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Dear All,

I am a newbie here and first time cat owner, I am pretty much lost in terms of diet. I have a lot of questions and I apologize if some have been answered before.

I adopted 2 kittens from a local shelter 2.5 weeks ago (Panther & Cheetah). They are estimated to be about 3 mos old now. The people from the shelter advised us to give them Royal Canin Kitten dry food along with Wellness kitten wet food. We know that they can get upset stomach if we change the brand of food, and so we bought a 20 lbs dry food (1st mistake) up front. I was told to split 1 can of Wellness between them each day.

We then found out Cheetah has very soft stool and after reading the vet records, we found out he is sensitive to Wellness and had diarrhea before when he consumes Wellness. We asked the vet in the shelter, and she told me the kittens in the shelter weren't even being fed with Wellness, they were being fed with California Natural.

So I switched Cheetah to a diet with chicken and rice only for a few days, and then slowly bring him back on dry food as supplements (he is not a big fan of dry food anyway). Then I started adding canned food to the chicken, I tried tiny bit of Wellness, then added AvoDerm. With a plan in mind to change them back to dry and wet food. Panther has been doing well with food and has been gaining weight. As of last Thursday, Panther was 3.7 lbs and Cheetah was 3.0 lbs. Cheetah is estimated to be 1 week older than Panther though.

In the process of searching for the best canned food for my kittens, I have a hard time to find the perfect canned food, and since I have been reading a lot about raw diet, I would like to give it a try. I am starting to cook the chicken less to give them a taste of raw food.

The biggest problem now is about transitioning from dry/wet food diet to raw with a 20 lbs dry food and 12 cans of wet food in stock. And also how to adjust it for Cheetah with a sensitive stomach. And where can I shop for vitamin supplements to make my homemade raw food, etc. Is gorcery store prepacked chicken or forzen chicken good enough to make raw diet for my kittens?

Any advices will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
 

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Congratulations on realizing how important a species-appropriate diet is for your little carnivores! It's awesome that you're willing to make this effort for your new kittens.

Some of the answers to your questions are going to depend on what raw-feeding methodology you use. There are three: Grinding, Frankenprey and Whole Prey.

There are a HUGE number of ground "recipes" out there, here are two sites to check out: Cat Info and Cat Nutrition. Supplements are generally accepted as a requirement for this feeding method.

Frankenprey feeders use the 80%, 10%, 5%, 5% guideline:
80% - 87% meat, fat, skin, sinew, connective tissue, heart and gizzards
5% - 10% edible bone
3% - 5% liver
5% other secreting organ (kidney, spleen, brain, testicles, eyes, etc.)

The only supplement usually needed here are Omega-3s, unless you're able to procure grass-fed beef and poultry products. Salmon oil caps are typically used, but a Sardine a week is sometimes substituted (I feed sardines).

Finally, of course, you have the Whole Prey method, which is exactly what it sounds like - whole mice, rats, guinea pigs, chicks, etc. are fed. No supplementation is needed with this diet, since you're giving your cat exactly what he evolved to eat.

This is a very, very general overview. Which method most resembles what you've got in mind for your cats?

This is Cat Forum's Natural Diet Resources thread, which you might find helpful.

My catforum real-time transition thread is here Taking the Plunge.

There are a ton of helpful people on this board, so you're in good hands here!
 

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The links above are great. I would donate all the dry food you have to the shelter, and start transitioning to raw ASAP. More than likely, you will be able to put down a Cornish Game Hen quarter each and they'll go to town. Try that first. If they have issues, you can transition more slowly as per this link:

http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

Good luck! More than likely your kitten's "sensitive" stomach is just sensitive to species-inappropriate ingredients. He'll probably be fine on real food. :)
 
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