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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!

  
Mocha

1138114
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 2, '11 7:35pm PST 
Question for you guys about chunked meat. I started giving the girls chunks of Turkey yesterday and Mocha is having problems with the Turkey getting stuck between her teeth... I'm presuming somewhere around her molars. She really seems to enjoy the chunks, but is really having some problems actually 'chewing' (?). Her teeth are all intact and look good and she was just into the vet for her first dental in October of last year. No periodontal disease and, no broken teeth.

Is it possible that some cats just can't do chunked meat? This has my hubby concerned about the prospect of moving to bone in frankenprey and how she'll be able to handle the bone. He's worried about her getting bone stuck in her teeth and maybe inadvertently choking.
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 3, '11 4:26am PST 
Ok, don't worry! The thing about commercial cat food, whether it's canned or kibble, is that cats do not really chew these foods. This means that their jaw muscles never really get used much. What happens to you if say you never use your arms to lift anything heavy? If you suddenly try to lift heavy objects, you probably won't be able to do it, at least not very well.

So same with cats jaws, they are not used to chewing and they have to build up those muscles. This is a reason to start with smaller chunks or shreds of meat and work your way up in size over time. You will eventually get them to larger chunks of meat and rmb's. For getting bone into the diet now, you can smash them with a kitchen mallet to expose that marrow and make the pieces smaller, you can cut up game hen or rabbit ribs into small pieces, or just keep feeding the radcat as a bone source for a while. Another temporary option is to buy powdered eggshell (or make it yourself) or a pre-mix like Alnutrin to provide calcium in ground meat.

What I did when I started the boys out was to make cat food using the TC Instincts pre-mix, but instead of using all ground meat, I used half chunked meat and half ground. This way I got all their nutrients into them in a food that was like the consistency of their canned, but also, if they wanted to eat their entire meal (and they did), they had to eat those chunks too. I then transitioned them to all chunks.

Purrs,
Shade
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Nellie

yummyyummy i got- fancy feast in- my tummy
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 3, '11 1:09pm PST 
shade- cats do chew canned food. i have seen both of mine chew canned food. its not soup.
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Mocha

1138114
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 3, '11 5:28pm PST 
She's chewing, and doing well, but then there are chunks that just get stuck between her molars... like when we get meat stuck between our teeth. :S
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Miss Edith

Oh rly foo?
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 3, '11 9:47pm PST 
Were the chunks super duper small?
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Mocha

1138114
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 4, '11 12:25am PST 
No, she was doing fine with the small chunks... 'bout the size of a large pea. Any bigger than that and she was having issues. I think I may have figured out the problem, though. Under the turkey skin I pulled off there's a really thick and dense membrane. I could barely cut through it and my knives are all quite sharp so I'm wondering if the membrane is what was getting caught. When I fed her chunks tonight, w/out the membrane, she seemed to do fine. cheer
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 4, '11 4:03am PST 
@ Mocha - I'm glad that you figured out the turkey problem.

@Nellie - with all due respect there is a big difference between "chewing" ground or shredded canned cat food and chewing a hunk of raw meat. When first introducing a cat to eating raw meat and bones (prey model diet) it is considered important to realize that it takes time for a cat to build up it's jaw strength enough to allow it to eat these foods.

From rawfedcats.org:
"Strengthening Jaws and Learning to Gnaw

Eventually, your goal should be to help your cat reach a point where he’s able to handle good sized hunks of meat that are at least as large as a mouse, and ultimately he needs to have the ability to consume some edible bones as well. But cats that have been fed commercial ... their whole lives often lack both the gnawing skills and the jaw strength that it takes to successfully tackle whole raw meaty bones.

Rather than overwhelming your cat initially with a large, intimidating hunk of bone-in meat, it’s best to start out small in the beginning by offering little bits of boneless meat and employing your knife to do the slicing until your cat is able to do it for himself with his own teeth.

As your cat becomes more familiar with his new diet, as his jaws get stronger and as he gets more practice gnawing, he’ll become more adept at handling larger chunks of raw meat. As this happens, you can slowly begin to increase the size of the hunks you feed him. Once he’s able to position larger hunks of meat in his mouth in such a way as to effectively rip off swallow-able sized pieces, he’ll be ready to be introduced to some bone-in meats with small edible bones. This is the ultimate aim of feeding a raw prey model diet. Once your cat can handle raw meaty bones, he’ll be able to tackle most anything you offer him."

Purrs,
Shade
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Penn & Teller

Masters of The- Multiverse
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 4, '11 7:33am PST 
My kittens still get annoyed with bone in meat even though they can chew chunks no problem and chew bones no problem. They still get tired, drop the bones and walk off. They do not return either. Teller used to love bones now he just does that. Miss Edith will eat bones with no issue as she is a feral hunter anyway (Miss Edith I'm pretty sure would eat me if she thought I was half dead) but the kittens I really dunno what to do.

So yeah that chewing thing, huge difference

Edited by author Mon Apr 4, '11 7:35am PST

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