GO!

Bone-in "prey model" meats

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!

  
Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 11, '14 3:25pm PST 
(My apologies as this will be a long post)

I am so happy! The kittens (now 10 1/2 months old and 13 and 10.6 lbs respectively) had their first meal of bone-in raw Cornish hen wing tips. The first time, I just gave them each a wing and my fiance supervised Kaylee in the bedroom and I supervised Amelia in the kitchen (Kaylee was growling and hissing, so we separated them for this meal). They both did really well, each eating about half of their wing. The second time we tried the bone-in about a week later, they both did fine again. I am ecstatic!

They eat boneless meat just fine, and have had boneless pork, chicken, beef, rabbit and ground beef, as well as ground whole rabbit (no fur). They are currently getting a mix of THK Prowl, S&C's, NVI Raw medallions in Venison, Duck or Beef, and random raw meat chunks such as chicken gizzards and hearts when I can get them at a good price. They have also had moose liver. I also supplement with coconut oil and digestive enzymes. What is the best way to continue to include these in a raw diet?

I think we are finally ready to get into more prey-model raw style and have less commercially prepared foods. So, I have a few questions/need refreshers on a few things:
-How do I calculate the amount of organ to feed? I know it should 5 % liver and 5% other secreting organ, and I think I want to fee organ once or twice a week instead of daily. How would I calculate this?

-They seemed to struggle with some of the bones in the Cornish hen wings they had. Should I use a mallet to smash the other pieces of the bone-in meats a bit before I give it to them? I don't want them the break teeth on the bones, but I want them to get the tooth-cleaning action of gnawing the raw bones (we also brush their teeth). Should I be grinding the bone-in meats up? I have heard that rabbit, mice and some chicken cuts might be considered edible bone as well. Where can I find skinned mice for sale and has anyone had success feeding them? Or could their difficulty have been related to not being used to using their teeth?

-Since they are not yet one year old, should I just wait until they are one year old to calculate the organ and proper bone amounts? Basically, should I keep letting them eat as much as they can for now of boneless and adding bone-in and organ a few times a week?

-They are currently fed twice a day, but I had planned to decrease to 2x daily once they turned a year old. Should I feed once a day or twice a day with the raw?

-For those of you who occasionally travel and feed raw, do you ask your pet-sitters to feed the raw food? If so, how long do you suggest it be defrosted/thawed for before feeding it? I don't want to demand too much from my cat-sitters, especially since they are not being paid. Could/should I continue to keep THK and S&C's on hand for those times we are out of town for a night or two?

Sorry if this is a little jumbled. Just wanting some answers and reassurance before we make the total switch.
[notify]

BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed Mar 12, '14 5:01am PST 
So glad it's going well! Let me see if I can help with your questions.

To figure out liver/organ portions I first figured out how much BK ate at one meal. I came up with 3.5 oz. per meal, 7 oz. a day and 49 oz. a week. 5% of that is approximately 2.5 oz. So twice a week I feed a meal of 1.25 oz. of liver and 1.25 oz. of organ. Does that help?

You certainly can smash the bones with a mallet to help them out. I wouldn't grind them if you want the tooth-cleaning effects. For the larger bones they have to keep building jaw strength. Keep feeding the wings and any small rib and leg bones you can find. BK also eats chicken necks. I "crack" them at the joints to help but I leave them whole. I don't think you can buy skinned mice. You would have to get whole mice at a place that carries them for reptile meals. I've never tried them but I have heard of cats eating them.

I somehow developed a routine of feeding 4x a day, but I wouldn't go less then twice. Especially with young cats. They're always hungry! I believe in letting kittens/teens eat as much as they want if they can self-control and don't have weight issues. But you'll still need some kind of guideline so you can figure the bone/organ amounts and I wouldn't wait to do that. Even if it's not exact, I would get the bone/organ amounts into their diets ASAP.

I would definitely let the cat sitter feed commercial food if that's easier. I have asked a sitter to feed raw. I package meals in small sandwich bags and lay the bag over a bowl of warm water to get it to the right temperature. So that's another possibility if they're willing to do it. You could have it all prepared, then package and label each bag to make it easy for them.

Hope this helps!
[notify]

Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Wed Mar 12, '14 5:49pm PST 
Thanks BK, you're awesome!

Is the 3.5 ounces per meal you feed based on a percentage of BK's weight? I know with my dog, I fed 2.5-3% of his body weight per day to maintain a healthy weight. So for the kittens, since they are still not fully grown, should I feed like 5% of their current body weight? They also weight different amounts, but I am more concerned about Kaylee's weight (13lbs) and I would say she is slightly overweight.
[notify]


Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Wed Mar 12, '14 6:13pm PST 
Hi again BK,
I calculated the following based on this: http://catcentric.org/nutrition-and-food/raw-feeding/a-frankenprey-a nd-whole-prey-feeding-guide/

This would be an approximate calculation for when they are adults in a few months time at 3% of current body weight, fed twice daily:

Amelia: current weight 10.6 lbs
-2.54 oz/meal
-needs 28.5 oz boneless/week, 3.56 oz bone-in/week, 1.78 oz liver and 1.78 oz organ/week

Kaylee: current weight 13 lbs
-3.12 oz/meal
-needs 34.9 oz bonelesss/week, 4.37 oz bone-in/week, 2.18 oz liver and 2.18 oz organ/week

Does this look okay to you? And how much over and above this should I feed? Should I double all of it and just see what they'll eat? Thanks again!
[notify]

BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Thu Mar 13, '14 4:28am PST 
I think I calculated based on BK's weight when I first started - just to have somewhere to begin. But he was very quick to let me know what an acceptable meal was! Eventually we settled on 3-3.5 oz. For the kittens I would test them for a few days. If you put down 4 oz. do they finish and are they still hungry for their next meal? You should be able to fine tune it.
Don't forget for the overweight cat you should base the diet on her *ideal* weight, not the weight she is now.
[notify]

Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 17, '14 10:48am PST 
How do I know what her ideal weight would be? I estimate that perhaps she is 1 pound overweight, but since they are mixed breed rescues, I really don't know for sure. I would prefer not to go to the vet just to find out the ideal weight.
[notify]

BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 18, '14 4:42am PST 
Start with one pound less than what she is and see how she does. The good news is that the raw should be more satisfying to her so she may not even realize she's on a "diet"!
[notify]