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Discussion Starter #1
I recently adopted a cat and have been working on transitioning her to a better diet (first from shelter kibble, then to high quality wet, and now am looking into raw). The problem is that she had almost all her teeth removed before I adopted her- only four upper and lower canines (is that the right term? - the sharp pointy ones) left. She's only two, too- apparently her teeth had a lot of problems.

Kitty can chomp on pieces of raw meat fine and for most of the time doesn't seem to realize she doesn't have teeth left, but I'm concerned about giving her bone- I don't want it to scratch up her gums or the inside of her stomach. Should I just substitute bone meal? What does real raw bone have that bone meal doesn't?

Thanks for the help!
 

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Some minerals come to mind (copper?), but one of the reasons why we feed raw is that we don't really know what nutrients exactly cats need and get from their natural diet, for example there could be something in bones that cats need and we haven't even identified it yet. Sounds like your kitty would benefit from ground bones, this page contains one possible recipe and a recommendation for a grinder:

recipes - cat nutrition
 

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How about nice and small bones - cornish game hen ribs or quail?

I know of a kitty on a group I'm on that has NO teeth but eats chunks of meat/bone-in meals like a pro!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thank you both for the input- I am not willing to invest in a grinder just yet but I think I can contact a butcher who'd be willing to grind bone.

and I'll keep trying to get her used to the idea of eating bone- right now she just looks at me disparagingly like, "What are you trying to feed me?" haha.
 

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I have two cats who can't handle bones. One is nearly toothless like your cat, and the other is just unable to chew well, but I'm not sure why. In both cases, I smash the bones in their meals thoroughly with a hammer. They have no problem eating smashed bones and get all the nutrients from them. I also have a grinder and could grind bones for them, but it's easier to wash the hammer than all of the grinder parts.

Laurie
 

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Grinder

I recently (in the last month) purchased an old cast (steel? iron?) meat grinder at an antique mall. $6 and it works great on bones and is easy to clean.

My cat won't touch the ground meat though. He does eat the chunks but only small ribs bones of birds so far. The bigger bones still spook him.
 
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