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New kitten owner needs advice on raw food diet

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!

  
Billi

Let me go high- up there!
 
 
Purred: Thu Feb 7, '13 10:45am PST 
Hello! I am a new kitten owner since December 2012, less than 2 months ago. I have adopted 4-5 months old young ones from the shelter.

I was told at the shelter to give them wet food 3 times a week and leave dry food out for them to eat throughout the day until they are a year old. I have tried different cans of premium wet food and picked a few that they seem to be ok with. I have been feeding them iams dry food (I will switch to something better when I run out).

I have started feeding them some raw meats and fish when I get some to cook for myself. Billi seems to really love it and eat them like a wild beast, small bones and all. I cut them up into smallish chunks. The things I have been feeding them are chicken breasts and thighs, chicken gizzards, whiting (fish), and beef strips at times (they are not crazy about beef, so I don't give them anymore)

I have not been feeding them raw food only, as I have to leave in the morning with no way to put away or discard what they don't eat (I don't want raw meats to stay there for 8+ hours). I give them some canned food in the AM and feed them either canned or raw food when I come back from work.

My main concern is that I read that they shouldn't eat raw meat and dry food around the same time. Should I be keeping the dry food off the floor when I feed them meat? If so, how long? But Aloo prefers dry food and eats it often. She is such a picky eater, and she eats like a bird. A few bites then walk away. Can't chew meat unless I shred them into tiny pieces she can just swallow -_-

How do you guys deal with it? Any advice is appreciated. Sorry that I have not had time to go through all the threads! I know there is tons of info in there, but there are too many xD
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 8, '13 7:55am PST 
The problem with feeding both dry food and raw is the different digestion times. Raw food moves through their digestive systems quickly and efficiently, while kibble takes a very long time to digest because it's full of ingredients that are inappropriate for cats. Kibble and raw should never be fed within 12 hours of each other because if the raw backs up behind the kibble, it can grow bacteria.

A lot of people still believe the myths about dry food - please do some research and find out why it's so bad for cats' health. You'd be better off switching to canned food and supplementing with raw, if you don't want to go 100% raw. There are plenty of tips and tricks to get cats to eat more canned or raw. Also, a raw treat here and there is fine, but if you're doing full meals you need to make sure you're feeding a balanced diet of muscle meat, bones, liver and organs. Let us know if you need any help!
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Billi

Let me go high- up there!
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 8, '13 9:00am PST 
Hi! Thanks for the response. Hmm...maybe eliminating dry food from their diet may be a good way to go. I'm just concerned that they might get hungry while I am away at work. They would go without food for 10 hours or so while I am away. And same thing while I sleep.

I was also a little caught up with the instruction from the shelter to have food available to them at all times till they are about a year old, since kittens needed a lot of nutrients. Should I wait till they are a year old, then remove the dry food? My other concern is Aloo, who prefers dry food over wet or raw food. Would she be able to adjust?

Any advice would be appreciated. For now, I am just giving them canned and dry food (this past week since I read about the potential bacteria growth with dry/raw combination).
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 9, '13 5:01am PST 
Kittens do eat a lot and 10 hours is a long time to go without food, but I would just leaved canned food down. Chances are it won't last that long and there's really not much chance of dangerous bacteria building up. Then you can feed raw as you want to. Again, just make sure their raw diet is balanced! Let me know if you need any help.
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Billi

Let me go high- up there!
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 9, '13 8:23pm PST 
Hmm maybe I'll try that once I run out of the dry food. Hopefully they will be ok not eating for a while...we'll see. I can try it out and see how they respond / adjust. My Billi does love raw meat, so I want to give him that food option.

Thank you for your great advice!
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Wed Feb 13, '13 7:32am PST 
I believe that your kittens would be fine having to wait the 10 hours between breakfast and a second meal. When Shade and Smudge were kittens they went about 10 hours between meals while we were at work. What we did was to feed them breakfast at around 5:30 am and then I would feed them again when I got home at 3:00 pm and again before bed. I they seemed hungry between their 2 dinners, then they got a third dinner, sometimes a fourth one too. They both have grown into large, healthy cats, so this did not hurt them in the slightest and they learned when meal times were.

At 4 - 5 months of age, a kitten does not need to have constant access to food. If they were "wild" cats, they would not be being feed constantly at that age. Also, if a kitten has food available constantly until they are a year old, they are going expect to always have food available forever and you're going to be stuck having to break them of that habit once they've become totally accustumed to it, especially if you desire to feeed qualtiy canned or raw food. Remember, free feeding can lead to obesity in adult cats.

I would also say to stop feeding the dry food altogether; it's dehydrating and much of the protein it provides is plant based rather than animal based and is therefor not ideal.

Good luck with your kittens!

Purrs,
Shade
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