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Discussion Starter #1
Well, now that I successfully have all 9 cats on canned/wet Felidae cat food (yay!), I've been researching the benefits of feeding raw. I believe it is something I can do, especially if I can get some free meat from Craigslist now and then--as with 9 cats to feed (and my husband still unemployed), that would be a HUGE help!

So far, most (not all 9 yet) of my cats have eaten and enjoyed chunks of boneless chicken thigh, chunks of boneless stew meat, and ground beef.

What I've done to entice them is to thaw it (I have it in a ziploc bag and float it in hot water for a few minutes to bring it to room temp), then give a little squirt/pump of the salmon oil, and a small sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. I mix it all up and serve them individual pieces.

Most of them have really enjoyed this and want more!

Is this a good start? I realize there are no bone and organs given yet, but I'm just starting.

They still receive canned/wet food as their first meal of the day, as I've been trying the raw as their evening dinner meal.

Any advice/help is appreciated!
 

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Sounds good! Make sure your chunks are BIG -- at least mouse-sized. No "bite-size" chunks. The whole point is that they should have to gnaw through the meat -- builds up jaw strength and is good for the teeth.

Now introduce some bone. Chicken breasts, cut up, are one option; cornish game hen (i.e., small chickens) are better b/c the bone is smaller. I quarter CGHs and dole them out one per cat. Do not remove skin. Turn them upside down, esposing the meatier parts. The cats will figure the rest out. ;)

Go slowly w/ organ as it can cause loose stools. Try fingernail sized pieces of liver or kidney -- then wait a few days until the next one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you soooo much! I really appreciate your advice!

That's another question I forgot to ask---SKIN on chicken thighs, breasts, etc. SKIN is okay to feed to the cats then?

I didn't know if I should have removed the skin, but I didn't.
 

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Skin is fine--cats need fat! For starters, feed the skin-on bone in breast or CGH and then feed meaty meat for a few days to give the system time to deal w/ the fat. I never had even the SLIGHTEST problem w/ it in my cats but if you want to be extra safe you can do that. But feed it ALL. Don't remove anything.

Do be careful about checking for "enhanced" chicken and pork. I've mentioned this in PMs to you, and I know that you'll sometimes get chicken from Craigs list scores that isn't labelled. Honestly, I give that to my dogs and then only spread out over time. The only chicken my cats get is organic free-range CGHs. "Enhanced" chicken has briney broth added -- all processed chicken will have a little salt added, but if it comes from the store it WILL be labelled and will clearly state mg of sodium per serving -- should be 80mg or less per serving or it HAS been enhanced.

The additional sodium and chemicals can cause allergies and loose stools -- and, I'm sure, other problems over time. So it's a good idea to keep an eye out. Generally, the "big name" chicken producers are most likely to enhance -- Tyson, Perdue, Wal-Mart, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great! Once again, THANK YOU! I'm so grateful for the help and advice!

In addition to my 9 indoor cats, I have 3 dogs and was thinking of spreading out eventually to feed them raw as well, but my priority was with my cats since the cats' urinary problems was what originally brought me to this forum and learn about the raw feeding in the first place.

I do remember you mentioning the "enhanced" and the sodium being less than 80mg/serving. I've yet to find that on the labels, but it's definitely in my mind to look for, thanks!
 

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Just a side note for warming their foods.

Its been noted that although it should be fed at a mouse temperature if you will, putting the meat in hot water or really even warm water for more than a few seconds is killing nutrients. There was an article posted recently on here about that.

Anyway I have been feeding almost straight from the fridge, I let it sit on the counter for about 5 minutes and then feed it, but no longer use water to warm it. They don't seem to have any issues.

Leslie
 

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I've started doing the same thing. Leslie. I've been warming their meat for nearly a year, but I recently decided that I didn't want to risk degrading the nutrients in their food or promoting bacterial growth by warming the meat anymore, so now I feed it cold from the fridge. The cats are fine with it that way, and it saves me time and a step in preparation, so it's all good.

Laurie
 

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laurief said:
I've started doing the same thing. Leslie. I've been warming their meat for nearly a year, but I recently decided that I didn't want to risk degrading the nutrients in their food or promoting bacterial growth by warming the meat anymore, so now I feed it cold from the fridge. The cats are fine with it that way, and it saves me time and a step in preparation, so it's all good.

Laurie
Would it be better to have the meat defrosting in the fridge for 2 days or sitting on the counter for 12 hours? I need that long because thats how long it takes for 4-5 lbs of meat to defrost.

Thanks.
 

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furryfriends251 said:
Would it be better to have the meat defrosting in the fridge for 2 days or sitting on the counter for 12 hours? I need that long because thats how long it takes for 4-5 lbs of meat to defrost.

Thanks.
Laurie posted this link in a previous thread http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/meatprey.pdf well this is actually the pdf version the one she posted was the html. http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:FV ... ent=safari They are both exactly the same.

In the article it states that in order to minimize nutrient loss food should never be thawed at room temp and if thawed in the refrigerator the temp should never go above 40f.
 
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