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We've decided to make the switch from a high quality canned (not vet prescribed) to raw. Our 4 year old Oscar has FIC (likely neurologically caused) and nearly died about a month ago. He'll probably never go back to 100%. We're hoping that the high moisture content and nutrition of raw will benefit him and extend his life.

We had always wanted to do raw but thought Oscar wouldn't touch it as he wouldn't even eat cooked meat and it took him some time to take to canned, but to our surprise he gobbled up both the chicken and beef we offered him today.

I know the switch can take time but if he likes the meat is there any reason to make a slow transition? In the dog world it said that the dog's body needs time to adjust. Is that the same in cats?
 

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Also, I put 2 tsp of ground beef next to his regular canned meal today and he ate about half of both. I take that as a good sign. How long can I leave the rest of the meat out in case he goes back to finish his meal later?
 

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Well, judging by the video I just saw, I'd say Oscar is doing fine on raw! Congratulations on the switch.

For my cats, sometimes I will leave the food out for up to an hour just to let them take their time, wolf some down, go away, lick their chops, come back, nibble a bit here and there and then I'll put it up if they haven't finished everything.

I have noticed that they seem to like to eat this way, better instead of being forced to eat all at once. That may come from when I fed them kibble and had the snack bar out all day long whereas now, they are fed at specific times.

Still, I like to see them relax about it and not feel they have to gulp everything in site...just eat, relax, come back, eat a bit more, relax, come back, eat a bit more....usually by the time that hour is up, they are all quite satisfied and done with it for the night.

I wouldn't leave it out all night though, just a little while.
 

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Can cats handle a rapid transition? Absolutely. (Mine forced one on me when they stopped eating canned shortly after I started feeding them a single dinner of raw a day. I was not ready for a full switch, but clearly they were.)

As for leaving the food out, my choice has been not to do it. I'm not concerned about bacterial issues (feral cats bury their breakfast leftovers only to dig them up and eat them for dinner with no ill effects), as much as I am about fitting raw feeding into my schedule.

My cats were schedule fed canned foods before I transitioned them to raw, so eating what was put in front of them was already an ingrained habit. Also, I feed three times a day, so each meal is a perfectly manageable size for a single sitting.

During your transition, if you want to leave food out for up to an hour, go ahead, but - if I were you - I wouldn't make it a habitual part of mealtimes.

AC

P.S. That video of Oscar chowing down on the wing is GREAT. He did very well for a cat with his first bone-in meal!
 
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