How do you start raw food?

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your cat's diet, please contact your vet!

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Oh my God, what- in the deuce is- that?!
Purred: Fri Jun 22, '07 11:30pm PST 
I think some cats/dogs prefer certain brands over others. In my little pack, we all seem to prefer the runnier, softer, bloodier brands over the firmer brands like Nature's Variety Prairie. When mom was just starting out in giving us RAW, we didn't show much enthusiasm for the NVP, but we LOVE the stuff we're on now, which is Pets Go Raw (a Canadian brand). It's bloody and soft and easy to eat, and mom doesn't have to smoosh it or cut it up like she would with the Prairie.

There are two ways you can switch a cat or dog over onto RAW. There's slowly converting him, adding bits and pieces over time (starting off with just plain chicken, for example, then adding in the liver and heart) and removing the regular food over time. And then there's switching over cold-turkey. It depends on you, really. Switching gradually is easier on the animal's system, but cold-turkey is easier for those pushy owners like mom. One thing you have to keep in mind is, for switching cold-turkey anyway, the animal will go through a detox of sorts. The poop will basically be diarrhea (with some mucuousy film) and it'll last a week before it goes away and you really start to see RAW doing the good stuff. Mom switched me and Molly over cold-turkey, since we were willing to eat RAW, but Buffy wasn't sure what to do with raw food, so mom switched her onto a canned diet (we'd all previously been on kibble) and then slowly added some of our meat into the canned food. She'd add a little more meat over time and less canned, until one day Buffy pretty much just shoved her face into Molly's prepared bowl of meat, lol (from there on out, mom just gave Buffy the meat without any canned food in it). Me and Molly went through the detox, but since Buffy went through the switch so slowly, she didn't have any problems.

Marco Polo

Mr. Bud, Buddy,- McBudderson
Purred: Wed Jul 11, '07 9:19pm PST 
Cats have an 8 hour digestive tract, and Salmonella takes 48 hours to cultivate. Don't leave the RAW out in the sun and you will be OK.

And avoid mixing in kibble-- Kibble retains in a kitty's system and raises the possibility of Salmonella poisoning by slowing down the RAW.
way to go

In a healthy cat with a strong GI tract and proper "good bacteria" levels-- (this is very important) --it is nearly impossible to get Salmonella poisoning from RAW.

Besides, BARF diets like Raw Advantage have lower bacteria levels than grocery store meat because BARF is meant to be consumed raw. Just like the French!

Kaffe Hart

I need your love- to see me- through
Purred: Fri Jul 13, '07 5:29pm PST 
The pet food recall made my mommy really think hard about taking control of what she feeds me and my little kitty-buddy Cato. After much research, she decided that raw was the way to go. She began by giving me a few thin slices of beef or chicken. I ate them. Encouraged, she began to mix a few pieces of diced up raw chicken or beef to my regular commercial wet food. At first I was a bit leery of the addition, but just to please her, I finnish-off whatever was in my bowl. Now my apprentice Cato is the kibble addict and mom thought that it would be really hard to transition him to raw. She bought Nature's Variety Raw Rabbit Medallions. To my shock, Cato liked it. Now, my mom makes our raw food according to the recipe on catnutrition.org. Bought a grinder and all the supplements. So Cato and I are on a raw diet supplemented by the occassional kibble (Evo) ir commercial wet (Solid Gold Tuna or Felidae Platinum). I confess that I still need some kind of bribe food on top of my raw to get me eating. The bribe food could be Bonito flakes or ground-up Evo kibble sprinkled on top of my ground-up raw chicken, which my mom forms into tiny little bite-size balls. Since starting on the diet in April, I never felt or looked so good in my life!!!!


Purred: Mon Jul 16, '07 10:53am PST 
I just wanted to add a quick note from the special needs kitty crowd. I love Wild Kitty raw food but as I have colon issues and don't always move bad bacteria (if any) out quickly enough, that can cause problems/infection. So I say raw is great but best eaten by kitties that have completely functional colons.

Cato Hart

The meek shall- inherit the- universe
Purred: Fri Jul 20, '07 4:47pm PST 
Our meowmie switched us to raw food shortly after the the March 30 petfood recall. Researched a lot first of course, but was determined to take control of what we eat rather than relying on petfood companies to keep us healthy. At first, she would just add a half teaspoon of raw ground chicken in our regular food. My older brother Kaffe would eat all of it, but I was the kibble addict and needed to first be transitioned into eating wet cat food. This took two weeks. Then one day, meowmie brought home a pack of Nature's Variety Raw Medallions (Rabbit). She thawed a couple of medallions and formed tiny little balls with them - to fool me into thinking they were kibble. Well, of course I knew they were not, but to my meowmie's shock, I ate all the "babbit" on my flat plate. Well... perhaps I did not feel too threatened when presented tiny little balls of raw food instead of a mound siting at the center of my flat plate. And I don't like eating from a bowl. Meowmie offered some "babbit" to Kaffe pretending they were treats. He fell for it (and he thinks he is so smart!). Once Kaffe and I realized that the raw food was FOOD, we were both OK with it. Anyway, by May 2, Kaffe and I were both eating un-adulterated home-prepared raw food - yummy! Meowmie follows the recipe on CatNutrition.org. We supervise her when she is making a batch to make sure that she makes no mistakes (we get to lick the mixing bowls - yummy!).

Salmonella? Na... not a problem with us cats. All the same, I noticed that mewomie sears the sides of the chicken pieces very quickly on a hot plate just to kill any germs. And freezing also kills most bacteria. She is also very careful handling any meat in the kitchen. Lines all kitchen counters with plastic garbage bags when she is making a batch of cat food and "disinfects" all kitchen implements she uses by sprying them first with vinegar then with hydrogen peroxide. Frankly, I don't know why she bothers disinfecting. Afterall, we cats lick our butts and all, you know what I mean?

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