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The switch is beginning

Bluedrake
June 15th, 2010, 04:51 PM
Hi!

I'm starting to switch my cats to raw. I can already tell there are going to be varying degrees of difficulty. I put down a piece of beef rib for them to try (they seem to like beef). Chinook started licking and nibbling right away, Erin sniffed it and licked a bit then lost interest, and Mimi was looking at me like I'd grown a second head.:rolleyes:

The funny thing is that chinook is the oldest one (11 years old). She switches food without a problem. I'm doing taste tests for now to see if the switch will be easier with certain meats. Chinook likes beef and sardines, Erin likes Sardines and Mimi...well... is being difficult.:laughing:

It took me three months to switch Mimi from kibble to canned, so I expect the switch from canned to raw will take a similar amount of time. I'm trying chicken tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

I have a butcher shop nearby; I'll see if I can get whole carcasses from them. Otherwise I'll go with the frankenprey model.

I know fish is not the best stuff to give, but the fish store keeps whole fish, so I don't have to worry about balancing the bone-meat-organ ratio. I'm scared of getting it wrong.:o

I'm hopping that by switching my cats to raw I'll also be able to convince my mother to make the switch for her three dogs. They have serious teeth problems, so I think a raw diet would help them. The only problem is that I lack credibility with her since my cats don't eat raw yet.:laughing:

At least, my three cats will eat as well as they can. They have bad teeth too. I'm hoping the food switch will solve that problem.

Wish me luck!:goodvibes::fingerscr

growler~GateKeeper
June 15th, 2010, 11:48 PM
Sure are showing their different purrsonalities aren't they? :laughing:

Interesting how some take to change so easily & others are more comfortable in the routine they are used to.

Time & patience and it will happen :goodvibes:

Love4himies
June 16th, 2010, 06:38 AM
Good luck :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:

sugarcatmom
June 16th, 2010, 07:33 AM
I'm starting to switch my cats to raw.

Woohoo!!!

I put down a piece of beef rib for them to try

Beef ribs may not be a good idea unless you're stripping the meat off the bone for them. Cat's teeth are way too delicate and it's a surefire way to crack or break them if they do start gnawing on bones of that density.

I know fish is not the best stuff to give, but the fish store keeps whole fish, so I don't have to worry about balancing the bone-meat-organ ratio. I'm scared of getting it wrong.:o

Actually even whole raw fish is not properly balanced for a cat. And there are other problems with raw fish besides that, so I would really reconsider feeding it to the kitties: http://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/eight-strikes-against-fishy-feeding-for-cats/

Strike One: Low calcium levels.
Whole fish, even with bone, is far too low in calcium for a cat. Remember: if you’re making homemade cat food, one of the most important things to get right is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. You have some wiggle room here, but not much. A whole ground fish would be low in calcium.

Strike Two: Thiamin destruction.
Raw fish contains high amounts of an enzyme called thiaminase–an enzyme that destroys Vitamin B-1 (thiamin). A thiamin-deficient diet can lead to neurological problems and seizures in cats. No good.



Wish me luck!:goodvibes::fingerscr

Good luck!!! Keep us updated on their progress.

Bluedrake
June 16th, 2010, 07:49 AM
Beef ribs may not be a good idea unless you're stripping the meat off the bone for them. Cat's teeth are way too delicate and it's a surefire way to crack or break them if they do start gnawing on bones of that density.

Duly noted. Would pork ribs be okay? I know chicken wings are small enough, but what about chicken legs?


Actually even whole raw fish is not properly balanced for a cat.

Darn! :frustrated:

Good luck!!! Keep us updated on their progress.

Oh I will.:laughing:

sugarcatmom
June 16th, 2010, 04:57 PM
Duly noted. Would pork ribs be okay? I know chicken wings are small enough, but what about chicken legs?

I wouldn't feed pork ribs either. It's possible that some cats can do chicken leg bones without any problem, but I personally wouldn't risk it. The thing is, today's chickens are freaks of nature, the result of an industrialized farming system that is all about "bigger, faster, cheaper". The bone content in an average store-bought chicken is somewhere around 20-30%, which is too high for a cat that evolved eating prey with about 10% bone or less.

Stick to chicken necks, wings, and maybe some backs/ribs, but be very cautious with the legs. If you can find some quail, that might be a better choice for feeding "whole prey model" (which to be honest, I think is better suited to dogs than cats).

At least, my three cats will eat as well as they can. They have bad teeth too. I'm hoping the food switch will solve that problem.


Can you clarify what you mean by bad teeth? If they are truly "bad" (as in resorptive lesions or gingivitis and periodontal disease) and it's more than just a tartar issue, then a full-on dental at the vet is needed. In fact, I'd be surprised if a cat with bad teeth even attempted to gnaw on bone - it would probably be extremely painful to do so. While a raw diet can certainly help maintain good oral hygiene in many cases, I'm afraid it's not going to be enough to overcome a pre-existing condition.

Just some stuff to think about on your raw journey. :)

Bluedrake
June 16th, 2010, 05:20 PM
Thanks for the input Sugarcatmom.

Don't worry, all my cats are scheduled for a teeth clean-up soon. Chinook this week, Mimi next week and Erin the week after that. I want to switch to raw to prevent teeth and other health issues in the future (as much as it can anyway).

Okay, I didn't think pork ribs would work, just asking. :D

I thought it was better to provide a variety of protein sources? Should I stick to just chicken? Is rabbit okay?

As far a organ meat goes, should I try to provide different animal organs? My local grocery store is pretty good for that. I can get chicken liver and hearts, pork kidneys and other types of liver (veal, beef and pork.) I also have a butcher shop nearby where I can get brain (sheep, I think) and other organs with strange names:laughing: They even sell ox testicles!:eek:

On another note, Chinook was very interested in the chicken wing I put down this evening. She chewed off some of the meat, but she mostly licked it. Erin and Mimi were not really interested.

I'm just doing taste trials this week. I'll start putting some pieces of meat (no bone) with their wet food this weekend to get them used to it.

After that I plan to move on to bigger chunks and organs so they get chewing practice, then I'll put in meaty bones.

Is that a good plan? What else should I do?

Love4himies
June 16th, 2010, 06:40 PM
All of my cat's favourite is pork, and their least favourite is beef. I agree with SCM, chicken leg bones are probably still too big for a cat to handle. I stick with the rib bones. I also give them whole chicken hearts for their chewing practice, they seem to like those. I would love to find some chicken necks, but I can't find them anyplace :shrug:.

One thing I did find out when changing my cats diet, the hungrier they are the more apt they are to try new food ;).

sugarcatmom
June 16th, 2010, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the input Sugarcatmom.

No problemo!

Don't worry, all my cats are scheduled for a teeth clean-up soon.

Awesome! Hopefully they just need a good cleaning and no teefies yoinked. My very senior citizen (17 yr old), Aztec, is going for a dental in about 10 days. I'm nervous as hell, and it ain't gonna be cheap, but it's gotta be done.

I thought it was better to provide a variety of protein sources? Should I stick to just chicken? Is rabbit okay?

Rabbit is a great (although it needs to be supplemented with some extra taurine if you feed it regularly because rabbit is somewhat low in taurine). I totally agree that variety is important. For whole prey, rabbit, quail, chicken, and maybe some types of duck can be used. Some people even purchase frozen mice or rats for their kitties! There's always frankenprey, but it can get tricky trying to balance the correct ratios of bone/meat/organ with the larger critters like bison and venison. The "balance over time" method that dog owners use isn't well suited to cats, who should be getting a fairly complete meal every time (you just have to look at the way they eat in nature to see why: a mouse, bird, chipmunk or lizard has everything they need in one nice little package).

Ground raw is another option. There are some decent commercial products, or you could get a butcher to grind the meat of your choice and mix in supplements (like Feline Future's Instinct TC (http://www.felinefuture.com/)) to balance it. Then chicken wings or necks can be fed for their dental benefits (gizzards, too), if the kitties go for them. There are some cats that will never crunch through a bone no matter how hard you try to convince them. Aztec is like that. He loves his raw more than anything, but he only gets as far as licking the meat to death if it's attached to a bone.

As far a organ meat goes, should I try to provide different animal organs?

You can try, but let me warn you that organs are probably the least favourite parts for most cats. Maybe yours will be weirdos and actually go for some variety, but I think you might have the best luck with poultry organs (chicken livers in particular). That's where ground raw is better, you can usually sneak in more organ meat than would otherwise be acceptable to a cat. But you won't know till you try!