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Old March 29th, 2008, 12:39 PM
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Starting RAW, running into obstacles.

I am making the switch to RAW for Angus and Finn. I purchased Instincts TC (a powdered vitamin and mineral supplement) to mix with ground meat, and a meat grinder. I made my very first batch of raw ground food this week, but waited until today to try it out on them because I wanted to be home all day to supervise the results of the feeding.

Anyway, Angus seems receptive to it and ate quite bit for his first time. Finn sniffed, then turned away. I brought it to her again, she sniffed again and took a few bites, licked it a bit then walked off. I think she was just humouring me.

I know that ideally I should just give them whole meats and bones etc... but I had already bought the Instincts TC when I read that I should just start them on whole prey model from the beginning. I don't want to waste the bag of TC. So I'm going to finish the powdered supplement then start giving them whole meats and bones.

My question is this, is Finn's response normal? Should I be persistent? Should I offer her kibble/canned when she doesn't want to eat the ground raw? I also wonder if the fact that it's cold when I serve it to her is a factor. How careful do I need to be with the amount of time the food is left out? Can I warm it beofre I give it to her/them?

I also bought chicken hearts and giblets, they play with them instead of eating them. How do I make them realize it's food not toys?
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Old March 29th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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My question is this, is Finn's response normal? Should I be persistent?
Absolutely normal. In fact, more normal than Angus . Most adult cats tend to be quite suspicious of new foods, especially something as different as raw meat. The fact that she at least tried it is a good sign. You might be able to convince her to eat more if you mix tiny amounts of raw in with some of her usual canned, and then slowly increase the proportion of raw to canned. Another trick is to top-dress the raw with something she loves, like crumbled treats (freeze-dried chicken or salmon - such as Halo Liv-a-Littles - works great), or maybe some plain meat baby food. Parmesan cheese may also work. But definitely be persistent. There are a number of foods that my cat wasn't to keen on at first that he now devours. You just have to get them used to it.

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Should I offer her kibble/canned when she doesn't want to eat the ground raw? I also wonder if the fact that it's cold when I serve it to her is a factor. How careful do I need to be with the amount of time the food is left out? Can I warm it beofre I give it to her/them?
I'd say start with mixing the canned and raw and see if that helps. Warming up raw can definitely be a good idea. I usually place the bowl inside another bowl of hot water for a minute, or you can stir some warm water into the mix. Some people microwave it for a few seconds but be careful that it doesn't get too hot.

As for leaving raw out, depends on your comfort level. I've heard some say no more than half an hour, but I also know many people (and I'm one of them) that have left it out for several hours with no problem. Tends to be less appetizing for the cat when it starts to dry out though.

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I also bought chicken hearts and giblets, they play with them instead of eating them. How do I make them realize it's food not toys?
Playing with them is a good start! It might stimulate their prey-drive and could lead to a few nibbles. They may not know how to handle large chunky food yet, so you could also try smaller pieces to see how that goes over, then slowly increase the size.

Overall, I'd say your kitties are doing great! They're well on their way to healthier eating.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 06:19 PM
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Stacer , don't worry , some cats take time warming up to a new diet. Both of mine are now on raw , Monsieur le chat loved it from day one. Paddington would turn up his nose , took 2-3 days , and then he would eat it one day , would turn up his nose again the next day ... after about 2 weeks everything was ok.

Good luck !
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Old March 29th, 2008, 11:38 PM
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Phew! Thanks, I feel more confident that this will work itself out. I'll warm up the food and crush up some of her kibble to sprinkle on top tomorrow and see how she likes it.

Since my first post I fed them again in the evening. Finn showed zero interest, but again Angus ate quite a bit.

There was a horribly smelly, slightly loose poop this afternoon, I think it was Angus. I'm assuming there is an adjustment period for their bodies, but I'd like to think that their poops are going to be fantastic once their systems become accustomed to the raw. Please tell me they will have nice, small, firm, odourless (unlikely, but I can hope) poops
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Old March 30th, 2008, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Warming up raw can definitely be a good idea. I usually place the bowl inside another bowl of hot water for a minute, or you can stir some warm water into the mix. Some people microwave it for a few seconds but be careful that it doesn't get too hot.
The bowl in the hot water is the best way to warm it alittle, I put Duffy's dish in the sink w/hot water.

I'd stay away from microwaving the raw even only for a few seconds it does start cooking the bones turning them brittle which can lead to other issues.

Quote:
http://rawfedcats.org/practicleguide.htm
Some cats don’t take well to raw food that’s cold, straight from the refrigerator, but instead prefer it to be closer to ‘mouse body temperature.’ This is easily done by simply putting the meat in a plastic baggie, and either running it under a warm faucet, or soaking it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Never microwave raw food to warm it, as microwaving changes the molecular structure of food, thereby altering its nutritional value, and can also turn raw bones into cooked bones, which should never be fed to your cat.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 01:14 AM
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Please tell me they will have nice, small, firm, odourless (unlikely, but I can hope) poops
Duffy's are since we've worked through her kidney failure induced constipation problem of course ....but yes nice, small, firm and completely odourless
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Old March 30th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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Duffy's are since we've worked through her kidney failure induced constipation problem of course ....but yes nice, small, firm and completely odourless
Awesome!

I had a breakthrough this morning with Finn. They were circling like wolves when I woke up this morning, I warmed the food up (in water) and put it down. Of course Angus jumped right in, but again Finn was hesitant and walked away. I put some of her canned in the dish beside the raw, she ate it and "accidentally" ate some of the raw. When she realized, she stopped eating and walked away. I tried again later after Angus was finished and wouldn't bother her. She sniffed back and forth between Angus' dish and her own, then suddenly started to eat the raw, even though there was still some of her canned left in the dish. No kidding, my heart lept!! She seemed to really enjoy it as she ate most of it.

I thought all was well until about 10 minutes ago when Finn vomited it all back up. Is this normal? She may have eaten too much too fast. Right now she seems completely fine, acting normal, etc....
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Old March 30th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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She seemed to really enjoy it as she ate most of it.
Woohoo! Go Finn!

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I thought all was well until about 10 minutes ago when Finn vomited it all back up. Is this normal? She may have eaten too much too fast. Right now she seems completely fine, acting normal, etc....
Yup, that can happen sometimes. Maybe give her smaller amounts until her digestive system adjusts. You could also try some probiotics for a little while to help both kitties stabilize their gut flora (should help with Angus's stinky poops as well). Some slippery elm bark powder is another option for calming down a reactionary GI tract: http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=...em=slipperyelm
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Thanks sugarcatmom, I'll look into probiotics and the slippery elm. Should I mix the slippery elm powder in with the food, or should I give it prior to feeding?
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Old March 30th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Thanks sugarcatmom, I'll look into probiotics and the slippery elm. Should I mix the slippery elm powder in with the food, or should I give it prior to feeding?
I find it easiest to mix with food. My cat prefers it with baby food, but you could also try it with their regular food. Some cats don't mind the taste, some do, so how much you have to disguise it depends on the cat. I'd start with about 50mg a couple times a day, but you could go as high 100mg 4X/day if you don't get results within 2 or 3 days (capsules around 400mg are the most convenient). Make sure to add a couple tsp of extra water along with it.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:06 AM
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Hi Stacer,

My furbaby just started on the Instincts a week ago too! Yes, very stinky litterbox at first, but it seems to be getting much better. I noticed we're in the same area so we should share resources if we can! I'm slowly moving into whole prey mode too, but couldn't find a grinder. I'd love to know where you got yours? please feel free to PM me if this is considered a hijaack of your post (though I think PM might take a few days to hookup for us rookies, doesn't show on mine yet....)

But back to the topic, way to go with the furkids! Yay!! I know what you mean when you said your heart jumped. I had some difficulties at first too, but now I think Pepe's forgotten his ABSOLUTELY BELOVED canned food already!

Yayyy raw food!

also i thought i read that the Instincts should NEVER be microwaved so be careful with that one - microwaves damage all raw food anyway, even for a few seconds, so i'd stay away. once you use bone definetely stay away beccause brittle bones make choking cats....including death by choking.

keep us posted on the progress
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Old March 31st, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Nice to hear more about cats being switched to raw feeding ... I've tentatively tried with my 9 year old cat but he's reluctant. Although he has watched my dog gnaw thru turkey parts with some interest I guess I have to keep trying.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Day 3

I've been mixing half and half, ground raw with their regular canned. Angus is no problem at all, I'm so proud of how well he's taken to it. Finn is coming along. She's eating the raw as long as there's canned in the mix. I'll eventually reduce the amount, I've only got 2 or 3 cans left. So far no vomiting since the first time, so that's good.

They both always had really soft, smooth, shiny fur so I don't think I'll notice a difference there, but I'm sure that Angus is softer these last few days if that's possible(although I'm sure the new food can't work that fast!), perhaps it has to do with the change in weather.

When I have time this week I'm going to look for probiotics and slippery elm, it can't hurt to add it in. Since there's been no vomiting since the first day, I figure they're adjusting well and the probiotics and slippery elm aren't immediately required.

I've noticed talk of chicken/turkey necks in other threads, how much nutritional value is there in a neck? It sounds like they should be eaten under supervision.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:01 PM
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From what I've read giving whole bone is wonderful for cats and dogs for teeth cleaning
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:13 PM
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From what I've read giving whole bone is wonderful for cats and dogs for teeth cleaning
Whole prey is my ultimate goal (Angus has already had his teeth cleaned at 2 years old!!), ground raw is the transition food for now. I don't think Finn would go for whole bone-in meats just yet. I want to give them time to adjust to raw by giving them something that is the same consistency as their canned but with the taste of raw, then gradually bring in whole pieces of meat. It's going to be slow but if it means success, with Finn especially, then I'm willing to wait to give them whole bone-in meats.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 10:39 PM
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Duffy's are since we've worked through her kidney failure induced constipation problem of course ....but yes nice, small, firm and completely odourless
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Originally Posted by Stacer View Post
Awesome!
I forgot to mention Duffy is not getting the Instinct so that might make a difference

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I've noticed talk of chicken/turkey necks in other threads, how much nutritional value is there in a neck? It sounds like they should be eaten under supervision.
Glad to hear it's going well

For the probiotics it is generally suggested to have them on probiotics for roughly 2 weeks prior to starting the raw diet to give the gut time to prepare.

Bones def under supervision esp for first timers (cats & you)

Chicken/Turckey Necks are considered meal bones - something you would include in the meal

Quote:
Meal Bones; carcass, backs, necks, wings- chicken, duck, lamb, ostrich,
quail, turkey etc. These bones are softer, meaty and packed with
nutrients. Again, these bones will aid in dental health and the bone
waste will aid in cleansing the anal sacs. They provide an essential
balance of calcium, phosphorous and other vital minerals and nutrients.

*Puppies, kittens, seniors and beginners choose softer bones like backs,
and necks. They are a softer cartilage & bone mix and are padded with
meat all around so they are easily digested.
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