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Discussion Starter #1
I have had success with feeding one of my cats (Mimi), Rad Cat.

My other cat, Caroline, surprisingly won't have anything to do with raw. She lived in a condemned house with 100 cats, so I thought she was a big hunter as she rips up cat toys. I tried putting tiny bits of raw with her wet. Mixing with her wet. Putting FortaFlora on wet/raw.


I was looking at the prices at Hare Today, and it looks like it might be cheaper to order through them and add the supplements. Does anyone do this?

I am squeamish. I honestly cannot see myself grinding and cutting up meat. I am single. I have a tiny kitchen, and I barely cook for myself.

Not sure how I can afford the Rad Cat, so I am looking for cheaper alternatives.

Thank you!
 

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If you want cheap I've honestly found Prey Model (FrankenPrey) to be ridiculously inexpensive. I spend way less than what I used to on canned food, plus my cats are eating way less raw than they did canned. I don't use Hare Today (they don't ship to Canada lol), I just use my local supermarkets and asian grocery stores to find meat/bones/organs. Shopping for my cats is as easy as shopping for myself because I can do it in the exact same places. Stocking up during sales helps keep costs way down too.

When feeding prey model you don't even have to add supplements, so it honestly is extremely easy (in my opinion and given my situation at least :smile:). The problems you might have with prey model are: you do have to handle and cut up/portion a lot of raw meat, you need freezer space to store everything (I've taken over the freezer attached to our fridge, so I'm looking into getting a chest freezer), and if your cats are used to ground raw or pate style canned food it can be a bit tricky to get them to chew raw chunks of meat/bone. It CAN be done, because I was able to transition my 14 year old cat from exclusively kibble to canned and then to 100% raw, but that kind of thing does take time and commitment on your part.

If you wanted to make your own ground food there would be a significant start up cost to buy a grinder/supplements/storage containers. It was too expensive for me, which is why I searched for alternatives and decided on prey model. I also looked into pre-made ground raw but that was also too expensive around here ($5-$7 per lb) plus most of it contained stuff I didn't want (random veggies like cabbage or lettuce or too much liver/organ). I don't know how much Rad Cat is costing you, but maybe there are other brands of ground raw you could buy over the internet and have shipped to you? I haven't really looked into it, so I hope someone else can help you with that if you prefer that route.

Anyway I hope you can find an option that works for you and your cats :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply. I am going to do the best I can given my circumstances.

I live in a large studio apt with a tiny kitchen. Neither of my cats have been fond of chunky canned cat food.

Caroline has trouble eating dry due to her teeth, so she gets canned. She had bartonella when I got her. She had dental earlier this year. Her teeth and gums are sensitive, but not bad enough to be pulled.

Mimi will eat anything... eventually. I can't leave raw out a long time though.

She rejected some raw freeze dried treats. Mimi then busted into the bag while I sleeping. I put it in another plastic bag and guess who I found trying to get at them again?
Same thing with a sample of Stella and Chewey's.

I have to see if I can commit to a grinder and use it. Kinda squeamish about like that.
 

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Aww I'm so sorry hear about Caroline's teeth. I agree that if they're bugging her she'd likely much prefer ground raw food. If her teeth bother her that might also be a reason she's hesitant to try new things.

It sounds like Mimi at least is quite happy with the raw! Reminds me of my cat Moxie - whenever I'm cutting and portioning out meat she sits at my feet the whole time waiting for me to take pity on her and give her a few tidbits. I'm scared to leave any bags of meat sitting out - she's chewed through several bags of treats already :razz:

Anyway I couldn't afford the initial expensive of a grinder and supplements, but I would think if you invest in a good quality one you'll be able to save money in the long run. Hopefully someone on here who does ground food will be able to give you more info, but in the meantime I'll link you to some articles I found helpful. Good luck to you!

Making Cat Food by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: homemade cat food, cat food recipes

Making Raw Cat Food for Do-It-Yourselfers
 

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I switched my kitties to raw due to allergies, and I feed ground with supplements. The supplements are not that expensive, buy them, and one bottle will last a long time. What I go through most of is taurine, but even that isn't bad, the bottle lasts a while.

I also have a kitty, like you, with bad teeth. She can eat small chunks, but if they are to large, or anything with bones, her gums will bleed, and she'll stop eating. Ground just works best.

I actually carried my raw feeding to the extreme. After not being satisfied with Hare today's consistency in quality at all, I started to raise my own meat rabbits. Rabbit worked best for mine because of the allergies. If you are going to use a grinder, I will tell you, make sure it's a good one, or you will just get frustrated, especially if you are grinding bone. We use a Weston #22, and it just rocks! Excellent grinder! I know there are others out there that are cheaper, there is description of one on the Lisa A Pierson DVM link catinthemirror posted. Be sure to check that out.

I wasn't ever real keen on switching to raw, it creeped my out to be honest, but you get used to it, and it quickly went from something I "had to do", to something "I just do". You get used to it, and it's no big deal. I don't know that I could get used to the frankenprey though, to much prep work, and way to much mess for me. I just have this image of my cats hauling raw food parts all over the house! :p

Where are you from? We always have extra when we grind, and could ship if you are within reasonable distance.
 

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I wasn't ever real keen on switching to raw, it creeped my out to be honest, but you get used to it, and it quickly went from something I "had to do", to something "I just do". You get used to it, and it's no big deal. I don't know that I could get used to the frankenprey though, to much prep work, and way to much mess for me. I just have this image of my cats hauling raw food parts all over the house! :p
This was exactly my experience. I've only been feeding raw full time for a couple months now, but it's definitely something you get used to with time. I don't even find the prep work for frankenprey to take very long - I put on a Walking Dead marathon last week and spent a couple hours cutting things up and bagging them, and now the cats have food for at least the next three or four months.

And my girls want it made known that they are perfect ladies, and eat daintily over their bowls without spilling a single crumb - unless of course Sassy finds a bone that's not quite small enough. Those get spit out onto the carpet with out fail :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I live near Albany NY. What brand supplements do you add? I am very confused by the recipe of supplements and the measuring.
 

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I have two cats as well. I found no difficulty transitioning the two to raw although they're on a 50/50 wet/raw diet right now.

I understand the squeamishness of having to cut up the meat yourself. However, it really is easier and cost effective. I don't eat meat so if I can do it, then you can. Feeding frankenprey will, as said already, eliminates the need for supplements and getting confused. All you do is an approximate 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% kidney combination.

I don't have a lot of freezer space so once a week, I spend about 1-1.5 hrs butchering a week's worth of meals for 3 furkids. Weighing out about 2-3% of their body weight per meal. I divide it up into small boxes (1 per meal) you find in the dollar stores and throw them in the freezer. Every morning I move 3 boxes from the freezer to fridge to defrost. When I get home from work, I take it out of the fridge and thaw at room temp for another 30 mins or so. Then I feed. Very simple, very easy.

I get whole quail, skinless & boneless chicken breast, flank steak for the kids from the Asian supermarkets. The quails will give them the bone and some of the organs. I can easily get them the freeze dried organ treats to make up the rest. Quail cost $8 for 6. Chicken breast about $3/lb, flank steak about $4-$5/lb.

If you do it this way, no need for a meat grinder. Just a butcher knife and a chopping block which you likely have anyways. They will also get the bone for the dental benefits. In regards to your cat having bad teeth, I don't know how true it is, but I heard of someone who had a small toothless dog and they were fed a raw diet. Perhaps in their case, they used a ground bone supplement. Maybe you can do that for her. You can always try to see if she's okay with bone. If not, then work from there.

Every cat is different as well as the owner, so you'll have to do a trial and error to find what works out best for both you and for your furkids.

Good luck!
 

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I follow the recipe on this page Making Cat Food by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: homemade cat food, cat food recipes with the exception of a couple things. I don't add eggs, they make two of mine itch, and I don't add chicken, I feed solely rabbit. I'm adding in 1 tsp of a high quality fish oil per lb of rabbit. Also, I don't have to add in the lite salt because I feed whole rabbit that includes the thyroid gland for the iodine. So the only supplements I'm adding in based on 3 lbs of rabbit meat and bones are the 3 tsp fish oil, 2,000 mg taurine, 400 IU vit E, and 50 mg vit b-complex.

One thing I did specifically when I ordered supplements was look for supplements that didn't include alot of unnecessary things......like soy, wheat, corn, milk, eggs, etc etc. I like Now Food products because of that.

I have a big heavy commercial grinder, but I'm grinding bones, and grinding alot at one time. I don't know that you are going to find a small grinder that will be "good", or last a long time, unless you go manual. Honestly, I think that if you can stomach grinding meat, you should be able to cut it up too. But, I've read that alot of raw feeders use the Tasin TS-108. It runs about $150 on-line.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I just realized that my kitty with the sensitive teeth, Caroline, is swallowing bits of kibble whole.
Yes. I know I am not supposed to have dry food in the house, but I have some Blue Buffalo Wilderness here. A small bag of food lasts us months. It is in a sealed, air locked container.
Anyway, Caroline has not been eating well, and I did not have her favorite canned food on hand. I remembered that she did eat the BB before. This morning I actually sat with her and watched her eat. There was very little crunching going on and more swallowing of the bits - the pieces are small, but I do not like that. I think she could become constipated easily as well as all of the other issues from eating dry food.
Sometimes I have to work an overnight, and I have been leaving them dehydrated raw in the auto feeder (NV, Stella and Chewey's). Caroline just picks at it.
I have been trying to mix raw with Caroline's favorite wet food, but she will not eat it at all; even the tiniest bit. If I give her the same food with no raw, she will eat it.
Mimi, my other cat, that loves Rad Cat will eat almost anything.
My vet told me it was ok to fed her raw, but not to feed her exclusively raw to ensure she is getting proper nutrition. *rolls eyes*
I have to save my money for a grinder.
I am single and barely cook for myself. I worry about screwing something up.
Thanks for all your advice and support.
 

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Awww, poor Caroline! Patches did the same thing though, and I remember one time last year when she scared the heck out of me! She was eating, and it was one of her "stupid moments" where she was being finicky, and would only eat kibble. She went through lots of ups and downs over the last year. Anyway, she must have bit down on on a piece of kibble the wrong way, and she ran away downstairs, howling in pain. I had to take her in to the vet, and she actually fractured a tooth. I just remember being thankful it was something that could be fixed, because I was so scared at first, that she was dying or something! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Some success tonight with Caroline! She ate some raw mixed with wet! Not a lot, but it is progress.
Early this morning I had to leave early for work. Both cats got canned. Mimi did not get raw this AM, but she was eating when I left. I came home, and she never finished her portion. I guess Mimi prefers raw over usual wet food!
Slowly but surely.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Caroline is going to the vet tomorrow to have her teeth checked. I am not comfortable with the amount of canned she is eating. She will eat dry food but again, there is no crunching involved and is swallowing most of the kibble bits whole. SHE NEEDS TO BE ON A RAW DIET!!!

Wish me luck as it is difficult bringing Caroline to the vet as she was a bit feral when she was rescued from a hoarding situation 14 months ago. Mimi, in the past, has also physically attacked me (badly) defending Caroline when I have tried to get Caroline in a carrier. My plan to feed Caroline in the bathroom tomorrow and hide the carrier in the bathtub and when she is done eating put her in carrier. I will have to briefly put in Mimi in a closet. Once Caroline is in the carrier, all is good.

I am sure the expense now of this vet visit will push back my purchase of a grinder, but it put things in more perspective for me as to how important I have to get on board with raw.
I am checking craiglists and other places for grinders but nothing yet. Thanks for your support.
 

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Julie, my Patches was really stubborn about switching to raw, she's extremely finicky! What I did when I transitioned her, was use boiled skinless chicken breast, cut up very fine, and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I offered her a plate of that, right next to her canned chicken. It worked really really well, and we were soon transitioned to raw chicken in a matter of a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Where can I get chicken necks?
Not good news for Caroline. She had a dental workup (cleaning) less than a year ago, and now her teeth are bad again. Caroline is on antibiotics. The vet wants her to try to eat some dry. *rolls eyes* All I can do is try with the bones. Caroline has done well with eating canned the past day or so.
 

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I've seen chicken necks at Asian grocery stores.

Sometimes it can be frustrating, one day you think you're making progress, the next it's like you're taking a step backwards. I am still transitioning my kitties to raw as well and it can be a challenge but its definitely rewarding to keep it up :) good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I bought some Bravo bonus bites dehydrated Chicken Breasts over the weekend. Mimi rejected them as treats, but Caroline has been chomping on hers on and off all night! Progress!

I will try to go to the Asian market this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I some speciality meat places where I can get bison heart 4.00lb, liver 2.00lb, kidneys 4.00lb, soup bone w/meat 4.00lb. -this is bison.

Another butcher 6.95lb raw for pets - Our raw pet food consists of 2/3 grass-finished ground beef mixed with 1/3 organ meats (beef & pork) shaped into convenient 'hamburger patties' for our canine/feline customers.
They also have rabbit (whole)6.95lb, Cornish Hen 6.95lb, Duck, Lamb
It sounds like the price will include they grinding it.

I can drive to these places as they are less than an hour for me. Are these prices fair?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I went to the Asian Markets near me. No chicken necks! Lots of organ meats though very cheap mostly pig organs but I found some chicken organs. I didn't buy any. Not ready yet.
I gave Mimi a raw chicken wing. She was so not into it. I am trying.
 
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