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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

We have recently purchased around 20 kg of veal for our own consumption. It's from a verified, organic source - we have purchased before, we know the owners etc, so no worries there.

I requested this time to receive organs too, so they sent me the liver, heart, kidneys. I was thinking to use about half of the veal heart, a slice of liver (not much, about 100 gr) and some turkey breast, and grind it. And add some yolk eventually when feeding.

However, when I was feeding my cat a raw diet (which to my shame I gave up, due to a mix of extreme cat fussiness and exasperation from me, but I intend to slowly get back to it), I was using a recipe that requested about 80% muscle meat, and the rest organs. Back then, I was using chicken hearts and giblets.

Is there a problem if the proportion of offal (veal heart in my case) is much higher, perhaps around 45%? The heart is a muscle ... but I don't want to harm the cats. I do remember that feeding too much liver was an issue, but I don't remember seeing anything about hearts. Could you please help?

P.S. I also have a supplement powder from zooplus, Felini Complete. But would I actually need to add it, for this mix?
 

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Heart is considered category "meat", not "organ", when formulating homemade raw diets.

"Organs" are usually "secreting" organs, such as the gizzard and kidneys.

So using heart in your mix as a MEAT consideration is fine. Let's say your mix was 45% heart, 45% turkey thigh, 5% liver - you'd need to add in some organs to really complete things, so 5% of gizzard, kidneys, whatever you can get your hands on. But the heart is not going to count towards the ideal ~10% of "organ" meat in an idealized 80-10-10 raw-food diet. That's 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organs, broken down to 5% liver and 5% other organs. The bone content is very important to remember too.

And yes, you need to supplement any homemade raw diet, even if the diet is only supplemental/not their entire diet. :} Canned foods and kibbles are formulated to have the vitamins and nutrients cats need, but raw diets do not inherently have ALL the taurine and nutrients - that's why kitties can't just be fed raw chicken bits and call it a day - the proper nutrients aren't there. If you won't be giving any bone to your kitties in your homemade raw meals, you may want to check and see if the supplement you're using has calcium. For example, Alnutrin, the brand I use, makes both a "meat and bone" supplement (for mixes that already have bone) and a "meat only" supplement with added eggshell calcium (for mixes that do not have bone).

Also consider:

Take Heart, But Not Too Much - Feline Nutrition

This is in regards to chicken hearts, but I imagine the principle is the same for veal heart. I don't THINK you're overfeeding heart, but I generally use pre-ground raw mixes from Hare Today these days, so I'm not entirely sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm from Romania so pre-ground stuff for pets is rather non existant in here. I've never seen, at least. Vets preach for Royal Canin dry food and only a small part of pet owners have started realizing that Whiskas and Pedigree are not really great foods.

I actually avoid telling that I (want again to) feed my cats raw. There's a lot of myths in here, and very little rational thinking. So my resources and info rely on the internet and online communities.

At the moment, the cats eat mostly canned food but I regret terribly giving up on raw and want to start over again. I am 100% convinced of the benefits, but it was hard to make a large batch of anything for a cat that would rather eat something different every day. I ended up making 3-4 varieties of raw food but still throwing away a lot of it, as you can't leave it there for hours for a fussy cat to figure out if she wants to eat or not, and then re-freezing, re heating, refrigerating etc was quite a hassle.

But I am determined to start all over again and maybe plan better. Any tips and links are welcomed.

Estimated proportions for this mix would be

45% veal heart
40% turkey breast
5% liver
...some chicken giblets would do the trick I hope? or thet're not secreting then? If not, I'll use some kidney
grounded eggshell, as I don't have bone, or Feline Complete, which has 20% calcium

Would this be ok?
 

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I get dirty looks from most vets I've been to when I tell them I feed raw. They look at me like I told them I feed my cat toxic waste with a side of the souls of my enemies. My feline-only vet pretty much tolerates the fact that I feed raw, but he still tried to push a prescription kibble on me last time I was there :{

I think your portions sound okay, but again, it's been a while since I made my own raw recipe. I think the eggshells are okay (the pre-ground mix I buy now has eggshells for calcium) and the gizzards are perfect.

The Felini Complete you mentioned - I looked at their site and on their Feeding Guide it SAYS it contains calcium, but I don't see calcium on the Ingredients List (unless I'm missing something). You could try emailing the company and asking for sure if their formula contains the proper calcium for adding to a boneless raw diet.

Cat Skin & Coat Supplements at zooplus: Felini Complete
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I noticed that when you approach them as potential client, they will try to deter you from raw.

It is indeed risky to encourage someone without being able to specify or to control so many "what ifs" - what if he feeds them meat from an insecure source, what if he neglects the nutrient requirements, what if he just buys a slab of pork and feeds it to the pets etc.
I understand how for a professional it may be safer to advise for a controlled, certified food. One that they sell, even. :D haha

But I approached a vet that I used to volunteer with at a horse shelter, and from a friend's perspective, she encouraged me to retry and keep going on raw. After carefully reviewing my "recipes".
So I'm happy about this, now I have a medical opinion on my side too.
 

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Heart is considered category "meat", not "organ", when formulating homemade raw diets.

"Organs" are usually "secreting" organs, such as the gizzard and kidneys.
Hearts are a muscle (meat) category for sure, but so are gizzards. Gizzards are muscle meats because they basically grind up seeds/insects that birds consume since they do not have teeth. This is why you often see birds also "eat" tiny pieces of gravel.

OP: meats are basically muscle meats--legs, hearts, gizzards are working muscle meats, and dark meats especially are those with the most taurine, since it is found most abundantly in muscle meats. You can't overdose on taurine, any excess a cat consumes is excreted out via the kidneys (urine).

Secreting organs are thymus, spleen, kidneys, brain, pancreas, testes. They secrete mainly hormones or enzymes (pancreas only).

Liver is a non-secreting organ...the bile people might think it secretes is actually from the gall bladder, if I remember right.
 

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You know, I may be a traditionalist, but I feel cats would benefit from eating real bones rather than ground eggshells/supplements. If you can, you may be better off feeding chicken wing tips or ribs, just crushed into fine pieces (with a mallet) while the meat is in a plastic baggie. When it's in small pieces, my cats just seem to swallow it, though a few times they do gnaw/bite on some pieces. You could even cut a chicken neck into "coins", once your cat acclimates to eating bones...it's better for their dental hygiene, too.

There is a balance with feeding raw, feeding too much bone content will constipate a cat, too much organs will do the opposite. Therefore, I try to feed some boney meats with their organ meats if I can. It's a learning curve. Many people that start off feeding raw are a bit nervous of finding the exact percentages, but then I found out it's really not that big of a deal, as long as the cats are getting meats, organs & bones over a period of about a week. I've gone a day or two feeding muscle meats only, following up with feeding organs and bones every 3rd or 4th meal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello TabbCatt and thank you for replying

I am very worried about choking my cats to death with some bone fragment. If there's anything you could tell me to ease this anxiousness, I might give it a try at crushing bones and etc.
Necks are a good idea. They do seem softer.
I did another thing though, I hope it counts although it was not exactly raw.

I used the cartilage from a very large veal bone. I had used that bone to make some broth (for us), and I noticed the cartilage was easy to get off. I chopped it and mixed it with the raw meat stuff.
 
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