GO!

New to raw, excited and nervous!

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!

  
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Member Since
05/14/2013
 
 
Purred: Wed May 15, '13 10:28am PST 
I've grown up with cats my whole life, but now I'm a young adult and my fiance and I have adopted our first kitten--well, she sort of fell into our hands, I work as a vet tech and someone abandoned a 2 week old kitten at my job. I hand raised her and now she's weaning.

I've been looking into raw, despite the fact that my bosses think it's crazy and that I or my cat will die of e-coli or whatever.

Though I DO Have concerns. This kitten was found by herself on the side of the road. Since there were no other kittens near by, there is a high chance she was an abandoned runt. She is quite small for her age, about half the size she should be. Added to that, who knows how long she had been alone before she was found. Now she's about 7 weeks old, and has started eating wet food(high quality, grain free, etc) but I've been still giving her a bowl of kitten milk replacement to just give her some extra bump in nutrition. She's also getting lysine powder daily.

So I know that raw tends to help an immune system, and raw food risks are low because of that high immune system, but what about a cat with an already high chance of getting sick? Her immune system is still developing and obviously already taken a huge beating.

Should I wait til she's a bit older? Should I start now but slowly? What can I do to keep this as easy on her as possible, while preventing any infection risk?

This is my first time attempting raw, I'm quite nervous.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed May 15, '13 1:41pm PST 
Welcome to the raw club! You're doing the right thing by coming here and asking questions.

I'm not a vet and wouldn't presume to give health advice, but I can tell you I have an allergy kitty on an immune suppressant medication who eats raw with no problem. We've never had a bacterial issue here at all. A cat's system is designed to deal with the bacteria in raw food so I wouldn't think there would be any problem once she's off the kitten milk and ready for adult food. I would start slow and see how she does but odds are that at that age she's going to take to it quickly and easily. I think you'll also find that she'll put on some healthy weight once she's transitioned. Let her eat as much as she wants while keeping the 80/10/5/5 ratio intact (assuming you're doing prey model).

You may find you have more specific questions once you get started - please feel free to come back and ask! And thanks for taking in this little baby - I'm sure she's going to bring you many years of joy!
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Roxy

1295334
 
 
Purred: Wed May 15, '13 2:19pm PST 
Thanks for the response. I'll proabably be lurking these forums to find out as much information as I can.

I'm in the DFW area of Texas, so I'm hoping to find a decent supplier. Also trying to decide which animals will be her staple/exactly how varied the diet has to be. I'm thinking chicken--I hear hearts are also very important for cats. What size bones are appropriate for a kitten her size? The idea of her aspirating one is a bit terrifying, so I wouldn't want to give her one too small, or one too big for her small kitten teeth.

I guess I'm looking for...An idea of how varied a usual raw diet would be. Like, in a usual week would you have 4 different types of animals (chicken, lamb, fish, ???)

I also know some raw people recommend raw egg. Is that part of the prey model or is that BARF? I've heard the prey model is considered better than the BARF model. Still doing research.

http://i.imgur.com/eeHSX3e.jpg This link is my little girl, Roxy!
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Thu May 16, '13 5:08am PST 
She's adorable - congratulations!

Don't worry about the bones - she'll work that out as she builds jaw strength. Start with things like ribs and as she gets stronger move to things like wings and necks. You may want to look for Cornish hens which will be more her size. You're going to be amazed at how natural this will come to her since you're starting her young.

Personally I don't feed fish (for many reasons) but our proteins include chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef, pork, lamb and venison (not including organs). Yours will depend on what you can source cheaply and easily. General rule of thumb is the more, the better. It will also depend on her preferences - BK is a real red meat kitty so we have lots in our rotation. Hearts are great for taurine, as is dark meat poultry and red meat. Just remember hearts are treated as regular protein, not organs.

Hope this helps!
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Roxy

1295334
 
 
Purred: Thu May 16, '13 11:02am PST 
Thanks for that information. I saw a few others mention not feeding fish. What reason is that?

Also, hearts, how much heart should a kitty get? I know taurine is important, I want to be sure she gets enough. I also hear heart is 'rich' and can be a little shocking to a new raw feeder, is this true?

I have a friend who hunts quail who gives them away every season, so that's something I can always get for her for at least that part of the year.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Thu May 16, '13 2:26pm PST 
I don't feed fish because I worry about mercury and other contaminants. I don't even feed fish flavored cans to my fosters because I think there's a chance they'll always want that strong, fishy flavor and won't eat chicken or other "milder" flavors. I keep the fish flavor in reserve for fosters that aren't eating, lol.

As for hearts, they are rich. If you're feeding enough dark meat poultry and some red meat you should be fine with taurine. I used to use hearts as treats. Also, they're nature's own pill pockets!
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Roxy

1295334
 
 
Purred: Thu May 16, '13 6:20pm PST 
Thanks so much for answering my questions! You've been a huge help. I'll keep doing research and will pop back in here if I have any more questions.
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Roxy

1295334
 
 
Purred: Fri May 17, '13 8:13am PST 
"1. Never feed a cat kibble when you are feeding them raw. One reason that the bacteria that exists on raw meat doesn't harm a cat is because raw moves through their digestive tract very quickly and their digestive tract is very acidic which is an unfriendly environment to bacteria. Kibble moves very slowly through the digestive system because it is almost totally lacking in moisture and feeding kibble also reduces the acidity of the digestive system. Both negatives. "
I saw this on another post.

Now, does the same go for canned food? I wouldn't want to make my kitten sick during the transfer over to a new food, so I was going to go about it gently, but I hope I don't end up getting her really sick! A time of transferring to a new food with a mix of both is fine, right? Or do they have to switch cold(raw, HA) turkey?
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Fri May 17, '13 9:53am PST 
Hi Roxy! No you don't have to worry about feeding canned and raw, you can even feed them together in the same meal. The reason is that canned has about the same water content as raw and will move through the digestive system at about the same speed as raw. If you are feeding grain free canned you also will not have to worry about too many carbs being in the food and the acidity of the digestive tract changing.

The problem with kibble is that it basically turns into a slow moving sludge and you don't want to have raw food, along with any possible bacteria, backed up behind it waiting to be eliminated. I believe that some people say that if you do feed kibble, you should wait something like 10 hours before feeding a raw meal.

Purrs,
Shade
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Roxy

1295334
 
 
Purred: Fri May 17, '13 10:25am PST 
Thanks for being so helpful! That's good to know.

Oh I keep going back and forth. Which raw feeding method do you use and prefer? This goes to anyone willing to post. I originally was drawn to the frankenprey/whole prey method, because it claims to be easier and healthier than the ground method. But is it? I suppose either way it wouldn't be too hard to portion meals out, but the ground recipes look rather simple. I guess one benefit of the frankenprey method is they have to chew, correct? That's good for the teeth, I guess if you grind up the bones then it still leaves them without anything to really chew up.

Hmm,hmm. I suppose you could also really feed both ways depending on the day I guess.

I don't know. Which one do you prefer? Adding supplements and grinding yourself, or no grinding and no supplements?
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