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Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this! I have always given my pets special meals for the holidays(Thanksgiving=turkey and a bit of stuffing or mashed potatoes etc), So now that I am a caretaker it just seemed natural to give them a little something special tonight with their usual dinner. I didn't even think about it. Cutting up the chicken for my cats, I just cut up a whole lot more than normal and then added cream to make it just that much more extra special for my wild cats. I may not have a whole lot of money this season, but this little thing just warmed my heart. None of my cats are going to have a sad holiday, whether they are indoor pets or not-so-cuddly ferals!

I am officially the only one feeding my rag tag team of ferals, and they appreciate it like none other! The other feeders were scared off by the management's threats, but screw that! These are my cats, and I am going to feed them! Besides, the stations are technically on city property so neh neh neh to them! LOL

Sorry, I just had to post this. The holiday has me a bit down this year, and knowing that what I do makes a difference in the life of (at least) ten cats every single day was able to bring me out of my funk. Animals are simply amazing.
 

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since i am vegetarian i don't have meat at home, but i did scam some turkey breast from my mother for my crew. other than that i gave them treats by the handful.
 

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I feed the strays raw meats on Friday evenings, because it's the Shabat Dinner, which has to be special. I feed extra special on Passover Eve and New Year's Eve. The other important reason I feed the special food on these days is that, due to the holiday / shabat, the streets are empty and quiet so they can eat calmly and enjoy, and I don't have nosey neighbors to bother me when I'm doing the serving, which is more complicated - and there are no people strolling their dogs.
 

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I mean, meat attracts dogs, so it's not safe.

Also, on these days I'm feeling festive myself because I don't work and I have more time and energy to cut and debone the meats.
 

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Yes, I fed my feral/stray/dumped cat colony (10 regulars) extra special food for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I plan on feeding them an adoption dinner the end of January because that's when I adopted Ritz, herself a rescued stray cat from the same area.
I feed my resident cat Ritz raw. Most Sundays I prepare food for the week. On Christmas I cut up a five pound whole (raw) chicken and gave half to the ferals, mainly skin and meat on bone. They loved it, and goodness knows they need the calories in this cold weather. And they get the leftovers from when I TNR (mackerel) as well as any food Ritz won't eat (she didn't like beef heart).
One of these days I should do a cost comparison of feeding (cheap) raw meat versus four cans of Friskies.
 

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I'm in a different part of the world, so this will likely not be relevant to you, but I've discovered that chicken wings (purchased at a certain place) cost exactly the same as the cheapest corn kibble for street cats, or less. And you can't compare the happiness (= release of endorphins that strengthen the immune system), the taurine, everything. The only reason people feed corn to their cats (I mean here) instead of meat is that it's easier to prepare. 3 lbs chicken wings (an all-you-can-eat party for 10 cats), cutting in 3 and removing the big one of the 3 bones - about 1 hour. Then I freeze the big bones and make chicken broth, which they absolutely love on cold nights. Nothing to throw away, except the big bones after making the broth.

Passers-by have mentioned that my strays have shinier coats than other strays in the neighborhood. I say it's because they're fed meat (and raw at that) once a week.
 

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I give them chicken wings twice a month, chicken liver + chicken breast once a month and once a month, just for the enjoyment, half a (big) can of wet food each, Felix or pate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Heyy! That is a really good idea about the broth! I give the big bones to my dog, as chicken bones are only dangerous once cooked. But I just bet my wild kitties would enjoy some nice warm chicken broth now and again!
 

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If you add corn flour mixed with water to the broth, you get a nice gravy to pour over the kibble on days when you don't have anything "special" to feed them. The below recipe is a bit more complex, but can also be made with the leftover bones.

Gravy recipe - Make chicken stock - in a large pot, cover the meat in water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Run the cooked meat through a hand-blender and add it back to the stock. Put equal amounts of flour and butter or oil in a saucepan and cook over a low heat to melt the butter and combine it with the flour, stirring all the time. Gradually add the stock while stirring. The mixture will initially lump up. Keep stirring. You can add some milk. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until it thickens to the consistency of gravy. Freeze in portions and serve alone or mixed with food.
 

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One thing we always did was the liver and gizzards, we boiled them up and fed them to the kittens. I didn't get the chance to do so this year because I was working but the kitties love it. I'm a sucker for feeding my cats some scraps, no lie there.
 

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Does boiling/microwaving the gizzards make them any softer?
I did give my cat colony a bunch of gizzards, and they weren't crazy about them. Maybe because they're not use to chewing their food?
 

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I got them some Fancy Feast Appetizers. The ones that come in a plastic tray and cost over $1 each. Big mistake. Fay decided she's like's these and is on a semi-hunger strike till she gets more. A semi-hunger strike is when she goes to the food I put down, looks disappointed, meows then walks away but will come back in a few minutes and eat it.
 

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Does boiling/microwaving the gizzards make them any softer?
I did give my cat colony a bunch of gizzards, and they weren't crazy about them. Maybe because they're not use to chewing their food?
I give the gizzards raw, but give them a pulse in the blender to chop them into easier pieces. I add a touch of water to them when I do and just pour the whole thing onto their plates.

For the holidays the cats got the giblets pulsed, warmed and raw, the dogs got the neck bone.
 
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