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Hi, I'm following catinfo.org's method of transition from kibble to wet to raw. I have 4 cats, and recently accomplished getting the kibble queen to eat her wet food. They are all now on a 95% wet food diet. (5% of it is still some kibble and other treats, more on that later.)

What did you guys do with your left-over kibble? We actually have a huge bag of it because we did not expect the kibble queen (Nabi) to transition so soon, if at all. It is Wellness grain-free kibble by the way, so it was kind of pricey. My mom is kind of against just tossing her money in the garbage... any idea what to do with it? We're just giving them a spoonful of it before we go to sleep to get rid of it little by little. Some nights they had wet food instead.

Also, we bought the Nature's Variety raw chicken medallions for our cats to try. (Nature's Variety Grain-Free Instinct Raw Food Diets for Dogs and Cats)
I was wondering how good is this stuff in the long term? Do I need to worry about any deficiencies in its nutrients or something? I understand making your own raw diet is a lot more cheaper and better overall, but for convenience methods, this sounds ok so far. I've read that the cats need variety of meat, so if I switch up the flavor of this kind, do you think it is enough? (They have beef, lamb, venison, rabbit, and bison.) We would also like to know if this would be an upgrade from Wellness canned food.

We want to try preparing raw food on our own one day, but until the cats are used to the taste, we're holding out on that for now. One more thing: how long do you typically leave your raw food out for the cats to eat? We've been dumping the raw stuff after 30 minutes. Are we dumping it too soon? Sometimes they eat it when we leave it out a bit longer, but we're afraid of the meat spoiling in this weather.

Would love your feedback and answers!
 

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What did you guys do with your left-over kibble? We actually have a huge bag of it because we did not expect the kibble queen (Nabi) to transition so soon, if at all. It is Wellness grain-free kibble by the way, so it was kind of pricey. My mom is kind of against just tossing her money in the garbage... any idea what to do with it?
Donate it to an animal shelter! They'll be thrilled to get it.
Also, we bought the Nature's Variety raw chicken medallions for our cats to try. (Nature's Variety Grain-Free Instinct Raw Food Diets for Dogs and Cats)
I was wondering how good is this stuff in the long term? Do I need to worry about any deficiencies in its nutrients or something? I understand making your own raw diet is a lot more cheaper and better overall, but for convenience methods, this sounds ok so far.
Well, (1) it's ground and (2) it contains fruits and vegetables, which cats don't need and can't use. So I wouldn't feed it for both those reasons.

There is no reason to "prepare" raw food, if by that you mean using ground meat, adding supplements, etc. I am a big fan of the catinfo site, but NOT of the raw ground recipes.

Consider transitioning them to REAL raw--food they can chew! Either "frankenprey" or whole prey is good. Lots of info here: Raw Fed Cats .

One more thing: how long do you typically leave your raw food out for the cats to eat? We've been dumping the raw stuff after 30 minutes. Are we dumping it too soon? Sometimes they eat it when we leave it out a bit longer, but we're afraid of the meat spoiling in this weather.
My cats eat their food up w/in 10 min. When transitioning you can leave it a little longer, but better is to take it up after 15-20 min and then offer it again later. I.e., feed MORE meals than 2 per day until they are eating well. :)
 

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Thanks, great suggestion about donating! Aw shoot, well I guess the NV stuff could be given as treats or something. (If they even touch it...)

As for preparing the raw food thing, I meant that we'd have to go over to the next town to get the organs and chop it up. It would be ideal to feed them whole prey, but I don't know if they'll be ready for it. Do you think it's better to just give them the whole prey anyway? I have my doubts about giving it to them right now when they haven't even seen a mouse or chicken before.

But I am interested: if we give whole prey, we won't have to do much of that calculation stuff right? Just defrost a mouse or something, and give it to them to eat?

And do you refrigerate the left overs when you offer the food again? What kind of meals should I feed more of? The raw food or the wet? Any? Sorry for all the questions! Right now they're eating around 5 times a day of wet food. Each meal, it's about 2 tablespoons of it, they don't seem to eat much more than that in one sitting.

Thanks again for your response.
 

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But I am interested: if we give whole prey, we won't have to do much of that calculation stuff right? Just defrost a mouse or something, and give it to them to eat?
Yup. :) At first you usually need to open the mouse up so they know it's food. Obviously feed cats separately (should do this anyway) to make sure you know who is eating what and so they don't swap around or argue. Most cats figure the mouse thing out w/in a few meals. Drizzle tuna juice over the opened mouse--that helps them get it. ;)
And do you refrigerate the left overs when you offer the food again? What kind of meals should I feed more of? The raw food or the wet? Any? Sorry for all the questions! Right now they're eating around 5 times a day of wet food. Each meal, it's about 2 tablespoons of it, they don't seem to eat much more than that in one sitting.
I wouldn't be feeding them canned 5x a day. Are they eating the raw food? If so, stop the canned. If they are still picking at the canned, I would be mixing it in w/ the raw and gradually reducing the canned and increasing the raw. See Raw Fed Cats -- they have a whole page on transitioning. :)
 

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Nice, will try this soon. Any other safe enticement options besides tuna juice? Kind of banned fish in the house since we're a little paranoid about the Fukushima disaster.

And nah, we're trying to give them the raw. One of them eats it, but the others are still a little iffy about it.

Thanks for all the great advice so far!
 

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I feed a lot of commercial raw. I do not buy any brands that are in nugget or patty form. I found them getting freezer burnt more easily. It also increases the surface area for oxidization. I only buy brands in tubs, vacuum bags.

Depends on where you live, there are quite a few choices.

One of my cats is allergic to lamb, goat, beef and rabbit. It is find to try out different meat, but from what you said, Natural's Variety has a lot to flavors that my cat cannot eat. I would look for brands that has chicken, turkey, cornish hen, duck, quail, rabbit etc.
 

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I've been trying Primal and Nature's Variety. Both seem to be going ok- they will tolerate it when mixed with canned food. They both prefer chicken and turkey to anything else.

I'll probably stick with Nature's Variety because it is cheaper and because their whole line goes through HPP, which is important to me to reduce the possibility of bacteria.

Some others here don't believe that cats can get bacterial infections through food or transmit it through their saliva to humans, but I very much disagree with that. (Just ask a vet, or google Song Bird Syndrome, or Cat Scratch Fever, to see that healthy cats often carry bacteria in their saliva and can get easily sick from bacteria, including salmonella).

So to me, the HPP guarantee is important, because I'd rather have that guarantee than even a relatively low chance of contamination. I'm currently researching whether HPP affects the quality of the meat, and so far the results I've seen indicate that the enzymes and proteins are generally ok after processing, meaning the meat should be just as good of quality as non-HPP raw.

Primal also uses HPP, but only on specific lines. If my memory serves me correctly, both have raw meaty bones that have gone through HPP. I haven't gotten to that stage yet- still working on transitioning to all-raw ground first :).
 

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It's been shown that human children who are NOT exposed to germs are the ones most likely to get sick. Human children who play in the dirt, kiss dogs on the mouth, etc. are least likely to get sick, develop allergies, etc. Sanitizing the world does NO ONE a favor IMO.

My cats and dogs will keep right on being exposed to the bacteria they are meant to be exposed to--and I have a feeling they will keep right on being really really healthy. ;)
 
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