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Discussion Starter #1
I just joined the forums because there's entirely too much conflicting information out there on the best diet for your cat. I want to change my cat Kaida's diet not only for health reasons, but because his poo smells SO terrible!

About Kaida
He was a stray that wandered onto my mom's porch at 9 months old. I fed him, and he tripled in size within the first two weeks. Ever since he was a kitten, he has ALWAYS had problems with hoarding/inhaling food. He's a pretty big cat now at about 3 years old, but he does have a little extra weight on him. Kaida is strictly an indoor cat. We live in a small apartment and his poo stinks up our whole room. We've tested his stool at the vet, and there is nothing wrong with him. His poo just stinks like mad crazy!

Why I want to change his diet
He's overweight. His poo stinks. He's a hermaphrodite and I've heard that decreases life expectancy. I want to keep Kaida around as long as possible, and I'd rather start making things right at the age of 3 than even later on in his life.

The Realization
I've read a lot of information over the past few days, but the one thing that seems to keep coming up is that dry cat food is terrible for cats. Supposedly (from what I've read) raw diets are ideal, but take a lot of time to prepare and tend to cost a whole bunch more.

The Dilemma
Time and money. I own two businesses and have a part time job. I can't afford to fork out a bunch of money, and I don't want to commit to something to better my cat's health that I won't be able to give my time to.

Questions
Wet cat food seems to be the best option for me from what I've read, but when searching for the best wet cat food to buy, a lot of people began to list a lot of the sub-par meat products that go into them. The only wet cat foods that seem SOMEWHAT healthy cost about $2 a can... that adds up. A lot more meat products that are of higher quality and suitable for human consumption cost a LOT less. Can I make my own pseudo raw diet from inexpensive products like this? Can I make my own raw food inexpensively WITHOUT having to use a meat grinder? How can I incorporate bones into my cat's diet WITHOUT a grinder? It seems that the bones are really important.

Any information is greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Since your questions seem more about how to feed a raw diet inexpensively, I'm moving this to the Raw forum.
 

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Welcome! :)
entertheraven said:
Can I make my own pseudo raw diet from inexpensive products like this? Can I make my own raw food inexpensively WITHOUT having to use a meat grinder? How can I incorporate bones into my cat's diet WITHOUT a grinder? It seems that the bones are really important.
You absolutely do NOT need a grinder. Your CAT is the grinder. Cats evolved to actually <gasp> chew up bone!

This is, IMO, the best webpage on getting started feeding raw to cats:

http://www.rawfedcats.org/

My advice is to read it thoroughly (every word) and then return here with questions. How much it costs to feed raw (not pseudo-raw, whatever that is ;)) will depend on where you get the meat. I get a lot of my meat for free by advertising for freezerburned or old meat on Craigslist and Freecycle. I honestly wouldn't bother, though, if I were just feeding cats--I'm also feeding 3 dogs, so that WOULD get expensive. But you can feed one cat for $1 a day on average by feeding plain old grocery store stuff if you shop the sales, check out Asian markets, etc.

Anyway, read the rawcats page and then come back with specific questions. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hoofmaiden, that link was most definitely the best source of information I've come across so far! Thank you so much! I read every word, and will continue to refer to it in the future.

Btw, what I meant by pseudo-raw is either mixing in some dry food, or maybe using canned meats. I may mix in some dry for transitioning, but from what I've been reading, I think I'm going to cut it out altogether. I'll keep some higher quality wet food on reserve just in case I'm unable to get my hands on some meat. The storing of it all seems like it may become a problem.

I know canned meats aren't exactly healthy, but would they be a better alternative to wet food? It seems that a lot of canned meats are cheaper and contain higher quality meat than cat food (as if we feel humans deserve better than our pets). Can I feed those to my cat in addition to any "raw meaty bones" I feed to add a little bit of variety? We always have canned chicken liver and such in our communal fridge.

What about eating mice? Mice are a dime a dozen... well, not literally... but I have some friends who breed snakes and can offer me mice at a great price or even free. I'm assuming frozen mice would be ok, but I don't know how long they would keep for. Fur and all?

Sorry if any of my questions are really out there, but I want to explore all my options!
 

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entertheraven said:
Btw, what I meant by pseudo-raw is either mixing in some dry food, or maybe using canned meats. I may mix in some dry for transitioning, but from what I've been reading, I think I'm going to cut it out altogether. I'll keep some higher quality wet food on reserve just in case I'm unable to get my hands on some meat. The storing of it all seems like it may become a problem.
It's fine for an emergency, but once you have the cat transitioned, I would recommend against mixing canned or kibble in. You risk unbalancing the diet that way.
I know canned meats aren't exactly healthy, but would they be a better alternative to wet food? It seems that a lot of canned meats are cheaper and contain higher quality meat than cat food (as if we feel humans deserve better than our pets). Can I feed those to my cat in addition to any "raw meaty bones" I feed to add a little bit of variety? We always have canned chicken liver and such in our communal fridge.
I have no idea what canned chicken liver is. Is it raw? If it's cooked, NO. It will have stuff added to it, and cooking removes nutrients. I know of no canned meat that is NOT cooked. I would not do that. If you can't really feed raw, I would just feed a high-quality grain-free canned cat food like EVO 95% meat, Wellness CORE, etc.
What about eating mice? Mice are a dime a dozen... well, not literally... but I have some friends who breed snakes and can offer me mice at a great price or even free. I'm assuming frozen mice would be ok, but I don't know how long they would keep for. Fur and all?
Mine get mice 4-5 meals a week (I get mine online pretty inexpensively—they arrive frozen and are fed thawed). Mice are pretty much the PERFECT food for cats—everything a cat needs in one tidy package. And of course fur and all! Do a search on this forum for mice—there is plenty of info, as others have asked these questions, too, so you can probably get more info that way.
 
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