How much do you spend?

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!


The cat with- freckles
Purred: Sat Apr 13, '13 11:41pm PST 
I have finally acquired a job after being unemployed for quite some time. I have been reading a bit about raw food diets, and I think it sounds like a much better alternative than commercial diets. I didn't know how bad those diets could be on a cat, and how cruddy they truly are. Definitely not all they are cracked up to be. To boot, I get the $3.00 to get a box of Purina Cat Chow, which is complete crud when I look at the ingredients.

Now, I am considering switching to raw.. But my job is minimum wage ($8) and I don't get all that many hours at this point in time.

I am wondering how much you spend every week (or month) on your raw pet food diet ingredients. I really need to know, so I can take this into consideration.

Also, where do you get your ingredients? Are there any good online suppliers? Or would I need to go to a grocery store, markets, etc.?

Thank you for your responses in advance!




Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Mon Apr 15, '13 5:48am PST 
First, congrats on your new job and on educating yourself about what's best for feeding your cat. If money is a real issue I recommend at least getting your cat on a wet food diet - even the Friskies pate flavors are not bad and cost about 50 cents a can.

I spend about $100 a month for two cats on raw - one on Frankenprey and one on ground raw. I order the basics from Hare-Today online and buy some additional products from my local Greenmarket because BK is an allergy kitty and has to have pasture-fed meats. However since this wouldn't be an issue for you I think you could do a raw diet much cheaper by shopping in your local grocery stores and ethnic markets. You'll need to decide which kind of raw diet you'd like to do and which one your cat will eat. I suggest you switch to canned first and then experiment with some raw to see how he takes to it. Don't feed raw within 12 hours of feeding any dry food because of digestive issues.

As you get further along we'll all be happy to help with more details - just let us know!

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Mon Apr 15, '13 5:22pm PST 
Here's a thread about how much it costs to feed raw on a budget: http://www.catster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/759952

Are you thinking of homemade raw food? That would be the cheapest way of feeding raw food. Do you plan on following a recipie or doing the frankenprey method?

You can buy raw whole cuts meats from the supermarket or butcher shop. A butcher shop can get you organs and bones and even unusual meats like pheasant or venision.

Hare-Today.com is a popular online source for raw meats intended for use in pet foods.

Human feeds commerical raw pet food right now shrug It costs more than homemade raw but it's what Human can do right now shrug Human uses Nature's Variety brand.


The cat with- freckles
Purred: Tue Apr 16, '13 1:07am PST 
Thank you for the responses guys. I will try starting them off on a wet food first then. I was planning to do home made raw, rather than buying it pre-made, because I had heard it is cheaper to do it that way.

I was planning to go off some sort of recipe. But I am not sure which one as of yet, or which would be the best... I am still doing my research. smile

I think $100 would be a bit tricky to do, as I currently make roughly $200 a month with my cruddy hours. (Will be getting more soon, so I'll see what I can do then.)

But as for wet food, is it really better than dry? I would assume so, with my limited knowledge, it seems to be more moist.. and would probably offer more liquid than dry? And it is more meaty? I don't know. But if it is better I am more than happy to switch over to wet for for awhile until I can afford to feed raw. You say Friskies is good? I've always heard that they weren't so good. Or maybe it was just a certain type of Friskies that was no good. Huh. I'll have to look into some wet foods and see what's good and everything. smile

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Tue Apr 16, '13 4:58am PST 
Here are two good raw recipes:

Both use supplements so the food is nutritionally complete. I think both web sites lists where to buy the supplements, usually a health food/vitamin store or online place. A grinder is also needed to grind up cuts of meat into bite sized pieces, although you could chop up meat yourself with a sharp knife. A grinder just makes the job a lot easier smile

Read Catinfo.org for reasons why a canned food or raw food diet is best way to go

Some people feed mostly canned food with some raw food. Maybe this will work in your budget smile A grain-free brand of canned food is ideal but IMO any canned food is better than dry food. Friskies is good and inexpensive and available pretty much everywhere. Chain pet stores (Petco, Petsmart, etc) will have better quality brands like Wellness. Take a look at what your local chain pet stores have. Non chain independent pet stores will have the high end premium brands like Innova EVO and Merrick. Premium brands are pricey shrug


My name is not- Kittyfloss!
Purred: Tue Apr 16, '13 2:28pm PST 
Hi Dustin! I agree that the first step should be to get your cats on a wet food diet and completely off the dry kibble. That should really be the first step even if you could afford to buy them filet mignon. I believe that BK already mentioned that you should never feed raw food within 12 hours of feeding kibble.

It is true that some of the Fancy Feast cans are ok to feed, but not all of them. If you go to http://www.ibdkitties.net/wetfood.html she has a list of many different canned foods that are grain free, including which flavors of Fancy Feast are the good ones. I see she even has some Friskies flavors listed on there too, so you don't have to spend a small fortune buying canned.

I feed my crew canned in the morning and then they get 2 raw meals in the p.m., so yes, you can feed canned and raw. If you get them switched completely to canned then you can at least occassionally give them some bites of raw if you feel like it.

The type of raw that I feed is what's called the prey model, which is often described as an attempt to rebuild a mouse from the sum of it's parts. It involves feeding muscle meat, bone and organs in the following percentages, 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organ (kidney is the most readily available). The percentages can be balanced out over a certain time period, each meal doesn't have to consist of those ratios. I usually balance out over a week.

This type of diet costs a lot less than buying pre-made raw like Nature's Variety or Stella & Chewy's, although it is more work. The cost varies depending on what I buy.

Here is a real world example. I just finished making 23 individual cat meals that are a mix of turkey breast, chicken breast, and chicken gizzards. I chunk up the meat with my kitchen shears which, buy the way, are your best friend if you decide to feed prey model. The total cost of the 3 meats was $9.25 which comes out to bascially 40 cents a meal/cat. I suppose that might be expensive compared to cheaper cat food, but it is a lot cheaper than the cans of NV Instinct that I usually feed them when they get canned. Oh, and I portion out my homemade raw in rather generous portions.

Good luck and purrs,