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New To Homemade Raw: Input Wanted

Discussion in 'Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food' started by kittyluv387, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    I recently calculated that I spend $4.19 everyday for my one cat who eats 100% raw. This is based on 6 freeze dried primal nuggets per day. I need to stick to a 100% raw diet due health issues (diarrhea). But the cost is just outrageous! Frozen nuggets are cheaper but he got sick of it and refuses them. I have a 2nd cat who eats high quality canned and he costs $80/month to feed. It's actually better for him because he's prone to constipation. I end up spending about $200/month on cat food. More importantly my cat gets tired of eating the same thing all the time. This is where rad cat came in but as we all sadly know they are no more. I need to add variety because I know my cat will get sick of the freeze dried primal and then I'll have nothing to feed him. So the natural conclusion was that I needed to start making cat food. I've been saying I wanted to do this for a long time. We're moving into a new apartment in December and I'm planning in buying a freezer chest, grinder, and kitchen scale. I guess the first year I'll break even with the equipment I need to purchase. Some Questions:

    1 - Do you feed 100% homemade raw? If I want to save a lot it's economical to feed 100% homemade. But I'm scared that I'll hurt my cat. Would love to hear about some healthy cats on all home made raw.

    2 - I've seen 80/10/10 mentioned a lot. Is this by weight or volume?

    3 - Is 10% too much bone for a lot of cats? Guessing 7% is better? If so, where do you put the other 3%? To muscle (meat and heart) or organs (kidney and whatever else)? Does this affect the amount of supplements to put in?

    4 - Is it cheaper to buy all the supplements separately or is a mix better?

    5 - For my raw rabbit feeders. How do you compensate for such a lean meat? Do you just leave extra chicken skin on when you feed chicken to balance it out?

    My plan is this:
    A - Chicken from supermarket using Dr. Pierson's recipe. Minus the baking. So i will be grinding chicken bone. Planning on trying this first before I start ordering a ton of other meats from Hare Today. Maybe I'll start off with chicken thigh and a premix.

    B - Whole Rabbit Grind (no fur) from Hare Today with extra rabbit meat mixed in. Individual supplements. No bone grinding needed.

    C - Turkey chunks from Hare Today with eggshell powder and maybe a premix. I want to mix it up with the phosphorus content because Rad Cat didn't use bone. No bone grinding needed.

    D - Quail grind from Hare Today with extra turkey meat mixed in and individual supplements. Not too much. Just as a treat meal to mix it up. Way too expensive to be a staple.

    Let me know your comments/suggestions/criticisms! Thank you!!
     

  2. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

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    The simplest, least expensive way to get started is by using a nutrient pre-mix like Alnutrin. Check out their web site : www.knowwhatyoufeed.com. I think when you see how easy they make it a lot of your fears will evaporate. You could start with that then keep doing your research to decide if you want to do something more complicated.

    I'm suggesting this because you are asking good questions but they are kinda all over the place. I'm just suggesting starting with some simple to give you have time to learn more about all the issues involved with raw feeding.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018

  3. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    I know I have a lot of questions. I guess that's whats discouraging people from answering any of them. What about you? Do you have cats that are being fed 100% raw? How are they doing?

    I am going to look at that link. But I'm not short on time because I have 2 months until we move. And then I'll have to actually buy equipment which will take some time.
     

  4. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm sure people will start answering your questions. But for some of them the answer will start with "It depends on..." which makes the answer more complicated than you may think.

    Have you read these links here at TCS:
    Raw Feeding Resources
    Helpful Resources: Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food Forum

    Yes, I've been feeding a 100% raw diet for many years with the exception of a couple of years when my cats all decided they didn't want raw anymore. My cats do great on it.
     
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  5. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    I couldn't agree more with @mschauer about starting with something simple. mschauer is also right about the "it depends" aspect of answering. ;) Every person and every cat is different, so only you can determine what your limits are for involvement in making your cats' food.

    I think starting small and simple is a particularly good idea before investing in a grinder or other expensive and/or large equipment. Making food really doesn't have to be complicated but it does take effort and research, especially in the beginning. (But then also when things change, as we know they often do where cat food is concerned!) I only make cooked food, which involves the extra step of baking the meat, though cooked food feels easier to me than raw food because raw food would mean having to focus on things like using up the meat in good time, something I'm not good at! I'll admit: I'm just careless.

    If your cats can handle eating multiple types of food, there's also nothing wrong with feeding them a combination of raw food(s) (commercial and/or homemade) along with, who knows, maybe some canned food and/or cooked food. That's pretty much a necessity with our cats, who really demand a varied menu. (I guess there's not an emoji that screams out "diva," is there?) The varied menu is also helpful when I travel, something I do just enough that I want to keep things easy for myself (how much homemade do I need to package up before I leave?) and my husband (so things aren't too confusing). Beyond variety, the important thing for our cats is to keep carbs very low (easy to do with the types of food we feed, other than an occasional treat can of something like Nutro Natural Choice minced chicken!) and the overall bone intake relatively low.

    The cats have glitchy digestive systems but have really been thriving on their diet, which keeps them interested (very important since one cat occasionally gets slightly nausea and doesn't want to eat a lot) and (knock wood and all that!) healthy. I often get the feeling that some people think it's a failure not to feed 100% raw food (preferably homemade!) but I don't see things that way, particularly given our cats' condition. Cat food isn't a competition or a place for maximalism, and I just don't have enough time and mental energy to commit to making all our cats' food.
     
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  6. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    I have to buy a grinder anyways since I'm not going to buy supermarket ground meat. I don't need to do a test with small bits of chunked meat because I've already been doing that as a treat. All my cats are used to different proteins (white meats only). I don't want to cook the food because he gets diarrhea with canned.

    But it sounds like a good idea to start with chicken and a mix! I can feed it to him just part time.
     

  7. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

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    Weight.
    I don't use the 80/10/10 method by from what I've others say most use less than 10%, probably about 7%. I'd guess the extra 3% probably goes to meat.
    Buying the supplements is cheaper. Some of the pre-mixes add over $2/lb to a food. Alnutrin is on the lower end, about $0.60/lb.
    I don't feed rabbit but I don't think most who do compensate for the leaness. Compensating for the boniness of rabbit is usually what they talk about.
    I'm not sure I understand what your concern is here with regards to phosphorous. Anyway, Rad Cat has effectively gone out of business so I guess whatever your concern is, is no more?

    Sounds like what you are planning is consistent with what others have done without problem.
     
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  8. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm finding myself new to homemade with Rad Cat's demise. My plan is to start somewhere simple and adjust from there as I get comfortable and experienced. So my first move was to order 10 lbs of ground turkey from Hare Today and the EZ Complete mix. I've been doing a partial thaw of Rad Cat and reportioning into half ounce cubes in the ice cube tray. Then I pull three cubes from the freezer and thaw them in a baggie under warm water (about 100F or just before it feels hot) and serve. I will be buying these smaller ice cube trays I saw which would probably fit about 5 g. I will be using these to help with the transition from Rad Cat to EZ.
     

  9. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Im glad my plans seem sound. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
     

  10. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Seems like there are quite a few cat people like us distressed about their demise!
     

  11. Cindus

    Cindus TCS Member Young Cat

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    If you're already buying grinds from HT you don't necessarily have to invest in a grinder if your cats will accept chunks of meat. I'm new to raw too and have been experimenting with different recipes. What seems to work best for my cats is HT grinds (whole and organ) diluted with boneless supermarket meat cut into largish chunks. It's a good way to save money and widen the protein options. I haven't yet added supplements, but that's next on my list: probably Alnutrin and fish oil, at least, and maybe raw egg if I can get them to eat it (they won't touch it by itself).

    I'm also going to buy some of the raw rabbit chunks with my next order and see how that works. Since it's the entire rabbit (well, minus fur) it's a complete meal, unlike their other chunked meats which are often missing organs, etc. It has a high bone-content, so I'll dilute it with boneless chicken thighs from the supermarket, as well as chunked giblets and hearts which have a lot of natural taurine.

    It's still cheaper to grind your own if you're able to source meat locally. I'm not in a position to do that right now (I don't even have my own kitchen) but I might try it someday. As much as I wish my cats would just happily eat a 100% prey-model diet, they really seem to prefer grind+chunked, probably because they love canned food.

    Either way, good luck. Feeding raw has a wicked learning curve, but it's also very satisfying -- especially when you see (and feel) the results. Every time I pet my cats I'm recommitted to figuring out the best raw diet for them. I've never felt such silky coats in my life!
     

  12. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I found a raw feeding coop to source the meat. I think I’ll be okay.
     

  13. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    The grinds and chunk freeding are based on the Prey Model Raw and from my understanding you're still supposed to use supplements for that. I looked at HT and they don't list brain and eyes as part of the organ list so I'm not sure if it's truly complete. Also, if you're making batches to last for a few months there might be nutrient degradation. I haven't been ordering from HT yet since they are so expensive if you order in small amounts and freezer space is a concern. I figure I can start out by grinding supermarket chicken thighs and adding alnutrin to it before investing in a chest freezer for the cool HT stuff. Goodluck to the both of us!
     

  14. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    That's pretty awesome. I was thinking it'd be nice to order the full 50 pounds of meat from Hare Today and split it with someone.
     

  15. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I had to cut Fed Ex out of the picture. I strongly dislike them.
     

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