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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I give my cats some raw chicken leg and chicken heart every couple of days, so that they can clean their teeth. I usually cut the meat into thumb nail sized pieces, and I cut each chicken heart into three.

Now my question is, are the pieces too small to help cleaning their teeth? If so, what's the right size? My cats are still kittens (one 6 1/2 month old and one 4 1/2 month) so their mouths are not the size of adults yet.

BTW, I freeze the meat once I got them home, then leave them at room temp for defrosting couple hours before I serve the meal. But since my cats like to eat things warm, I lightly microwave the meat after sliced. Would the microwaving process turn the raw meat "cooked"? Should I warm them up using another way?

Thanks for the help!:p
 

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I'm not sure how to explain. Do bear in mind that if the pieces are too small, then it can lodge in the throat if they swallow without chewing. Make it big enough that they're forced to at least chew a bit before swallowing.

For dental benefits, you need the pieces big enough so that they'll be chewing it instead of just swallowing them whole. But of course not too big for them to handle.

Microwaving is NOT a good way to do it. Even if it's a little, it would start the cooking process and definitely there's going to be some change in the meat. So no cooking or heating. It has to be raw. The only way is to leave it at room temp for longer. I let my frozen meals thaw for 10 hrs in the fridge and then 15 mins out of the fridge b4 serving. (That's cuz I work full-time)

It depends on what I'm going to do with the meat after I buy it.

On butchering days: I go home and immediately butcher it into a week's worth of food. I freeze the rest and leave the meal for the day in the fridge. Approx. 15 mins b4 mealtime, I take it out of the fridge to thaw at room temp. Then I serve.

On non-butchering days: I freeze it when I get home. Then I would take it out to thaw on butchering days. After about 10 hrs, I butcher it for a week's worth of meals and re-freeze it all in containers. One meal per container.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try giving them the whole chicken heart without cutting and see if they can handle that :)

As of the microwaving, the problem is, my cats do not like raw meat too much, but they will eat the meat if they are warm. So room temp may not work. They need the meat to be warmer. I will try coating the meat with something they like and serve in room temp, see if that works.
 

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Perhaps you can try warming it a bit by doing the following:

Put raw meat in a dish. Put hot-to-warm water in a bigger dish then place the first dish inside second dish. Some of the people here use this method to defrost if they forgot to take it out earlier or need to do it in a hurry.
 

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When I thawed mice for my snake, I would put the mouse in a plastic bag, then put the bag in a mug of hot water. Like your cats, he wasn't interested unless the mice were a bit warmed up.
 

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Sasha is only 14 weeks old and he can handle whole turkey gizzards, which are way more fibrous and larger than the pieces you are describing. They should have no problem with the whole chicken hearts. The meat you can cut into strip size pieces...think the human equivalent of a fried strip (finger size). If it has no bone, they should have no problem getting through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all of you for the suggestion! I will definitely try the hot water warming method :)

I gave them a lightly cooked chicken leg today, no cutting. I held the end and let them tear the meat off. They had some difficulties but I think they really enjoy it. I enjoy it too. It's like a eat-and-play combo :D
 

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I heat my kittens meat in warm water, sometimes I put it in a little bag and put that in the water, other times I just put the meat in warm water.

As for size, my kitten is only 10 weeks old and has been eating raw for 1 week. I serve his food on a plate, he never has an issue with any of this:
Whole chicken hearts.
Chicken breast cut to the size of a young adult/adult mouse.
chicken/beef liver only cut to how much he needs. I give him liver twice a week so he gets two pieces, no extra cutting.
chicken drummets (think thats what they're called...) again I give him this twice a week and just cut a piece into how much he needs and serve it.

He's never had a problem with any size I give him, I just chuck it on his plate and let him chew it up. He loves it!
I tried holding his meat once, he had more difficulties eating it with me holding it than he does eating it alone, so I just leave him now.

Good luck with your kitties!
 
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