Wanting to make the conversion. Help please!

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!

Wallace - My Little- Angel

The A-durable- Wallace
Purred: Mon Apr 22, '13 7:22pm PST 
So my cats are currently on a mix of wet and dry. I know dry isn't great, but they are on Blue and doing much much better than when they were on a lower grade. However, I am interested in an all-raw diet because of what I've read regarding health benefits and cost effectiveness.
I am totally clueless, though, mol.
I was reading recipes and different things that one does when preparing nutritionally balanced meals and to be honest, it seems a little overwhelming. So I started looking into prepared raw meals, specifically Nature's Variety. Can anyone tell me how much that costs, though? My Petco doesn't sell it, but a few local stores do. Unfortunately, they don't have websites where I can immediately check the price range.
Anywho, any advice, pricing, etc that you might have, please share in "For Dummies" language. laugh out loud
Right now my fiance is our only income. He only brings in about $1,000 a month. I should be getting work soon as I am about to graduate college so that will help things for sure but since that hasn't happened yet, I can't really make it a factor in our income.
Thanks for reading this nonsense rant. eek


Purred: Tue Apr 23, '13 5:29am PST 
At my local pet store, A 3lb bag of NV chicken medallions is like $11.74 and would last my super sleepy should-be 13lb cat for two weeks. A 2 lb chub is like $6.50 and would last us 10 days. I think the duck medallions are $17.50 or so, but I don't remember any of the other proteins.

That being said, I can get chicken thighs for $0.87/lb and turkey legs for like $1.25. Those have bones that are inedible for my cat, so the cost per pound is a bit higher when you account for waste, probably like $1.16/lb for the thighs.

I feel weird offering advice since I JUST switched my cat myself, but if cost is an issue frankenprey is going to be much cheaper than frozen raw ESPECIALLY if you can't find it locally and have to pay for shipping. I think a good start would be getting them completely off the dry, giving them a while to get used to 100% canned, then start adding in raw. I started with NV because it seemed easier to start with, but Greebo didn't eat that long at all before we started experimenting with chunks of meat.


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Tue Apr 23, '13 7:02am PST 
First I want to congratulate Greebo for not only making the switch but giving some really great advice! Great job, Greebo!

I would recommend the same thing - start by getting them switched to all canned. If you're on a budget even the Friskies pate flavors are fine. Then start introducing small pieces of raw from your own dinner and see if they're interested. The pre-made raw gets expensive so if you can get them to eat Frankenprey you'll find that it's much cheaper - even than premium canned.

If they take to the pieces of raw then you start introducing bones - chicken ribs to start, then wings and thighs when they build up jaw strength. (BTW Greebo, you can take a hammer to those leg bones to help break them up and make it easier.) Once they can eat bone it's a simple matter of feeding 80% protein, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other secreting organ. This ratio does not have to be every meal - you can spread it over a few days or a week.

If you wanted to do ground raw, which is slightly more expensive unless you have your own meat grinder, there are some supplements you can add to be sure it's a balanced diet. Personally I like the recipe on catinfo.org.

Hope this helps - feel free to ask any question you have!

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Tue Apr 23, '13 9:21am PST 
Petco doesn't sell raw food of any kind shrug

Around here, the NV raw nuggets cost anywhere from $16 to $30 depending on the variety shrug Some stores charge more than others shrug I'm not sure how much the NV raw bites cost thinking You can look at OnlyNaturalPet.com for approximate prices.

FYI, the NV raw bison is not a complete diet for cats shock

You can sign up to get coupons via email at the NV web site:

Primal Pet is slightly more affordable http://www.primalpetfoods.com/product/list/c/7

If following a recipe with all those supplements is confusing or daunting, maybe a semi-homemade raw diet will work smile You use raw meats of your choice and add in a pre-mix. The pre-mix contains all of the vitamins and minerals. Here are some good pre-mixes:

Wallace - My Little- Angel

The A-durable- Wallace
Purred: Tue Apr 23, '13 11:28am PST 
Wow, Merlin, I never knew about those premade mixes. I definitely want to check that out! I'm just really new to all of this. I am just starting to research it so forgive me for being incredible naive. red face

Thank you all for the information!wavekittywinkkitty

Wallace - My Little- Angel

The A-durable- Wallace
Purred: Tue Apr 23, '13 1:41pm PST 
So in addition to reading about raw food diets, I went on Youtube to see some videos because sometimes seeing it made is easier than reading about it. I found a few including one from catinfo.org but I was very intrigued by this particular video. Does it seem balanced to you all? I'll try to post the link below. It seems really really easy. Like...easy enough for this girl to attempt it. I don't know, you all seem to know what you're doing so what do you think of this?

Edited by author Tue Apr 23, '13 1:45pm PST



Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Wed Apr 24, '13 2:13pm PST 
Honestly, I'm not crazy about this recipe, but of course that's only my opinion. Here are my thoughts: I don't feed fish, which this recipe contains a lot of. I worry about the mercury and other impurities in commercial fish and cats can get so used to strong fish flavors that they won't eat other proteins. This girl says she doesn't want to feed proteins that a cat wouldn't eat in the wild, but she uses egg shells for calcium rather than bone, which is exactly what a cat would eat in the wild. There are no measurements here, where I prefer the 80% protein, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other secreting organ formula. Speaking of that, where is the "other" organ in this recipe? It just doesn't seem balanced. And I don't like how little variety there is in the proteins, especially considering how few supplements she's using. Again, just my opinion, but I would feel much more comfortable about using catinfo.org's recipe, or feeding wider variety in a Frankenprey method. But how cute is the cat in that video??


My name is not- Kittyfloss!
Purred: Thu Apr 25, '13 7:10am PST 
Hi there. I didn't look at the video, but if a large portion of it is raw fish you should know that raw fish contains thiaminase which is an enzyme that destroys thiamin, otherwise known at vitamin B1. Low vitamin B1 levels can lead to neurological problems.

Also, fish is high in magnesium which can contribute to urinary tract problems in cat.

Shade's mom