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Old 11-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Do any DT'ers RAW FEED their cat(s)?

I have three large, indoor cats who all seem to be mixed with Maine Coon. They're all rescues, but Priscilla is the only one with an unknown history. The boys, Presley and Bartholomew, were both adopted as kittens. She is approximately 5 y/o and the boys are almost 2 y/o. They've all been in perfect health during their time with me, and don't appear over/underweight.

When I was feeding all pre-made raw food to my dogs, I was also feeding pre-made raw food to my cats while still supplementing with Orijen kibble. The cats proved much more difficult to transition from kibble to only raw.

I haven't been raw feeding the dogs regularly lately because I've been traveling for work, but now that I'm back, I'm planning to get them back onto raw. And I'd like to get the cats back on raw too.

The cats have continued to free-feed on Orijen kibble and also get Merrick 96% Tuna canned food 2xday, which is a pretty good food IMO.

They liked the raw before, but began to lose interest after awhile, and before long, they weren't even touching it. It was a waste of money. Although the dogs enjoyed cleaning up their leftovers.

Do any of you recommend a raw diet that your cats seem to like? "Like" being the operable word. Is it pre-made or do you put it together yourself? Do you supplement it with anything? I like the pre-made formulas because they contain the taurine they need.

I've tried feeding raw beef, bison, whole sardines, and whole chicken and turkey necks aside from the pre-made formulas (which are all ground and frozen), and they don't seem to be very interested. They only want tuna! But all of the canned tuna contains salt so Merrick was the best alternative I could find and they do eat it, although they're not enthusiastic about it.

Perhaps, they're just too domesticated. I'm just looking for a healthier alternative to kibble since cats get most of their moisture from their food instead of water.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

P.S. Despite what you see and hear in the video below, I am not the crazy cat lady. I tell myself that everyday.

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Old 11-27-2012, 11:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Adara does
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm attempting to convert mine. She eats a whole fish (small) once a week now, or a large chunk of one if my roommate's cooking something with bone still on it. She'll cut off a large piece before cooking and give it to the cat, who drags it off and growls at anyone who comes close while she's eating it.

Many cats get "imprinted" on a certain type of food and are reluctant to switch off of it. In addition, unlike dogs, you can't just withhold all other food until the cat caves, because cats are one of the few mammals that will starve themselves if they don't want to eat what's being served. People have had mixed success converting to wet first, or converting to patties and then to whole chunks. Someone gave me a good website on how to switch but I've lost it, sadly.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Send a PM to Adara. She's posted about her raw fed bengals a few times.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine won't. They won't even eat mice they kill, well in the old house they would catch mice from time to time. It took my cats years, literally years, to enjoy canned food. I couldn't see the whole video but your cats are beautiful and yeah, I think you are a cat lady. hahahaha.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do. My bengals have an IBS/IBD thing that if they eat normal cat food or even cooked chicken and rice for example they have explosive runny pancake diarrhea all over my bedding. It is raw or nothing for them. It took a while to convince them. I started grinding my own and played with various mixes to get them switched.

They enjoy chicken, pork and turkey. 2 will eat beef in a mix.

have you seen this site

www.rawfedcats.org There are great suggestions on how to get them to switch. 1-2 times a week I may have to add a can of cat food to get my pickiest to eat.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I grind a batch of raw for my cat every 2 weeks. We portion it and freeze it, then defrost as needed.
I use chicken thighs, ground turkey, beef heart, calf's liver, egg yolks, knox gelatin, and fish oils caps.
I have to smash the bones with a hammer before I put them in the food processor.
I will sometimes switch the ground turkey for ground beef or chicken for variety.
I was feeding Rad Cat raw @ $13/pound. Now it costs me about $5/pound to make. I could go cheaper if I got lesser quality meat but I don't feel comforatble with that.
My cat won't even TOUCH Rad Cat now. Loves the home made, and loves watching us make it!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Okay, I've decided to give raw a try for one of my cats. He's had loose, runny stools for most of his life. We've run repeated fecal checks, but not found anything. I've switched food more times than I want to think about, trying to find one that agrees with him. I've tried grain-free. Dewclaws down on every single one. I've tried food with grain, but avoiding corn. Some he liked, some he barely ate. No matter what he eats, he has horrible, runny, smelly poops. Anyway, after I get back from Christmas vacation, I'll be giving raw a try.

My problem is figuring out how much to give. I know it's 2-4% of their ideal body weight, but how much is that in ounces for a 9-10 pund cat? For some reason, neither my husband nor I can figure it out (he's usually pretty good at math).
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
Okay, I've decided to give raw a try for one of my cats. He's had loose, runny stools for most of his life. We've run repeated fecal checks, but not found anything. I've switched food more times than I want to think about, trying to find one that agrees with him. I've tried grain-free. Dewclaws down on every single one. I've tried food with grain, but avoiding corn. Some he liked, some he barely ate. No matter what he eats, he has horrible, runny, smelly poops. Anyway, after I get back from Christmas vacation, I'll be giving raw a try.

My problem is figuring out how much to give. I know it's 2-4% of their ideal body weight, but how much is that in ounces for a 9-10 pund cat? For some reason, neither my husband nor I can figure it out (he's usually pretty good at math).
About 2.25 ounces give or take.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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About 2.25 ounces give or take.
Wow, that's a lot less than what we were coming up with. Is that the total for the day, or is that per meal (twice a day)?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't know if this will help you or not, but Primal Pet Foods has a feeding calculator that accounts for all of those things. Of course it's tailored to feeding their food, but you can generalize your answers to get an idea of how much to feed.

Feeding, Transition and Safety for Raw Dog Food Diets
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenVera View Post
I don't know if this will help you or not, but Primal Pet Foods has a feeding calculator that accounts for all of those things. Of course it's tailored to feeding their food, but you can generalize your answers to get an idea of how much to feed.

Feeding, Transition and Safety for Raw Dog Food Diets
Oooh, they say they have a distributer in my area. I even know where the store is. I'll have to check them out.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My siamese is 8 pounds and he gets about 2 oz twice a day. It depends on the weather and his activity level. He is usually very active... doesn't sleep much.
His stomach has got to be the size of a small walnut. If I give him too much he just leaves it in his bowl.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Rosemary, I LOVE Primal. When I was feeding my dogs solely raw, I would rotate formulas and never had any issue with soft stools, gas, skin, etc. I fed the cats the nuggets and the dogs the patties. They had a whole freezer dedicated to them.

Primal also offers promotional coupons and frequent buyers certificates that you can fill out in the store. They'll also allow the merchant to take back any food that doesn't look right. One time, I returned half a bag of nuggets after trying for a few days in a row to get the cats to eat the quail formula. They were not the least bit interested, but the merchant gave me a full refund on the bag anyway.

I've also e-mailed Primal for various things, and they've always gotten back to me quickly.

A lot of their formulas include organic and free-range goods, supplements and don't seem to require any additional supplementation.

I sound like I work for this company, but I promise I don't. Lol. Just a happy customer. Unfortunately, there aren't any retailers nearby who stock this brand. I'd have to special order it or have it sent from an online company, and they charge a fortune!
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I feed my 6-7 lb Bengal 2 oz two times a day. The 2 cats that are closer to 10 lbs get 3.5-4 oz twice a day. One is a bengal, one a dilute torbie short haired thingy

Like with dogs, it varies by genetics/metabolism.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You guys are so lucky, i tried to switch hallie so we could just be completely safe from allergy issues, and she's more cost effective than the dog, and she just wouldn't have it.

She didn't want it and would spit up too when we got to full raw stage (we tried the cooked to raw method at one point), we tried all the recommended methods, and she just didn't want it.... the little prissy pants lol

I did find an article that said they can be pretty difficult to switch if they aren't started from a young age....hmm maybe I should start harlow so i have an option for her should I need it?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It took me 2 full years to get mine on full raw for the Bengals who were approx. 14 and 18 months when I got them. The other one went straight to raw easily at 4 months when I got her. Because of the IBD/IBS issues with the Bengals, I couldn't give up Believe me if I could have, I would have
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It took me 2 full years to get mine on full raw for the Bengals who were approx. 14 and 18 months when I got them. The other one went straight to raw easily at 4 months when I got her. Because of the IBD/IBS issues with the Bengals, I couldn't give up Believe me if I could have, I would have
Uhg that sounds horrible! lol thankfully we have dry and canned she does just fine on so it wasn't necessary. She was just over a year when I tried. (jen boi reminded me) the most ironic part is that she will eat and loves deli meats and home cooked meats..but the rest is all foreign to her (raw, bought raw, premade etc...) harlow...well she is at the age to eat anything (bread, ice cream, chips...little turd stole a whole chicken nugget the one day, right off my plate!)

We're pretty sure it's a processing thing, maybe grain mights, at one point we thought chicken but she handles home cooked fine.
She got horrid! diarrhea when I brought her home and she had some cheap chicken food until I could get to the good food store so I'm relatively sure I created her allergy with whatever part of that food and her deeply upset colon and gi.
Now fancy feast, and lower quality foods, or multi protein like felidae set her into hot spots in under 24 hours! She does awesome on purina ONE salmon and tuna...we tried evo fish since it's better quality but it stained teeth, so they get dry Purina and canned evo, and my wallet doesn't fight it
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've been feeding my cats pre-made raw only for 3 years. I usually order from Felines Pride, based out of FL. They also like Dogs Gone Wild chicken and turkey or any of the Pawgevity mixes (both local to the Northern VA/Baltimore area). Both love their raw. When I switched from Orijen kibble, I switched cold turkey and it was no problem.

The only meat they have shown any hesitation about is rabbit. One of the kitties wouldn't eat it for a day but once he decided he was hungry enough to try it, he at it just fine.

They are healthy as can be and are an appropriate weight.

I wish I could get them to chew on chicken wing tips but they aren't very interested in unground bone although one will chew beef bones!

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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My cat eats dehydrated raw food, rehydrated with water.

He would only eat dry food for years, I couldn't get him to eat any wet foods, even wet mixed with dry food he would refuse. I was VERY surprised when he actually ate some Stella & Chewy's patties so I switched him and he eats Honest Kitchen, Stella & Chewys and Ziwi Peak now.

There is no way I'm going to grind bones myself. And he'd make a mess with meat/bone chunks so I'm not even going to attempt that. I might try some frozen raw and see if he will eat that.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I've tried the dehydrated raw formulas as well, and had even less success with them. I wound up just letting the dogs snack on it. *sigh*

I think I might try mixing the canned wet food in with the raw at first to try transitioning them onto it again, and then eventually stop free-feeding the kibble, lowering the amount of dry food each day until they're totally weaned from it.

My concern is how often to feed them. Before, I started feeding the raw one time per day, then two times and then progressed to three so that they'd eat less kibble. This was only successful with two of the three of them. I have one very finicky boy.

Even if I got two out of three of them totally transitioned, he may be a challenge and if so, then I may have to keep the kibble around after all.

It's going to be an endeavor...
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I do. My bengals have an IBS/IBD thing that if they eat normal cat food or even cooked chicken and rice for example they have explosive runny pancake diarrhea all over my bedding. It is raw or nothing for them. It took a while to convince them. I started grinding my own and played with various mixes to get them switched.

They enjoy chicken, pork and turkey. 2 will eat beef in a mix.

have you seen this site

Raw Fed Cats There are great suggestions on how to get them to switch. 1-2 times a week I may have to add a can of cat food to get my pickiest to eat.
This is exactly why I had to switch my cats to raw a few years ago. Anything other than raw causes them to have terrible, terrible cow-pie poops.

I'm lucky though - they'll eat pretty much anything, since they were switched over when they were kittens. I feed them each about 4oz/day. They get anything and everything... though I do make sure they get heart (beef or chicken) every day, for taurine.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:58 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Well, Boeing was NOT impressed with his dinner tonight.

I was going to wait until after Christmas to start giving him raw, but I was in Petco today, and saw that they had the frozen Nature's Variety Instinct patties and nuggets, so I got the little half pound bags of chicken and beef patties, and duck nuggets. I mixed about 2/3 of his regular kibble with a couple tablespoons of the duck nuggets (defrosted in the fridge for a couple of hours). You'd think I had tried to poison him.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Awww...can you mix in any of his favorite wet food with the raw? Maybe a little tuna just to see if he eats any of the raw too?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I've got a couple of the little chicken patties defrosting in the fridge now, so I'll try giving him some of that in the morning. The vultures licked the bowl clean, so it didn't go to waste.

ETA: I did the raw in place of the usual canned food mixed in with the kibble. Usually, everyone eats what they're given, but Boeing and Cappuccino can be a little picky.
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