Raw Diet. Need suggestions/budget help

HonshuWolf

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Hello everyone!

I have two cats who I've been feeding raw diet for 3 months now. Best decision I've made, but it's been costing alot so I was wondering what I can do to make it more cheaper? Also what recipes do you recommend I go with? I've just been feeding chicken, pork and beef at the same time for them.
 

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Are you adding any supplements to the meat? Plain meat is not a complete balanced diet.

Good recipes to follow are:


There are additional ones in this TCS sticky:


Buying meat is the biggest cost. You could look into buying in bulk at Hare-Today.com or look for a raw pet food distributor / group / co-op in your area. There's a list here but it may not be up to date: DogAware.com: Raw Dog Food Co-ops and Local Groups
 
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HonshuWolf

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Yes I've been adding Alnutrin Supplement in every meal. Is that a good choice? Should I be adding something else they need?

I won't be able to do Hare Today unfortunately because of the cost to ship is high. I'm trying to spend a max of $100 or less every month if I can. I've been getting the meat from Walmart, Ralphs and other few grocery store. Is that meat ok to feed them with?

Thanks for the information. I appreciate it. 😁







Are you adding any supplements to the meat? Plain meat is not a complete balanced diet.

Good recipes to follow are:

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There are additional ones in this TCS sticky:

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Buying meat is the biggest cost. You could look into buying in bulk at Hare-Today.com or look for a raw pet food distributor / group / co-op in your area. There's a list here but it may not be up to date: DogAware.com: Raw Dog Food Co-ops and Local Groups
 

lisahe

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Yes I've been adding Alnutrin Supplement in every meal. Is that a good choice? Should I be adding something else they need?
And you're adding liver, too, right? I think all Alnutrin requires liver. (The one I use does.)
 

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I would not feed them meat from the grocery store. It's not meant for raw consumption and often sits around for a while building bacteria. I know you mentioned that you can't afford the shipping from Hare-Today. Have you ever done the math for how much it costs? For chicken 80/10/10 + alnutrin + fish oil + shipping for all products, I've calculated a days serving (.22 pounds for one of my cats) at less than a dollar a day. That's impossible to beat if you were just feeding canned before and it surely comes in at under 100 a month for both cats. The other meats are a bit more, but if you're feeding pork and beef, honestly those are pretty cheap as well. Beef might even be cheaper. If you don't have the freezer space for HT then the best option would be to buy frozen from the grocery store or perhaps find a local butcher. Never feed your cats raw from the regular meat section though.

Also, as others mentioned alnutrin requires addition of liver and fish oil, although in the HT blends you won't have to worry about liver. It also comes in versions for bone and no-bone.
 
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LTS3

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I've been getting the meat from Walmart, Ralphs and other few grocery store. Is that meat ok to feed them with?
Be sure the meat hasn't been enhanced with flavorings, salt, broths, preservatives, etc. There's usually a teeny tiny statement on the package. If there is none, ask someone in the meat department.

Independent pet stores sometimes sell packages of raw meat or raw meat / bone / organ mix for people to use in raw pet food recipes. It costs a little more than supermarket meat but probably less than Hare-Today and other suppliers.
 
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HonshuWolf

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I have used FlortiFlora liver supplement. Is that good? I'm using Alnutrin with Eggshell Calcium.


And you're adding liver, too, right? I think all Alnutrin requires liver. (The one I use does.)
And you're adding liver, too, right? I think all Alnutrin requires liver. (The one I use does.)
 

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I also wouldn't use grocery store meat for the reasons mentioned. However, if there is an actual butcher shop/meat market in your area that processes the carcasses on site you can try there, talk to a manager and explain what you want and see if you can work something out.
 

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I have used FlortiFlora liver supplement. Is that good? I'm using Alnutrin with Eggshell Calcium.
I couldn't find that product when I looked it up, can you provide a link? I only know of their probiotics. It's likely that it is not an adequate replacement for actual liver though.

You also need to add fish oil when using alnutrin.

Edit: If you look at the back of the Alnutrin product it will say how much liver to add. All of their products require liver and omegas (fish oil) to be added.
 
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HonshuWolf

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Okay I'll look onto Hare Today again. Also I'll the butcher shop which would be a better option I think.


What fish oil should I use?




I would not feed them meat from the grocery store. It's not meant for raw consumption and often sits around for a while building bacteria. I know you mentioned that you can't afford the shipping from Hare-Today. Have you ever done the math for how much it costs? For + alnutrin + fish oil + shipping for all products, I've calculated a days serving (.22 pounds for one of my cats) at less than a dollar a day. That's impossible to beat if you were just feeding canned before and it surely comes in at under 100 a month for both cats. The other meats are a bit more, but if you're feeding pork and beef, honestly those are pretty cheap as well. Beef might even be cheaper. If you don't have the freezer space for HT then the best option would be to buy frozen from the grocery store or perhaps find a local butcher. Never feed your cats raw from the regular meat section though.

Also, as others mentioned alnutrin requires addition of liver and fish oil, although in the HT blends you won't have to worry about liver. It also comes in versions for bone and no-bone.
I would not feed them meat from the grocery store. It's not meant for raw consumption and often sits around for a while building bacteria. I know you mentioned that you can't afford the shipping from Hare-Today. Have you ever done the math for how much it costs? For chicken 80/10/10 + alnutrin + fish oil + shipping for all products, I've calculated a days serving (.22 pounds for one of my cats) at less than a dollar a day. That's impossible to beat if you were just feeding canned before and it surely comes in at under 100 a month for both cats. The other meats are a bit more, but if you're feeding pork and beef, honestly those are pretty cheap as well. Beef might even be cheaper. If you don't have the freezer space for HT then the best option would be to buy frozen from the grocery store or perhaps find a local butcher. Never feed your cats raw from the regular meat section though.

Also, as others mentioned alnutrin requires addition of liver and fish oil, although in the HT blends you won't have to worry about liver. It also comes in versions for bone and no-bone.
I would not feed them meat from the grocery store. It's not meant for raw consumption and often sits around for a while building bacteria. I know you mentioned that you can't afford the shipping from Hare-Today. Have you ever done the math for how much it costs? For chicken 80/10/10 + alnutrin + fish oil + shipping for all products, I've calculated a days serving (.22 pounds for one of my cats) at less than a dollar a day. That's impossible to beat if you were just feeding canned before and it surely comes in at under 100 a month for both cats. The other meats are a bit more, but if you're feeding pork and beef, honestly those are pretty cheap as well. Beef might even be cheaper. If you don't have the freezer space for HT then the best option would be to buy frozen from the grocery store or perhaps find a local butcher. Never feed your cats raw from the regular meat section though.

Also, as others mentioned alnutrin requires addition of liver and fish oil, although in the HT blends you won't have to worry about liver. It also comes in versions for bone and no-bone.
 

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Okay I'll look onto Hare Today again. Also I'll the butcher shop which would be a better option I think.


What fish oil should I use?
Yes, a local butcher shop is a perfectly fine option as well if they (as Talien Talien mentioned) if they process the carcass on site. You can usually get liver and heart from them too.

There are many options for fish oil that you can explore. I personally use Iceland Pure Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Sardine Anchovy Oil. They're a pretty reputable brand, but be aware that a little bit goes a long way. I have to freeze mine because I can't use it all within the 3 months listed on the container, which they suggest on their site. You can get it on Amazon and Chewy as well. For 5 pounds of meat/organs I add 4000mg (which is like 5ish pumps). You can adjust this depending on your cats but be aware that too much can cause diarrhea.

I got this recipe from StackPath (feline-nutrition.org). They're a really good resource to explore when making raw at home.
 
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HonshuWolf

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Here's the link.

Alnutrin with EggShell Calcium (Regular)






I couldn't find that product when I looked it up, can you provide a link? I only know of their probiotics. It's likely that it is not an adequate replacement for actual liver though.

You also need to add fish oil when using alnutrin.

Edit: If you look at the back of the Alnutrin product it will say how much liver to add. All of their products require liver and omegas (fish oil) to be added.
 

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I also wanted to add that if you would prefer to skip the liver in the future, there are other supplements you can try instead of Alnutrin. Many of these supplements contain the omegas as well so you wouldn't need to worry about fish oil either. E-Z Complete is one example that I can think of off the top of my head.

https://www.foodfurlife.com/ezcomplete-fur-cats-premix-information.html#/
 

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I'll be a little contrarian here. You can use grocery store bought meat if you're going to remove the skin or surface bake the meat (bake it long enough to cook the surface but not the middle meat.) It's the surface where the bacteria grows. For that reason, you should never use store bought ground meat even if they are going to grind it right there in front of you. It creates too much surface area and you don't know how often they tear down the grinder and completely clean it. However, I will make an exception for frozen ground meat. That meat was frozen right after butchering. It is ground frozen, packaged frozen, shipped frozen, and sold frozen.

Back when I was making turkey for Krista, I would buy the thighs from the meat counter and ask the butcher to set aside hearts and livers for me. I always removed the skin so I wasn't worried about the surface exposure in the case. When Krista could no longer eat turkey, I would buy whole frozen fryer rabbits and butcher those myself. This more necessity than anything else. Krista liked leg meat and shipping of the legs from across the country (the only place that sold just the legs) killed any savings over buying whole fryers. At least I got to trade the leg-less, organ-less carcasses with a beertender friend to drink for free on nights I brought him the rabbit remainders.
 

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I think everybody's covered the whole question of liver and raw meat! But I'll add one thing on liver: another option is freeze-dried liver. I bought a big bucket of the stuff (chicken liver) when the pandemic hit and weigh it out to add to the Alnutrin food.

Since Beholder Beholder mentioned adding fish oil, I'll note that I also use add fish oil to Alnutrin food, along with the liver, some egg yolk, and a little pumpkin puree. I make food with cooked meat rather than raw.
 

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Good for you for taking that on, HonshuWolf!

After the Balanced Blends and Nature Variety debacles chronicled in my recent posts, I finally broke down and ordered a very expensive meat grinder (Weston Butcher Series #12), and will go the total homemade route using the catinfo.org recipe. The price made my eyes bug out, but it will likely pay for itself within 6 months or so - certainly within a year. I expect my cat food costs will drop from around $180/month currently to under $100/month (I have 2 big cats). And, I know I'd be more likely to stick with the program if I weren't wrestling with a subpar grinder.

I could have gotten a weaker grinder for about half the cost that could handle boneless meats, adding either eggshell calcium or freeze dried bone. I thought about that option, but I think over time it would cost more. Boneless meats are more expensive - and boneless chicken thighs are sometimes hard to find. Yes you can buy bone-in meats and then debone them, but I truly don't have the time or patience for that.

As for grocery meats and safety...yes, with you on that. I partial-bake those as per the catinfo.org recommendation: 350 oven, 10 minutes for boneless meats and 15 minutes for bone-in. Then I let it sit out to cool before chopping it up. I'm definitely looking forward to having the grinder!
 

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Good for you for taking that on, HonshuWolf!

After the Balanced Blends and Nature Variety debacles chronicled in my recent posts, I finally broke down and ordered a very expensive meat grinder (Weston Butcher Series #12), and will go the total homemade route using the catinfo.org recipe. The price made my eyes bug out, but it will likely pay for itself within 6 months or so - certainly within a year. I expect my cat food costs will drop from around $180/month currently to under $100/month (I have 2 big cats). And, I know I'd be more likely to stick with the program if I weren't wrestling with a subpar grinder.

I could have gotten a weaker grinder for about half the cost that could handle boneless meats, adding either eggshell calcium or freeze dried bone. I thought about that option, but I think over time it would cost more. Boneless meats are more expensive - and boneless chicken thighs are sometimes hard to find. Yes you can buy bone-in meats and then debone them, but I truly don't have the time or patience for that.

As for grocery meats and safety...yes, with you on that. I partial-bake those as per the catinfo.org recommendation: 350 oven, 10 minutes for boneless meats and 15 minutes for bone-in. Then I let it sit out to cool before chopping it up. I'm definitely looking forward to having the grinder!
Pro-tip with the grinder. After you have let the partially baked meat cool, freeze it (four hours should be plenty) before you grind it. You want to grind your meat, raw or cooked, as cold as you can. Grinding thawed meat will turn into a pink slime mess that wraps around the auger and won't push through.
 
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HonshuWolf

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I brought the Amazing Omega Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil 2000mg gels, but one of my cats don't like It. So I gotta figure a way to give it.

Also I ordered some raw from my pet carnivore website and been told it contains the liver. Should I be adding more liver?






I also wanted to add that if you would prefer to skip the liver in the future, there are other supplements you can try instead of Alnutrin. Many of these supplements contain the omegas as well so you wouldn't need to worry about fish oil either. E-Z Complete is one example that I can think of off the top of my head.

EZComplete Premix Information
 
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HonshuWolf

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I definitely will get a meat grinder in the future. That's a really good idea actually.




Good for you for taking that on, HonshuWolf!

After the Balanced Blends and Nature Variety debacles chronicled in my recent posts, I finally broke down and ordered a very expensive meat grinder (), and will go the total homemade route using the catinfo.org recipe. The price made my eyes bug out, but it will likely pay for itself within 6 months or so - certainly within a year. I expect my cat food costs will drop from around $180/month currently to under $100/month (I have 2 big cats). And, I know I'd be more likely to stick with the program if I weren't wrestling with a subpar grinder.

I could have gotten a weaker grinder for about half the cost that could handle boneless meats, adding either eggshell calcium or freeze dried bone. I thought about that option, but I think over time it would cost more. Boneless meats are more expensive - and boneless chicken thighs are sometimes hard to find. Yes you can buy bone-in meats and then debone them, but I truly don't have the time or patience for that.

As for grocery meats and safety...yes, with you on that. I partial-bake those as per the catinfo.org recommendation: 350 oven, 10 minutes for boneless meats and 15 minutes for bone-in. Then I let it sit out to cool before chopping it up. I'm definitely looking forward to having the grinder!
 
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