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I've asked a little about raw diets in the Cat Chat board and just realised this board is here too!

I'm going shopping tomorrow to buy a couple of things for my four month old to try. She won't be eating 100% raw at first, I just want to dip my toe in to start with. I was thinking maybe chicken wings and some beef? Are beef chunks better than minced? Anything different I should add to my list? Are chicken thighs okay? I'll be going to a supermarket as I'm vegan and need time to work up the courage to go into a butcher's!

I'm also interested in what supplements you add to your cats' raw diets. I've done some reading and the advice about fruit, veg and seeds just seemed so overwhelming - is that necessary if I'm adding salmon oil and taurine and she has access to oat grass?

Thanks so much in advance for any help you can offer!
 

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Hi, I'm sure some of the raw experts will answer, maybe tomorrow now as it's getting a bit late.

I just wanted to say though - don't go mad buying in a lot of meat and supplements - just in case. I recently bought some Natural Instinct for my 3 and as I'm in Sheffield and the nearest stockist is Leeds, I bought 5 cartons. Luckily No 1 loves it and will choose the raw over the usual wet canned food. Number 2 will now eat the Chicken and Lamb (but it took weeks of mixing it in with other stuff and sprinkling crushed up cat treats on the top) but doesn't seem to like Chicken and Beef. No 3 won't touch it at all, not even mixed in with his usual food.

I also bought an economy pack chicken wings and all three gave me a ".. and what exactly am I supposed to do with this?" look and refused to do more than sniff at it. I intend to have another go and smear it with their usual food, or roll it in crushed treats before I totally give up, but I'm not holding out much hope, given their initial reaction.

I would leave supplements for the moment and just buy a small amount of meat, to see if she is going to take to it. You'll be mixing it in with her normal wet food for a while anyway while she and her tum get used to it. But if I only had one cat instead of 3 I might well have bought a load of raw my cat wouldn't eat.
 

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If you are going to have your cat living of raw meat like mince (make sure it is fresh mince not pet mince as that contains preservative 220 which destroys thiamine which cats really need) then you will need to give them calcium supplements each day (Animal Medicines or ask your local vet) Also once a week give them something like heart meat for the taurine they need (but only once a week too much can damage them) The grass and seeds are great to mix in with the meat, also put a raw egg in there as that is great for them.
So much to think of when going to raw diet for cats, hope this helps you

Nick
 

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If you have a waitrose nearby they have organic chicken wings in packs of 4, otherwise chicken thighs would be a good bet, you can get packs of 2 in most of the supermarkets, sainsbury carry a good range of rspca scheme meats, think its freedom foods, they have a blue sticker.

See what you feel comfortable with but anything really would be a good thing to try her on. Some of the supermarkets have a butchers counter, this can be an easing in towards visiting real butchers, they would do you a smaller quantity than you get in most of the packs of meat.

If you can get a few different meats, most places will have things that you wouldn't have to handle too much, diced pork, diced turkey thigh (always go for thigh over breast re taurine content), chicken thighs, diced beef, tesco and asda carry sliced beef heart, others might as well, get some freezer bags to freeze what she won't eat in the next couple of days.

I wouldn't bother with mince due to bacterial overgrowth, lack of taurine and she is old enough to eat small pieces or even large whoel pieces.

Same with supplements, she won't be missing anything critical while you are starting out and you don't want to be giving something where she may end up having too much of a mineral or vitamin.

Re veg etc, cats as carnivores have no dietary need for any fruits, veg or seeds, they may possibly have some need for them in the mashed up and digested state that they occur in prey, so this thinking to add them to the diet is mostly applicable to non hunting cats, the idea as I understand is to replicate the contents of the digestive tract.

You would have to make your own decisions about this bearing in mind that the amount of vegetative matter within the prey would be minute compared to the meat content and to fully replicate you would be looking at giving the veg etc in a pre digested state. Many people report that their cats do not eat the digestive tract of all but the smallest prey so for me it is a non issue.


Providing access to grass for the cat to choose to use is important as a digestive aid though so do try and offer this if you can.

Good luck with your shopping trip, if it gets too overwhelming and thinking of the cat doesn't work, come away and try later or another day, or just grab one thing and run to the checkout quickly!
 
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