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Discussion Starter #1
So my kitty won't eat meat off of the bone, and certainly isn't interested in whole bones at all. She eats ground bones fine (I know, not ideal) and organs fine. She loves her muscle meat. But I can't get her to eat the small pieces of Cornish Game Hen.

Any suggestions?
 

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When you cut up the cornish hen use the ribs and leave a good, heavy layer of breast meat. Make some of the meat hand off a bit so the first mouth fulls are pure meat. Perhaps even serve a small amount of meat to the side of the ribs so the cat gets the delicious taste in her mouth and doesn't want to stop.

I don't have mine eat off of bones but he definitely has to eat the bone. If you have to grind the bone meals it's not the end of the world though either, as long as the other meals are whole I think it's pretty darn good.
 

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Keep at it. Try offering a SMALL piece of bone-in CGH when she's good and hungry--confine her in one room w/ it for an hour or so. If she doesn't eat it, give her a small amount of something that she WILL eat, but not enough for her to be fully satisfied. Next meal (12 hours later) offer bone-in again. Eventually she'll be hungry and she'll give it a real try--once she realizes she CAN eat it, and her jaw strength improves, she'll be all about it. It does take time for kibble/canned fed cats to develop strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to you both. For now I've been giving the ground bone still until I run out (not that much left). Sorry it took me so long to get back, I've been so busy! I'll give the suggestions a try. I know she has it in her, and she loves her raw food. She's just hesitant to try new things. I'm sure you all know about that! :D
 

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It's partly reluctance to try the unfamiliar, but it's also lack of jaw strength. At least most dogs chew other stuff, so when they transition to raw they aren't completely unfamiliar with actually USING their jaws. Many adult cats fed kibble or canned their entire lives have never really used their jaws in their lifetime!

My kitten Jonah was rescued out of the street at 3-4 weeks. By 6 weeks he was eating small mice and by 8 weeks large mice. Took my adult cats almost 8 mos to get to that point! And it's certainly partly what you get used to, but it's also that the adult cats' jaw muscles were actually atrophied.
 

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Prince won't touch the small bone-in chicken wings I give him, however much meat I leave on them. I thought it was lack of jaw strength, but I remember that one day he ate the wing's bone like nothing. So I don't know what to think or do anymore... He eats the rest of his balanced raw diet with gusto. Though he sometimes (rarely) craves kibble and will not eat his raw food, will pitifully ask me for kibble till I give in (I keep kibble in the terrace for my strays and he leads me there and shows me the bags and whines). Today he had a day when he hardly touched his raw food, he went without eating till I gave in and gave him kibble.

I found Prince in the street over a month ago, he seems to be an abandoned house cat. He's 1-2 y/o and perfectly healthy as per the vet.
 

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If he's hungry enough he'll learn to start tackling these challenges. My oldest cat prefers meaty bones to anything else.
 

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But he has a meowmmy that won't let him go hungry, so he's spoilt, hehe! Last night he tackled another small bone, so now meowmmy is happy and hopeful.
 

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I didn't mean to let him go hungry, just let him meow at you when he really wants to make it clear he's hungry, then close him into the bathroom like I do with a Cornish Hen leg. Cubby just finished one off - the whole thing. Make sure it's at room temp and not cold.
 

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Why close him?
 

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Oh, I see! I still have to gather the courage to not give him something else when he won't tackle anything with bone...
 

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He ate a bunch of raw organs from a whole chicken today and yesterday. He's really catching up to Luke as far as flexibility is concerned and is getting over his finicky-ness. He ate a chicken thigh with bone and only left the knuckle.

Yeah, he tends to carry meat all over the house and set it down nowhere in particular. You have to keep an eye on the guy when he's eating. :)
 

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Wow, I hope Prince gets to that stage with bones one day!
 

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Wow, I think I'm getting of easy. My little porker will eat anything I put in front of him. He's loving the raw diet and just gnaws away at all of it.

He's using his newly discovered jaws for other stuff. I dropped a big 'ole Cheeto by accident yesterday and he wrapped his jaws around and it and had it crunched and scarfed before I could pick it up........
 

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Patience and persistence are key.

I don't recommend giving cats bone-in meals that include bones that need to be gnawed around (versus completely eaten). Most cats aren't experienced enough to know which is which - and once they've tried to bite through a bone and failed, they are often very reluctant to try again. It's best to never give them a chance to fail.

Start small and soft - Cornish Hen rib bones are awesome starter bones - and work up to thicker bones very slowly. Waiting 'till a cat is darn good and hungry helps, too; a light breakfast and a twelve-hour wait before offering the bone-in meal, for instance (this is the only time I recommend letting a cat go that long without a meal; three meals a day is best for adults, four for kittens).

Good on all of you for working so lovingly to get your kitties to eat what they should be eating! :love2

AC
 

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AC, that's great advice, thanks.

What do you mean by "ribs"? The ribcage that has all these parallel tiny bones joined by meat? Aren't those bones too small and dangerous that they might get stuck in their throat or stomach? I'm so confused...

And what bones would you recommend for the later stages?
 

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AC, that's great advice, thanks.

What do you mean by "ribs"? The ribcage that has all these parallel tiny bones joined by meat? Aren't those bones too small and dangerous that they might get stuck in their throat or stomach? I'm so confused...

And what bones would you recommend for the later stages?
Those are exactly the bones to which I'm referring; and no, they aren't too small to feed; raw bones are a healthy, natural part of a cat's diet and, as such, are not "dangerous". Just imagine how small a mouse's bones are, or a baby bird's....

Both the speed as well as the phases of a transition are, mostly, up to the cats. Some cats understand what to do with raw meaty chunks and bones right away, some have a slow start and then a remarkably fast learning curve, some take a very long time to get fully on-board.

The "final" stage of bone-in meals is whatever you plan to feed on a regular basis. I feed chicken wings (minus the drummette), chicken ribs, rabbit ribs and other small rabbit bones.

Hope this is helpful!

AC
 

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Thank you, AC that's very useful advice!

What part of the chicken are the ribs in? I don't know what part to buy, and I can't buy a whole chicken because I'm not good at cutting it up.
 

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Aha this is just the info I was looking for! Now where in the world does one buy rabbit or cornish game hen bones? >.> I've found plenty of chicken bone-in-meat at the grocery store, but never seen anything smaller.

And Straysmommy, I've seen packaged chicken breast labelled "Chicken Breast with ribs" or something like that. Not all breast comes with ribs though, so you'll have to check labels. Some say "boneless" some that are boneless don't actually state that they are boneless, but I think with most clear packages you can sort of tell by looking at it/poking at it.
 
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