|Purred: Fri Feb 25, '11 2:14pm PST |
|Hi there. Shade and Smudge have been eating raw for almost 2 1/2 years now, although they do get grain free canned for breakfast on most days because DH feeds them breakfast.
I feed them mostly chunks of meat/organ and rmb's (raw meaty bones), but they ocassionally get ground raw from hare-today.com. I buy my meat at the grocery store, usually a "higher end" one, but I get meat at Shop N Stop too. For bones they get chicken necks, game hen quarters, and rabbit. You can also use chicken wings, drumsticks, and bone-in thighs, but my crew won't eat any of those. For muscle meat they get turkey, beef, lamb, some chicken breast, gizzards, and lots of heart (duck, beef, lamb). I use various animal livers and either beef or lamb kidneys for the organ. One of my cats eats whole prey quail.
As for cost, feeding raw is actually cheaper than feeding grain free canned, maybe not than feeding Friskies though. Things like heart and chicken necks are really cheap. Gizzards, chicken thighs, and organs are also not very expensive. I buy the cheaper cuts of steak like chuck. The lamb and turkey breast are expensive, but it's not necessary to feed these. Grocery stores also have sales, so you can check out what's going on in your neighborhood.
There are many benefits to feeding a raw diet. A great practical one is smaller and less smelly poop in the liter box because a greater percentage of the food is actually absorbed through the digestive tract rather than eliminated as waste (as is the case with the many cat foods than contain grains and vegetables). Raw is a high water content food and many cats suffer from chronic dehydration. Many cats have allergies to certain foods or components of commercial food. With a raw food diet you know exactly what your cat is eating.
Lastly, the thing with ground raw and taurine. Taurine degrades upon exposure to air, so when meat is ground and NOT frozen quickly in airtight containers, the taurine starts to go. This can be remedied by adding taurine back to the meat before serving it. Generally we don't feed ground meat from the grocery store because you don't really know how long it's been sitting around and along with degredation of taurine, there can also be an increase in bacteria in this meat.
I'm not sure if I've addressed all of your questions, but please feel free to ask more.
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