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Help needed with raw foods for cats

JoescJoesc Raw Master

Please Help!! Three kittens were abandoned yesterday and there is one who I kept and his new name is Lucky(actually I am not sure yet). He hasn’t been weened from his mother but the mean people had left him and his siblings at my garage. They didn’t even give them the time necessary with their mother. He is currently drinking cat milk from the store. I want to know what to feed him. I was hoping to transition my other cat to raw food who is going to be 1 years old 31 Mar also.

I was looking over some of these cat recipes and I am at loss because I haven’t bought meat before, and my family doesn’t eat meat so how do I know if it’s good meat or not. Also what is good meat to feed cat’s. Pork and Beef doesn’t seem like something a cat would naturally eat if in the wild, because the animal is quite large. Also do you add seasoning, and where am I suppose to find taurine? I thought it was banned in the U.S. I only see it on energy drink labels.

I would give the cats that I grew up with when I was young, tuna juice. The tuna was in the can with water. Is it ok to feed the cat tuna from the can. Is tuna, salmon and other fish in the can processed? Do you actually grind the bone(chicken, fish etc) for the cat, and with what? Also do they actually sell rabbits in the store? Why would anyone eat rabbits that is so sad. I see people also mention adding olive oil, flax oil or omega 3 to the cats diet. If we give them fish does he need the supplements? I don’t see any recipes with fruits, although I saw one with carrots, is fruit bad for cats and what vegetables are we not suppose to feed cats?

Please don’t laugh at me, I am a complete ditz with raw food for cat so much advice and help is needed. I assume organic is best but how do we reduce salmonella poisoning for cats?


  • ZaZa Raw Newbie

    I feed my cats raw organic chicken – they love it. I just chop it up small – after all those years on canned food, it seems they’ve forgotten how to chew up raw animal fat. And I think chicken is as close to a natural prey for cats as you can get with storebought meat. Unless you want to get some live mice from the pet store that is… Have some wheatgrass around for your cat to chew on when it feels like it—the cat will go for it instinctively whenever it feels the need to cleanse its gut. That and plenty of clean, filtered water should make for a very happy healthy cat! Good luck with the new kitten! Lots of physical affection will increase his appetite too, so pet and cuddle away.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I have been researching and experimenting raw food for cats,for the last couple of years on behalf of my cat Tonka. We have settled into a very easy and do able method which provides for all his nutrient requirements easily and cheaply.

    The idea is to make up a small prey animal on his dinner plate every day.

    Cats essentials which they HAVE TO HAVE are : (1) Raw bones – it is only cooked bones that are dangerous and splinter- raw bones are safe and should be cut up or smashed up so your cat can handle them and get the marrow out. (2) Internal organs like liver. Liver contains taurine which is essential. But the liver part of the dinner should make up no more than 10% of the whole meal. Too much is bad for them. And they love their raw liver!

    You mention tuna, all canned fish is cooked and therefore useless. My cat won’t touch fish, it goes off quickly and is not that practical. Would they really eat it in the wild? I never seen a cat that will go that close to water, let alone go fishing…If you’re worried about omega oils then add a few drops of hemp oil to their dinner. Tonka doesn’t seem to need it as an extra, there are no signs of a deficiency.

    This is what Tonka eats and thrives on. He has eaten this particular meal for the last year, and been raw for the last 2 years. I buy a big bag of frozen chicken drumsticks each week. I know frozen isn’t ideal, but I used to buy fresh and it went off very quickly, was expensive and Tonka used to leave a lot of it. For some reason he enjoys the thawed out frozen chicken much more. Which is great coz I don’t want to hav dead bird in my fridge! I take out two or three every day out the freezer and defrost them overnight in a plastic bag on the window ledge. (his appetite goes up and down, he lets me know how much he wants in his own way!) To prepare his meal I put plastic bags on my hands so I don’t have to touch it, and take a drumstick, then I cut off the meat from the bone with scissors – kept soley for this task! Then I get the bones that are left, put them into a plastic bag and smash them up with my hammer. Then I add chicken liver. I buy it frozen and keep it defrosted in the bottom of my fridge. Just a little bit, only about 10% of the whoe meal.It is hos favourite part though and he eats it first every time. Then I add one or two vitamin pills. I grind them up in Tonka’s own pestle and mortar. I use “Vita-Dreams Daily Greens” This contains all the vitamins and minerals a cat needs, plus lots of greens for good measure.I give him this supplement because however good his meal is, there isn’t any eyeballs, fur, tougue etc…you know, the stuff a wild cat would eat up when she catches something. And giving him a vitamin makes me happy because I know he is getting everything he needs. This brand is the only one I have tried that he doesn’t turn his nose up at. I mix it all up and he gets one meal a day.

    I choose chicken because, like you say, it is a small animal and this feels right. He did try duck and loved it, but only on his birthday as is v.v.expensive! He wouldn’t touch lamb liver or pig liver.

    I give him his dinner on a new paper plate every day. I know this is eco doom, but I am a raw vegan and do more than my share for the Earth. This saves us from getting salmonella and worse from washing bowls in our sink etc, it is easiest and safest. We are paranoid about the raw mea, and use a spray with bleach – homemade to clean everything the meat has been in contact with. The change in him has been amazing. He was always a bit of a character, but now his personality has gone mad, and he is much more sociable and extrovert. His coat is so soft and glossy. His teeth are very white. He smells lovely, a smell I have never smelt on a cat before – gosh that sounds a bit weird, but it is true!! Everything about him is like a pristine wild animal.

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    Thank You Zoe! You don’t know how much you have helped. Lovedfoodlaughter thanks for telling me about the wheatgrass that is a good idea!

  • I’ve been feeding my cat raw (mostly) as well for several months. I find that the small cornish game hens are good for her because they can be cut up into about 6 piece (one portion for each meal,) and the giblets bag provides the internal organ meat. I put each meal in an individual bag and freeze. I just pull her meals out for the next day the night before. I then run the meat under hot water just before feeding her. She loves to chomp on the bones and all but the leg bone ends are small enough for her to break and she seems to know her own limit. She’s yet to have any sort of trouble either with teeth or belly woes, but meal times are always supervised (just in case.) So far she is thriving! A word of caution, if you do try to find feeder mice for the cat please make sure you check the source. Pet stores don’t always breed the healthiest of animals. Zoe thanks for the information about the vitamins, currently I’m using some grain-free canned food as a supplement, so that’s something I’ll look into. :)

  • These are great tips! i’m trying to transition my cats to raw, and now I’m going to buy the Daily Greens supplement. I do have a big question – what do you guys do when you are traveling and someone is minding your kitties for you? I have two cats and I have to travel relatively frequently. I can’t ask my neighbor to be chopping up hen bones while I’m gone – i will quickly run out of willing cat sitters. If you are traveling, do you just revert to a healthy dry food? My cats eat Hill’s Prescription Z/D (low allergan food prescribed after my one kitty was having some blood in his business). Will their bodies get so used to the raw diet that they get sick if they are fed healthy dry food when I’m traveling? Also – I’m an attorney and I work way too much. If i leave out the raw food in the morning, is it going to spoil before i get home at night? Should i just feed them in the evening when I get home and then not feed them anything all day until the following evening?


  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Dagny When I travel I prepare a meal for every day I am gone, and I put each one a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. When my ‘stand in’ comes round to feed him, all she’s got to do is throw away the old paper plate from the day before, take a bag that has thawed, empty it in a new paper plate, take a frozen meal bag out the freezer for the next day. I always pay the person money for doing this, even if it is a friend who protests about it! I pay them £5 a day. No, since Tonka’s been raw he had normal food once or twice because we ran out of chicken or somehting, both times, he ate it and prompltly threw it up again. So we never give him anything that isn’t raw. I leave Tonka’s raw meal out for him all day, and sometimes all night depending on what time I feed him. It is always fine. But if Tonka’s chicken is off, as it used to be sometimes when i bought fresh rather than frozen, he simply will not eat it. Tonka has never been sick on raw food. I live in quite a cold part of the world, so how long you can leave it before it goes bad may depend on where you live and how hot it is. But generally speaking,I think it will be absoluntely fine to leave it out all day. Your cats won’t touch it if it goes off anyway. Cats have very very strong stomach acids, much stronger than ours. They can deal with pretty much anything. I have seen cats and dogs in the wild catch prey, bury it and dig it up and eat it a few days later!

  • wild cats eat birds,mice, rats, some plants and other things if the stuff is bad they wont eat it. thier instinct knows what they can and cant eat its only when people get involved things get messed up for them

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    Dagney that was great question, and I am so happy you asked it! I needed that information too.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Joesc

    Just wondering how your new kitten Lucky is doing? Is he still Lucky??

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    He is doing really well. He looks so cute when he runs. He is drinking a lot and he loves walking around. He has already learned to use the litter box and yes I am calling him Lucky. He learned it already so I can’t change it. He is so cute!!!! Thank you for asking.

  • Hi, We’ve raised lots of kittens who weren’t weaned and here is a recipe from “The New Natural Cat” by Anitra Frazier:

    MOCK NURSING FORMULA 2 cups whole milk (organic if possible). 2 raw organic egg yolks. 2 tablespoons protein powder (whey is good). 6 drops liquid vitamins for children. Beat with a fork or whisk. Warm the formula first to bath temp by standing feeder in a bowl of hot water. Test drop inside wrist to make sure it isn’t too hot. Feed kittens in a doll bottle or pet nurser. How much: 4-8 oz. kitten – About 1 tablespoon every 3 hours for a week. 8-24 oz. kitten – 6-10 tablespoons every 4 hours for 2 weeks.

    WEANING RECIPE 1 jar baby food meat (lamb, beef, or chicken). 3 teaspoons baby food carrot or squash. 2 teaspoons baby food creamed corn or barley (comes in a box). 1 raw organic egg yolk or 1/2 teaspoon butter. 3 drops children’s liquid vitamins. 1/2 teaspoon nutritious yeast (NOW makes a good inexpensive brand available on iherb.com). 1/4 teaspoon calcium lactate or calcium gluconate. Spring or distilled water to desired consistency. Can be fed 6-8 meals a day of this! Very healthy to give this until kittens at least 6 weeks of age.

    We also have a large bunch of all-raw adult cats which we have rescued and brought back to health. They are very beautiful with fluffy glossy hair and bright eyes~ very healthy! We have a homemade recipe for cat food which has ground turkey (bought in chubs or tubes), thawed and mixed with finely chopped vegetables, grains, eggs, and herbs good for cats. We put in some extra nutrients in the mix also. If you want, we can share our simple, non-messy cat food recipe, which can be kept in tuppies in the refrigerator and taken out to feed from.

    Hope your kitties do well!!:)

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    Thanks Agent 99. I tried to feed my one year old cat a little piece of chicken and he kept licking it but wouldn’t eat it. How did everyone transition there cats used to dry food to raw food?

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I just gave him some raw chicken and he wolfed it down. So I was lucky.

    My friend had amore difficult time, her cat was older and more set in her ways. She just persevered and kept offering her raw chicken and reducing the cooked bit by bit. Her cat eventually went 100% after about 6 months. Her cat is 15. Took her ages to know what to do with bones, but she eventually got it. Once when my friend was about ready to give up, her cat made her keep on going… She caught a mouse and right in front of my friend, plopped it into her cat food bowl. A sure message that she wanted her to carry on weaning her onto raw food!

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    I tried to feed him the meat again and I think it was the piece I gave him. He does’t like the part close to the skin but he loves the bones and the meat close to the bones. I was very surprised how he pulvarized the bone.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    It is lovely to see how much they love chewing on it. Canned cat food is abominable, there’s just nothing to chew. He’ll get used to it more and more as you go on with it. And probably end up loving and eating every bit in time…

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    i am so glad I found this thread on here. Lots of great advice. I want to switch my cats (three of them) to a raw diet. I am still debating back and forth about whether to get one of the prepared raw diet that are now available or to get fresh meat and freeze it myself. I don’t have a big freezer because we have a compact refrigerator right now (so not even enough room for all the raw human stuff I make!). I may get a small compact freezer for the cat food. It doesn’t bother me to keep the meat in with my stuff too much but I think it bothers my bf. I used to work at the zoo with all sorts of weird meats. My cats already have their own bowls.

    Right now, as I am figuring out what I am going to do, I have been feeding some canned fish (my one cat has been a bit sick and need to gain weight – the fish is helping her) like sardines and salmon. Which they like – I thinking to get a chicken or turkey for starting the raw diet. I actually tried this once before with fresh organic chicken breast and no one went for it! They seem to like the juiceness of the fish – I normally add extra water.

    Only one of my cats goes for the wheatgrass. My bf just grew a bunch of tray and cut out a section for the cats. My half Siamese loves it which is good because now her breathe smells so much better. Any tips on how to get it into my other cats diets too? I thinking that once I start with the raw maybe I could cut some and sprinkle it in.

    Anyway, thanks for this thread. I have been doing a lot of research on this lately and I really want to do this. My cats eat the Wysong dry now. I tried the Wysong freeze-dried raw but my one cat threw it up all over each time I tried it. They are getting older and I want to keep their health up.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Add juciness to chicken by mixing in raw chicken liver(no more then 10%) or kidneys. They need the internal organs too, and like you say, they love the juiciness! The supplement I use (vita dreems daily greens) has greens in it, that’s how I get it into Tonka, he won’t eat grass either. Don’t forget the bone, that’s something they need too, I can cut chicken bone with scissors, or use the hammer and plastic bag method.

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    My cats did well with the raw meat but I tried to give them the parsley and it didn’t work but when I put it in the meat kind of hiding it alittle they ate it. My older cat loves the bones. I haven’t and won’t give it to the younger one because he is too young and he eats as if he is starving and I am afraid he will choke himself.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Josec it’a great to hear your cats have transitioned to raw! Tonka preferred basil to any other herb. But now he just has his greens vitamin pill. I have read a few times that the bones are one of the essentials for cats, the marrow and the outside hard bit. I would have thought the younger one would need the bones even more coz he is still growing. I always think of what their natural behaviour is, and they don’t choke in the wild…maybe trying the softer bones in chicken wings wouldn’t be such a worry for you to give them? You can cut them into tiny pieces no trouble at all with scissors, just a thought, I know how hard it is to know what to do for the best! If only vets knew about raw cats, then they could advise us, but alas…

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    Thanks Zoe maybe I can try the soft bone. He has a tendancy to try and swallow without chewing. He almost did that before and I have to cut it up into little pieces and raw meat is hard to cut up.

  • I’ve been feeding my cats raw for three years now, the best recipes I’ve found are at catnutrition.org , and the woman on that website is very helpful if you have any questions! I think it’s a good idea to include some fish oil, raw salmon, or DHA eggs (yolks only!) in their diet, cuz chicken is very high in omega 6 fatty acids, and they need some omega threes to balance it out. I use green tripe (from the local holistic petfood store, yay portland) or a fermented greens powder (New Chapter’s Berry Greens or Garden of Life’s Perfect Food seem to work well) cuz in nature, the majority of vegetable nutrition they get is predigested in the prey animal’s stomach. Rabbit is also a good addition to their diet, cuz most wild cats eat small mammals as well as birds. Insects are great too, feeder crickets are fun and crunchy for most cats, and they get the thrill of hunting (I can’t watch, it bums me out :P ) My guys do fine with bones, start them out with chicken necks smashed up with the hammer, or even have the meat counter grind them for you. They get used to it. A good way to get them to eat new foods is to sprinkle some drops of fish/ cod liver oil on it, many cats like the flavor. And my fave source for pet meat is http://www.blueribbonorganics.com/ . I’m teaching a raw foods for your pets class at the Tualatin Wild Oats cooking school for anyone in the portland/ vancouver WA area in early June. I’ll post the date whan I have it confirmed. Great thread!!!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    I just got my cats some frozen organic chicken raw food – Nature’s Variety. I have very little room in my tiny freezer right now so the bag with the medallions fit perfectly.

    I had a few questions: the lady at the store mentioned something about being cautious of the water bowl and raw meat. I can’t remember what she told me now. Something about the bacteria on their tongues and changing the water. I give my cats fresh water everyday (more often than that if they knock it over because they love to play with it). Does anyone know what the water issue might be with raw meat? I might have to go back to the store and ask the lady.

    Tonight I fed one medallion (1 oz – very small) and mixed it in with the canned salmon because, of course, you need to transition slowly. I normally leave the salmon out until they eat it all because I hate to think of the fish going to waste. I mean, the poor fish had to die so I think it should at least be eaten up all the way. On the raw pet food sites I have been reading, it says to just offer the raw food for only 30 minutes and discard the rest! That seems like such a waste.

    Zoe, I noticed you said you leave Tonka’s chicken out for a while sometimes. I would think that it would be safe to leave it out also but I am getting conficting info. I used to work at the zoo with birds and we fed out twice a day and the both times the raw foods (fish and other meats) are left out for many hours (over night for the nightly feeding) and we never had any problems.

    Usually if I give my cats the salmon at night, the bowls are licked clean the next morning (I fed a whole can to three cats – they each have their own ceramic bowl) and they never eat the whole thing in 30 minutes. Same with the zoo animals I worked with – the majority of them eat at their leisure. Nobody gobbled everything down in 30 minutes – we threw alot of food out sometimes.

    If it is not safe to leave it out until it is finished, can I at least put it back in a container in the fridge for the next day?

    Also, my cats have been free-fed their whole lives (dry) and they never overeat and are not overweight – I feed Wysong dry right now- I am considering switching to the Nature’s Variety so they will have the same brand but what I would prefer to do is to still have a small amount of dry available for them (not as much as before) because my one cat is very picky and eats very small amounts of the moist foods (fish etc) that I feed so I want to make sure she has something as one of my other cats scarfs down any moist food I feed. I am thinking of a 75% raw and 25% dry diet. I noticed that the Nature’s Variety website says it can be a good thing to feed a variety of foods (some raw, some dry). Any experiences with doing it this way?

    Also, I would prefer to disinfect my cat’s bowls with vinegar instead of bleach (we used to disinfect the bowls with bleach water at the zoo and I think I have had too much bleach exposure in my life and prefer to stay away from it). Unless non-cholorine bleach is safer? I have some of that but, even though I wash and rinse well, I am still concerned about my cats being exposed to bleach on their bowls. Will vinegar work as well? Any advice?

    I really appreciate this thread. I want to make sure I do this right so it is safe for me and my cats.

  • This is a very interesting thread. I haven’t done this with my cat Logan but we have been scared to death about the melamine contamination so everyone has been on dry food. Logan has never liked fishy cat food. I do know cats have a much higher need for protein than dogs so this could be an issue. Logan used to love to eat wet meaty dog food. He uses the dog door just like the dogs so we don’t have to worry about a cat box. He also likes to curl up with the German shepard and nurses on her. She doesn’t have any milk but he smacks so loud it will wake you out of sleep! Logan also tries to open the door to the deck. Last week I heard him squeeling and came out and he had caught his toenail in the wood by the door knob! Owe! My boyfriend and I found him together so I’ll have to see if raw is acceptable. I would be worried about salmonella too but the frozen chicken leg sounds like a good idea.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    About leaving the meat out, we have had no problems at all with leaving his meat out for up to 12 hours. He eats it in bits and pieces, has a bit then snoozes or goes hunting then comes back for a little bit more, it takes him hours to finish everything.

    Carnivoires have extremely strong stomach acid and this protects them from disease. I have seen Tonka pick at a dead bird he killed up to three days ago and eat it, and he is fine. Some other carnivoires in the wild bury their food and dig it up and eat it days afterwards.

    Cats won’t get salmonella, their stomach acids will not allow that germ to live in them. Salmonella is something that is dangerous to human because we do not have the same acids in our intestines as animals, our acids are meant just for vegetables and fruit. We also have guts which are four times the length of a carnivoire’s. This means that for carnivoires, the meat is extracted quickly before it putifies in the gut, for us, the food takes over a day to excrete and is well putrified whilst in our guts, enabling bacteria and disease to flourish.

    Tonka has never been sick no matter how long his dinner has been left out for, he is thriving on his raw meat and bones.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Thanks so much Zoe! I feel better about it now. I left the salmon/raw chicken mix out all night (and I slept super later this morning) so it was out for probably a bit over 12 hours. There was still some left this time (of course the raw meat added extra food to the mix) and I threw out the rest of it because it was dried up. Didn’t see any raw meat left in there! :)

    The 30 minute thing seemed so ridiculous to me – given my zoo experience and all. My cats often nibble than sleep and come back for more also.

  • I have an obese cat. She doesn’t over eat either. Both of my cats eat the same amount and my male is normal sized and my female is obese. I wonder if a raw diet will help with her obesity.

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    My cats are greedy and I am hoping that when I get the vitamins I ordered for them then it will help them eat less. They will eat everything I put out in front of them at one time. Even though it may take them awhile they will sit their and eat every bit. I wish they would save it through out the day. My dog will eat everything but save the bones for later.

  • I own Dr. Pitcairn’s natural health for dogs and cats and it has a bunch of recipes for raw..I have raised five foster kitties, and my two cats on the “cat growth diet” – I just increase the meat content and decrease the polenta…currently working on maybe using ground up raw sprouted oat groats as a bit of a base. I quadruple the recipe which means every few weeks I go to Whole Foods and get around 9 pounds of ground turkey and get elbow deep in raw turkey mixing in “healthy powder”, bone meal, vits A and E, taurine, olive oil and organic eggs for a couple hours. Then I put it all into little pyrexes and into the freezer they go. I double the recipe for healthy powder and keep it in the fridge and it lasts for several months. It contains nutritional yeast, lecithin, bone meal, kelp..and I may be forgetting something. Remember, people and their PETS are the only species who get cancer and heart disease etcetera. If you feed your pets dead food..you’re making them close to deader and you may be coughing up several grand to take care of fluffy’s cancer or urinary tract blockage later on. So, if you have the means..and the freezer space..do this for your pets! The cats adore it…they just shine with health..and I only have to scoop poop every several days.

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