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Balanced Raw Diet for Kittens?

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!

  
Stoops

1202188
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 24, '11 1:03pm PST 
Hello Catster: this is my first post here. I'm looking for a little bit of advice in formulating a balanced raw diet for my kitties, Stoops and Doof. I really like the idea of feeding them a diet that is as "close to nature" as possible, while providing them with a balanced and complete diet.

They are currently eating grain-free moist food, but I'd like to try to eventually get them on a primarily raw diet. Today I gave them small chunks of raw chicken (~1-2''x1-2'') and a little bit of liver. They took to it nearly immediately, which surprised me because they are both rather fussy. I'm hoping to try to introduce bones into the equation over the course of the next week or so.

I was curious if it was actually possible to create a balanced diet using the "whole prey" model (80% meat, 5% liver, 5% secreting organs and 10% bone) without adding a bunch of supplements -- especially for extremely active, growing kittens. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information online about whether or not it's best to grind or not grind the food... and many articles seem to site how difficult it is to create a balanced diet.

Also, when it comes to bones, what is the best way to introduce them to the kitties?
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 25, '11 5:21am PST 
Welcome Stoops! I recently wrote an article for Alex's website on how to feed raw that covers your basic questions: http://www.ibdkitties.net/rawinstructions.html

The short answer is yes, it's not only possible to feed a balanced Frankenprey diet without supplements to kittens, but it's actually easiest to start them while they're young. For bones, start with small things like Cornish hens or chicken ribs so they can build up jaw strength. You can also smash larger bones with a hammer or mallet to make it easier for them to eat. Feel free to come back with more questions or let us know how it's going!
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Stoops

1202188
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 25, '11 8:00am PST 
Thanks, I've done a pretty good deal of research. I didn't really like the fact that for many of the homemade diets you were required to add a ton of supplements to.

Yesterday I gave them some chicken ribs, and they crunched and ate the bones like champs! I was inordinately proud of them. Doof had some minor digestive issues this morning, but they also managed to get into the trash last night (I swear, these little guys are worse than raccoons! I have a pretty sturdy trash bin too!)

I have a few more questions: firstly, if they seem to be eating all of the components, at what pace should I start to transition to a wholly raw diet. Yesterday I gave them about 70% raw and 30% canned. Should I continue this for a few more days until switching over to 100% raw.
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 26, '11 4:43am PST 
Hi, and welcome Stoops! I concur with BK, it is entirely possible to feed a balanced Frankenprey raw diet without adding supplements. Just make sure that the kittens are eating all of the components that they are supposed to be eating.

You don't need to keep feeding the canned food if the kittens are doing a good job with the raw, but I would keep some around just in case you hit a speed bump with them.

Purrs,
Shade
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 26, '11 6:51am PST 
My feeling is that supplements can be beneficial to ground raw since we have no idea what nutrients are lost in the grinding process. But you should be fine with Frankenprey. And how wonderful that they ate some bone already! You can take the transition at any pace you, and they, are comfortable. Great work!
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Jazz

All U Humanz Are- Belong To Us
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 26, '11 7:01am PST 
My two kittens are now entirely on whole prey / frankenprey. A good starter for kittens is day-old quail or day-old chicks. They are small enough that you can feed whole prey without grinding, and they get all the ingredients nature intended. You can also get baby mice, although my kittens don't seem to go for that. If you don't have a source nearby, you can usually find one on the net, like rodentpro.com or hare-today.com .
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