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i decided to take laurie's advice and see if raw meat would help my foster babies. they are still very skinny and a couple of them have spells where they seem to be going downhill but perk up after i give them nutrical. i gave the biggest a piece of chicken first and she devoured it! she didn't even stop to think about it, lol. the other 3 aren't quite so sure but they weren't really hungry yet. tucker, my 6 month old devoured his piece and came back for more. valentine, who is 11 months now was in heaven. she snatched her piece and growled at anyone who came near. no adjustment period for those 2!
my 7 y/o took a sniff and walked off. he is going to be more difficult..

i was trying to figure out the cost difference last night and i think raw may end up being a bit cheaper. i buy the better food on-line and my husband will occasionally bring home a case of ff, sheba or meow mix pate toppers (they love that stuff) but we are buying a ton of cat food lately with all the kittens in the house. cats actually eat alot less when eating raw because they aren't eating all the fillers in the commercial stuff. i read an adult cat needs no more than 3% of it's body weight a day and you only feed once a day. the kittens only need about 4-5 tsp a day and then it tapers down. i've got alot of reading to do but at least i know 2 of mine are happy and i'm hoping it will help the kitten's diarrhea..

if anyone else feeds raw and has helpful hints, please share!
 

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OK, now I apparently gave you an entirely wrong idea about how much raw your kits are going to need. Kits are eating machines, and they consume VAST quantities of food. When the GoBoys were kits, they ate about 4 times as much as the adults. That's what their growing bodies needed up to about 9 mos of age. To be honest, I can't remember exactly how much raw meat I started them on, but as soon as I was convinced that their GI tracts were handling the dietary switch well, I started giving them as much raw as they could eat 4 times a day ... and it was an astounding quantity. Let there be no doubt that you'll starve your kits to death on 4-5 tsp a day if that's all they get to eat.

I'll write more later, but I've got some animal chores to do right now.

Laurie
 

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Don't be alarmed if this thread disappears. I imagine one of the mods will move it over to the Raw Food Forum pretty quickly.

I feed a raw prey model diet VERY cheaply by using primarily older meats that folks are cleaning out of their freezers. Almost everybody has old meat in their freezer that they end up throwing in the trash at some point. I tap into that resource by putting a free ad in my local shopper offering to buy old freezer meat. Most folks just give it to me for free so they don't have to pay to send it to the landfill. Other folks want to be paid, so I offer them $0.30/lb. I've only had two people refuse to sell me their old meat for that price over the last 8 yrs.

I do buy fresh chicken necks and backs as a source of edible bone for my cats and dogs. I get a 40 lb box for about $27. I feed the necks to the cats and backs to the dogs.

I get most of my organ meats for free from a butcher who does slaughtering for local farmers.

I'm fortunate to live in an area with a lot of farmers and hunters, so lots of folks around here have chest freezers loaded with old meat. Every now and then, I've been known to walk away with 100-200 lbs (or more) of free meat from a single source when cleaning out a chest freezer packed full of old meat. More typically, I end up with anywhere from 10-50 lbs from any given individual cleaning out a freezer.

In a more urban or suburban area, you're likely to find a lot more but smaller freezers, so you might need to do a lot more running around to come up with the meat you need for bargain prices.

If it weren't for all the free and cheap meat I get this way, I could never afford to keep my crew fed the way I do.

Laurie
 

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BTW, adult cats should be fed at least twice daily. Dogs are fine with once daily feedings, but cats' systems are different. They're built to eat smaller meals more frequently.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, now I apparently gave you an entirely wrong idea about how much raw your kits are going to need. Kits are eating machines, and they consume VAST quantities of food. When the GoBoys were kits, they ate about 4 times as much as the adults. That's what their growing bodies needed up to about 9 mos of age. To be honest, I can't remember exactly how much raw meat I started them on, but as soon as I was convinced that their GI tracts were handling the dietary switch well, I started giving them as much raw as they could eat 4 times a day ... and it was an astounding quantity. Let there be no doubt that you'll starve your kits to death on 4-5 tsp a day if that's all they get to eat.

I'll write more later, but I've got some animal chores to do right now.

Laurie
i've already figured that out when they ate their daily amount in 2 hours! when i put all 4 of them together for their 2nd feeding, they were growling at each other and running off with their piece:mrgreen: i live in a fairly rural area in tennessee so i should be able to find some old meat. thanks for the tip!
how many cats and dogs do you have?
 

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LOL! That's exactly what I would have expected! It's absolutely amazing how instinctively young kittens take to real raw meat. Their inner tigers definitely come out.

Rural areas are real goldmines for raw feeders. Don't forget to find out who does slaughtering for your area farmers. The slaughterers are fantastic sources for free or cheap organ meats.

I currently have 14 cats and 3 dogs. All except for the newest cat eat raw prey model for at least part of their daily diets. The newest cat has yet to unleash her inner carnivore.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
my 7 y/o male took 1 sniff of the raw meat, gave me a dirty look and walked off. I then tried to hide a few pieces of raw in wet cat food, he sniffed at me, shot me another dirty look and did not touch it. any suggestions? how do you unleash the inner carnivore in a cat who has never ate raw meat?
 

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It can be a lot more difficult to convert commercially-fed, adult cats over to raw. Sometimes they just don't recognize raw meat as edible food. Try different types of meat. Since you live in a rural area, try to find some game meat. Game has a much stronger odor and taste that cats find more appealing. My cats especially love venison and goose. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces to start, so the cat doesn't have to figure out how to chew right off the bat. Place the meat pieces in a baggie and warm them to "mouse body temp" in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes. This will bring out their odor and make them more recognizable as food and appealing. If all else fails, try mixing a few tiny pieces of raw meat in with the cat's favorite canned food. If none of that works, post again, and I'll come up with some more ideas.

One of my adults looked at me like I was trying to poison her when I first introduced raw to the Pride. She absolutely refused to even look at the meat, much less taste it. I tried day after day with different meats, and her reaction remained the same. Annabelle was having NONE of raw meat! Then I got hold of my first venison from a local hunter. Once again I sat a little plate in front of her, fully expecting the same ungrateful and non-negotiable rejection, when lo and behold, she smelled, then picked up and ate a piece of venison. She then promptly devoured the entire plate full. Her inner tiger was finally released. From that point on, she ate every raw meal I offered, including all of the domestic meats that she had previously rejected.

It's like water skiing. It took me forever to get up on skis the first time, but after that, I could get up every time. Staying up was always a different matter.

Laurie
 

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Here's another idea for your stubborn male. Next time you're cooking your own dinner, "accidentally" drop a small piece of raw meat on the floor while he's in the kitchen with you. "Stolen" meat is ALWAYS more appealing than meat someone wants you to eat.

Laurie
 
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