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Feeding Ferals Cats Chicken Gizzards Or Leg Quarters ??

BigPoppa88

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Jun 13, 2018
15
0
I have a couple feral cats who visit my back porch about 2-3X a week for the past couple years. I've been feeding them almost exclusively cheap hot dogs and some occasional meat scraps of whatever I ate the night before. They are not finicky felines and seem to eat the cheapo hot dogs with zeal, even though none of the kitties looks famished.

However, I'm starting to worry about the high sodium & nitrate content of the hot dogs. I've read that cats are only supposed to get about 50mg of sodium per day but one hot dog can contain up to 600mg !! All that salt and nitrates can really burn up a kitty's kidneys and might even be fatal in the long term. I don't want to harm these cats with bad nutrition.

I've discovered that grocery stores sell chicken gizzards and "chicken leg quarters" that are very cheap. The leg quarters are actually cheaper per pound than hot dogs, and they contain very little sodium and no nitrates. The only downside is I will have to dice up the quarters since they are almost as big as the cats! Is it safe for cats to eat raw chicken? I don't want to have to cook all this chicken meat every day for cats that I don't even own as pets!
 

Wile

Opener of cans
Alpha Cat
Aug 22, 2018
556
645
Canada
Hi BigPoppa88 BigPoppa88 , I suggest you feed your ferals cat food. Everything that you describe in your post is nutritionally incomplete and not appropriate for long term feeding. The cats would be better off eating something inexpensive like friskies canned cat food than meat scraps.
 
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  • #4

BigPoppa88

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Jun 13, 2018
15
0
Hi BigPoppa88 BigPoppa88 , I suggest you feed your ferals cat food. Everything that you describe in your post is nutritionally incomplete and not appropriate for long term feeding. The cats would be better off eating something inexpensive like friskies canned cat food than meat scraps.
Cat food is the most obvious choice and most nutritious, but to be blunt I really don't wanna spend a lot of money per month on cat food. I know that sounds harsh but I feel like I'm helping these feral kitties out a lot by just tossing them a couple cheap hot dogs every day, and don't wanna lighten my wallet with $40 in cat food per week.
 

Wile

Opener of cans
Alpha Cat
Aug 22, 2018
556
645
Canada
Cat food is the most obvious choice and most nutritious, but to be blunt I really don't wanna spend a lot of money per month on cat food. I know that sounds harsh but I feel like I'm helping these feral kitties out a lot by just tossing them a couple cheap hot dogs every day, and don't wanna lighten my wallet with $40 in cat food per week.
There are lots of inexpensive options for cat food out there that won't cost you a lot of money. If you want suggestions I'm sure that other members living in your country can suggest some to you. The danger of feeding these cats unbalanced meals is of course that they run the risk of nutritional deficiencies that can hurt them long term.

There are different opinions about feeding cats raw chicken. Many people, including myself, feel that factory farmed chicken or chicken not sourced specifically as raw feed from a company like hare today is dangerous to feed cats due to potential for bacteria contamination. Others will do research and find a source that they feel is safe to incorporate in their home made raw meals. You should not feed cats cooked bones as they can splinter and cause internal damage. There is a raw / home cooked forum on this website with lots of information that you can read through if you want more resources.

If you aren't interested in doing more research then I really do think these cats would be better off on cat food. I do think that you wanting to help these kitties is really admirable. The learning curve on feline nutrition is very steep, and a diet of just chicken gizzards isn't really safe.
 

JamesCalifornia

Mr.Mom to a house of cats 😇😼
Top Cat
Apr 1, 2016
2,753
4,136
Los Angeles
~ Walmart has Special Kitty cat food in 28oz cans for $1. I don't think it will get any cheaper than that. The same brand in 13oz can is 70 cents.
 
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  • #7

BigPoppa88

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Jun 13, 2018
15
0
~ Walmart has Special Kitty cat food in 28oz cans for $1. I don't think it will get any cheaper than that. The same brand in 13oz can is 70 cents.
Hmm, that is pretty cheap kitty food. I was in Walmart tonight and the cheapest cans I saw were 8 oz. for $1.75 each. I will have to investigate further, and I suppose Sam's Club and Costco have it for even cheaper?
 

mizzely

TCS Member
Super Cat
Feb 17, 2017
893
1,015
Michigan
If you have a Tractor Supply, they have 22 oz cans of Paws and Claws for about $1.29 in my area.

Dollar Tree has 13oz cans of Friskies for $1
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Mar 1, 2009
23,527
14,400
South Dakota
Cat food is cheaper than hot dogs and chicken. It's just that you already have the hot dogs, and it's all added in with the rest of your groceries, so you don't think about the cost.

Sam's and Costco do have Friskies, around .42 for a 5.5-oz can, which is the cheapest you'll find that size can of Friskies. But that's not the cheapest cat food available. And they don't sell the large cans.

Walmart and Tractor Supply are probably your best options. The larger the can, the less it will cost per ounce, and the 22-oz cans sold at those stores are the largest available. At the Walmart I go to the 22-oz can is $1.08 now, but I haven't been to Tractor Supy lately so I don't know if Paws & Claws went up too. It's still the best price.

Dry food is even cheaper, though canned food is better for the cats. But if you have to stretch the budget with dry, that's fine too. You can get a 40-pound bag of Special Kitty Outdoor at Walmart for around $20. It's not high-quality but it's adequate. Better than eating out of a dumpster anyway. That size bag would probably last around 3 months, depending how many cats there are, and if you make sure to store it somewhere the raccoons and possums can't get to it (they'll clean you out in a hurry!).
 
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