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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

I am in desperate need for advice. I currently live overseas and our local canned food (weruva, merrick and wellness) distributor just closed down their business... The only brands available locally are the common Hills, Sheba and Fancy Feast. I occasionally give them Orijen dry as a treat, but an only dry food diet is not an option.

I still have stock for a month. So I would like to use this month to try and introduce a raw diet to my two kitties. As a result, I would like to ask you if you could share your balanced recipes that I could use as a starting guide, your tips and advice to a newbie very eager to learn.

Thanks in advance ;).

Love,
Aum
 

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I started a thread on this recently... http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-health-nutrition/267007-raw-feed-minefield.html

There is also an excellent sticky on the top.

This is also an interesting website Raw Feeding Instructions

There are lots of websites out there but there are many contradictions eg. On the use of supplements.

As a general rule, the make up should be 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organ ie kidney, 80% muscle meat which includes heart.

How I am approaching it... I am making monthly, my base mix is 10% bones (chicken/duck carcasses), 5% chicken liver, 5% lambs kidney, 10% chicken hearts.... This I mince using a meat grinder (needs to be a powerful one to handle the bones)..... To this I add pure taurine and brewers yeast that has been dissolved in water. This is then 30% of the feed.

I then have a variety of different meats as the flavour chunks.... Pork, lamb, turkey etc.... So I make individual portions of 30% base, 70% flavour chunks.

This adds a variety to their diet to prevent boredom, and then as its frozen in individual portions I only need to take out of the freezer what I need.

I, personally, am still feeding quality tins... So breakfast is tinned, tea is raw. Also twice a week I add salmon oil to their tinned for Omega 3.

I am very much a beginner, but have followed lots of advice from this forum.

Good luck with it :D I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi there Space Chick,

Thank you so much for your input, it really helps. I am a bit overwhelmed with all the portions and supplements quantities, so every tip and advice helps. :)

Sorry in advance for all the questions I am about to make you :w00t: ...
How much kg do you usually prepare per month? And how many kitties do you have? How much is a one kitty portion? I mean, for example, do they have to eat 60g of raw per day or 100g?

Is the food balanced and complete with only those supplements you mentioned (brewers yeast, salmon oil and taurine) ? (sorry, I am not doubting you, just making sure I do not need to buy more supplements :) )
 

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Hi there Space Chick,

Thank you so much for your input, it really helps. I am a bit overwhelmed with all the portions and supplements quantities, so every tip and advice helps. :)

Sorry in advance for all the questions I am about to make you :w00t: ...
How much kg do you usually prepare per month? And how many kitties do you have? How much is a one kitty portion? I mean, for example, do they have to eat 60g of raw per day or 100g?

Is the food balanced and complete with only those supplements you mentioned (brewers yeast, salmon oil and taurine) ? (sorry, I am not doubting you, just making sure I do not need to buy more supplements :) )
So sorry I missed this, so apologies for my very slow response to you!

I have 2 cats, they have 70g each raw a day (roughly) as well as 1 x 200g tin between them. If I was only feeding raw they would have 140g a day each.

It tends to work out that I have around 4kg a month, so 400g bone, 200g liver, 200g kidney, 400g heart and the rest a variety of meat.

Some people add additional supplements, some people don't add supplements at all.... these are the supplements that my research has made me decide are the essentials ones (with having a tin a day too). Although I am also considering adding a small amount of alfalfa seaweed to my next batch. The supplements I dissolve in water and add to the feed.

Its worth having a good read on the subject.... there are some premixes available which have additional things added.

I agree that it can be overwhelming when you start considering raw.

One thing you will need to discover is if your cats are prepared to eat small bones... mine aren't so the bones and offal get minced and the meaty chunks get added.

Hope this helps, and once again, sorry for the delay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
No worries and thank you for your advice. :)

Meanwhile I have been reading extensively about the topic and it 's overwhelming for a newbie like me hehe. However I am really eager to learn, so with baby steps I think I will get there. I will do anything to give the best to my cats. ;)

Do you mind if I make you some more questions? :D
 

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Hi Aum, this is another good website, you might have seen it already:

Practical Guide

I don't use recipes, I buy and bag up meats, bone in meats and organs an then freeze it and take out enough the night before for each days feeding, keeping pretty much daily to the 80/10/10 ratios.

It can take a little time to get used to the proportions, a small digital scale is useful, as is a hammer or some other bashing impliment if your cats need some help with learning to eat bones. If you figure out what you will be using for bone then you can check the bone % on the USDA nutrient database, put the item in the search box eg 'chicken neck raw' and then click full report, the bone is listed at the top as refuse, then you can figure how much meat to put with it, actually strting doing it is easier than sitting reading so go out and buy some meat and see how the cats take to it!
 

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No worries and thank you for your advice. :)

Meanwhile I have been reading extensively about the topic and it 's overwhelming for a newbie like me hehe. However I am really eager to learn, so with baby steps I think I will get there. I will do anything to give the best to my cats. ;)

Do you mind if I make you some more questions? :D
Ask away, and if I can answer I will, if I can't I'm sure someone else will know :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Space chick and cookiemom!

How do you grind the bones? Do you just put whole chicken necks or a whole chicken thigh in the grinder?
I know cooked bones are dangerous and the raw ones are okay, but I confess the idea of my cats eating bones still seems weird... I know I am the one being weird, but I will adapt, it's also a change for me :D.
Is it the same thing to replace the bones fro bone meal? Do you also dissolve the bone meal in water before mixing?

The canned food is almost finished, I just have 6 cans left... So I will do some shopping this weekend.

For a start, should I buy some stewing beef cubes or a chicken breast cut in pieces? Can I give them a whole chicken neck?
Do you recommend, giving 3 raw meals per day? Would it be fine if I give breakfast 8am-9am, lunch 13h-14h and dinner 19h-20h?

What do you guys think, is it more advisable to use chicken hearts, livers and kidneys than, for example, cow's ones?

It's so much stuff to learn! Thanks again everyone, it's really appreciated. :)
 

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Thanks Space chick and cookiemom!

Probably easier to answer your questions in the quote as you've asked them

How do you grind the bones? Do you just put whole chicken necks or a whole chicken thigh in the grinder?

I'll tend to use a chicken carcass, as the rib bones are quite small... this is actually 50% bone 50% meat generally, so would need to be 20% of the overall weight.... I know confusing! As for grinding them I use one of these Andrew James Premium Electric Meat Mincer Grinder and Sausage Maker Powerful 1800 Watt Copper Motor: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home It needs to be a powerful grinder to handle the bones.

I know cooked bones are dangerous and the raw ones are okay, but I confess the idea of my cats eating bones still seems weird... I know I am the one being weird, but I will adapt, it's also a change for me :D.

In the wild (and in the house!) cats are designed to eat bones... whilst my troublesome two won't eat whole bones in their feed, they think nothing about eating a whole mouse when they catch them. But agree the change is more a human mindset than a feline one!!

Is it the same thing to replace the bones fro bone meal? Do you also dissolve the bone meal in water before mixing?

I don't think so, but to be honest I don't have the experience to answer this. To be honest, you know where you are with real bone and the percentages, with bonemeal who knows! Hopefully someone else can assist with this question.

The canned food is almost finished, I just have 6 cans left... So I will do some shopping this weekend.

For a start, should I buy some stewing beef cubes or a chicken breast cut in pieces? Can I give them a whole chicken neck?

Get cheaper cuts of meat, to be honest, chicken breast is quite expensive.... I will use lamb breast, beef shin, turkey thigh etc, also cats need a bit of fat in their diet and cheaper cuts tend to be fattier

Do you recommend, giving 3 raw meals per day? Would it be fine if I give breakfast 8am-9am, lunch 13h-14h and dinner 19h-20h?

If that suits you, then fine. Personally, mine get fed twice a day

What do you guys think, is it more advisable to use chicken hearts, livers and kidneys than, for example, cow's ones?

Chicken kidneys are teeny tiny! I always use lamb kidney (but thats because I have a great lamb farmer)... I sometimes use lamb hearts, sometimes chicken... same with the liver. I don't think it matters too much.

It's so much stuff to learn! Thanks again everyone, it's really appreciated. :)
Hope this has helped! Good luck for the weekend.
 

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If you only have 6 cans of food left what will you do if they turn their noses up at raw or other canned food?

If it were me I would be going shopping TODAY buy a bit of chicken thigh, a few chicken hearts maybe and some other 'complete' wet canned food to help with the transition. I understand that fancy feast is complete, not sure about sheba you will have to check.

You want to make sure they are eating something so mix the new wet with the old and add in some very small bits of meat, offer them plain meat as well as see if they will eat it.

Chicken necks will be great for bones if you can get those but for today worry about getting them started on some meat and new wet food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ah cookiemom yes! I was not thinking straight... It has been quite a lot of information to take in :crazy: .
Sheba, Fancy Feast or Whiskas, which one would you buy if you were in my position?

I think actually the 2 meals per day option suits me best, so in the beginning I am planning to give them one meal of wet and other of raw to try and adapt them...
If this does not work, I am not sure what to do, since only the thought of a dry diet makes me cringe...

Let's say I buy beef shin, should I just cut it pieces and give them like that? What about the chicken thighs, should I give it whole with our without that breast part that sometimes comes attached?

Just for information, can I give them a whole chicken neck or should I smash it with a hammer before given to them?

Can I give them only the tip of the chicken wing or you usually give your cats the whole wing?


Sorry if my questions are a bit overwhelming and a really huge thanks for your help :).
 

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Sheba is a complete food as fas I am aware, so how about buying some of each of the Whiskas, Sheba and Fancy Feast, and see which they like. It is best anyway not to just feed cats only one type of wet food as it makes them less willing to try new things.

Starting your cats off on raw I would go slowly and cut the beef shin into strips for them. I prefer giving mine 'strips' as it makes them chew the meat and gnaw it. Whereas if you give 'chunks' there is a risk they gulp it down whole, and then vomit it back later. Perhaps eventually you'd be able to give them a whole piece of beef shin to gnaw on. I have never managed it with mine:)

With the chicken wings, I just give the wing tip to mine. Also I cut off the skin or I find they just play with the wing and pat it around, but don't chew it. Without the skin they do chew it a bit. I have never given them raw chicken thighs, but if I did I would just give them the drumsticks, no breast meat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for your reply. :)

I bought some Sheba, Fancy Feast and Whiskas to keep it interesting for them. I also ordered a few Grau, Bozita and Animonda Carny from Zooplus and had it delivered at my house in my home country (Portugal). My parents will be shipping to me a few cans from time to time, so I can always have some good cans around. (This is quite expensive to do and DHL is nuts with their prices, so we are for now experimenting with post office service. Hold thumbs for me please!)

I am looking into reasonable chest freezers and also checking out the grinder. I am thinking I might be able to do monthly ratios and keep it in the freezer and defrost as I feed them. This assuming my cats will actually adapt well to raw meals :rolleyes::

I did not really find any good meat this weekend in our local supermarkets and where I am living at the moment, there aren't many butchers. So, this week I am going to the closest farm and ask for their meat. They have a shop on their farm where they sell honey and some other goodies produced by them. I am hoping I can get good quality meat from them as well as giblets and meat variety.

Wish me luck!
 
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