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I have toyed unsuccessfully with transitioning my 5 indoor cats to a substantially healthier diet over the year. I'm really sick and tired of tossing half eaten bowls of canned food and constantly buying stuff they don't like. It seems they are winning the Fancy Feast fight and I refuse to give in. :dis I've tried every brand and flavor of canned cat food under the sun. I came across Catinfo.org and have been soaking up the raw food diet section. I know many here swear by it. I bit the bullet and purchased a meat grinder that was recommended; capable of grinding chicken bones and some supplements to add to the meat.

Cross your paws for me!! I'm really, really hoping this works and they like it. ;)
 

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Ahh! So excited for you!!! Also keep us posted about how your grinder works! I would like to make up a bunch of that recipe to keep in the freezer for pet sitters! Much less scarring to feed than a day old bunny...


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Welcome to the club Marcia. We've been Raw for around 3 months now. The transition took a month or so before that. I started off with simply adding about 1 tsp of minced beef into their Whiskas pouches and slowly increased the ratio of raw to processed.
I've now got a grinder and am using Ann Jablonski's whose recipe very similar to Lisa's. This is Ann's website if you want to have a look.
cat nutrition - Home
I use Ann's recipe as she makes provision for using whole chickens which is more economical over here than using thighs.
since changing to Raw my IBD girl Lisbeth ahs had NO episodes of colitis. She still goes right off her food periodically (not something new) and I have to go back to feeding her plain minced chicken wings (her FAV!) then do a(nother) mini transition back to the full Raw mix but on the whole she's pretty good!
Coco - my fatty, is slowly but steadily losing weight on Raw, she's not hungry and doesn't beg for food. She had been on diet food (dry) for years and years and just kept piling the weight on. It as SO frustrating!
Like you, I got sick of trying new foods, having to throw stuff out and having manage cats on multiple diets - it just about drove me crazy. Now, I control their weight by making slight adjustments to their portions. SO much easier.
 

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Before you use the meat grinder I'd recommend returning it!

I know the general direction you're hoping for is raw, but it'd be best to start out small with just some uncooked chicken breast meat cubes, throwing in a little liver, etc. and see how they do. There is no point in a meat grinder, which is designed to make large raw batches, if your cats aren't going to take to it.

And be prepared to throw out a lot of raw... switching over isn't easy. And if a cat doesn't eat it all in a day, it's also tossed. :(

You'll likely be mixing in a lot of Fancy Feast with the chicken breast to start with... it'll have to be extremely gradual.
 

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I hope it works out for you and your kitties!!

I know it can get frustrating with the food, I've got one finiky cat that is so bad, it's driven me mad for years! The older she gets, the worse she gets.
I know you have older kitties, mostly, and it is probably going to be more of a challenge because of their age. I don't need to tell you how those older kitties get so set in their ways.
I will keep my 'paws' crossed for you. Keep us updated on how it goes
 

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Before you use the meat grinder I'd recommend returning it!

I know the general direction you're hoping for is raw, but it'd be best to start out small with just some uncooked chicken breast meat cubes, throwing in a little liver, etc. and see how they do. There is no point in a meat grinder, which is designed to make large raw batches, if your cats aren't going to take to it.

And be prepared to throw out a lot of raw... switching over isn't easy. And if a cat doesn't eat it all in a day, it's also tossed. :(

You'll likely be mixing in a lot of Fancy Feast with the chicken breast to start with... it'll have to be extremely gradual.
Thanks for the advice - but I was planning on the grinder anyways. 3 out of 5 of the cats won't eat chunks of anything - even cooked chicken I occasional offer. I don't mind grinding it since I was doing it with my cooked turkey anyways. It won't go unused.

I think if I make it in small batches then freeze it, using a bag every 2-3 days it will be ok - remember I have 5 cats. I've offered raw in the past in small doses as I've been cooking something (turkey burgers, etc), and they seem to take to it. I've just never really committed to doing it on a larger scale before now. I'll post the good and the bad of this experience as we go along!
 

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You never have to throw out raw if you also have a dog ... because dogs will eat ANYTHING!

I have a grinder, but I don't use it. I just cut meat, organs, and edible bones into chunks; measure them into appropriate proportions; and let the animals go at them. For the older cats who don't have many teeth, I cut bite-sized pieces of meat, and I smash chicken neck pieces with a hammer.

Laurie
 

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Good luck, Marcia :)

I hope you share your experience with the rest of us, both the good bits and not-so-good bits. I currently feed both of my cats chunks of raw chicken 4 times a week. They love it, but this is only a supplementary meal to their standard canned and kibble diet. A small voice in the back of my mind has been wondering if I too should consider further transitioning their diet to raw. I'm already quasi-used to prepping the meat, making large batches and freezing it in portions. But it's a long road, involving a lot of work (from where I stand), and a lot of trial and error as well.
 

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You never have to throw out raw if you also have a dog ... because dogs will eat ANYTHING!
Hah! Tell that to my dogs! They are fussy with every kind of food there is. Right now Coco is only eating Wild Calling, Pheasant and Buffalo versions. Sometimes I try and spice things up with a different brand, like EVO, Innova, Natural Balance, California Natural, Merrick, Canidae, First Mate (Oh wow did she ever hate it!) ... and she just looks at her food sadly and takes ~4 or more days to eat it when it should only take 2. She used to like some of them but no longer. Same with her Orijen kibble... I give her the kibble and she looks at me like I'm forcing her to eat it. :-| Way worse than my cats. She has no interest in raw when I feed it to Jasper.

Good luck with things Marcia! I'm glad the grinder was something you already had wanted to buy because I was worried it'd be a total waste. Those things are expensive!
 

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I tried feeding my cats chicken gizzard and liver and they looked at me like I was crazy. I'm going to try raw chicken chunks next time. Maybe mix it with some can food.
 

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I tried feeding my cats chicken gizzard and liver and they looked at me like I was crazy. I'm going to try raw chicken chunks next time. Maybe mix it with some can food.
If that doesn't work, try steak! I know it's farther from what they would naturally eat, but that's how I started both my boys on raw. My most recent addition, Boo, looked at me with that 'what the crap is this?' look when I tried chicken, but when I gave him a sliver of raw steak, he was so into it he was making these growling noises while chewing! After that, it was easier to introduce poultry.

Of course now I have little crazy carnivores who go nuts when I bring home steak for myself, but what can you do lol


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Hah! Tell that to my dogs!
I should have qualified my statement. Most dogs will eat almost any raw meat put in front of them.

One of my three dogs, Tasha, never cared for kibble, regardless of brand. It would sit in her bowl, and she would begrudgingly pick at it throughout the day. She never ate enthusiastically until I switched them all to raw prey model. As soon as I started offering her raw meat, her inner carnivore came roaring forth! Now the only foods that she will occasionally refuse are pork organs, some game birds, and seriously ancient, freezer burned meat. The other two dogs, however, will eat any raw meat I offer them, no questions asked!

Laurie
 

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If that doesn't work, try steak! I know it's farther from what they would naturally eat, but that's how I started both my boys on raw. My most recent addition, Boo, looked at me with that 'what the crap is this?' look when I tried chicken, but when I gave him a sliver of raw steak, he was so into it he was making these growling noises while chewing! After that, it was easier to introduce poultry.
I had a similar experience with Annabelle. While most of the cats had varying degrees of interest in raw chicken, Annabelle looked at me like she thought I was insane placing such a disgusting offering in front of her perfect face. She showed absolutely ZERO interest in any type of raw meat ... until I offered venison. Man oh man, did that venison EVER get her inner carnivore's juices flowing! As soon as she tasted that venison, all other raw meats suddenly became enticing, as well. She just needed a little honest to goodness game meat to jumpstart her raw delight.

Laurie
 

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Yes keep us posted. I have a cat who eats raw but it is what he catches. When I offered raw chicken, he didn't want it. But the one who eats canned liked it. These cats are crazy!!!
 

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I have considered raw for my girls (ages 13 and 11), but I don't think I am ready.

For one thing, I have issues handling raw meat (particularly chicken) that I am fixin' to cook...I always have my boyfriend dice my chicken up for me before I cook it...raw meat grosses me out to no end.

Secondly, along the same vein of my above mentioned oddity, I don't like the idea of so much raw meat being processed in my personal kitchen. It's paranoia, I know, but I am how I am.

Thirdly, I have a small kitchen and no room for another kitchen gadget. And quite honestly, the thought of cleaning it grosses me out, too! LOL

Lastly, and most importantly, neither my live-in boyfriend nor my cats is on board with this. I would really like to try commercial raw, but my cats have no interest in it, and I don't have the finances to experiment with different kinds. I mean, so far, the only kind we've tried is Rad Cat Chicken and Rad Cat Turkey because the pet store sells them in containers that are $5.50 or thereabouts. But the other varieties start at $25-and I just can't risk it if they won't eat it. Maybe when I get another batch of kittens who will eat raw, I will take the plunge, purchase a variety, and see what we can do. If my cats absolutely refuse, at least the kittens will eat it.

Until then...we are sticking to premium canned (which is breaking me, but on the plus side, is really motivating me to quit smoking so I can afford to feed my cats properly).

Anyway, I commend you for taking the plunge and wish you all the best luck. Please keep us updated. Even though I am not feeding raw, I am following the raw food threads.
 
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