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Feeder animals

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!

  
Luna

Queen of the- house
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 21, '12 9:52pm PST 
My cats have become very very picky in the past few days. They stopped eating Wellness, they refuse Halo, Blue Buffalo, they seem okay with Natures Variety but not that fond of it.

Right now they are eating Nutro which I am not really comfortable with giving but they eat that brand up with no problems.

I was reading about people who give their cats frozen feeder animals such as mice, chicks, rabbits, etc.

I am interested in this idea and was wondering, for cats who are between 8-10 pounds, how many mice, chicks, etc would they need daily? Would I also have to feed them any supplements?

Any advice would be great.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 22, '12 5:54am PST 
If you're feeding whole prey (absolutely everything - bones, organs, etc.) then you don't need to supplement. I think the formula for how much food is 2-4% of their body weight - can someone confirm for me? But the bigger question is if they'll eat whole prey. Not every cat will if they haven't been raised on catching their own meals but it's definitely worth a try, especially as opposed to what you're feeding now. You can take your time and try to convert them if they don't take to it right away too.
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:17am PST 
Hello Luna!

I feel your pain when it comes to picky eaters as I have one of the pickiest ones you'll ever meet! laugh out loud

That said, when I first tried frozen feeder mice (de-thawed with warm water) with my 4 guys all of them were excited to eat them, even the picky guy wink I started with some pinkies (babies) and then moved on to the small adults (about a 1/2 ounce in weight) before going to bigger full grown adults (which can weigh over 2 ounces each).

All of my cats would eat the pinkies, but only 3 would eat the small mice (and 1 of those had to have it cut for her). Out of the 3 only 2 figured out how to crunch through the bigger mice (before I ran out of the small ones!). I still feed 1 of the kitties the big mice, but I do it only a few times a week for one meal each time. She's the smallest of the 4, around 8 lbs, so 1 x-large adult mouse (2 ounces) is a whole meal for her (she gets 4-5 ounces of raw a day since she's young and active).

You can try with just a few small mice and see how they go - it may take a few times for your cats to figure out how to crunch them up! I found that the smaller the better to start with so the kitties can fit most of the mouse in their mouths smile You shouldn't need any supplements with a whole prey diet as it's the model raw diet! The only issue I've had with feeding mice is when I fed the small ones for a whole meal (so 3 whole mice) or multiple meals of mice a day, a couple kitties would throw up hairballs. I'm not sure why, perhaps too much fur (it happens if I give whole ground rabbit with fur sometimes too) but I haven't read about that anywhere else confused

I haven't done any other whole prey except for x-small rats so I cant give any advice on other types. I ordered my mice from rodentpro.com (I need to place another order soon!) and Hare-Today offers the x-large adult mice also.


Partly off-topic - I've been feeding my VERY picky cat Cinder a mix of Nature's Variety canned with whole ground raw (from Hare-Today) and he's been excellent with it. I do about 1 oz canned and 1 oz raw and mix them together, and so far he hasn't been picky at all with it, and has been eating everything up! That might be another option for you to explore, even if its just for transitioning, if you're thinking about switching your fussy gang over to a raw diet big grin

Cinder recommends rabbit, pork and mutton (his favorite raw meats)... oh and he also looooves chunks of pork heart, which you may want to give a whirl - all my cats will scarf that up! It's second only to green tripe laugh out loud Just make sure to do one protein at time when introducing raw!
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Luna

Queen of the- house
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 23, '12 1:45am PST 
Would pinkies from Petco be good to try? I only wanted to get a little to see if they would like it. I will be going to my local organic store to see if they have things like rabbit and whatever else that stores like Hare Today have. I was thinking of getting ground meats without bone and feed that along with whole prey since I read that too much bone can be binding and cause constipation.

I did try giving them a tiny bit of raw chicken breast and chicken hearts, all of them but snuggles stuck their noses up at it. I have a feeling the other 4 are going to be a pain.
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 23, '12 6:42am PST 
Yeah the mice from Petco would be fine to try - that's where I got my beginning ones big grin They are VERY expensive compare to buying in bulk online though, so I only recommend them for a trial period!

Even after 2 years of raw feeding a couple of my kitties turn their noses up at chicken too, and they aren't picky about much! You may want to try boneless pork cut into small pieces, that was how I transitioned my last cat (instead of chicken). The other thing you could try also is a commercial brand of frozen raw. My guys like the Nature's Variety nuggets, which are balanced (meat, bones and organs) and come in a bunch of different flavors.

Whole prey is balanced in itself (correct amount of bone to meat and organs) so if you want to feed other raw as well some of it should also have a bit of bone so you keep the proper amount (~10% total). You'll notice your kitties poo becoming more white and crumbly if they have too bone, so you can then increase the amount of meat/organs to off set it smile
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Luna

Queen of the- house
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 23, '12 6:18pm PST 
Yeah, it's only for trial.

If the organic store doesn't have things like rabbit or quail. I read some people get that kind of stuff as Asian stores, there is one up the road from me called H mart. I have seen rabbit there before but would that be unsafe since I am not sure where the rabbit comes exactly? I only want to try some things before ordering online from places like hare today since the shipping can get expensive and don't want to spend so much on stuff that they may not like.

Chi, Oreo and Feather ate some chicken that was cooked even though they didn't touch it raw which is odd. Luna still wouldn't touch it. At least I don't have to worry about Snuggles since she will eat anything. Sadly no place around here sells commercial raw for cats, I always see it for dogs.

I will give pork a try, thanks
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 24, '12 9:01am PST 
H Mart carries some good types of meat/organs - I get stuff there from time to time, including pork heart and lamb organs smile Organic is probably better, but it's too expensive and I figure if the regular meat is safe for people then it should be fine for my kitties (and 10 times better than what you'd find in most pet foods!)
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