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Old 07-06-2011, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Virginia
575 posts, read 1,490,453 times
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So I'm currently doing the research and am going to be starting my cats on a Raw diet. It will probably be a little while as I want ALL my ducks in a row before taking this on! (We are also getting a new kitten soon and I want him here and settled before more upheaval in the house).

I would like any advice current Raw feeders are willing to share with me. I am on the East Coast. I'm looking for suppliers via internet! Where do you all source your meat? What do you prefer to feed? What do you supplement with? What is your feeding schedule?

I have a lot to learn and I'm open to anything you'll share

How did you transition your cats? Currently my 3 are on Weruva wet a few times a week and Orijen dry free feed. I have no weight issues to deal with so for the 3 it will be a maintenance feeding, obviously the kitten will be a few months old so he will be eating more than the adults. My adults are ages 2, nearly 3 and 4 years old. By the time I start I would expect the kitten to be about 6mo.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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When we got Willow as a kitten, he was already being fed raw. I would recommend finding a local pet store that sells raw. We feed Willow Primal Raw. I like it because it's like a big bag of frozen meatballs, no need to mix or add things to it. Some other raw types, you have to add things to (I believe). I am sure you will be able to find a high quality pet store in your area, they are popping up everywhere. I probably wouldn't get it online, but that's just me. I think someone here makes their own raw, which would be a PITA if you ask me, but some are willing to do that for their furball.

By the way, Willow doesn't only eat raw. He eats high quality kibble, and Fancy Feast. I've decided I'm done trying to find him canned food that he will eat. I've spent a small fortune on different types of canned food. He begs for FF every morning. Then at night I'll give him some raw. He gets kibble all day. It works for us.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,329,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandycat View Post
When we got Willow as a kitten, he was already being fed raw. I would recommend finding a local pet store that sells raw. We feed Willow Primal Raw. I like it because it's like a big bag of frozen meatballs, no need to mix or add things to it. Some other raw types, you have to add things to (I believe). I am sure you will be able to find a high quality pet store in your area, they are popping up everywhere. I probably wouldn't get it online, but that's just me. I think someone here makes their own raw, which would be a PITA if you ask me, but some are willing to do that for their furball.

By the way, Willow doesn't only eat raw. He eats high quality kibble, and Fancy Feast. I've decided I'm done trying to find him canned food that he will eat. I've spent a small fortune on different types of canned food. He begs for FF every morning. Then at night I'll give him some raw. He gets kibble all day. It works for us.
The raw store that I used to patronize always had 2 lb. bags of frozen, whole mice and rats and frozen, skinned mice and rats along with frozen chicken and (oddly I thought) frozen sparrow specifically for cats. It's a little gruesome - but a obligate carnivore is probably getting the best nutrition from a whole animal.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Whoa, seriously? I mean, I always kind of smirked at that idea in the back of my mind when thinking about what might be the closest to real food. But I didn't really think anyone was actually packaging up rodents to be cat food. Wow. That's pretty interesting and never heard of it before your post.

I'm getting ready to try some Wysong Archetype and UnCanny which are supposed to be raw and processed at a temp that is not cooking which preserves the raw benefits. I don't know. I'm not buying much because the cat is likely to be finicky. The UnCanny is made to be reconstituted with water. The Archetype can actually be served without wetting if desired, or can have water added. That one seems to be a freeze drying process. Not sure how the UnCanny is dried. Neither one of these is likely to be cost effective over the long term; I would anticipate using them as an occasional meal not every day.

I bought some Primal before and really should try mixing that in with some of the food she likes. Keep forgetting. It's still in the freezer but not sure how long it's been so may not want to use that batch anymore. It wasn't something she was interested in eating straight because once it thaws it's still like pate....

If you're really looking for the path of starting from raw meat from the butcher or whatever, we'll have to wait for more responses looks like. For me, anyway, that's not likely to be a step I'm making for now.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,326,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
The raw store that I used to patronize always had 2 lb. bags of frozen, whole mice and rats and frozen, skinned mice and rats along with frozen chicken and (oddly I thought) frozen sparrow specifically for cats. It's a little gruesome - but a obligate carnivore is probably getting the best nutrition from a whole animal.
Probably any store that caters to the snake and lizard crowd would carry such things. That's what people feed them. What can be better than birds and mice for cats?
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Out West
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While the debate goes on and on about dogs being carnivores, no one debates that cats are carnivores, (ferrets too, for that matter), and they need meat.

What I want to know from you, OP, is what kind of "raw" diet are you going to do?

I do prey model raw. That means the cats get meat, bones and organ. They don't get veggies or fruit or grains of any sort. They don't get dairy or supplements or oils. Everything they need, all their nutritional requirements are met with meat, bones and organ.

I have 7 cats. Some took to it right away like they were waiting for me to figure it out and some were stubborn. My oldest cat, her health and well being has totally turned around. She went from lethargic and unable to climb or run well to running around, climbing up everything, getting all crazy like she used to be when she was younger, and yes, it IS because of raw.

She was on a serious decline before then. She's been on raw, PMR, for 10 months getting absolutely nothing but meat, bone and organs. What a difference.

There is a percentage of food to feed based on body weight or ideal adult body weight, (if you have a kitten), and there are ratios for how much meat, how much bone and how much organ.

Right now, I get the meat from the grocery store. Not the best prices but I just moved and have yet to find a supplier. I do not use pre-made. I get the chicken wings, (for example), in a family pack and I throw each cat a chicken wing for dinner.

Or a chunk of beef heart or chicken liver or pork or turkey or kidney, whatever. But that is PMR, prey model raw. Which is, frankly, the healthiest.

As someone mentioned above, you can buy frozen feeder mice. Heck get them from the Grange or some farmer's market place for a lot cheaper. Kitties catch mice and birds in the wild all the time even IF they are fed food at home. And they eat that mouse and bird. It is only gross to you and me. They benefit greatly by devouring all the parts they can.

Anyway, first question is, what kind of "raw" are you doing? Cause, I have 7 cats and 10 months worth of experience in this. (As well as 2 dogs.)
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 19,771,355 times
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im with 3 wolves on this.

first any premade raw diet shouldnt need supplimentation.

i personally do occasional raw right now, simply due to lack of space for a freezer, once i get my own place all my dogs and cats will be going onto a full PREY model raw diet.

for the cats i actually buy mice, rats, BABY rabbits and quail from a local snake guy, he breeds his own for his prize winning snakes and because i only feed raw on accasion right now it worsk out well for me...the rabbits and quail come deheaded and skinned, the rats are simply skinned and mice some "as is"

now when i say i do "prey model" i mean i do full prey model, i choose animals that would be close to natural prey size and feed it "whole"...so on a mouse day, my cats each get a whole mouse, bones organs, whatevers in their tummies (ALWAYS buy rodents from a safe source bred for feeding purposes so you knwo that theres no poisens in the stomach/intestines).

on rabbit day even the baby rabbits are a little big for my 2 cats, one is only1 6 weeks and the other only 3lbs full grown so i slipt it in half and dived the organs direct in 1/2 too...
it seems to work out well and i find prey model (even when you do franken-prey) to be much easier over all (and much more natural) than many other methods of raw feeding.

for the cats i dont give any supliments at all with raw, they get meat, bone, organ and anything partially digested inside the animal tha they choose to eat.

the dogs, who are carnivores but not obligates will occasionally get berries, or whatever they pick out of the garden for themselves, (ie carrots) but they are treats and dont make up any real portion of the diet.

because my animals are currently also on comercial i do put salmon oil with the dog and cats foods, and they occasionally get raw meaty bones (rec bones) or if the supermarket has organic giblets (chicken liver, heart ect) out il pic some up as a treat, but i much prefer getting whole prey from a dealer who breds for himself.

eventually i plan on raising my own meat so...cant realy help there. lol.


in terms of switching...the kitten and dogs took to it right away...
my adult cat though was a little more picky (even though i started her as a kitten) with hers i had to sear it quick on the grill for a few seconds...not enough to cook it but enough to just increase the smell a little and warm it through...even now she wont eat it cold, it has to be Live Temperature (so i tend to put it in a bowl that goes in a bowl of HOT water (like a double boiler)

the weird part is though, she IS a mouser...
and shell eat whole mice when given as a meal...but she never eats the mice she catches...(she just beheads them lol)
shes odd.

quail is definatly the favorite around here though, followed by rabbit!
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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I don't do rabbit because we have a pet bunny... so I just can't go there
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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I do the frozen raw nuggets from my pet store. My cat didn't have any problems transitioning, but he is a pretty easy eater.

I get Primal and rotate the 'flavors'. If you have more than one cat you might want to look into the frozen logs as they are more economical for multiple pets.

I have thought about making my own, but you have to add supplements and with the pre-made raw I know he is getting what he needs.

Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,720,407 times
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I've fed raw to dogs for 12 years...cats a little less than that.

I have four cats currently. They primarily eat raw, although I do get kibble and canned for them too.
I feed no supplements.
They get commercial raw (coarse-ground, has plenty of bone chunks in the mix) rabbit, duck, turkey, chicken, quail, goat, etc. Also chicken ribs and necks, beef organ mix, plus they get a shot at larger bones to gnaw on and the dogs finish off what they don't eat.
From a regional raw pet food supplier, plus whatever I pick up at the store.

I had some cats at one point who really refused to eat anything raw. Some people transition by mixing ground raw with canned food and slowly reducing the ratio of canned.

I've never gone the prey model thing (except for larger meaty bones, which are nothing a cat would get for itself in real life) for the cats...miceonice.com is a popular supplier but I'm not that committed, I guess.
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