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Transitioning my SAD Cat to Raw

My cat is nearly seven years old and has been having terrible hip problems lately. I would like to transition him into a raw diet when I begin living at home again. I was wondering if any of you had any useful information/websites that I could look into. Thanks

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  • You do mean raw meat, right? My cats are on a raw meat diet, I can tell you it isn’t very simple and not easy to transition, especially with an old cat that might be ‘set in its ways’.

  • Yes, raw meat. Okay, thanks anyway.

  • Blue_EyesBlue_Eyes Raw Newbie

    Kait give it a try. My cat was 10 years old very fat and extremely stinky fur nothing helped so as a last ditch effort after all else had failed I put her on raw, did not mean for it to go so fast but after she got raw meat she REFUSED to eat her other cat food. unfortunately it was too little to late and she died anyway. but she had two weeks of loving her food. so I guess she died happy.

    i had started her on raw free range hamburger and some raw eggs. and she loved it, then second week I gave her raw chicken and you never saw a cat devour her food so fast. She looked like she was going to get better the first week and her eyes were not so glazed but then I dont know maybe the chicken was too fast and I should maybe of continued with just the hamburger and eggs longer before giving her anything else new.

    So my advise is to go slow since yours in 7 and having problems

    I have a friend whose cat lived to be 22 years old and was an outside cat, he would only eat raw deer meat from her and then hunted the rest. she said they had to kill a deer a year just for the cat.

    Good luck, keep us posted..

  • Thank you, Blue_Eyes. It’s worth a shot. My cat has no had any other health problems – I’ve just noticed him limping a bit.

    I’m still confused on what exactly to serve my cat. You mentioned raw free range hamburger and raw eggs – would I just purchase these things at the market? Do I mix them together? How much would I give?

    Thanks again

  • I’ve tried to transition my SAD cat to raw unsuccessfully. I’ve tried just giving raw meat and also buying the expensive raw pet foods, but he just smells it and walks away. He is probably 7 – 8 years old (not exactly sure since he was adopted from a rescue organization) and hunts bugs and rodents regularly. I don’t know why he’ll eat a gopher but will turn his nose up at organic, pastured chicken/beef/rabbit. Any tips would be appreciated! :-)

  • That’s strange, newbie. I should note: my cat is an indoor cat. Has never left our house to hunt or anything like that. He has been raised on dry cat mix and hates the moist canned foods.

  • My boyfriend and I raised our kitten on a raw food diet. We had researched the “BARF” diet for our dogs and have been following the regimen for a couple years now with excellent results.

    For our kitten it seemed a little trickier trying to make sure he was able to get the nutrients from bones. What we did was grind organic egg shells and sprinkle onto his raw food. We also purchased some cornish hens since they have small bones for him. Small fish, korean markets are great for buying fish. He loves chicken, liver (which we feed in very small quantities), and beef.

    We were lucky in that he took to the diet quickly. If you google the BARF diet you can find recommended feeding ratios of meat, bones, and organ meat and a ton of information.

    good luck.

  • Blue_EyesBlue_Eyes Raw Newbie

    I would only start him out on a couple of tablespoons at first in a bowl besides the other cat food. then just go by whatever the cat says. Make sure you throw it out if he does not eat it all right away. Cats system needs fresh meat. old meat will make him sick. if you have a dog you can feed him the leftovers dogs are scavengers and can eat old meat.

    I started her out on just hamburger then added the egg when i saw how much she loved it. I was always throwing away the cat food because she would not eat it.

    I got the Laura free range at the supermarket but most health food stores we have all carry free range meat. even at the organic farmers markets

    just go slow and listen to kitty

  • KAIT- have you tried giving your cat glucosamine? it isnt always a raw item.. but it did wonders for my dog in the last years of her life. if you can find Dr.Maggie’s liquid glucosamine I highly recommend it.. its a natural product but not raw. I know personally I cant even get my cat to look at anything other than kibble. I would love for him to be on a raw/barf diet but he is just.. is stuck in his kibble eating ways!

  • oh yes.. blue_eyes posts reminds me to mention that cats have a far shorter intestinal tract than many other animals.. so it is very important to transition your guy slowly over at least 7-10 days! good luck!

  • Hey, sorry, I didn’t mean to like ‘tease’, I was going to go into details on how we feed our cats.

    Our cats eat chicken wings that we chop up (with the bone) and liver, and we mix that we a raw egg and some nutritional yeast. The nutritional yeast is stinky and reminds them of the smell of store bought food, and that is, by the way, how we sold this stuff to them. We used to give them boneless chicken breast, and then we would grind up egg shells for the calcium. Now we decided they should just progress to chewing the bones. We crack them with wire cutters to make the pieces a little more approachable. Ideally they’d eat them whole of course.

    Now I must tell you, these two were successful but we had another, much older cat (14 I believe) that was having a very hard time adjusting to it. He was also sick beforehand, and ended up getting much worse and dying. This felt like a failed experiment and we were very cocky and irresponsible thinking we could heal him ourselves. I think the reason we did was that one our cats did get very sick and we managed to make her all better completely alone and 100% raw. I posted on that at the time: http://goneraw.com/forums/other-stuff/topics/al…

  • I have 2 cats one old and fat and 1 young.The old cat ate raw food right away but the young was picky.I tried beef along time ago and like I said the old one ate it but not the young.I really do not think cats kill cows in the wild so i stopped beef.The best way to transition a picky cat is to buy ground up raw chicken and mix it with the can food for 2 weeks.Start off like putting twice as much can food as meat and work up to half and half.After 2 weeks buy chicken tenderloins like ice glazed organic from whole food and cut it up maybe in 5 pieces and mix with can.Gradually increase the meat to can ratio.Then try a tenderloin cut in 4 pieces without the can then work up to 2 pieces then the whole tenderloin.Now that you got them eating raw start buying wings and leg sections with the bone and meat clever in sections.After this try whole wing sections and bigger leg pieces.Now the cats might look at you weird if you leave a whole wing but now the have to work for there and they will get used to it.Theres something about how the cats ears point and how they chew the meat that just makes it look so natural and they look so happy.Always buy organic or natural.

  • KAIT, go to http://www.rawfedcats.org

    There is a good links page there, too: http://www.rawfedcats.org/links.htm

    It doesn’t matter how old the cat is. Any cat can make a transition to a proper raw diet. You should always try, no matter how long it takes. Some cats take to it quickly and others do not, regardless of age. REmember that they are very sensitive to smell, and commercial food companies know this, filling the prepared crap with all sorts of checmicals and ingredients to entice them by smell. So be ready for resistance, and it’s okay if he takes a long time. It’s totally worth it in the end.

    REmember not to feed him just meat, as this will cause his body to leach needed calcium from his own bones. He needs a proper ratio of meat to bone to organ, all raw. And cats cannot make the amino acid, taurin, so he needs plenty of “dark” muscle meats. I give my girl chicken hearts for extra taurin.

    This is not a hard diet to learn to prepare. It’s very easy.

    You can write me if you need help.

  • It is CRUCIAL NOT to buy raw meat from the store. It is irradiated by government law and therefore dead. Also, DO NOT feed ground raw meat. This stuff is not good. Cats a true carnivores and have sharp teeth that are designed for chewing tough raw bones. When you grind the bones, the cat can’t chew the bones or on the tough meat. Why would they be meant to eat a ground up meal? The whole prey diet is for cats. The most natural form of diet for a cat is the whole prey diet. It’s the only diet that has a complete balance of organ meat/bones/meat. If you buy the commercial pre-prepared ground up “raw” foods (which are also probably irradiated), there is all sorts of weird things added like flaxseed and coconut oil which, when you think about it, is not meant for cat consumption. Also, if you buy those big bulky beef bones or whole organs, and I don’t see how a cat could hunt down a cow the way spider said (especially for the fact that cows are not wild, could not survive without being raised by humans) that is not a natural balance because too much organ meat can cause problems. And YES it is CRUCIAL to feed bones. My friend who feeds raw food to her cats had one cat go into renal failure at age 7 because she never fed any bones for a calcium-phosphorous balance. Please read these articles.

    http://www.rawfedcats.org

    http://www.rawfedcats.org/naturesway.htm

    http://www.rawfedcats.org/benefits.htm

    http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

    http://www.rawfedcats.org/carnivorouscat.htm

    Here’s one of the most important articles:

    http://www.rawfedcats.org/ground.htm

    Here’s where to buy whole prey:

    http://www.pre4pets.com

    http://www.rodentpro.com

    Also might want to check out this thread:

    http://www.goneraw.com/forums/other-stuff/topic…

  • RawKidChef, meat from a store is not irradiated by the government. If it’s irradiated at all, it will be labeled so.

  • ZaZa

    The rawfedcats.org site is quite a resource, thanks for the reference! I’m fostering two 10-week-old kittens as of yesterday. One has been eating raw since she was “weaned” off “formula” (I shudder to think of what was in that) and the other has been fed “Wellness” canned food. It’s interesting to me that although both of these kitties had a rough start—were found in an alley in the Bronx with no mother in sight and so had quite a nutritionally and otherwise impoverished early developmental period, the raw kitten is markedly more lively, affectionate, engaging and, dare I say, intelligent that the non-raw kitten. Also, the raw kitten has beautifully shiny silky fur whereas the non-raw kitten looks a bit like my thrift-store vintage velvet coat (you know, when velvet gets sort of ashy-looking).

    I of course want to feed them as well as I know how, and was about to head to the Union Square farmer’s market to get them an organic free-range chicken, but now I’m worried: might my feeding them so well make them “less adoptable” because they might eventually refuse to eat canned food, or even ground raw food, which is all most potential adopters will probably be willing to feed them?

    In other words, does anyone know to what extent cats really will “refuse to eat” ground or canned food after they’ve been eating more naturally for a while? Thanks!

  • Even so, the best quality meat comes from whole prey. If you buy raw meat from the store, it should to be organic (just googled it and organic meat cannot be irradiated), and unground. Thanks for pointing that out TomsMom.

  • Great question, LovefoodLaughter! When my cat had her first mouse, we were buying mice for our snake and she just had to have one (you know how that goes :)) so we gave her one. After that, we let 3 days pass where she would refuse the ground food. We went online, found rawfedcats.org, and realized she wanted the mice! So we ordered in bulk mice and chicks online and now she thrives on them :)

  • RawKidchef, although I got my girl to go all-raw, I never could get her to feed more appropriate-sized food, like you have. I’m impressed by you! And of course, you’re right about the inherent impurity in most store-bought raw meats. I mean, look at the melamine scandal. That was horrifying.

  • No transition needed! You gotta take away the store bought stuff or they will never loose their addiction to it. 2-3 chicken drumsticks beaten with a hammer to break open and smash the bones. Maybe a little chopped chicken liver also. We buy frozen raw rabbit also from the pet store. Once and a while some salmon or tuna if it is fresh and on sale.

    Here he is… http://www.purelyraw.com/rawanimals.htm

    This picture is 2 years old. You should see Tonka now! Very Big & Muscular!!!

  • LovefoodLaughter, my kitty never lost her desire for canned. All she has to do is hear any tin can being opened, even a can of beans, and she comes running! She has been off commericial foods for full year, too! I think a lot depends on the cat.

    I was thinking, since you’ve already got your kitties on an all-raw diet, maybe you could make a stipulation to their new parents to feed them properly. I know you can’t spy on them, of course, but I am betting that if you spend a bit of time teaching them, they’ll take their babies home and start them off right. Maybe you could prepare some frozen meals to send with them, see what I mean?

    You know, my kitty’s raw diet actually costs less than the commerical organic foods she was on before. That can also be a sell-point.

  • Not all cats will take to raw by depriving them of food. I listened to a raw-feeder who bullied me into starving my cat. Shame on me. I still cry when I think of what I did. Three days without eating and that kitten screamed constantly. She refused the raw, although I offered to her constantly. I starved my baby and will never do it again. Cats can be fasted for a day or part of a day, but don’t fast them more than a day, ever. If nothing else, they can develope fatty liver disease if they are over-weight and fasting, and no, it does not take weeks to develope.

    I decided to take my time with her and she adapted at her own pace. Now she’s totally raw.

  • chriscarlton, Tonka is gorgeous!!!

  • Tonka thanks you!

    The common house cat is the most successful hunter in the animal kingdom (more average kills than any other predator). You can not starve a cat unless you keep it in a box. You can go slowly if you want and keep giving them the processed poison, to me that is worse.

  • Wow Chriscarlton, I just saw the picture of Tonka. I’m amazed. Very lean and mucsular. Never seen a house cat in such good shape before!

  • chris, I don’t lie to entertain people.

    I did not keep her in a box.

  • I was not trying to start something and I do not think that you lied in any way. I do not see why you would think that I thought that. I know that you did not put your cat in a box.

    No matter how much your cat cried, fact is, unless it is very young or confined to an area with no prey, no cat will starve unless it wants to.

    I really wasn’t responding directly as much as trying to parlay information. I hate to see something so simple as raw, get complicated.

  • I just switched my 6 + 10 yr olds cats to 50% raw (half a ground blend I buy in Whole Foods pet dept. + half organic dry), but if they had their way they’d be 100% Raw. They freaking love it, they eat and purr and make little baby gurgling sounds when they eat it—never did that before.

    The hardest part about it for me is spooning it out for them…yuck! IT gives me the willies. It always reminds me of when Miranda on Sex and the City said she was going to die alone and single and that her cats would eat her undiscovered body. I feel like, do I really want my cats to acquire a taste for raw flesh? But maybe I’m overthinking it : )

    OH…and they love nutritional yeast, they use to bust into the closet and grab it, I gave in and now I just sprinkle it on top of their food.

  • Thanks for all the advice! It’s so great and I’m excited to see how my cat responds.

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