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Old December 4th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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I've left raw out before for several hours, but there does reach a point where the cats just won't touch it (gets kinda crusty and blech). If Corin doesn't want to eat it now, it's not likely she'll get any more interested in it as it sits out. You could refrigerate it for a couple hours and try again, although I suggest trying a different plan of attack. Does Corin like cooked meat at all? Try lightly cooking (boiling or broiling works well) some plain chicken breast or thigh (no bones). If she goes for it, gradually cook it less and less. This should only be for treats though, not as a main meal as it isn't nutritionally complete. Once she's used to regularly eating raw chicken, you can try offering her one of the balanced commercial products.

Another suggestion is to put even less raw in with her canned food (like the size of a pea, mixed in really well). If she eats that, really really slowly, like over the course of weeks, increase the amount of raw you mix in. If she starts to balk at the proportion of raw in the mixture, go back to a smaller amount that she would eat. Patience is the most important part of this whole process. It's easy to get frustrated, especially if you find you're throwing out more food than they're eating, but cats will pick up on that and start to associate meal times with anxiety. You definitely don't want that!

What I personally find works best is to offer a small amount of raw covered in the kitty's favourite pulverized treat. My guys all freak for freeze-dried duck liver or salmon (chicken also works well, but the liver and salmon are a big hit). It's easy to rub some pieces between your fingers to make a powder and sprinkle a liberal helping of it on top of the raw. At first the cats might only lick off the powder and leave the raw, but eventually they get used to the smell/texture/taste of the raw and start to eat that too. Cats are all about familiarity when it comes to food. The key is to gradually make the unfamiliar familiar, and/or to make it so highly appealing that they ignore their natural instinct to be suspicious of new foods.

So I wish you all the luck in the world! This is totally doable, with lots of patience and a loving attitude. I converted one of my cats when he was around 10 or 11 (he's 18.5 now) and he was one stubborn mofo. So if I can do it, so can you!!!!
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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