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Am I feeding enough?

Otterella

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I recently started feeding a homemade (semi-raw) diet to my three cats, and their health has noticeably improved. However, they have turned into EXTREME beggars! I am using the recipe from catinfo.org and I weigh jars of 15 oz, so each cat is getting 5 oz per day, split between three feedings. They are screaming at me for more every time I am in the kitchen. Any time they hear the clink of a mason jar, they come running. I have tried explaining that they shouldn't eat jelly. Are they not getting enough to eat? Or do they just like it so much they want to overeat? I don't want to either underfeed or overfeed them.
 

nwc

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I've read a lot of other experiences of people who feed raw seeing their cats become a lot more food obsessed. Personally, I feed close to 8% of body weight every day (he's still under a year old), and even adjusted my schedule to accommodate more meals. But still very much the same.

The advice I received was to leave dry food out to make the cat feel more food secure. The thing is, the answer to food insecurity is supposed to be consistent, scheduled mealtimes. I suspect that leaving out dry food would only lead to begging when the food bowl is empty (or worse, when the food bowl is perceived to be empty or close to empty.) Furthermore, the person who suggested it admitted that it didn't work for them anyway. Not to mention that the begging only happens when the cat is reminded that there is food out there somewhere.

So, I don't know what to tell you. I hope someone comes up with an actual solution to this. Supposedly, it's possible to clicker train a cat to sit still for up to half an hour without meowing.
 
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dhammagirl

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5oz per day seems like enough food. I take it they weren’t so food obsessed on their previous diet?
The best way to be sure they’re not being over fed or under fed is to weigh them every couple weeks and see if they’re maintaining , gaining, or losing weight.
 

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I recently started feeding a homemade (semi-raw) diet to my three cats, and their health has noticeably improved. However, they have turned into EXTREME beggars! I am using the recipe from catinfo.org and I weigh jars of 15 oz, so each cat is getting 5 oz per day, split between three feedings. They are screaming at me for more every time I am in the kitchen. Any time they hear the clink of a mason jar, they come running. I have tried explaining that they shouldn't eat jelly. Are they not getting enough to eat? Or do they just like it so much they want to overeat? I don't want to either underfeed or overfeed them.
:wave3: How is their weight?
I quick measured out 5 ounces on our scale, and I know we feed more than that. Probably closer to 8-10 oz. (or more) depending on the size and weight of the cat.
Do you feed only ground food, or do you use the recipe from cat info along with the suggestion to give chunks to gnaw on? I think something about that chewing satisfies them more, because ground food is gone in a gulp. (Compare a bowl of oatmeal or cold cereal to a nice crunchy salad or a steak!)
 

Tobermory

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My three LOVE their raw diet, but they don't start staring at me pitifully until about 40 minutes to an hour before I feed them. I feed twice a day. Iris is a naturally thin 15-year-old, weighs about 9 or 9.25 pounds (if I'm lucky), and eats four ounces a day. Lily is a prone-to-overweight 15-year old, weighs 10.5 pounds, and gets four and a half ounces a day. Mocha is a smaller-framed, trim, five-year-old, weighs 9.75 pounds, and gets four ounces a day. The reason for the detail is to illustrate that so much depends on the cat including its age, body type, size, and activity level. It also depends on the amount of fat in the protein you're feeding. I've noticed that a lot of folks who post here are feeding much more than I am, but mine are at a good weight for their age, size, and activity level.

Edit: And I'll second what dhammagirl dhammagirl says. I weigh mine regularly.
 

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My three LOVE their raw diet, but they don't start staring at me pitifully until about 40 minutes to an hour before I feed them. I feed twice a day. Iris is a naturally thin 15-year-old, weighs about 9 or 9.25 pounds (if I'm lucky), and eats four ounces a day. Lily is a prone-to-overweight 15-year old, weighs 10.5 pounds, and gets four and a half ounces a day. Mocha is a smaller-framed, trim, five-year-old, weighs 9.75 pounds, and gets four ounces a day. The reason for the detail is to illustrate that so much depends on the cat including its age, body type, size, and activity level. It also depends on the amount of fat in the protein you're feeding. I've noticed that a lot of folks who post here are feeding much more than I am, but mine are at a good weight for their age, size, and activity level.
We have a 15 pound dog, he goes through 3/4 (sometimes a whole pound) a day just to stay even. (Wish I had that problem ;):p)
 

Tobermory

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We have a 15 pound dog, he goes through 3/4 (sometimes a whole pound) a day just to stay even. (Wish I had that problem ;):p)
Yeah, I'd much rather have Iris's metabolism than Lily's! Lily looks at food and gains weight, poor thing.
 

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Yeah, I'd much rather have Iris's metabolism than Lily's! Lily looks at food and gains weight, poor thing.
That's the reason I had to stop eating so many sweets. "Beer gut" isn't always a beer gut. Maybe "cake gut".... :blush:
 

lisahe

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The reason for the detail is to illustrate that so much depends on the cat including its age, body type, size, and activity level. It also depends on the amount of fat in the protein you're feeding. I've noticed that a lot of folks who post here are feeding much more than I am, but mine are at a good weight for their age, size, and activity level.
Indeed! The fat is a key detail because fat content can vary a lot in meats, having a big effect on the overall calorie count, which is probably the most important number in all of this discussion. And quite possibly the hardest one to calculate.

That said, five ounces doesn't sound like a lot to me, though it's hard to say since there are so many factors involved, as others have mentioned. Five ounces, though, is less than most large cans of cat food (they're generally 5.5-6 ounces, I believe) and I think our cats would go crazy if that's all I fed them, unless I were feeding a very calorie-dense food! Our cats are about 7-8 pounds each, almost 7 years old, and pretty active little indoor cats. We never weigh them because I just watch their body condition and activity: they let me know when they're hungry or aren't getting enough to eat. Cats do sometimes tend to want more to eat after they've discovered a new food that they like.
 

Tobermory

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That said, five ounces doesn't sound like a lot to me, though it's hard to say since there are so many factors involved, as others have mentioned. Five ounces, though, is less than most large cans of cat food (they're generally 5.5-6 ounces, I believe) and I think our cats would go crazy if that's all I fed them, unless I were feeding a very calorie-dense food! Our cats are about 7-8 pounds each, almost 7 years old, and pretty active little indoor cats.
This just baffles me, and I always worry that I’m starving my cats. But here’s Mocha from the top. She’s the five year old who weighs about 9.75 lbs. and eats four ounces a day.
41947443-C5B0-4999-B5C1-E55FAA262B2D.jpeg
She barely has an indented waist and her side view (which I couldn’t capture because she rushed to be petted every time I put the phone down at her level) shows a very solid kitty.

They all wait hungrily for their food, but once they finish, they seem satisfied and walk away.

So back to your question, O Otterella , it depends on a lot of factors and you just need to figure out your cats’ needs (and balance those with their wants :)).
 

Azazel

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I would weigh them daily. If they are maintaining their weight then you’re on the ball. 5oz is a good amount for homemade raw feeding but it all depends on how much water you add to your food and how calorically dense it is. My 9-10 pound cats get roughly 5 oz a day too.
 

dhammagirl

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Yeah , chunks or whole prey to chew on does help with them feeling satisfied, as well as being good for dental health.
My 16lb cat, who I got down from over 20lbs, eats about 3.5oz rabbit daily (for example), and that maintains his weight. Seeing how much others feed, it clearly varies quite a bit from one cat to another.
 

nwc

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Yeah , chunks or whole prey to chew on does help with them feeling satisfied, as well as being good for dental health.
My 16lb cat, who I got down from over 20lbs, eats about 3.5oz rabbit daily (for example), and that maintains his weight. Seeing how much others feed, it clearly varies quite a bit from one cat to another.
Wow, I'd feed rabbit too if my cat only ate 1% of his bodyweight. How old is he?
 

dhammagirl

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Wow, I'd feed rabbit too if my cat only ate 1% of his bodyweight. How old is he?
He’s 9 years old. He also eats ground raw chicken and turkey, he gets a little more of those, and whole mice. I estimate his daily caloric intake at approximately 130 calories.
He’s still a bit overweight, but I don’t want to reduce his food even more.
 
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lisahe

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This just baffles me, and I always worry that I’m starving my cats. But here’s Mocha from the top. She’s the five year old who weighs about 9.75 lbs. and eats four ounces a day.
It's all so individual! It's unclear how many calories are in those five ounces of food the OP is feeding: how fatty is the meat and even what, exactly, is the five ounces? It sounds like it's finished food, not the raw weight of the meat but those variables (and others!) can make a big old difference in the calorie count.

FWIW, our cats particularly love low-fat cuts of meat, like chicken breast and pork tenderloin (!). The turkey they get is also very low in fat. I try to mix in occasional chicken thighs and they do get a lot of pork chops, which can have considerable fat, but over all, the homecooked food they eat is probably relatively low-calorie. I'd prefer to feed them a little more fat -- and tried -- but I suspect it was contributing to Edwina's hairball problems.
 

JamesCalifornia

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I'd prefer to feed them a little more fat -- and tried -- but I suspect it was contributing to Edwina's hairball problems.
~ Interesting comment. I would think fat would lube and help hair push along the intestine ? But perhaps not ... :dunno::redcat:
 

daftcat75

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~ Interesting comment. I would think fat would lube and help hair push along the intestine ? But perhaps not ... :dunno::redcat:
Different fats have different viscosity. But most of them are solid at body temperature and require bile to emulsify them into a liquid state (or pancreatic lipase to break the fatty chains into smaller, soluble fatty acids.) In the mean time, hair can get bound up in the fat in the stomach (before bile or lipase action in the intestines) and create the impassable hairball that eventually needs to be ejected.

Egg yolk (or egg yolk lecithin) acts like bile and can break up the fat that binds to the ingested hair.

The mess you see in the litterbox after liver or other fatty foods is a bile effect.
 

Azazel

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Two of my cats never had hairballs on homemade raw, but one did on a homemade/commercial diet. After moving her to 95% homemade and increasing the amount of egg yolk in my batches she hasn’t had a hairball since. Only once she almost brought one up but other than that it’s been 2 months home free!

The other thing is that they shed less on a homemade raw diet so there’s less hair for them to consume!
 

daftcat75

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When I was feeding Krista Rad Cat, she was happily eating 8 oz a day. We also had a weight gain goal. I’m thinking 6 oz would likely be her maintenance for an 8 lbs frame. She’s also 15 with IBD so both of those play a role in her needs.

For both yours and your cats’ sanity, I wouldn’t weigh them more frequently than once a week.

Her Rawz food (we’re taking a raw break while her mouth heals up from FME) says 1 oz per lbs body weight under feeding guidelines.
 

Azazel

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For both yours and your cats’ sanity, I wouldn’t weigh them more frequently than once a week.
I trained my cats to sit on the scale with treats and now they love it! Every time I pull out the scale they shove each other trying to get on it. I have to take them into a room one at a time otherwise they all pile on the scale together waiting for their treat. :lol:

I agree though that weight can fluctuate daily so once a week is a good rule.
 
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