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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies if there is already a thread on this (which I'm positive there is, I just didn't see it). I don't yet have a kitty, but plan on making the addition to our family soon. I'm thinking the majority of his/her diet would be EVO, but I'd love to supplement that with raw 25-50% of the time.

I've seen the percentages of muscle/bone/organs for cats who are completely on raw... would that apply to a cat whose diet is semi-raw, too?

My thinking right now is that I would feed canned in the morning, and some raw bits at night.

Thanks so much in advance for your help!
 

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It's hard to give a generalized answer to this, since canned food, ideally, supplies a cat with all of the nutrition it needs. Technically speaking, the cat on a high-quality canned food such as EVO 95% would not "need" any raw at all in addition to its canned diet.

However, if you were thinking of replacing one entire meal of canned with the raw, then the meal should be given with the proper proportions, yes. BUT you would need to add the proper supplements to the raw meal, as a homemade raw diet will not entirely contain the right nutrients, unless a quality recipe is followed (such as the one on the link I list below).

A homemade raw diet is actually pretty serious business. We can't just give the cat any old meats we want and hope for the best. The meals actually have to be very carefully planned and balanced.

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

Also - keep in mind that many cats are VERY "stomach sensitive" and do not take well to changes in their diet. Canned foods are processed and cooked, and digest differently and at different speeds than a raw meal would. This could keep your cat's digestive system very off whack as it struggled with jumping from digesting canned to digesting raw and back and forth.

As a caveat to this - something to think about - most raw diets are formulated with "all day" or even "all week" in mind - for example, a cat is supposed to get 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ (with ~5% of that being liver) per DAY, not necessarily per meal. So, some people will feed ONLY some meat and bone in the morning, and save the organs + some more meat/bone for the evening meal.

A way to neatly work with this is to buy commercial ground raw, such as Feline's Pride or Rad Cat. These foods are made with bone, meat, and organs all ground into one, so you don't have to worry about measurements - you just give your cat a meal of the ground raw.

(I feed my elderly cat Feline's Pride exclusively, and she is doing fantastically on it.)

I would personally recommend either keeping your cat on all-canned OR all-raw. If you go with all-canned, you can of course give your cat some raw foods, but keep them more to a "treat" basis - such as a few cubes of raw chicken, turkey, venison, rabbit, or organ meats, etc. per day, not a full meal of raw.

As I mentioned earlier, my cat is on a "commercial" ground raw diet. I also purchased a couple of pounds of various meats from Hare Today (https://www.hare-today.com/) - such as venison and chicken - and I cut it into small cubes. I give her a few cubes of the meat per day as a treat, but I do not use the meat as a meal replacement, as it does not have the proper percentages or supplements.

I'm not trying to scare you off of raw! ;} I am a huge advocate for raw, as it's made my old kitty very healthy and happy, and many of her illnesses (high blood pressure, IBS, kidney failure) have actually improved on a raw diet. But, a homemade raw diet is a difficult undertaking - it's easy once you're used to it, but hard to get it correct at first. That's why I went with a commerical ground raw diet for now - it's easier, but still far healthier than canned.

I hope I haven't confused you too much and maybe helped a bit ;} Feel free to ask any other questions you might have!

Reference used: Commercial Canned Foods by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: reading cat food labels, canned versus dry cat food - a very good resource for looking at the high-quality canned options out there
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess what I want to do is feed my cat raw on a "treat" basis, as you said... getting the majority of his/her nutrition from canned. The raw wouldn't really be "meals." Basically I want to keep the flexibility of canned (if we ever need to go out of town for instance, a canned fed cat is of course far easier to accommodate for) but I also want my cat to be allowed to experience its "natural" diet, too.

What I'm really asking, I suppose, is: What are some good raw treat suggestions for a canned fed cat? (Preferably meat available at a grocery store.) Chicken wings? Chicken hearts? Or just cubed raw meat, as you said? I'm mostly interested in the teeth benefits raw treats could give.
 

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My guys get a raw quail once a week for their teeth. It replaces one canned meal a week.

THey also get snips of anything that I'm cooking (before I cook it). If Im making hamburger they get a few chunks each. If I'm making chicken breasts they get snips from the pointy ends before I season/cook it. They love their little treats.
 

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I cut it in half right down the middle and throw it on a salad plate. Then I disappear 'cause it's kind of gruesome :p to watch them go nutz.
 

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As MowMow said - an adult cat can handle an entire quail. Quail are pretty small, and it's even easier when they're "cleft in twain" :}

An adult can also tackle a cornish game hen.

Raw is totally worth it as a treat. Although raw meat doesn't "brush a cat's teeth" (i.e., like the Myth of Kibble), it actually DOES strengthen their jaw muscles to have to chew through/shear a good chunk of meat.

I've bought chicken necks, chicken wings, and duck wings for my cat. Although I have her on the commercial ground raw for her meals, I toss her some good meaty bones every now and then. She's just starting to get "good" at chewing through it all :}

And as a semi-tangent - kittens don't actually NEED "kitten food". As long as they're old enough to be eating solid foods, they're old enough to be on normal canned cat food OR a raw diet. After all, Mom in the wild would be catching prey for them, and they'd be eating it raw while they were learning to hunt. There's no kitten food in the wild! ;} It's something to consider while you think about and plan for your cat's future eating habits.

I've read that sometimes a cat can't handle a whole chicken wing - if they can't, you can give them just the last "wingtip" joint/bone, or from the "elbow" down to the wingtip.

I've also bought some pinky mice and day-old chicks recently - I'm going to experiment with giving those to my cat as a treat. (I got them from a herpetological feed supplier.) All the meat, bone, and organs all in one convenient, tiny package!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you LakotaWolf! You've helped out a lot :]

I did know about kitten food being unnecessary... ugh marketing ploys! I was just researching local vets & one had a whole page of "nutrition advice" that claimed kittens/puppies need to be fed kitten/puppy-specific food for an entire YEAR!!! Also they tried to claim that corn ISN'T a filler but a source of good nutrition! It was ridiculous. Needless to say our future cat won't be a patient at that practice! The only good thing that place seems to have going for them is the witty sayings they put on their signboard out by the road ("It's all fun & games until someone ends up in a cone.")

I think we'll be giving our kitty little poultry wings as treats, maybe a heart or two now & then :] I'm also considering thawed frozen mice. This is random, but do you know how they kill the mice? Do they gas them? Obviously it's kind of stupid for me to care, considering the horrible ways cows/chickens etc are killed. But I'm curious :p
 

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It depends on the supplier.

But, the vast majority of the reputable/larger suppliers I've looked at DO use CO2 gas to humanely kill their feeder mice/rats/chicks/etc.

CO2 gas seems to be the most humane way - AND the safest for the animal that is going to be ingesting the prey, as CO2 doesn't leave any chemical residues in the prey.

Most suppliers also feed their feeder prey a specially-formulated diet for high nutrition - not "natural" foods (i.e. grains, grasses, etc.) But, this does ensure that the animal that is going to be eating the prey gets a good dose of nutrients, and it also helps ensure quality control of the feeder prey.

If you consider trying out pinky mice or something else once you get your kitty, just give the supplier's website a good thorough checking to see if they list their policies :} Some local pet stores also carry/supply pinky mice.
 
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