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Discussion Starter #1
I feed Prince basically dry food (Technical, free feed). Almost every day I give him about 50 grs. organs or chicken in addition. About once a week I give him half a can of tuna in water or some canned wet food or one of the small cans that are supposed to be a treat. About once-twice a week I give him a couple spoonfuls of whole milk or cream (no diarrhea) and a slice of turkey breast cold-cuts, which he loves. I always hear that treats should be given occasionally, but I don't know how often occasionally is, and what constitutes a treat?
 

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I give half a can (2.5 oz) of wet food in the morning. This is mostly so Paizly gets extra moisture for her UTI issues... so I guess for her it's "medicinal", and for Nebbie it's a treat.

Ever so often (once a week), I'll give them 3 or 4 of those moist Pounce treats. Nebbie has already learned the sound of the bottle - the little things shaking around when I pick it up, and/or the sound of the cap being screwed off. Lately I have to put her in the other room with the snack, so that she won't steal Paizly's portion!
 

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My girls get either Pure-Bites (freeze dried chicken) or Now/Go! grain-free treats. They always get one at bedtime...sort of a ritual we have. Apart from that, they only get treats for specific reasons. For example, Muffs doesn't much like to be groomed, although she's getting a bit better with time. So, she always gets treats when I'm grooming her, to help her accept the grooming better. Of course, if Muffs gets a treat, then Abby must have one too, even though Abby loves to be groomed.
 

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I use treats for training mostly. Basically any time I want to encourage a behavior that the cats struggle with. For example, I gave treats while I was leash-training them. I also give Apollo treats when he comes out from under the bed and starts socializing when strangers come over, as he's gotten a bit skittish around new people.

I use Wellness Pure Delights. They're not healthy enough that I'd feed them often (they contain salt) but they're grain-free and good quality as far as an occasional snack/treat goes. They're also the only grain-free treat I could find at PetCo!

I will also sometimes give the cats a little piece of cooked or partially (unseasoned) meat like chicken, if I'm making dinner for my boyfriend, or if Apollo is being stubborn about his raw food and has decided he's not in the mood for it. Sometimes a little bit of cooked meat or a tiny piece of raw fish will entice him to eat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Saltenyo, what fish do you feed him? I only use tuna because I'm so afraid of bones...
 

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Saltenyo, what fish do you feed him? I only use tuna because I'm so afraid of bones...
It varies. Depends on what my boyfriend has in the freezer. I've given him tuna once, but I don't like to use that much because of all the salt in it.

My boyfriend buys frozen shrimp a lot so I sometimes stick a tiny piece of shrimp in Apollo's bowl (and rub it all over his other food) if he's refusing to eat.

In general I don't like feeding too much fish for a number of reasons. But as an occasional treat or bribe it seems to work well. :)

And cats are generally okay with bones once they get used to them, as long as they're raw bones, not cooked bones. My cats' regular food has small bone pieces in it. I would recommend supervising them when feeding larger bone pieces (if you, say, do a whole fish) but cats are naturally adapted to be able to consume bone. It just takes newbies a little while to figure it out sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh yes, I've given him shrimp, I should do that again. But I have to go to a special non-kosher supermarket, and I don't have a car now.

You mean I can give him fish with bones and it's not dangerous? I always heard a bone could get stuck in their system and do harm...
 

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Oh yes, I've given him shrimp, I should do that again. But I have to go to a special non-kosher supermarket, and I don't have a car now.

You mean I can give him fish with bones and it's not dangerous? I always heard a bone could get stuck in their system and do harm...
Yup, as long as the bones are completely uncooked, it's fine. Cooked bones can splinter, which is dangerous. But cats are naturally adept at eating small raw bones (afterall, when they eat mice and birds in the wild, they eat most of it, meat, organs, and bone).

There are a lot of raw feeders on here who feed raw meaty bones (chicken, fish, rabbit, etc.) and they can probably give you more info.

The only thing is, cats who are not used to eating bones may struggle with them at first since they don't have adequate jaw strength, being used to kibble or canned. Some can handle them right away, others need some time just chewing tough mean first to build up the jaw strength.

Also make sure you stick with small bones (fish bones should be fine). Large, weight-bearing bones can be too big for cats to handle (like very large birds, or mammals bigger than rabbits). My vet recommends bone pieces be about the size of a thumbnail, but I know individual opinion on what a good size is varies. If you're nervous about feeding larger bones, you can smash them up with a mallet to soften them and break them into smaller pieces (raw bones are surprisingly soft and pliable).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Saltenyo, but I've read even raw fish bones such as from salmon can puncture an internal organ, as they're like needles?

I'd love to give him fresh anchovy, but I don't think we can get that here.
 

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Saltenyo, but I've read even raw fish bones such as from salmon can puncture an internal organ, as they're like needles?

I'd love to give him fresh anchovy, but I don't think we can get that here.
Salmon are fairly large fish. I'm not sure I'd feed raw salmon bones. They're probably too large and tough for a cat to handle. Plus I've heard feeding whole raw salmon can be dangerous for other reasons: Salmon poisoning disease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'd personally never feed raw salmon or trout unless it was specifically sourced to be fed to pets raw and I was confident about the source's quality-control.

The larger the animal the harder it'd be for the cat to gnaw through/digest the bones I'd assume, since they're really designed to hunt small prey, no larger than rabbits.

Sticking with small fish like anchovies or sardines or any other little fish like that should be fine. If you've ever handled a little fish skeleton or quail skeleton, or mouse skeleton or anything like that (uncooked) you can feel just how delicate the bones are.
 

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I use a grain-free treat called "Now!" (made in Cda). I also use treats after clipping claws. I use them for training, like "sit up" or "stand" (on hind legs), or "sit". A couple of times a week we have a "treasure hunt"......I throw some treats on the floor throughout the house and the cats have to hunt and find them. They like that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Saltenyo, oh I see now, we were talking small fish! Thank you, I'll look out for small fish available here in the market!
 

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catloverami, I tried the treasure hunt and it was a flop. He doesn't even notice that I hid food somewhere, LOL I have to bring food near him for him to notice it.
 

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Saltenyo, oh I see now, we were talking small fish! Thank you, I'll look out for small fish available here in the market!
No problem! Here's some photo ref to give you an idea of the difference:
*Note, these are photos of fish skeletons, in case that makes anyone squeamish.

Here's a salmon skeleton:
http://www.fotosearch.com/FDC006/962130/
I can definitely see how those ribs would be described as needle-like! Ouch. I personally don't know how sharp/tough they are, as I have never handled salmon bones, but I can see why people would be concerned feeding them.

But here are some sardine skeletons:
http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/578887/578887,1273999620,1/stock-photo-sardine-fish-skeleton-in-the-shape-of-an-eye-pisces-53160874.jpg
Those ribs look almost soft. On a fish that small, you could probably break them up with your finger. That should be no trouble for a cat to handle. :)

The other plus about using small fish as an occasional treat rather than large ones, is there's less risk of accumulation of biotoxins and heavy metals in the fish, since they're much lower on the food chain.
They do still contain thiaminase though, so be sure not to feed them too often. Thiaminase if fed too much can cause Thiamine deficiency. But as an occasional treat they should be fine (and are a great source of omega-3s). I've heard people recommend no more than once a week I think?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you, Saltenyo, now I have it clear!!
 

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I use a grain-free treat called "Now!" (made in Cda). I also use treats after clipping claws. I use them for training, like "sit up" or "stand" (on hind legs), or "sit". A couple of times a week we have a "treasure hunt"......I throw some treats on the floor throughout the house and the cats have to hunt and find them. They like that one.
My girls love the "Now" grain-free treats. And for the benefit of the non-Canadians, although these treats are manufactured in Canada, they're distributed in many parts of the world.

I haven't tried a treasure hunt, although I sometimes put a couple of treats in an empty Kleenex box. My girls spend quite some time trying to fish the treats out through the slit in the plastic. It keeps them occupied for a while!
 
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