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Discussion Starter #1
Current diet: breakfast of 2.5 oz (half a can) wet food ... 1 bowl of kibble left out all day for "grazing"
Would it be okay to feed cats a couple chicken gizzards, once a day, as a treat? Or is that too unbalanced for diet?


My perdicament:
I'm sure that somewhere around here people have claimed that raw was cheaper than commercial... though every time I search for buying meat, it's always at least $3 a pound (for organ anyway...I can get regular chicken for about $1.50 but that's just muscle). That's cheap?? I get decent quality kibble for 70cents a pound - which of course includes all the vitamins and stuff, so I wouldn't also need to buy any supplements besides the meat.

I would love to give my kitties the absolute best in food, but as I'm living off disability checks, my budget is very tight. My own food I'm getting with food stamps...and they don't pay for cat food.
HOWEVER! I do love chicken hearts, and buy some ever so often as a treat (for ME). They always come with gizzards too, which I really don't like so much. I would give the gizzards to the cats once a day as a treat, maybe 2 gizzards to a cat...but not a full meal - their 1/2 can food and bowl of kibble would still be their main source of diet.

I do plan on totally switching over, as soon as I can get all the medical bills paid and be more stable financially. But that won't be for three to five years!
 

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I was just going to post the same question! I bought a package of hearts and gizzards for myself and I was wondering if I could give some (raw) to my girls. My fear is that Charlee will swallow without chewing.
 

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I would think that if they swallowed a gizzard without chewing, that would be fine. No bones right? (Not entirely sure I know what a gizzard is)

My guys get a half a chicken wing a day (or every other day) to supplement their canned food diet and they love it! I wish I could afford to go 100% raw, the cats sure do enjoy it.

That said, a chicken wing is a RMB, where a heart or gizzard would classed as offal. It IS possible to overdo it on the offal. Not sure I'd feed it every day, but once or twice a week should be fine.
 

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Well, I wanted it to help their teeth, so if she swallows it whole, kind of defeats the purpose. Should give her a bigger piece so she'll have to chew? Do your kids eat the chicken wing bone and everything?
 

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70 cents per lb? Wow. The kibble I was buying was costing me almost $4 per pound! In fact in my case, even premade frozen raw ended up being cheaper than the grain free canned/kibble combo I was feeding once I factored out how much I'd need to feed per week and how much everything cost per oz.

Anyway, being that I'm still super new to raw and trying to figure everything out myself, I don't have any advice there. I'm sure one of the more experienced raw feeders has the answer though!
 

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As far as raw feeding, gizzards and hearts are considered muscle meat, not organ... so I would not worry too much about nutrition per se, more about digestion rates. You don't want to upset their stomachs in the interim.

I would feed it several hours after any meal and preferrably before feeding the kibble. From what I understand, the kibble is the real problem with the slow digestibility.

Other than that, it will most likely be a welcome treat :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks guys! I just wasn't sure if I could mix raw and commercial like that.


Paizly does not like to chew for some weird reason. I did have her teeth done last year, and everything was okay for how old she is... so it's not that it's mouth problems.
Besides, just to make sure they don't choke anyway, I would cut up the gizzards in tiny pieces... heck, might even just turn them to mush like canned food, in the blender and give a spoonful of it.
Every other day or every couple days sounds good to me - I could freeze the whole batch, then thaw out individual servings in the fridge the night before, and it would last a while that way.

I used to spend $6 a bag on 3 lbs kibble, but then my budget tightened with all the medical bills from my stroke and surgery and I had to switch to a more affordable one. Ironically, this is the only food Paizly can tolerate, and now only vomits once a week at the most...unlike every day, as before. I think it's because she can't tolerate corn or by-products (ran out of current kibble once, and got a little bag of grocery kibble with corn...had to clean throw up messes every day until I could get another trip to Costco!)
For a 25 lbs bag, it's $15.99 ....$17 after tax. So that's about 68cents a pound. And 1 bag lasts about 2 months.

Costco "Kirkland Signature" cat food - ingredient list and nutrition values
 

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If you are going to feed gizzards or any form of raw, I would initially cut them into small pieces, but in order to get the teeth cleaning benefits, the cats must be allowed to chew and work the raw meat. Eventually, you can increase the size of the pieces until they can eat them uncut.

The other benefit is it allows them an opportunity to channel that little dormant lion that lives in every one of our cats. There is nothing cuter than to hear your kitties growling as they tear apart their prey even if it's supermarket bought :wink
 

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I give my cats cut up raw meat on occasion (no bone), and they never seem to have a problem with it. I have heard a few members suggest that it may not be safe to feed raw with kibble because kibble has a longer digestion time and could "trap" the bacteria from the raw.
 

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Raw meat treats are a great addition to a diet! (Bone and organ, not so much, since too much bone can cause constipation and too much organ - that is any secreting organ - can cause diarrhea).

Heart and gizzard are considered muscle meat for raw feeding purposes.

Yes, Marie - if you want your cats to get the dental benefits of raw feeding, you'll need to ensure whatever you offer them is large enough to force them to tear it down. Gizzards are a GREAT workout, but not all cats can handle them without building up their strength and experience first.

Cats fed kibble bits and canned mush all their lives have no jaw strength to speak of and no idea how to chew even if they had that strength. Some catch on real quick, some want to but just can't do it without building toward it, and some are just plain lazy and have to be coaxed into it.

As for the cost, I've never compared kibble to raw, only quality canned. For my purposes, I've used $1.65 as the average canned cost per 5.5 ounce can.

At $1.65 per 5.5 ounces, that canned food actually costs $4.80 per pound. Almost everything I buy for my cats costs me less than $2 a pound. Only rabbit and beef costs more; beef is usually about $2.99 a pound and rabbit costs about the same as canned (but it's only two meals per week).

So as you can see, I save considerably by feeding raw.

Best regards.

AC
 

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I pay about $.86 for 5.5 oz. of FF ($.47 for a 3 oz. can), so it's not costing me much more than raw. I'm more concerned about their teeth right now to be honest. And after reading in another thread about how you can't just put raw down and leave (for work), it wouldn't be practical for me at this time.
 

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In our experience, it took Gracie a little while to learn how exactly to crunch down a bone by putting it to the side of her mouth and using her molars. I think the first two thirds of a chicken wing (not the last 'mini- drumstick' section) would be a great starter snack for any cat. It doesn't take long for them to figure it out.

Occasionally we give her chicken necks, too - but I always whack them down into smaller sections with a cleaver rather than giving her the entire length of a neck.

Incidentally, drinking straws are good practice! Gracie handles them exactly the same way she handles bone-in poultry. And, yes, you can see from her body language that her raw meals are deeply satisfying - she hunkers down a different way, all elbows and shoulders, as if the crunching and smacking requires a larger set of muscles...

:) Fran
 

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I just gave my cats their wings on the counter (easy to wipe down) Well someone dropped theirs on the floor and my dog got it. Then world war three ensued and the nasty, half eaten raw chicken wing ended up on my BED! Talk about BARF!
LOL!!

I'm sorry to laugh - I'm quite sure I can imagine how this made you feel - but, oh my, that's a hysterical story!!!

(Note to self - ALWAYS supervise dinner! *chuckle*)

AC
 

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Yeah, Egypt likes to drag her food under the bed...you gotta watch them when they eat raw or else it ends up in the strangest places *shrugz*
 
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