Postings by Karela's Family

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Raw Food Diet > Electric Vs. Manual Meat Grinders
Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 1, '12 2:42pm PST 
I actually have experience with both because we just switched from a manual to electric grinder.

We've only made 1 batch of food so far with the electric, but as far as I can tell, the quality of product is the same, it's just faster and easier.

For the manual we had the LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder (bought from Mad Cow Cutlery - paid $79.95 with free shipping) and switched to the Tasin TS-108 Electric Meat Grinder (bought from One Stop Jerky Shop - paid $156.96 shipped). Our primary reason for switching was because we moved and our new kitchen counters were too thick to clamp the manual grinder to. Figured it was cheaper to replace the grinder than the counters. laugh out loud

The manual was definitely a workout to grind up bone. My husband generally tightened it to the counter with vice grips and even then the plastic protectors for the clamp got kind of warped from the force. Then he would cut up and feed the meat while I turned the crank - it was definitely a 2-person job.

For the electric, it seems like we have have to cut up the pieces a bit smaller than with the manual to get them through the grinder, but it seemed to gobble everything up just fine. Just drop in pieces and use the plunger as needed if they are not feeding though. (And don't forget the blade like we did at first - oops! red face)

The Tasin is LOUD (1200 watt motor - sounds like a jet engine) but much faster than manual. It came with 3 plates (we used the largest with the holes that look like slices of pie, which seemed to work great) and some other accessories.

One thing we have been very impressed with on the Tasin is that it is made in Taiwan versus the LEM which was made in China. The difference in quality of the blades and unit is apparent and seems to make a big difference in functioning. Also, with the LEM, I also found that after about a year of use, the varnish on the wooden crank handle was starting to get worn down from the moisture/friction.

The Tasin is significantly bigger than the LEM and somewhat harder to clean since you can't submerge the whole thing, but most of the parts detach for cleaning.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the Tasin over the LEM. Wish we'd gotten it in the first place!
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Smudge, Apr 5 5:40 am

Raw Food Diet > Whiskers
Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 1, '12 2:21pm PST 
I'm not sure if this is related to the raw food diet or something else, but I'm worried it's the diet so...

We got Karela about 1 year ago and started her pretty quickly on raw feeding. When we got her she had a ton of thick, long whiskers including a couple of white ones. Within a few months of getting her, I noticed a lot of shedding of her whiskers (maybe 5-6 whiskers, including the white ones, which have never returned). She still seemed/seems to have plenty on her face (though they are very fine/thin), so I tried to make sure I was going by the book with her nutrient balance and supplements (following the Dr. Pierson/catnutrition.org formula). Following the initial higher-shed period, I have seen a few more drop (probably 3-4 over the last 9 months?)

Karela is the first strictly indoor cat I've ever had, so perhaps our other cats left their whiskers outdoors, but I don't ever remember finding cat whiskers around. I tried to look around the 'net and mostly found people saying "it happens, don't worry about it".

She otherwise seems extremely healthy - thick, shiny coat, very friendly and full of energy, but it still worries me. Low-stress life - no other cats, no dogs, kids and my husband and I both work from home so she gets pretty constant attention if she wants it. She has also gained a couple pounds since we got her (not overweight at all though, she was just thin to begin with).

Any similar experiences or ideas as to what might cause this? I can't help but worry. frown
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Wilbur, Jun 6 1:15 pm


Raw Food Diet > Where do you get your non-liver secreting organs?

Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 12:07pm PST 
Just wondering where everyone finds their non-liver secreting organs? I can get chicken livers and the natural grocery we go to sometimes has grass-fed pork and beef livers, but I've been hard pressed to find anything else (other than heart and gizzards, neither of which "count").

I was thinking that Whole Foods might at least have sweetbreads or something, but I went to 2 stores including a huge flagship store and they didn't even have livers!

I can get pork kidneys from an Asian grocery nearby, but I am dubious about the quality. There are also a couple of live-meat stores around but again, the quality makes me nervous.

Just wondering what everyone else does and where you get your offal. TIA!
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by Amber, Aug 12 11:39 pm


Raw Food Diet > Raw Diet Advice

Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 12:00pm PST 
Karela choked on a bone a while back - and this was with ground food. Scared the hell out of us, but she seemed to get over it as soon as she got the bone out of her throat. We watched her carefully with the rest of that batch and she learned pretty darn quick that she had to crunch up the bone chunks (although in retrospect, I think grounding up the big duck legs that we did might not have been the best idea, because some bone chunks came out just about perfectly kitty trachea sized.)

In any case, I assume that this was like when you swallow a piece of corn chip you didn't chew enough. It can hurt like crazy and feel like it's stuck in your throat. I think your plan to go lower bone for a while to let him heal up is a good idea and then I would just watch him in the future. It's probably a fluke, and he may very well learn he needs to be careful not to swallow chunks that are too big to go down properly.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Amber, Aug 12 11:57 pm


Raw Food Diet > Okay to mix raw with canned?

Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 11:25am PST 
There shouldn't be any issue in mixing raw with canned. We mixed a can in with raw over the course of a couple days, gradually increasing the ratio of raw-to-canned when we were transitioning Karela.

If she had a nasty poop though, you may want to make sure you are not feeding too much liver. That can sometimes cause bathroom issues.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Karela, Aug 7 11:25 am

Raw Food Diet > Vitamins
Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 11:11am PST 
I actually do add vitamins, so I can speak to this. smile

If you can find a nutritionally complete pre-mix or multi, then it should be no issue, but you will have to make sure whatever you use has sufficient levels of all the necessary nutrients.

Here's the breakdowns from Dr. Lisa Pierson's catinfo.org and the other site catnutrition.org (which Dr. Pierson endorses). Numbers on the right are the recipe from the websites - numbers on the left are per Lb of meat/bones/skin. (Note, I use Iodide instead of iodized Lite Salt, so the numbers below are calculated for micrograms of Iodine based on the content in iodized salt and the quantity they call for - I also didn't include eggs as I didn't use them and Dr. Pierson said she has omitted them for a few years and did not include the added water in the calculations as I was just trying to figure out the vitamin ratios):

Lisa Pierson Per Lb
3 lbs meat/bones/skin 1.00
0.25 lbs liver 0.08 (note, most frankenfood feeders say 5% liver, so use your discretion)
400 IU Vitamin E 133.33
50 mg B-complex 16.67
2000 mg Taurine 666.67
390 mcg Iodine 130.00
2000 mg salmon oil 666.67

Cat Nutrition Per lb
5.275 lbs meat/bones/skin 1.00
0.4375 lbs liver 0.08 (see note above about frankenfood feeders)
800 IU Vitamin E 151.66
200 mg B-complex 37.91
4000 mg Taurine 758.29
780 mcg Iodine 147.87
4000 mg salmon oil 758.29
4 caps Glandular 0.76

I can't speak to the quality but I know Alnutrin makes a supplement that is supposed to be specifically to add to a raw diet: http://www.knowwhatyoufeed.com/alnutrin_for_meat.html
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by BK, Aug 7 1:22 pm


Raw Food Diet > Getting used to chewing? Gizzards?

Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sat Jul 2, '11 11:43am PST 
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone had any advice on transitioning a cat into chewing tougher foods. Karela was previously on kibble at the shelter, and has been on home-ground raw since we got her off that (couple months now).

We bought some gizzards at the store last night as a treat and also because I'd read several people saying they were similar to bones as far as tooth care. She has had giblets in her ground raw before, so no particular aversions that I know of.

She was definitely interested at first, but she seems to think she should be able to lick them up and is not really interested in chewing (although she is a fan of meat hooking with her claws and holding it up to her face to lick it).

We gave her some last night - licked it and dragged it around the floor a bit, but then started the "ha ha, very funny guys, where's my real food?" routine. We eventually scored so she could get her teeth into it easier to see if that would help - she chewed a couple pieces but didn't really eat any of it. Then chopped it up. No go. Then added her dinner on top of it - she picked out small pieces that she could swallow without gnawing on them. She finally came back to the bigger pieces a while later and ate those, but even so they only required a couple bites.

When we transitioned her onto the raw ground, once she realized it was food, she took it it pretty quickly. She generally has a few bone chunks in her ground that require crunching up, so I would think she wouldn't be that averse, but I tried to give her another gizzard this morning at breakfast (figured she'd be hungry) but practically zero interest (dragged it out of the bowl, gave up).

Thoughts, ideas, tips? Should we maybe try something bigger like a chicken wing so that she can get some leverage on it? I've heard a lot of cats love gizzards so I was really hopeful this would be a good treat, dental supplement and mid-ground to transition into eating some non-ground.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Archer, Jul 3 5:31 pm


Raw Food Diet > Choking on ground raw?

Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 20, '11 12:57pm PST 
Olivia/Tanner/Finn, yep, grinding our own. The meat was duck and frog legs both of which I think are pretty soft relatively, although we did have to power through some of the duck thighs with the grinder, so I'm guessing that's what it was and a chunk just got through in a bad size. It's all pretty mushed up now though after the second run through the machine.

It's funny how unconcerned she was about it once it came out - she rushed over and ate the meat that had been with the bone chunk right up and went over to lick her bowl and asked for more. I guess that's her personality anyhow (totally happy-go-lucky) but come-on! silenced
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Olivia, Tanner, & Finn, Jun 20 1:35 pm


Raw Food Diet > Choking on ground raw?

Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 20, '11 10:01am PST 
Thanks Shade! I think what may have happened (judging by what she coughed up) is that it was a bone fragment that was wrapped in meat and she (and we) thought it was just a meat chunk when it wasn't. eek Plus she was really enjoying the new food, so she may have inhaled it out of excitement.

The funny thing is we had been trying to make this batch a bit chunkier (hence the RMB we had included before grind #2) because she had been eating the last batch so fast - not one problem with choking or even coughing with that and it went through the same grinder plate!
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Olivia, Tanner, & Finn, Jun 20 1:35 pm

Raw Food Diet > Choking on ground raw?
Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Jun 19, '11 11:57pm PST 
Hi all,

Well... had a scary experience tonight. We've been feeding Karela ground raw for the past month and were making up a new batch. We gave her a scoop to sample which she was enjoying thoroughly and suddenly she started pawing at her face. I was thinking at first that maybe she had a bone stuck in her gums as Lisa Pierson of catinfo.org has mentioned, but the pawing got more frantic and we realized she wasn't breathing. She's an incredibly mellow cat so she wasn't even freaking out much... I tried to do a few kitty Heimlich things I looked up in the past (will be printing something to post on the fridge tomorrow!) but I'm not sure if I helped or not.

After maybe 30 seconds total, she coughed out a small chunk of bone (about a cubic centimeter) and some meat. She instantly ate up the meat and mewed (yay, breathing!!! applauseapplauseapplauseapplause) and I threw out the bone. We ran all the food through the grinder again to be careful - we had put in some raw meaty bone chunks this time (not what she choked on) but DH was way too freaked out to try again (not sure if I blame him).

So my question is, has anyone else experienced this? Was it just a fluke? She has gone through a full month of the previous batch with the same grind (different meats though) with no issues whatsoever. Should we get a bigger grind plate?

I'd really like to allow her to chew some of the bones, but this has DEFINITELY got us scared. cry
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Olivia, Tanner, & Finn, Jun 20 1:35 pm

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