Does Feeding Raw Really Save Money?

Discussion in 'Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food' started by sabrinah, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    I haven't tried to see if she'll eat it yet. I wanted to make sure it was financially possible first. I'll try to get her on to raw regardless of how long it takes because the older she gets the more foods disagree with her and she's needing progressively more expensive foods.
    I can almost guarantee she won't go right for a raw piece of meat so I'm going to try crushing up a nugget of Stella & Chewy and coating a piece in that so she'll give it a shot. She's a bit particular about texture.
    Thank you for the reminder about the ice cube tray! I nearly forgot about that!

    I need to send off for free samples of Alnutrin. Do you just send them an envelope with a couple stamps on it? I wish the website gave a bit more direction.
     
  2. Tobermorey

    Tobermorey TCS Member Kitten

    46
    41
    Dec 13, 2017
    Looks like you print and fill out a request card found here, @sabrinahKnow What You Feed Your Cat - Sample Request Card—then send it to the company with the following: Requesting a free sample? Please remember to include a pre-addressed 4"x 9" envelope with one first class stamp.

    My picky eater won’t touch commercial raw, neither frozen nor freeze-dried. When she won’t eat, I crumble some bonita flakes on her food. That seems to do the trick for her. It’s a bonus that the flakes are so cheap.
     
  3. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    She accepted 2 tiny pieces (pea sized) of raw chicken thigh so I'm counting it as a good start! It was even pretty dang cold.
    How do I make sure she likes egg yolks? Just put a bit on a plate for her?

    I'll send off for the alnutrin samples asap, even though it will be a while before I make anything.
     
  4. EmmiTemmi

    EmmiTemmi TCS Member Adult Cat

    214
    161
    Sep 16, 2017
    Wisconsin
    That's what I did. Popped a yolk on a plate and set it down for the boys to sniff and explore. Less than 5 seconds on the floor and they were lapping it up.
     
  5. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    I'll try that tomorrow!
    Thank you guys for all your help! I'll probably be asking about the recipe tomorrow just to make sure I'm fully understanding everything
     
  6. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    I actually have one concern about raw. Since she was 10 or 11 my cat has had issues with anal gland impaction. The vet told me all I could do was bring her and my dog (he started having similar issues a couple years ago) in every. single. month. to have them both expressed. I spoke to multiple vets in that office on multiple occasions and all said there was nothing I could do other than bring them in. I did my own researched and solved the problem by adding more fiber and bulking up their poop. It now has enough girth to empty the glands without issue, unless someone gets an upset stomach. Everything says raw makes the poop small and dry. Frankly, she needs thick poop to clear her glands out. It's the only thing that works other than someone sticking a finger up there. Would adding extra fiber every other night, as I do now, affect the recipe at all? I wouldn't think it would but I figure I should check.
     
  7. Tobermorey

    Tobermorey TCS Member Kitten

    46
    41
    Dec 13, 2017
    The three highly reputable sites with which I’m familiar with recipes for raw feeding all mention adding psyllium husk powder if needed, particularly at the beginning of the transition, to help with constipation because it increases fecal bulk.
     
  8. pogo16

    pogo16 TCS Member Kitten

    31
    10
    Dec 5, 2016
    It's not fiber and bulk that helps empties the anal glands; it's the straining. A raw-fed cat makes smaller poop but the poop is very compact and it takes a little bit of "push" to get it out--and that is what empties the anal glands. You will notice that some recipes include "fiber" but that is only if the cat is constipated and if the cat isn't accustomed to "pushing" the poop out because it's been on commercial diets, which are different than a raw diet. I wouldn't add fiber until you know how well your cat can empty its bowels. (and frankly, if your cat gets constipated, there are better ways to deal with constipation other than to add fiber.)
     
  9. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    She doesn't get constipated, she's always been regular and it was a topic discussed with the vet. Every vet she's seen has agreed constipation is not an issue. It was the first thing they checked anytime I brought her in for her anal glands. It's also always been very firm. I can definitely confirm it since she poops herself anytime she's put in her carrier and I have to pull over and clean it up with a napkin. So very firm. She grunts every time she poops. I really wish she would stop pooping herself. All the research I read, on both cats and dogs, concluded that the, for lack of a better term, the girth of the poop is most important in emptying the sacs because the widening physically pushes it out, even when starting to get impacted. If she gets impacted at all, even if its just from having an upset stomach for 2 days because she stole something from my plate, it very, very quickly turns into an infection. It's just not something I'm willing to risk for any amount of time. I'll try the psyllium husks when I make the food but, since it doesn't sound like the fiber throws off the actual recipe, it'll be staying until I'm absolutely positive there won't be any build up at all.
     
  10. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    I called the vet I was looking at in this area and they want $200 for bloodwork! I've never paid that much before! Thats in addition to a mandatory $50 physical exam. Does this price sound right to you?
     
  11. abby2932

    abby2932 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    453
    63
    Mar 26, 2014
    New Orleans, LA
    That sounds right to me.

    The vet that I go to charges me $356.31. That is for a whole "Senior Profile" which includes:
    - medical exam ($57.99)
    - blood pressure monitor ($43.49)
    - CBC ($85.16)
    - Chem 25 ($124.16)
    - T4 (thyroid) (85.16)
    - Urinalysis (85.17)
    - Cardiopet proBNP (measures heart health) ($81.16)
    - Feline PLI (measures pancreas health) ($98.16)

    If you're only doing the standard CBC & Chem 25 (chemistry profile), you're looking at about $200 and the Medical Exam fee of $50 is not too outrageous.
     
  12. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    The exam fee is what I'm used to paying, but apparently the old vet had a truly amazing price on bloodwork. How often should a senior profile be done? In all honesty I can't afford to get this stuff done yearly but I'm trying to at least get basic bloodwork every other year. She had a urinalysis done a year or two ago, I can't quite remember. Her only overall issue was that she was approaching being pre-diabetic. Not quite pre-diabetic yet, not close enough for the vet to care, but close enough for it to be mentioned.

    Finding a plasma center is definitely going to end up on my to-do list. She's getting expensive in her old age!
     
  13. Tobermorey

    Tobermorey TCS Member Kitten

    46
    41
    Dec 13, 2017
    That’s about what I’m paying, too. Q
     
  14. abby2932

    abby2932 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    453
    63
    Mar 26, 2014
    New Orleans, LA
    How old is your cat? I agree with you completely about the crazy expenses. I started doing Senior Profiles on my boy yearly when he turned 9. He is going to be 12 next month. My 7 year old girl cat only gets basic bloodwork every couple of years before she gets put under anesthesia. (Before her spay surgery & dental cleanings.) I won't do Senior Profiles on her until she turns 9... then I plan on doing them annually.

    I am very fortunate that I'm in the position to be able to afford the annual expense so I do it. When I was back in college and working my butt off just to pay my bills on time, I definitely was not able to pay for that kind of testing. And I can only imagine how crazy of a cost it would be if you have more than one or two cats!

    I do believe with my whole heart that feeding a raw diet = a healthier cat.

    If I am ever in the life situation (again) where I am severely limited on funds, I would allocate everything that I could to an excellent, balanced, raw diet and only do basic blood tests when/if I could afford it. That's only my opinion though!
     
  15. Tobermorey

    Tobermorey TCS Member Kitten

    46
    41
    Dec 13, 2017
    Well for cryin’ out loud! I wasn’t done, and Lily walked across my tablet with her big kitty feet and posted before I was ready! Plus, she typed that ‘Q’ first. Kitties.

    What I was going to add is that there may be some good news for you here. By feeding raw, you’re going to be feeding more protein, low carbs and higher quality, and your girl might not develop diabetes. Talk about expensive. My little old man, Max, was diagnosed with diabetes at age 16, and insulin costs a fortune. I didn’t know about feeding raw, which can help control the disease and in some cases, may mean you don’t have to give insulin at all. I didn’t, and he got two shots daily for four years until I lost him last summer at age 20. I was paying almost $90 every 1 1/2 to 2 months for insulin.
     
    1 bruce 1 purraised this.
  16. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    Cookie (have I ever mentioned her name? I'm not sure that I have) is 14. She'll be 15 in May.

    My kitty has a habit of just plopping herself down on my laptop, no regard for anything. She's sent some odd emails that way.

    Her intolerance to an increasing number of foods and the possibility of diabetes are the whole reason I'm trying really hard to make sure raw will work. I really hope she takes well to the raw. Too bad feeding my dog raw is truly too expensive and time consuming. When I get home I'm going to try to give her 2 more little pieces of raw chicken. Although...it might not work today or tomorrow. She tends to avoid me after I've been in lab handling skulls and skins. It does smell pretty special, and not in a good way. I guess she doesn't like the smell of slow decay. I'm pretty nervous for the lab next week because carnivores are a section of it and, even though handling the dog and cat skulls isn't a problem, the skins might be a bit much. Really hope I don't cry.

    Anyway, back on topic. She will get dry put out when I'm not home just in case she gets hungry or doesn't get a chance to finish breakfast before I have to leave, but she should only eat a minimal amount if the raw really fills her up. I'm going back and forth between Blue Wilderness or American Journey as the main dry, along with whatever good stuff I find on sale tossed in periodically. I'll also keep canned on hand in case I forget to make more raw or don't have the time for a couple days.
     
  17. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    I was looking over the Alnutrin ingredients and it has egg yolk powder in it, so I don't need to add any egg yolk right?

    Ingredients: Egg yolk powder, calcium carbonate, taurine, iodized salt, vitamin E, iron amino acid chelate, copper citrate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc oxide, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin B1

    If I'm making one pound of food (just to start introducing her to it little by little):
    1. One pound boneless chicken
    2. 6.7 grams Alnutrin
    3. 23 grams (0.8 oz) chicken liver
    4. 1/2 cup water
    5. 1,500-3,000 mg of fish oil
    6. 1 tsp psyllium husk powder (probably)
    I'll be sending off for the Alnutrin samples as soon as I get my hands on an envelope the 4x9 envelope will fit in. I wish I could just fold it up and shove it in another 4x9 since I have those on hand.
     
  18. sophie1

    sophie1 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    487
    101
    Aug 16, 2013
    That's right, Alnutrin includes the egg yolk. Your recipe sounds fine, except I'd go for 10% liver instead of 5%, meaning ~1.6 - 2 oz liver per pound of meat. Your call on the psyllium, but you probably don't need it since you're still feeding your cat some dry food.

    Unless you know your cat likes raw liver you might go with a small amount at first. Ditto Alnutrin and also the fish oil. Try out just the chicken and liver for the first batch, and add the other items later one at a time.

    I highly recommend the Iceland unscented fish oil in pump bottles (link). I know Dr. Pierson isn't crazy about it, but I find it keeps fine in the fridge. My cats and I both appreciate the lack of the strong fish odor, and it's much, much easier to use and typically less expensive than capsules, since Amazon started carrying it. I squirt it right into their bowl, so the stuff stays in the protective bottle until it's fed - so you don't need to use as much. I had more problems with rancidity when I was using the capsules and making big batches to refreeze.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018 at 11:38 AM
  19. sabrinah

    sabrinah Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    68
    19
    Jun 6, 2016
    I was planning on picking up some liver and cutting a little bit up to see if she'll eat it. I can get her to try pretty much anything if I coat it in a fishy canned food or dehydrated Stella and Chewy. She seems to primarily be against trying new textures unless I make them tempting enough.

    Since I'm only making a pound to begin with for a very slow introduction (I have almost 3 months of canned food left to work through) is having less liver than you recommended ok? It won't be harmful? The 0.8 oz is what was recommended on the Alnutrin site. She likes stinky fish but I would greatly appreciate an unscented fish oil. I'll definitely check that link out!
     
  20. EmmiTemmi

    EmmiTemmi TCS Member Adult Cat

    214
    161
    Sep 16, 2017
    Wisconsin
    The directions on the packet call for .8oz of liver per packet of Alnutrin. I'd be worried that doubling it could lead to Vit A toxicity. Is that not the case?
     

Share This Page