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Hello,

My name is Dale. I am 28 and from Pennsylvania. I am the proud owner of a 4 month old kitten and am looking for some advice. After doing lots of research and learning the horrid truth about commercial pet foods (how they are made and what is in them), I have decided to switch my cat Harley to a raw diet. He has been eating small pieces of chicken to get started and then I plan to include other things like organs and liver and also the supplements he will need such as taurine and other vitamins. He has been eating raw for about a week now and he loves it. I have two questions. Am I getting started off correctly? Also, his stools are loose currently and I am curious how long will it take hime to adjust internally to his new diet to where he will have normal stools? Oh and I have been giving him some probiotics to help his system too. Thanks
 

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Hi Dale,

it's a good thing you want to start this when your kitten is still young because most kittens are not very picky yet and they can grow really well on a protein rich diet.
I foster kittens for the animal shelter and I put them on a raw diet as soon as they get here, they love it and they absolutely thrive on it.

It is ok to feed some pieces of chicken muscle meat now and then in addition to the diet your kitten is already getting but if you want to make raw a bigger part of his diet you should try to stick to the proportions of a prey animal.
What are you planning (or willing) to feed and what do you have access to ? Premade raw, whole prey or pieces of this and that ?

About the loose stools; did they start when you started experimenting with raw food ? Is he properly dewormed ?
 

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Thanks for your reply. I am planning to start incorporating organs into his diet soon like hearts and liver but I am willing to do whatever will be best for him and I want to do it the right way. Any reccomendations on where to go from this point? His stools have been loose since the switch to raw and they do have a little more solidity to them now, but not what I want to see. He was on dry food before and I brought home some chicken for him to try and he kept eating it so I just rolled with it and stopped dry feeding because I didn't want him to keep eating his dry even though it probably would have been better to transition him slower by mixing the raw with the dry and slowly decreasing the dry until he was on all raw. I have read how addictive dry foods can be to cats so that's why I did that. Also, he was dewormed, neutered and litter trained already when I got him from the SPCA. I appreciate your help greatly.
 

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Is he getting bone in his diet? Bone is very important for a balanced raw diet, and lack of or not enough bone can sometimes be responsible for loose stools (conversely, constipation can be a sign of too much bone).
 

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He is not currently getting any bones in his diet. How can I introduce him to bones? What is the best way? Also, I'm wondering if his loose stools may be from a lack of fiber?
 

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If he's not getting any bone then I'm betting that's the cause of the lose stools. You can grind the bones, or just offer him small pieces of meaty bones (like chicken wing tips, chicken ribs, or quail bones). If he struggles with bones at first, you can smash them up a bit with a hammer or mallet to make them easier for him to eat, until he gets used to crunching on larger pieces. Be sure to only use raw bones, never cooked bones, as cooked bones are brittle and can be dangerous for a cat to eat.

Bone is a crucial part of the raw diet, so be sure to get him eating it eventually!

This is a site that has some very helpful guidelines on how to make the adjustment to raw, including a section on how to introduce bones to the diet: Practical Guide
 

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Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate it. I will definitely try to start introducing bones into his diet. What else does he need? What do your cats diets consist of? I just want to make sure all his nutritional needs are met and that there are no deficiencies. I think raw feeding is the best thing someone could possibly do for their pet and I want to do it right. Thanks again.

Dale
 

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No problem at all. The stickies on this forum are a great place to start for homemade raw diets.

These are other sites I've found to be extremely helpful:
Raw Fed Cats
http://feline-nutrition.org/index.php
Making Cat Food by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: homemade cat food, cat food recipes

I'm currently actually feeding my cats a commercial raw food called Primal. I've not yet been able to find all the necessary organs and meat varieties I'd need to do a homemade raw diet, so for now premade will have to do. I've actually been very pleased with this food. I'd stick with it completely, except that it's pricier than doing homemade raw, they don't get the benefit of much teeth cleaning since the bones are ground, and I've only been able to find two flavors they like so far and would prefer to give them more variety than that. So I would like to introduce some homemade raw into my cats' diets eventually.
 

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You've already received the advice and resource recommendations I would have given you, Dale, especially as regards the necessity of bone and organs like liver and kidney, so I've nothing more to offer than congratulations and kudos for making this effort for your kitty. :wink

AC
 
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