raw isn't cheap...I havent figured out costs soecifically, but I do spend a small fortune since I'm sort of picky about their food. Yes, it's more costly than preparing home made, but I can't do that...I've too small a space to do so right now. I'm planning on doing a prey model raw when I move into a bigger space, though, so occasially I do give my cats small chunks of meats. They've both grown well in the meantime, are nearing age 2 very soon. :)

As for researching, I basically did most of it on my own, after googling many different sites. If you haven't looked any up yet, catinfo.org, and feline-nutrition.org, rawfedcats.org are ones from the top off my head. I also think yahoo has a raw forum, too, which I'm sure you could learn quite a bit from.

Hope you get more responses from others... Again, I'm sorry I was slow to respond. :(
 

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I've transitioned my cats to a commercially prepared raw diet. I'd say they get 75% frozen or dehydrated raw and 25% canned food. My cats were already adults and fed mostly kibble all their lives so it took mine close to a year to make the transition. It is more expensive, but it has helped one of my cats with skin issues/allergies tremendously. It didn't cure it, but it did much better than the monthly does of steroids he was getting at the vet that wasn't good for him. Anyway, I'd say I spend close to $200-$250 a month between the raw and canned. I get my canned automatically delivered monthly from amazon and the raw from my Local pet store. I get the dehydrated online if I find it on sale, otherwise, from the lps. I feed them frozen/dehydrated Primal for the raw. Sometimes some Stella & Chewy's and The Honest Kitchen(THK isn't raw, but made with human grade ingredients and the only one, to my knowledge, that can legally make that claim according to the usda). I feed Nature's variety Instinct and to a lesser degree, Hounds and Gatos canned. Good luck! How old are your kitties? Kind of depends on their age and what they've been eating with how well they make the transition. Just don't give up! It literally may take a year...or maybe less.
 

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I started my kittens on raw shortly after adopting them. They were quick to transition and soon refused all designated "cat food" in preference for plain raw chicken. They will eat nothing but chicken and tinned sardines. I've tried commercial raw, and they throw it up. I've tried varying their proteins as often suggested, and they throw it up. So I do what works and makes them happy.

I buy a whole chicken (cut up) with giblets and a couple of packs of gizzards and hearts, and portion it out in glass freezer bowls. That keeps the 2 cats in food for the week. To heat it up, I either microwave on low or place the whole bowl in a hotpot for pieces with bone. They get a can of sardines in water once or twice a week. That costs me less than $100 per month. I get it all from a butcher whose meat is very fresh and process it into the freezer the same day.

It's a little bit more work than buying commercial raw, but a good tradeoff for money, not to mention no kitty pukies. :) My sister fed her cat this way for years, and he stayed very healthy.

The one challenge I've run across feeding bone-in raw chicken is that there is a learning curve for the cats to mechanically know what to do with it. I started them on cornish hens that I got at a discount because their bones were small and tender. For the first several months, they would just strip the meat off and nibble on the ends of any bone larger than a wing. Now they have worked up the jaw strength to crush up shank and thigh bones safely. Also had issues with them dragging pieces onto the carpet when my back was turned. After many, many supervised meals, they've learned to stay on their feeding mats, not steal each other's bone, and use the bowls to help them deal with the bone instead of grinding it into the rug. :p I just have to remind myself that human children take much longer to teach how to eat without making a mess.
 

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imuneekru,

It sounds like you're feeding PMR diet (frankenprey), am I correct? I think I've read from several resources that kitten's GI tracts are just sometimes sensitive to food changes, so that's why they may throw up, plus that darker meats are harder to digest, so initially, you may just want to stick to poultry, but maybe try some cornish hens, quail, duck and rabbit? You eventually want to introduce dark meats, though, because the darker meats will have the most nutrition, one being taurine since cats do not have the ability to produce it like canines. If you are doing the PMR, please make sure you're doing the 80/10/5/5 rule. (I see you didn't include organ meats in your blurb, so I'm double checking!) ;)

I've recently tried pork shoulder, and so far it's a win!
 

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I've just put my kitty cat on a raw diet as well: Rad Cat (not sure if that's the best one out there or not, since I just started the diet). So far she's loved it and her skin and coat are looking better than ever. If you're making it at home, you would need to include the bones when grinding or some other source of calcium for your cat. Personally, I think most raw foods have more bang for your buck and are much healthier for kitties.
 
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